"Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world, EH?" This is how I learned to stop worrying and learned to love the bomb. The very notion of a secret weapon is kind of a dated one, since we have terrorists building dirty bombs based on plans they found on Al Gore's Internet. Or at least that is what we would like to base our collective fears on as we edge closer to eventual global extinction. Combine that with the super viruses being mutated and hatched in labs in various spots across the planet, and we have plenty to satisfy our late-night paranoid fantasies.
Then there's this: China's new stealth fighter, the J-20, debuted this past Tuesday at an air show in Zhuhai. No spy satellites or Clint Eastwood needed. Welcome to the twenty-first century. The plane's first test flight was five years ago, and since that is a fact with which we have been gifted, we can only assume the secret part was that there were a few flights before that that were kept hush-hush. Perhaps because they didn't go so well. Why are the Chinese trotting out this super-weapon into the view of anyone with the price of admission to the week-long aerial event? It's not quite like the olden days when the Soviet Union would hold parades that featured thousands of marching soldiers surrounding their tanks and ICBMs. This wasn't a show of military might. This was a show brought to you by your sponsors: The Military-Industrial Complex.
This was a way to advertise to all those smaller governments looking for the latest and greatest in stealth fighter technology to get in on the bottom floor. For a penthouse price, of course. China is not expecting to get into a shooting war with anyone who might have a hangar full of stealth aircraft or stealth-detecting technology. They are expecting to export a boatload of these J-20s in hopes of securing their financial future. You can't really buy a secret weapon, since you have to tell someone about it in order to sell it.
And selling is what it's all about, since sooner or later all this military hardware will get boxed up and sold to local law enforcement agencies. Like the urban assault vehicles favored by so many police departments to hand out parking citations, and it's only a matter of time before the US Army's new "Iron Man" suit starts being used by local authorities for pacification. Robocop can't be a secret. At least not for very long.