I have a new post on E-IR on what infrastructure security discourses can tell us about the vulnerabilities of contemporary, urbanised, logistical ways of life. Understanding the metaphors that guide our thinking about infrastructure thus enables us to see both the way in which our our conceptual grammars affect the way we see the world as well as understanding precisely why certain vulnerabilities are prioritised above others. Read the post here.
Archive for the ‘Comment’ Category
I have a new post on E-IR reflecting on my recent trip to Ieper/Ypres for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first use of poison Gas in WWI. The post – Memorialising the Invisible – discusses the problems of militarising or securitising such commemorations.
Read Memorialising the Invisible here.
Here’s a summary of what I said:
1. The January attacks on Paris are representative of a form of violence that is urbanised. A form of urban insurgency that is increasingly common in cities around the world – Mumbai, Madrid, London, Boston, Nairobi. It exploits urban technologies/infrastructures – cars, rails, roads – and urban morphology – enclosed spaces, crowded spaces – for maximum effect. It is not new, but it’s effective. Military doctrine has warned of the complexity of urban space for a while, but this urban insurgency demonstrates a lack of effective response – partly because, as I will discuss in a minute, the proposed responses erode the core attributes of the urban environment that we value – freedom, plurality and so on. (more…)
Last night Defence Secretary Philip Hammond – fresh from seeing parliament refuse to grant the government a mandate to attack Syria – noted, with some frustration, that “Common sense must tell us that the Assad regime is going to be a little less uncomfortable tonight as a result of this decision in parliament“. This is a theme that has been repeated elsewhere
So much for taboo against chemical weapons use. UK Parliament decides it's no big deal. War criminals are watching.
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) August 29, 2013
According to this perspective blocking military action will give succour to Assad and potentially emboldens those that would use Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) or commit crimes against humanity.
This seems to me to be a very partial reading of the outcome of last night’s vote. On twitter I have indicated that I think there are 4 points those arguing that a failure to authorise strikes on Syria are failing to acknowledge: