Category Archives: war

Shay wa nana podcast

I had a wonderful conversation with Zein El-Amine on his Shay wa Nana radio show on Wednesday 20 May 2020! WPFWFM.org or 89.3 FM in DC area. Zein has lived in Bahrain (on a military base!) and in Saudi Arabia, … Continue reading

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Of Ballast and Land Reclamation

That extraordinary image is from some time in the 1970s, and the container-ship steaming so serenely in Hudson River is a Jugolinija ship belonging to the Yugoslav national shipping line.  What is of course poignant about the image is that … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, construction, environment, imperialism & colonialism, infrastructure, political economy, transport, Uncategorized, war | 1 Comment

The Multivalence of Infrastructures II – Rail

I am reading a fascinating article about colonial engineering. Canay Ozden’s fabulous “Pontifex Minimus” is about the British engineer of the Low (or old) Aswan Dam, and the article just drips with all sorts of wonderful quotable sections.  For example, … Continue reading

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The Multivalence of Infrastructure I – Roads

As always Paul Rabinow’s French Modern is an extraordinary reminder of how transport infrastructures serve functions at once military and commercial – and in fact “war, commerce, and transit” (in Paul Nizan’s memorable phrase) cannot be prised apart. Here is Rabinow … Continue reading

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Logistic Routes and the Détente

Reading an interesting article on the alignment of USSE with Siad Barré’s regime in Somalia from 1969 onwards and it has some interesting tidbits having to do with military logistics and transport.  The article by Gary Payton is standard Cold … Continue reading

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Shooting the animals

This post does not strictly have to do with shipping but it is fascinating and it has taken me on a tangent (and I love these tangents that end up weaving the world together).  I am reading the memoirs of Violet … Continue reading

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About Today: Steaming the security seas

10 February 2015 Everything anticipated our entry into what I can only call security seas. There are ships that do not send signals: they turn out to be warships of a sort, small, compact, going only at 7 knots with … Continue reading

Posted in empire, imperialism & colonialism, militaries, piracy, seafaring, transport, Travels, war | Leave a comment

Peace Frog: Conquest by infrastructure

6 February 2015 I have to admit that I prefer Braudel’s longue durée over his histoire événtmentielle: Perhaps his influence runs through all the great historical accounts written since 1949, where explanations and theoretical framings are comfortably married to historiographic … Continue reading

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Areia de Salamanca: The Razzia in the 16th century

5 February 2015 I borrowed Braudel’s discussion of the presidios on the North African coast yesterday to reflect on logistics… But as I read on, there was also the counterinsurgency element against the colonials (about which Braudel seems remarkably sanguine; … Continue reading

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On Battleship Hill

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali; On Military Logistics in the Age of Philip II 4 February 2015 What becomes clear in reading Braudel’s vol II about war-making is the extent to which your martial power really depends on your economic ability to supply … Continue reading

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