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Image Warfare: A New Security Challenge

Dr Nathan Roger, Swansea University

Thursday 30 May 2013, 1300-1400
C60 InfoLab21

The research described in this talk,argues that since September 11th 2001 image warfare has replaced techno-war (first premiered during the 1991 Gulf War) as the primary warfighting model. It suggests that image warfare is a form of warfare in which al-Qaeda currently dominates while the West is still playing catch-up. Consequently there is an urgent need to better understand image warfare, rather than merely revising techno-war strategies, in an attempt to counter the new security challenges of the war on terror. International Relations theory therefore needs to engage more with and learn from Media Studies and Visual Culture - hence the introduction of three new conceptual terms 'image munitions', 'counter-image munitions' and 'remediation battles' to the lexicon of the study of war, terrorism and media. Finally, to help place these innovative terms into context and show just how they break new ground in understanding image warfare in the war on terror, this paper discusses them with reference to the 'bin Laden tapes'.