Cry “Havoc” and let slip the cats of war.

Cats of War

The Pentagon’s top-secret feline special-operations program, revealed.

By Holly Allen and Christopher Beam

The American commando team that killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, reportedly included a dog, sparking furious speculation about the dog’s identity and discussion of the role of canines in war. Less publicized—and far more essential to top-secret U.S. military operations—are cats.

Photo illustration by Holly Allen, photograph by ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images.

The U.S. military has long used cats in special operations under the top-secret Covert Anti-Terrorism Stealth (CATS) program. Smarter and stealthier than dogs, cats are also more agile: They can climb trees and leap across buildings to gather intelligence. Studies show they can survive nine times as long as human soldiers.

Photo illustration by Holly Allen, photograph by STF/AFP/Getty Images.

The CATS program originated during World War II and was instrumental in the invasion of Normandy.

Photo illustration by Holly Allen, photograph by AFP/Getty Images.

During the Vietnam War, cats proved adept at navigating unfamiliar terrain.

Photo illustration by Holly Allen, photograph by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images.

Paratroopers and cats, which do not need parachutes since they always land on their feet, perform training exercises over the California desert.Photo illustration by Holly Allen, photograph by Darren McCollester/Getty Images.

Cats are prized for their ability to see at night without the need for special equipment. In this exclusive image from the Abbottabad raid, a special ops cat sneaks up on Bin Laden’s bodyguard.

Photo illustration by Holly Allen, photograph by Pete Souza.

A high-level CATS adviser, whose name was not released by the Pentagon, monitors the Abbottabad raid from the Situation Room.

Photo illustration by Holly Allen.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has developed a sophisticated device—still classified and obscured in this Department of Defense photo—to insert undercover cats into war zones.

Photograph by Michael Nagle/Getty Images.

A still from an unseen episode of 24, never aired due to objections from top military officials that it jeopardized national security.

Photo illustration by Holly Allen.

An upcoming 10-part HBO series will tell the true story of an elite feline unit during World War II and will be directed by Tom Hanks.

via Slate.com

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~ by The 1955 Hudson on May 6, 2011.

3 Responses to “Cry “Havoc” and let slip the cats of war.”

  1. Cats will mess you up, dude.

  2. […] Cry “Havoc” and let slip the cats of war. « The 1955 Hudson […]

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