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Off Case

The affirmative is symptomatic of Vietnam Syndrome: a demand for military
drawdown premised on a fear of forward deployment the plan enables a form of
anti-war militarism which causes endless intervention and mass suffering
Buchanan 5
Ian Buchanan, foundation Chair of Communication and Cultural Studies at Charles Darwin University, War in the age of intelligent
machines and unintelligent government 2005, Research Online, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, KB
The 2004 US election must have caused hearts to sink everywhere in the Third World. The bloody insurgency in Iraq only
strengthened the position of the 'War President', giving him greater license to continue his campaign of terror. At the time of the
election the death toll of US soldiers was nearing a thousand with the number injured seven times that. To which toll one must add
the haunting fact that of the 500 000 plus US servicemen and women who served in the First Gulf War some 325 000 are now on
disability pensions suffering a variety of acute maladies generally attributed to the toxic cocktail of radiation and other pollutant
chemicals from the hundreds of oil fires they were exposed to during their tour of duty. Those who fight in Iraq today can scarcely
look forward to a healthier future given that it is effectively twice as irradiated now as it was in 1991.1 Yet still the minority who vote
voted in the main for the man who put these soldiers in harm's way; but then it isn't as though John Kerry was promising to bring the
troops home. As important as Tom Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? is as explanation of conservatism in the heartland of the
USA, it doesn't answer this question - why did the war on terror fail to ignite anti-Bush sentiment? 2 More to the point,

why was it impossible to vote against the war? This is militarism at its peak - you cannot decide
between going to war or not, only which is the most desired (least worst?) way of handling the conduct of the
Problem: Is today's militarism really new?

Militarism has always been with us, like a dark shadow, but its history is not continuous. The idea that war
should be considered a logical and necessary extension of politics was given expression by Clausewitz, but he was merely putting
into philosophical form what was already accepted thinking in government: arms are a legitimate means of achieving political goals.
Militarism is not always as unabashed about its existence, not to say its intentions, as it is now when - as
Debord so presciently put it - it has its own inconceivable foe, terrorism to bedazzle a frightened, confused,
and misinformed public.3

But out of the limelight does not mean out of the picture; militarism has not been officially questioned
since the end of the first world war when disarmament had its last genuine hurrah . World War Two, which
caught the US and the UK, in particular, underarmed and underprepared for conflict, eliminated in a stroke the very
concept of disarmament - strategic arms limitation and force reduction are essentially fiscal notions,
decisions made in the interest in preserving a militarist posture in the face of rising costs, not
disarmament. Neither should we delude ourselves that anti-war is anti-militarism. As we shall see, the
very opposite is true.
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, it is generally thought that a paradigm shift in the nature of
militarism has occurred, and as the violence in the Middle East continues with no sign of abatement in
sight (the running-sore that is the Israel/Palestine conflict, the smouldering fires of Iraq and Afghanistan and the gathering storm in
Iran all forebode ill for a peaceful future) any doubt that a new era of 'hot' war has been ushered in tends to
vanish. What is less certain, however, at least from a philosophical perspective, is the conceptual nature of the
change. Those who demur that the present era is substantially different enough to warrant the label 'new' do so on the grounds
that what we are seeing today is merely the continuation of an older struggle, or struggles, as it might be better to say given the
tangled mess of multiple rivalries and resentments on both sides. Obviously, many of the struggles fuelling the present war are
legacies of the Second World War, the Yalta summit in particular (many of course predate that by hundreds of years).4 On this
score, I am persuaded by Immanuel Wallerstein's thesis that the first and second world wars should be treated as a single thirty year
struggle for global hegemony between Germany and the USA, but it seems to me the militarism we are faced with today is

different to the one spawned in 1945 in the aftermath of victory; the militarism of today no longer thinks in
terms of winning and losing - it has another agenda. 5 So even if the origins of the present crisis are to be found in
the wash-up of WWII, as Wallerstein and many others have rightly argued, the nature of the response to this crisis is not similarly
located there.
Historians generally agree that the Vietnam War put paid to that 'victorious' mode of militarism the US knew following WWII when it
was briefly the lone nuclear power.6 Following its demoralising defeat at the hands of a comparatively puny third world country,
however, even the idea that it was a superpower was questioned. Amongst the decisionmakers in Washington there took hold a
moribund and risk-averse mentality that came to be called the 'Vietnam Syndrome'. This syndrome allegedly explains the US's
failure to act on a number of occasions when it might have been prudent - or, as perhaps would have been the case in Cambodia,
humanitarian to do so - culminating in the embarrassing mishandling of the Teheran Embassy siege in the last days of Jimmy
Carter's administration. It also explains the tactics used on those occasions when the US has acted, as in Clinton's decision to
initially restrict the engagement in the Balkans to airpower alone and use aerial bombardment where deft geopolitical negotiation

was needed. On this occasion, as has now become routine, an alleged ethical imperative combined powerfully with a rhetoric of
'surgical strikes' and 'smart bombs' to stall protest and garner support from even those who ought to have known better.7 Taken at
face value, this would seem to confirm the existence of the 'Vietnam Syndrome', but when in political analysis is it sensible to accept
something at face value? I would argue the 'Vietnam Syndrome' is a convenient cover story not a genuine
explanation of US foreign policy. What makes anyone think, for instance, that a peaceful settlement to the
Israel/Palestine conflict (as much a potential Vietnam as Iraq ) is on the US agenda? Countless commentators have
pointed out that the US backing of Israel can but inflame the Middle East situation as though this was news to the ones responsible,
or, more to the point, as though winning or losing, peace or war, are the only options open to US foreign policy. Isn't the answer

perpetual unrest is the solution that present action is achieving.

The 'Vietnam Syndrome' is an optical illusion, a wish-fulfilment on the part of those who would like to see
an end to US imperialism.8 In philosophical terms, the 'Vietnam Syndrome' was the negative needed by
staring us right in the face:

militarism to resurrect itself. What the military realised in Vietnam is that the US public will not tolerate
a high casualty rate amongst its own troops unless there is a pressing need. While saving freedom might
be construed as a pressing need, stopping communism in a country most people hadn't heard of before
the war started couldn't. Lacking ideological support, the US military publicly adopted a zero-casualty
approach to its 'elective wars' (to continue with the surgical trope) and banked on technology to achieve it. The
anti-war sentiment ignited by the Vietnam conflict played a large part in securing public acceptance for
this strategy in spite of the escalating costs it entailed. The US showed it was anti-war only to the extent
that war put its people in harm's way, but had no strong opinion on the matter when it was merely a
question of unloading deadly ordinance from a high altitude on faceless peoples far from the

Whatever the eventual cost, and the figures for military expenditure are always astronomical (consider the 2004

budget of $400 billion a year to wage war in Iraq),

technology was to become the solution to

what is essentially


ideological problem , the US population isn't willing to commit its body to the US's military causes. 9 After
Vietnam, no administration of the future could afford to be soft on military spending (if they lost spending $30
billion a year, they could hardly afford to spend less in the future is the presiding logic).10 The spin-doctoring that has gone
into talking up the capabilities of the new class of so-called 'smart' weapons is worthy of Madison
Avenue.11 Its effect has been to persuade the American people that technology has made them
invulnerable. Thus war has entered the age of intelligent machines and unintelligent government. 12
In any case, the present conflict proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the

US will not hesitate to embroil itself in

a potentially Vietnam-like conflict if the conditions are ripe. I have read reports that US soldiers based in Iraq
are writing 'Is this Vietnam yet?' on their helmets, sadly they're not asking the right question. Given
the admission that the insurgency problem may never be resolved it plainly is another Vietnam. If this isn't
the view of the Hawks in Washington who orchestrated the war, and I don't believe for a second that it is, then it begs the question:

what makes the present conflict not another Vietnam in the eyes of its architects? What are the conditions
under which the US will engage in a potentially protracted foreign war? To answer this we have to ask what were
the lessons of Vietnam? Behind the smokescreen of the 'Vietnam Syndrome', the US has taken on board two
hard lessons learned in Vietnam which shape its foreign policy: (1) It can win battles, but it can't
necessarily win wars; (2) It can afford battles, but it can't pay for wars. Both of these lessons were heeded by Bush
the elder who pointedly decided not to take Baghdad though it was there for the taking precisely because he didn't want an
expensive quagmire.13 It is tempting to think Bush the younger is simply Bush the dumber and that's the reason why he felt
emboldened to go where his daddy dare not, but I believe there is an even more sinister explanation.



figured out how to get someone else to pay for the battles that needed to be fought to dislodge Saddam's
forces from Kuwait, he didn't solve the problem of how to pay for a long war so he avoided it. Neither did
the son, but he figured out how to get the loser to line the pockets of the victor and transform a costly war
into a privateer's mother lode.14 The father's expensive quagmire is the son's reconstruction goldmine.
Reconstruction is the surplus value of war. If, as Chalmers Johnson suggests the US military has gone Hollywood,
then war has gone Wall St.15 Profit is put before everything.16
But we still haven't articulated what turned out to be the greatest change to militarism. This occurred in
the late stages of the Vietnam War, past the point when anyone - not even the President of the United States could say there was any worthwhile military reason to continue the fight , apart from the need to defend the
credibility of the fighting forces. The last years of the war saw the first outing of what has now become standard
procedure, the use of airpower as a substitute for diplomacy. At the time it was narrated as being a necessary

complement to diplomacy to insure proper attention at the bargaining table, but its effect was to make the North Vietnamese dig
their heels in harder. And yet the US persisted in spite of its obvious failure as a tactic, convinced no doubt that

there had to be a limit to the willingness of the people of North Vietnam to endure the terrible toll of death
its B52s were able to lay upon them. Ho Chi Minh's bravado claim that Vietnam had struggled against China for a thousand
years before winning its freedom, and had carried the fight to the French for one hundred and fifty years, and therefore felt
unthreatened by the US who had only been on their soil a mere fifteen years plainly fell on deaf ears in Washington. The cost in
lives of this tactic has never been officially toted up, but doubtless it was not inconsiderable. It is generally assessed as a military
and diplomatic failure, but this is where I think history is being a little hasty. The determination that it was the credibility

the fighting forces that was at stake in the final years of the war is no doubt correct, but as with all political
manoeuvres it shouldn't be taken at face value. For Wallerstein, the Vietnam War represented a rejection by the
Third World of the ' Yalta accord', the less than gentlemanly agreement between the two superpowers, the USA and the USSR, to
divide the planet into spheres of interest (the USA grabbing two-thirds and the USSR a third). He treats America's willingness to
invest all its military strength into the struggle and more or less bankrupt itself in the process as testament to the felt geopolitical
significance of the conflict. And yet, as he puts it, they were still defeated. While I accept the first part of his thesis, I disagree with
his conclusion because I think the very premise on which it rests lost its validity in the course of the war. A pragmatically

conceived intervention designed to stop the spread of revolutionary communism became the US military's
own equivalent of a 'cultural revolution' as it underwent a profound rethinking of its mode of acting in the
world.17 I do not mean to claim as military revisionists have done that Vietnam was actually a victory for
the USA (the right wing rhetoric on this, so resonant of the early days of the Nazi party, is that the government and the people
back home betrayed the soldiers on the front line and didn't allow them to win).18 With Baudrillard, I want to argue that there
occurred a paradigm shift during the course of that protracted and bitter struggle which resulted in the
concepts of victory and defeat losing their meaning.
Why did this American defeat (the largest reversal in the history of the USA ) have no internal repercussions in
America? If it had really signified the failure of the planetary strategy of the United States, it would
necessarily have completely disrupted its internal balance and the American political system. Nothing of
the sort occurred. Something else, then, took place .19
Baudrillard's answer to this question is that war ceased to be real, it ceased to be determined in terms of
winning and losing and became instead 'simulation', a pure spectacle no less terrifying or deadly for its
lack of reality. The consequences of this metaphysical adjustment are shocking and go a long way towards explaining the rise of
terrorism in recent years. As Andrew Bacevich writes, it is not only the superpowers like the US that have
relinquished the concept of victory. It is as though war itself has jettisoned it as so much extra
baggage. The typical armed conflict today no longer pits like against like - field army v. field army or
battle fleet v. battle fleet - and there usually is no longer even the theoretical prospect of a decisive
outcome. In asymmetric conflicts, combatants employ violence indirectly. The aim is not to defeat but to
intimidate and terrorise, with women a favoured target and sexual assault often the weapon of
choice. 20 The B52 pilot unloading bombs on an unseen enemy below knows just as well as the suicide
bomber in Iraq that his actions will not lead directly to a decisive change , that in a sense the gesture is futile; but,
he also knows, as does the suicide bomber, that his actions will help create an atmosphere of fear that, it is
hoped, will one day lead to change. Deprived of teleology, war thrives in an eternal present.
Terror is not merely the weapon of the weak, it is the new condition of war, and no power can claim
exception status. For Clausewitz and his spiritual tutor Machiavelli the only rational reason to wage war is to win where winning
means achieving a predetermined and clearly prescribed goal. Britain's colonial wars are an obvious case in point. The self-serving
claim that Britain acquired its empire in a fit of absence owes its sense to the fact that it never set out to gain its eventually quite
considerable empire (it was at least geographically true, albeit not historically true, that the sun never set on the British Empire,
encompassing as it did territories in virtually every region of the world) all at once as Hitler and Hirohito were later to do, but built it
one territory at a time over a two century-long period. Through a sequence of limited wars it was able to deploy its limited means to
obtain colossal riches. The first world war essentially started out in the same way. Germany's goal was to

secure a European empire before it was too late, but the machine-gun put paid to that ambition and
instead of a quick war returning a specific prize there irrupted a global conflagration that was to consume
the wealth and youth of Europe. As Wallerstein argues, the true victor of the first world war wasn't Britain or
France, but American industry, and by extension the true loser wasn't Germany and its allies but Europe
itself. Eric Hobsbawm has defined the twentieth century as the age when wars of limited means and limited aims gave way to wars
of limited means and unlimited aims.21 The twenty-first century appears to be the age of wars of unlimited
means and no precise aim.

This , according to Deleuze and Guattari, is the point at which Clausewitz's formula is effectively
reversed. When total war - i.e., war which not only places the annihilation of the enemy's army at its
centre but its entire population and economy too - becomes the object of the State-appropriated war
machine, then at this level in the set of all possible conditions, the object and the aim enter into new
relations that can reach the point of contradiction. In the first instance, the war machine unleashed by the
State in pursuit of its object, total war, remains subordinate to the State and merely realises the maximal
conditions 22 of its aims. Paradoxically, though, the more successful it is in realising the State's aims, the
less controllable by the State it becomes. As the State's aims grow on the back of the success of its war
machine, so the restrictions on the war machine's object shrink until - scorpion like - it effectively
subsumes the State , making it just one of its many moving parts. In Vietnam, the State was blamed for
the failure of the war machine precisely because it attempted to set limits on its object. Its inability to
adequately impose these limits not only cost it the war, but in effect its sovereignty too. Since then the State
has been a puppet of a war machine global in scope and ambition. This is the status of militarism today and
no-one has described its characteristics more chillingly than Deleuze and Guattari:

This worldwide war machine, which in a way 'reissues' from the States, displays two successive figures:
first, that of fascism, which makes war an unlimited movement with no other aim than itself; but fascism is
only a rough sketch, and the second, postfascist, figure is that of a war machine that takes peace as its
object directly, as the peace of Terror or Survival. The war machine reforms a smooth space that now
claims to control, to surround the entire earth. Total war is surpassed, toward a form of peace more
terrifying still.23
It is undoubtedly Chalmers Johnson who has done the most to bring to our attention the specific make-up of what Deleuze and
Guattari call here the worldwide war machine.24 His description of a global 'empire of bases' is consistent with Deleuze and
Guattari's uptake of Paul Virilio's concept of the 'fleet in being'. This is the paradoxical transformation of the striated

space of organisation into a new kind of 'reimparted' smooth space which outflanks all gridding and
invents a neonomadism in the service of a war machine still more disturbing than the States. 25 Bases do
not by themselves secure territory, but as is the case with a battle fleet their mobility and their firepower
mean they can exert an uncontestable claim over territory that amounts to control. This smooth space
surrounding the earth is, to put it back into Baudrillard's terms, the space of simulation. The empire of bases is
a virtual construct with real capability.

Fittingly enough, it was Jean Baudrillard who first detected that a structural

the Vietnam War was a

demonstration of a new kind of will to war, one that no longer thought in terms of winning or losing, but
defined itself instead in terms of perseverance.26 It demonstrated to the US's enemies, clients and allies alike its
willingness to continue the fight even when defeat was certain, or had in a sense already been
acknowledged (the US strategy of 'Vietnamising' the war which commenced shortly after the Tet offensive in 1968, and become
change in post-WWII militarism had taken place. In Simulacra and Simulation he argues that

official policy under Nixon, was patently an admission that the war couldn't be won - in the short term it was Johnson's way of putting
off admitting defeat until after the election so as to give Hubert Humphrey some chance of victory; in the longer term it was a way of
buying time for a diplomatic solution).27 It was a demonstration of the US's reach, of its ability to inflict destruction
even when its troops were withdrawing and peace talks (however futile) were under way. It also

demonstrated to the American people that the fight could be continued as the troops were
withdrawn , a factor that as I've already pointed out would become decisive in re-shaping militarism as an
incorporeal system.
It was also a demonstration to the American domestic population that the country's leaders were willing to
continue to sacrifice lives to prove this point.28 The contrary view, that Nixon wanted to end the war sooner
but was unable to do so because domestic politics didn't allow it, in no way contradicts this thesis. If
anything it confirms it because if true it would mean, as Deleuze and Guattari have said of fascism, at a certain
point, under a certain set of conditions, the American people wanted Vietnam , and, as they add, it is this
perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be accounted for. 29 While there can be no doubt Vietnam
was an unpopular war that was eventually brought to a halt by popular pressure, it is a sobering thought to remind oneself that it
was a war that lasted some 10 years. If one takes 1967 as the decisive turning point in popular opinion, the

moment when protest against the war became the prevailing view and support for it dwindled into a
minority murmur, then one still has to take stock of the fact that it took a further 6 years for US troops to
be fully withdrawn.30 The kind of sustained popular pressure that brought the Vietnam War to a close has

not yet even begun to build in the US in spite of the fact that the death toll has passed 1500 (as of March

Wars are spectacles in the traditional sense of being events staged to convey a specific message, but
also in the more radical or postmodern sense that spectacle is the final form of war, the form war
takes when it takes peace as its object. Hence the military's facilitation of the media (this backfired to a
large degree in Vietnam, but the lessons learned then are put to good use today). Ultimately, though, as Baudrillard rightly argues,
the media and official news services are only there to maintain the illusion of an actuality , of the
reality of the stakes , of the objectivity of the facts. 31 Chomsky's analyses of current trends in US imperialism
confirm this thesis. As he argues, 'preventive' wars are only fought against the basically defenceless. 32 Chomsky
adds two further conditions that chime with what we have already adduced: there must be something in it for the aggressor, i.e., a
fungible return not an intangible moral reward, and the opponent must be susceptible to a portrayal of them as 'evil', allowing the
victory to be claimed in the name of a higher moral purpose and the actual venal purpose to be obscured.33 At first glance,

waging war to prevent war appears to be as farcical as fucking for virginity, but that is only if we assume
that the aim of the war is to prevent one potential aggressor from striking first. Or, rather, given that it is
alleged that the putative enemy, Al Qaeda and its supposed supporters, took first blood (the Rambo reference
is of course deliberate), we are asked to believe the current war is being fought to prevent a second, more
damaging strike. The obsessive and suitably grave references to Weapons of Mass Destruction by the various mouthpieces of
the Bush regime (Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, but also Blair and Howard) is plainly calculated to compel us to accept that any such
second strike will be of biblical, or worse, Hollywood proportions.
As one joke put it, the Americans could be certain that Iraq had at least some Weapons of Mass Destruction because they had the
receipts to prove it. The grain of truth in this joke reveals the true purpose of the war - it was a demonstration to all of
America's clients that it wouldn't tolerate 'price-gouging'. Obviously I am speaking metaphorically here, but the fact is
that Iraq is a client of the US, it purchases arms and consumer goods and sells oil at a carefully controlled

price. Why this arrangement suddenly became so unsatisfactory is subject to a great deal of speculation
which centre on two basic theories: (1) when Iraq switched from the dollar to the euro it posed an
intolerable threat to the stability of the US currency; (2) the US is positioning itself to monopolise oil ahead
of growing Chinese demand. Either way, if one wants a metaphor to describe US imperialism it wouldn't it
wouldn't be MacDonald's, a comparatively benign operator, but the predatory retail giant Wal-Mart. 34 In
other words, today's wars are fought to demonstrate will. The age of gunboat diplomacy has given way
to the age of gunboat commerce.35
When war changed its object it was able to change its aim too and it is this more than anything that has
saved 'real' war from itself. Baudrillard's later work on the spectacle of war misses this point: through becoming
spectacles the fact that real wars (i.e., territorial wars) are no longer possible has not diminished their
utility - the US isn't strong enough to take and hold Iraq, but it can use its force to demonstrate to other
small nations that it can inflict massive damage and lasting pain on anyone who would dare defy it.
Baudrillard's lament that the real Gulf War never took place can only be understood from this viewpoint - although he doesn't put it in
these words, his insight is essentially that war in its Idealised form is much more terrifying than peace. Again, although Baudrillard
himself doesn't put it this way, the conclusion one might draw from the paradigm shift in war's rationalisation enumerated above from pragmatic object (defeating North Vietnam) to symbolic object (defending the credibility of the fight forces) -is that war has
become 'postmodern'.36 This

shift is what enables the US to ideologically justify war in the absence of a

proper object and indeed in the absence of a known enemy. The Bush regime's 'War on Terror' is the
apotheosis of this change: the symbolic (terror) has been made to appear instrumental (terrorism), or
more precisely the symbolic is now able to generate the instrumental according to its own needs.

