I’ve added a revised version of my Keynote Address to the IGC in Cologne last August to the DOWNLOADS page. This version will appear in the Conference Proceedings, but if you download it please bear in mind that this is a preliminary and highly compressed version of part of the argument I’ve been developing in my presentations under the general heading “Deadly Embrace: war, distance and intimacy”. I’m working on a much longer version, which will see all three of the main sections in the Keynote (news, logistics, weapons) greatly expanded and a new section (on intelligence) added. I’m aware that I need to say much more about contemporary news coverage of distant wars than I do here; I think I have the arguments about contemporary logistics and weapons more or less sorted, but I’m still reading and thinking about our own sensibility towards distant violence. And in order to live up to the subtitle I’ll also say much more about the dialectic between distance and intimacy.
The result is likely to be a long essay (with many illustrations) so I have no idea what I’m going to do with it — probably incorporate it into a book that will include other essays on the genealogy of what I’m now calling later modern war (partly because I think, for all the continuities, there are also significant differences between wars in the first half of the twentieth century and today’s military and paramilitary violence, and partly because I really don’t want to treat this as ‘postmodern’ war). I’ll post a manuscript version as soon as it’s ready since, as always, I would really value comments,criticisms and suggestions. I hope, too, that this substantive inquiry will also have something to say about theorisations of space – something I only gesture towards in this conference version.