back to article US says the next war will be all in our minds

The US needs to draft in psychopharmacologists, neuroscientists and even goateed cultural studies experts to fight 21 century wars that will be largely in the mind. A report commissioned by the Defense Intelligence Agency on Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies predicts a freakish future of advances in …


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  1. Martin
    Black Helicopters

    I knew that.

    ........or did I dream it?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Jedi mind tricks

    ~~~ These are not the terrorists you're looking for.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Typical US

    Sorry but the US gov/military has failed to predict it so far what right to they have to go predicting the future war method.


  4. Frank Bough


    the US will use Palestine as its testing ground as usual? They'll know they're on to something when they can convince the gentiles that their land WASN'T stolen and that Israel isn't racist.

  5. Gilbert Wham

    How effective?

    Will this be against that most wily of the USA's enemies; the difficult-to-spot peasant with the robust, cheap, produced in its millions assault rifle? Being as insurgents with Kalashnikovs and pointy sticks have trounced them once in Asia, and will again in the Middle East, is this anything more than military-industrial-complex porkbarrelling at its most esoteric?

  6. pctechxp
    Black Helicopters

    Harsh Realm

    Sounds like Chris Carter's Harsh Realm to me

    Is anyone called Santiago involved with the project?

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  7. dervheid

    The "War on Terror"

    is all just in our minds anyway.

    Put there by THEM.

    In order to control US.

  8. Seán

    No surprise

    The US looks on thought as a weapon. So much for the right to bear arms.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft have been doing this for years...

    ... how else could they get 95% of computer users worldwide to accept the shoddy bloatware they call an operating system?

  10. Miami Mike
    Thumb Up

    McDonalds-eating Paris-tards as a prelude to a new era of Pax Americana.

    I for one intend to BE one of your new psycho-pharmacological overlords . . . !

    Just think - a cheap, harmless pill/gas/food additive that:

    1) Convinces religious fanatics of all flavors that peace and love-thy-neighbor is actually much better than killing them in the name of (fill in the deity of choice).

    2) Convinces scammers of all kinds that honesty really is the best policy (all 419ers and their buddies would instantly be out of business).

    3) Convinces democrats that Obama is NOT the Messiah, and will NOT be able to cure all the ills of the universe, real or imagined, .0000001 microseconds after he is annointed, er, elected, uh appointed.

    4) Convinces OPEC that it is their duty to the human race to give away the oil to anyone who needs it, need being defined by desire.

    5) Beautiful women . . . free love . . . the mind boggles . . .

    6) That everyone should patronize MY business and give me ALL their money because I am such a nice guy . . . Muhahahahah!!

    I could get really used to this stuff - I just need to make sure to lay in a good supply of the antidote in advance. Who's with me?

  11. TeeCee Gold badge

    I had a war all in my mind.

    I won.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Dirty nukes

    blown up a few miles high, EMP takes out all US gadgets including mil-apendages. All their soldiers are now just flaying around cos they can't walk unaided anymore.

    Vlad has another easy invasion. And he has alot of dirty nukes.

  13. Mister Cheese

    The corps

    is mother, the corps is father.

  14. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Down

    Lazy journalism

    "And once you understand brain states, you’ll of course want to be able to alter them – theirs and yours of course."

    Ug. Just ug. I'd be embarrassed to write that in a tweet. Not that I tweet.

  15. Wonderkid

    I sense a great disturbance in the force...

    ...the last great bastion of human dignity, privacy, is about to take a final step over the precipice. "I think, therefore, you know."

  16. Christoph

    Great idea

    This is definitely needed. How can you possibly defend freedom if you can't control people's thoughts?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US says the next war will be all in our minds

    Well, I should be alright then (according to my ex-wife that is).

  18. Dan Keating

    and the British?

    Due to budgetary constraints, the British military are unable to keep up with the U.S R&D - so the MoD are planning to get Korea to clone Paul McKenna and send him in to battle. It's predicted that smoking rates amongst Iraqi insurgents will drop by 75%.

  19. The Other Steve
    Black Helicopters

    Still staring at goats then ?

    "The report says this will be achieved with new drugs."

    The 1960s are on the phone, they want their science back.

    Don't the US military ever learn from _anything_ ? MKULTRA, Vietnam, ring any bells ? No ?

  20. Henry

    Anybody remember Brian Aldiss's Barefoot in the Head?

    Everybody walking around nuts/ deluded/ paranoid. What's this world coming to?

  21. Luther Blissett

    Cold War continues

    And so does the requirement to put lots of $$$ into circulation.

    Meanwhile smarter countries might take a leaf out of the Russian's book - a chess set, and someone to play with.

    As for anthropology, that has been fecked in the USA ever since Margaret Mead.

  22. Zmodem

    dreams are for sissies

    i gnt so many projected visions to my brain i know i wouldnt pay attention to a state of mind created by a drug, they should use theyre brain to create a injected vaccine for and rid the cell creatimg pills that just makes death take longer

  23. Lee T.

    "O brave new world that has such people in it."

