Calin Dan on Thu, 4 Dec 2008 13:21:36 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Saskia Sassen: Cities and new wars: after Mumbai

Although I find little entertainment in conspiracy theories, I cannot stop 
noticing that what prevails in the end of all those gory conflicts is the 
economics of reconstruction.

>From the afore-mentioned Groznyy, to the long-tested Beirut, to the very 
close to my direct experience Bucharest, one can make a long list of cities 
that miraculously came back from rubble - a clear sign of their indomitable 
vitality. Or so they say. Little (to my knowledge at least) has been written 
about the direct involvement of the secret services (the very same 
institutions playing an active role in the destruction process), old and 
new, retired and/or active, in the reconstruction, through joint ventures, 
off-shore companies, government contracts a.s.o. All sides previously 
involved in the conflict seem to shake hands in the phase of deal making for 
mending the past.

Now, while reconstruction, compromise, deals closed in the rarefied high 
zones of power are part of what we are used to perceive as "normality", one 
cannot stop wondering where does strategic decision stop in (urban) warfare, 
and where projections for future business opportunities are starting to 
influence the way in which armed conflicts are conducted.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "t byfield" <>
To: "Nettime" <>
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 8:16 AM
Subject: Re: <nettime> Saskia Sassen: Cities and new wars: after Mumbai

> Interesting.
> It isn't hard to see how and why it's tempting to hypostatize concepts
> like "war" and "city," but it'd be wise to treat each one skeptically,
> and even more so in relation to each other. And one needn't reach very
> far back in history at all to come up with absolute contrasts. These
> contrasts have many origins: the actual and theorized relationships
> between cities and their surroundings, the need for invading forces to
> establish strongholds close enough to support command and logistics
> needs, the various technical capacities of forces in conflict (of which
> there are, as often as not, many), styles of warfare that are much more
> complex than the simplistic dichotomy of a/symmetrical warfare, efforts
> to manipulate media (regional, global, sympathetic, etc), and so on.


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