From baseworld to droneworld

Shaw, I. (2012) From baseworld to droneworld. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography,

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Our planet is garrisoned by a network of around 1,100 bases operated by the U.S. military. Many of these sites exist in shadow because they are used for paramilitary operations by Special Forces and the CIA. These bases range in size and location, but a recent and favoured strategy of the U.S. military has been to construct skeletal “lily pads” that are scattered in remote outposts across the globe. Chalmers Johnson, author of the book Blowback, wrote back in 2004 that “[t]his vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire – an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class”. Of course, neither would the cost of maintaining this “Baseworld” make it to print: billions and billions of dollars spent on everything from air conditioning to internet cafes. While this Baseworld – which counts Guantanamo Bay as the jewel in its crown – is hardly new, the proliferation of remotely piloted aircraft certainly is. Everywhere and nowhere, drones have become sovereign tools of life and death, and are coming to a sky near you.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shaw, Dr Ian
Authors: Shaw, I.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Journal Name:Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography
Published Online:14 August 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The Author
First Published:First published online at
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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