Outer space: The latest security assessment

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For a small but increasing number of states, space services provide the capability to deploy military personnel globally and apply force more efficiently and effectively. Increasingly, these states view space as a sphere to be dominated and defended. Space is not insulated from conflict on Earth, and it can unpredictably escalate crises on the ground or be the spark that …

Autonomous Kalashnikovs?

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The Russian manufacturer is developing weapons that can identify targets using artificial intelligence Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov is best known as the producer of the infamous assault rifle, the AK-47. The AK-47, as journalist C.J. Chivers (2010) notes, has “fundamentally rewritten the rules of modern warfare,” mainly due to the “ease of use, cost, reliability, and readily available parts and …

Aid as a weapon? The politics of humanitarianism in Syria

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In 2011, forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad occupied the public hospital in the Syrian town of al-Qusayr. When suspected rebels arrived at the hospital in need of medical attention, regime forces detained, interrogated, tortured, and often executed them. In response, private citizens established an underground clinic to provide medical care in secret. Dr. Abd ar-Rhim Amir provided care …

Q&A:The journey of an ‘irregular’ refugee claimant to Canada

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‘Mary” is a mother of three and a refugee claimant currently living in Toronto. Originally from Guinea, she went to the United States with her mother as a teenager, but never gained legal status there. After some years, she paid a smuggler to bring her and her children to Canada, to escape an abusive partner. She is currently awaiting a …

Is the Safe Third Country Agreement putting refugee claimants at risk?

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In December 2016, Razak Iyal (35) and Seidu Mohammed (24) attempted to cross irregularly into Manitoba from North Dakota. Before being rescued by a passing transport truck, they suffered severe frostbite that cost them their fingers. By June of this year, both men, originally from Ghana, had applied for refugee status in Canada. Why did Iyal and Mohammed undertake such …

Sixty years on, the Pugwash work on global security continues

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From August 25-29, international security experts from more than 45 countries convened in Astana, Kazakhstan, for the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs. Under the theme “Confronting New Nuclear Dangers,” the conference reflected on some of the most pressing challenges to global security. The event in Astana marked the 60th anniversary of the first Pugwash Conference, held in the …

In memoriam: Ann Strauss Gertler

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Ann Gertler was 94 when she died at the end of April. In the newspaper notice of her death, she was characterized as a “determined and passionate advocate for peace, abolition of war and nuclear weapons, tireless promoter of international solutions especially through the UN, consultant to government delegations and peace organizations in Canada and internationally.… Ann worked alongside Muriel …

Behind the scenes: Space Security Index

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In early May, Project Ploughshares, in cooperation with the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University and our partners on the Space Security Index (SSI) project, hosted the 14th annual Space Security Working Group (SSWG) meeting in Montreal. SSI aims to serve as a source of accurate information and current analysis on human activities in outer space. We …

Arms and forced displacement: Canada-Saudi arms deal

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The world is experiencing the highest level of forced displacement since World War II. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR 2016a), approximately 34,000 people are forcibly displaced daily by conflict and persecution. A trigger and driver of forced displacement is armed conflict, which is fueled, prolonged, and made deadlier by available, accessible weapons. And so weapons control, and particularly …