American military power in the War on Terror has increasingly depended on the capacity to see the enemy. The act of seeingenhanced by electronic and digital technologieshas separated shooter from target, eliminating risk of bodily harm to the remote warrior, while YouTube videos eroticize pulling the trigger and video games blur the line between simulated play and fighting.
Light It Up examines the visual culture of the early twenty-first century military. Focusing on the Marine Corps, which played a critical part in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, John Pettegrew argues that U.S. military force in the Iraq War was projected through an "optics of combat." Powerful military technology developed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has placed war in a new posthuman era.
Pettegrew’s interviews with marines, as well as his analysis of first-person shooter videogames and combat footage, lead to startling insights into the militarization of popular digital culture. An essential study for readers interested in modern warfare, policy makers, and historians of technology, war, and visual and military culture.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
John Pettegrew, an associate professor of history and director of the American Studies Program at Lehigh University, is the author of Brutes in Suits: Male Sensibility in America, 1890–1920.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Force Projection and the Marine Eye for Battle 1
1 Shock and Awe and Air Power 12
Network-Centric Warfare, Sensors, and Total Situational Awareness 13
Achieving Rapid Dominance in Iraq 17
Kill Boxes, LITENING Pods, and the Third Marine Aircraft Wing 20
"Keep Your Eyes Out," Fair Fighting, and Memories of Killing 26
2 Of War Porn and Pleasure in Killing 37
Pornography Is the Theory, and Killing the Practice 41
Classic Hollywood Combat Films 45
Marine Moto on YouTube 49
The Iraq War on Television 57
3 Fallujah, First to Fight, and Ludology 65
Ender's Game and the Rise of Simulation in Military Training, 1995-2005 69
From Combat Films to Video Games 78
The Value Added to Military Training 82
Fighting in the Digitized Streets of Beirut 86
4 Counterinsurgency and "Turning off the Killing Switch" 96
Empathy, General Mattis, and the Profound Paradox of Marine Humanitarianism 100
Haditha, Acute Stress, and the Excesses of Occupying Force 104
USMC Literary Culture and Warrior Ethos 112
"Which Way Would You Run?" 118
5 Posthuman Warfighting 127
Marines in Science Fiction and in Space 131
The Postmasculinist Marines and New Optics of Combat 136
The Gladiator Robot and the Critique of Remote Warfare 142
6 Synthetic Visions of War: Conclusion and Epilogue 149
Biopolitics and the Costs of War 151
Digital Culture and the Computational Marine 155
Subjectivity lives and Dies 167
Essay on Primary Sources 201
What People are Saying About This
"An intriguing book that will spark productive discussions in the classroom and beyond. Pettegrew's compelling account draws shocking and persuasive connections between videogames, optical technologies, and institutionalized violence."
"A bold, complex, wonderfully written book with a revolutionary thesis: that technologies of seeing and the outlook of marines combine to form a 'projection of force' beyond the traditional meaning of the concept. Provocative and original."