Fans of "The Walking Dead" can breathe a sigh of relief. The U.S. federal government has a contingency plan in the unlikely event zombies were to overrun the country.
According to a report in Foreign Policy magazine, the Defense Department — with a 2014 budget of more than $500 billion—maintains a disaster preparation document called "CONOP 8888," which in fact is a zombie survival plan. It was developed to train commanders in the art of strategizing for a catastrophe.
Foreign Policy bills it as a "how to guide for military planners" trying to save the population from an onslaught of the undead.
The zombie offensive is part of what the DoD calls "fictional contingency planning guidance" that asks military commanders to come up with a blueprint to "preserve non-zombie humans from the threat posed by a zombie horde," Foreign Policy reported, citing an unclassified Pentagon document.
Without a hint of irony, DoD calls the plan "Counter-Zombie Dominance," and added in the disclaimer section that "this plan was not actually designed as a joke." The "worst case threat scenario," according to the plan, would be high "transmissibility," —legions of the undead infecting humans rapidly, with little way to counter rapidly multiplying hordes of zombies.
According to Foreign Policy, military strategists assigned to Omaha's U.S. Strategic Command wrote the document in April 2011, as part of game plan to protect citizens against any kind of threat.
"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 plan's authors wrote.
They added that "we elected to use a completely-impossible scenario that could never be mistaken for a real plan."
A spokesperson for U.S. Strategic Command distanced the Pentagon from the document, telling Foreign Policy in a statement that the zombie plan was merely a "training tool" that uses a "fictional training scenario. This document is not a U.S. Strategic Command plan."
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--By CNBC's Javier E. David