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War and the city

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen Graham


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Western military strategy was long premised on the avoidance of urban combat, with air strikes the preferred method of subduing large conurbations. Cities were seen as targets, not battlefields. But today, the cityscapes of the global South have emerged as paradigmatic conflict zones. Since the end of the Cold War, America’s militarized thrust into the Middle East and Central Eurasia has focused Pentagon planners’ attention on the burgeoning Arab and Third World cities that are now deemed de facto sites of current and future warfare for us forces. While the ‘revolution in military affairs’ emphasized overhead dominance, the losing battle for the streets of Iraq has sharpened the Pentagon’s focus on battles within the micro-geographies of slums, favelas, industrial districts and casbahs, as well as on globe-spanning stealth and surveillance technologies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Graham S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: New Left Review

Year: 2007

Volume: 44

Pages: 121-132

Print publication date: 01/03/2007

ISSN (print): 0028-6060

ISSN (electronic): 1575-9776

Publisher: New Left Review