Category Archives: Empire

Giorgio Agamben: What is an Apparatus?

Before most of these writing notes make it to cutting floor (a process that always makes me shriek a little), I thought I’d post them here. On Agamben’s 2009 “What is an Apparatus” essay (which can be found online). It’s … Continue reading

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A Leviathan: The NSA collects 5 billion cellphone records a day, mapping the planet’s population

The NSA is vacuuming 5 billion cellphone records a day, enabling the spy organization to track the location of individuals, and their relationship with other individuals, around the clock. The vast data represents an unimaginable power to “geo-locate” millions of … Continue reading

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The Sound of Terror: Phenomenology of a Drone Strike

The “sensory” dimension of drone strikes is explored in Nasser Hussein’s article, “Phenomenology of a Drone Strike” in the Boston Review. Here, Hussein compares two competing visual and aural registers: the silent seeing of the drone’s camera from the skies, … Continue reading

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The “dronification” of U.S. law enforcement

A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation has revealed that between 2010 and 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Predator) drones were used in over 500 flights by other government agencies. This included over 100 … Continue reading

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Australia spy facility pivotal to U.S. drone wars

The Pine Gap spy base is a joint Australian-American signals intelligence base, located close to Ayers Rock. Its purpose is to track the “geolocation” of radio signals and mobile phones, with a focus on al-Qaida and Taliban leaders, although it … Continue reading

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U.S. Predators in Turkey: Operation Nomad Shadow, and the resonance chamber

Craig Whitlock from the Washington Post reveals more details on the joint U.S.-Turkey Predator surveillance program. Despite only providing geo-spatial “intelligence”, it is another instance of U.S. military personnel (and private contractors) being enrolled in a low-level “kill chain” without … Continue reading

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The Changing Face of Empire

Nick Turse (2012). The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare. Chicago: Haymarket Books Geography and geographic imaginations play a pivotal role in the practice of inter-state violence. From “Clash of Civilization”-type territorial … Continue reading

Posted in Baseworld, Book Reviews, CIA, Empire, Nick Turse, Special Forces | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dirty Wars: A Review, Part 3: Lawfare, or “Operational Preparation of the Battlespace”

Law exacerbates and enables war. For the most part it provides a code or system for legitimizing state violence. At least, this is the case with US Special Forces operating around the globe. It’s partly misleading to characterize their activities … Continue reading

Posted in Empire, Jeremy Scahill, JSOC, Law and Lawfare, Special Forces | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Predator Empire: The Geopolitics of US Drone Warfare – published

It’s great to see that a paper I started close to two years ago in August 2011 has finally been published online in the journal Geopolitics. Since I first wrote that paper (a little too hastily!) after obtaining my PhD … Continue reading

Posted in Empire, Pakistan | 1 Comment

A never-ending conflict

The nature of U.S. state violence has changed quite dramatically over the past decade. As   the occupation of Afghanistan winds down, with some kind of “exit strategy” to be rolled out in 2014, many assume that the tide of … Continue reading

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