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Between cowardice and courage: U.S. Soldier Dissent and Resistance in Iraq
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5123-1357
Rutgers University.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The U.S. military during the Vietnam War experienced severe internal disruptions in the form of resistance by soldiers to the execution of their orders. Such resistance nearly incapacitated the military, according to some observers. After (and even during) the war, the military made several important changes with the aim of reducing the likelihood of similar disruptions in the future. We discuss how two of these in particular, the end of the draft and the creation of the All-Volunteer Force, along with changes in the way troops are rotated, created a “new military culture” that made internal dissent, much less resistance, more difficult and unlikely. With this background, we consider two examples of soldier oppositional practice in the current war and occupation in Iraq: the Appeal for Redress and the refusal of deployment committed by soldiers such as Lt. Ehren Watada. We show how the spaces of the new military culture have shaped oppositional practice in these two cases. We go on to draw parallels between the restrictive military environment and the militarization of the civilian sphere, where only a certain form of patriotism is considered legitimate and dissent and resistance are being pushed out of the sphere of respectability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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Human Geography
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-287530OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-287530DiVA: diva2:922889
Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-04-25

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Jansson, David
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Department of Social and Economic Geography
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