The discourse of a dangerous China is premised on a racialized process of

Otherization which makes structural violence and mass warfare inevitable
Turner 14 (Oliver Turner, Hallsworth Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, PhD from the
University of Manchester, April 2014, American Images of China: Identity, Power, Policy, pp 23-30) gz
The world is a product of interpretation , and interpretations are vulnerable to disagreement and
conflict. 53 Accordingly, the evil and threatening Fu Manchu represents a particular truth about China in
equal measure to the genial and Americanised Charlie Chan. This precludes a strictly positivistic

logic of explanation, the purpose of which is to search for a singular, definitive understanding of
what China represents at any given moment. Instead, a logic of interpretation, which concerns itself less
with identifying causality within international relations than it does with interrogating the consequences
of representational processes , is required. 54 This is what enables the transference from why to
how questions described in the introduction, since the principal concern is not why the United States has
chosen to engage in certain practices towards China, but how those practices have been made
possible through the historical production of subjective truth .
Social constructivist and postcolonial IR scholars are now among the most active in formulating the types
of (how) questions about representation and the interrelations of power and knowledge around which
this analysis is conducted. 55 A key source of inspiration is Edward Saids Orientalism , in which it is argued that, for
centuries, the identity of the global East has been constructed and reconstructed (as exotic ,
threatening , technologically inferior , etc.) so as to enable its domination by the West . 56 As such,
the Asian region (like any other) is less an objective, natural reality than it is a product of Western
imaginations . 57 It exists for the West, or so it appears in the mind of the Orientalist .
The imaginative geography of China has always been constructed within American imaginations, for
American imaginations , to enable particular courses of US China policy . Yet while China has always
been the product of American discourse and representation, the argument here is not that ideas are the primary or even singular
drivers of international affairs. Crucially, the intention is to emphasise the co-constitution of the ideational and material worlds. As
Alexander Wendt explains,
the claim is not that ideas are more important than power and interest, or that they are autonomous from power and interest. Power
and interest are just as important and determining as before. The claim is rather that power and interest have the effects
they do in virtue of the ideas that make them up . 58
To suggest, then, that American understandings about China simply shift and evolve as a result of
external developments most notably of Chinas behaviour, which, as illustrated in the review of the literature above,
has been a strong tendency of many authors and thus that they can be attributed little or no consequence to the
dynamics of Sino-US relations and the formulation of US China policy, is fundamentally misguided .
Increases in Chinas military capabilities today, for example, do matter (see Chapters 5 and 6). What is important,
however, is not simply the emergence of those capabilities , but that China which so many people
(rightly or wrongly) consider

potentially dangerous now possesses them . Like China, India has a large

standing army, nuclear weapons, an increasing defence budget and so on, but it is rarely perceived as
a threat to the United States. The UKs 500 nuclear weapons are considered less threatening to
American interests than North Koreas (unsophisticated and unreliable) five. 59 Unavoidably, then, identity
also matters . Discourses and imagery define , to varying extents, what China is and how it must
be approached, regardless of its intentions or observable behaviour .
Discourse and imagery: constructing the reality of China

American images of China are understood here to be the products of discourse about that land and its
people. Michel Foucault described discourse as the general domain of all statements, representing either a group of individual
statements, or a regulated practice which accounts for a number of statements. 60 American discourses of China are thus
envisioned as the articulation of ideas about that country in the broadest possible sense . Ultimately,
American images of China constitute the discursive construction of truth or reality about it . Of
course, imagery in the form of art or photography, for example, is overtly visual rather than discursive, yet, like that of the world
around us, its meaning will always be interpreted and articulated through language. For the purposes of this analysis American
images and representations of China are considered synonymous. This is an assumption reinforced by Szalay et al., who argue that
images are selective, often affect-laden representations of reality. 61
Peter Hays Gries explains that Americans look at China as though staring at the inkblots of a Rorschach test,

revealing more about themselves than about China itself. 62 This central role of American identity
in the construction of China is reiterated by Jesperson: [American] images of China have largely come
from Americans assumptions about themselves , he argues. 63 As outlined already in this chapter, the relevant
literatures as a whole do little to support this claim. However, the identity of any actor is meaningless without the

presence of another because meaning itself is created in discourse . 64 This mutual constitution of
opposing identities , of self and other , is articulated by David Campbell: identity whether personal or
collective is not fixed by nature . . . rather, identity is constituted in relation to difference . But neither is
difference fixed by nature . . . Difference is constituted in relation to identity. 65
While the extent to which discourses remain stable over time varies, American

images of China whether enduring or

not have been manufactured from perceptions of the identity of the United States itself . 66 However, the four
key constructions of China examined with particular focus throughout this book Idealised, Opportunity, Uncivilised and Threatening
China are examples of images which have endured because, to reaffirm, their production and reproduction can be traced to
among the most intrinsic components of American identity. These types of images can be likened to Saids notion of

Latent Orientalism: an underlying and almost unconscious collectivity of shared ideas and beliefs about
the global East which has preserved a unanimity, stability and durability of representation . 67 As will
be shown,

Idealised China became established from understandings about a more scientifically

enlightened and advanced United States . Uncivilised China has always been produced in relation
to presumed superior standards of American civilisation . Opportunity China exists primarily for
particular American ideals of free international trade and open markets. Threatening China has been
produced to confirm the need to secure the United States from external threat .
In a broad sense, the

identity of the United States has traditionally been defined in part by an imagined

commitment to the values of democracy, personal liberty and the free market . 68 This constitutes what
images of China have frequently been
produced from these understandings, such as Uncivilised China, which has been conceived as
has been termed a democratic-capitalist ideology, or ethos. 69 It is shown that

uncivilised because it lacks these commitments and qualities. In addition, historically the United States
has been conceived as a pre-dominantly White /Caucasian society. 70 This constitutes another powerful
site from which China and the Chinese, as non-White , have been produced. 71 Robert Blauner vividly
describes the power and longevity of the race issue within the United States, likening it to a gritty old boxer who just wont stay
down. 72 The

dominance of the White American population , he argues, has resulted in the internal

colonialism of non-Whites like the Chinese who, to varying extents, inhabit imbalanced power relations
which favour the former. 73 This analysis shows that Chinese in America have been historically beholden to
political and economic arrangements over which they have had little control .
In Orientalism Said argued that during the nineteenth century, all Europeans were racist or ethnocentric. 74 The argument here is
not that the Chinese have been the consistent and uniform victims of American racism; it is that race is a political, rather than

a natural, category, and powerful discourses have racially objectified the Chinese as a non-White
other without necessarily implying racist sentiment. Of course, classificatory labels such as White and non-White
are often unhelpful and even meaningless. Indeed, Homi Bhabha challenges neat delineations between cultures on the basis that
they exist in a state of perennial mixedness. 75 Yet identities are frequently and crudely contrasted with others and, to reaffirm,
American images of China (racial or otherwise) need not be informed and/or sophisticated to circulate. What is important is that they
do circulate, with the capacity to represent selected realities about China and its people.
This analysis also demonstrates the historical persistence of embedded understandings even into the twenty- first century that
China represents a cultural inferior of the United States . Such perceptions have not been unique, uniform or timeless,
yet, as Michael Shapiro observes, the process of making others foreign most commonly ensures their status as
less-than-equal subjects . 76 Ikechi Mgbeoji argues that Western (particularly European) colonialism habitually
propagated the truth that the only route for the non-West to become less inferior was to aspire to the
standards of the West . 77 A comparable dynamic is revealed throughout the chapters that follow, through ingrained
expectations that China must lessen its imagined inferiority by conforming to American expectations.
In this sense, American

images of China have often been produced within a paternalistic structure ,

wherein the actions of the latter as the parental authority are understood to represent the best interests of
the former. 78 These enduring assumptions are explained in part with reference to implicit American
understandings of exceptionalism , and of the United States as a redeemer nation with a
responsibility to advance its Enlightenment values abroad. 79 American governmental papers, notes Bruce

exceptionalism is most emphatically demonstrated by the construction of China through negation , a
Kuklick, have always advanced a vision of the world rooted in Protestantism and the Enlightenment. 80 In this analysis,

strategy used to deny the history of foreign others and construct (or deconstruct) their geographies
as a blank spaces , or tabula rasas, waiting to be filled . 81
Ultimately, it is demonstrated that across the history of Sino-US relations particular discourses of China, like those
outlined above, have become naturalised statements of fact and accepted simply as what is . 82 This
has generated common sense , a form of knowledge that goes unquestioned since it is assumed to
be a true reflection of reality. 83 Common sense knowledges are almost unconsciously reproduced
and rarely scrutinised or challenged . 84 This was evident throughout much of the late nineteenth century and during
the early Cold War, for example, when Threatening China seemingly posed a danger to White America (see Chapters 2 and 3

The naturalisation of discourses means that they have never been free or unrestricted , but, rather,
moulded and constrained as the product of systemic regulations which promote selected ideas and
suppress others . 85 Foucault refers to these regulations as societal rules of exclusion . 86 This
ensures that discourse is always controlled, selected [and] organised so that the ideas of some are
accepted, whereas those of others are ignored or rejected and considered beyond the lines of
acceptable argument. 87 Walter Lippmann put it another way, suggesting that in the great blooming, buzzing
confusion of the outer world we pick out what our culture has already defined for us . 88
As certain discourses of China have been promoted as common sense , others have inevitably been
marginalised and silenced . For much of the Cold War, for example, discourses of Opportunity and Idealised China were
discourse is a site from
which power can be challenged and undermined , meaning the logic that discourses of China claim to
subdued within American imaginations as Threatening and Uncivilised China became dominant. Yet

advance can always be questioned and opposed . 89 [W]here there is power, argued Foucault, there
is resistance . 90 Resistance is a highly contested concept, especially within postcolonial IR, but here resistance
discourses are those which challenge the most powerful and established American ideas about
China , exposing their vulnerability and introducing alternative modes of thinking. Discourses may be
buried or masked by rules of exclusion and deemed inferior, naive or inadequately articulated. 91
Unofficial or subjugated knowledges about China, however, always have the potential to
reappear . 92
Moreover, discourses are not discrete or isolated units of analysis. Their peripheries are open, overlapping and constituted by
others. 93 In this analysis it is shown that the four key constructions of China have often coexisted, and have on occasions become
mutually reinforcing. Discourses of China should also not be essentialised, and throughout the chapters that follow it is shown that
while such constructions as Threatening and inferior China have resurfaced in recognisable forms, they have always been in a
perpetual state of flux. 94 They have evolved and been modified to meet new circumstances and new frames of reference so that
today, for example, just like in the nineteenth century, the assumption remains that China should conform to the
(superior) standards of Western civilisation, yet it is no longer brazenly referred to as uncivilised and the relevant
imagery is advanced in more subtle forms (see Chapter 6).
Ultimately, the discursive production of American images of China, and the resulting construction of truths
and realities, means they have been the historical subjects of classification strategies. The process of
classification relies upon stereotypes, or controlling images , whereby individuals and groups are
imbued with quick and easy representations for the purpose of identification. 95 Importantly, then, and
as the term controlling image implies, those representations have always been imbued with a form of
The power of representation: political possibility and US China policy

Power in global affairs is not merely the capacity of states to exert material force; it exists in less
conventional forms and spaces. In IR it is now a widely contested concept, becoming increasingly denaturalised, dispersed
and ultimately devoid of an assumed centre. 96 Power is understood by Foucault to be inextricable from

knowledge , such that one cannot be advanced in the absence of the other . 97 The result is a
power/knowledge nexus which precludes the advancement of discourse and the establishment of truth
as neutral or dispassionate endeavours. 98 This means that American discourses and imagery of China have
never been produced objectively or in the absence of purpose and intent. Their dissemination must be
acknowledged as a performance of power , however seemingly innocent or benign.
As will be shown throughout the chapters that follow, American representations of China have regularly been
advanced with a clear agenda. This occurred during the latter half of the nineteenth century when ideas about a China
threat were promoted by those who openly favoured restrictions against Chinese immigrations , and
during the Cold War when

propaganda depicted Red China in highly threatening terms in support of the

United States communist containment policy

(see Chapter 4). Equally, and as Fairclough argues,

common sense

discourses may represent an ideological sleight of hand by advancing an opinion or point of view
which is disguised as truth or fact . 99 That which becomes common sense is largely determined by
comparatively more powerful actors. 100 Thus, imagery can be circulated with an explicit motivation but,
and as already suggested, it can also be reproduced almost unconsciously . In line with Saids notion of Latent
Orientalism, ideas can become naturalised and accepted fact , as Gramscis organic intellectuals across society
engage in their promotion and continuation

because as truths they appear so unproblematic.

Historically, Sino-American

relations of power have been dominated by the United States both in terms of
material capability and of ideational forces or power/knowledge . As a circulating medium, however, power is not
inevitably suppressive, nor is it the possession of individuals or institutions. It is everywhere , working
productively through social relations and in the construction of reality as much as of the actors within
it. 101 Accordingly, while the power of representation may appear readily observable in late nineteenth century American
newspaper articles which vehemently opposed Chinese immigration to the United States, for example, it was just as inextricable
from the arguments of those who wrote positively of a more civilised land and people. It would be erroneous to suggest, then, that
China and the Chinese have been the perpetual victims of American power (discursive or material).
Material forces are only attributed meaning for use as a result of certain knowledges about them . 102 In
other words, it

is discourse or power/knowledge which ensures that material capabilities can be

utilised, and in what manner. As Doty explains, the fact that the United States claims unrivalled material
power is undeniably important. However, the US does not consider invading every country over which it
boasts military superiority or, indeed, against which it exhibits grievance . 103 That military power is
constituted by understandings of identity , and of who to invade (among other things) and who not .
Discourse, notes Obeyesekere, is about practice. . . . Insofar as discourse evolves it begins to affect the practice. 104

International relations, therefore, represents an arena of power that is both political and discursive,
wherein discourses create certain political possibilities and preclude others . 105 Yet such a
reassessment of power does not entirely preclude an appreciation for those which preceded it. 106 To reiterate, the suggestion is
not that ideas are more important than, or distinct from, material power. Material power is affective as a result of the
ideas of which it is constituted. 107
David Campbell explains that foreign policy is an extension to the international realm of the human tendency to

identify unfamiliar others as alien and foreign . 108 Richard Ashley similarly notes that modern statecraft is more
accurately termed modern mancraft. 109 Such

societal discourses of foreignness are discourses of separation

and difference by which states are made foreign from one other in a specific sort of boundary
producing political performance . 110 It is argued here that the production and dissemination of American
images of China constitutes this performance, and represents the ubiquitous process by which China
and the Chinese are made foreign from the United States for the purpose of enabling US China
policies. As Campbell puts it, foreign policy represents the international inscription of foreignness . 111 This
analysis will demonstrate that the most stable and enduring images of China ( Threatening, Uncivilised , etc.)
have traditionally been comparatively active in this regard, to explain not why particular American foreign
policies towards China have occurred, but how they have been made possible .

American images of China including those which circulate in

the present day have frequently been those of an inferior or unequal land and people expected to
As outlined in the introduction, this study shows that

conform to the superior values of American identity such as democracy and capitalism. The
construction of foreign others as barbaric , uncivilised , etc., has historically enabled and legitimised the
appropriation of (particularly non-Western) lands and resources , as well as the subjugation and
extermination of people . 112 Ellingson agrees, noting that the historical construction of non-Europeans as
lower peoples has been at the heart of the establishment of a global European hegemony . 113 The study
also shows that Chinas

imagined inferiority has commonly been articulated through racial discourse and

imagery . Race here represents an especially powerful site of identity construction from which images
of a non-White China have been produced, and is shown to have been an integral component of the
foreign policy process at numerable historical junctures. 114 Glazer and Moynihan, for instance, argue that
immigration has long been, and remains, the most important determinant of American foreign policy because it responds so
powerfully to the ethnic composition of the United States. 115 Jan

Pierterse describes racism as the psychology of

imperialism , with the capacity to justify overseas domination . 116

American discourses and imagery of China, then, have consistently determined the boundaries of the
politically possible by being inextricable from, and complicit within, every stage of the formulation,
enactment and justification of US China policy. The nature and purpose of that policy, however, must be reconsidered. In
the previous section it was shown that throughout the relevant literatures US China policy has been conceived in relatively restrictive
terms as a bridge between two states. 117 This analysis further draws from the work of Campbell, who argues that foreign

policy not only represents the international inscription of societal discourses of separation and difference,
but actively reaffirms them. 118 Acts of foreign policy, in short, impose particular interpretations of the
world, thereby reproducing them. 119
US China policy is shown here to be a political performance active within the construction of Chinas
identity as well as that of the United States, perpetuating the cycle of discursive difference so
that the production of imagery continues . For example, the possibility of US involvement in the nineteenth-century
opium wars was not only introduced by discourse and imagery of Uncivilised China, it was also an act which itself reinforced the
representational processes of which it was constituted. Specifically, and as shown in Chapter 2,

it reproduced Uncivilised

China in comparison to the more civilised United States by affirming the requirement of the
former to modernise to what were considered more enlightened Western practices and values . It
makes no sense to assume that the enactment of US China policy signals the end of discourses capacity to construct reality and
social actors. Instead it carries on, reproducing the understandings upon which policies rely and in which they are framed, to be
relied upon again in the future.
Related to this point, this book also demonstrates that US China policy has consistently worked not only in the
construction of identity, but also in the protection of the identity of the United States when
seemingly threatened by that of China . 120 Danger can be ascribed to otherness wherever it may
be found. 121 Yet not all potential dangers are interpreted as such. The designation of threat is therefore at least
partly constitutive of representational processes which determine what is dangerous and what is not . 122
As Wendt explains, every state in the world does not represent a danger to every other, and so international threats must be
constitutive of particular ideas which make them interpretable as such . 123 This means that Sino-US
relations must be understood as boundary-producing rituals in which dangers from China , when
identified, are not merely from calculations of material threat , but are partly the result of subjective
interpretation . 124
In this book it is argued that a

key purpose of depicting China as a threat has been to protect the

components of American identity (primarily racial and ideological) deemed most fundamental to its
being. As such, representations of a threatening China have most commonly been advanced by, and
served the interests of, those who support actions to defend that identity . It is shown that this has included

politicians and policymaking circles, such as those within the administration of President Harry Truman which implemented the Cold
War containment of the PRC (Chapter 4). It also exposes the complicity of other societal individuals and institutions, including
elements of the late-nineteenth-century American media which supported restrictions against Chinese immigration to the Western
United States (Chapter 2).
To some extent, dangers in the international realm always constitute threats to identity. 125 In the analysis which follows, it is shown
that this has been especially evident during moments of crisis (or rupture) to American identity which demonstrate most
emphatically how dangers are socially constructed. 126 Crises of identity occur when the existing order is considered in danger of
collapse. The prevailing authority is seen to be weakened and rhetoric over how to reassert the natural identity intensifies. 127 The
Cold War represents one such moment of crisis for American identity, as Washingtons containment policy functioned to protect the
latter from the threatening values of communist Red China, which conflicted with those of the democratic-capitalist United States.

This is not to suggest that danger is non-material . Indeed, representational processes separate
us from them through a logic of difference which determines the relative salience of material factors
in the assessment of external threats. 128 Yet as Hixson asserts, [f]oreign policy plays a profoundly significant
role in the process of creating, affirming and disciplining conceptions of national identity , 129 and the
United States has always been especially dependent upon representational practices for
understandings about its identity. 130

Their understanding of North Korea relies on an inside/outside binary that

reproduces Otherness, even in liberal attempts at inclusion
Choi 14
Shine Choi, Re-imagining North Korea in International Politics Problems and alternatives Routledge, December 4, 2014, KB

To say that the dominant understanding of North Korea as a problem is fictive and constructed is
unrelated to the truth or falsity of what we know about North Korea. This statement is not a truth claim arguing that
the dominant claim is wrong because it is false. Rather, it refuses the terms upon which true and false claims are
distinguished, and insists that the dominant understanding of North Korea as a problem is unacceptable
because of the mediation of power in how the claims are made and how this work of mediation is
itself erased from view by entrenched power relations.

I argue that addressing

North Korea within

dominant rational and technocratic problem-solving language is not only delimiting, but is also at the
heart of the problem. The next chapter, International relations, interrupted: issues of positionality and intercultural relations,
constructs a theoretical discussion to enable an exploration of where this refusal of the terms of truth can lead us. It introduces
theoretical, methodological and political dimensions of how the predominant terms constrain, and argues for turning to expressive
sites of culture and politics in order to create alternative languages, strategies and modes of engaging with and responding to the
complex signifier that is North Korea. A central part of this argument is that the international problem of North Korea has
an intercultural dimension that is often occluded by mainstream approaches. I explore the collective
need for fuller engagement with the intercultural dimensions of relations, positions and transformation by examining critical spaces
created by poststructuralist, postcolonial and feminist scholars. Trinh Minh-ha, Rey Chow and Gayatri Spivak are introduced in
Chapter 1 as important scholars for any study of international relations concerned with issues of intercultural processes. In Chapter
1, I focus on the concepts of translation, in-between spaces and speaking nearby which foreground interculturality of mediation,
mediators and culture. This discussion has a strong practical dimension and seeks to move beyond discussions of theoretical
concepts and bring in the everyday contexts and dilemmas of what we are discussing.
As already mentioned, the main sites from which international relations is problematized in this book are culture and popular culture.
As argued by many, culture is a rich site for building, performing and circulation international realities, encounters and relations (e.g.
Weldes 2003; Lisle 2006; Shih and Lionnet 2005; Chow 1995). It is through culture as a process, and its artefacts as resources, that
we construct and make sense of our reality. Although science, politics, art, psychology and popular culture are often thought of as
separate, we cannot deny the intertextuality between them. They utilise and produce common cultural resources. Thus, by
examining the different myths, narratives, imageries and metaphors that are enacted and performed in
the cultural realm, we gain a deeper understanding of the complex and intricate workings of the global
consensus on the North Korea problem. Here I am not only referring to the identities enacted for official
political activities (e.g. national identities such as citizens, or international identities such as diplomats and statesmen), but all
identities (e.g. a modern man, a good mother, a real lover), and of myths about peace, the good life, gender and
agency, among others. In other words, there is a very delicate but nonetheless powerful relationship between
official political-collective and everyday apolitical-private modes, myths and realities that prop up
existing hierarchies along gendered, racial and civilizational lines.
I explore this delicate relationship in four themes located in four specific genres that are widely mobilized in international encounters
with North Korea, namely: mystery/detective fiction that travels to North Korea; photography of suffering in North Korea; films about

love in inter-Korean relations; and North Korea defector memoirs. Chapter 2, Displacing the detective eye/I: seeing translation and
mediation, critically examines how a

mysterious , unknowable and recalcitrant North Korea is produced

through a particular mode of encounter that seeks to detect, ascertain, know and see North Korea as an
object from a position above and at a distance. In intercultural contexts such as those involving North Korea,
seeing, uncovering and exposing are inescapably forms of translation that require mediators. I introduce the concept of the
detective eye/I to illustrate how visuality is of particular importance to how mysterious North Korea is produced. Using James
Churchs Inspector O mystery series and Guy Delisles graphic travelogue Pyongyang, I focus on moments of translation and the
various narrative functions that North Korean mediators play in the construction of North Korea. Central to these texts is the idea
that knowing North Korea better, and enabling North Koreans to communicate their message to the world, will solve the North
Korean problems of poverty, human rights abuses and international ostracism. I examine hierarchies established by modes of
detection shared across genres, and consider how the concept of translation complicates the key tenets of these knowledge-driven
productions. In particular, this chapter focuses on fictional and non-fictional texts that intersect on a basis that they have been
This critical engagement with the mode of detection through the concept of the detective eye/I, and the chapters that follow, build
on and contribute to the postcolonial insight that colonialism and imperialism are not just outdated practices of the past that have
been consigned to the dustbin, as a prominent IR scholar on East Asia, Samuel Kim (2002: 11), claims. This chapter and those that
follow are illustrative of how colonial and imperial logics of the West remain alive and well in radically more complex and

we live in the age of postcoloniality , which is a

contested term but nonetheless useful in considering the historical context of the current global order, i.e. the
historicity of the particular form of todays globality and its power relations (see Krishna 1999; Ahmed 2000;
Orford 2003). Mainstream IR accounts use standards or criteria set by their own coordinates (the
discontinuous forms than their predecessors. In other words,

