Describing D.C.’s ‘National Security Sprawl’

National Security Sprawl To Deborah Natsios, the September 11, 2001 attack on Washington ushered in a new epoch of national security sprawl. She traces the evolution of “war sprawl” in the region: the city’s circumferential Civil War forts, suburban WWII facilities, Cold War beltway and missile placements, and exurban defense industry office campuses.

In Natsios’ account, the September 11 attack “inaugurated a new chapter in a regional history,” extending far beyond the downtown security bollards. The attack transformed “sprawl’s unpredictable legacy of subdivisions, culs-de-sac, big-box retailers, parking lots, fast-food franchises and high-tech corridors” into a “battlespace” subject to aggressive home raids and panoptic schemes of advanced electronic surveillance.

Leftist jargon aside, the article’s history and intriguing graphics make it well worth a perusal.

> National Security Sprawl by Deborah Natsios, from Architectural Design, Nov/Dec 2005, pp. 80-85.

Author: Rob Goodspeed