Mind Wars
Brain Research and National Defense

A provocative book that reads like an edge-of-your seat investigation into the intertwining worlds of science, technology, and government, Mind Wars is the first ever systematic overview of brain research and national security. 

Jonathan Moreno unearths a multitude of questions about federal defense agencies’ interest in the burgeoning field of neuroscience and describes the many fascinating ethical and policy issues that may emerge from this relationship.

Moreno, one of the best-known bioethicists in the US, calls for the scientific community to be more engaged in dealing with the unintended consequences of their work. As new kinds of weapons are added to the arsenal already at the disposal of fallible human leaders and their war fighters, we need to be sure we understand how they are used.



Chapter 1: DARPA on Your Mind

Chapter 2: Of Machines and Men

Chapter 3: Mind Games

Chapter 4: How to Think about the Brain

Chapter 5: Brain Reading

Chapter 6: Building Better Soldiers

Chapter 7: Enter the Nonlethals

Chapter 8: Toward an Ethics of Neurosecurity




“Few people ever think about brain research as a national security discipline. This intriguing and provocative book lays out how neurotechnologies for brain analysis, repair, and enhancement can be multi-purpose and serve both good and nefarious functions. Moreno forces the reader to think about the possible dangers and the accompanying ethical issues that co-occur with the great potential benefits of accelerating neuroscience advances.”

-Alan I. Leshner, Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)


On the Strategic Advantages of Enhancing the Brain and Nervous System

In a sense, all warfare ultimately happens between our ears. If opponents believe they have been defeated, then that becomes the reality, hence the military’s investment in psychological operations, such as propaganda leaflets and disinformation, despite their uncertain payoffs. But if targeted interventions are made possible by the greatly enhanced knowledge of the brain and nervous system now being generated at a feverish pace in our top neuroscience labs, complemented by ingenious new engineering and pharmacologic products, the battle of the brain will have truly begun.
The powers that can claim the advantage and establish a ‘neurotechnology gap’ between themselves and their adversaries will establish both tactical and strategic advantages that can render them dominant in the twenty-first century.