The discontinuous spatiality of the contemporary nation-state
It is most interesting and very revealing that the U.S. government chose to use Bucky's Dymaxion Map to display this strategically vital information. This map is the most accurate representation of the "Whole Earth System". Government officials know this, yet our children are being introduced to this in school. What gives? It's the 21st century version of the "Great Pirate" scenario that Bucky describes in his Operating Manual. (GW)
WikiLeaks Guide/Critical Infrastructure
By Geoff Manaugh
Mapping the discontinuous spatiality of the contemporary nation-state through the publication of the secret government memo listing 259 facilities around the world considered crucial to everyday life in the USThis article was published in Domus 948, June 2011
The Hit List
We might say with only slight exaggeration that the United States exists in its current state of economic and military well-being due to a peripheral constellation of sites found all over the world. These far-flung locations—such as rare-earth mines, telecommunications hubs and vaccine suppliers—are like geopolitical buttresses, as important for the internal operations of the United States as its own homeland security.
However, this overseas network is neither seamless nor even necessarily identifiable as such. Rather, it is aggressively and deliberately discontiguous, and rarely acknowledged in any detail. In a sense, it is a stealth geography, unaware of its own importance and too scattered ever to be interrupted at once.
That is what made the controversial release by WikiLeaks, in December 2010, of a long list of key infrastructural sites deemed vital to the national security of the United States so interesting. The geographic constellation upon which the United States depends was suddenly laid bare, given names and locations, and exposed for all to see.
In identifying these outlying chinks in its armour, the United States has inadvertently made clear a spatial realisation that the concept of the nation-state has changed so rapidly that nations themselves are having trouble keeping track of their own appendages.
Seen this way, it matters less what specific sites appear in the WikiLeaks cable, and simply that these sites can be listed at all. A globally operating, planetary sovereign requires a new kind of geography: discontinuous, contingent and non-traditionally vulnerable, hidden from public view until rare leaks such as these.
Geoff Manaugh, blogger