The war and the future, fictional or not

Okay. So I was reading this article about literature and war. And a new word came up: ficint/fictional intelligence, also called useful fiction. Article, in Politiken:

Bad translation of the relevant bit:

“Here, literature rather becomes a form of propaganda. He creates the ultimate enemy image of the French,” says Anders Engberg-Pedersen.

According to the Danish professor, the same can be said about another current attempt to use the literature directly in military contexts.

In 2015, US military researchers Peter Warren Singer and August Cole published the novel ‘Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War’ and at the same time launched the concept of ficint, which stands for fictional intelligence, also called useful fiction. The novel is about World War III, which is fought between the United States on the one hand and Russia and China on the other, and although it is fictional, according to the authors, it is based on facts and real analyzes. The idea was to create “a hybrid form between narrative and research, made both to entertain and to teach”, as the authors themselves write. A realistic future scenario that the military can use to prepare for a possible war.

“It’s an absolutely awful novel, but as soon as it came out, the writers started getting invitations to almost every military institution you can imagine. The American army, the White House, NATO, one and the other,” says Anders Engberg-Pedersen.

“I myself, however, have certain ideological problems with the project, and it’s not just about it being lousy literature. It also helps to create a threat picture, and it can be used as part of a political agenda to raise more money for military rearmament.”

Hang on. Don’t we already have a word for this?

Invasion literature:Invasion literature (also the invasion novel) is a literary genre that was popular in the period between 1871 and the First World War (1914–1918).” “The genre was influential in Britain in shaping politics, national policies, and popular perceptions in the years leading up to the First World War, and remains a part of popular culture to this day.”

The Battle of Dorking: “Chesney was a captain in the Royal Engineers and had grown concerned over the ramshackle state of Britain’s armed forces. He used fiction as a device to promote his views after letters and journalism on the issue had failed to impress public opinion.”

So writing about honest predictions of the future of war, as fiction, certainly exists.

Future War. This is probably a bigger category. But still based in trying to predict the effect of new technology.

So. Didn’t we already have a word for this? Or rather, 2 words.

“FICINT”: ENVISIONING FUTURE WAR THROUGH FICTION & INTELLIGENCE (INDO-PACIFIC SERIES): “August Cole generalizes this approach in what he calls FICINT — the combination of fiction writing with intelligence to imagine future scenarios in ways grounded in reality.”

Is this new? What do you think? The new term has become very popular in military circles.

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