In Light It Up John Pettegrew explores an intriguing phenomenon uniquely characteristic of twenty-first century warfare and, apparently, of the United States Marine Corps. At once cultural, institutional, and military history, Pettegrew’s work argues that during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the US Marines projected force by “fashioning and deploying ways of seeing conducive to the commission of violence in battle”—a capability produced simultaneously by technological superiority and by a culture of violence that had conditioned young soldiers to move more easily beyond innate moral and ethical inhibitions that would have otherwise prevented the level of accuracy and deadliness that modern US troops achieved (7). Pettegrew terms this the “Marine eye for battle,” a kind of enhanced awareness and instinct that, more than traditions of physical prowess and...

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