The supersoldier (or super soldier) is a concept soldier, often fictional, capable of operating beyond normal human limits or abilities.
Supersoldiers are common in science fiction literature, films and video games. In 2012, DARPA was reported to be developing an externally powered XOS exoskeleton design for greatly increased strength and endurance. Fictional supersoldiers are usually heavily augmented, either through surgical means, eugenics, genetic engineering, cybernetic implants, drugs, brainwashing, traumatic events, an extreme training regimen or other scientific and pseudoscientific means. Occasionally, some instances also use paranormal methods, such as black magic or technology and science of extraterrestrial origin. In entertainment, the creators of such programs are viewed often as mad scientists or stern military personnel depending on the emphasis, as their programs would typically go past ethical boundaries in the pursuit of science or military might.
Some fictional supersoldiers can also be categorized as cyborgs or cybernetic organisms because of augmentations that are intended to enhance human capabilities or to exceed physical human restrictions.
In the book The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004), Welsh journalist Jon Ronson documented how the U.S. military repeatedly tried and failed to train soldiers in the use of parascientific combat techniques during the Cold War, experimenting with New Age tactics and psychic phenomena such as remote viewing, astral projections, "death touch" and mind reading against various Soviet targets. The book inspired also a war comedy of the same name (2009) directed by Grant Heslov, starring George Clooney.
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- Armin Krishnan (24 October 2013). "The Cyborgization of Human Soldiers". Footnote1. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Tim Adams (21 November 2004). "Acting the giddy goat". Book review. Guardian News. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson, Picador, pp.240.
- Heussner, Ki Mae (Nov 9, 2009). "Psychic Spies: Any Truth in 'Men Who Stare at Goats?'". ABCnews.com. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
Ronson, Jon (2009). The Men Who Stare at Goats. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1439181775.