Nation: Bureaucracy of Courage

A representative of the Defense Department's Advanced Research Project Agency appeared before a House subcommittee to argue for a $700,000 appropriation for its "Human Performance Program," a study to determine whether a U.S. fighting man can be taught to understand and control his bodily functions in time of stress or combat.

For instance, when someone is shooting at him, a soldier's temperature varies, and his stomach tightens. If he understands these changes, it is assumed he will be better able to control his fear. Through some psychological self-regulation, soldiers on night patrol might learn to master their visceral fright or their bodies'...

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