Silhouettes of War:: Technologies of U.S. Soldiering and Surveillance
Jessica J. Behm: CITYatwork, an organization for technology and science education in New York City, USA
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Theme: Surveillance
No. of pages:
Publication type:

This paper forwards a theory of silhouetting in relation to technological augmentation in U.S. Military uniforms and suggests that the increasing utilization of metamaterials, nanotechnology, and surveillance technologies operates under a rhetoric of invisibility that complicates the technologies’ visible destruction. Methodologically, the paper attends to three general technological developments in the evolution of the U.S. Army uniform: the design of the new Army Combat Uniform (ACU); the technological advances in the uniform, including embedded wearables, biometric identification devices, and 3D combat enhancement systems; and the bio-networking, GPS, and digital communication arrays that physically link digital uniforms to a larger geopolitical network of U.S. military strategy and surveillance. Throughout, the work traces the aforementioned theory of silhouetting in relation to select sociopolitical consequences of linking digitally enhanced soldiers into a transnational grid of surveillance.

Keywords: Surveillance; U.S. Military; uniform; technology; silhouetting; invisi-bility; cartography

Volume 2, Theme: Theme: Surveillance, Article 4, 2010

Jessica J. Behm
Silhouettes of War:: Technologies of U.S. Soldiering and Surveillance
  • Benedict, Helen (2009): The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Bonds, Timothy, Michael Mattock, Thomas Hamilton, Carl Rhodes, et al. (2000): Employing Commercial Satellite Communications: Wideband Investment Options for the Department of Defense, USA: RAND Research.
  • Bush, George (2004): Commencement Address at the United States Air Force Academy, June 2, 2004, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9946-2004Jun2.html, (05/06/04).
  • Benhabib, Seyla (2002): The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era, Prince-ton: Princeton University Press.
  • Business Week (2003): “Super Soldiers”, 20 April, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_30/b3843083.htm, (15/03/07).
  • Chivers, C. J. (2006): “The Struggle for Iraq: Sniper Attacks Adding to Peril Of U.S. Troops”, New York Times, November 4, Late Edition-Final, Section A, Page 1, Column 1.
  • Clausewitz, Carl von (1989): On War, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  • Coulson, Eric (2007): “New Army Uniform Doesn’t Measure Up”, Military News: Headlines, April 5, http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,131103,00.html, (10/04/07).
  • Craik, Jennifer (2005): Uniforms Exposed: From Conformity to Transgression, Oxford: Berg Pub-lishers.
  • Cramer, Guy (2007): “Dual Texture: U.S. Army digital camouflage”, 25 May, http://uniteddynamics.com/dualtex, (15/03/09).
  • Cross Match and Quantum 3D Press Release (2005): “Cross Match Technologies Introduces First Human Wearable Biometric Solution”, Pamphlet distributed at Association of the United States Army (AUSU) Conference, Washington, D.C. October 4.
  • Deleuze, Gilles (1992): “Postscript on the Societies of Control”, October, 59, 3-7.
  • Deshpande, Rajeev. (2006): “India May Quit EU-led GPS project”, The Times of India, 16 Octo-ber 2006, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-may-quit-EU-led-GPS-project-/articleshow/2172710.cms, (20/10/06).
  • Dunne, Lucy & Barry Smyth et al. (2005): “Configuring the User in Wearable Technology De-sign”, Wearable Futures Programme, Technology and Culture Panel, University of Wales, Newport School of Art, Media and Design.
  • Grimes, Brad (2004): “Tech Success: ‘Heads Up’ takes on fresh meaning for Army”, Post News-week, September 14.
  • MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology (ISN) (2009): http://web.mit.edu/isn/, (10/01/09).
  • Joyce, Amy (2006): “Uniform Makers Pay Poorly, Union Says.” The Washington Post, March 15, D02.
  • Lande, Brian (2007): “Breathing like a soldier: culture incarnate”, The Sociological Review, 55:s1, 95-108.
  • Latour, Bruno (1993): We Have Never Been Modern, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • McCarthy, Will (2007): “The Super Power Issue:
Being Invisible”, 21 May http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.08/pwr_invisible.html, (12/03/08).
  • Mockenhaupt, Brian (2007): “The Army We Have”, The Atlantic Monthly, June 2007, 86-99.
  • Morris, Nancy & Silvio Waisbord (2001): “Introduction: Rethinking Media Globalization and State Power”, Nancy Morris & Silvio Waisbord (eds): Media and Globalization: Why the State Matters, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, vii-xvi.
  • Muller, Richard A. (2004): “The Military Takes Stock in Iraq”, Technology Review, July 16, 2004, http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/13711/?a=f, (15/03/05).
  • Ollila, David (2007): “Coming to a screen near you”, Military Embedded Systems, 27 May, http://viotac.com/vioworld/mil_embedded.pdf, (10/03/08).
  • Pool, Ithiel de Sola (1983): Technologies of Freedom, Cambridge: Belknap Press.
  • Register (2003): “Invisible Gis to Heal Selves, Leap Tall Building with Nanotech”, The Register, 23 May, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/05/23/invisible_gis_to_heal_selves/ (10/03/07).
  • Smith, Rupert. (2005): The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World, UK: Vintage Press.
  • TRADOC: U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (2009): “Facts: Army Combat Uniform”, 25 February, http://www.tradoc.army.mil/pao/fact_sheets/ACU/ACUstandinginfo.htm, (10/01/09).
  • Uniform Market (2004): “Army Unveils New Combat Uniform Will Replace Battle Dress Uniform (BDU)”, 14 June, http://www.uniformmarket.com/magazine/070604/armyuniform.html (20/05/07).
  • Vance, Master Sergeant Cheryl (2007): “Wearable Medical Technology”, Military Medical Tech-nology, 23 May, http://www.military-medical-technology.com, (23/05/07).
  • Virtual Medical Worlds (2002): “U.S. Army awards Microvision addition to wearable display for mobile medics contract”, August 21, http://www.hoise.com, (20/05/07).
  • Virilio, Paul (2002): Desert Screen: War at the Speed of Light, New York: Athlone Press.
  • Welch, David (1999): Modern European History, 1871-2001: a Documentary Reader, 2nd Edition, New York: Routledge.
  • Volume 2, Theme:: Theme: Surveillance, Article 4, 2010

    Jessica J. Behm
    Silhouettes of War:: Technologies of U.S. Soldiering and Surveillance
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
  • J. Aluya (2015). Nanotechnology Implications and Global Leadership Perspectives. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 10(1): 31. DOI: 10.1080/15567249.2010.506472

    Export in BibTex, RIS or text