Could Velociraptors Be Used in War?

InGen’s military weapons branch in Jurassic World had the goal of producing Raptors to be used by the military. Could Raptors be weaponized like a meat-eating drone? Would the use of Raptors in combat be a war crime?

Oddly enough, it looks like the use of the animals would be legal, but that would likely be short-lived until their first military use.

Animals and National Defense

The military has used animals in the past for national defense. The US Navy has done extensive work with dolphins for decades. US Law allows the Secretary of Defense to authorize the taking of not more than 25 marine mammals annually for national defense. 10 USCS § 7524(a). There are specific requirements on the treatment of “Ensign Flipper” and “Skipper Sammy the Seal,” such as humane treatment. 10 USCS § 7524(b). Moreover, endangered species may not be taken for the military program.

There is the infamous article from Parade Magazine in 1978 that recounted a story denied by the Naval officer it was attributed to, stating:

“Some of the most valuable members the U.S. Navy are dolphins trained to defend American naval bases.

During the Vietnam war, squads of killer dolphins pulled guard duty at our billion-dollar Cam Ranh Bay base, now reputedly controlled by the Soviets. According to James Fitzgerald, former chief of the CIA’s Office of Dolphin Research: “With their built-in sonar, the dolphins detected enemy demolition divers on sabotage missions. They impaled them with long hypodermic needles connected to carbon dioxide cartridges. The frogmen just blew up.’

One of these days the Navy is going to release the account of how “some 60 North Vietnamese frogmen were nullified.’ “

Fitzgerald v. Penthouse Int’l (D.Md. 1981) 525 F.Supp. 585, 595, quoting Parade Magazine, Our Unsung Heroes, Sept. 10, 1978, at p. 8.

Regardless of whether or not “killer dolphins” were used in Vietnam in what sounds more like science fiction than fact, the military has a history using marine mammals for national defense.

Would the Army use Raptors? While there is a General who would be tempted to drop 20 Raptors on an ISIS camp, Raptors are not like dolphins or seals. Marine Mammals are not known for EATING people. There is a high risk that the use of Raptors in combat would end with every human fighting not to be a hot lunch for a Rambo Raptor.

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Are Raptors Prohibited Weapons?

International treaties prohibit the use of chemical weapons, poison gases, and biological weapons (See, Geneva Protocol, Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention, and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court).

There is nothing really on point with animals used for hand-to-hand combat, since we generally see service dogs being used to help soldiers for security, rescue, or bomb detention. History lacks stories of Stalin’s Killer Bear Brigades defeating Nazis at Stalingrad. Military planners have moved long past Calvary riding horses and replaced them with helicopters. As such, modern warfare lacks tales of elephants used as tanks.

This does not mean there cannot be cruelty to animals in war. However, the use of Raptors could be allowed because there is a lack of anything prohibiting it. That being said, as soon as the first iPhone video of a Raptor chewing on a terrorist hits social media, expect that to change in the fictional universe of Jurassic World.

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Josh Gilliland
Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.