Western modern self), which in turn universalize their particular image and deal with difference by doing
violence to it. Such an approach insists that Others must conform to our standards rather than, for
instance, creating a dialogical space in which both positions learn or gain from the contact. The postcolonial
critique is that this demand for sameness is a way of denying the need for translation between different
worlds when encounters in contact zones occur. Mary Louise Pratts (1992) idea of the contact zone is cited most
widely in IR, which is understood as a shifting space wherein subjects previously separated by geographic and
historical disjuncture experience otherness. Historically, it has been a space of colonial encounters infused
with inequalities of power .4 Important to register here is how postcoloniality is a failed historicity : a
historicity that admits of its own failure in grasping that which has been, as the impossibility of grasping
the present (Ahmed 2000: 9, emphasis in original). Failed historicity means working fully with complexity of
relations between the past and present, and tracing the continuities as well as the disjuncture between
the colonial past and the contemporary international politics.
Chapter 3, What seeing suffering demands of us: photographic engagements with North Korea(ns), turns to the case of international responsibility and action in response to
the problem of North Koreas poor human rights record and economic poverty. Human rights and humanitarian discourses are the most prominent sites for postcolonial politics. I
examine the prevailing hierarchy between the international and places like North Korea (an extreme as well as a peculiar case), achieved by mobilizing visual binaries that rest
upon a subject/object axis (e.g. over here/over there; seer/seen; actor/acted upon; benefactor/beneficiary). I do so through an engagement with photography of North Korean
suffering in international circulation which helps us to interrogate visually which I argue is a method of political thinking that foregrounds issues of relations the prevailing
assumption that suffering exists unambiguously in all spaces, bodies and subjectivities that constitute North Korea, an assumption that sustains the notion that suffering simply
demands alleviation by outside intervention. Three differently styled photo books published in the early 2000s are examined for this purpose: Choi, Soon-hos Defectors, which
produces an abject North Korea through defector images and stories; Ri, Man-geuns Landscape of the Everyday North, which surreptitiously records rural everyday life in North
Korea; and Philippe Chancels North Korea, which pictures suffering in the official sites that the North Korean state promotes to outsiders.
As pointed out by postcolonial, feminist and poststructuralist thinkers, what needs interrogation is how the state or analogous body of authority (e.g. the international community)
is perennially seen as a protector of naturally endowed rights, but all the while certain people those who most often and urgently need to invoke their status as subjects of
human rights and humanitarianism must continually remain in that compromised position under their protector (see Spivak 2004; Orford 2003; Browne 2002; Bhambra and
Shilliam 2009). In the case of human rights, those seeking the protection of human rights are always under the benevolent protection of those with the power to grant and
protect such rights an asymmetry that violates the very concept of global and universally applicable human rights. Analogously, in a humanitarian framework, the conception of
poverty that places the biological as its definitive condition renders poverty as something that agents outside it, i.e. wealthier subjects, must correct (e.g. Edkins 2000; Campbell
Since the 1990s, discussions of North Korean poverty an object of humanitarian concern have occurred most crucially in terms of famine and food shortage, i.e. how much
cereal the population needs to survive. This has been a central point of contention in scholarly debates on the North Korean famine, which I would argue misleadingly reduces
famine and poverty to matters of bodily deterioration and bare survival (see Haggard and Noland 2007: 47; Haggard and Noland 2008: 20315; Smith 2008; Ireson 2006: 13).
Chapter 3, on photographic encounters with North Korean suffering, seeks to intervene in these human rights and humanitarian/famine debates which create a naturalized
dichotomy of us (a knowledgeable international community led by modern societies) and them (starving North Koreans in a society stuck in the past). Conventional
approaches construct and position the category of poverty and famine (and to a lesser but important extent, political oppression) as realities that exist only in parts of the world
outside advanced industrialized democratic societies. This hints at how the conventional conception of the Third World is firmly a perspective of those who think they are not part
of that world which is poor, oppressed, suffering (i.e. those spaces with populations that do not possess normal biological and bodily statistics, which are then equated with
abnormal political, material and economic living conditions). It is also a perspective from a position of power concerned with controlling, managing and containing the Third
Chapter 4, I love you. Do you love me? Conflict, melodrama and reconciliation, South Korean blockbuster style, continues the critical examination of the hierarchical positioning
of the international and North Korea by turning to how it gains articulation in South Korean narratives namely, in the tropes of national reconciliation and unification. Building on
previous critical readings of South Korean blockbuster films, the chapter examines the action/ thriller film Typhoon and tearjerker melodrama Over the Border. I examine South
Korean filmic stagings of the national division (bundan), which refers to the period since the Korean War that produced the two sovereign Koreas, South and North. I argue that
I love you. Do you love me? is the main question that South Korean films are asking, demanding reciprocity and mirroring from the North Korean Other. I also argue that it is a
South Korean question that is simultaneously posed not just to North Korea but to the world. Relatedly, I interrogate the particular overture of sadness that pervades in the
Korean national narratives of togetherness and the way han, an emotion of anguished lamentation that is supposedly unique to Korean cultural history, structures these
narratives. Again, important to register here is how postcolonialism is a failed historicity, which demands that we work fully, and in the Korean context, with humility, with
complexity of relations between the past and present. The Korean story of national division offers an example of how this failure to grasp produces a wealth of creative,
strategic, bank-breaking modern projects that seek to move a certain constellation of us forward, upwards and beyond. I ask, at what cost and for whom?

The concerns in Chapter 4 involving love and its intersections with the staging of the Korean conflict is part of a longstanding feminist argument that the problems of war,
conflict, development and state repression look, feel and are solved differently when gender is taken as a central category of analysis. As observed by Christine Sylvester (2002:
161), in mainstream IR theory there seems to be a structuring-out of women and their activities and an implicit structuring-in of men and their activities. This is significant
because it is linked to the conception of who acts, how the world works, and how security, justice and equality look from subordinated positions and activities. Lene Hansen
(2000) also powerfully illustrates in the case of conventional security studies that the way security is defined renders the security of particular social groups illegitimate and
unimportant as a subject matter for IR. Consequently, issues such as violence against women are relegated as less deserving than issues such as national security. When we
turn to South Korean narratives of the Korean conflict, we see how women, foreign bodies and foreign landscape become domesticated and are turned into instruments for the
various male protagonists to achieve national and personal togetherness. While the centrality of love in South Korean popular imagination brings domestic relations and spaces
into how we frame and narrate conflict, security and division, these domestic and everyday enactments do not necessarily disrupt the masculinist and heteronormative national
imaginings of security, justice and equality. In short, how we define our terms really matters, but how thoroughly we question and learn to intervene in the commonsense
everyday and domestic narratives such as romantic and familial love also seriously matter. I want us to attend to what goes into constructing narratives we tell about ourselves
and the world, i.e. to our desires and anxieties.
The final analytical chapter, Objecting objects: be(com)ing North Koreans in an affective world, addresses head on an implicit argument that has run throughout the book on
intercultural dimensions of global affairs a commitment to activating the political agency of the Other. The main preoccupation that structures this chapter is with the limits as
well as the possibilities for agency of the Other and intercultural communication. It turns to memoirs and autobiography as a collective site that is structured comprehensively by
conventions of authenticity and self-representation, which powerfully constrains how Other-oriented knowledge production and meetings can occur. It examines North Korean
defector memoirs in two different styles: Kang, Cholhwans The Aquariums of Pyongyang, which tells a survival tale of his labour camp experience; and Hwang, Jang-yops The
Memoir of Hwang Jang-yop, which narrates his past as part of the North Korean elite class and his defection to take action for Korean unification. Both stories seek to deliver
redemption to the people they left behind in North Korea by telling their own personal stories of survival and redemption stories which crucially rest upon the authors
innocence and victimhood. The argument in this chapter is that such narratives of recovery and redemption are structured by placing empathy as the main objective of
intercultural communications, which constrains how stories of survival can transform the intercultural sites in which they work.

In sum, what is problematized in challenging the fiction of North Korea is a politics of identity/difference
each of us, in our various positions, practice as we relate to and participate in the world. We establish


difference at many crucial junctures, which also functions to constitute each of our identities. Under
critique is the dominant articulation of identity/difference that works to exclude wherein the self is
privileged over its supposed Others and rigidifies differences (and the privileged identity) by producing and
reproducing difference.

Useful is how Campbell (1992) maps out the pervasiveness of the self/Other logic by differentiation

of foreign policy and Foreign Policy. The

term foreign policy concerns all forms of exclusionary practice that

constitute identity/difference, while Foreign Policy refers more narrowly to the conventional use of the
term in reference to diplomatic and inter-state relations . Historically and presently, this has involved
establishing inside versus outside and self versus Other , which privileges the former through a series
of binary oppositions of good/bad, civilized/barbaric, normal/abnormal, pure/impure, masculine/feminine.
Considered in the North Korea case, the argument is that the consensus on North Korea as a problem is reached
and reachable only through the continuous production of difference and Otherness that privileges
those doing the constructing (us in the West) and subordinates the Other (an objectified North Korea).
Just as attempts to secure a stable identity of privilege that is radically opposed to the problem of North
Korea require the production of differences to maintain the illusion of security, attempts to secure North
Korea as self-reliant, functional and a victim of US imperialism also require the production of
differences. I stress in this book that variously positioned North Koreans the DPRK officials, North Korean defectors
crucially participate in, mediate or oppose this construction to secure a version of reality that sustains their various identity/difference
positionings. However, no identity and reality are ever secure, nor do they even exist prior to the production of, and encounter with,
difference. How do we escape this vicious cycle?

The aff is embedded in an economy of national security affect which militarizes

subjectivity and ensures endless global warfare in a futile attempt to exterminate
the unknown
Masco 14 (Joseph Masco, professor of anthropology and the social sciences at the University of
Chicago, PhD in anthropology from UC San Diego, November 2014, Theater of Operations: National
Security Affect from the Cold War to the War on Terror, pp 1-21) gz
In the fall of 2001, the United States inaugurated a new project to secure the American future, and did so
in the name, and language, of counterterror. The very real terrorist violence of September 2001 was
quickly harnessed by U.S. officials to a conceptual project that mobilizes affects (fear, terror, anger) via
imaginary processes (worry, precarity, threat ) to constitute an unlimited space and time horizon for
military state action . By amplifying official terror and public anxiety , the U.S. security apparatus
powerfully remade itself in the early twenty-first century, proliferating experts, technological
infrastructures, and global capacities in the name of existential defense. Counterterror constitutes itself
today as endless , boundless , and defensive a necessary means of protecting American interests
in a world of emergent and violent dangers. The resulting security state apparatus no longer

recognizes national boundaries or citizenship as the defining coordinates of its governance; rather, it
constitutes a dangerous future as its object of concern. The motivating force behind this radical renewal
and expansion of the national security state in the twenty-first century is a vision of a world without
borders, generating threats without limit . The goal of the counterterror state is to produce and
administer a U.S.-centric world, one in which American interests can never be surprised by external
events, let alone shocked by them (see U.S. White House 2002a). Always already in crisis and failing, this aspirational
image of American power has nonetheless been hugely productive in its first decade, generating new expert worlds devoted to
counterterror as a planetary project while rewriting the domestic social contract in fundamental ways.
The relationship between affect, technological capacity, and political agency in U.S. national security culture is the central concern of
this book, which investigates the conditions of possibility for the most powerful military state in human history to declare war on an
emotion. In particular, it traces how the affective politics of the Cold War nuclear state both enabled, andafter

2001were transformed into those of the counterterror state . Terror , as we shall see, has a specific
genealogy in the United States after 1945, one that is deeply structured by the revolutionary effects of military technoscience on
American society and governance. But existential terror (after 1945, of the atomic bomb; after 2001, of the WMD) not only

empowers the most radical actions of the security state; it also creates ideological barriers to dealing with
a vast set of everyday forms of suffering and vulnerability that Americans experience, now rejected in
favor of warding off imagined catastrophes . The escalating violence of neoliberal economics in the
twenty-first century (poverty, bankrupt municipal governments, spectacular white-collar crime, energy
scarcity) and of an increasingly destabilized biosphere (affecting health, agriculture, city
infrastructures) generate an intensifying experience of precarity in the United States but rarely rise to
the level of a formal national security concern. Although cities lost to storm surges and bankruptcies create terrors of the
most visceral and immediate kind for citizens, such events do not activate the attention of the counterterror state. 1 The state
security apparatus today sets aside these everyday insecurities endured by citizens to pursue a specific,
if expansive, universe of terroristic potentials . American insecurity may derive from many sources, but
it can be affectively channeled to enable a state project with specific logics and coordinates . Put
differently, the

United States is a global hyperpower that increasingly produces the conditions for its

own instability (politically, economically, environmentally) and then mobilizes the resulting
vulnerability of its citizens and systems to demand an even greater investment in security
infrastructures. Counterterror has thus become recursive and self-colonizing , replacing the social
commitment to building a prosperous collective future and a stable international order with the project of
warding off a field of imagined and emergent dangers .
Given the wide-ranging global violence (involving wars, covert operations, and drone strikes) as well
as the extraordinary costs of counterterror, its incompatibility with democratic governance, and its
overwhelmingly negative vision of citizens, international relations, and the future, it is important to
consider how and why counterterror has become so American . What a national community fears and how it
responds to those fears are cultural forms as well as technologically mediated processes, the basis for a domestic politics as well as
a geopolitics. The affects and infrastructures of the contemporary security state, as we shall see, have both a history and an
emerging logic and purpose. This book explores why American society, at the very height of its global military, economic, and
cultural power, has been so receptive to a state program that offers little in the way of material everyday

security in exchange for increasing public docility , private excitability , and the promise of unending
war . The Theater of Operations is ultimately an examination of American self-fashioning through technoscience and threat
projection, of how fear and terror have been domesticated as a primary national resource and projected out
globally as a twenty-first-century American project.
Threatening Histories
One of the very first formal acts of the War on Terror was a purge of the U.S. national archives. After the suicide-hijacker attacks on
New York and Washington in 2001, researchers at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, myself included, began
to notice the disappearance of long-available files or the absence of documents within them, sometimes marked with a withdrawal
notice stating that this item was removed because access to it is restricted (figure I .1; see Aid 2006; U.S. Information Security
Oversight Office 2006). Specific historical materials related to national intelligence estimates, emergency response planning, nuclear
policy, and covert actions dating back to World War I were pulled from public access and reclassified. Documents that had been in
the public domain for years and, in some cases, already published in official government histories were nonetheless inexplicably
recategorized as official secrets. Codified in secret legal agreements with U.S. intelligence and defense agencies, this
reclassification program extended from the National Archives to the presidential library system, involving records from the State

Department, National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Department of Defense (DOD), as well as from
agencies that no longer officially existsuch as the Atomic Energy Commission, Defense Nuclear Agency, and Chemical Warfare
Service. Thus, before the United States invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 (which inaugurated the George W.
Bush administrations global War on Terror), or adopted the U.S.A. Patriot Act on October 26 (which profoundly redefined the
concept of U.S. citizenship through search, seizure, surveillance, and detention policies),

a war on public memory was

already well under way.

We might well ask: Why would national security policy documents, particularly those of the long-dead Cold War, be of such
immediate concern to U.S. officials, appearing to undermine the War on Terror at its very founding? And if American history

began anew with the violence of September 2001, as White House officials reiterated over and over again
in their public statements, declaring the end of Cold War security logics of deterrence and a new normal
of preemptive counterterrorism, then why was it so important to control the deep history of the national security state?
We should begin by recognizing that the official declaration of a new counterterror state in 2001 was actually a
repetition, modeled in language and tone on the launch of the national security state in 1947 . Both projects
involved the designation of new insecurities, new institutions to fight them, a public mobilization campaign grounded in fear, and
above all, official claims that a new kind of war (a cold war or a war on terror) was a multigenerational commitment, constituting a
new mode of everyday life rather than a brief intensity of conflict. The former cold warriors in the George W. Bush administration
intended the War on Terror to be as powerful as the Cold War in realigning citizen-state relations and defining American geopolitical
objectives, constituting a renewed commitment to state and nation building through confronting an existential danger. Nonetheless,
official desires for a newly militarized consensus, and a reliance on a prior model of state and nation building, still do not explain the
immediate anxiety about the public history of the national security state in the fall of 2001.
Consider the following two instances of War on Terror reclassification of Cold War materials. 2 A top secret memo from April 27,
1951 (originally declassified in 1996), on the subject of Chinese Communist Intentions to Intervene in Korea seems to have been
reclassified because it documents a failure to predict the future. The CIA intelligence estimate states that the Chinese would not
invade Korea in 1950, as they in fact did in November of that year (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency 1951). It was pulled for
reclassification on October 16, 2001. A CIA report to the National Security Council from April 1949 (originally declassified in 1996
and reclassified in 2005) on the subject of the Atomic Energy Program of the USSR also attempts to engage the future, stating that
in order to estimate the capability of the USSR to wage atomic warfare, it is necessary to know, not only the events that preceded
the date when the first bomb is detonated, but also the capability for bomb production thereafter (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
1949, 1). It calls for a comprehensive effort to study Soviet capabilities in nuclear weapons science, including special intelligence,
interrogations, covert operations, attention to Soviet technical literatures, as well as the production of a detection system to
discover when a nuclear explosion has occurred (ibid.). The document suggests that in spring 1949 the CIA was unaware that the
Soviets would test their first atomic bomb on August 29 of that year. Today, these documents show how the newly formed U.S.
intelligence agencies of the mid-twentieth century calculated Communist activities and nuclear threat at the very start of the Cold
War. However, the documents also reveal something else that is deeply important to national security professionals to this day: the
valueand the shameof strategic surprise.
In their historical moments, the shock of the first Soviet nuclear test and of the Communist revolution in China and later actions in
Korea were driving forces for a massive expansion of the national security state in the 1950s, a radical investment in militarism not
to be repeated until the first decade of the twenty-first century, when the nuclear security state, shocked by suicide-

hijacker attacks on two American cities, remade itself under the logics of counterterror. The politics of
shock are central to the conceptualization of the national security state as a distinctly American form of
power. We might think of the reclassification project as not only a sign of the deep commitment of the
counterterror state to official secrecy and covert action in all its forms, but also as an effort to purge
evidence of the inability of the national security apparatus to perfectly predict the futureto anticipate
and mediate crisis and thereby produce a normalized everyday , unbroken by trauma. It is as if the
failure to prevent the suicide hijackers in 2001 created a reverberating anxiety not only about the
attacks but also about the concept of national security itself, connecting seemingly disparate and
historically distinct expert judgments within an alternative understanding of American power, an
infrastructure of failure rather than success. The failure to predict global events , let alone protect U.S.
citizens and cities from violence, haunts U.S. security culture today, creating the constant drive for
new technical capacities and the increasing militarization of American life . It also generates
professional desires for revenge against those who have revealed the institutional weakness of the global
hyperpower. These administrative commitments fuse the problem of futures, infrastructures, expertise,
and international competition with affect in a new way, one that creates the expectation of a total
anticipatory control of the future even as that possibility breaks down from one second to the next,
producing the grounds for serial shocks (and thus, perpetual trauma ).

During the Cold War constituting, mobilizing, and exploiting existential danger was a central domain of
national politics, with each federal election in part based on how prospective leaders would handle the production of nuclear
technologies as well as manage the minute-to-minute threat of nuclear attack.

