The Wars Are Here: How the Post-9/11 Wars Helped Militarize U.S. Police

Images from the 2014 protests against racist police violence in Ferguson, MO — of snipers pointing semi-automatic rifles into crowds and officers tear-gassing unarmed civilians — prompted many to compare the St. Louis suburb to occupied Gaza, Ukraine, or Iraq. During the summer of 2020, as the U.S. witnessed its largest public uprisings since the 1960s, police in mine-resistant vehicles once again occupied both the streets and mass public attention. In this moment of simultaneous continuity and potential transformation, it is vital to analyze both the deep roots and the recent upsurge of police “militarization” in order to grasp what calls for “demilitarizing” the police could mean. Drawing on a recent report she authored for the Costs of War Project, Jessica Katzenstein’s talk will trace U.S. police militarization from its colonial and anti-Black history through its intensification after 9/11, demonstrating how today’s armored vehicles and tear gas emerge from a deep lineage of “militarized” policing. Katzenstein will then chart how police militarization has exploded in the wake of U.S.-led post-9/11 wars, specifically examining the flows of military equipment to police, the burgeoning surveillance and intelligence infrastructure, and police departments hiring military veterans. Finally, she will discuss the costs of post-9/11 police militarization — not only in dollar terms, but also in the currencies of racialized violence, lost opportunities, and critical global analysis.Join us on Monday, October 5 for this webinar in a series exploring various costs and consequences of the post-9/11 wars. The seminars are part of the “20 Years of War” research series, a two-year collaboration with the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University to expand the ongoing Costs of War project. The “20 Years of War” research series explores the human, financial, environmental, social, and political costs of the post-9/11 wars and illustrates how the impacts of the wars will ripple into the future.All seminars in this series will take place virtually on the Pardee Center’s YouTube channel.

When 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Monday, October 5, 2020
Location YouTube