Drone: Anthropology, Poetry, Military

This episode of AnthroPod is about the representation of drone warfare, as told from the perspective of an anthropologist (Hugh Gusterson), a poet (Kim Garcia), and a drone operator on active duty in the U.S. military. We use the pseudonym Major Steven Lerman to refer to this individual in the episode, in order to protect the operator’s identity. This episode was inspired by a March 2017 conference on “Policy, Ethics, and the Future of Drones” hosted by the Integrated Remote and In Situ Sensing (IRISS) initiative at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

When put next to one another, these voices critically engage the ways we think about communities of expertise and war, as well as how we represent the experiences of others. First, we talk to Hugh Gusterson, Professor of International Affairs and Anthropology at George Washington University, about his book Drone: Remote Control Warfare (MIT Press, 2016), the history of U.S. policy regarding the use of militarized drones, and the implications of drone use for theories of war, time, and space, as well as methods of “studying up” and participant-observation in cultures of expertise.

Kim Garcia is the author of the poetry collection DRONE (Backwaters Press, 2016). Her poetry has been published in Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, Nimrod, and Subtropics. She has described DRONE as a “lyric meditation on modern warfare,” taking the perspective of a civilian trying to pick up the pieces and understand contemporary military assemblages. Her poetry is woven throughout this episode and we hope it provides a writerly and affective perspective on the representation of war.

Put beside Gusterson’s book, Garcia’s poems ask: how far can and should anthropologists and artists go to understand the experiences of others? Finally, quotes from a conversation we recorded with the drone operator we call Major Steve Lerman look at the often complicated relationships between ethnographers and informants, subjects and objects, which can resemble the difficult slippages between scientific communities and the way their findings are communicated to the public.

Credits

Arielle Milkman produced this episode of AnthroPod. Special thanks to Executive Producer Anar Parikh for valuable feedback and to Hugh Gusterson, Kim Garcia, Emily Yeh, Lorraine Bayard de Volo, Willi Lempert, Christian Hammons, and William Lammons for their support.

AnthroPod features interviews with anthropologists about their work, experiences in the field, and current events. To pitch your own episode ideas or to offer feedback, email us at [email protected]

You can find AnthroPod at SoundCloud, subscribe to it on iTunes, or use our RSS feed. If you have any thoughts on this episode or on AnthroPod more broadly, please leave us a comment to the right or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

Music

Introduction: “Sweeter Vermouth,” by Kevin MacLeod

Transitions: “Man Versus Moon,” by Salakapakka Sound System; “Trance-Forme,” by Enrico Falbo; “Lay Down,” by The Paint

Outro: “Precurs 2017,” by Derek Piotr; “Memories from a Dead Star,” by Osiris Saline

Transcript

Ariel Milkman [AM] [00:00:05] Welcome to AnthroPod, the podcast about anthropology brought to you by the Society for Cultural Anthropology. I'm your host, Ariel Milkman, and today we'll talk about the representation of drone warfare from the perspective of an anthropologist, a poet, and a U.S. Air Force drone operator. The voices you will hear in this episode originally came together at a conference at the University of Colorado-Boulder on drones and remote sensing. Put next to each other, they critically engage the ways we think about communities of expertise and war as well as the nature of representing the experiences of others.

AM [00:00:42] Here's Hugh Gusterson, an anthropologist at George Washington University.

Hugh Gusterson [HG] [00:00:47] Well M.I.T. Press said they wanted a short book that would focus on ideas. They wanted a book that would come out early enough in the debate on drones to help set the terms of the debate and that would focus much more on ideological, intellectual framing than on lots of thick description.

AM [00:01:04] Hugh's latest book is called Drone Remote Control Warfare. It came out in 2016 from M.I.T. Press. And this is poet Kim Garcia.

Kim Garcia [KG] [00:01:13] I obviously have published this book called Drone and I am talking mostly about armed drones but I was also thinking about a number of things about airspace, about surveillance, about what sort of the implications were as a citizen might think about it, as an individual might think about it not as a professional just as someone picking up the bits of news and I was writing this in 2013.

AM [00:01:47] Gusterson gave the keynote lecture at the University of Colorado's conference on drones in 2017. His talk was titled "Remote Killing: Drones, Democracy, and War."

