Strategic Fictions: "The Sum Of All Fears" And "Three Kings"

1382 words - 6 pages

In the years following the Cold War, Americans feared nuclear war and global terrorism due to nuclear weapons. Nuclear terrorism is still currently a major threat to the United States, and it can be a preventable catastrophe. Nuclear weapons are known to exist in eight states: The United States, Russia, England, France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan. Today, the United States continues to build nuclear weapons because of the ideas racing around of possible imagined threats. Now with the impeding notion that North Korea may become a nuclear threat, national security analysts realize that nuclear weapons are not going to diminish, and they need to continue to investigate what could be happen if war broke out and determine all possibilities. The national security strategy of the United States is built upon imagined catastrophic events, and it is quite difficult to pinpoint all possibilities. Although with the aid of strategic fictions, these analysts can get extra insight through the narrative presented in each film.Strategic fictions are tales of catastrophic future wars whose scenarios everyday citizens and defense planners alike treat as seriously as historical fact. Strategic fictions are used to look back at events in history that have been catastrophic and imagine what future attacks could be possible. These films create certain scenarios that never happened, but could. Strategic fictions give viewers the idea that nuclear weapons are able to be obtained by theft, illicit purchase, or transfer from state control. Viewers also see how terrorist are easily able to sneak weapons through trucks, aircrafts, ships, not just into the U.S., but also into other countries, like Russia or Iraq. Doug Davis, PhD theorizes that "...the national security strategy of the United States is predicated upon future-war storytelling, where the "Bush revolution" in foreign and domestic policy is writ large for a mass audience." This speculation gives much credit to filmmakers in predicting global warfare imagery.When comparing two films, one prior to 9/11 and one afterwards, one can gain a sense of how the films capture a vision of war planning and thoroughly elucidate strategic methods in the narrative. "The Sum of All Fears" (2002), is an action thriller which incorporates a nuclear explosion in the United States in the plot. This film is structured around dialogue between the heads of government, CIA, and national security. These different sects of control are all battling with each other over why the United States is being attacked and who the attackers are. Unlike films prior to 9/11, "The Sum of All Fears" highlights the new idea that brains can outsmart weapons. When CIA analyst, Jack Ryan pieces together the evidence, he realizes that it was not Russia who attacked the United States. He then attempts to use technology to communicate with Russia and persuade them not to attack the U.S. troops. This leads into another trend of strategic fictions that is...

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