A new report published by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has revealed that caffeine may become an important drug amongst the US military forces currently fighting Islamic extremists in Afghanistan.

Scientists working for NAS' Institute of Medicine discovered that consumption of between 100 and 600mg of coffee (between one and six cups) can be used to increase the performance of the military men and women who must stay alert and undertake complex tasks.

The report concludes that coffee can be relied upon to "maintain speed of reactions and visual and auditory vigilance, which in military operations could be a life-or-death situation."

Lt. Col. Donald Archibald, deputy director of military operational medicine at Fort Detrick, Maryland, told the Los Angeles Times: "We think this is going to be extremely important in this ongoing effort to combat terrorism."