HG [00:01:58] So I'm just gonna get straight into it and talk to you a little bit about how drone warfare works. This gives you a sort of schematic of the outline of the talk. I'm gonna say something about how drones work, the history of drones, why the military likes drones, then we're going to talk about what I call the remixed battlefield. This is a battlefield where the shape of the battle space has been reoriented by drone technology. I'm gonna say something about what it's like to be a drone operator, what it's like to kill someone from eight thousand miles away while watching it on a video screen. There's been a protracted debate about civilian casualties with many senior U.S. government officials insisting that there are almost no civilian casualties. Many other commentators, including anti-drone activists, insisting there being quite a large number of civilian casualties so I go into that debate try to make some sense of it and then finish with some thoughts about drones and democracy: the perils of drones for democracy, the benefits of drones for democracy, and then something about what the future holds, and I've been thinking about laws that I wish that we had, international laws and domestic laws to regulate drones, so I'll finish with a slide about that.

AM [00:03:13] There was at least one person in the audience at Hugh's talk who knew what it's like to kill someone remotely: an R.P.A. Operator on active duty in the U.S. military. "Those who talk don't know and those who know don't talk," he told me. Because we can't use his real name, we'll call him Major Steve Lerman.

Steve Lerman [SL] [00:03:32] Yes I spent about five years doing that job. I was deployed twice, once to Afghanistan, once to somewhere else where I wasn't actually flying the airplane but I was doing staff work associated with the mission. I've been assigned to three different operations squadrons. I was an instructor pilot and I supported almost entirely the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was all prior to the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, so I haven't participated in those wars. I was participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ok, this is sick, so I think let's take five.

AM [00:04:05] OK, so as you may have guessed the person you just heard is a voice actor who is interpreting Steve Lerman by reading his exact quotes from our conversation in the spring.

SL [00:04:15] This is part of the problem is that you can't use my name. I can't let you use my voice because we have all these rules about what we're able to say and I think the end result is that we don't get a fair hearing and we can use experts in whatever field that may be to tell the story on our behalf and they just don't get it right.

AM [00:04:42] I spoke further with Gusterson to learn more about what studying drones as used not just in military warfare, but in other contexts such as leader and conservation might mean for anthropologists.

AM [00:05:00] Part 1: How did we get here.

AM [00:05:09] So did drones really mark a type of break or substantial type of difference in the way that we have conceptualized war and technology?

HG [00:05:21] It's certainly, you know, the consummation of the far end of a trend. I don't know whether the break comes in terms of visualization or other things, the removal of the warrior from the battle space is where the real break is I think. And so I guess that means that they're reliant on surrogate or remote visualization devices to see what they're doing. But it seems to me the real break isn't so much about the triumph of the visual or the nature of the visualization, it's more the removal of the warrior's body from the battlefield, which is what's led some theorists to say that it's not even warfare anymore when drones are doing it, it's hunting and they prefer to use that metaphor of hunting than warfare, which is premised on the notion of of a duel.

HG [00:06:11] But it does seem to me, also, that the relationship of a drone operator to the strike they orchestrate is collapsed almost entirely into the visual. So any other kind of warrior, there would be the sound of the weapon being released or the sound of it exploding. There would be the smell of the explosion the smell of burning flesh perhaps the taste of it even. It's like all the other senses have been peripheralized. Now if you're a drone operator, there are sounds: there's the little small click sound when you release the missile in the pod. I'm told that the pods smell bad, they smell of human body odor, they smell of Febreeze and things like that. So there is an odor that's connected with this kind of warfare but it's just not the odor of the battle space on the other end.

AM [00:07:07] I want to shift here back to Lerman, who views the use of drones as one piece of the longstanding operating practices of the joint force.

SL [00:07:16] But absolutely the prospective problem is really difficult. And one of the things that is really hard to explain is that as a Predator pilot, I don't see these weapon systems as independent of the rest of the joint force, the way that we go to war. Gusterson in the book wants to distinguish between mixed-drone war and drone-only war and even that distinction I think is unhelpful. There is no such thing as a drone-only war. We never fly one airplane by itself to do something. There is always Intel there's always ground enforcement of some kind. There's always network infrastructure satellites, other air crafts, and so it's really hard to explain that but that's part of the reason that those of us who fly remote aircraft in the Air Force are wary about any kinds of claims about how RPAs have revolutionized warfare. I don't think they have. It seems like in every way we've changed warfare and we've done it in an evolutionary way rather than in a revolutionary way. We've had cruise missiles that could target enemies from a distance long before we had predators. It seems like an extra step. I take the point that there were, that there are duplications that come along with stuff like that but that doesn't mean that we have to throw out what we have and start over. Let's take all the structure we have for identifying ethics and war and see if it works. If we apply it to RPAs, I think in large part it does with some slight modifications to update it.