Evoking existential threat became the

core vehicle for building a military-industrial state , pursuing rivalries between political parties, and
mobilizing ideological campaigns on both the Right and the Left. Nuclear fear was thus a total social formation in the
second half of the twentieth century, mobilizing all aspects of American society through specific images of the
end of the nation-state . This negative view of the future was balanced by investments in a welfare-state apparatus devoted
to improving the conditions of everyday life for citizens in terms of health, education, and the environment (Light 2003). Thus, the
catastrophic as well as the utopian potentials of the nuclear state were explicit terms of public discourse, making both panic and
promise the basis for the domestic political sphere. Americans now live in a postwelfare state society, which is no
longer so formally invested in improving the qualities of collective life through social programming; thus,
terror has increasingly become the primary domain of everyday politics in the early twenty-first century.
The lack of a positive vision of the collective future is pronounced in the United States today, and it is
amplified by the increasingly blurred public memory of the historical evolution of the security state
itself. Indeed, the proliferation of Cold War nuclear panics is rarely discussed as a model for contemporary counterterror politics,
leaving largely unexamined the truth or falsity of official claims of Soviet nuclear advantage: the 1950s bomber gap, the 1960s
missile gap, the 1970s window of vulnerability, and the 1980s Soviet first-strike capability. But it is important to recognize that these

domestic productions, as iconic moments in American politics, were emotional recruitments before they
were technological or military claims of fact. These episodes were domestic political campaigns of threat
proliferation before, and sometimes even after, the technological and scientific reality of Soviet military
capabilities had been determined. From this perspective, terror has a specific American logic and domestic
history, one that since 1945 has drawn on the destructive capacities of nuclear weapons to focus social
energies, unlock resources, and build things . In the twentieth century, the United States remade itself
through the atomic bomb , using nuclear fear as a coordinating principle for U.S. institutions, citizenstate relations, and geopolitics alike (Masco 2006).
The counterterror state, like the countercommunist state before it, attempts to install through domestic
affective recruitments a new perception of everyday life that is unassailable . The campaign to
normalize threat is the flip side of identifying and articulating new kinds of danger , allowing new
forms of governance to be pursued as a necessary counterformation . Consider, for example, the following official
statements about insecurity in the United States framed in the future conditional:
This situation will continue as far ahead as anyone can foresee. We cannot return to normalcy. This is the new normalcy. Only by
winning what at best will be a long war of endurance can we hope to avoid . . . the very possible destruction of civilization itself.
(quoted in Chernus 2002, 44)
Homeland security is not a temporary measure just to meet one crisis. Many of the steps we have now been forced to take will
become permanent in American life. They represent an understanding of the world as it is, and dangers we must guard against
perhaps for decades to come. I think of it as the new normalcy. (Cheney 2001)
As far as anyone can foresee . The first statementfrom July 1953is by Eisenhower administration official James Lambie, who
was charged with developing a national communications strategy to mobilize citizens in the thermonuclear age. In response, he
helped craft one of the largest public education campaigns in U.S. history (a program that we remember today as civil defense),
devoted to teaching citizens to fear the bomb in a specific way so as to prepare them for a potentially short nuclear or long cold war.
The second evocation of a new normalfrom an October 2001 speech to the Republican Governors Associationis by Vice
President Dick Cheney, who also attempts to standardize danger and to create a new psychic infrastructure capable of
accommodating a permanent, imminent danger. In both cases,

existential threat is presented as both novel and

emergent and is then positioned as the baseline reality for a new kind of everyday American life. Future
crisis is projectedas conceptto be the basis for life at institutional , technological , and affective
levels, reordering domestic politics and geopolitics in a startlingly economical gesture.
Declaring a new normal is thus anything but new as a state security practice in the United States. However, the objects, logics, and
consequences of defense have significantly changed with the shift from the twentieth centurys nuclear balance of terror to the
twenty-first centurys War on Terror. 3 Interrogating the links between the first decade of the Cold War and the first decade of the
War on Terror is a central project of this book, which pays specific attention to how technological revolution, surprise,
normality, and terror have been used to orchestrate a new kind of security culture . I pursue these comparisons
not because they are absolutely symmetrical or simply code shifts from nuclear fear to terrorism, but because each iteration of

the national security state announces itself through acts of normalization and naturalization

(see Der

Derian 2002). It is increasingly important to understand how historically

crafted images and logics of imminent

danger allow feelings to be nationalized and directed to produce antidemocratic actions and policy.
These affective logics constitute a specific zone of interaction between citizens and the state, one that is
the very basis for the social contract (which Hobbes once defined as the exchange of public obedience for collective
security). As we shall see, national security affect is a special kind of collective experience, one that is
central to enabling the technological and administrative capacities of the security state. Infrastructures
affective, imaginative, and materialare linked in the production of American power today, creating an
unprecedented global projection of American fears and desires in the name of existential defense .
The Threat Matrix

Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, surprise and its opposite, anticipation, have been
foundational concerns of the U.S. national security state . A formal rationale for the 1947 National Security Act (which
created the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, and the CIA) was to prevent a nuclear Pearl Harborto prevent
strategic surprise in the nuclear age. 4 U.S. policy makers immediately understood the power of the atomic bomb to be
revolutionary, enabling U.S. leaders to threaten rival nations with prompt and utter destruction, as President Harry Truman did in
July 1945, or with shock and awe, in the language of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on the eve of the U.S. invasion of
Iraq in 2003. 5 The ability to shock (at both psychic and material levels) and not experience shock, in other

words, became a primary goal of the American security state after 1945. The national security state also
sought right from the beginning to politically exploit the psychological effects of nuclear fear as much
as the destructive physical capacities of nuclear weapons. This formulation of security makes the near
future as well as the human nervous system specific objects of state scrutiny, with perceptions and
temporalities of danger the guiding administrative logics of the security state.
United States transformed an anticipated Soviet nuclear capability into the
rationale for building a global technological system, which became the always-on-alert infrastructure of
mutual assured destruction. The nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter (1958) famously called this the delicate balance of
terror, a phrase that underscores the Cold Wars affective logics but not always its material reality. Indeed, the era of most
acute nuclear paranoia in the United States was a largely self-generated effort to mobilize and coordinate
citizens, officials, military personnel, and major social institutions through a new concept of nuclear terror .
In the first decade of the War on Terror, the United States also committed to building an ever-expanding, alwaysAt the start of the Cold War, the

on-alert global security apparatus , but one that had an astonishing new range of interests (weapons,
people, data, microbes). This is a broad-based effort to create a kind of American power that can
administer the global future, prevent rivals from amassing threatening power, and is never deterred or
shocked. Counterterror is a project subject to constant failure , and precisely because it fails
constantly , it energizes a hyperactive, and increasingly planetary, U.S. security apparatus, one that is
forever striving to realize its imaginary potential.
For defense experts, the challenge of the September 2001 attack was not only its spectacular violence
but also the shocking display of American vulnerability (see RETORT 2005). The fact that the global nuclear
hyperpower could still suffer strategic surpriseand by suicide hijackers armed not with atomic bombs
and state-of-the-art bombers, but with simple box cutters and commercial airplaneschallenged the
existing rationale for the massive multigenerational investment in defense . The U.S. nuclear complex alone has
cost over $6 trillion since 1943, a federal expenditure exceeded only by those for the nonnuclear military and social security (S.
Schwartz 1998). Rather than enjoying the end of history with the demise of the Soviet Union and the start

a new, unipolar American century, U.S. security experts were shocked and shamed by the ease with
which the attacks were carried out. Indeed, the attacks transformed the most powerful security apparatus in
the world into a nervous system in a state of global panic (Taussig 1992). Immediately after the attacks,
President Bush ordered that all potential threats made to U.S. interests around the world be routed directly to the White House.

This unfiltered threat matrix became a daily exercise in expanding the field of imminent danger for
decision makers, as unvetted threats piled on top of one another to create a world of seemingly
endless and varied forms of danger , with verifiable information mixed in with rumor, error, and hearsay
(Mayer 2008, 5).

By embracing an amplifying economy of fear , policy makers became the most terrified of American
subjects. When a second wave of attacks hit on September 18, 2001, in the form of anthrax-filled letters aimed at top elected

officials and figures in the news media, the result was a spectacularly consequential dislocation: the U.S. Congress moved into
improvised facilities while its members deliberated some of the most important security legislation in U.S. history; at the same time,
prominent media figures who might otherwise have been reporting on those deliberations instead focused on securing their work
spaces from biological agents, while generating a proliferating and hysterical media narrative of imminent attack. In this context, key
White House officials came to believe they had been victims of a chemical warfare attack when a sensitive, specialized sensor,
designed to alert anyone in the vicinity that the air they were breathing had been contaminated by potentially lethal radioactive,
chemical, or biological agents sounded (Mayer 2008, 3). This alarm led Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell,
and others to believe that they might have been lethally infected by nerve gas. A faulty White House bioweapons sensor played a
significant role in the evolution of the War on Terror, creating an affective atmosphere of immediate danger to officials huddled in
their most secure facilities. At this moment of vulnerable uncertainty, every worst-case scenario might have been playing out in real
timea cascading set of imagined horrors and potentials. The ever-expanding threat matrix created both escalating

responsibilities and new institutional opportunities to pursue specific visions of American power, which in
turn allowed a vast range of interests to quickly agree on terror as the operative principle for a renewal
and expansion of American power in the twenty-first century.
The inability to perfectly predict and preempt low-tech terroristic violence in 2001 enabled a new vision of
the future to emerge among security experts, one in which nearly every aspect of American life was
potentially at risk from unknown forces , requiring not only a conceptual remaking of the concept of
security but also a new global apparatus to achieve it. Identifying threat, in all its myriad forms and
temporalities, transformed the state security project from a focus on capabilitiesthat is, an expert effort
to identify existing technological capacities of known enemies to a world of what ifs . A key innovation
of the counterterrorist state is this commitment to using the imaginary to locate danger . Since 2001
scenarios, speculations, and hypotheticals have been endowed with the power to drive American
policy across the spectrum of government agencies, which are now charged not only with administering a
day-to-day lived reality but also with responding to threatening probabilities, potentials, and possibilities
before they become fact .
Consider, for example, how one branch of the Department of Defense (DOD) currently defines both its mission and U.S. national
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) was established in 1958 to prevent strategic surprise from negatively
impacting U.S. national security and create strategic surprise for U.S. adversaries by maintaining the technological superiority of the
U.S. military. To fulfill its mission, the Agency relies on diverse performers to apply multi-disciplinary approaches to both advance
knowledge through basic research and create innovative technologies that address current practical problems through applied
research. DARPAs scientific investigations span the gamut from laboratory efforts to the creation of full-scale technology
demonstrations in the fields of biology, medicine, computer science, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, materials
sciences, social sciences, neurosciences and more. As the DODs primary innovation engine, DARPA undertakes projects that are
finite in duration but that create lasting revolutionary change. (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency n.d.)
To prevent strategic surprise at home while creating it for others through revolutionary technological change. DARPA announces
itself programmatically here as an unending series of Manhattan Projects, using the full spectrum of scientific inquiry for U.S.
national advantage. The success or failure of U.S. national security is thus determined by the register of

surprisea highly slippery term whose negation requires a specific ability to read the future, as well as
the capacity to anticipate intentions, accidents, and opportunities on a global scale . DARPAs mission statement
also assumes nothing less than a permanent war posture and a planetary field of action .
When amplified across the global U.S. national security apparatus, the logics of threat designation and
preemption transform counterterrorism into a project of constant affective recruitment and capacity
generation . The Congressional Research Service estimates the formal costs of the first decade of the War on Terror at $1.4
trillion (Belasco 2011)a vast U.S. expenditure that is in addition to the costs of maintaining the largest formal military budget in the
world, which has almost doubled since 2001 (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 2011). The Watson Institute at
Brown University estimates that total costs of the first decade of counterterror come closer to $4 trillion (Costsofwar.org 2013). The
first decade of the War on Terror has produced multiple fronts: many Manhattan Projectlike research
programs located across the military sciences (from drones to cyberwar to biosecurity ); the creation
of a second defense department in the Department of Homeland Security; and a vast new commitment to
intelligence gathering, data mining, global digital communications systems, and, above all, new forms of
expert threat perception . Dana Priest and William Arkin have shown that since 2001 a new intelligence apparatus
has been built that is too big for any single person to understand its reach, level of redundancy, or output .
The authors found that over 850,000 people now have security clearances in counterterrorism alone, and generate some 50,000
reports a year. Priest and Arkin were able to identify 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies working on
programs related to counter-terrorism, homeland security, and intelligence at over 10,000 locations across the United States
(Priest and Arkin 2010, 1; see also 2011). Committed to recognizing vulnerabilities in the global web of U.S. interests and imagining

proliferating vectors of foreign and domestic threat, the

catastrophic terrorist future is now a competitive domain for

security experts at multiple agencies and companies making disaster calculation the major growth
industry of the new century. The worst-case terrorist scenario is produced across this spectrum of
expert activity, dictating the terms of the counterterror formation, and maintaining a charged hold on the
concept of security as well as the future. The paradox is that despite this commitment to preemption and
the fact that the United States outspends almost all other countries combined on its security, Americans in
the twenty-first century are caught in multiple forms of crisis (economic, environmental, and political).
Counterterror is a mode of global engagement that attempts to extend U.S. military dominance but one
that paradoxically generates new forms of insecurity : by installing technological and bureaucratic
capabilities to preempt imagined threats , counterterror simultaneously creates new forms of
uncertainty , ripple effects from expert practices that create their own realities and retaliations and
threats. Every system has built into its infrastructure a future crisis: the counterterror state is loading new
capacities into the future as well as the conditions of possibility for new nightmares not yet realized
(Cazdyn 2007; see also Berlant 2007). This is not quite the epistemic murk that Michael Taussig (1987) encounters in the mutual
terror of colonial-native encounters in rubber-boom Colombia, as its domain is the future instead of the present. But by allocating

conceptual, material, and affective resources to ward off imagined but potentially catastrophic terroristic
futures, the counterterror state also creates the conditions for those catastrophic futures to emerge .
It does so by generating new arms races ; increasing international blowback from war, covert actions,
and drone strikes; and by not responding to existing suffering at home and abroad with the same
urgency as it addresses real and imagined terrorist acts. A perverse effect of the counterterror system is
that failure and disaster, like surprise and shock, can be absorbed as part of its internal circuit, authorizing
an expansion of the number of objects to be surveilled and secured, empowering expert speculation
about the various forms of danger that might emerge from an ever-shifting landscape of information and
potential threat. Thus, for defense experts most of all, an affective recruitment to constant crisis is one of the
chief effects of the counterterror formationwhich is self-colonizing , opening a potentially endless
conceptual space of worry and projected dangers.
Counterterror thus approaches the American future as both already ruined a boundless source of
violenceand as perfectible a conceptual universe requiring radical social and technological
engineering and intervention. One powerful effect of these administrative logics is that demilitarizing becomes
increasingly impossible to imagine, as potential dangers pile up for experts, while citizens feel
increasingly insecure with the diversion of funds and psychic energies from everyday welfare to
anticipatory defense

(see Gusterson and Besteman 2009). Counterterror, then, constitutes

itself as an endless

horizon , providing a self-justifying rationale for radical expenditures and actionoffering a potentially
eternal project for the security state . For when can the future ever be perfectly secured? When can
terror ever be eradicated from both thought and action? Threat, as an imaginary engagement with the
future, is limitless , offering an ever-expanding field of potentials , possibilities , and fears for
counterterror governance.
Gaming Death

Perceptions of the future are affectively laden , as well as tied to expert judgment and information; they
are based on feelings and intensities that can be nonrational but that link people together through
threat-based projection . Put differently, one can be afraid only of that which one knows to fear. Fear
requires a kind of familiarity with danger that the future does not allow us full access to. In the realm of
esoteric military technologiesweapons of mass destruction, for examplethe general public has no expert knowledge to draw on
and must instead be educated to think and feel a particular way about technological capacities and worst-case outcomes.

Rehearsing the end of the nation-state at the level of imagination has consequently been a core
American project since the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with each generation

embracing its own concept of nation-ending apocalyptic danger , consolidated most powerfully in
the image of the mushroom cloud .
The innovation of the War on Terror is that it formally rejects deterrence, with its focus on global stability,
as an objective in favor of preemption an unending manipulation of the future for national
advantage. The counterterror state is devoted to locating and/or conjuring up images of dangers from
an unrealized future and then combating each of those alternate futures as if they were material and
imminent threats. In this way, imagined futures and the affects they produce have become
institutionalized as national security policy, creating a form of expert judgment that is at war with its
own apocalyptic imaginary before it meets the real world, creating a massively productive form of
militarization that is easily delinked from evidence , facts, or the observable in the name of
confronting and eliminating potentially cataclysmic future danger . How did this kind of governance come to be?
The origins of the preemptive, counterterror state reside in the logics and lessons of the Cold War. The nuclear arms race,
with its minute-to-minute calculation of threat and advantage and the always ready-to-launch nuclear war
machine, was an effort to stabilize the present by loading nuclear destruction into the everyday and
continually displacing it by a few minutes into the future . Mutual assured destruction promised that
any state that started a nuclear war would only minutes later be destroyed by it, an unprecedented
compression of time, space, and destructive capability in the name of global defense. To make this
system work, U.S. defense experts not only built nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could function in any environment,
launch within minutes, and operate on a planetary scale, but they also gamed, modeled, and fantasized future war scenarios
incessantly (see Ghamari-Tabrizi 2005). Locating security in intercontinental missile systems that were never fully

tested and trusting a vast web of machines, institutions, and people to respond perfectly in the first
moments of global crisis, the nuclear war machine was designed first and foremost to produce fear of
the near future in adversaries and to harness that fear to produce a stable bipolar world. The Cold War
system was therefore saturated with affective and imaginary recruitments as well as anticipatory
logics. Deterrence, however, restrained both sides of the conflict, putting a break on both U.S. and Soviet desires and aggressions.
The Cold War focus on nuclear weapons and delivery systems also set material parameters for the speculative expert imaginary; it
focused experts attention on the numbers and types of Soviet weapons, their deployments and machinic capabilities (speed and
force), as well as on the psychologies of nuclear command and control. These technoscientific forms were never free of political
calculation but had a material basis: Donald MacKenzie (1990) has shown how the accuracy of intercontinental missiles was
determined in the United States not by exacting experimental proof but rather by a political consensus among all the interested
scientific, military, and industrial parties (adding an unacknowledged uncertainty to nuclear targeting going forward). Similarly, Lynn
Eden (2004) has shown how the urban consequences of fire from nuclear explosions fell out of formal nuclear war planning in the
1960s, enabling the development of nuclear war and civil defense concepts that vastly underestimated the material effects of each
detonation and allowed far greater numbers of U.S. weapons to be deployed globally (see also Gusterson 2008).
In other words, although nuclear war remained at the conceptual stage after the bombings of Hiroshima and

Nagasaki in 1945, it was fought incessantly at the level of the imagination , with an unending statebased commitment to trying to model, game , intuit, and assess the likely actions of all parties in a
nuclear conflict. By contrast the future imagined by counterterror officials today is an endless spectrum
of threat , with a proliferating set of objects, vectors, scales, and possibilitiesa spectrum that is literally
not bounded by time, space, technology, or the rules of evidence . By defining terror as
constantly emergent , the counterterror state also assumes an open-ended futurity that cannot be
deterred by external forces. As Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld (2002) famously put it in a press conference about the
(ultimately fictional) threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction before the U.S. invasion, the counterterror state needs to
make not-yet-visible dangers its central concern because:
Reports that say that something hasnt happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns;
there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do
not know. But there are also unknown unknownsthe ones we dont know we dont know. And if one looks throughout the history of
our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones. And so people who have the
omniscience that they can say with high certainty that something has not happened or is not being tried, have capabilities . . . they
can do things I cant do.

Unknown unknowns can now be the basis for war.

Here, Rumsfeld

transforms a catastrophic

future at the level of the speculative imaginary into an urgent problem of counterterror. Security is thus
constituted as both a necessity (to defend against catastrophic shock) and as an unachievable goal (as
the future is an inexhaustible source of threat ), a perverse logic that the counterterror state uses to
drive increasing calls for resources, technical capacities, and agency . In the first decade of counterterror, a
strategic mobilization by security officials of the unknown, not yet emergent, or invisible danger
has powerfully overturned long-standing American democratic values about the rule of law, the
treatment of captives, the surveillance of citizens, and the necessity of covert actions. It has
transformed intuitions and desires into policy , invalidated long-standing forms of expert judgment
that worked to constrain official fears by attending to material reality, andas a resulthas enabled
deadly actions in the absence of facts . Rumsfelds visionprecisely because it transforms the
unknown into a space of terror requiring immediate action simultaneously validates and
eliminates the possibility of factual evidence , creating both a rationale for unrestrained American
power and a security apparatus of constantly expanding capacities and infrastructures. This logic
renders security itself obsolete , replacing it with a constant conceptual agitation and physical
mobilization. Threat (as pure potential) is used to enable a radically active and ever emerging
counterterror state, allowing action to be favored over restraint , possibilities over capabilities,
hypotheticals over knowledge .
Excitable Subjects

The uniquely destructive capabilities of nuclear weapons and the speed of their potential delivery
constituted a new kind of technologically mediated existential threat after 1945, one that made feelings
(fear, terror, shock, aggression, futility, revenge) a new national project . I argue in this book that the first
and most powerful effect of the nuclear revolution in the United States was the constitution of a new
affective politics , one that informs the evolution of the national security state to this day and that is key
to the formation of the counterterror state. Put differently, in the age of thermonuclear war, the security state
became a committed affect theorist , investing substantial multidisciplinary resources in efforts to
understand public morale, contagious affects (panic, fear, terror), resilience, resolve, and the long-term
effects of stress. The nuclear balance of terror was always an all-encompassing formation, creating a new
executive (a president preauthorized to start a nuclear war any second of the day) and a new citizensubject (recruited to reorganize everyday life around the minute-to-minute reality of nuclear
danger ). Military science funded extensive research on affects, feelings, and emotions with the goal of
both psychologically strengthening and militarizing American society, using nuclear fear to calibrate
officials and citizens alike through a new image of collective death .
National security affect has thus become a new kind of infrastructurea structure of feeling , to use
Raymond Williamss felicitous phrase (1978, 132)that is historically produced, shared, and officially constituted as
a necessary background condition of everyday life (see Stoler 2009). It is based on fears that are officially
sanctioned and promoted as a means of coordinating citizens as members of a national security
state . It can be a specific and negative form of what Kathleen Stewart calls ordinary affects (2007), in the sense that certain
kinds of fear are now coded into social life as potentials that can be triggered by small events fear
of the unattended suitcase in the airport, for exampleor directly recruited by official statements, such as
terrorist alert warnings. National security affect also relies on a specific political aesthetic , one that
rehearses certain forms and images to produce what Jacques Rancire calls a sensuous shock that limits
thought as much as expands it (2009, 6; see also M. Hansen 2004). The goal of a national security system is to

produce a citizen-subject who responds to officially designated signs of danger automatically ,

instinctively activating logics and actions learned over time through drills and media indoctrination . An
individuals response to this kind of emotional call (in either the affirmative or negative) reveals his or her membership in a national
community. Indeed, the

production of a fearful and docile public in the nuclear age has been historically
matched by the rise of vibrant activist movements (across the antinuclear, peace, justice, and
environmental spectrum), counterpublics that mirror the intensities of officially sanctioned nuclear terror
in pursuit of different collective futures . 6
An affective atmosphere of everyday anxiety

(Anderson 2009), grounded

in an understanding that

accidents, disasters, and attacks can happen at any moment of the day , is transformed into
individualized emotion by specific events, becoming a personalized and deeply felt experience . As
Stewart puts it, what affects usthe sentience of a situationis also a dwelling, a worlding born from an
atmospheric attunement (2011, 449). I argue in this book that national security affect has a specific form in the
United States, one that is tied to a deep structural investment in the atomic bomb and that has been
recalibrated and expanded since 2001 to address a new concept of terror (consolidated in the logic of the
WMD ). American citizens have been taught through official and mass-media campaigns to attune
themselves to the possibility of terroristic violence as an unlimited daily potential . This new
concept of terror maintains the minute-to-minute threat made familiar by decades of Cold War nuclear
culture, but it is different in that it is an open-ended concept, one that links hugely diverse kinds of
threats ( nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to be sure, but also attacks on the public image
of the United States, computer hacking , infectious disease , and disruptions to daily life, to name but a
few) and treats them all as equally imminent, equally catastrophic .
Counterterror today requires a continual expansion of the security state , reaching a limit only when
its key objects attain planetary scale ( exhausting space ) or when federal monies run out ( exhausting
resources ). That is, counterterror sets no conceptual or territorial limit to defense, scaling its problems
up to the ultimate spatial unitthe earthwhile offering an unlimited call for resources to secure life
from the species to the population to the individual to the microbe . In this manner, counterterror produces a
highly mobile sovereignty , one that uses the potential of catastrophic future events as a means of
overcoming legal, ethical, and political barriers in the here and now and that is endlessly
searching for new objects of concern . However, this commitment to total securityand the constant
failure to achieve it creates an unending bureaucratic circuit where shock requires ever more
militarization and normalization in the name of warding off future shock .
A war on shock, like a war on terror, locates national security within the human nervous system
itself, constituting a peculiarly embodied psychopolitics

(Orr 2006) that

fuses an energetic apocalyptic

imagination with both an immediate and deep future. Conceptually, a national security project of this kind would
seem to offer only two means of achieving stability: first, by changing the nature of the individual at the level of emotions, senses,
and psychology so that he or she experiences threat in a different mannera project of normalization through militarization; and
second, by changing the global environment in the hope of eliminating the possibility of danger. The Cold War state and the
counterterror state in specific formulations have attempted to do both:

endeavoring to produce a new citizen who is

tuned to the specific threats of the age and psychologically capable of supporting permanent war ,
while simultaneously mobilizing U.S. economic and military power to change the international system, in
the hope of eradicating threat on a planetary basis. However, the impossibility of this dual effort to
produce a completely compliant citizen incapable of resisting the national security state or to eliminate
danger on a planetary scale creates an endless feedback loop of shock, normalization, and
militarization . We could say that this recursive system is what constitutes the United States as a global
hyperpower , but an increasingly fragile one as experts see danger coming in all physical

dimensions (land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace) as well as in all temporal conditions (past,
present, and future). This requires a new kind of expert psychopolitics that is not grounded in the effort
to establish facts but rather is committed to generating speculative futures (imagined dangers of
cataclysmic scale) that it will then need to counter. Security thus becomes a highly conceptual enterprise,
one that moves past statistical, fact-based, or capability-based assessments of risk (see Collier 2008;
De Goede 2008). Threat assessmentwith all its imaginative, affective recruitmentsbecomes the chief
domain of counterterror.
The inability to perfectly predict and counter threat creates in the American security system the
opportunity to constitute nearly every domain and object of everyday life as a potential vector of attack,
creating a national security project that performs as a nearly perfect paranoid system , but one with
planetary reach . Peter Sloterdijk has noted that a nervous condition is an attribute of globalization, which he
sees as:
the establishment of the system of synchronous stress on a global scale . This has progressed to such an
extent that those who do not make themselves continuously available for synchronous stress seem asocial.
Excitability is now the foremost duty of all citizens . This is why

military service . What is required is the

we no longer need

general theme of duty , that is to say, a readiness to

play your role as a conductor of excitation for collective, opportunist psychoses . (Sloterdijk and Henrichs
2001, 82)

Excitability is now the foremost duty of all citizens . The circulation of affect , the ability to be
coordinated as subjects through felt intensities rather than reason at a mass level, is a core aspect of
modern life (see Mazzarella 2010; Clough 2007, 19; Orr 2006). The atomic bomb is one key origin of this kind of governance (see
Lutz 1997, 247), a WMD that greatly expanded American power but that also created a world of constant existential danger, one that
was quite formally managed for generations by suturing collective life to an imminent destruction located in each minute of the day.

