WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military rejected a 1994 proposal to develop an "aphrodisiac" to spur homosexual activity among enemy troops but is hard at work on other less-than-lethal weapons, defense officials said on Sunday.
The idea of fostering homosexuality among the enemy figured in a declassified six-year, $7.5 million request from a laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for funding of non-lethal chemical weapon research.
The proposal, disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request, called for developing chemicals affecting human behavior "so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely affected."
"One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior," said the document, obtained by the Sunshine Project. The watchdog group posted the partly blacked-out, three-page document on its Web site.
Lt. Col. Barry Venable of the Army, a Defense Department spokesman, said: "This suggestion arose essentially from a brainstorming session, and it was rejected out of hand."
The Air Force Research Laboratory also suggested using chemicals that could be sprayed on enemy positions to attract stinging and biting bugs, rodents and larger animals.
Another idea involved creating "severe and lasting halitosis" to help sniff out fighters trying to blend with civilians.
The U.S. military remains committed to developing less-than-lethal weapons that pass stringent legal reviews and are consistent with international treaties, said Captain Dan McSweeny of the Marine Corps, a spokesman for the Pentagon (news - web sites) unit spearheading their introduction.
"We feel it's very important to offer our deployed service members and their commanders a greater range of options in dealing with increasingly complex operational environments," said McSweeny, of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.
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