Kim Garcia [KG] [00:08:37] All languages have words for at least these three quantifiers, and that's the title of the poem: One, Two, and then Many. Walking out into the inside of a blue sphere, amongst it, I shrink to a size I can bear. Nearly disappear driving 95 towards Vegas. I get sick. Looking through another window, another screen. Stop the car, lie on the ground looking up until I lose count of all the things I'm counting: bodies body parts, men in a truck, civilians, children, strikes. I think, "If I'd killed myself last weekend, they'd be alive." Tie-dye blooms of heat on my screen. Warm nights, sleeping on the roof. A man and a woman. One bright ball. One, then two, then many.

AM [00:09:35] A lot of this book, it feels like it was written in and for the Obama era. Will this be relevant or similar in the Trump administration?

HG [00:09:49] Well there are parts of the book that talk about the Bush administration because the first drone strikes were done under Bush and it was Bush who escalated the drone strikes in Africa and Pakistan before Obama decided to intensify them even more. So I think the book tries to give the impression that there's a lot of continuity between the Bush and Obama administrations.

AM [00:10:10] And the Clinton administration, also, right? They were also developing drones.

HG [00:10:14] They were developing drones but they had weaponized them. So the first use of a drone to actually kill someone was in 2001 in Afghanistan under President Bush. So there's sort of a straight line between Bush and Obama, though Obama clearly was very enamored of drones. There was something about their ostensible precision, I think, that really appealed to the rationalist in him, this idea that you could theoretically be surgically precise just take out the bad guys and be sort of a humanitarian warrior. It particularly appealed to that sort of cool intellect that Obama has, but the technology itself was pretty stable between Bush and Obama. The targeting policies were pretty much the same. So I just see the movement from Bush to Obama as one of intensification more than anything else. It's unclear what will happen with Trump but I see the machinery that the US national security state has in place around this as being sort of semi-autonomous at this point. One of the stories I didn't tell in the book is that there were times when Obama tried to rein in the drone strikes and make them more precise and stop them from doing riskier drone strikes that were killing children and so on and he only had partial success. The machinery of the drones was sort of beyond his ability to control it. It had become so dispersed and embedded in the CIA and the Pentagon even in the joint, ah, JSAC, sort of special services people. There is a limit to how much he could control it. So the one place in the book where it's clearly really about Obama is the final chapter where I discuss legal justifications for using the drones and those are all Obama's administration's justifications.

HG [00:12:06] Trump may have entirely different justifications, we'll have to see, but I do note that there was a drone strike under Trump I think the second day he was in office.

Musical Interlude [00:12:30] Musical Interlude.

AM [00:12:30] Part Two: Time and Space.

AM [00:12:34] One of the things that really struck me was this tension between the intimate and the remote. Could you talk about that tension a little bit?

HG [00:12:45] So I was I was lucky to be at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in the year I wrote this and I was starting to write that chapter that's called "Remote Intimacy." And I'd been reading stuff by anti-drone activists who said that it was just like PlayStation warfare or a videogame being a drone operator, and then next to that I was reading drone operators own accounts and it seemed to me that the anti-drone people were wrong. There was something that they weren't grasping and yet there was also a truth in what they were talking about. So I just felt sort of stuck. It seemed very intimate and close up and very remote at the same time and I remember over lunch at the Institute for Advanced Study one day, I happened to be sitting opposite Joan Scott and told her that I was sort of stuck on how to understand this and she coined the term, "remote intimacy," and that really sort of helped me see that instead of feeling stuck I should realize that the two poles were sort of held together, that they were both true at the same time and it was this sort of conflictual reality.

KG [00:13:56] I'm no longer running. Who would chase me? Who wants to go there? Where the ones I have watched are watching me. We are in a state almost like love, almost trance, a hovering. They're almost dear to me, my beloveds. All is understood at last. No one speaks. I am moving towards them without moving and they're coming towards me from far off. A heaven where the past, our irrevocable past, has been waiting. They are patient. Stones without rancor or affection. I belong to them.

Musical Interlude [00:14:40] [Humming of an engine and beeping]

AM [00:14:48] The temporality seems to be different, also, talking about, there's one example from your book when your undergraduates, I think, were trying to figure out whether, you know, where the war is actually happening, if the combatants are in the United States. Is the war happening in the United States? Does this kind of put us in a time-space of constant war happening in the US?

