Now that Game of Thrones is over for another year, the natsec/IR crowd has lost its go-to TV show for overstretched comparisons between academic concepts and fantasy realms. But I’m a simple guy, coming from the tactical realm of foreign policy and all. I like a good campy, no-brainer show like True Blood, which fills the Game of Thrones timeslot during the summer. True Blood begs an interesting tactical question: How would one employ vampires in modern warfare?
No, that’s too easy. Only Hollywood can get away with that. In real life, there would be some nuance to how the Department of Defense would deal with “out of the coffin” vampires as depicted on True Blood. But there are a few clear changes that would occur as vampires are integrated into the human military forces.
1) Vampires would make ideal Special Operations troops.
Vampires are exactly what we strive to create in human special operations forces: super strong, super fast, and mature (immortality grants plenty of time to learn). VSOF teams would be an almost unstoppable addition to the joint force. They’d own the night, but only at night. Yes, there would be some limitations.
The most detrimental limitation of VSOF teams is that, in order to conduct a night right on a target’s house, they would need to be invited by the owner. In this situation, a target denying a VSOF entry to their house becomes an anti-access/area denial (A2AD) tactic. This would lead to some creative deception operations, probably using the vampire “glamour” ability, to gain access.
2) Logistics, logistics, logistics
Forming SOF teams of vampires would require its own, parallel logistics infrastructure. SOCOM would need C-130s, V-22s, submarines, AAVs, and Blackhawk helicopters that are “light tight” and can hold coffins steady during the transportation of VSOF teams. Thus, it also makes sense to organize vampires into their own teams vice mix them in with human special forces. Certainly, if human special forces need a little more… teeth in their plan, VSOF teams can support. Additionally, stocks of True Blood would need to be present in DFACs along with the normal DFAC human food like lobsters, peppercorn steaks, and buckets of ice cream.
3) Strategic Competition
Of course, the United States won’t be the only nation that will attempt to utilize VSOF teams. This will necessitate the creation of specialized anti-vampire troops equipped with silver bullets, ultraviolet flashlights, and the like. So the SOCOM of the True Blood universe will consist of a tripartite system of conventional SOF teams for daylight operations, VSOF teams for night operations, and AVSOF (Anti-Vampire Special Operations Forces) teams. You can imagine the latter two do not get along well at Battalion BBQ Day/Night.
Of course, all of these changes would only occur after a tortuous Congressional debate where the Democrats will say that VSOF troops using their fangs in combat somehow violates the civil rights of the enemy and the Republicans would try to make consensual sex between vampires illegal for some reason. I’m not sure where the American people would fall out in this debate, but if you watch Congress at all you know that their view really doesn’t enter into it.
* Note: This post does not cover fae, werewolves, werepanthers, shifters, or whatever the hell Bill is now as they are not “out” and thus the Department of Defense would not have any policy for their employment.