A security culture of existential threat was embedded quite thoroughly in American society and U.S.
security institutions by decades of Cold War, allowing national politics of every kind (domestic,
international, activist) to be positioned as a matter of collective life or collective death . From this
perspective, terror is a familiar mode of governance in the United States, one that was merely reconstituted
in 2001 with a new set of objects, ambitions, and concerns .

The 1ACs avowal of military withdrawal mystifies the ontological schema which
subtends global imperialism by capitulating to a notion of peace based in
whiteness and the end of history vote negative to overdetermine the
ontological only dwelling in debates interregnum brings theory and praxis into
Spanos 8 (William V Spanos, distinguished professor of English at Binghamton University, PhD from
the University of Wisconsin, 2008, American Exceptionalism in the Age of Globalization: The Specter of
Vietnam, pp 26-31, modified) gz
I will return later in this book to Saids provocative retrieval of empires spectral Othershis bringing of this marginalized figure out
of the shadows of imperialisms periphery to center stage, as it were. It will suffice here to suggest that by thus assuming the exilic
perspective of the Abgeschiedene in addressing the question of global colonialism , it should now be clear that my
intervention has not been intended to mimic the by now commonplace critical imperative of a certain postcolonial
discourse, usually identified with Salmon Rushdie and Malek Alloula, in which the Empire writes back to the imperial center.32
This critical initiative, perhaps needless to say, has contributed significantly, especially by way of identifying the colonial project with
cultural, specifically literary, production, to the inauguration of an anticolonial discourse that would be commensurate to the complex
and multisituated operations of American (neo)colonialism in the postimperial age of globalization, above all, in that phase that has
been represented by its intellectual deputies as the end of history and is now bearing witness to Americas unilateral imposition of
capitalist democracy on rogue states that threaten the American Peace. But, as I have suggested, it

remains inadequate

to this most difficult of tasks, not impossible. This inadequacy is not simply the result of this criticisms vestigial adherence
to the kind of imperial thinking it would interrogate (i.e., its not being postcolonial exilic or, rather, a-partenough).33 It is also,

and primarily, the result of a paradoxically limited historical sense . Despite its insistent appeal to
history against theory, this praxis-oriented postcolonial criticism , like the genealogical criticism of
Foucault and even Said, from which it ultimately derives, is not historical enough . In keeping with its
indifference to, if not its antitheoretical bias against theory , it has, in fact, reduced the critical potential
of this resonant motif of resistance by restricting the genealogy of imperialism by and large to the
modern erafrom the age of exploration in the fifteenth century to the age of imperialism in the late
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In overlooking its own origins in the exilic theory that emerged in response to the
decisive self-destruction of the imperial (onto)logic of the discourse of the Occident in the middle of the twentieth century, this
postcolonial discourse, in other words, has also lost sight of an earlier, deeper, and polyvalent
structural origin of the colonial project . I mean the very epochal moment of the founding of the idea
of the Occidental polis in late Greek and especially (imperial) Roman antiquity. This was the moment that
bore witness to the Wests self-conscious inscription of metaphysics of thinking the transitory and
singular (contingent or always incomplete) event from the exclusionary or accommodational providential/
panoptic vantage point of its (preconceived) completionas the truth of being and history at large .34 As
a consequence of this forgetting of the provenance of imperialism in the Roman transformation of the
errant thinking of the Greeks into a correct (and, in Fukuyamas term, directional) thinking, the
discourse of postcolonialism has delimited its genealogy of Western imperialism to the
Enlightenment and after and thus the ideological parameters of imperialism to the practice of empire, that
is, to the site of cultural geopolitics. Despite its suggestive spontaneous probings beyond it (mostly in the form of its
inadequately thought reiteration of the relay of white metaphorscenter/periphery; light/darkness; plantation/wilderness;
settler/nomad, development (improvement)/underdevelopment that systematically informs the truth discourse of metaphysics),
they therefore remain vestigially and disablingly [stultifyingly] disciplinary.
In other words, this privileged version of postcolonialist discourse is determined by a problematic that

restricts itself to an idea of the imperial that remains indifferent to or, more accurately, overlooks
the inaugural ontological ground on which the developing structure of the West as the West restsa
ground that, as I have shown, visibly reasserts itself in the neo-Hegelianism of the post-Cold War end-ofhistory discourse. As such, it is a critical discourse that addresses an imperialism that has been
rendered anachronistic , if not exactly obsolete , by the triumphant cultures representation of the end
of the Cold War as the end of history and the annunciation of this good news as the advent of the New
World Order. I mean, to retrieve and reconstellate into the present historical occasion the forgotten and
decisively important ideological function of the ruse of the Pax Romana, the peace of what I have been
calling the Pax Americana.
On the other hand, I do not want to suggest that the theoretical perspective of Heideggers Abgeschiedene as such (or, for that
matter, its poststructuralist allotropes) is entirely adequate to this task of resistance either, since the consequences of his (and, in a
different way, of those he influenced) failure to adequately think the political imperatives of his interrogation of Western ontology are
now painfully clear. We

must, rather, think the Abgeschiedene the ghostly ontological exile evolving a

way of errant thinking that would be able to resist the global imperialism of
Occidental/technological logic with, say, Saids political Deleuzian nomad : the displaced political
emigr evolving, by way of his or her refusal to be answerable to the Truth of the Occident , a
politics capable of resisting the polyvalent global neo-imperialism of Occidental political power. The
Abgeschiedene, the displaced thinker, and the migrant, the displaced political person, are not incommensurable entities; they are
two indissolubly related, however uneven, manifestations of the same world-historical event.

The political Left of the 1980s, which inaugurated the momentum against theory, was entirely
justified in accusing the theoretical discourse of the 1970s of an ontological and/or textual focus that, in
its obsessive systematics, rendered it, in Saids word, unworldlyindifferent to the imperial politics of
historically specific Western history. But it can be seen now, in the wake of the representation of the global
triumph of liberal democratic capitalism in the 1990s as the end of history, or, at any rate, of Americas
arrogant will to impose capitalist-style democracy on different, destabilizing cultures, that this Lefts
focus on historically specific politics betrays a disabling [stultifying] indifference to the polyvalent

imperial politics of ontological representation. It thus repeats in reverse the essential failure of the
theoretically oriented discourse it has displaced. This alleged praxis-oriented discourse , that is,
tendseven as it unconsciously employs in its critique the ontologically produced white metaphorics
and rhetoric informing the practices it opposesto separate praxis from and to privilege it over
theory , the political over the ontological . Which is to say, it continues, in tendency, to understand being
in the arbitraryand disabling [ stultifying ] disciplinary terms endemic to and demanded by the very
panoptic classificatory logic of modern technological thinking , the advanced metaphysical logic
that perfected , if it did not exactly enable, the colonial project proper.35 In so doing, this praxisoriented discourse fails to perceive that being , however it is represented, constitutes a
continuum , which, though unevenly developed at any historically specific moment, nevertheless
traverses its indissolubly related sites from being as such and the epistemological subject through the
ecos, culture (including family, class, gender, and race), to sociopolitics (including the nation and the
international or global sphere). As a necessary result, it fails to perceive the emancipatory political
potential inhering in the relay of differences released (decolonized) by an interrogation of the
dominant Western cultures disciplinary representation of being. By this relay of positively potential
differences I do not simply mean the nothing (das Nichts) or the ontological difference (Heidegger),
existence (Sartre), the absolutely other (Levinas), the differance or trace (Derrida), the differend (Lyotard),
the invisible or absent cause (Althusser) that belong contradictorily to and haunt white/totalitarian
metaphysical thinking .36 I also mean the pariah (Arendt), the nomad (Deleuze and Guattari), the hybrid
or the minus in the origin (Bhabha), the nonbeings (Dussel), the subaltern

(Guha), the

emigr (Said),

the denizen (Hammar), the refugee (Agamben), the queer (Sedgwick, Butler, Warner), the multitude
(Negri and Hardt),37 and, to point to the otherwise unlikely affiliation of these international postcolonial
thinkers with a certain strain of postmodern black American literature, the darkness (Morrison) that
belong contradictorily to and haunt white/imperial culture politics :
The images of impenetrable whiteness need contextualizing to explain their extraordinary power, pattern, and consistency. Because
they appear almost always in conjunction with representations of black or Africanist people who are dead, impotent, or under
complete control, these images of blinding [totalizing] whiteness seem to function as both antidote for meditation

on the shadow that is the companion to this whiteness a dark and abiding presence that moves
the hearts and texts of American literature with fear and longing. This haunting , a darkness

from which

our early literature seemed unable to extricate itself, suggests

the complex and contradictory situation in which

American writers found themselves during the formative years of the nations literature .38
In this chapter, I have overdetermined the ontological perspective of the Abgeschiedene , the errant
thinker in the interregnum who would think the spectral nothing that a triumphant empirical
science wishes to know nothing about,39 not simply, however, for the sake of rethinking the question of
being as such, but also to instigate a rethinking of the uneven relay of practical historical

precipitated by the post-Cold War occasion. My

purpose, in other words, has been to make visible

and operational the substantial and increasingly complex practical role that ontological
representation has played and continues to play in the Wests perennial global imperial project, a
historical role rendered disablingly [stultifyingly] invisible as a consequence of the oversight inherent in
the vestigially disciplinary problematics of the privileged oppositional praxis-oriented discourses ,
including that of all too many New Americanists.

In accordance with this need to reintegrate theory and practice

the ontological and the sociopolitical, thinking and doing and to accommodate the present uneven
balance of this relationship to the actual conditions established by the total colonization of thinking in the
age of the world picture, I would suggest, in a prologemenal way, the inordinate urgency of resuming

the virtually abandoned destructive genealogy of the truth discourse of the post-Enlightenment
Occident, now, however, reconstellated into the post-Cold War conjuncture. I mean specifically, the conjuncture that,
according to Fukuyama (and the strategically less explicit Straussian neoconservatives that have risen to power in America
after 9/11), has borne apocalyptic witness to the global triumph of liberal capitalist democracy and the end of
history. Such a reconstellated genealogy, as I have suggested, will show that this triumphant post-Cold War
American polity constitutes the fulfillment (end) of the last (anthropological) phase of a continuous,
historically produced, three part ontological/cultural/sociopolitical Western history : what Heidegger, to demarcate
its historical itinerary (Greco-Roman, Medieval/Protestant Christian, and Enlightenment liberal humanist), has called the
ontotheological tradition. It will also show that this long and various history, which the
neoconservatives would obliterate, has been from its origins imperial in essence . I am referring to the
repeatedly reconstructed history inaugurated by the late or post- Socratic Greeks or, far more decisively,
by the Romans, when they reduced the pre-Socratic truth as a-letheia (unconcealment) to veritas (the
adequation of mind and thing), when, that is, they reified (essentialized) the tentative disclosures of a still
originative Platonic and Aristotelian thinking and harnessed them as finalized, derivative conceptional
categories to the ideological project of legitimizing, extending, and efficiently administering the Roman
Empire in the name of the Pax Romana.
To be more specific, this reconstellated destructive genealogy will show that the reality of the triumphant
American democratic/capitalist polity rests on a fabricated ontological base that privileges the
hierarchically structured binarist principle of principlesthat identity is the condition for the possibility of
difference and not the other way aroundand that, therefore, this polity is imperial in essence as well
as in its multisituated political practices. It will show, in other words, that, in representing being meta ta physica
(from after or above beings temporal disseminations), this ontological base generates a truth discourse
that, far from being transparently objective, open to the empirical event, is actually representational , pan-optic , and retro-spective and, as such, utterly metaphorical and ideological .
To retrieve the now virtually forgotten, but extraordinarily resonant phrase Derrida coined to identify this truth discourse with
European origins and interests, it will show that the alleged disinterested truth discourse of the West is, in

a binarist white mythology .40 It will show that its truth structuralizes or, more telling in the proximity

of its sublimated metaphorics of temporal closure to the operations of colonization, spatializes or

territorializes the differential dynamics of temporality around a polyvalent (Eurocentric) Logos . I mean
by this Logos a Transcendental Signified or Principle of Presence invariably represented in Western history since the Romans
codification of the domiciled colonus (farmer/settler) as the binary opposite of the nomadic sylvestris (savage, literally, of the
woods) in the form of a combination of indissolubly related, hierarchically structured binary tropes of resolution or accommodation
most notably and enablingly, the centered circle, the panoptic eye (and its light), and, not least, the maturation process (the clearing
of the wilderness and the planting and cultivation of the original seed). It is, for example, this relay of imperial tropes
emanating from and circulating around the presiding Logos that informs Hegels imperial Philosophy of
History, epitomized by the incantatory repetition of World History) in the following famous passage on Enlightenment:
The History of the World travels from East to West, for Europe is absolutely the end of History, Asia the beginning. The History of the
World has an East kat exochen (the term East in itself is entirely relative), for although the Earth forms a sphere, History performs
no circle round it, but has on the contrary a determinate East, viz., Asia. Here rises the outward physical Sun, and in the West it
sinks down: here consentaneously rises the Sun of self-consciousness, which diffuses a nobler brilliance. The History of the World is
the discipline of the uncontrolled natural will, bringing it into obedience to a Universal principle and conferring subjective freedom.41
And, I will show in chapter 6, it

is this relay of imperial tropes , subsumed to the Hegelian paradigm by

Fukuyama, that has pervaded the unexceptionalist discourse of American exceptionalism from the Puritan
jeremiad in behalf of the errand in the wilderness, through the discourse of the frontier in behalf of the fulfillment of Americas
Manifest Destiny, to that of the post-9/11 effort to recuperate the American national identity in the wake of the
Vietnam War.
More immediately, the reconstellation of destructive genealogy into the post-Cold War occasion will show that
the relay of binarist white metaphors informing the truth discourse of the triumphant postEnlightenment democratic/capitalist society constitutes a naturalized diagram of a mechanism of
power reduced to its ideal form.42 Contrary to the representation of the reigning disciplinary

interpretation of being , this hegemonic diagram of power is operative simultaneously , however

unevenly at any particular historical specific occasion , throughout the continuum of being, from the
representation of being and the subject as such , through gender and race , to culture ,
economics , and the national and international polity . It is, in short, polyvalent in its imperial
applications .


1NC No Regime Collapse

No risk of regime collapse or war
Tudor and Pearson 15 (Daniel Tudor, MBA from Manchester Business School, BA in politics,
philosophy, and economics from Oxford, James Pearson, MA in Oriental Studies from the University of
Cambridge , BA in Chinese and Korean from the School of Oriental and African Studies from the
University of Cambridge, April 2015, North Korea Confidential: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison
Camps, Dissenters and Defectors, pp 178-9) gz
Having said all this, the authors remain doubtful about the possibility of regime collapse . A good number
of DPRK-watchers have been predicting collapse and reunification under the Seoul government for
decades , and have come away disappointed . As noted, political control is still intact , and any
challenge to it is met with extreme ruthlessness . Furthermore, the new, rising capitalist class generally
seeks to join the existing elite through marriage and business ties, rather than undermine it . And
existing elites themselves have the greatest access to new business opportunities , giving these
powerful people a strong vested interest in not seeking to undermine the system .
Even in the wake of the obviously destabilizing execution of Jang Song Thaek, there

is little evidence that the regime is

on the brink. The succession of Kim Jong Un has gone through, propaganda supporting him is
everywhere , and a coalition of powerful people around him has control . Of course, it is hard to say which of two
identifiable groups the OGD and the Kim family, which together form the nexus of DPRK power has the upper hand, or what the
state of relations between the two is. But we can say that

no other group possesses the organizational capability to

mount a challenge. As depressing as it may sound, the situation is theirs to mess up .

At the same time, the

broader geopolitical environment in which North Korea exists is surprisingly well-

balanced . Despite the common perception that crazy Pyongyang could stage a nuclear attack on South Korea or even the
United States, the

leadership has absolutely no incentive to consider such a suicidal action . The DPRK

leadership may be many things, but irrational is not one of them . Furthermore, the US and South Korea
also have obvious disincentives against ever attacking North Korea the most important being the
DPRKs nuclear program and Chinese support for the status quo. Beijing may be dissatisfied with
Pyongyang these days, but the continued existence of North Korea remains in the strategic interests
of China . Additionally, those who claim sanctions could push the DPRK to breaking point overlook the fact
that Pyongyang is awash with luxury goods and enjoying economic growth , despite years of

1NC No Impact
Their impact evidence is about a sudden change scenario their author says
that explicitly wont occur because of a coup or a civil war
Daily North Korea 6/24
Sudden change' may prompt NK to use nuclear weapons on the South, KB
The North Korean 'sudden change' scenario is defined as follows: for whatever reason, the North Korean regime collapses and the
joint U.S.-ROK forces stage a military intervention to resolve the crisis caused by the absence of government or anarchy. If a
situation does not call for the intervention of the joint U.S.-ROK forces, it is not considered a sudden change scenario.
For example, if

a leader is removed by means of a coup dtat or assassination and a new government

is quickly established, it means that the sudden change scenario is now over. Also a situation in
which there is a civil war between national forces and rebels, and the national forces suppress the
rebels or if the rebels seize control of the regime, and there is no need for the joint U.S.-ROK forces to
interfere , the situation would not be considered a 'sudden change' scenario.

1NC No Impact to Regime Collapse

Regime instability doesnt make provocations more likely
Ken E. Gause 15, Director of the Foreign Leadership Studies Program of the Center for Strategic
Studies, CNA Corporation, August 2015, North Koreas Provocation and Escalation Calculus: Dealing
with the Kim Jong-un Regime, https://www.cna.org/cna_files/pdf/COP-2015-U-011060.pdf
Over this timespan, North Korea also conducted ballistic missile and nuclear tests (2006, 2009), but in
no instance did a provocationeither a demonstration or a violent clashoverlap with a period of
tension within the regime. When Kim Jong-il suffered a stroke in August 2008, the regime looked
inward . It was not until three months after his public reappearance in January 2009 that North Korea
launched the Unha-2 space booster (allegedly based on the long-range Taepodong-2), on April 5.
A major conclusion , therefore, can be drawn from the data of North Korean leadership dynamics and
provocational behavior under Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. The regime chooses the time when it will
engage in such behavior very carefully . Its calculus is not based on irrational decision-making.
Provocations do not take place during periods of turmoil within the leadership , such as during a
transition of power. It is only after stability has been reestablished that the regime again refocuses on
engaging (albeit in a negative way) with the outside world. While provocations can be used to build
consensus around the Supreme Leader, they have not resulted from a lack of stability at the center.

1NC WD Solve ReUn

U.S. withdrawal doesnt facilitate peaceful unification
Robert E. Kelly 14, associate professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science
and Diplomacy at Pusan National University, 11/26/14, Why US control of the South Korean military is
here to stay, http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/11/26/Why-US-control-of-the-South-Koreanmilitary-is-here-to-stay.aspx
In the early 2000s, the remaining joint structure came under criticism from the Korean left. In 1998, Korea's
first liberal president, Kim Dae Jung, took office. Kim is most famous for launching the Sunshine Policy. Although Korean voters
eventually turned on it as a failure, in the late 1990s and early 2000s the Sunshine Policy was widely seen as a breakthrough. Kim
won the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize, and his successor, also a liberal, Roh Moo-hyun, continued the policy. He also ran an
aggressively anti-American political campaign in 2002.

In this environment , CFC and US OPCON of the wartime South Korean military was understood as an
unnecessary provocation of North Korea and an infringement of South Korean sovereignty. A long-standing
goal of North Korea has been the reduction, if not complete withdrawal, of USFK. A staple Northern claim is that USFK
divides the peninsula and makes South Korea a 'Yankee Colony .' As I have argued elsewhere, while this may seem
propagandistic to Western observers, it is surprisingly resonant in South Korea. Anti-Americanism in South Korea is entrenched,
particularly in parties of the left and in the film industry. It tends to come in waves, most recently in the beef protests of 2008, and
Korean liberal politicians such as Roh routinely exploit it.
Roh sought a final 'peace regime' with the North (the two Koreas are still legally at war; the current peace is actually a
61-year armistice). One informal concession was to be the elimination of CFC and a scaling back of USFK's
role in South Korean security. Military OPCON reversion served a domestic purpose too; it buttressed the
claim of Roh, and the left generally, that South Korea was independent of the Americans , and played to
traditional Korean prejudices that Korea has been manipulated by covetous foreigners (the Chinese, Mongols, Japanese,
Americans). An old Korean aphorism goes that 'Korea is a shrimp among whales.' All Koreans, North and South, could agree that
the Yankees were obstructing Korean reconciliation.