HG [00:15:20] Well so let's take time and space differently, separately. I think what is happening in terms of space is again you've got the consummation of a trend that's been happening over many decades where high tech attackers are further and further removed from the people they attack. So you think of cruise missiles, you think of people in bombers dropping bombs on people 10,000 feet below. This is eight-thousand miles away. It's even more removed. But it's not just one of the sort of distanciation of the striker from the struck, something else is going on as well. Some people talk of it in terms of opening up tiny kill spaces, kill boxes. So if you think of a place like Yemen, most of the time, Yemen is not a battlezone but once in a while an American drone flying over Yemen will decide that it's found an insurgent, its operators will decide they've found an insurgent. And so they open up this tiny kill box inside Yemen and they attack the person in that kill box and the kill box is just 100 yards by 10 feet across or something right. So there's that strange sort of perturbation of space as well, it's not just sort of elongation and stretching. It's like tiny little kill spaces erupt now in what would otherwise be sort of the flat plane of neutral space. In terms of temporality, I talk in the book about how the drones enable this, the drone operators to slow everything down. So a drone will linger for many hours over a target in some cases before they take the shot. So they can decide when is the best time in terms of making sure there are no civilian casualties, when they'll have the best angle on the person they're trying to kill and so on. So they really slow it down in a way that you couldn't do if you were using an F-16 or a Warthog plane or something like that.

HG [00:17:17] But for the person who is the target, it's like a fraction of a second when they realize that there's a missile coming towards them and then they're blown apart. So there's this intense acceleration of time on one end of the transaction and the slowing down of time on the other.

AM [00:17:36] And that produces a different type of terror, right?

HG [00:17:39] Well so in that sense time gets slowed down for people on the ground and Ithink part of drones as weapons of terror in places like Waziristan, where the drones have been a constant presence, is that you you can hear them constantly buzzing. So it's like time gets flattened into this eternal moment of just before the strike where you're constantly wondering, "When is it going to be? When is going to be? Will I be attacked?" which is part of the terror, this sort of flattening out of the pre-strike moment, if you like. But then when the strike happens, it's all in this intense acceleration of speed.

KG [00:18:24] Bodies abstracted, inked and turned graceful calligraphy. Vertebra into Helix. Images speaking signatures under skin. Those bones dark as lacquer released from frame scroll. A soul. Shoulders curved, residual and delicate ganglia, antennae tasting the air for eminence. The hovering hand of Allah. Like black crape twisted more, always more. Around the mind's single eye. A stuttering speech, a limp. Or there, the spine becoming blood, rivering as it cools around that ink paper already part of the story. Scholars to whom this book is always and only true, a day's smoke. Sky twin. Absorbing your heft in line. No name. You've never been.

HG [00:19:27] The other thing that's going on with temporality, I think, is that in a conventional battlefield people strike blows against one another sort of in real time. It's almost not even an exchange because the blows are exchanged so quickly. One of the things that happens with the war on terror, if you want to use that term, is that the retaliation may take months or years. So al-Qaida decides to do an operation in the U.S. but it takes them months to recruit someone who will attack a discotheque or drive a car into people in the road or whatever is it is.

Musical Interlude [00:20:14] [Horns blaring, deep bass underlining the horns]

AM [00:20:15] Part 3: Troubling the Categories.

AM [00:20:19] It seems like part of what's so unsettling about this is that the traditional categories that we have for civilian or for pilot or for President are sort of out of control or all mixed up.

HG [00:20:34] The quote I keep using from Grégoire Chamayou, the French geographer who wrote "Theory of the Drone" but he says that the drone, I don't remember the exact words, but something like: "The drone erodes all the conventional categories." And I kept on coming back to that quote because for all the reasons you just gave it's so apposite. It's not clear: Has a drone operator been in battle or not? Do they deserve a medal? Do they deserve PTSD? Can you really say they have PTSD? Lots of military people will say, "No. They weren't in battle, they couldn't possibly have PTSD." They don't know whether to call them operators or pilots. They like to call themselves pilots in the book. You'll notice I call them operators but you know you could do it either way. As for civilians, I don't think it's drone warfare that deconstructs the category of the civilian. It's the nature of counterinsurgency itself. So even if you were on the ground doing ground based counterinsurgency, you'd have the same problem that people float in and out of counterinsurgencies. Maybe a Klan leader orders them to participate in an insurgency one month or maybe they're short of money and so they rent themselves out to the insurgents to plant IEDs one month. So people are constantly moving in and out of insurgencies. For a while they think things are okay and then the government does something that really annoys them and they sign up with the insurgency.

