The humble mallard has become the latest weapon in the war on terror with squadrons of specially trained ducks set to be unleashed across the Middle East.
"Ducks make the ideal precision bomb delivery system," said Sergeant Desk, of DARPA, the research and development wing of the American military. "They can be easily trained, have uncanny accuracy and if they fail, taste delicious with hoisin sauce and pancakes."
Most ducks have been specially trained to deliver small but high powered explosives to designated targets, but some have also been attached to rapid firing machine guns that can fire depleted uranium shells.
"In tests," said Desk, "Ducks outperformed even the most expensive laser guided missile. And whereas the missiles cost a hundred million dollars each, the ducks cost four dollars fifty from the Chinese market."
Each duck undergoes just one months training before being sent into battle. They have already been used in Syria to take out insurgent gun emplacements near the Turkish border.
"There were four canard raids," said Desk. "Each one was highly successful. The first three were bombing raids, the ducks swooping in from on high, powering over the target and dropping their bombs right into the midst of the insurgents, taking them out without any civilian casualties. The fourth was a high precision strafing raid on a column of vehicles, again, minimising casualties."
The ducks are not suitable for all battle arenas. Specifically, they cannot operate near a bread factory, as they can easily be distracted by a person holding a bag of bread.
"Indeed, we lost Corporal Mafekin during one training exercise," said Desk, "because he was eating his lunch on a park bench."
So whenever anybody shouts "Duck!" it's probably for both meanings of the word.