How Remote Warfare Blows Back: A Case Study of Hawija

On June 3rd 2015 a Dutch airstrike on an Islamic State munitions plant in the industrial area of Hawija, (Kirkuk governorate, Iraq), resulted in the death of at least 70 civilians and the destruction of over 400 buildings.

IRW has teamed up with Pax for Peace and will launch a Community Engagement Learning (CEL) project to investigate the material, socio-economic, and possible blowback effects of the bombing. Data will be collected through field research in Iraq and social media analysis.

The main objective of the project is to evaluate what this airstrike means to civilians and communities and how it figures in collective imaginations of war and violence. These include stories of loss, personal victimhood and suffering, perpetrators and enemies, remembering and forgetting, and blame and accountability. In what way do these imaginations feed into repertoires of contention and increase the possibility of unintended negative consequences for the Netherlands?