2025 and an American "triple canopy" of advanced surveillance and armed drones fills the heavens from the lower- to the exo-atmosphere. A wonder of the modern age, it can deliver its weaponry anywhere on the planet with staggering speed, knock out an enemy's satellite communications system, or follow individuals biometrically for great distances.
Along with the country's advanced cyberwar capacity, it's also the most sophisticated militarised information system ever created and an insurance policy for US global dominion deep into the 21st century. It's the future as the Pentagon imagines it; it's under development; and Americans know nothing about it.
They are still operating in another age. "Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917," complainedRepublican candidate Mitt Romney during the last presidential debate.
With words of withering mockery, President Obama shot back: "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed... the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting ships. It's what are our capabilities."
Obama later offered just a hint of what those capabilities might be: "What I did was work with our joint chiefs of staff to think about, what are we going to need in the future to make sure that we are safe?... We need to be thinking about cyber security. We need to be talking about space."
Amid all the post-debate media chatter, however, not a single commentator seemed to have a clue when it came to the profound strategic changes encoded in the president's sparse words. Yet for the past four years, working in silence and secrecy, the Obama administration has presided over a technological revolution in defence planning, moving the nation far beyond bayonets and battleships to cyberwarfare and the full-scale weaponisation of space.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment