World War Z
World War Z by Max Brooks
The book titled World War Z by Max Brooks is a story about the war against zombies, which is told through a series of interviews with people all over the world. The zombie wave, just like all other kinds of plague, started in a slow and steady manner in China and spread to the rest of the world through a number of routes. They included human trafficking, the sale of body organs in the black markets, and immigration of refugees. Dead people started to rise from their graves, and they had an unquenchable thirst for human flesh. Israel was the first country to take this threat seriously, so it accepted the initiative of zombie-roofing its borders. It was not easy for governments to control zombies even with the defensive measures they had taken against them since their military force did not understand the nature of this new enemy. This led to disastrous confrontations between the militaries and zombies, as it is described in the Battle of Yonkers. Anti-insurgency measures refer to the measures taken by the governments in handling a menace in their given jurisdictions. These include the effectiveness of the tactics developed by the military and the police or the measures taken to deal with the issue at hand. In the novel titled World War Z, the governments handled the zombie menace through a combination of several anti-insurgency measures. This paper seeks to provide insight into the ways in which national governments handled the zombie plague through their anti-insurgency measures.
One of the strategies developed by the governments to help manage the zombie menace was the deployment of a task force by the United States Army to Yonkers in New York (Brooks). The act was a high-profile military campaign aimed at restoring the morale of the American people. The military did not succeed in this venture since they relied on the tactics of the Cold War and weapons that were intended to disable vehicles. The military also hoped to overcome the vice by wounding or demoralizing their human opponents (Coker 92). Thus, their tactics greatly failed because they had no effect on the zombie wave since zombies had to be shot in the head for them to stop. Additionally, zombies were not afraid of death. Thus, the U.S soldiers, just like the soldiers in other countries, suffered disastrous defeats to the point where the human civilization was on the brink of collapse.
On the other hand, in South Africa, the government adopted Paul Redeker’s plan (Brooks). It called for the development of small areas designated as “safe zones”, which were zombie free zones surrounded by natural boundaries. The refugees who came to the country in large groups were to be kept alive outside these areas so as to distract the masses of undead creatures. The tactic worked to a great extent since it gave those within the safe zone more time to regroup (Blanton 11). Most governments in various regions of the world adopted their versions of the plan or opted to evacuate and relocate to foreign territories that were much safer.
Furthermore, several world leaders convened a conference in Honolulu and came up with strategies to counter the zombie menace (Brooks). The U.S president successfully managed to convince them that they could only survive both psychologically and physically by taking the measures termed as offensive. Thus, he encouraged the military to reinvent their tactics so that they could be at par with special challenges encountered during the zombie war. Thus, formation firing and semi-automatic rifles replaced the mobile and automatic weapons. The troops were retrained to adopt slow and steady rates of fire targeting the zombies’ heads. The Lobotomizer, which is a multipurpose hand tool, was also designed to damage their heads at close range (Platts 541). The military managed to systematically destroy zombies and reclaim the outposts of the survivors.
One of the greatest strategies adopted by the U.S government was to send covert soldiers to handle zombie outbreak cases. The Alpha Teams conducted their activities in secret and managed to accomplish the vision of the team with a high level of success. Initial zombie outbreaks took place in the slum areas of major cities of the world since most of the infected refugees went to hide in these places. The attack eventually ended up reaching the hospital areas where the infected people were taken. However, this was a temporary measure since the military was to take over after the build-up of enough momentum to take up the zombie virus. This was not the case and the second phase of the government response was never implemented (Coker 95). Additionally, the mission of the Alpha Teams took place in winter; thus, zombies froze and they could not do much. However, this did not last long since the weather changed and zombies thawed and started to roam the streets freely again. The teams could not contain them as they were outnumbered. Since the military did not take over in time, this only made the situation worse.
Effectiveness of Tactics Developed
The tactics developed by the governments were ineffective to a large extent. First, they failed in most instances to give an official warning to the public even though the zombie attack was so massive that it was only fair to let the people know the kind of enemy they faced. People did not know the kind of enemies that had invaded their homes nor the strategies that the governments had taken to protect them against the attacks. They only found out about zombies when they came crashing through their windows and breaking into their homes (Blanton 11). Thus, when the media reported on the issue, there was a great wave of panic among the public, which resulted in people trying to use any means to outrun zombies. The roads were full of vehicles fleeing from infected cities to places that were considered safe.
