War Mongering for Artificial Intelligence

25 February 2021 — Global Research

The ghost of Edward Teller must have been doing the rounds between members of the National Commission on Artificial Intelligence.  The father of the hydrogen bomb was never one too bothered by the ethical niggles that came with inventing murderous technology.  It was not, for instance, “the scientist’s job to determine whether a hydrogen bomb should be constructed, whether it should be used, or how it should be used.”  Responsibility, however exercised, rested with the American people and their elected officials.

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India’s forever wars and forever warriors

19 February 2021 — Indian Punchline

Disengagement between Chinese and Indian forces at the banks of the Pangong lake in Eastern Ladakh

The Washington-based Quincy Institute, arguably the most intellectually stimulating American think tank nowadays, in its compulsively readable publication Responsible Statecraft featured on Tuesday an investigative report titled Weapons biz bankrolls experts pushing to extend Afghan War, authored by Eli Clifton, noted expert and journalist on US foreign policy.

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All the warfare of the future’: Drones, new technology and the Integrated Review

18 February 2021 — Drone Wars

At the beginning of March, the government will publish its long-awaited Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, known (thankfully) as ‘The Integrated Review’.  It’s purpose is to “define the Government’s ambition for the UK’s role in the world and the long-term strategic aims for our national security and foreign policy.”

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General Atomics plan flights of its new drone in UK – safety fears rerouted previous flights in the US

15 February 2021 — Drone Wars

A SkyGuardian UAV at General Atomics’ California factory.

General Atomics is to bring a company-owned SkyGuardian drone to the UK in the summer to undertake “a series of operational capability demonstrations” for the UK and other NATO members. The RAF’s soon to be acquired Protector drone is a version of the SkyGuardian with a range of UK modifications. The aircraft is being shipped into the UK rather than flying in (possibly due to the controversy around a previous flight to the UK) and will be based at RAF Waddington.

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Nuclear Violence is Why We Are Living in the Anthropocene Age

15 February 2021 — Global Justice in the 21st Century

by Richard Falk

[Prefatory Note: The short essay below is my contribution to the latest thematic Forum of the Great Transition Initiative. It responds to a beautifully crafted paper by the Founder of GTI under the auspices of the Tellus Institute, Paul Raskin. Paul’s initial paper and a series of fascinating responses can be found at  https://greattransition.org/gti-forum/interrogating-the-anthropocene. GTI has developed a powerful and sophisticated global network for dialogue about achieving a visionary future despite the dark clouds that now fill the sky.]

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‘Our Indifference To Ourselves’ – Beyond The ‘Virtue’ Of Self-Sacrifice – Part 1

9 February2021 — Media Lens

A Cogitation by David Edwards

The name Arnold Ridley will be familiar to many viewers of ‘Dad’s Army’, one of Britain’s best-loved TV comedies, which ran a long time ago (1968-1977) but is still shown on prime time BBC TV.

Ridley played Private Godfrey, the loveable, most doddery member of a Second World War platoon of elderly Home Guard troops tasked with defending a stretch of the British coast ‘from the Novelty Rock Emporium to Stone’s Amusement Arcade’.

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On the Edge: Security, protracted conflicts and the role of drones in Eurasia

8 January 2021 — Drone Wars

Click to open report

Our new report, ‘On the Edge: Security, protracted conflicts and the role of drones in Eurasia’ examines the proliferation of drones and loitering munitions (often descried as suicide drones) across Eurasia. It charts their increasing use along the borders of separatist areas, aims to shed some light on the acquisition of large Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Chinese drones in Central Asia, and asks why this has happened and what the likely consequences might be.

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Britain’s role in the death & injury of Yemeni civilians

14 December 2020 — Airstrikes (formerly Drone Warfare)

Above: typical of the destruction wrought by coalition air strikes

July – December 2020

After taking the UK government to court over its arms sales to the Saudis, the latest CAAT newsletter (Issue 258 Winter 2020) recalls that in July 2020 the Government said that it had made the required assessment as to “whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of IHL in the past, during the Yemen conflict” and its conclusion is that these are ‘isolated incidents’.

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Intervention ‘without the need to consider the human cost’: MoD thinking on UK’s new drone revealed

7 December 2020 — Drone Wars

Tim Street

Documents obtained by Drone Wars using the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) reveal how British military officials view the UK’s next generation armed drone, known as Protector, and the types of advanced capabilities the aircraft will have. Protector, which is set to replace the UK’s current fleet of armed Reaper drones in the mid-2020s, is essentially SkyGuardian—the latest version of the Predator drone being produced by General Atomics—plus UK modifications. The modifications revealed in the FOI documents (comprising presentations given by UK military personnel at a drone technology conference held last September) are significant because they provide an insight into how the Ministry of Defence (MOD) plan to utilise Protector.  Looking more widely, Protector epitomises the second drone age, characterised by a global expansion in both the type of drones being used by states and the scale of operations, including in the domestic sphere.

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Secret State 28: why are Britain’s armed forces operating in 42 countries?

2 December 2020 — Political Concern

Artwork by Leila Dougan

A reader has drawn attention to a very detailed report by Phil Miller, a staff reporter for Declassified UK, an investigative journalism organisation that covers the UK’s role in the world. – see  Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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UK Campaign to Stop Killer Robots writes to Defence Secretary on the UK’s approach to LAWS

30 November 2020 — Drone Wars

Chris Cole

Guardian report of Gen Sir Nick Carter’s comments on UK’s increasing use of autonomous and remotely controlled machines.

As members of the UK Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, Drone Wars and a number of other UK civil society groups have written to Secretary of State Ben Wallace on the UK’s position on the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems partly in response to recent comments by the Chief of the Defence Staff.

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