Lukasz Kamienski, Shooting up: a short history of drugs and war (Oxford UP, forthcoming 2016).

Table of Contents


1. Pharmacologically enhanced militaries
2. Alcohol
An empire built on rum
The vodka ethos
Total war in the mist of prohibition
The Second World War
Alcohol and soldiering since 1945

Part One: from pre-modern times to the end of the Second World War
1. Pre-modern times: opium, hashish, mushrooms and coca
Homer, a miracle drink of oblivion and lotus
The assassins and the archetype of non-Western intoxicated warrior/terrorist
The mushroom eaters
The Incas and energising coca
Coca and the siege of La Paz
2. Napoleon in Egypt and the adventures of the Europeans with hashish
3. The opium wars
The opium armies
4. The American Civil War, opium, morphine and the ‘soldiers’ disease’
Medicine, opium and morphine
Soldier’s wounded body
Deadly diseases
Salutary opiates
The myth of the ‘soldiers’ disease’?
5. The colonial wars and the terrifying ‘barbarians’
The Zulus
The Moros
6. From coca to cocaine: the First World War
The early experiments with coca and cocaine in Europe
The wartime cocaine boom
The Great War and the cocaine panic in Britain
7. The Second World War
The speed
The Nazis
Drugs and the Third Reich
High Hitler
The Wehrmacht on speed
The British
The Americans
The Japanese
The Finns: a special case
The Russians

Part Two: the Cold War
1. From the Korean War to the war over mind control
The Korean War
The controversial Korean POW episode
2. In search of wonderful new techniques and weapons
American military experiments on humans with psychochemical substances
Edgewood Arsenal: the army’s ‘alchemical’ factory of psychochemical dreams
The hallucinogenic arsenal of the ‘anchor of democracy’: in search of non-lethal psychochemical weapons
Hallucinogenic arsenal of the ’empire of freedom: in search of a truth serum
3. Drugs in the service of intelligence. MKULTRA: top-secret CIA program
A dark mystery of the Cold War: the death of Frank Olson
Mind the ‘mind gap’: the beginnings of MKULTRA
Ends and means of MKULTRA
Three phases
Phase one: research
Phase two: experimentation
Phase three: implementation
Where have the Nuremburg principles got to?
‘Ultra’ conclusion
4. Vietnam: the first pharmacological war
A different war
Drugs ‘prescribed’ by the military
Drugs ‘self-prescribed’ by soldiers
The myth of a drugged army
A painful homecoming
5. The Red Army in Afghanistan and the problem of drug addiction
Soviet Vietnam
The 40th Army on drugs
Narcotics as weapon and the source of funding for military activities

Part three: towards the present
1. Contemporary irregular militaries empowered by drugs
2. Getting children stoned: how societies turn children into soldiers
The old-new phenomenon
A new type of war?
Smaller and lighter arms
The third element of the triad: narcotics
The advantages of using child soldiers and the role of narcotics
Recruitment and training
Enhancing morale, bravery and cruelty
Drug addiction: an obstacle to effective demobilization and reintegration
Stoned child soldiers as a challenge to regular armed forces and the way forward
3. Drugs in the U.S. armed forces
Go pills: pilots flying ‘on speed’
The problem of drug (ab)use by soldiers


Epilogue: war as a drug