Interest in the missile contrail spotted by news photographers has caught a second wind as various astute observations are being made on both the initial media responses as well as the denial made by the government. If these facts were pointing in directions suggesting a missile test, what would this mean for our country? And even if the incident was a missile launch, would it simply be a matter to be easily forgotten? Or could it spell an early warning sign foretelling the approach of a nuclear conflict with foreign nations?
There is little in today’s society that is more gripping than the possibility of an oncoming nuclear exchange between foreign nations. Such an event would change the lives of billions of people in a matter of only a few minutes even if a limited nuclear exchange were to take place. The terrifying level of devastation could wipe out entire cities and transplant the focus of economic power from urban areas to rural regions in a matter of days. The widespread famine and radioactive fallout would be only a small part of what would ultimately become one of mankind’s most difficult moments in history – including both world wars. As such, it is always tempting for our minds to approach this possibility with particular interest and dread.
If the object filmed were indeed a missile, there are only a few sources it could have come from. As it was coastal footage, it appears the missile could have easily come from an unknown installation on the ground in the United States or from somewhere very close in or near the bay. Had it been launched from the sea, it would have most likely been a submarine. But who was piloting such a vessel? In 2009 China improved their stealth submarine armada, producing several subs that could theoretically avoid detection by conventional listening stations. The possibility of such a vessel, containing several nuclear warheads off the coast of California is by no means comforting to anyone, but it is a very real possibility if new technology in their deployment had been unearthed.
Such a warning shot could have been nothing more than military posturing. But now as the world economy dips into a recession, the move would have likely been interpreted as a threat. Wanting to ensure relations with China remain strong as the US attempts to ease its own economy to compete with China’s the policy of denial would have made sense. In 2007 China did a similar exercise, launching missiles in order to shoot down one of its own satellites as a show of its ability to destroy US satellite guidance systems orbiting in space.
There comes a time when looking at the big picture that you begin to question if every cover up is good or bad rather than a policy of wisdom and ignorance. Regardless of its intent, however, such a denial would – if it were ever proven – undermine confidence in this and future administrations as well as make many feel they were ill informed of potential dangers. As we never witnessed an explosion from the alleged missile that was launched, however, the incident likely was a warning and a show of military power and nothing more. With President Obama’s trip to Asia scheduled at the time, it would have no doubt had an effect on negotiations between the powers.