from the the-best-braaaaains dept
If you’re like me, you might be surprised to learn just where zombies turn up. For instance, an undead king-o-pop might show up in a video game. Or in a humor-driven warning from the Center for Disease Control. Or, as it turns out, amongst contingency plans by the Pentagon.
Buried on the military’s secret computer network is an unclassified document, obtained by Foreign Policy, called “CONOP 8888.” It’s a zombie survival plan, a how-to guide for military planners trying to isolate the threat from a menu of the undead — from chicken zombies to vegetarian zombies and even “evil magic zombies” — and destroy them.
“This plan fulfills fictional contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve ‘non-zombie’ humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde,” CONOP 8888’s plan summary reads. “Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population — including traditional adversaries.”
Ah, the undead sure do create cause for such strange bedfellows. It’s a little bit heartwarming that the Pentagon would see fit to team up with our more-human adversaries against the zombie horde, isn’t it? Imagine: the Taliban and the American military hand in hand, standing tall and steadfast against wave after wave of the undead. It’s equal parts poetic and idealistic.
Now, lest anyone take this too seriously, like the CDC’s warning, the Pentagon would like to stress that they don’t actually think that this zombie apocalypse is, you know, going to happen.
Military planners assigned to the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska during 2009 and 2010 looked for a creative way to devise a planning document to protect citizens in the event of an attack of any kind. The officers used zombies as their muse. “Planners … realized that training examples for plans must accommodate the political fallout that occurs if the general public mistakenly believes that a fictional training scenario is actually a real plan,” the authors wrote, adding: “Rather than risk such an outcome by teaching our augmentees using the fictional ‘Tunisia’ or ‘Nigeria’ scenarios used at [Joint Combined Warfighting School], we elected to use a completely-impossible scenario that could never be mistaken for a real plan.”
In other words, rather than risk the paranoid hysteria that would revolve around a false plan to combat a real-life adversary, they made one up. It’s actually humanizing to see a little humorous creativity coming from our men and women in uniform. And it appears the creators of the plan really did let their imagination fly. They designed methods to combat vegetarian zombies (yay!), evil magic zombies (sounds ominous), and chicken zombies (run, you stupid bastards!), outer space zombies (genre crossovers are so tired), bio-engineered zombies (calling Umbrella Corp.), and a pathogen-based zombie outbreak. Not all the military brass was impressed with the effort, it seems.
“I hope we’ve invested a similar level of intellectual rigor against dragon egg hatching contingencies,” one defense official quipped.
Oh, you silly defense guy, untwist your shorts. Everyone knows there haven’t been dragons in these parts in years.