At the high point of the Sunshine Policy , when North and South Korea seemed closer than at any
time since the war, directing Korean nationalism toward the Americans as blocking better relations was a
masterstroke. In 2006, Seoul and Washington agreed to OPCON reversion by 2012.
The history since then is a curious case of unintended consequences that ended in the current
arrangement, which delays OPCON until 2020 at the earliest . Almost immediately Seoul had buyer's
remorse , while the Americans were increasingly happy to be rid of the burden. Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense at
the time, disliked Roh intensely and actually welcomed the greater US flexibility OPCON reversion would permit. In the mid-2000s,
the US security establishment was pre-occupied with the War on Terror; officials, including Rumsfeld himself, started speaking of it
as a 'long war.' If the US was going to be fighting terrorism for decades in failed states in the greater Middle East, wasn't it time for
mature, wealthy democracies like South Korea to carry their own weight?
On the Korea side, the burden of OPCON also hit home. As USFK shrank, CFC came into question, and
with the US focused increasingly on Islamic terrorism, South Korea would need to spend more on defence (a lot more actually) and
significantly improve the professionalism of both its conscript force and officer corps. For a military long accustomed to (or
perhaps coddled by) the US guarantee, this was a major challenge, and OPCON reversion has been
repeatedly delayed because the South Koreans simply are not ready.
South Korean conservatives turned against the deal almost immediately, calling for OPCON delays.


the Sunshine Policy ran aground on persistent North Korean intransigence , South
Korean voters turned against it by electing the very hawkish, pro-American Lee Myung Bak. Lee, like the
electorate, had come by the mid-2000s to the conclusion that North Korea was not actually changing under
the Sunshine Policy but was simply milking it as a permanent subsidy. North Korea responded in 2010
by sinking a South Korean destroyer and shelling an island , killing 50 people.

1NC China Abandonment

No China abanadonment
AFP 14 (citing a PLA general, 12-2-14, China 'will not go to war for North Korea',
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/11267956/China-will-not-go-to-war-for-NorthKorea.html) gz
China will not step in to save neighbouring North Korea if the Pyongyang regime collapses or starts a
war, a

retired People's Liberation Army general said, possibly signalling waning patience in Beijing with
its wayward, nuclear-armed ally.
" China is not a saviour ," Wang Hongguang, formerly deputy commander of the Nanjing military region,
wrote in the Global Times newspaper, which is close to the Chinese Communist Party.
"Should North Korea really collapse, not even China can save it ," he said.
Wang's comments came in a contribution to the nationalist tabloid's Chinese-language website.
The outspoken Wang has made critical comments about North Korea before and it was not clear whether his words indicated a
policy shift regarding Pyongyang.
China has long been the isolated North's key ally and aid provider.
Beijing came to the fledgling country's aid during the 1950-53 Korean War, when its intervention against US-led United Nations
forces defending South Korea helped seal an eventual stalemate that has lasted to this day.
China's role has grown as the North's economy has shrunk in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union almost a quarter of a
century ago, with which Pyongyang had close trade and aid ties.
But over the same period Beijing has moved to develop diplomatic relations and booming trade ties with Seoul, Pyongyang's bitter
Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and South Korean president, Park Geun-Hye, have exchanged visits, while Xi and North Korean
leader Kim Jong-un have so far kept their distance.

Wang said China would not get involved in any new war on the Korean peninsula.
"China cannot influence the situation on the Korean peninsula," he wrote.
"China has no need to light a fire and get burnt ," he added. "Whoever provokes a conflagration bears
"Now there is no more 'socialist camp'. It is not necessary for China's younger generation to fight a war
for another country," he wrote in the comments, published on Monday.
Wang criticised the North for its nuclear development, using it as an example of how its interests can differ from China's
and saying it had "already brought about the serious threat of nuclear contamination in China's border area".
But he also slammed Western countries for what he described as "demonising" North Korea and interfering in its internal affairs in
the name of human rights.
" China

absolutely does not meddle ," he wrote.

1NC No Reunification
China will block reunification
Scott Snyder 15, senior fellow for Korea studies and director of U.S.-Korea policy program at the
Council on Foreign Relations, February 2015, U.S. Rebalancing Strategy and South Koreas Middle
Power Diplomacy, http://www.eai.or.kr/data/bbs/eng_report/2015030618362920.pdf
The U.S.-ROK shared vision regarding the preferred end state of a reunified Korea is an area where U.S.
and South Korean policies toward reunification might come into direct conflict with Chinese policy
preferences regarding the Korean Peninsula. Chinas primary interest on the peninsula has been to
support stability by shoring up a comprehensive relationship with North Korea . To the extent that
China sees the Korean Peninsula in geostrategic terms as an object of rivalry with the United States.
Chinas objective of promoting stability on the peninsula ultimately comes into conflict with the U.S.ROK objective of achieving Korean reunification.

1NC No War/Nuke Use

Tensions are inevitable but wont cause war and the North cant use nukes
Lankov 8/23 (Andrei Lankov, professor of Korean Studies at Kookmin University, 8-23-15, Another
Korean war is not in the cards, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/08/korean-war-cards150823053936952.html) gz
Once again, the world media are busily telling their audience that "the heightened tensions in Korea are
creating a risk of war". And once again, these panicky reports are met with little - if any - interest by the
vast majority of Korea watchers and, for that matter, the South Korean public.
This quietness has reasons: First, Koreans - and Korea experts, too - have seen similar developments many
times . Second, there are valid reasons to be certain that the tensions have no chance to escalate . Both
sides are seriously afraid of war , and rightly so.
At first glance, the recent events look like a textbook case of escalation. First, a landmine exploded in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ),
which divides the two Korean states. South Korean soldiers were maimed, and the South Korean military claimed that the mine had
been stealthily installed by the North Koreans. In retaliation, the South's military switched on massive loudspeakers, which had been
silent since 2004, and began to broadcast propaganda across the DMZ, targeting the North Korean military personnel.
Outraged, the North Koreans shelled the loudspeakers, killing nobody. Then, South Korean cannons shot back. Finally, the
exchange of fire was followed by an exchange of bellicose statements and diplomatic gestures, and North Koreans gave an
ultimatum - demanding the loudspeakers be switched off.
Not so aggressive this time

All these events might appear dangerous to foreigners, but this is not the case with Koreans who witness
similar incidents occurring every few years . In 2010, North Koreans torpedoed a South Korean warship, the South
Korean government retaliated with a ban on nearly all trade with - and aid to - their northern neighbour. Angry exchanges continued
for a while, culminating in North Korean artillery shelling a South Korean island, killing some civilians.

Even the rhetoric hasn't been particularly aggressive this time: North Korea declared merely a "semi-state of
war". Back

in 2013, the North Koreans said their country was already at war , and the actual fighting
would start within days, and the evacuation of diplomatic personnel from Pyongyang was officially
proposed. Predictably, this proposal was ignored by foreign diplomats who understood that this was
just another episode of a never-ending diplomatic/military soap opera.

it is clear by now that neither side wants war , since neither side has much to gain from it.

The combination of geography and politics has long ago made a new Korean War a lose-lose option
for both sides.
For the North Koreans, there are very little chances to win a war . Among military analysts, including those from
countries close to North Korea, there exists a near consensus about the prospects of such a confrontation: the North would
certainly lose, and very soon. Its military is armed with antiquated weapons , and it is poorly trained
and badly run . Even the five or 10 low-yield nuclear devices the North Korean army possesses will not
make much difference

to the final outcome - even if somehow delivered to the intended targets (a

big "if", given the

absence of delivery systems in North Korea).

Lose-lose scenario

Even though North Korea cannot win a war, it can still inflict damage on the South . Its nuclear devices may not
be powerful enough to incapacitate the South Korean military, but they can kill hundreds of thousands of civilians. Even without the
use of nuclear weapons, in the first hours of a full-scale confrontation, North Korea can destroy a significant part of Seoul.

The vast metropolitan (or Greater Seoul) area, where nearly half of all South Koreans live, is located
right on the DMZ , within shooting range of North Korean artillery . Even if the heavily fortified positions of
North Korean guns and missile launchers are destroyed soon, the artillery barrage would kill a large number of people and
irreversibly damage the vulnerable city. Furthermore, the military advance into the North is not going to be easy nor bloodless.
In other words, South Korea would probably win a full-scale war, but it would emerge as a state with a
heavily damaged economy. It would also face the nearly impossible burden of developing the conquered
North, one of Asia's poorest countries.
So, the situation is an impasse, and this has long been understood by both sides . Hence, relations between
the two Korean states have been reminiscent of a ballet: there are times when both sides engage in

diplomatic and economic cooperation, and there are times when both sides make moves calculated to
look tough, but take care to ensure that nothing really dangerous happens .

1NC No China Pressure

China will never leverage Noko- economics, power dynamics and energy accessempirically true
Huessy 6/11/15 (Peter Huessy joined the American Foreign Policy Council as Senior Fellow in National Security Affairs in
August 2011. He is the founder and president of the defense consulting firm GeoStrategic Analysis. He successfully created and
managed over 1,500 Congressional seminars on key defense and national security issues for the National Defense Industrial
Association (NDIA) and the National Defense University Foundation (NDUF), North Korea's Serious New Nuclear Missile Threat
June 11 2015,http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5914/north-korea-nuclear-missile)

Unfortunately, no matter how attractive a strategy of diplomatically ending North Korea's nuclear program might
look on the surface, it is painfully at odds with China's established and documented track record in supporting and carrying out nuclear
proliferation with such collapsed or rogue states as Iran, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea and Libya , as detailed by the 2009 book The Nuclear
Express, by Tom C. Reed (former Secretary of the Air Force under President Gerald Ford and Special Assistant to the President of National Security Affairs during the Ronald
Reagan administration) and Daniel Stillman (former Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). Far from being a potential partner in seeking a non-nuclear

China, say the authors, has been and is actually actively pushing the spread of nuclear weapons to
rogue states, as a means of asserting Chinese hegemony, complicating American security policy and
undermining American influence. The problem is not that China has little influence with North Korea, as China's leadership repeatedly claims. The problem
is that China has no interest in pushing North Korea away from its nuclear weapons path because the North
Korean nuclear program serves China's geostrategic purposes . As Reed and Stillman write, "China has been using
North Korea as the re-transfer point for the sale of nuclear and missile technology to Iran, Syria, Pakistan,
Libya and Yemen". They explain, "Chinese and North Korean military officers were in close communication prior to North Korea's missile tests of 1998 and 2006".
Thus, if China takes action to curtail North Korea's nuclear program, China will likely be under pressure from
the United States and its allies to take similar action against Iran and vice versa. China, however, seems
to want to curry favor with Iran because of its vast oil and gas supplies, as well as to use North Korea to
sell and transfer nuclear technology to both North Korea and Iran, as well as other states such as Pakistan. As
Reed again explains, "China has catered to the nuclear ambitions of the Iranian ayatollahs in a blatant
attempt to secure an ongoing supply of oil". North Korea is a partner with Iran in the missile and nuclear weapons development business, as Uzi
Rubin has long documented. Thus, it is reasonable to believe that China may see any curtailment of North Korea's
nuclear program as also curtailing Iran's access to the same nuclear technology being supplied by North
Korea. Any curtailment would also harm the Chinese nuclear sales business to Iran and North Korea,
especially if China continues to use the "North Korea to Iran route" as an indirect means of selling its own
nuclear expertise and technology to Iran.
Korean peninsula,



2NC Framework
Re-signification DA Their assertion that the alternative is not political and that
debate should be grounded in the desirability of the plan only reifies colonial,
disciplinary architectures the alternative solves precisely because it shakes the
foundation of how you judge the debate
alkvik 13 (Asl alkvik, faculty member at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at
Istanbul Technical University, PhD in political science from the University of Minnesota, August 2013,
Claiming the International pp 50-5, modified) gz
It is their shared concern with the temporality of world politics that situates different forms of critical thinking on common ground:
they all attempt to expose the way in which what is presented as given and natural is historically produced and hence open to
change. By focusing on change, challenging existing power relations, and showing how contemporary practices and discourses
contribute to the perpetuation of hegemonic structures of power and domination, critical IR, it seems, partakes in the effort to brush
history against the grain (Benjamin 2007: 257). However, despite its claim to be untimely, critical theorizing in IR,
paradoxically, is construed in quite a timely fashion . With a perceived disjuncture between writing the world from within
a discipline and acting in it from the center of the debates, the performance of critical thought is actually evaluated

based upon its punctuality its capacity to be in synch with the times of global politics. Does critical
thought provide concrete guidance and prescribe what is to be done? Can it move beyond mere talk and make timely political
interventions by providing solutions? Does it have answers to the strategic questions of progressive movements? Demanding that
critical theorizing should come clean in the court of these questions, such conceptions of untimeliness force critique to be on time.

Within this framing, some forms of critical theorizing namely, thinking that is viewed as less abstract,
more committed to action, and hence better equipped to deal with real world problems are
considered more useful, while those that do not prove concrete guidance for progressive political change
that [do] not open up to where work needs to be done (Beardsworth 2005: 234) are branded as
inefficient tools for engaging with the perplexities of global politics. The paradoxical demand that
critique should be timely comes across clearly in Anna Aganthangelou and L.H.M. Lings (1997) major
point of contention with certain forms of critical thought in IR . Dissident voices, [p]olitics of resistance [which] offer
little of transformation for those marginalized, silenced and exiled, they write, amounts to an expression of dissident luxury of
observing from off-shore (Aganthangelou and Ling 1997: 9). On this account, forms of critique that prioritize ambiguity, hybridity
and interstitial subject positions paralyze [themselves] to non-action (Aganthangelou and Ling 1997: 7) and carry little utility for
progressive politics. Hence, forms of critical theorizing that do not prove themselves to be timely by providing

program for emancipatory action are branded as not critical at all, but complicit and conservative .
A similar demand for critique to be timely and its perceived failure to deliver its promise underwrites Milja
Kurkis (2011: 129) disillusionment with critical IR theory and her diagnosis of the dismal real-world
failure of critical and philosophical research in IR. Failure, in this view, stems from critical scholarly
discourses falling short of having a real-world impact in terms of affecting any change in political
and economic structures. Once again, anxiety about the relevance of critique whether or not it is in
synch with political time, timed properly or timely in the sense of being appropriate and fitting to the times
under diagnosis becomes the main premise for assessing critical theorizing. Critique in IR, we are told,
is increasingly lacking in relevance in contributing to revitalisation of policy practice or perceptive
critiques of it (Kurki 2011: 130). Critique is lacking because it is not timely enough , not in step , and
falling behind due to its abstract and theory-driven nature and lack of realistic understanding as to
how to challenge the dominance of hegemonic ideas (Kurki 2011: 130).
Such observations about the lack of critique bear their mark in the 2007 special issue of the Review of International Studies, which
commemorates the 25th anniversary of the publication of two key texts in critical IR theory by reflecting upon the impact of critical
theorizing upon the discipline and interrogating what its future might be. Assessing the current state of critical theory in IR, the
introductory article suggests that the fundamental philosophical question [that] can no longer be sidestepped by critical IR theory
is the relation between knowledge of the world and action in it (Rengger and Thirkell-White 2007: 16). Forms of critical
theorizing that leave the future to contingency, uncertainty and the multiplicity of political projects and
therefore provide less guidance for concrete political action (Rengger and Thirkell-White 2007: 15) or, again, those that
problematize underlying assumptions of thought and say little about the potential political agency that might be involved in any
subsequent struggles (Rengger and Thirkell-White 2007: 20) may render the critical enterprise impotent . This point
comes out most clearly in Craig Murphys (2007) contribution. Echoing William Wallaces (1996) argument that critical theorists tend
to be monks with little to offer to political actors engaged in real world politics, Murphy argues that the promise of critical theory has

been only partially kept due to its limited influence outside the academy. Building a different world, he suggests, requires more
than isolated academic talk and demands not only words, but deeds (Murphy 2007: 124). This, according to Murphy, requires
providing knowledge that contributes to change (2007: 127).
Such angst about critiques inability to be timely culminated recently in the addition of a fourth episode to the unfolding first, second,
and third chapters of discipline-making debates. The issue is unequivocally formulated by Steven Roach (2008: xxi): whether we
can develop an empirical and policy-relevant critical IR theory is precisely [the] issue that lies at the core of what some are referring
to as a fourth debate.

What emerges from such discussions about the meaning of being critical is that if critique is to be worthy
of its name, it needs to be in synch with political time and to respond to its immediate demands .
The task of critique, it is argued, is to be on the spot and to hit the mark rather than to disrupt the limits
of what are presented as realistic choices. One is prompted to ask whose realistic understanding of the
unfolding crisis of global politics critique is considered to be lacking for . Or, perhaps more importantly, one is left
bewildered at a formulation of critique in which thinking is reduced to an act of hitting the mark, a form of targeting practice. 2 Stated
less metaphorically, critical theorizing is conceptualized as a tool that seeks to resolve contradictions, and to provide coherence to
historical and political perplexities that resist easy solutions. It

is defined as a form of timely intervention , an

endeavor that responds to what is deemed a political exigency by institutionalized sites of knowledge
production. Reinserting the false dichotomy between critical theory and political action , such a
framing obscures the fact that the difference between various theories rests not on their level of
abstraction and programmatic focus but on the nature of their relationship to the exercise of
power and the social-relational positions and practices through which power operates (Duvall and
Varadarajan 2003: 81).
Critique out of synch
Can critique be judged solely in terms of its utility and relevance for political struggles that are perceived as going on out there,
outside of a disciplinary context? How can we think about the relation between critique and the crisis that triggers it without
succumbing to the temptation to tame that which is by definition untimely through an injunction that it be properly timed in response
to a crisis? And what difference would such a recasting make? How would it help to think about claiming the international as a
critical project?
Perhaps a useful way to grapple with these questions is by revisiting the question of what it means to be untimely. For this, I turn to
political theorist Wendy Browns (2005) exegesis of Walter Benjamins (2007) Theses on the Philosophy of History, which disrupts
predominant understandings of the meaning of critical thought. Such a re-casting of the meaning of critique as an
untimely intervention starts from an effort to trace the etymological roots of the word critique so as to
recover the intimate link between critical thinking and the crisis that triggers it; a link that was severed
with the rise of the modern political order and the consequent de-politicization of critique as a subjective,
private affair, a philosophical activity divorced from the realm of politics (Koselleck 1988). Severing critique
from politics in modernity pivoted on a conception of political time in which moral progress and the
inevitable triumph of reason were secured through a teleological narrative of history . 3
Prior to their modern rendering as two separate domains critique as a subjective affair, a private
judgment passed about a worldly event, and crisis as an objective condition belonging to the public realm
critique and crisis were fused in the same concept krin, which meant to separate, to choose, to
judge, to decide (Koselleck 2006: 358). This concept was intimately related to politics as it connoted a divorce or quarrel,
but also a moment of making a decision, reaching a verdict or judgment (kritik). In Athenian democracy where the defendant was
both a citizen and a member of the Senate constituting the jury, krisis referred to a scene in which the object, agent, process, and
result of critique were intermingled (Brown 2005: 5). Recognition of an objective crisis and subjective judgments passed on it were
fused and implicated in each other. Consequently, there could be no such thing as mere critique or untimely

critique, given that the project of critique always entailed a concern with political time as krisis
signified a crucial point for restoring justice and ensuring the prospects for the continuity of the political
It is this intimate, severed link between crisis and critique that Wendy Browns discussion brings to the fore and re-problematizes.
According to her, the practice of critical theory appeals to a concern with political time to the extent that [t]he

crisis that incites critique and that critique engages itself signals a rupture of temporal continuity ,
which is at the same time a rupture in political imaginary (2005: 7). It is a particular experience with
time, with the present, that informs critical theorizing. Rather than an unmoving or an automatically
overcome present (a present that is out of time), the present is interpreted as an opening that calls for a
response. This call for a response highlights the idea that, far from being a luxury, critique is non-

optional in nature. 4 Such an understanding of critical thought is premised on a historical consciousness

that grasps the present historically so as to break with the self-conception of the age. In its attempt to
grasp the times in their singularity , critique is cast neither as breaking free from its weight (which would
amount to ahistoricity ) nor being weighed down by the times (as in the case of teleology ). It is an
attitude that renders the present a site of non-utopian possibility since it is historically situated and
constrained, yet also a possibility since it is not historically foreordained or determined
13). In its relation to political time, critique

(Brown 2005: 12

entails contestation of what is presented as realistic political

choices and overturning the confinement of politics to existing possibilities . 5

Such a conception of critique in relation to political time provides a counternarrative to prevalent
conceptions of the meaning of critique within the discipline of IR. Browns analysis is especially
significant for highlighting the immediately political nature of critique . It challenges the dominant
notion that critical thought is a self-indulgent, disinterested, distanced or purely academic practice
unless it is overtly committed to political action and ready to offer concrete solutions in the face of urgent
questions posed by global politics. Instead, untimely critique is portrayed as a force of disruption , a form
of intervention that reconfigures the meaning of the times by allowing thinking its wildness
beyond the immediate in order to reset the possibilities of the immediate (Brown 2005: 15).
Untimeliness is not to be mistaken for a method, a tool that can be deployed at the service of advancing disciplinary knowledge
around pre-articulated questions of world politics. In other words, such

a conception of the untimely does not imply

a process of re-signification within the established parameters of a disciplinary discourse . Such a

move would be tantamount to an affirmative intervention that investigates foundations only to fortify the
disciplinary architecture

(Mowitt 1992). Rather, critique

as untimely thinking, conceived in the terms

encouraged by Browns reading, entails a gesture of de-signification that exposes the constitutive
silences of that discourse. Stated differently, it entails an attempt to think about how, under certain
conditions, certain kinds of questions cannot be posed or, rather, can only be framed and posed by
breaking through a certain prohibition that functions to condition and circumscribe the domain of the
speakable (Butler 2009: 776 7). It calls for challenging prevailing structures of domination and an
opening up of new political possibilities beyond what is recognized as a legitimate form of acting, being
and knowing. An untimely intervention is akin to what Butler describes as the staging of a rogue viewpoint that which
cannot be spoken without inflicting some damage to the idea of what is thinkable and speakable .
It is precisely this conception of the untimely that I want to highlight in coming to terms with the meaning of claiming the international
as a critical project. A project that explores worldings beyond the West cannot merely attempt to consolidate disciplinary protocols by
interrogating difference with a view to rendering it more universal and globally encompassing. Rather, the promise of claims

on the international as untimely interventions lies in their attempt to unravel the silent disciplinary
protocols that determine which questions are legitimate to ask and the framework that informs them.
This de-signifying gesture can be clarified and contextualized through reference to the popular question about dialogue and
difference within IR. In an exemplary staging of affirmative critique, a prominent disciple writes that the idea that [t]he study

of International Relations neglects or marginalizes the world beyond the West is no longer a novel
argument (Acharya 2011: 620). Critical acknowledgment of this disciplinary blindness [nescience] is followed
by the assertion of the need to find some agreement on how to redress this problem and move
forward (ibid.). Implicit in this argument is an understanding of difference as a problem encountered
on the way toward a prefigured destination a genuinely international field of IR (ibid.) a disciplinary
synthesis in which difference is envisioned as a moment in the dialectical interplay toward a higher
resolution. The question posed about difference is constrained to what a disciplinary setting allows .
As Mustapha Kamal Pasha (2011: 685) notes, not engaging with the limits internal to IR and avoiding
interrogation of the substrata of assumed settlements that render secured trips undertaken by such

forms of critical thinking do nothing less than to ensure the endur[ance] of IR as a cultural project
equipped with the language of universality . Such lines of questioning thus work to affirm what they
set out to negate .
Taking a rouge route and brushing against the grain of disciplinary reason reveals alternative
possibilities in terms of claiming the international. Untimely critiques of disciplinary injunctions for dialogue
expose the ways in which such calls re-inscribe the subject of IR , both that which the discipline talks
about and those who can participate in such a dialogue. Rather than reproducing the disciplinary subject,
they dismantle it by problematizing the grounds upon which the disciplinary object gets pre-emptively
sequestered within the domain of familiar codes of enunciation

(Grovogui 1998) and

can speak are reinstated as the privileged members of a whites only club

the subjects who

(Shilliam 2011). Such

inquiries unsettle the very terms of disciplinary discourse , pointing the way to a whole series of novel
questions to investigate, and to alternative, anti-imperial paths to explore. 6
Raising questions that cannot be raised within the boundaries of a disciplinary discourse, and acute
awareness of and attunement to the variegated forms in which power and domination operates, renders
critical thinking an untimely endeavor. Hence, its responsiveness and responsibility toward its time cannot
be solely determined by explicit commitment to practical political action, policy relevance, and
programmatic commitments in other words, its punctuality. As David Campbell (2005) reminds us, as
scholars we are always already engaged . Therefore, the question is not whether as scholars critical
or otherwise we are engaged or not, but rather what the nature of our engagement is . 7 Ethos of
political criticism an ethos which takes as its object assumptions, limits, their historical production,
social and political effects, and the possibility of going beyond them in thought and action (Campbell 2005:
133) places the relevance of critical thought and the responsibility of critical scholarship on a
different ground than the one that timely understandings of untimely critique force critical engagements
into. Foregrounding this ethos does not mean that critique does not commit itself to certain political
visions and affirm particular courses of action. On the contrary, as Brown (2005: 16) suggests, critical theory
cannot get off the block without affirming contestable and contingent values . What this proposition
does mean, however, is that whatever

form it takes, critique as untimely endeavor insists upon the political

nature of all interpretation and refuses the blackmail of ahistorical, normative assertions and
moralizing timeless, utopian visions that ultimately demand that critique abide by predetermined
protocols . An untimely critique of the discipline presents a claim not a demand on the international
to the extent that as an act of reclamation it takes over the disciplinary object the international for
a different project than that to which it is currently tethered (Brown 2005: 16). Untimely critique is not
secured, it is open and demanding . It does not guarantee, but doubts , hesitates , and returns
again and again to the same texts of the international to recover and reclaim the disciplinary object
without any reservations.

