A psychochemical weapon considered by the Warsaw Pact: A research note

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Abstract

Contrary to widespread rumours during the Cold War era, little, if any, evidence existed in the scientific literature to support the view that the Soviet Union or its Warsaw Pact allies considered the use of psychochemical weapons militarily. The Hungarian State Archives have recently opened up declassified records of Hungary's State Defence Council meetings held between 1962 and 1978. Materials submitted to the Council include reports about the coordinative meetings of the Warsaw Pact military medical services. Research into possible countermeasures against psychotropic drugs is listed as a research priority assigned to Hungary in 1962. Hungary rejected this task in 1963, but joined the ongoing project again in 1965. Methylamphetamine was produced in Budapest for use as an experimental model of such weapons. Within the context of contemporary western research, this drug was considered to be an effective interrogation tool. Similarly to the CIA, Hungary also failed to develop an antidote against it and the project was terminated, fruitlessly, in 1972. These documents serve as evidence that a Warsaw Pact forum had, in fact, been considering a psychochemical weapon as a "warfare agent."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009

Keywords

  • Antidote
  • Behavior-modification drugs
  • Brain washing
  • Cold War
  • Drug weapons
  • Hungary
  • Methamphetamine
  • Truth drugs
  • Warsaw Pact
  • Weapon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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