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How does the Pentagon train their Strategic Command planners to think outside the box? They ask them to prepare a strategy on zombies.

According to Foreign Policy Magazine, the federal government agency wrote documentation outlining a plan “to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population” should the zombie apocalypse commence.

I know what you’re thinking and so did the authors of the internal report when they essentially wrote ‘we’re not kidding’ at the top. “This plan was not actually designed as a joke,” they state within the document’s ‘Disclaimer’ section immediately following the table of contents. Helpful, but the fact that they felt it necessary to clarify in the first place kind of diminishes the desired effect.

"CONOP 8888" aka Counter-Zombie Dominance is a 31 page unclassified document that according to “Foreign Policy Magazine”, was “buried on the military’s secret computer network.” The zombie survival guide is technically a serious planning document used by the Defense Department’s Strategic Command to train students. It is not an actual command strategy meaning it’s not official Government policy.

Basically, the ‘plan’ lives somewhere in the realm of maybe it comes in handy beyond training purposes, maybe it doesn't but at least if it does, the government can’t say it wasn't prepared.

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By far the most interesting section of the report is the ‘Zombie Threat Summary” where Strategic Command outlines all the malevolent zombie species that could potentially cause a ‘Politico-Military Situation.’ Here’s a few of my favorites:

1. Evil Magic Zombies: Zombies that essentially form via ‘black’ magic or the occult.

2. Radiation and Space Zombies: Two different classes of zombie that are created after an organism has been exposed to extreme doses of radiation or zombies that are basically aliens. These particular versions can have world-wide infection rates. “Asteroids and nuclear space radiation that can convert people into zombies can affect any landmass or population on Earth,” the report dictates.

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3. Vegetarian Zombies: Pose no threat to humans because their genetic makeup consists of a predisposition for consuming plant life. Even still as the report indicates the threat to humankind is epic because “they cause massive deforestation or elimination of basic food crops essential to humans.”

*Of Note with this particular species, “where normal carnivorous zombie commonly groan the word ‘brains’ semi-comprehensibly, VZ’s [Vegetarian Zombies] can be identified by their aversion to humans, affinity for plants and their tendency to semi-comprehensibly groan the word “grains.” Fascinating.

4. Chicken Zombies: which according to the report is the only class of zombie that actually exists. The report indicates that CZ’s [Chicken Zombies] occur when hens are incorrectly euthanized by farmers with carbon monoxide. Oddly enough, the hens appear dead when they’re buried, but “inexplicably come back to life and dig themselves out from the piles of dead chickens.” The CZ’s [Chicken Zombies] then wander around for a while before succumbing to organ failure.

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So what’s the government (theoretically) prepared to do? The usual: containment, stabilization, restoring civic authority, and then of course ‘provide support to federal, state and tribal agencies” to “restore basic services is zombie-related disaster areas.”

Strategic defense planners often use fictional scenarios to teach basic concepts of military preparation without the risk of political fallout should the documents be leaked. Scenarios labeled ‘Nigeria’ or ‘Tunisia’ could cause the general public to believe “that a fictional training scenario is actually a real plan,” the authors write.

Of course nobody believes the zombie apocalypse could actually happen! Even so, this report is still the most entertaining piece of government material I've read in a long time. Take 20 minutes and read through it, it’ll make your afternoon.

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CONPLAN 8888