Category Archives: White House Politics

The Drone Papers Digested: The “Assassination Complex”

In what follows, I want to summarize the main findings from the release of the “drone papers” by the Intercept in late 2015. These documents, from a 2013 Pentagon report, offer a snapshot of U.S. manhunting by JSOC Special Forces … Continue reading

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The Dronification of State Violence, Part III: The Drone War Paper Trail

Previous section: The Dronification of State Violence, Part II: Historical Origins The Paper Trail So far, we have provided some of the broad-brush strokes of the CIA’s partnership with Pakistan’s ISI. Yet in analyzing the CIA, it is easy to “black … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, History of Drones, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, White House Politics | Leave a comment

The Dronification of State Violence, Part 1: Life and Death in the West Wing

This post is part of a series of sections from a broader paper, which can be found online here. Full citation: Ian Shaw and Majed Akhter (2014) The Dronification of State Violence, Critical Asian Studies, 46(2): 211-234. Introduction: Life and … Continue reading

Posted in Biopolitics, Brennan, CIA, Empire, Geopolitics and International Relations, Hannah Arendt, Law and Lawfare, Obama, White House Politics | Leave a comment

CIA to remain central force in U.S. counter-terrorism for “many years to come”

Mark Mazzetti of the NYT reports on the enduring, central role of the CIA in drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. This comes despite rumblings last year that the Pentagon would handle the U.S. targeted killings. “Despite rampant rumors that … Continue reading

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Bureaucratic Assassination — How do U.S. Targeted Killings Work?

INTRODUCTION Since the First World War and the birth of airpower, both military and civilian personnel have worked together to compile target lists for bombing. New and evolving technology has reduced the “blast radius” of the munitions dropped to such … Continue reading

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Dirty Wars: A Review, Part 1: The Rise of Neoconservatives

Dirty Wars, by Jeremy Scahill Jeremy Scahill’s “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield” is a masterpiece of independent journalism that explores the spread of U.S. paramilitary violence in the shadows. I have taken far too many notes (!) so … Continue reading

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The White House’s counterterrorism “playbook” is near completion

Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima, and Karen DeYoung report on the White House’s institutionalization of targeted killings and other counterterrorism tactics. John Brennan, the future CIA director, was a pivotal figure in centralizing the diverse “disposition” techniques across the Pentagon, CIA, and State Department … Continue reading

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