Scorched atmospheres: the violent geographies of the Vietnam war and the rise of drone warfare

Shaw, I. G.R. (2016) Scorched atmospheres: the violent geographies of the Vietnam war and the rise of drone warfare. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 106(3), pp. 688-704. (doi:10.1080/00045608.2015.1115333)

Shaw, I. G.R. (2016) Scorched atmospheres: the violent geographies of the Vietnam war and the rise of drone warfare. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 106(3), pp. 688-704. (doi:10.1080/00045608.2015.1115333)

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Abstract

This article explores the violent geographies of the Vietnam War. It argues that the conflict is crucial for understanding the security logics and spatialities of U.S. state violence in the war on terror. An overarching theme is that U.S. national security has inherited and intensified the atmospheric forms of power deployed across Southeast Asia, including ecological violence, the electronic battlefield, counterinsurgency (the Phoenix Program), and drone surveillance. All of these attempted to pacify and capture hostile circulations of life and place them within the secured and rationalized interiors of the U.S. war machine. The article thus expands on the concept of atmospheric warfare. This is defined as a biopolitical project of enclosure to surveil, secure, and destroy humans and nonhumans within a multidimensional warscape. Since modern state power is becoming ever more atmospheric—particularly with the rise of drone warfare—dissecting the origins of that violence in the Vietnam War is a vital task.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shaw, Dr Ian
Authors: Shaw, I. G.R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0004-5608
ISSN (Online):1467-8306
Published Online:01 February 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Author
First Published:First published in Annals of the Association of American Geographers 106(3): 688-704
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
619181Drone Warfare: Towards a More-Than-Human GeopoliticsIan ShawEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K009087/1SCHOOL OF GEOGRAPHICAL & EARTH SCIENCES