Project Ploughshares is a Canadian peace research institute with a focus on disarmament efforts and international security, specifically related to the arms trade, emerging military and security technologies, nuclear weapons, and outer space.
Latest Analysis & Commentary
Outer Space: Cloaked by a fog of peaceSeptember 15, 2021
In his book On War, published in 1873, military analyst Carl von Clausewitz said, “War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty.” Contemporary military theorists and planners still find this idea of the “fog of war” relevant.
Why AI-controlled weapons are a bad ideaSeptember 15, 2021
I think I finally REALLY get it. I’ve been reading analysis of autonomous weapons and AI-powered tech by Ploughshares Senior Researcher Branka Marijan for years, but I’ve never completely understood why so many individuals and organizations and even countries are totally against weapons that can target and kill humans without humans as part of the decision-making process.
Exploring how emerging technologies affect war and peaceSeptember 15, 2021
When I started with Ploughshares in 2015, I did a scan of our work and saw that new technologies were transforming and amplifying existing security concerns across our programs—outer space security, arms control, the abolition of nuclear weapons, the nature and causes of armed conflict.
A new era in U.S.-Russia strategic stability?September 15, 2021
During the Trump administration, relations between the United States and Russia deteriorated significantly, leading to the death of major arms control treaties, escalating cyberattacks, and retaliatory measures. On June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of his first foreign trip as U.S. President, Joe Biden met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin to revive strategic stability talks. The meeting, which concluded with a joint presidential statement that calls for “ensuring predictability in the strategic sphere, reducing the risk of armed conflicts and the threat of nuclear war,” could mark the beginning of a new era of arms control diplomacy.
An analysis of Canadian arms export data for 2020September 15, 2021
The government of Canada publishes federal arms export data in its annual Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada. The report for 2020 reveals that Canadian military exports were at historically high levels, and that some of the customers were among the world’s worst abusers of human rights. While the 2020 edition includes minor improvements in transparency, significant information is still missing or obscured.
Discarding deterrence: What Canada must do to help achieve nuclear disarmamentSeptember 15, 2021
"You can ignore reality,” said Russian-American author Ayn Rand. “But you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” Canada needs to heed this warning. While it continues to support the policies of nuclear-weapon states, the multilateral policy landscape on which nuclear disarmament negotiations occur is being reshaped. And all parties that continue to shelter under a nuclear umbrella will be increasingly isolated.
Charting the way forward: Examining the principles of responsible use of military AI by Canada’s alliesThere is a growing global consensus that all AI technology should exhibit the characteristics of transparency, justice and fairness, non-maleficence, and privacy. While a specific blueprint of responsible AI in defence...
The Ploughshares Monitor: Autumn 2021Volume 42 Issue 3 A quarterly publication of Project Ploughshares Please click on attachment to view document: Spread the Word
SPECIAL REPORT: “No Credible Evidence” – Canada’s flawed analysis of arms exports to Saudi ArabiaClick on the image to download the Special Report by Amnesty International Canada and Project Ploughshares. Introduction Version française The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a multilateral international agreement aiming to...
The UK process on norms and space securityOn December 7, 2020, the United Kingdom-sponsored United Nations Resolution A/RES/75/36 was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Seeking to focus the global discussion on outer space security on ways...
Norms, space security, and arms controlThreats to the security of outer space are growing. More pronouncements that space is a warfighting domain are augmented by periodic accusations of, and demonstrations of, weapons tests. The latest...
The Ploughshares Monitor: Summer 2021Volume 42 Issue 2 A quarterly publication of Project Ploughshares Please click on attachment to view document: Spread the Word
Canada’s Commitments to Regulate FirearmsTo view PDF click on image. In September 2019, Canada acceded to the legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, the first international framework to comprehensively control the international trade and transfer...
The need for Canadian leadership in the drive to regulate high-risk AIAs various ministries of the federal government, as well as relevant ministries at the provincial level, seek to develop policy and procedures on the use of AI, they will need...
Recent Research in Action
Canada inching closer to purchase of armed drones for militaryMay 5, 2021
“To date, there has not been much information about how Canada plans to use armed drones beyond broad sketches and assurances from leadership about their responsible use,” said Branka Marijan, a senior researcher at the arms-control group Project Ploughshares.
Video: Parliamentary testimony on exports to TurkeyApril 28, 2021
On April 27, 2021, Ploughshares Executive Director Cesar Jaramillo and Researcher Kelsey Gallagher provided testimony to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Government of Canada. The subject was Granting of Arms Export, with a particular focus on permits granted for exports to Turkey.