chapter  36
9 Pages

Drone operators, terrorists, and the biopolitics of public health in the War on Terror

WithNeil Krishan Aggarwal

This chapter presents a critical discourse analysis of mental health scholarship in the War on Terror that constructs drone operators and terrorists as new targets of public health intervention. M. Foucault’s lectures emphasise state racism in public health. A new science could emerge ‘if public health research investigates promising new variables from the social and behavioural sciences such as social inclusion, exclusion, cultural identity and acculturation, stigma, discrimination, and political engagement’. In the UK, the National Health Service has mandated since 2011 that health professionals must screen all patients for signs of terrorism and report suspicious individuals to the police, with the result that the entire domestic population is under surveillance rather than only Muslim communities. National security support roles for physicians in the War on Terror have not been a dramatic departure from conventional medical ethics but further proof that politics and public health remain intertwined.