HG [00:21:52] So it's inherent to this form of war that the boundaries of civilian and insurgent are always unstable. And yet, the discourse of international law, the liberal international order, the discourse of the laws of war, is one that's premised on a very clear distinction between insurgents and civilians. So there's a fundamental mismatch between our legal categories, and sort of commonsense discourse about how a war ought to be prosecuted, and the realities on the ground of any counterinsurgency.

KG [00:22:26] "She wears a kind of doily hairpin to her crown, her glory." the pastor says. She stands and the hymn is sung along with the keyboard, the electric guitar and the lead singer. Heavy eyeliner, a tear in the voice. The pastor stands at the rail, waiting on sinners, scanning the congregation. What should she pray? That her husband's hands should stop shaking? That he should stop working on the Sabbath? That he should stop having those dreams, stop getting up and playing video games in the dark? Stop turning out the lights and then talking? Stop not talking? Stop hating her for listening? Stop killing those men who kill us? Stop killing those children who cluster around them? Stop the women who we must watch collect the bodies, parts of bodies who are themselves sometimes nothing but bodies? Stop watching the bodies get into carts, into trucks, into the trunks of car? Stop being paid for watching? For locating? For prosecuting? For firing? Stop fighting for the insurance to pay? For the V.A. to pay? For the government to pay? What should she pray? How can God answer?

Steve Lerman [SL] [00:23:53] Different people are going to respond differently. I know some people who did struggle more emotionally with what they were doing. For my part it hasn't affected me much. I know one guy who started just being kind of angry a lot at home and I think that was in large part because he was in a very kinetic squadron. He was in a squadron that was shooting a lot. He was dealing with that and didn't have an outlet for it at home. It's like him up in his relationship with his wife and kids. That was really hard to watch but that was an extreme case. I don't know many people who suffered in that way. I knew two guardsmen, International Guard pilots, who flew together all the time and they had this ritual they would do which was every time they released a weapon, after it was all over, after the mission was done, they would sit there in the cockpit and they would pray together. And that's what they needed to do in order to sort of bring some resolution to the fact that they'd just taken human life.

AM [00:24:56] I want to shift to talk a little bit about where Anthropology is in Science Studies and in "Studying Up" right now. Were you able to do significant participant observation in this book?

HG [00:25:18] For the drone book?

AM [00:25:19] Yeah.

HG [00:25:19] No I didn't. I didn't do any participant observation at all really. I mean, I hung out on the edge of a few protests that I happened to come across, so I guess you could call that participant observation. So for the drone book there isn't any participant observation at all. I assume that had I done participant observation that would have been a different book, probably a much richer book textually, and it would have come out four years later and it might not have had such an impact.

AM [00:25:48] I guess I sort of wonder about the limits of participant observation. Can you really do that kind of immersive research with people who are operating this machinery or with folks who are in security?

HG [00:26:05] You could! You could. You could get a job. You know I think of Newjack City that was written by Ted Conover, the journalist. He was denied permission to go into the Sing Sing Prison and write about it as a journalist, so he went undercover, he got a job as a prison guard. Now that would be against our ethics code but he was totally immersed in that situation. So one could imagine getting a job as a drone operator and keeping a detailed journal every day and writing from that very immersed point of view. Or it's possible for a different anthropologist than me that the Air Force or the CIA would give permission for the anthropologist to be there. There are anthropologists with security clearances. There's an anthropologist who works for the CIA, for example. So it's possible that he could get permission to hang out in the pods all the time and do that kind of work. For most academic anthropologists, you won't get that kind of access, the bureaucracy will be suspicious and they won't give it to you. Some years ago I wrote a piece called "Studying Up Revisited." And in that piece, I argued that participant observation has to be modified for studying up, that you should engage in something that I called a heterogenous engagement where you should be willing to sort of patch together all sorts of data sources and you should just take it for granted that if you're studying powerful people who are very busy, who are not going to let you hang out with them all the time, you're going to have to rely more on newspaper articles you're going to have to rely on short tape-recorded interviews where you get all your questions in very quickly. You're going to have to rely on congressional reports, perhaps, and that sort of thing, email exchanges with people. But the classic model of participant observation usually runs into problems with studying up, I think.

AM [00:27:56] Do you think that with books like this or increasing information like this, civilians can become more aware really of what's happening?

