When you think of safe spaces, the image which now most often comes to mind is that of infantilized, artificially fragile undergraduates huddled in a room with soft toys, Play-Doh and puppy dog videos, weeping because someone slightly to the right of Bernie Sanders set foot on their college campus.
You are less likely to conjure this image, painted for us in DefenseNews:
A Trump administration official wants to create a “safe space” for international defense-industrial base cooperation.
As China’s military modernization strategy bridges its civil-military divide and the U.S. National Defense Strategy emphasizes the American industrial base, the Pentagon must protect and encourage America’s international partnerships, according to Eric Chewning, the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy.
“As China articulates a civil-military fusion doctrine where they are intentionally blurring the lines between their developments on the military side and the commercial side, we need to work with our allies to create a safe space where we can work collaboratively to do that,” Chewning said Wednesday at the Defense News Conference.
My emphasis in bold.
I’m not quite sure what this looks like – four star generals, Boeing executives and NATO military attachés using crayons to excitedly draw their conception of mind control ray guns bolted onto the next generation of 787 airliners?
In reality I am sure the idea is a serious and worthy one, rooted in long-term strategic thinking. But it is interesting – and slightly concerning – to note that even the people whose solemn task it is to come up with deadly new ways of waging war are anxious to carve out safe spaces for themselves to operate free from harassment.
And interesting too, that the metastasizing of this concept out of the college campus and into grown-up world is taking place under an administration whose supporters love nothing more than to rail against liberal “snowflakes”.