Mao Tse-Tung famously wrote in On Guerrilla Warfare that guerrillas are proverbial fish who have to swim in the water of the people in order to win their struggle against powerful governments.
“It is only undisciplined troops who make the people their enemies and who, like the fish out of its native element, cannot live,” Mao explained.
But what if a government could turn the actual wildlife in rebel areas into loyal regime soldiers?
In 1963, the U.S. Army tried to do just that. Facing swelling Communist insurgencies across Southeast Asia, the ground combat branch hoped to conscript insects to fight rebels alongside human troops.
“Wasps, bees and ants are abundant in many environments, especially in
tropical regions,” researchers working for the Army’s Limited War Laboratory wrote. “These insects are excited to a high level of aggressive behavior by the presence of minute amounts of alarm substances which provoke the insects to make fierce attacks on any invaders of the area.”
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Image courtesy of US Army