February 07, 2021

The myth and reality of the super soldier

Featuring Elsa B. Kania

Source: BBC

Journalist Thom Poole

Is China trying to make its own version of Captain America? US intelligence has suggested so. But beyond the hype, the possibility of a super soldier is not so outlandish and one that not just China is interested in.

With deep pockets, and a desire to get an edge, the world's militaries have often driven technological innovation, from the state-of-the-art to the humble. Take duct tape. It was the result of a suggestion from an Illinois ordnance factory worker, who had sons serving in the navy during World War Two.

Worried about soldiers under fire fumbling with the flimsy paper tape then used to seal ammunition boxes, Vesta Stoudt had a solution - a waterproof, cloth tape. She was unable to win the support of her supervisors, but was more successful when she wrote to President Roosevelt, who instructed war producers to turn her idea into reality.

If military necessity can give us better sticky tape, what else might it do?

Read the full story and more from BBC News.

Authors

  • Elsa B. Kania

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research focuses on Chinese military...