Tag Archives: drones

The Drone War Is Not Happening

In the following post,1)Originally part of a research paper that I have since revised and made web-friendly. I will utilize the works of Jean Baudrillard (Baudrillard 1994; Baudrillard 1995), Nasser Hussain (Hussain 2013), and others (Dorrian 2014; Introna 2002; Meijer 2013) to make the case that the United States’ strategy of dealing with terrorists in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East via the usage of unoccupied aerial vehicles (drones)2)Drones are officially called “unmanned aerial vehicles,” but I have opted to change the gendered language and use the term “unoccupied” as opposed to “unmanned.” represents a profound shift in the way that war is, and is not conducted. Specifically, I will be arguing that the usage of drones has transformed war for all parties involved in a few ways. First, the usage of surveillance and weaponized drones has abstracted warfare far beyond what could be predicted after the First Gulf War by shifting conflict and conflict zones from the Real to the Hyperreal via the mediation of images from the drone. And second, conflict has become touted as “clean” and “surgical” while iconographies of war have been removed leading to not only a desensitization of war, but also a lack of ethical engagement with the Other (Baudrillard 1995, 32, 40, 62; Introna 2002)

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References   [ + ]

1. Originally part of a research paper that I have since revised and made web-friendly.
2. Drones are officially called “unmanned aerial vehicles,” but I have opted to change the gendered language and use the term “unoccupied” as opposed to “unmanned.”

James Bond as a Commentary on Targeted Killing

With the semi-recent release of the 24th James Bond film, Spectre, there have been renewed calls to kill off Bond. Some think that Spectre ought to be the last Bond film while others think his work his obsolete going so far as to say “[e]xcept for the occasional Seal Team Six operation, we send drones after those [enemies that didn’t learn how to code] kind of terrorists; not a lone-wolf alcoholic”.

Ignoring the critiques of racism/sexism that are leveled at Bond, I want to examine a few issues brought up in Cracked’s short video, “Why the World No Longer Needs James Bond”. Among the main points, apart from the quotation above, are that cyber war is the future and classic spy techniques such as those employed by Bond are obsolete in the face of hackers and drones, Bond fights old villains and ignores the geopolitics of today, and is a “bad role model”.

I argue in this short piece, however, that as the world changes, Bond changes as well ignoring the entertainment value of blowing things up, Spectre serves as a critique of the way in which national security is going. It should go without saying that this post may contain spoilers and thus I suggest you don’t read ahead until you’ve seen the film. Until then, here’s Cracked’s video:


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