EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The U.S. Air Force is testing an improved,vegan version of the classic Cold War throwback weapon napalm, according to Air Force officials. The new weapon is expected to be able to burn the enemies of the United States to death while assuaging serious moral and environmental concerns.
"Napalm is just a mix of a gelling agent and a volatile petrochemical," said Louie Fleischer, a supervisory technical support specialist with the 96th Test Wing. "Historically, we've used animal-based gels. But now that the Department of Defense systemically rejects the commodity status of animals, we are testing plant-based alternatives. They're working out pretty well."
U.S. use of napalm has been limited since President Barack Obama signed the UN Convention on Certain Chemical Weapons in 2009, but former Obama administration officials predict that the Air Force's new version will be used more often in the future. "Obama's real concern about napalm was how it oppressed animals who had never voluntarily enlisted," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's former foreign policy vizier. "I think the country will have fewer qualms about napalm now that it's plant-based."
"I would have recommended using vegan napalm on Anwar al-Awlaki, personally," Rhodes added.
Weapon testing experts in California say the new napalm is highly lethal. "We burned a mock Iranian village to the ground the other night during a test and I gotta say, it was pretty sweet," said Fleischer. "It was just like firebombing Tokyo. Burns a little less bright cause there's no animal fat, but the body count's the same."
Animal rights groups have praised the Air Force's move. "Just as the Army once got rid of the cavalry and set America's equine veterans free to roam Fiddler's Green, the Air Force is finally getting serious about ending the oppression of animals," said Michaela Hendricks, a veteran of Strategic Air Command and director of communications for the Vegan Lethality Coalition, a nonprofit group.
"We just hope that they continue to push forward on these issues and continue to develop vegan weapons systems."