Securitizing instability: The US military and full spectrum operations
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Morrissey, John. (2015). Securitizing instability: the US military and full spectrum operations. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33(4), 609-625. doi: 10.1068/d14033p
This paper examines the recent broadening of the US military’s overseas mission into what it calls ‘full spectrum operations’ and critiques how it is being enabled by what I term ‘full spectrum law’. The paper explores the important doctrinal shifts that took place in the US military from 2005, when it declared for the first time a commitment to ‘stability operations’ as a military responsibility equal in status to offense and deterrence. This, I argue, has reinforced an already dominant US national security discourse in which military and economic security interests are firmly bound. In particular, it has given the US military a broader role in the ‘correction’ of underdevelopment and the securitization of the legal and economic modalities necessary for a functioning neoliberal global economy. The paper reflects on the US military’s blending of security and development concerns and reveals how its legal framing of stability operations draws upon a ‘notional legal spectrum’ that allows for the securitization of the most broadly understood ‘instability’ and sanctions the interminable use of the US military in global interventions in an era ubiquitously cited as one of ‘persistent conflict’.