2NC Link Buchanan

Their predictions of North Korean collapse are based on inaccurate linear models
only the alternatives more open relationship to IR solves
Chun, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Seoul National University, 2014
Chaesung, This paper is presented to the 2nd KRIS-Brookings Joint Conference on "Security and Diplomatic Cooperation between
ROK and US for the Unification of the Korean Peninsula, How Should the ROK and the US Stabilize a Peace Regime in the
Korean Peninsula and Build a Stable Security Environment in Northeast Asia in order to Promote and Shape the Satisfactory
Unification of the Korean Peninsula? 1/21/2014 http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/events/2014/1/21-korean-peninsulaunification/chun-chaesung-paper.pdf

Some argue that North Korea, as a failing, fragile, or even failed state, is already in the process of
collapse. To them, the question of whether North Korea will collapse is a stupid one: how and when would be the right
question. Contrary to them, others claim that North Korea, under the totalitarian leadership of Kim Jong-Il, is still firm in its dominance over its
territory and people, defying any prediction of possible collapse. Here we need to be precise in the meaning of collapse or contingency of North
Korea. We

can distinguish among state collapse (or failure) system collapse regime or leadership

failure . Even though there may happen leadership failure, the system and the state may continue.
the events of leadership failure and system collapse, the state as a political entity with its
dominance over the territory and people, may stand still. As of now, North Korea suffers from economic
Moreover, in

hardships, diplomatic isolation, and right allocation of its resources . However, it seems highly
controversial to claim that North Korea as a state, so-called our own socialist system and the totalitarian regime
led by Kim Jong Un are in peril . When we argue the possibility of North Korean collapse, we need to consider the
following points. First, North Korean watchers suffer from serious lack of information on various
aspects of North Korean politics, economy, and society. For example, regarding the event of Jangs fall, as we
accumulate more information, it becomes harder to evaluate the solidarity of Kims regime . This situation does
not seem to improve in the near future. Lacking evidences and empirical data, what we can do is to speculate what
is happening now inside the North, and suggest vague prediction. Second, theories about North Korean domestic
politics and foreign behaviors are highly underdeveloped. Comparative politics theories of socialist countries
and post-communist transition

do not easily lend support to what is happening in North Korea . Specific

characteristics rather than generalizable features of North Korea often mislead North Korean
watchers in explaining and predicting events.
on available past data. However,

This may improve if we find out reasonable way to theorize North Korea based

without formidable empirical data, theoretical prediction on North Korean

contingencies is still under controversy. Third, general shortcomings in predicting fundamental changes
in international relations have

been proved to be very difficult to predict , as was shown in the debate on the
predictability of the collapse of the former Soviet Union . Even with knowledge of critical factors affecting
the fate of the country, the way how they interact defies linear trajectory of events . As is suggested by
complexities theory,

the combination and interaction of multiple factors create punctuated equilibrium,

by which we observe the tipping point of critical events . Only by relying on the non-linear , and
complex theorizing , we know how the interaction of these factors create a new domain of events , in
which new courses of action emerge

That focus on North Korean humanitarian discourse continues a colonial strategy

of managing the periphery
Choi 14
Shine Choi, Re-imagining North Korea in International Politics Problems and alternatives Routledge, December 4, 2014, KB
Chapter 3, What seeing suffering demands of us: photographic engagements with North Korea(ns), turns to the case of
international responsibility and action in response to the problem of North Koreas poor human rights record and economic poverty.

Human rights and humanitarian discourses are the most prominent sites for postcolonial politics. I
examine the prevailing hierarchy between the international and places like North Korea (an extreme as well as a peculiar case),
achieved by mobilizing visual binaries that rest upon a subject/object axis (e.g. over here/over there; seer/seen; actor/acted upon;
benefactor/beneficiary). I do so through an engagement with photography of North Korean suffering in international circulation which
helps us to interrogate visually which I argue is a method of political thinking that foregrounds issues of relations the prevailing
assumption that suffering exists unambiguously in all spaces, bodies and subjectivities that constitute
North Korea, an assumption that sustains the notion that suffering simply demands alleviation by
outside intervention. Three differently styled photo books published in the early 2000s are examined for this purpose: Choi,
Soon-hos Defectors, which produces an abject North Korea through defector images and stories; Ri, Man-geuns Landscape of the
Everyday North, which surreptitiously records rural everyday life in North Korea; and Philippe Chancels North Korea, which pictures
suffering in the official sites that the North Korean state promotes to outsiders.
As pointed out by postcolonial, feminist and poststructuralist thinkers, what needs interrogation is how the state or
analogous body of authority (e.g. the

international community) is perennially seen as a protector of naturally

endowed rights , but all the while certain people those who most often and urgently need to invoke their status as
must continually remain in that compromised position under
their protector (see Spivak 2004; Orford 2003; Browne 2002; Bhambra and Shilliam 2009). In the case of human rights, those
seeking the protection of human rights are always under the benevolent protection of those with the
subjects of human rights and humanitarianism

power to grant and protect such rights an asymmetry that violates the very concept of global and
universally applicable human rights. Analogously, in a humanitarian framework, the conception of poverty
that places the biological as its definitive condition renders poverty as something that agents outside it,
i.e. wealthier subjects, must correct (e.g. Edkins 2000; Campbell 2007).
Since the 1990s, discussions of North Korean poverty an object of humanitarian concern have occurred most
crucially in terms of famine and food shortage , i.e. how much cereal the population needs to survive. This has been
a central point of contention in scholarly debates on the North Korean famine,

which I would argue misleadingly reduces

famine and poverty to matters of bodily deterioration and bare survival (see Haggard and Noland 2007:
47; Haggard and Noland 2008: 20315; Smith 2008; Ireson 2006: 13). Chapter 3, on photographic encounters with North Korean
suffering, seeks to intervene in these human

rights and humanitarian/famine debates which create a naturalized

dichotomy of us (a knowledgeable international community led by modern societies) and them (starving North Koreans
approaches construct and position the category of poverty and
famine (and to a lesser but important extent, political oppression) as realities that exist only in parts of the world
outside advanced industrialized democratic societies. This hints at how the conventional conception of the
Third World is firmly a perspective of those who think they are not part of that world which is poor,
in a society stuck in the past). Conventional

oppressed, suffering (i.e. those spaces with populations that do not possess normal biological and
bodily statistics, which are then equated with abnormal political, material and economic living conditions ).
It is also a perspective from a position of power concerned with controlling , managing and containing
the Third World.

They might win that they reduce some violence but it simply shifts elsewhere
which makes militarism itself more insidious and harder to combat
Catherine Lutz 6, Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at Brown University, Empire is in
the Details, American Ethnologist, Volume 33, Number 4, pp. 593611, November 2006, [AB]
Although Filipinos voice widespread support for the United States in opinion surveys, there has also been
vigorous contestation over U.S. presence and actions. A panoply of social movements, perhaps the most vigorous
in all of Asia, has developed (Simbulan n.d.), including human-rights groups, worker's organizations, anti-WTO efforts, women
srights groups and parties, and self-help disaster relief and prevention organizations. These groups have been under often-violent
attack (Petras and Eastman-Abaya 2006) but continue to respond to the failure of the state to serve anything but elite interests,
including those best served through serving U.S. interests. Perhaps paradoxically, the power of the Philippine government in
negotiating with the United States and in pursuing its own interests has much to do with the credibility provided by several people's
revolts in the last two decades that emptied the presidential palace (of Marcos and Joseph Estrada) and a nationwide movement to
ban nuclear weapons and to evict U.S. bases from the country, which was accomplished through a new constitution in 1987 and the
expiration of the bases lease in 199 1. The Declaration of Anti-Bases Coalition of the Philippines during this

successful campaign describes the perceived costs of U.S. rule: The bases impair our national sovereignty
and independence, deprive our people of the full use and control of our national patrimony, support US intervention in

our internal affairs, serve as staging grounds for gunboat diplomacy and interventions in the internal
affairs of other states. They strengthen authoritarian rule ... promote militarization of our country, and lead to the spread of
prostitution and other social vices, and the degradation of our native values. They serve as magnets of nuclear attack. [Simbulan

The U.S. military and its money left for a few years. It has since worked its way back in

with agreements that allow joint exercises around the country that now number 20 a year. Activists note that
these agreements have not only reversed the gains of the popular movement to evict the bases but
also have essentially turned the whole country into a base . This occurred as groups within the
Pentagon began to argue and plan for a more flexible global basing strategy, which emphasizes "places"
and "access" rather than "bases." This entails a shift to more spartan basing facilities without accompanying
families or golf courses and with prepositioned equipment and skeletal staffing. U.S. projects in the Philippines represent
an experiment in implementing the Pentagon's new basing polic y announced in 2003.'1 This policy shift is in
part intended to make the U nited S tates less vulnerable to the critiques of the antibases
movements . It is also an attempt to lower the political costs of an empire of bases , costs that are
borne both by the U nited S tates and the host government. The goal of the new basing strategy is to leave less
onerous or obvious "footprints" in host countries, both by moving bases from urban areas, as in
Korea and Okinawa, to more rural or even offshore areas and by adapting the activity that emerges from those
bases. The U.S. military is using, as one analyst noted, "capabilities, such as tactical intelligence and precision fire
support, that could be brought to bear without leaving behind 'fingerprints' associated with U.S. forces," allowing U.S.
involvement to be " ambiguous and unacknowledged " (Ochmanek 2003:25) The importance of the
worldwide resistance to bases has not been mentioned in the base realignment announcements from the
White House and Pentagon, but it is clearly an issue in military thinking (McKenna 2004). Military analysts
and planners have looked at the " protestability" of particular military facilities and have come up with
a set of strategies by which that can be minimized : Keep away from cities, be less visible , and
eliminate vulnerabilities.20 Planners

have also emphasized the "importance of the appearance of [local]

control over US operations " (McKenna 2004:32), and their concerns are addressed when U.S. soldiers operating in
Mindanao are positioned well inside, away from the perimeter of, Philippine military bases. They also note that local people often
feel they live with increased dangers because of the U.S. presence. And so, bombing attacks in Uzbekistan in 2004, which killed 50
people, were attributed to the new U.S. military presence in that country, and antibase activists on Guam repeat the Cold War-era
joke, not necessarily outdated, that their tiny island may not appear significant on many maps, but it is a huge bright area on maps in
the Kremlin's situation room. More immediately than nuclear-weapons use, the threats people are concerned about include
environmental damage and disease, high rates of car crashes by U.S. soldiers, and soldiers' violent crimes against women and girls
In sum, there

is a dialectical relationship between imperial practices and the world around them .
United States has had to remake the forms of empire to manage the resistance of those it is
That is true both domestically and overseas, for empire has remade the United States as surely as it has remade other places.

supposed to both police and protect . These responses of and to empire are key arenas for future ethnographic work.

2NC Alt
Only our overdetermination of ontology is capable of injecting ethics into the
Radhakrishnan 15 (Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, Chancellor's Professor of English and comparative
literature at UC Irvine, PhD in English from Binghamton, February 2015, In the Name of the Nothing,
from Heidegger to Said: A Spanos Itinerary, boundary 2: an international journal of literature and culture
Volume 42 Number 1) gz
I begin this essay with a brief quotation from the acknowledgments of William Spanoss book The Legacy of Edward Said: a
passage that autobiographically recalls a specific leitmotif that would emerge unfailingly each time Bill and Edward met. Said,

Spanos says, was never sympathetic with my obsession with Heideggers destructive ontology, nor was I
entirely sympathetic with his overdetermination of politics at the expense of theory. Said would ask,
Dear Bill, youre a good critic, but why do you weaken your originative criticism by Heideggerianizing it?
And I would respond, antiphonally, Edward, I think youre a good critic, too, but why do you limit
possibilities by not attending to Heideggers destructive ontology? 1 This brief exchange helps me delineate my
agenda in this brief critical appreciation of the legacy of William V. Spanos: a legacy of caring, of indefatigable oppositionality, and of
hope and affirmation during times of learned theoretical exhaustion. In refusing to understand theory as a mode of

eruditely enjoying the symptom, Spanos insists passionately, on the one hand, that something can be
done and, on the other hand, rigorously avoids the hubris of agency as unbridled anthropocentrism .
Indeed, it is, in the most positive sense of the phrase, a quixotic legacy that, in tilting at windmills,
refuses to be framed by the fait accompli of the status quo . It is a critical tradition of a robust and
nonnostalgic retrieval of possibilities that have been seemingly foreclosed and rendered
obsolete by regimes of dominant and hegemonic thought. Retrieval and repetition are pivotal terms in Spanoss
has taken great care to differentiate a recuperative repetition from
a processual and projective repetition: the first mode conservative and nostalgic in intent and the latter
critical lexicon. Throughout his career, Spanos

disseminative and radically futural . To apply Spanoss standards to his own work, how repetitive is he, and in what
particular mode? Spanos is no exception to the general rule that applies to all profound critics with a long and distinguished record,
that is, that they struggle with the same motif all their lives, but in that creative struggle, that same motif is rendered different from
itself through subsequent elaborations and iterations. The repetitions tend to be nonidentical repetitions whereby the original thought
or compulsion is perennially displaced. It is this absent presence of that one original imperative that gives their writings over time a
kind of horizonal consistency. Within that compelling horizon, there is always room for transfers, displacements, and shuttles of
meanings and valences. This is very true of Spanoss trajectory as well. But for his originary Heideggerian impulse, I
dont think Spanos would have turned into the kind of trenchant, oppositional Americanist that he is. But
for his Heideggerian sensibility, he would have been incapable of mounting such a substantive critique of
American exceptionalism or offering us all such exquisitely persuasive readings of Herman Melville,
Hannah Arendt, and Said. But for Martin Heidegger, Spanoss postmodern occasion would not have been
so meaningfully different from the canonical version of postmodernism . In being the same all along, Spanos makes
sure that whatever is worth caring for has a constancy that is not subject to the capriciousness of thought. At the same time, within
the aegis of a constant care, Spanoss thinking reaches out to different sites, different conjunctures, and circumstantial
constellations: the various sites of Being, in Spanoss own terms. The constancy is not reified as a monumental a priori; if anything,
it is forever recreated in response to situations that are existential and historical. To read Spanos is to hear his voice, a voice that will
not surrender its specific register of indignation, resistance, protest, and hope for fear of being identified as that of an oldfashioned
radical. Spanos has never cared for the so-called cutting edge. To care, for Spanos, is to have the courage and the

integrity to keep thinking alive rather than to perpetrate thought as a form of conquest , and it is in
the name of such a thinking that Spanos turns first to Heidegger and later in his career to Said.

Implicit in Saids criticism is the attribution that whatever grist comes into the Spanosian mill turns into
Heidegger. I would agree that very often such is indeed the case. Heidegger is Spanoss preferred ontological and
epistemological homea home, it must be added, to be re-cognized and valorized in an exilic mode. It is Heideggers ability to hold
the language of being and the being of language reciprocally accountable that holds Spanos captive. In Heideggers thinking,
Being and Knowing, Ontology and Epistemology are intimately coimplicated in a relationship of reciprocal constitution as well as
defamiliarization. It is a contrapuntal relationship of strife and concord. For Spanos, whose thinking is fundamentally

existential, Heidegger thoroughly dismantles the rationale of the philosophical ergo in Western
thought. Heidegger cares and ergo thinks, rather than cares because he thinks. To care for Spanos, by way of
Heidegger, is to care for the very thing that thought cannot reach or think about. But this does not

result in the authenticity of mysticism or the certitude of numinous knowledge. On the contrary, the

Cogito is fundamentally
and de-structively implicated in its own finitude . The possibility of the critique is inscribed into the
very being of language . In other words, the critique is acknowledged as something far deeper than as
an opportune political strategy . The figure of the Heideggerian Dasein, in its radical thrownness
(Geworfenheit) or

ek-static disposition , transcends the jurisdiction of humanism in the name of the

nothing. In also being human, the Dasein is more and less and other than human . What is enabled as
a result is the wavelength of negative capability and its way of knowing: letting be. Spanos finds in Heideggers de-structive
hermeneutics the answer to the daunting question, What does it mean to be human? Spanoss response is, To be truly human
is to be human in the name of the nothing. An exilic space , a space of the between , opens up,
and this space is doubly exilic : characterized by neither proper belonging to being nor nameability
by knowledge . It is precisely on the basis of such an anchorless anchorage that Spanos is able to understand the human as a
form of double-consciousness: agentic and transformative as human, and at the same time posthumanist in the name of the
Spanos is particularly appreciative of Heideggers formulation of the Earth-World relationship.2 The worlding of the world
does not reduce the Earth to the mere status of raw material earmarked for anthropocentric
depredation . Quite to the contrary, in Heideggers epistemology, the worlding of the world protects and
conserves the mysterious alterity of the Earth as Earth . In this sense, to Spanos, Heideggerian destruction becomes the most sincere and comprehensive way of opposing dominance as such. The
unlearning of dominance is rendered central to the curriculum of thinking . The figure of home is
retained but is signed for in an exilic mode. The

exilic mode also makes thinking available in the form of the

question , not of the answer. Latent in the question is the answer , just as latent in the symptom is
the remedy . The structure of the question or the symptom does not have to be transcended or

(restructured in the vocabulary of the World Bank and the discourse of development economics)

to get to the

realm of the answer or the remedy. Heideggers radical strategy of putting the questioner within the
question represents for Spanos something more than the fashionable credo of self-reflexivity, which
often, for lack of directionality of purpose, degenerates into narcissistic navel-gazing or mere formal
virtuosity. The questioner, in placing her- or himself within the question, does not seek to master the question from within. The
objective is to realize a Mobius-strip-like relationship between Being and Knowing , rather than
perpetuate a categorical binary divide between the two .
Spanos is primarily an ontological thinker who derives politics from ontology . It is interesting that in his
rejoinder to Said, Spanos axiomatically associates theory with Heideggers destructive ontology. Spanos cannot conceive
why Said, such a magnificently oppositional thinker, chooses not to avail of the deep phenomenological
possibilities afforded by Heideggers de-structive ontology. Fundamental to Spanoss critical operation is his
adherence to the Heideggerian notion of ontico-ontological difference (which Spanos translates for his purposes as the onticoontological continuum with history, economics, culture, and politics identified, within the continuum, as sites of Being), a formulation
that maintains that the

general and the prior question of Being cannot be reduced to the history of

particular and determinate (the ontic) beings . If powerful political thinkers employ the methodology of symptomatic
the political does not constitute determination in the
ultimate instance; instead, the political as such has to be read symptomatically from an ontological
reading within the realm of the political, Spanos would insist that

perspective .3 The task for ontological thinkers like Spanosand, I would argue, Slavoj iek, Alain Badiou, Judith
to achieve a subtle double-session on behalf of critical
theory: on the one hand, follow the Marxian dictum that to know is not just to interpret but to transform
Butler, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Philippe Lacou-LaBartheis

reality , and, on the other hand, pay heed to the Heideggerian imperative of Gelassenheit, of letting
things be not as an expression of quietism but as a function of an abiding solicitude for Being and
the ontico-ontological difference. Politics in its overdetermined mode disavows this gap between

the ontic and the ontological either in the name of positivism or for reasons of opportunistic
correctness. As a result of this disavowal, politics misrecognizes itself .
In his brief but illuminating foreword to one of Spanoss many influential books, Donald Pease makes the salient claim that the key
term in the title Heidegger and Criticism: Retrieving the Cultural Politics of Destruction is retrieving, the recovery of the site of
ontological critique at the moment of its possible cover-up through a destruction of the responsible instrumentalities.4 So, what
kind of activity is retrieving? To echo Adrienne Richs magnificent poem on the ontopological politics of revisionism, Diving into the
Wreck, is there some meaning already there in the wreck to be retrieved by the diver in the poem; or does retrieving as a will to
knowledge create its own object?5 Is the site given rather than constructed? Is the act of retrieving an exercise in nostalgia or a
revisionism undertaken in the name, to invoke Michel Foucault strategically, of subjugated knowledges? To both Heidegger and
Spanos, the imprimatur issue is crucial. In whose name, under what official sanction, is the retrieving undertaken?

