A milestone for military AI?

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

On August 19, a human F-16 fighter pilot engaged with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm in a virtual simulation of a dogfight. The human pilot lost all five rounds. So was this a historical moment for military use of AI? AI wins again For some observers, and for the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that organized the …

Beirut blast: Insights into using open-source data for humanitarian purposes

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

Images and videos of the explosion that rocked the port and destroyed much of Beirut, Lebanon on August 4 spread quickly on social media. In real time, viewers could see the extent of the devastation and witness the many lives ruined or tragically altered. Following almost immediately was an onslaught of speculation, as people searched for the cause of the …

New export regime needed for drones

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

The United States has relaxed its drone export policy, bringing into question the relevance of the existing arrangement guiding exports of drones, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Countries that were not allowed to purchase some U.S. drones under the previous understanding of MTCR guidelines now face fewer restrictions. While the United States is not likely to export lethal drones …

Burn-In: What our future with tech could look like

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured

Why a blog about a recently released novel? Because, as many readers know, fiction is often a compelling way to capture our concerns about the future—and the present.  In techno-thriller Burn-In, A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, authors P.W. Singer and August Cole examine the many roles that technology can assume in 21st–century national and global security and in …

The U.S. defence strategy in outer space: A plan in which no one wins

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

On June 18, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) released a public summary of its updated Defense Space Strategy. Making public the military’s approach to space is a critical transparency and confidence-building measure (TCBM), enhancing the security of the space environment for all actors. As many states fail to provide such information, the United States should be applauded for this …

The ubiquity of military-grade drone tech

Branka Marijan Featured, News

News channels and social media posts on recent protests across the United States have been filled with images and information about the militarized responses by law enforcement agencies. Images of police officers with military-grade weapons and tactics usually seen only in war zones have been striking to observers in and outside of the US. Still, the flying of the Predator …

Space Force: Why we’re watching the Netflix parody

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

The new Netflix parody series Space Force, starring Steve Carell, is currently #1 on the platform in Canada. We at Project Ploughshares are watching, too. On June 2, with our colleagues from the Centre for Peace Advancement, we hosted an online social event to watch the first episode. Inspired by U.S. President Trump’s call in 2018 to establish a Space …

A New Survey Seeks The Input Of Global Experts On Space Norms

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

How do we think that this body of rules and accepted behaviours and attitudes—this normative landscape—can be strengthened and extended to fill in critical gaps, particularly in relation to military and security activities? What tools would encourage responsible behaviour to become the norm? What would a future governed by the best possible assembly of norms look like?

Canada’s top five arms contracts to the U.S. – 2015-2020

Kelsey Gallagher Conventional Weapons, Featured, News

The most recently released federal records indicates that Canada transferred over $2-billion CAD in military exports to customers around the world in 2018. Left unpublished are the vast military exports to Canada’s closest trading partner, the United States. For years, Canada’s arms exports to the United States have been largely exempt from federal reporting protocols. Such exemptions persist despite Canada’s …