Digital War: Rhetoric, Risks, and Realities
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Media Studies
Course Number: NMDS 5246
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
In the late 1990s the US military committed itself to pursuing Network-Centric Warfare and Full-Spectrum Dominance, which eventually led to the largest military contract in history--the Future Combat Systems program. Several years, two wars, and many billions of dollars later, those digital technologies are finding their way onto the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror. This course focuses on exploring the technologies and media that are having the greatest impact on the way war will be fought in the near future, as well as the cultural meanings of warfare, and the propensity to war itself. We explore how these technologies are changing the nature of warfare, and the rhetoric that is used to justify the development and use of these technologies. The course critically examines the claims that technologies can produce increasingly risk-free, or even bloodless, wars, and considers how the risks of engaging in armed conflict are being redistributed. Topics discussed include the military's use of video games for recruitment and training, the use of video game interfaces for real-world technologies, the use of database systems to manage vast quantities of information in warfare, and the increasing use of military robotics including armed Predator and Reaper drones.
Open to Graduate students.