Permanent war: Grids, boomerangs and counterinsurgency
Rooted in Michel Foucault’s (2003: 15, 47) conception of politics – ‘[P]olitics is a continuation of war by other means’ – this paper seeks to support and draw attention to the ‘primitive or permanent war’ that underlies society in its modern manifestations. This inquiry into permanent warfare is broken down into five sections. The first explores the social construction and evolution of peace as a concept and political lever. The second, goes to the ground, examining the planning of society, its construction and the use of grids as a means to govern and manage populations. The third, considers Hannah Arendt’s ‘boomerang effects’ that cross-pollinate repressive techniques and technologies between home countries and colonies, escalating repression and state control as it corresponds to resistance. The fourth, delves into counterinsurgency practices and techniques that have ‘boomeranged’ from colonial wars and the wars in the Middle East back to the United States and elsewhere. Finally, this paper concludes by drawing attention to the current intensification of internal colonisation that continues the ‘permanent war’ against people and populations.