Tomahawk missiles and “Mother of All Bombs”: Dilapidation and “red line crossing” in the Trump administration

This analysis focuses on recent coercive actions led by the USA in Syria (with the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles) and Afghanistan (with the release of a Massive Ordnance Air Blast Weapon, or MOAB). We highlight the fact that these actions project a new representation of the use of force by the United States, out of step with the image of "economic violence" that had been imposed during the presidency of Barack Obama. Based on George Bataille's philosophical work on waste and transgressions, we show that these actions can be analyzed as a punitive celebration aimed at asserting the status of the United States on the international stage.