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Security Lancaster Seminar

Karena Kyne, York University, Canada

Thursday 25 July 2013, 1300-1400

Canadian and United States Counterinsurgency documents (whose popular name is COIN) offer clear examples of post 9/11 military strategy titled the 'new-normal.' These military documents outline in detail how one engages in both "killing" and "compassion," two concepts at the heart of the contemporary response to asymmetric warfare. In this presentation, I briefly examine COIN, Camp Delta, and Drone Operators, and ask, how do these sites and their actors embody contradictory security logic that demands a simultaneous blend of humanising and dehumanising practices and policy? Are "ordinary people [that carry out the policies] simply doing their jobs (Milgram)?" In other words, are ordinary people participating in violence because of the context of authority and obedience, making the context the 'normaliser' of violent practices? Or, is it the liberal democratic norms that inform and justify kindness and killing? In this presentation I will argue, that it is ordinary lived liberal democratic life (Everydayness) that offers the condition of possibility for (in this case) the new-normal, rather than obedience to the military complex. This analytical twist on Everydayness as the normalising feature for the West and its contradictory security logic, is examined in this presentation with specific examples taken from three sites: Camp Delta Operating Procedure document, the Counterinsurgency documents and the FM 3-52 Airspace Control Manual (2013).