China: Gene Splicing Super-Soldiers
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this month, John Lee Ratcliffe, the Director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration, wrote that “the People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II. The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily, and technologically.”
“There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power,” Ratcliffe wrote, adding that China is working to develop “soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities” as part of a scheme to take over “the planet economically, militarily and technologically.”
Last year, Elsa Kania and Wilson VornDick a brief in the Jamestown Foundation claiming that Chinese scientists have been exploring “the potential of biotechnology on the future battlefield”. Some applications could include “brain-machine interfaces”. Since the potential for these technologies is still being explored, many of the possible applications go beyond what people can currently imagine.
One of the avenues of exploration includes the use of CRISPR (an acronym for “clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”), a new technique for gene editing that has demonstrated unique potential. Chinese scientists are at the forefront of CRISPR technology, unencumbered by the moral and ethical limitations imposed on western scientists. For example, developing the use of gene-edited animals to grow human-like organs. A doctoral dissertation titled “Evaluation and Research on Human Performance Enhancement Technology,” published in 2016 and supported by the Central Military Commission (CMC) Science and Technology Commission envisioned CRISPR as one of three primary “human performance enhancement technologies” that can be utilized to boost personnel combat effectiveness.
Another ethical obstacle is the use of gene modification to enhance healthy subjects. Western scientists currently refrain from this type of research however Ratcliffe’s article implied that China is actively researching the possibility.
French “Augmented Soldiers”
Not to be outpaced in this field, it was reported earlier this month that the ethical committee of the French armed forces ministry approved research aimed at enhancing “physical, cognitive, perceptive and psychological capacities,” and could allow for location tracking or connectivity with weapons systems and other soldiers. This would produce what the report called “augmented soldiers.” The report approved research that would include medical treatments to prevent pain, stress and fatigue, and substances that would improve mental resilience if a soldier were taken prisoner.
Some directions this research could take could include drugs to allow soldiers to remain awake for extended periods of time or surgery to improve hearing with earbud implants or improved sight with bionic eyes. Enhanced limbs or exoskeletons would increase strength. Soldiers can receive transfusions of synthetic blood that would improve their stamina and enable them to remain underwater for extended periods. Some developments would make soldiers impervious to pain.
The committee said that France needs to maintain the “operational superiority of its armed forces in a challenging strategic context” but warned that these changes must respect the rules governing the military, humanitarian law, and the “fundamental values of our society.” Other limits the French initiative placed on the genetic modifications were restrictions on cognitive implants that would affect the exercise of a soldier’s free will or changes that would affect their reintegration into civilian life. One example the committee rejected was removing a soldier’s arm and replacing it with a prosthetic arm that contained a weapon.
US: Neuro-Grain Brain Implants
Even the US is not immune to this trend. In 2017, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) gave $65million to six research teams to develop coin-sized computer brain-implants called “neuro-grains” that would interface with external machines. The implants could be used to improve sight but with the ability for output as well as input, they could be used to improve hearing and even for enhanced communication. The deadline for development was four years meaning they should be ready within one year.
Last year, the Pentagon released previously classified documents from a study by the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command titled “Cyborg Soldier 2050: Human/Machine Fusion and the Implications for the Future of the DOD” that revealed cyborg soldiers. The report identified four capabilities as technically feasible by 2050:
- ocular enhancements to imaging, sight, and situational awareness.
- restoration and programmed muscular control through an optogenetic bodysuit sensor web.
- auditory enhancement for communication and protection.
- direct neural enhancement of the human brain for two-way data transfer.
Gog and Magog War
When the prophets described the pre-Messiah War of Gog and Magog, they described it in terms that were entirely unlike wars in Biblical times. Rather than wounds from arrows, spears, or swords, Zechariah described a scene similar to the aftermath of germ warfare.
As for those peoples that warred against Yerushalayim, Hashem will smite them with this plague: Their flesh shall rot away while they stand on their feet; their eyes shall rot away in their sockets; and their tongues shall rot away in their mouths. Zechariah 14:12
Isaiah described what could very well be understood as a global thermo-nuclear war.
And men shall enter caverns in the rock And hollows in the ground— Before the terror of Hashem And His dread majesty, When He comes forth to overawe the earth. Isaiah 2:19
The earth is breaking, breaking; The earth is crumbling, crumbling. The earth is tottering, tottering; Isaiah 24:19
The Prophet Ezekiel makes a passing reference connecting the warriors of the Gog and Magog War with the Bashan region.
The Bashan in the north of Israel is, of course, the kingdom of Og, the last of the giant Rephaim.
Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim. His bedstead, an iron bedstead, is now in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it is nine amot long and four amot wide, by the standard amah! Deuteronomy 3:11
Nine amot is approximately 13.5 feet with many estimating the king’s height at 9-13 feet. Og was typical of his nation. It could be that the Gog and Magog warriors referred to by Ezekiel will be a reappearance of the Bashan Rephaim with the pre-redemption war being fought by giant soldiers, perhaps even genetically enhanced with those enhancements that appear in their blood, precisely as described in the prophecy.