    One hundred repetitions three nights a week for four years, thought Bernard Marx, who was a specialist on hypnopædia. Sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth. Idiots!

  24. Steven Swenson


    If thought was a weapon, the right to bear arms wouldn't matter much anyway.

    Most of our fellow Americans are unarmed.

  25. Watashi
    Black Helicopters

    Deja vu

    Reading this has given me an idea - by creating special 'adverts' you could undermine the rational thinking of normal people by keying into subconcious fears and so bypass reasoning skills.

    These 'adverts' could be deployed by electoral candidates in the run up to 'democratic' elections so as to bypass any intellectual or carefully considered preference any member of the electorate may have to voting for the other guy. Any political weakness, ideological unpleasentness or policy vacuum that may make you unelectable can be hidden beneath a false facade of attractiveness that subverts the electorate without them understanding why their voting intentions have changed.

    Thus, a well planned campaign of adverts (esp. when supported by the popular press) can unjustly win you an election without having to go to all the effort of threatening people with guns.

    It's a good job they didn't know about this stuff in the US for the last couple of elections - who knows who they would have ended up with as President!

    Oh... hang on...

  26. Chris G Silver badge


    Like the war on terrorism?

    Been there , done that .

  27. Zmodem

    Could make a brain

    search for bigfoot all your life and find him dead under a tree

  28. Kevin Kitts
    Dead Vulture

    Big Brother meets Total Recall...

    nuff said.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious counter measure

    Tinfoil hats.

  30. Dalen
    Black Helicopters

    Doubleplusungood: Thoughtcrime, here we come

    Orbital mind control lasers, anyone?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do you do with voters who cannot pay their mortgages?

    Give them a happy pill.

    Give them a pill that makes them feel warm when sleeping on the street.

    Give them a pill to convince them the government is doing a good job.

    Give them a pill to make them vote for more government spending new pills.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how amusing

    People who are the first to rip the US for announcing such projects are the first to ignore the fact that their own countries are either in kahootz with the US or are secretly working on their own little black projects. But the rub is their governments aren't telling them about it.

    One of the classics has to be the Echelon project. The UK, Australia, and possibly New Zealand all have data "welcoming/reception" centers. My guess is that every country that maintains a permanent position on the UN security council is now or has conducted testing in these areas. But only the US is fessing up.

  33. John Parker

    "Advances here are likely to come in the form of ... robotic assistants."

    "Advances here are likely to come in the form of ... robotic assistants."

    Finally, my robot butler :)

  34. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Has any commenter actually studied the advances in neuroimaging?

    I actually have studied some recent results, and one of the things we know is how little we actually know (corny but true). Yes, methods such as diffusion tensor imaging allow better insight into the wiring of the brain, and functional MRI does let us know where activity takes place if you perform certain yasks (as do several other techniques, such as EEG and MEG). The resolutions of these techniques are really still very coarse (in the order of milimeters for fMRI, and worse for many others), and unlikely to reach into the cellular level resolution to capture real, lowest level brain states.

    There are these pesky limitations physics imposes on things, but the "planners" do not want to let these get in the way of a juicy report.

    Worse, thought the bulk anatomy and major wiring schemes are similar, even the details we see show large inter-individual differences, and changes in time within an individual. At finer levels of detail this gets worse. It is very likely that similar brain states in different individuals encode different infomation at a detailed level. Add to that that the brain is a chaotic system, and you will understand that it is impossible to derive information such as e.g. passwords from directly studying brain states. You might well be able to tell someone is lying from brain states, but if the subject stays silent, waterboarding is the better way to extract the information than any brain scanner.

    But of course we can alter brain states at a distance already. Two common methods are:

    (i) talking to people

    (ii) shooting them in the head

    I always prefer the former

  35. Neil

    Never mind the neuro-crap...

    ...wheres the frickin' lasers?

  36. Snert Lee

    Scheduled Events

    Stanislaw Lem will be conducting a seminar on this very topic during the next session of the Futurological Congress.

  37. Brennan Young

    We'll run out of oil

    ...long before any of this stuff becomes viable - although Watashi makes an important point: "Mind Control" for military purposes has been around at least since World War I, Goebbels and Bernays, not to mention the Roman Catholic church in the middle ages and the sophists of ancient Greece. Been there, done that.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    a consistent approach by the US government - how quaint

    after all, the last couple of "battles" fought by the US military were also purely "in the mind".

  39. Phillip Miles
    Thumb Down

    hmmmmm new?!

    Yup - I watched "Ghost in the Shell" Too - new research?

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Re Typical US

    Oh c'mon. The U.S. is the only one qualified to predict where the next battlefield will be.

    We'll be the ones starting it. We might even pretend the rest of the world exists when we do. You'll be able to tell, we'll have an excuse first.

    Whatever it takes to teach us americans geography.

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