The Cultural Impact of the American Sniper Program

Abstract

The U.S. military sniper program is a highly valued asset that has existed since the Civil War. My research question is: what is the impact of this program on the public imagination, 1860s to present? In other words, how has the image of the sniper changed over time in American popular culture, such as film and literature? The advent of the American sniper program in the middle of the Nineteenth Century confused American beliefs about "just" war, which historically have been linked to principles of self-defense, masculine honor, and moral self-restraint among soldiers. Such beliefs have also been mythologized in popular culture representations. The history of attitudes toward snipers in both war and culture reveals a deep ambivalence about the use of soldiers who, unseen and from great distances, kill adversaries who present no immediate personal threat. Once criticized for remaining too distant from bodily harm, snipers in an age of smart bombs and Predator drones are considered today to be held as morally suspect for being too close to the tragedies of war.
Published
2011-12-29
How to Cite
. The Cultural Impact of the American Sniper Program. Utah Historical Review, [S.l.], v. 1, dec. 2011. ISSN 2374-1570. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/historia/article/view/577>. Date accessed: 20 mar. 2019.