Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Security is what you make of it

Everybody agrees that the face of war-fighting must change as the West's armed forces are finding new battlegrounds. A very interesting article is written by a former PhD from the Department of War Studies, Alice Hills.

Using a post-structuralist approach she shows how "Security" is central to all parts in the recent invasion of Iraq, but also how it is an "empty signifier" - a term that will mean different things to different people.

This is pretty interesting - because it makes a very explicit link between word and deed. If invasion-forces aren't capabable of backing their declaration of "security" (e.g. "Basra is secure") up with providing the population with a feeling of security (e.g. by stopping looting and violence) the declaration will only work on one audience, namely the western, but will sow the seed of prolonged insurgency in the town itself.

As the prospects of Urban Warfare grows, so does the need of developing doctrines and tactics that will make an integration of warfighting/counter-insurgency and talking about security to various audiences.

HILLS, ALICE, ?Basra and the Referent Points of Twofold War? in Small Wars and Insurgencies, Vol.14, No.3 (Autumn 2003), pp.23?44


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