Catherine Lutz


Catherine Lutz, Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor of International Studies, Professor of Anthropology. Professor Lutz is the author or co-author of many books and articles on a range of issues, including security and militarization, gender violence, education, and transportation.  Writing and speaking widely in a variety of media, she has also consulted with civil society organizations as well as with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the government of Guam. She is past president of the American Ethnological Society and was selected as a Guggenheim Fellow and a Radcliffe Fellow.

FUDS (Formerly Used Defense Sites): Slow Chemical Warfare and the Impact of US Military Activity

While chemical weapons are commonly identified as a moral and human horror and have most recently been a focus of attention in the Middle East, their precursor, prerequisite, and in some ways more harmful context are found in the preparation for their use. This includes the places, especially in and around military bases, where they are produced, stored, and disposed of. That larger context of what can be termed slow chemical war is also found in the toxicities associated with a range of weapons, including jet fuel and fire foam used at airfields, defoliants, and many others. My remarks will discuss FUDS (Formerly Used Defense Sites), a euphemizing acronym used by the Pentagon to identify a program instituted in 1986 to deal with protest of the lethal contamination of land the Department of Defense has owned and operated in the past. This program only addresses US locations, however, and there remains official inattention to the toxic wastes of war and war preparation in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.

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