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Sunday, December 28, 2014

War Is Over If You Spin It

After 13 years of war, Nato formally ended its combat operations in Afghanistan on Sunday, leaving the Afghan army and police in charge of security... “Our Afghan partners can and will take the fight from here,” said General John F Campbell, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) at a ceremony in the capital... Between 17,000 and 18,000 international troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014, of which 12,000... will form part of the new Nato mission, named Resolute Support. An additional 5,500 US soldiers will perform different roles, including counterterrorism and logistical assistance.
Did I say War camps? I meant Resolute Support camps.


Esebian said...

What do you think is a definition of war appropriate for the early 21st century?

Dale Carrico said...

I am not sure, but it would have to account for the continuity of war with occupation; with both declared and undeclared conflicts which "justify" the suspension of basic rights and due process; with the destruction and degradation of infrastructural affordances and enabling norms as well as military personnel and civilians; with forms of class, race, and sex warfare; and take seriously the recourse to the organizing/ justificatory metaphor (?) of "war" for social campaigns to address social harms (eg, drugs, crime, cancer).

I think war may be what happens when the "social" names the marshaling of national resources not in pursuit of equity-in-diversity but for the competitive advantage of a constituency at the expense of others. If so, the fact and threat of military conflict/ competition in foreign affairs with which war is traditionally identified may always be an expression or facilitation of a domestic conflict/ competition not usually identified with war at all.

This isn't so far from good old Marxist analysis, really, but inflected with Foucault and feminism and Fanon.