This book review essay places Caren Kaplan’s Aerial Aftermaths, Jennifer Terry’s Attachments to War, Inderpal Grewal’s Saving the Security State, and Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan’s edited volume Life in the Age of Drone Warfare in the same analytic frame in order to document the violence of US empire and trace the everyday attachments that sustain it. Taken together, these texts diagnose twenty-first-century America, catalogue and historicize the exceptionalism that rationalizes state violence, and detail the sensory and affective lives of those who wage war and those subject to it. The conversation they initiate intervenes in what Terry calls the “labyrinth of excuses” that sanction warfare. In their feminist cultural studies approaches to surveillance, security, and war, they disrupt the refrains that position war as liberatory or beneficial and technology as capable of domesticating state violence.

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