Strategic bombardments, either aimed explicitly at civilians or deployed in circumstances where extensive civilian deaths are written off as collateral damage or accidental, are becoming increasingly common. This book shows how certain European colonial powers, notably Britain, initiated aerial bombardment of civilians after World War I, how it was an instrument of choice in World War II, and how it has since been refined and practised by the US in Korea, Vietnam, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. It exposes the rationalizations put forward to avoid the label of 'state terrorism', the race, gender and class biases used to justify bombing 'other' people and the dirty secret about the so-called 'clean' use of air power. It argues that if terrorism is to be diminished, the role of aerial bombing in sustaining global violence must be recognized and confronted.

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