No More Heroes

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Those responsible for the technological revolution in weaponry which has already rendered conventional wars of the future 600 percent more destructive and intense than World War II have failed to consider adequately the limitations of those humans required to fight. These wars would produce psychiatric casualties with such speed and in such magnitude and seriousness that prolonged combat would be impossible. Having asserted and then demonstrated that the insane are better able to tolerate the acute anxiety of combat than the sane, the author concludes that only by chemical alteration of the brain processes can a soldier be created who can function effectively in contemporary combat situations.

Regrettably, both the American and Soviet military are short-sightedly developing such chemical compounds. Gabriel foresees that these chemical treatments will produce true sociopaths who, though intellectually conscious of their actions, will be devoid of an emotional appreciation of their consequences. With a loss of moral values, the chemical soldier will be no hero, only a purposeless killing machine. It is to be expected that these chemical compounds, once deployed, will find their way into the civilian population as well, producing a society of sociopaths.

In a dispassionate treatise in which he traces historically the means by which governments have responded to the increasingly complex problem of psychiatric battle casualties, the author has produced a valuable warning that should be heeded by political, military, and medical leaders.