HG [00:28:07] If they want to. I don't think most Americans want to think about drones. I think it's if you think about them too much, it's very painful. To think about what's being done in your name and to think of dishonoring of war in a way, right? I mean all Americans are cowards in the age of drone warfare. I shouldn't say all Americans but ... the U.S. has developed a cowardly mode of warfare. So there are all sorts of reasons to put it out of your mind.

AM [00:28:37] Lerman, on the other hand, argues that there is also a significant epistemic gap between civilians and military folks, which prevents those groups from seeing each other.

Steve Lerman [SL] [00:28:46] There are arguments to suggest that the military civilian gap in the U.S. is higher than it's ever been. And part of that is because of the all volunteer force. Part of that is because of the small military. So you think about World War Two when people are being drafted? Pick any family in America and they know someone. They have firsthand knowledge of a person who is deployed to fight the war. And now there are families in America that just don't know any military people. Because that gap is only getting wider, I think there's a risk of distrust there. I think we need to cut that out and build trust in those conversations between military and non-military people. Really important. The other thing that I'd say that's not official at all is that we have more people than we've had in the past going off to grad school and then going into academic jobs and the academic jobs have a lot more freedom. For example, I can have this conversation with you now, which a crew member would have to get tons of permission to have this conversation. So I think that's going to be really healthy.

SL [00:29:40] And so as we've put our crew members out into the academic world within the military, I think we're going to be able to hear a lot more of these stories.

Ariel Milkman [AM] [00:29:47] In the end of the book, you sort of posit two different ways to go: the dystopian future.

Hugh Gusterson [HG] [00:29:57] Looks like it's going to be dystopia.

AM [00:30:01] Okay, or a sort of benign, um, Why do you think it's not very hopeful?

HG [00:30:05] Well I read the book out of a sense of urgency hoping that it might attract the attention of policymakers. And I wanted to really make explicit for anyone who has any control over the levels of policy that we really are sort of at a fork in the road and that things could go very badly if we make the wrong decisions. I mean, I think a world of automated autonomous drones that make their own decisions on who to kill is a complete nightmare but we seem to be on autopilot towards that world. And I wanted to dramatize what the two paths would look like, so that's why I wrote that that brief afterword to try and make really clear to anyone, especially policymakers, what was at stake. And I think there's always this difficulty of visualizing what the future could be. So I tried to write it almost like a movie script or it's sort of a slight retrospective history or something to make as vividly material as I possibly could what this bad world would be like where you had drones circling over protests shooting at people.

AM [00:31:12] Well, great! Thank you for sitting down. I know you have some more to do on your slides. Unless there's anything else you want to say?

HG [00:31:19] No I just hope the younger anthropologists out there especially, there's all sorts of projects to do with drones, not just military drones. I mean lots of people are going to have drones in their homes. You can buy them at Best Buy or Target and so on. Lots of people are going to be buying them and trying to figure out what they want to do with them. So it's actually a great topic to study.

Musical Interlude [00:31:41] [Sounds of clicking, of whispered voices]

AM [00:31:53] You've been listening to AnthroPod: The Podcast of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, produced in collaboration with the American Anthropological Association. Don't miss the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting November 29th through December 3rd in Washington DC. This year's theme is: Anthropology Matters. Learn more about the AAA meeting and register at americananthro.org/meetings. Speaking of which, AnthroPod is hosting a workshop at the AAAs in Washington DC on Thursday November 30th, 2017 from 1 to 3 p.m. The session is called "Podcasting 101 with AnthroPod" and we're inviting folks to join us for a crash course on how to create anthropology podcasts. We think podcasting presents the opportunity to expand academic conversations beyond the pages of journals and monographs and to take anthropological content to a broader audience. Join us to learn how to record a podcast, how to adopt your interviewing skills for broadcastable audio, and how to get through the editing process. Registration is available on the AAA website. In the meantime, you can subscribe to AnthroPod via iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud and you can also find us at culanth.org. There on the website, you can find out more about Hugh Gusterson, Kim Garcia, and all our previous interviewees, as well as the journal, Cultural Anthropology.

Arielle Milkman [AM] [00:33:41] This episode was written by me, Arielle Milkman, with executive production by Anar Parikh. This story would not have been possible without Hugh Gusterson, Kim Garcia, Emily Yeh. Lorraine Bayard de Volo. Willy Lampert. Chris Hammons. And last but not least, Will Lammins, who read the part of Major Steve Lerman.

Thank you.