When the war machine produces its enemies: making sense of the Afghan situation through British airpower

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CMS_5/4
Auteur
WASINSKI Christophe
Année
2019
ISBN
doi.org/10.1080/23337486.2017.1412631
Edition
Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Pages
341-358

Tags

WASINSKI Christophe, "When the war machine produces its enemies: making sense of the Afghan situation through British airpower" in Critical Military Studies Volume 5, 2019 - Issue 4: The Faces of Emnity in IR

Abstract

How is the protracted and non-decisive Afghan conflict understood by the British military personnel in charge of air support? Based on a study of autobiographical sources and relying on Bruno Latour’s anthropological work, this article argues that personnel produce a specific self-justificatory culture based on what can be achieved by the technologies (ammunition, weapons, aircraft) used. This article highlights how technologies become an ‘actant’, influencing the way air personnel elaborate representations of their role and their enemies. More specifically, this analysis underlines how airpower technologies contribute to the framing of Others as depoliticized enemies (i.e. targets) to be destroyed by machines. Machines and weapons are not neutral instruments but rather devices that participate in the normalization of the use of force.