Zombie Apocalypse: Pentagon Action Plan

If you’re thinking the title to this Monday Mayhem post is too outlandish for even the wildest of fiction, think again. The Pentagon has a plan of action in place to quell a zombie uprising, should it ever hit American soil. This, coupled with the fact that the U.S. Military’s involvement with such an operation could constitute an admission that zombies do exist, should make readers wary of such a plan. After all, zombies aren’t real, right?

World War Z
World War Z

Details of the plan came to light with a May 16, 2014 article posted on CNN going by the title Pentagon Document Lays Out Battle Plan Against Zombies by Jamie Crawford, CNN National Security Producer.

The document, simply known as CONOP 8888, provides the U.S. a response to a zombie apocalypse, should a zombie apocalypse ever occur. Of course, the plan is part of the military’s emergencies and catastrophes training, and part of that training contains language suited more for an action movie.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • During the design of CONOP 8888 in the summers of 2009 and 2010, training squadrons from USSTRATCOM (United States Strategic Command is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Department of Defense (DoD)) found the zombie survival plan provided useful information to participants who sought direction in key initiatives against the undead.
  • The document retains the “Unclassified” moniker to ensure maximum exposure to those seeking a way to combat zombies.
  • Part of the fictional Contingency Planning Guidance (CPG), the USSTRATCOM has developed the plan’s objective as threefold: “1) Establish and maintain a vigilant defensive condition aimed at protecting humankind from zombies. 2) If necessary, conduct operations that will, if directed, eradicate zombie threats to human safety. 3) Aid civil authorities in maintaining law and order and restoring basic services during and after a zombie attack.”
  • CONOP 8888 also provides extensive background information regarding defensive and offensive operations against the zombie horde, including, but not limited to engagement.
World War Z
World War Z

Part of the document explores assumptions about the enemy threat. For instance, since every dead human can become a zombie, every human casualty represents a potential increase to the undead population. In turn, “the only assumed way to effectively cause casualties to the zombie ranks by tactical forces is the concentration of all firepower to the head, specifically the brain. The human brain will still be functioning in the zombie state, but it is universally agreed that the only part actually active will be the brain stem.”

Of all the assumptions documented, this is the biggest one of all, “Because accurate intelligence related to zombies will be hard to obtain using traditional methods, planners will have to assume worst-case scenarios derived from popular culture references (books, movies, comic books) to adequately model zombie threats.”

In other words, if the internet is still around, this website will be one popular stopover for USSTRATCOM. Who knows, perhaps they’ve already archived this post for future use against the undead.

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What do you think of the Pentagon’s zombie action plan?

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14 thoughts on “Zombie Apocalypse: Pentagon Action Plan

  1. Implementation of the plan is on hold by the Administration, pending studies to determine whether zombies can be trained activate certain levers on voting machines.

  2. Additionally, if you read the pdf file of the military plan you will find that there is considerable intelligent thought there. The introduction mentions “The Starfish and the Spider” (fascinating, must-read book) and goes on to explain better why the seemingly silly idea turns out to be pretty good training. I am impressed.

  3. I think some of the comments here are missing the point. The article said this, which I believe is valid:

    Officials familiar with the planning of it say zombies were chosen precisely because of the outlandish nature of the attack premise.

    “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 document says. “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 as a real plan.”

    Additionally, since virtually all of the people who would be involved in such an exercise are under 30, they are quite familiar with zombies as a trope (even if they are not familiar with the word “trope”) and they would be more likely to participate with a decent interest level. Actually, I think this is a pretty smart move on the military’s part, and that’s probably the first time I’ve ever said that.

    Thanks for the link; I don’t read CNN and never would have seen it.

  4. I feel so much better knowing that we are prepared and knowing that our legislators are sorting out the really important matters facing our country. I can’t wait to show this to one of my students who is an extreme prepper. He has “go bags” stashed all over his neighborhood along with maps throughout his room marking the most likely places the North Koreans might strike us from. Basically, he’s prepping for an EMP attack. He’s written to members of Congress to share his fears along with possible attack points. I fear he’s on multiple government watch lists!

  5. I wonder if there was / is a UFO invasion action plan ? Remember what happened when Orson Well’s ” War of the Worlds ” was originally broadcast. My parents’ neighbors believed it was real. If the broadcast had been about a zombie holocaust, would they still have believed it ?

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