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Pentagon Document Lays Out Battle Plan Against Zombies 131

mpicpp sends this news from CNN: "Never fear the night of the living dead — the Pentagon has got you covered. From responses to natural disasters to a catastrophic attack on the homeland, the U.S. military has a plan of action ready to go if either incident occurs. It has also devised an elaborate plan should a zombie apocalypse befall the country, according to a Defense Department document obtained by CNN. In an unclassified document titled 'CONOP 8888,' officials from U.S. Strategic Command used the specter of a planet-wide attack by the walking dead as a training template for how to plan for real-life, large-scale operations, emergencies and catastrophes."
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Pentagon Document Lays Out Battle Plan Against Zombies

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  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @09:06AM (#47024827) Homepage

    Zombies are a metaphor for poor people. You can't make a battle plan for what to do when the proletariat rises, because the optics are bad, but you can plan for zombies. Yet another reason to do something about income inequality before it comes to that.

  • by KingOfBLASH ( 620432 ) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @09:08AM (#47024833) Journal

    Emergency services have been using things like "zombie attacks" for decades. There's a lot of reasons why. One is if a civilian stumbles onto your training exercise, they're more likely to think it's some sort of movie then to get scared. Another is it's a bit lighthearted for a serious subject and may make it more enjoyable for people involved. And, any skills or experienced from the fantasy directly carries over to real life situations.

  • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @09:31AM (#47024901)

    Not only that but zombies combine multiple situations. You need physical defense, infection monitoring, unknown medical care, rioting, panic, etc

    You can combine all your forces. Police ambulance fire military into a single exercise easily.

    And it is easier for the actor to play their roles.

  • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @09:53AM (#47025005)

    First off: training, as others have said. Ridiculous scenarios have the advantage of being more entertaining and less likely to freak out the populace.

    And secondly, if you'll allow me to put on my tinfoil hat for a moment, I imagine the response to a worldwide zombie attack would bear many similarities to the response to mass civilian uprisings - a scenario any power-loving government is afraid of. And can you imagine the reactions if it got out that they had a plan titled "Military response to attempted popular revolution"?

    Not to mention that you don't want to encourage the god-and-country loving rank and file to think about how they would react to being ordered to fire on their neighbors - in a crisis situation you can put a lot of psychological pressure on the troops and possibly get at least a few days or weeks of unhappy obedience before you have to start worrying about mass defections, which used intelligently may be enough to get the population back in line. Put them through a training exercise where they have to confront the possibility of being used for civilian oppression beforehand though, and you may find that a lot of them have already decided they'll have no part in it if the scenario becomes reality.

    And it has the added benefit that anyone claiming that "zombie apocalypse" is a stand-in for "civilian uprising" will sound like they're off their rocker. And so if you'll excuse me I'm going to remove my tinfoil hat and get on with enjying this beautiful Saturday morning.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2014 @10:19AM (#47025113)

    This, a zombie apocalypse is a very possible threat given the right mutations.

    But more to the point, a zombie apocalypse is a great way to prepare for literally the worst kind of scenarios in regards to societal collapse, one that is virulent and deadly.
    Dealing with a zombie apocalypse helps you identify infection vectors (biological attacks), physical violence (general chaos), secure installations (brute force attack) and many others.
    It really is a good way to round up very real scenarios in to one heading, and zombies generally fit them all.

    Likewise with alien invasion, there are plans in place if such things were to happen, despite being unlikely given the vast distances of space.
    If aliens were to find us, they either have a really great head start on us so could wipe us from the planet, or they are similar to us technology wise and just spent a ridiculous amount of resources to one-way missions to attack a planet to take over it. Both of those are unlikely scenarios.
    But there is still that middle-ground where there could be a chance of survival. (admittedly that middle ground is heavily towards the latter than the former)

    Investigating and planning for the worst of the worst is a good idea, it is things like that that has helped prevent massive outbreaks of infection from killing millions, even billions, like in cases with SAR, the current MERS, swine flu (blown way up admittedly) and other large scale infections.
    It is going to be even more needed as virulence increases and our protections against them are failing.
    There could be a day where a simple cut will kill again. Hopefully it never sees the light of day.

  • Survivalists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dereck1701 ( 1922824 ) on Saturday May 17, 2014 @10:52AM (#47025301)

    I hang around in survivalists circles a little bit and there's a little bit of a saying there "If you can survive a zombie apocalypse you can survive almost anything" The idea of walking undead creatures with a taste for human flesh is very unlikely (not impossible, but unlikely), but the skills & tools for surviving one will prepare you for a variety of situations (natural disaster, civil unrest, economic collapse, etc). The idea of the military preparing for mass numbers of "zombies" (civilians) rising up and assaulting them is not very settling. There are not many situations in which this kind of training would be necessary except for a civilian uprising, save for some of the aspects of dealing with an defending from assault with limited resources, a breakdown of communications & no backup.

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.