Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The 'routine' Trident test: Military prowess or social media?

There have been varied opinions from a lot of sources.. People confused by the recent missile tests—one Saturday night that lit up the sky over the West Coast and another one yesterday during daytime hours, obviously without the fanfare a night test would bring. 

The Navy was forced into admitting that they set off a Trident missile for what they labeled a “routine” test. The routine nature of the situation is questionable. Routine? When an entire area around Los Angeles is put into a de facto no fly zone? Routine, when you launch a missile during the evening hours for eyewitnesses to see and become freaked out collectively? Routine? When you launch a missile that typically has a nuclear payload? 

An article by Peter Holley in the Washington POST describes what I also wonder (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/11/09/california-missile-test-social-media-nightmare-or-exactly-what-the-navy-wanted/) :

Did the Navy think the test would go largely unnoticed by the public? Did officials underestimate social media’s ability to turn a routine event into front-page fodder?

Or was that the plan all along, using the inevitable influence of social media to flex America’s military might for observers in Beijing and Moscow?

The conclusion that Holley makes: It’s complicated.. 

Some may wonder if this whole thing was something more than a test of military prowess but also a trigger of social media triggering.. How war in the social media era may work.. How an entire city seeing missile strikes could potentially go to Twitter or Facebook and describe it for the masses.. Maybe this was seeing what the implications were when closely associated with densely populated areas. After all, most of the places that see this missile fly into the night sky were cities filled with people out and about for Saturday night social hours..

And what message is being sent? Beyond the borders of America? To China, perhaps. That nation has developed its Navy and is upgrading. We may not have done the same at the pace they have.. but perhaps we’re showing a missile of defiance in the night sky. As the sun sets on America. Perhaps our Navy timed it perfectly at that minute to showcase that the land of the Rising Sun isn’t the world’s leader yet.

 Military games across the world.

Sure feels like World War III’s chess pieces are all lining up in the predicted location.

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