Moreover, the Battle of Yonkers proved to be a massive failure since it did little to restore the morale of the American people. As mentioned above, the military relied on the tactics used in the Cold War era. They included using cumbersome MOPP gear and the ineffective saturation, rapid fire, and anti-armor weaponry. The government also overlooked and failed to plan for some of the unforeseen problems such as the situations where zombies burst out from the houses where they were previously chained. The weapons could only inflict mortal wounds on people, which was not helpful at all. Additionally, they only damaged the bodies of zombies but not their brains (Platts 543). Thus, they failed greatly in managing the menace since zombies proved to be too overwhelming for them.
A number of ethical consequences can be associated with these strategies. First, there were countless accidents and traffic snarl-ups in the cities as people tried to drive away to safer places. People and anything else that moved was shot randomly in the streets by individuals who thought they had enough strength to stop the menace. Thus, they did more damage than zombies caused at first. People were also unprepared and did not know survival tactics that they needed as they fled to safer zones. Camping stores were devastated, as well as guns and food were stolen, in an effort to retrieve supplies and replenish their stocks (Coker 96).
Secondly, the governments did not take their time to understand the enemy that they faced. Consequently, the ethical implication was the loss of human empathy when people turned against one another since they were only interested in ensuring that they survive. Thus, the effect of zombie attacks was not only felt by the soldiers who were fighting against them; rather, it spread among the whole of humanity in all regions of the world (Platts 547). The societies were damaged and drained of their resources. Humans were compelled to unveil their greater evils by turning against one another in their quest to survive. Amidst all these things, there was no solid reason zombies were doing all these inhumane things. All they wanted to do was to eat the human flesh and brain for no apparent reason (Platts 548). The humans put their self-interests first, and they did anything to preserve their life or their way of life, including killing, stealing, stabbing one another in the back, and selling each other out. The system of their values became so rotten that practically no one acted reasonably and rationally in order to save the situation.
The attack also led to the formation of illegal cartels that wanted to benefit from the atmosphere of denial that had engulfed the world. Initially, people believed that there was an outbreak of a new strain of rabies as it was reported in the media. Thus, fake vaccines were created and sold all over the streets just to give the masses a false sense of security. The actual threat of the zombie virus was reported to people when it was too late (Brooks). Even though people finally learned the truth about the infected corpses running around and attacking the living, the situation was way beyond control. This only led to the second phase of the great panic since most of the preventive measures that could have been implemented could not be executed at this point. Nations saw the army that was meant to protect them fleeing from the hordes of zombies or being cannibalized. Ethically, the government system had failed in sending troops to fight enemies that they knew little about. The planning by the governments was disastrous and the armies were lucky to escape with relatively few casualties (Platts 558). Those who succumbed went through the most gruesome death where they were eaten alive by a multitude of zombies. Unfortunately, the events were broadcast live and millions of Americans watched them on television. Thus, the masses could do nothing but panic since the technological and numerical power employed by the military in the fight gave them no advantage over zombies.
The zombie plague greatly contributed to a culture of deceit, leading to the loss of innocent lives. According to the novel, people from various spheres of life, including the military, government officials, simple civilians, and even parents lied and deceived others. The lies initially were the weapon that created the worldwide plague that killed millions of innocent people (Brooks 187). Even though the government of China was aware of the fact that the disease was deadly, it still attempted to cover it up, hiding it from both its people and the rest of the world. Additionally, people such as Fernando Oliveira and Nury Televaldi contributed to the rapid spread of the plague through unethical practices like illegal human trafficking and organ donation from and within the country. If the government officials of China were honest enough, they could have warned the public about the upcoming danger (Blanton 12). The plague could have been contained since a number of people could have taken the initiative to stop them. Even as the plague started to spread across borders to other countries, the governments still withheld the information from the public, which resulted in the worldwide epidemic.
In conclusion, the novel titled World War Z by Max Brooks goes to great depths in order to explain the details of a war that involved human beings and zombies. The war started in a slow and steady manner but soon spiraled out of control mainly because of the way in which the governments chose to handle the situation. The strategies taken by them in deploying the military failed the people to a large extent and even exposed them to more danger. They relied on tactics used in the Cold War, which proved to be ineffective. Ethically, the war spread panic across all nations since people did not understand the kind of enemy they were expected to fight against. Everyone did everything they could to protect themselves, even if it meant killing, backstabbing, or selling one another out jut to save their skin. The nations were also exposed to situations where zombies devoured the military alive, which led to the second wave of the great panic since they lost confidence in the government and military efforts to protect them.