During World War II, Japan was criticized for strapping incendiary bombs on bats and unleashing them on the Pacific Northwest, hoping they might roost under eaves and cause fires. Now our own Navy has announced that it may use bottlenose dolphins in any upcoming war against Iraq.
The Navy refers to sixty dolphins long held in San Diego as "soldiers of the sea" and "systems" for finding mines and for "neutralizing" enemy swimmers.
Dolphins were first captured for the Navy in 1959 but were classified as secret until the 1970s. They were used in Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam to kill enemy divers, in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and even in San Diego Bay during the 1996 Republican Convention where dolphins were used as underwater patrols to prevent terrorism.
Besides the obvious harm done to the Navy dolphins themselves, with all of the attendant problems of taking them from their homes and families to a life of captivity and servitude, AWI questions the wisdom of making any dolphin in the Persian Gulf area into a potential combatant and therefore fair game.
Unfortunately, it appears that this bad idea has already spread to other countries. An official of the Ammunition Factory Kirkee (AFK) in India, Mr. O.P. Yadav, confirmed that the Indian Navy has successfully trained dolphins to plant mines on sensitive areas of enemy ships. He claimed dolphins, "regarded as one of the most intelligent creatures" are useful in deep-water missions "because they will cut the human risk factor."
Turning dolphins into weapons to kill humans is unacceptable and immoral.