Open Letter to the Prime Minister: Ongoing Weapons Exports to Saudi Arabia

Ploughshares Featured, News

The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian labour, arms controls, antiwar, human rights, international security, and other civil society organizations, are writing to reiterate our continued opposition to your government’s issuance of arms exports permits for weapons destined to Saudi Arabia. We write today adding to the letters of March 2019, August 2019, April 2020 and September 2020 in which several of our organizations raised concerns about the serious ethical, legal, human rights and humanitarian implications of Canada’s ongoing transfer of weapons to Saudi Arabia. We regret that, to date, we have received no response to these concerns from you or the relevant Cabinet ministers on the matter. Critically, we regret that Canada finds itself in violation of its international arms control agreements.

The Sputnik moment re-examined

Jessica West Analysis and Commentary, Featured, News, Ploughshares Monitor, Space Security

A U.S. military official recently described a missile test conducted by China in August as “very close to a Sputnik moment.” It seems that the test involved the launch of a re-entry vehicle capable of entering orbit and re-entering Earth’s atmosphere with its payload intact; this primary vehicle also carried a hypersonic glide vehicle that was released following re-entry.

Q&A: Harnessing the power of story

Wendy Stocker Analysis and Commentary, Featured, News, Ploughshares Monitor

Virtually every piece of text that appears on the Ploughshares website, in mailings to potential and continuing supporters, and in hard-copy publications, passes through Tasneem’s hands. She lays out text; adds illustrations that add punch to words; and turns raw data into arresting diagrams, tables, and maps. Her work is critical to getting our message out clearly to an audience that ranges from legislators to civil society to subject experts and “regular” citizens. We believe that she is someone that our supporters need to know better.

Government support for the arms industry

Kelsey Gallagher Analysis and Commentary, Conventional Weapons, Featured, News, Ploughshares Monitor

For more than half a century, Canadian arms manufacturers have been selling weapons to foreign states. Much of this economic activity is the direct result of government assistance. From brokering contracts to staffing international arms fairs, the Canadian government goes to bat for Canadian weapons manufacturers.

Unacceptable risk and autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Analysis and Commentary, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News, Ploughshares Monitor

At first glance, it might appear that seven years of international discussions on autonomous weapons have had few concrete results. At the time of writing, the third session of the 2021 United Nations (UN) Group of Governmental Experts on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) was scheduled to take place in early December in Geneva, Switzerland. The most that is expected from these meetings is a proposal to continue talking.

A time to act

Cesar Jaramillo Analysis and Commentary, Featured, News, Ploughshares Monitor

If you are feeling anxious about the state of global affairs, you are not alone. At Project Ploughshares, we are keenly aware of the multiple, overlapping crises facing the world today. So are millions around the world, increasingly concerned about the complexity of the formidable challenges before us – and about our collective ability as an international community to craft credible and effective responses.

Discarding deterrence: What Canada must do to help achieve nuclear disarmament

Cesar Jaramillo Analysis and Commentary, Featured, News, Nuclear Weapons, Ploughshares Monitor

“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.

Kargu-2 debate raises awareness of autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Analysis and Commentary, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

Over the past few months, experts have been surprised by the media attention given to the Turkish-made Kargu-2 kamikaze drone or loitering munition. Everyone, it seems, wants to know if the use of the Kargu-2 in Libya in March 2020 was the first instance of an autonomous weapon being used in conflict.

The need for Canadian leadership in the drive to regulate high-risk AI  

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News, Reports

As 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 clear guidance on the risks associated with different AI applications and how they should be regulated. So far, no Canadian agency has taken the lead in providing the guidance needed to plan for high-risk AI use, particularly in security and defence applications.