Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I was talking to Dory at the party last night about Eyal Weizman's work, which deals with the ways in which military forces have appropriated contemporary(ish) theory to help them think strategically about urban environments. It doesn't really have much connection to the material we're looking at this week, but as it's interesting and will be relevant later - and as I'll forget to mention it if I don't do anything about it now - I thought it might be an idea to post a link to the following essay:

The art of war: Deleuze, Guattari, Debord and the Israeli Defence Force

"The Israeli Defence Forces have been heavily influenced by contemporary philosophy, highlighting the fact that there is considerable overlap among theoretical texts deemed essential by military academies and architectural schools..."



Chal said...

This is the bit that I thought was particularly incisive:

The military’s seductive use of theoretical and technological discourse seeks to portray war as remote, quick and intellectual, exciting – and even economically viable... As such, the development and dissemination of new military technologies promote the fiction being projected into the public domain that a military solution is possible

But while the public are told that the new strategies and weapons are bringing them closer to a military solution, the enemy is being told something slightly different:

Every military action is meant to communicate something to the enemy. Talk of ‘swarming’, ‘targeted killings’ and ‘smart destruction’ help the military communicate to its enemies that it has the capacity to effect far greater destruction... In terms of military operational theory it is essential never to use one’s full destructive capacity but rather to maintain the potential to escalate the level of atrocity. Otherwise threats become meaningless.

This postmodern urban warfare based on raids, assassinations and an apparent level of 'control' can only serve to prolong the campaign. It does not offer any real military 'solution'. All the usual problems of asymmetrical warfare still apply.

Tom Bunyard said...

po-mo warfare as a means of conducting a permanent war? maybe interesting in connection to attemnts to relate Clausewitz (classical German strategist who Marx and Engels appreciated, Lenin loved, and debord used a great deal) to complexity theory; have a look at the 'Clausewitz and complexity' library on this site: http://www.clausewitz.com/

Tom Bunyard said...

Sun Tzu is also of interest as regards the issue of appearance and illusion. That's a link I'd like to pursue, but I'm not sure how as yet.
Machiavelli may be of interest in relation to an a-moral, anti-humanist Marx (as argued for in Ernesto Screpanti's book Libertarian Communism)