The Norman Transcript

Entertainment

October 2, 2012

Foreign Policy: Battlestar Galactica got space warfare right. Finally.

(Continued)

Q: The United States is in the midst of a major debate on what our defense policy, especially given shrinking budgets and the rise of China as a Pacific sea power. Does sci-fi offer lessons on how the United States can resolve this?

A: Fiction does not replace policy analysis. But science fiction is the literature of "what if?" Not just "what if X happens?" but also "what if we continue what we're doing?" In that way, science fiction can inform policy making directly, and it can inform those who build scenarios for wargames and exercises and the like. One of the great strengths of science fiction is that it allows you to have a conversation about something that you otherwise couldn't talk about because it's too politically charged. It allows you to create the universe you need in order to have the conversation you want to have. "Battlestar Galactica" spent a lot of time talking about the war in Iraq. There were lots of things on that show about how you treat prisoners. They never came out and said that directly. They didn't have to. At the Naval War College, one of the core courses on strategy and policy had a section on the Peloponnesian War. It was added to the curriculum in the mid-1970s because the Vietnam War was too close, so they couldn't talk about it, except by going back to 400 BC.

- - -

Peck is games editor at Foreign Policy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @Mipeck1. Chris Weuve's list of recommended books on naval sci-fi and wargames is at www.kentaurus.com/recommended.htm.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Entertainment
  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • BSB4.jpg Backstreet Boys transforming into real band

    After the 21 years together, the Backstreet Boys still haven’t shaken the label of ‘boy band.’ Despite the fact they have kids, bills and a sorted past, most of America still sees them as the kids that burst onto the scene in 1995.

    June 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Rihanna Rihanna heats up the stage in Oklahoma City

    When Rihanna and her Diamonds World tour came to Oklahoma City Tuesday, it was a cold and blustery evening. It was the first signs of winter this year in the state.

    November 15, 2013 1 Photo

  • Beyonce energy overtakes Oklahoma City fans

    Most performers know how to put on a show. The good ones even know how to put on a concert.
    Then there are the special few who know how to make their time in front of their fans an experience.

    July 6, 2013

  • New Kids on The Block delight Oklahoma fans

    It was billed as “The Package.” A concert that featured three separate tours of boy bands from the ‘80s and ‘90s was folded into one package deal.

    July 1, 2013

  • image_preview.cgi.jpg Roger Moore's Bond had serious fun

    "I never do this," David Horowitz, a public relations executive for ABC, said as he picked up British actor Roger Moore at Kennedy Airport. "Can I have your autograph for my son?" It was 1986, and Moore was in New York City to do some publicity for the network. A year earlier, he had starred, at age 58, in "A View to a Kill."

    October 8, 2012 1 Photo

  • Foreign Policy: Battlestar Galactica got space warfare right. Finally.

    Last month, Small Wars Journal managing editor Robert Haddick asked whether new technology has rendered aircraft carriers obsolete. Well, not everyone thinks so, especially in science-fiction, where "flat tops" still rule in TV shows like "Battlestar Galactica."

    October 2, 2012

  • Eighth-grade NPS musicians to perform

    Norman Public Schools will present its 8th Grade Orchestra Festival at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Nancy O’Brian Center for the performing arts.

    September 25, 2012

  • summer jam Turn Down The Heat Tour closes out the Summer

    Ken Talton wants it to be a giant date night. One in which people will get dressed up for a night on the town and enjoy some good music from the past and today.
    That is the premise behind Summer Jam Music Fest III’s “Turn Down The Heat Tour.”

    September 21, 2012 1 Photo

  • A guide to the movies

    OPENING IN HOLLYWOOD THIS WEEK

    June 20, 2012