---Back to esad-stg.net hub

Grégoire Chamayou / Théorie du drone

Grégoire Chamayou, Théorie du drone, pp 82-83. La fabrique éditions, Paris 2013.

“Dans les doctrines contemporaines du pouvoir aérien, l’espace opérationnel n’est plus conçu comme une aire homogène et continue. Il devient “une mosaïque dynamique où les objectifs et les tactiques des insurgés peuvent varier d’un quartier à l’autre”. Il faut se représenter un patchwork de cases de couleur auxquelles correspondent chaque fois des règles d’engagement spécifique.

Mais ces cases sont aussi et surtout des cubes. C’est le concept central de “kill box”, imparfaitement traduit par “boite létale” ou “cube de mort”, qui a émergé au début des années 1990 : “La “kill box” se représente graphiquement par une ligne noire continue délimitant une aire spécifique, avec des diagonales en noir à l’intérieur.” Il faut imaginer, à l’écran, en 3D, des cubes posés sur un terrain quadrillé. Le théâtre des opérations se couvre de boites transparentes.

La kill box a un cycle de vie : on louvre, on l’active, on la gèle et on la ferme. On peut suivre ses évolutions à l’écran, un peu comme une défragmentation de disque dur : de petits clusters qui s’activent et changent de couleur au fur et à mesure qu’ils sont traités.

“Lorsque elle est établie, le but immédiat d’une “kill box” est d’autoriser les forces aériennes à conduire des interdictions contre des cibles de surface sans autre coordination avec le commandement.” Sachant que la “nature “mosaïque” de la contre insurrection la rend particulièrement adaptée à une exécution décentralisée”. Chaque cube devient alors une “zone autonome d’opération” pour les unités combattantes qui en ont la charge. En clair, dans un cube donné, feu à volonté. Une “kill box” est une zone autonome de tuerie temporaire.”



2 Comments

  1. zen wrote:


    Grégoire Chamayou’s book Théorie du drone was released in April 2013. The timing was appropriate. A month later, in May 2013, the United States government acknowledged the killing of four American citizens in drone strikes. Two months later, in July, a leaked Pakistani document suggested the civilian death toll associated with CIA drone strikes was higher than what official sources claim. Although drone strikes have been the continuous subject of heated debates during the past couple of years, Chamayou’s new book appears to be the first serious philosophical attempt to rethink the traditional categories in which this topic is usually framed (geographical, ethical, political, legal, technological, etc.). Grégoire Chamayou, who was born in 1976, is currently “chargé de recherche” at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in France. He’s also editor for the publishing label ZONE (which is owned by La Découverte).

    Even though Chamayou’s book on drones has yet to be translated in English, English readers still have some interesting options. At the time of writing, the most thorough introduction to Chamayou’s drone theory is in English and is to be found at Derek Gregory’s excellent blog Geographical Imagination. Derek Gregory, who teaches Geography at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), is currently running a very helpful series where he works his way through the book, chapter after chapter. The first instalment of this series is titled “Theory of the drone 1: Genealogies” (July 23, 2013). I also recommend reading an earlier introductory post where Derek Gregory introduces Chamayou’s new book and provides some context and links to additional materials: see “Theory of the drone” (July 6, 2013). Also worth mentioning is the fact the First Part of Théorie du drone quotes from four different articles by Derek Gregory (all of which are available at the “Downloads” section of his website)

    Théorie du drone further develops theories which were first exposed in Chamayou’s previous book Les chasses à l’homme (2010, see below for bibliographical details). This book was translated into English last year as Manhunts: A Philosophical History. Chamayou discusses his theory of manhunt in English in a video recording available online. He has also published an article in English on this topic: “The manhunt doctrine”. Finally, an excellent, in-depth overview of Chamayou’s work is offered by Kieran Aarons’s essay “Cartographies of Capture”.

    What I’m proposing here is a supplement to the introduction already offered by Derek Gregory. It is meant as a quick bibliography of various material published by Chamayou: books, translations, articles, but also videos and audio recordings, additional public contributions, reviews, etc. The documents collected here testify for the development of what Kieran Aarons has identified as the main theme in Chamayou’s work, the violent capture of the human body:

    […] the notion of violent capture serves as a guiding theme linking Chamayou’s work, linking it to his early study of experimental medicine, his genealogy of manhunting and predatory power, as well as his recent study of contemporary predatory or “cynegetic” warfare use of drones. (“Cartographies of Capture”, Theory&Events, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2013).

    This bibliography was created in August 2013. If it is missing an important item, feel free to contact me and I will gladly add it.

  2. zen wrote:

    the blog of derek gregory … hmmmm
    He seems to enjoy the technology of war just a little too much …

Leave a Reply

*