On Friday, I went to see The Circle, a futuristic film about the technological revolution and a progression towards total transparency. I found The Circle to be rather underwhelming but several points resonated with me:
1.) Knowing is good, knowing everything is better
2.) Secrets are lies
I could not help but consider and apply these two themes to the reading. Given its prevailing culture of anxiety steeped in a fear from a retreat from American primacy, it is unsurprising that the future of the United States’ warfare strategy is “knowing is good, knowing everything is better.” In addition to this, “secrets are lies” has a negative connotation and considers neither the power of secrets nor their importance in political decision-making.
In the final chapters of his book, Friedman discusses the future of warfare. He predicts war between the United States and a coalition of two states: Turkey and Japan. According to him, the reality of war will transition from the earth to space. Space warfare will be the new warfare because “geostationary orbit is strategic, and therefore it will be fought over” (182). Space allows for the strategic surveillance of the entire globe. In his war scenario, he predicts that the United States warfare strategy will depend on it dominating space with overwhelmingly advanced, orbital spacecrafts – Battle Stars – which will be presumably indestructible. They will see and hear all and have the capabilities to destroy any perceived threat. Surveillance will be the Battle Stars’ main defense. Thus, as Friedman predicts in his scenario, the Japanese will seek to destroy them, effectively blinding the United States to further attacks.
Following the destruction of the Battle Stars, Japan will not admit to being the perpetrator of the attack. This secret – this lie will save Japan from the wrath of the United States and allow the country to collaborate with Turkey on a joint attack against the United States, weakening the US and tipping the war in favor of the Japan-Turkey coalition. By withholding their plans, Japan limits the effectiveness of a US counterattack. In his scenario, Friedman predicts that by 7pm, seven hours after the Thanksgiving attack, the United States’ capabilities will be completely devastated. To this point, Friedman states, “The United States will have lost command of space and have only a few hundred aircraft left. Its allies in Europe will have had their forces overwhelmed. U.S. warships around the world will have been attacked and sunk. The Indians will have lost their assets as well. The American coalition will be militarily devastated” (198).