Established in 1947 as Canadian Aviation Electronics, CAE Inc. has more than 10,000 employees and operates 180 sites and training locations in more than 35 countries. While CAE produces goods for the civilian market, it is also one of Canada’s largest military manufacturers, chiefly producing cockpit simulators and associated equipment that are used in training air crew. As is true of many Canadian defence manufacturers, most of its goods and services are exported and sold on the foreign market.
Last October, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia had won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.” To both, Project Ploughshares extends sincere and hearty congratulations!
I started at Project Ploughshares on September 1, 2009. My first role was as Program Associate – a position we now call Researcher – working on the Ploughshares outer space security program.
On November 15, 2021, seven astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) were ordered to take shelter because of the possibility of catastrophic collisions as the station passed through a cloud of debris. The astronauts remained in lifeboats while the ISS passed through the cloud multiple times.
Military research and development in recent years have focused on artificial intelligence (AI) tools that gather and analyze data quickly. Combined with improved sensors, they make possible faster and seemingly more accurate targeting of enemy positions. Now this R&D is being operationalized. Last September, according to Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, the United States Air Force, for the first time, used AI to help to identify a target or targets in “a live operational kill chain.”
If we set to one side the COVID-19 pandemic, the two most formidable existential threats are environmental degradation and the existence of nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons. Both could destroy human civilization and irreparably damage the ecosystem. Both are also the products of human decisions and actions; addressing the threat and containing the damage is now the responsibility of all humanity.