Soldiers Too Smitten to Smite

Soldiers Too Smitten to Smite

Pentagon plan to develop unit-busting gay bomb is busted

The proposal had all the hallmarks of a Hollywood science-fiction thriller.

The U.S. military would prepare non-lethal weapons that didn’t outright kill their targets, but rather would cause strange, debilitating symptoms, like giving enemy troops permanent bad breath or making soldiers give off such a bad scent that they can’t stand to be around each other. Then, this bizarre notion—a device that makes soldiers “turn” gay and become fatally attracted to their colleagues, disrupting an enemy unit’s morale.

The proposals would be laughable, if they were not actual elements in a 1994 Air Force proposal meant to secure a piece of the U.S. Military’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) annual budget. Entitled “Harassing, Annoying, and ‘Bad Guy’ Identifying Chemicals,” the three-page document lists a variety of ideas and uses for chemicals to thwart enemy movement, concealment, and cohesion.

“Chemicals that effect [sic] human behavior so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected [sic]. One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior.”

Capt. Dan McSweeney of the U.S. Marine Corps, the branch that runs the weapons directorate, said the Air Force document was simply a brainstorming session listing a range of options for non-lethal weapons.

“None were seriously considered or funded,” McSweeney said.

He added that the U.S. military is not attempting to violate international treaties banning chemical or biological weapons development.

The Sunshine Project, a watchdog group that monitors such development, recently published the Air Force document on its Web site.