Soldier Enhancement: A Brief Survey of the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications

Title: Soldier Enhancement: A Brief Survey of the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications

Abstract: The Spartan City State produced what is probably one of the most iconic and ruthless military forces in recorded history. They believed that military training and education began at birth. Post-World War II saw a shift to army tanks, fighter jets and missiles that would go on to fight the next huge battle in Northern Europe. Today, with the advent of unmanned systems, our hopes are attached to the idea that we can fight our battles with soldiers pressing buttons in distant command centres. However, soldiers must now be highly trained, super strong and have the intelligence and mental capacity to handle the highly complex and dynamic military operating environment. It is only now as we progress into the twenty-first century that we are getting closer to realising the Spartan ideal and creating a soldier that can endure more than ever before. In my talk, I provide a brief analysis of moral, legal and social questions concerning military human enhancement, with a view toward informing the following presentations and developing guidance and policy that may influence real-world decision making.

Biography: Dr. Jai Galliott is an Army-funded Research Fellow in Indo-Pacific Defence at the University of New South Wales, Kensington. He trained as a warfare officer in the Royal Australian Navy prior to resigning in order to undertake PhD studies in military affairs/ethics at Macquarie University.  He is author of more than two dozen books, chapters and journal articles on defence strategy and the ethics of emerging military technologies. His most recent books include Military Robots (Ashgate 2015), Super Soldiers (Ashgate 2015) and Ethics and the Future of Spying (Routledge 2016). He is Lead Editor of the Routledge book series on Emerging Technologies, Ethics and International Affairs and an Associate Editor of IEEE Technology & Society Magazine. He has spoken at Oxford University and the United Nations, regularly appears on television and radio, and is always happy to speak to those with bright ideas.