Protecting humans on Earth from war in space

Jessica West Featured, Space Security

More states are preparing for war in outer space. The result could be accelerated, intensified conflict; environmental destruction; and nuclear winter. Even if we avoid the ultimate catastrophe, the consequences of war in space are serious. The destruction of space systems would harm every human on Earth. We must start working to protect civilians on Earth from such a fate.

Hope by treaty

Cesar Jaramillo Featured, Nuclear Weapons

On October 24, Honduras became the 50th state party to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), triggering the 90-day process that will culminate in the Treaty’s entry into force. On January 22, 2021, the TPNW will officially become international law.

5 Misconceptions about Autonomous Weapons Systems

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured

During several years of discussions on autonomous weapons at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), several arguments against their regulation have surfaced. Some seem intentionally misleading, while others are out of touch with the rapid development of emerging technologies and the current trends in academic research and analysis.

From Safety to Security: Extending norms of behaviour in space (video)

Jessica West Space Security

In this video, Senior Researcher Jessica West presents work conducted as part of a project funded by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) Mobilizing Insights in National Defence (MINDS) program to generate knowledge about how existing and emerging norms of responsible behaviour in outer space can be applied to contemporary space-based military capabilities and activities. The goal is to …

Analyzing Canada’s 2019 Exports of Military Goods report

Kelsey Gallagher Conventional Weapons, Featured

According to Canada’s 2019 Exports of Military Goods report, last year Canada exported weapons worth almost $4-billion—the highest value on public record. Saudi Arabia, which received 76 per cent of those weapons, is now almost certainly Canada’s prime customer, unseating the United States.

Has the first shot been fired in space?

Jessica West Ploughshares Monitor, Space Security

What if space has already been weaponized? This is the claim of the United States military. Following the official establishment of the Space Force in January 2020, a new Defense Space Strategy published in June presents a strategy for “winning wars” in a domain that it depicts as “weaponized” by Russia and China. Russia and China have made similar accusations against the United States.

How should militaries use AI?

Ploughshares Ploughshares Monitor

Militaries are doing more research and development of artificial intelligence (AI), and are looking to implement AI systems. In early August of this year, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced that later in the month a human fighter pilot would face off against an AI algorithm in virtual combat.

Armed drones on the Canadian military horizon

Branka Marijan Featured, Ploughshares Monitor

The Canadian government appears to be moving closer to acquiring armed drones. According to Justin Ling of Vice News, Canadian government officials recently briefed industry partners on systems requirements, with long-range surveillance and the ability to engage targets remotely seen as key to protecting Canadian territory and participating in foreign missions. But questions about the policies guiding the use of drones by the Canadian military remain unanswered and deserve more attention from civil society and the Canadian public.