Killer optics: Exports of WESCAM sensors to Turkey

Kelsey Gallagher Conventional Weapons, Featured

Since 2017, Turkey has been a major customer for WESCAM products, second only to the United States. During this time, the Turkish military has not only been active in trying to put down an insurgency in southeast Turkey, but has become increasingly involved in armed conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

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 …

The use of drones by nonstate actors

Branka Marijan Current Publication, Emerging Technologies, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor

In January of this year, armed drones owned by Houthis, a Yemeni rebel group, killed several Yemeni government officials. This was the first time, as far as we know, that a nonstate group had successfully deployed a drone to carry out a precision-targeted operation. In September, the Houthis, with alleged support from Iran, were suspected in the attack on the world’s largest oil-processing facility in Saudi Arabia.

Putting controls on remote warfare to protect civilians

Branka Marijan Current Publication, Emerging Technologies, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor

Earlier this year, Amnesty International (AI) released a report, The Hidden US War in Somalia: Civilian Casualties from Air Strikes in Lower Shabelle. According to this report, which explored five incidents, at least 14 civilians had been killed by airstrikes from both manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones).

Event: Launch reception for The Cultural Life of Drones: KW Drone Dialogues

Ploughshares Archived Events, Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Featured Leave a Comment

Join us for a free reception celebrating the upcoming Grebel Gallery exhibit, The Cultural Life of Drones: KW Drone Dialogues by Sara Matthews. What does it mean to think of drones as culture? If culture is the range of social practices through which we come to know and engage with the world, then drone cultures might be the myriad ways in …

New Technologies and Conflict Escalation

Branka Marijan Featured, News

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Glenn S. Gerstell, the general counsel for the United States National Security Agency, explains why the United States cannot afford to lose the digital revolution. He lays out the ways in which technology will transform national security threats and predicts a bleak future of constant cyberwarfare and new weapons. Gerstell rightly notes …

What’s new in the world of autonomous weapons?

Branka Marijan Americas, Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Europe, Featured

The call by some states and civil society for the regulation of autonomous weapons continues. But concern is also being expressed that investment and research in autonomous weapons systems are outpacing regulation. In advance of the August meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), here’s an overview of recent developments. 1. The …

10 Things You Should Know About Killer Robots

Ploughshares Conventional Weapons, Current Publication, Emerging Technologies

1. What are Killer Robots? Actually, pretty much what they sound like. These are autonomous weapons systems that could kill human beings without any human involvement in the critical functions of target selection and the employment of lethal force. Lethal autonomous weapons systems could take many physical forms, and could also operate in large numbers and distributed architectures. The emergence …

The military, AI, and why it’s time to worry

Branka Marijan Americas, Conventional Weapons, Current Publication, Emerging Technologies, Featured

“We are not talking about walking, talking terminator robots that are about to take over the world; what we are worried about is much more looming: conventional weapons systems with autonomy. They are beginning to sneak in.”