It is not a

choice between two sites of critique , the one ontological and the other political. Just as in Richs poem,
where the sea is recognized both as the site that houses the human wreck and as that other sea (the sea is another story, as
Rich would phrase it memorably) that is not reducible to human or anthropocentric cartography (The sea is not a question of
power, in Richs words), here too, in Spanoss hermeneutic project, ontological

temporality is the unnameable and

abyssal horizon that houses human and political historicity. For both Spanos and Rich, the challenge is to
coordinate the humanist topos with reference to both itself and a beyond that humanism is unable
to recognize and validate from its hegemonic perspective.
For Spanos, whose primary formation is existential and philosophical, the questionor I would even say, the dilemmahas to do
with the point of entry. If

reality is both ontological and political , what should be the point of entry for the

critique? Should the critique by primarily political on the assumption that politics will automatically speak for ontology? Or should
ontology be privileged with the understanding that there will be a sure trickle-down effect from the ontological to the political? For
example, should all of existence be collapsed within the humanist problematic; or should the humanist hegemon acknowledge its
anthropocentric finitude and make room for an other kind of understanding?6

The slippage or the gap between the political critique and the ontological critique is not to be sutured
over or preemptively disavowed in the name of political rectitude ; on the contrary, the gap has to be
honored by ways of knowing that can only be double-conscious. The integrity of the ontological critique
has to do with its courage to maintain that a retreat from the political is de rigueur for the
reinvention of the political . It is not enough that critics submit a particular regime of politics such as
colonialism, racism, patriarchy, or heterosexist normativity to a deconstructive critique . In addition, the very
placeholder called the political should be the object of critique . I have undertaken this entire detour just to
show that ontology,

with or without Heidegger or Spanos, has always been in the picture with politics .

The problem has always been how to braid the two together

and in what sort of relationality: differential,

in speaking in the name of

ontology one does not name it normatively or definitively: the de-structive endeavor is to retrieve it in the
name of a radical nothingness that has unfortunately been nullified by hegemonic thought .
hierarchical, lateral, concentric, coordinated, or subordinated. The challenge also is that

Here is Spanos commenting retrospectively on the nature of his ontological engagement with Heideggers thought:
In order to foreground the containing or repressing imperatives and the distorting consequences of metaphysical structuration,
however, I gave, like Heidegger, an inordinate rhetorical emphasis in my early writing to the temporality disclosed by destruction. In
doing so, I inadvertently suggested a separation of the ontological (the temporality of being) and the ontic (inscription or reification).
Or rather, I put what was actually simultaneous in such a way as to make it appear to be a hierarchized binary opposition in which
the ontological acts as a base to the ontic superstructure .7
The crucial word here is simultaneous, a word that has to do with time and temporality. Spanos has always been a temporal
thinker. It is quite remarkable how, in his elaboration of the postmodern occasion, Spanos resolutely holds on to a phenomenological
notion of temporality. From early in his career, when he founded boundary 2 as a journal of the postmodern, Spanos has never ever
taken the spatial turn, whereas to most canonical postmodernists, postmodernism is the radical manifesto of detemporalization and
spatialization, of the ideological and structural production of time as disciplinary regime and epistemic template, and eventually, of
the simulacralization of everything ontological. It is tantamount to the implosion of reality into knowledge games with no room for
anything like the constitutive outside. This predominantly spatial version of the postmodern imagination has no relevance for
Spanos. In fact, he sees real danger in any spatial move. To Spanos, any manner of spatializing is deeply antitemporal and
antiphenomenological and therefore conservative and reactionary. His oppositional critical energy is based on the notion of a radical
temporality that can never be mastered by human epistemics and its discursive architectonics. Whether he is writing about Robert
Coover, John Barth, Donald Barthelme, William Burroughs, William Gass, Kurt Vonnegut, or Thomas Pynchon, his unwavering
thesis is that all

of these writers as postmodern testify to the nothingness that they cannot name or

frame by their fictionality. Rather than acquiesce in the linguistic turn and declare Roquentin guilty of logocentric pathos and

naivet, Spanos finds a way to discern a subterranean continuity between Roquentins ontological nausea and the nontranscendent
abyssal postmodern occasion.8 Whereas Roland Barthes would declare that the heart of the matter is dead, and Alain Robbe-Grillet
joyfully celebrate linguistic exteriority at the expense of humanist pathos, Spanos reads Roquentins ontological nausea differently.

While Spanos is totally persuaded by the Foucauldian theses of the analytic of finitude and the
constituter-constituted nexus of the human, and other versions of the postmodern and/or poststructuralist
denaturalization of reality, he will not let go of his concern for Being, the be-ing of Being . To put it differently,
language is all is a thesis that Spanos will not endorse. To put it in the context of Roquentins nausea: yes, he is indeed naive to
expect the word root to correspond to the brute facticity of the root, but his nausea is not causeless or meaningless. Whereas the
practitioner of the new novel would only be too happy to read Roquentins symptom as a pseudo-problem and exile it from
discourse, Spanos is willing to tarry with the nothingness of the symptom. For Spanos, the symptom speaks

ontologically and not epistemologically, that is, it speaks in the name of Being rather than in the name of
an anthropocentric will to knowledge . There are more things than are dreamed of in our philosophy, and just because
language cannot name it, this does not mean that it does not exist or is a nescient nothing. Spanos signs on to the thesis that
there is joy in the de-struction of Adamic naming, but the project is projective and therefore does not stop there. A language of
Being is not and cannot be available to the being of Language. Whereas Derrida remains a staunch dualist, the Heideggerian
Spanos cares primarily for Being, and it is in the name of that originary care that he valorizes epistemology. The trap that Spanos
has to avoid is the trap of numinous authenticity. The unveiling of Being does not reveal a proper or normative

something but instead testifies to the having been covered . The opening up of that space as the Open, if it is to
be done ontologically, has to be done namelessly. The opened up space is not to be signed, possessed, or invested in by the
hegemonic imprimatur of any political regime. (The superb ambivalent ending of Richs poem is relevant here again.) Spanoss

argument is that self-reflexive deconstructions within the realm of the political are not far-reaching for the
simple reason that they leave the structure of the political intact. Counterhegemonic or parrhesiastic
articulations of truth and meaning have the obligation to step through and beyond the political and
into the site of ontology .

There is no Spanos without the possibility of a projective, futural, phenomenological affirmation .

What is the affirmation based on? Not language but ontology . Spanos is at his most lucid when he carefully
differentiates ontological difference from the Derridean diffrance that in the ultimate analysis is an epistemic effect of language.
Even as he participates in the thesis of the linguistic constitutedness of the human, Spanos resists the temptation to grant language
absolute sovereignty. The negativity in de-structive hermeneutics is not the negativity of Theodor Adornos negative dialectics, or the
negativity of the AdornoMax Horkheimer critique of the Enlightenment. Negativity in Spanosian epistemology is a
Keatsian negative capability that enables the projective affirmation of Being . Instead of reaching the thesis that
the autonomization of epistemology gets rid of or demystifies being; rather than claim that the primordial and originary temporality
has been successfully replaced, without remainder or residue by the dangerous supplemental order of language; instead of avowing
that a hegemonic anthropocentric historicity is the measure, one of Spanoss favorite phrases, of the worlding of the word, Spanos
believes in negative capability, on behalf of Being. He literally believes, however anomalous or anachronistic that may
sound to deconstructive ears. In todays terms, he is a thinker of and with deep ecology. To hear Spanos again: And it is precisely
this negatively capable emphasis on letting (being) be (in opposition to the Ahabian will to power over being) that characterizes the
errant measure of Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, and in another way, A. R. Ammons, and those postmodern, primarily American
poets who, following Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams, have done and are doing the most important destructive work in

Spanoss remarkable projective and futural optimism rests on the nothing, the nothing that
philosophical thought has made a nothing of. If the political can be conceived of both as something and
as a something that understands itself as a nonexemplary manifestation of the nothing, then
and only then is there a chance that politics can be performed ethically and ontologically , that is,
politics can be undone as a zero-sum game .10 To put it simply, if the ontological site is turned
hegemonically into a sovereign political home , monopolized in our own times by the ideology of
nationalism, then inevitably there will be the attendant problem of noncitizens, immigrants and exiles,
guest workers and a range of precarious visa holders, and other abject bodies mandated to be
included by exclusion. The ontological critique shows up the hubris of the political as such
omnihistorically . The ontological critique cares in the name of the nothing ; and this texture of care
will enable a relational universality to come rather than a universality that is forced into the morphology

of one centrism or another. Moreover, the ontological critique needs the category of temporality, for, without
temporality, there can be no contingency, and without contingency, the hegemonic historicity of the
political usurps the place of the real. Moreover, this entire undertaking needs some sort of a hors-texte, a constitutive
outside that has not already been textualized.



A2: Util
In this debate, flip that calculus by making them start with 0% probability and
working their way up
Mignolo 7 (Walter, argentinian semiotician and prof at Duke, The De-Colonial Option and the
Meaning of Identity in Politics online)
The rhetoric of modernity (from the Christian mission since the sixteenth century, to the secular Civilizing
mission, to development and modernization after WWII) occludedunder its triumphant rhetoric of
salvation and the good life for allthe perpetuation of the logic of coloniality, that is, of massive appropriation of land (and
today of natural resources), massive exploitation of labor (from open slavery from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, to
disguised slavery, up to the twenty first century), and the dispensability of human lives from the massive killing of people in
the Inca and Aztec domains to the twenty million plus people from Saint Petersburg to the Ukraine during WWII killed in the so
called Eastern Front.4 Unfortunately, not all the massive killings have been recorded with the same value and

the same visibility. The unspoken criteria for the value of human lives is an obvious sign (from a decolonial interpretation) of the hidden imperial identity politics: that is, the value of human lives to which the
life of the enunciator belongs becomes the measuring stick to evaluate other human lives who do not
have the intellectual option and institutional power to tell the story and to classify events according to a
ranking of human lives; that is, according to a racist classification.5

2NC Perm
Anti-politics DA only eschewing security altogether avoids cooption
Neocleous 8 (Mark Neocleous, Professor of the Critique of Political Economy at Brunel University
London, PhD in philosophy from Middlesex University, 2008, Critique of Security, pp 185-6, modified) gz
The only way out of such a dilemma, to escape the fetish [obsession], is perhaps to eschew the logic of
security altogether to reject it as so ideologically loaded in favour of the state that any real political
thought other than the authoritarian and reactionary should be pressed to give it up. That is clearly
something that can not be achieved within the limits of bourgeois thought and thus could never
even begin to be imagined by the security intellectual . It is also something that the constant iteration
of the refrain this is an insecure world and reiteration of one fear, anxiety and insecurity after another will
also make it hard to do. But it is something that the critique of security suggests we may have to consider if we want a political
way out of the impasse of security.

This impasse exists because security has now become so all-encompassing that it marginalises
all else , most notably the constructive conflicts, debates and discussions that animate political life.
The constant prioritising of a mythical security as a political end as the political end constitutes a
rejection of politics in any meaningful sense of the term. That is, as a mode of action in which
differences can be articulated , in which the conflicts and struggles that arise from such differences can
be fought for and negotiated, in which people might come to believe that another world is possible
that they might transform the world and in turn be transformed. Security politics simply removes this ;
worse, it removes it while purportedly addressing it. In so doing it suppresses all issues of power and turns political
questions into debates about the most efficient way to achieve security, despite the fact that we are never quite told never could
be told what might count as having achieved it. Security

politics is, in this sense, an anti-politics ,141 dominating

political discourse in much the same manner as the security state tries to dominate human beings,
reinforcing security fetishism [obessiveness] and the monopolistic character of security on the political
imagination. We therefore need to get beyond security politics, not add yet more sectors to it in a
way that simply expands the scope of the state and legitimises state intervention in yet more and more
areas of our lives.
Simon Dalby reports a personal communication with Michael Williams, co-editor of the important text Critical Security Studies, in
which the latter asks: if you take away security, what do you put in the hole thats left behind? But Im inclined to

maybe there is no hole .142 The mistake has been to think that there is a hole and that
this hole needs to be filled with a new vision or revision of security in which it is re-mapped or civilised or
gendered or humanised or expanded or whatever. All of these ultimately remain within the statist
agree with Dalby:

political imaginary , and consequently end up reaffirming the state as the terrain of modern
politics , the grounds of security. The real task is not to fill the supposed hole with yet another vision of
security, but to fight for an alternative political language which takes us beyond the narrow horizon of
bourgeois security and which therefore does not constantly throw us into the


[control] of the

state . Thats the point of critical politics: to develop a new political language more adequate to the kind of society we want. Thus
while much of what I have said here has been of a negative order, part of the tradition of critical theory is that

the negative

may be as significant as the positive in setting thought on new paths.

For if security really is the supreme concept of bourgeois society and the fundamental thematic of liberalism, then to keep
harping on about insecurity and to keep demanding more security (while meekly hoping that this increased
security doesnt damage our liberty) is

to blind ourselves to [ conceal] the possibility of building real alternatives

to the authoritarian tendencies in contemporary politics. To situate ourselves against security politics
would allow us to circumvent the debilitating [damaging] effect achieved through the constant securitising of
social and political issues, debilitating [damaging] in the sense that security helps consolidate the power of

the existing forms of social domination and justifies the short-circuiting of even the most democratic
forms . It would also allow us to forge another kind of politics centred on a different conception of the good. We need a new
way of thinking and talking about social being and politics that moves us beyond security . This would
perhaps be emancipatory in the true sense of the word. What this might mean, precisely, must be open to debate. But it certainly
requires recognising that security is an illusion that has forgotten it is an illusion ; it requires
recognising that security is not the same as solidarity; it requires accepting that insecurity is part of the
human condition, and thus giving up the search for the certainty of security and instead learning to
tolerate the uncertainties, ambiguities and insecurities that come with being human; it requires accepting
that securitizing an issue does not mean dealing with it politically, but bracketing it out and handing it to
the state; it requires us to be brave enough to return the gift .143

A2: Khoo
This evidence concedes economic integration trumps realpolitik in the region
AND diplomatic engagement solves military conflict

Khoo 14, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of Otago, New Zealand, Is
Realism Dead? Academic Myths and Asias International Politics,
http://www.otago.ac.nz/politics/otago077521.pdf, [AB]


Conclusion If what has been argued in this article seems like common sense, it should be noted that this has been in rather short supply in recent years. As we have shown,

an influential group of scholars in the United States and Asia have promulgated perspectives that obfuscate
rather than illuminate the realpolitik features that characterize inter-state behavior in the AsiaPacific region. An appropriate attention to the empirical facts has not accompanied this fashionably
abstract theorizing. Meanwhile, regional states have prioritized economics over the dictates of strategy
and politics . In the process, they have underestimated the security dilemmas that could affect the region
deleteriously. Lulled by a decade and a half of post-Asian Financial Crisis economic growth, regional
elites developed a form of collective amnesia. Recent events in the East and South China Seas have rudely
awakened them to the verities of power politics. Power balances power. Judiciously applied U.S.
pressure could persuade the Chinese leadership to resolve regional conflict , rather than embark
on an ultimately futile policy of expanding its influence at its periphery. If Chinas rise and Asias
future is to be peaceful and prosperous, it requires a more realist appreciation of power and its
contemporary application to the Asian sphere than currently exists among both scholars and the
regions political elites.

2NC A2: Realism

Their application of realism to China is not just false but colonial their theory
relies on a western drive for certainty and integration which causes mass
Pan 12 (Chengxin Pan, yup its him. PhD, senior lecturer in international relations at Deakin University,
November 2012, Knowledge, Desire and Power in Global Politics: Western Representations of Chinas
Rise, pp 46-8, gender modified) gz
No doubt, some would protest that the China threat conclusion stands on the firm ground of realism, and
has nothing to do with the way the West identifies itself. For example, according to Mearsheimer, in a world
of anarchy, states can never be certain about the intentions of other states,20 and therefore have to
treat each other as a potential threat. Yet, I would argue that such an insatiable demand for transparency from
others is itself a telltale sign of the Western quest for certainty, security, and identity as the modern
knowing subject. Similarly, the realist first-image of human nature, which is often implicitly invoked in the
explanation of the China threat, has less to do with human nature per se than with the Western
quest for scientific truth about human society. The Hobbesian discovery of the first [hu]man and
human nature, as C. B. Macpherson argues, was not the objective knowledge of man per se, but rather
a conscious or unconscious autobiographical reflection of Western modern [hu]man and his living
condition in a bourgeois market society.21 Insofar as the China threat paradigm has been informed
partly by the Hobbesian fear of every [hu]man against every [hu]man, this China threat representation is
best seen as a mirror image of some historically specific and selective self-experience of the
West . Two specific arguments in the China threat discourse are illustrative of this point. The first is the
widely-invoked Germany analogy. Former US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who was instrumental in the
formation of Washingtons official view of China as a strategic competitor, 22 was convinced by the obvious and disturbing
analogy between Wilhelmine Germany and todays China. Though briefly acknowledging the differences between the two powers,
he insisted on their many similarities. For him, just as Germanys transition from the statesmanship of Bismarck

to the incompetence of his successors contributed to the tragedy of World War I, so too China, which is in
the process of a similar transition from two decades of extremely skilful management of its international
relationships to a new leadership of uncertain quality, poses a serious threat to the international order.23
In an influential piece published in The National Interest, Richard Betts and Thomas Christensen similarly argue that Like
Germany a century ago, China is a late-blooming great power emerging into a world already ordered strategically by earlier
arrivals; a continental power surrounded by other powers who are collectively stronger but individually weaker (with the exception
of the United States and, perhaps, Japan); a bustling country with great expectations, dissatisfied with its place in the international
pecking order, if only with regard to international prestige and respect. The quest for a rightful place in the sun will inevitably
foster growing friction with Japan, Russia, India or the United States.24 What this Germany analogy can tell us is that

the Western knowledge of the China threat is based, more than anything else, on a fear of repetition of
a European nightmare scenario . Its fear of China, situated in the broader sense of paranoia that
Europes past may become Asias future ,25 is derived less from Chinas rise or its uncertain
intentions than from the self-righteous certainty about the universality of Western historical
trajectory. The America analogy tells a similar story. Kagan argues that if Americans want to
understand Chinese power and ambition today, they could start by looking in the mirror.. 26 This is
exactly what Mearsheimer has done . After extrapolating American history in the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries to a status of the unchangeable tragedy of great power politics in general ,
Mearsheimer insists that China will have to, almost slavishly, follow the same path: for sound strategic
reasons, [China] would surely pursue regional hegemony, just as the United States did in the Western Hemisphere during the
nineteenth century. So we would expect China to attempt to dominate Japan and Korea, as well as other regional actors, by
building military forces that are so powerful that those other states would not dare challenge it. We would also expect China to
develop its own version of the Monroe Doctrine, directed at the United States. Just as the United States made it clear to distant
great powers that they were not allowed to meddle in the Western Hemisphere, China will make it clear that American interference
in Asia is unacceptable.27 Clearly,

Mearsheimers China threat assessment is based not so much on

what China does in the present as it is on what the US itself did in the past .28 His repeated

anxious expectations of China testify to a paranoia of both Chinas Otherness and its emerging
sameness . His fear reflects, in the final analysis, the lingering ambivalence of colonial desire
towards the mimicry of the American self-experience by an Oriental Other . The autobiographical
nature of the China threat discourse is so obvious that many references to the China menace (such as
the Beijing Consensus and Chinese Lake) are directly modelled on the Western/American self. Little
wonder that Mel Gurtov, while reading a 2005 US Defense Department report on Chinas military threat,
found the reports comments on China ironically more fitting to describe US power and intention than


2NC No Regime Collapse

Even if China cut aid North Korea can diversify to continue their behavior
without compromising sovereignty
Lerner 13 Mitchell, associate professor of history and director of the Institute for Korean Studies at
The Ohio State University, Patience, Not Preemption, on the Korean Peninsula
There are other failings of the preemption argument that deserve mention. The U.S would have a difficult time justifying its actions in
the court of world opinion, as many would no doubt harken back to a time not so long ago when another American president claimed
the right to attack another tyrannical regime in self-defense, because it supposedly harbored dangerous weapons and an intent to
use them. Supporters

of this strategy also overstate the ability of China to restrain North Korea , as
recent evidence from former communist bloc statesand even more recent materials from Wikileaks
suggests that the North was always more independent (and more frustrating) than the Communist
superpowers wanted . A Chinese decision to cut off aid would certainly hurt, but Kim and the elites
would likely be able to survive through such already existing practices as drug trafficking,
weapons sales, and counterfeiting; clearly, they do not care if the rest of the nation suffers.

A2: NK Bioweapons
No NK bioweapons impact --- they havent weaponized anything and have no
incentive to use them.
Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., 2011. Internationally recognized analyst, award winning author and lecturer on North
Korean defense and intelligence affairs and ballistic missile development in the Third World. He has served as Senior
All-source Analyst for DigitalGlobes Analysis Center, Senior Analyst, Editor and author for IHS Janes (formerly
the Jane's Information Group) and is the publisher and editor of KPA Journal. The North Korean Military Threat, in
Confronting security challenges on the Korean peninsula, ed. Bruce E. Bechtol, p. 129-30.
Despite public statements to the contrary, the DPRK possesses the indigenous capability to produce large quantities
and varieties of biological weapons. It also possesses the ability to employ such weapons both on the Korean
Peninsula and, to a lesser degree, worldwide using unconventional methods of delivery. It is believed by most

sources that while the DPRK has an active biological warfare research effort, it has not weaponized
biological agents.
In general, the potential offensive use of biological weapons by the KPA has not received the attention as
that of chemical weapons. This is probably due to the DPRKs limitations in biotechnology and the
realization that, once employed, there is almost no control over such weapons. Additionally, the KPA must
calculate that biological warfare (BW) is potentially a greater threat to the KPA than to the ROK or United
States because of its limited medical and bio-medical capabilities and poor public health system . This last
point was emphasized during the first half of 2007 by outbreaks of foot- and-mouth disease and measles, both of
which required significant international assistance. For this reason, however, defensive biological warfare has
received significant attention.

While the former Soviet Union and China have provided the DPRK with chemical agents, they are not
believed to have provided any direct assistance in the development of biological weapons . Such
capabilities are believed to have been developed indigenously. Biological warfare research is thought to have begun
sometime during the early 1960s and to have focused primarily on ten to thirteen different strains of bacteria. At

present, it is believed that the DPRK has not employed genetic engineering or advanced biotechnology to
develop these bacteria.