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Military Gene Therapy: An Examination of The Probability the U.S. or Russia Would Enhance Their Soldiers

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[Technical Report, Monograph]

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Throughout history, governments have sought ways to boost the performance of their soldiers on the battlefield. Many areas of study have been examined to improve performance, including more lethal weapons technology, better and lighter soldier equipment, academic training, and improvements to physical performance. Of these, physical fitness is closely tied to performance in combat related tasks. A 2008 study examining weight training and Army standardized physical training in soldiers demonstrated significant performance improvements in combat related tasks. This improvement in task performance implied that soldiers would be able to act and react in combat more quickly than less physically fit peers or adversaries who were physically slower and weaker. The US Army has searched for ways to improve the physical fitness and performance of soldiers on the battlefield, and to return them to duty after injury. One of the latest examples being implemented is the Army Combat Fitness Test, to be fielded in 2020. This new test is a clear effort to improve the physical readiness of soldiers for combat. Other recent efforts include opportunities under Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to develop regenerative medicines. An avenue with vast potential that is being explored through medical research is gene therapy. This study conducted case study analysis of the US and Russia regarding state sponsorship of performance-enhancing drugs in the Olympics and examined the influence of special interest groups and the state of legislation on military gene therapy use in either country. The study used this analysis to estimate the potential for implementation of military gene therapy in the US or Russia.


Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]