Basics Matter in Killer Robots Debate


Last year, Human Rights Watch launched a cam­paign to ban the devel­op­ment of autonomous weapons sys­tems, which they dys­phemisti­cally call “killer robots.” The report and email cam­paign has sev­eral prob­lems to it, which Greg McNeal lays out ably here — namely, that it’s based entirely on an over­sim­pli­fied cam­paign of fear and doesn’t take into […]

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For PBS: Putting the War on Terror under the law

In early Feb­ru­ary, a Depart­ment of Jus­tice Office of Legal Coun­cil White Paper that sum­ma­rized the White House’s legal rea­son­ing for the war on ter­ror­ism leaked to the pub­lic. While the White Paper lim­ited its dis­cus­sion to why the White House can order lethal strikes against Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, it also con­tains some wor­ry­ing hints about how the […]

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PAPER: Oversight for Effectiveness: A Counterterrorism Perspective on the Targeted Killings “White Paper”

I wrote a paper for the National Secu­rity Net­work on what the OLC White Paper means for over­sight and coun­tert­er­ror­ism effec­tive­ness. *** In Feb­ru­ary 2013, a Depart­ment of Jus­tice White Paper was leaked, mak­ing pub­licly avail­able for the first time a sum­mary of two legal memos set­ting out the legal details of the administration’s justification […]

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Kazakhstan’s quest for nuclear power relevance

Uranium mine in Kyzyl Kum, Kazakhstan

The for­mer Soviet states in Cen­tral Asia are often derided as back­wa­ters. But Kaza­khstan, the largest, is also tak­ing a lead­ing role in global nuclear secu­rity. The same coun­try where Moscow once exploded hun­dreds of nuclear weapons has spent the last half-decade aggres­sively expand­ing its ura­nium min­ing indus­try… and just this week, nego­ti­a­tions over Iran’s […]

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What Matters in 2015?

The longest war in Amer­i­can his­tory is com­ing to an end next year. As of Decem­ber 31, 2014, the last con­ven­tional com­bat trooper is going to be with­drawn from Afghanistan and a new era of U.S. engage­ment with that coun­try will begin. Of course, that engage­ment does not have a sta­ble shape yet: the Afghan government […]

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Interviewed in the Fiscal Times

David Fran­cis of The Fis­cal Times inter­viewed me for an arti­cle about the with­drawal from Afghanistan. Joshua Foust, a fel­low with the Amer­i­can Secu­rity Project, says that fund­ing the Afghan mil­i­tary is throw­ing money at an inef­fec­tive fight­ing force. “The Inter­na­tional Secu­rity Assis­tance Force [the NATO umbrella] ranked only one of the 20 brigades as being […]

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The Case for Optimism


For­eign Pol­icy blog­ger Rosa Brooks wrote a rather head-scratching col­umn last week, in which she called for pes­simism about the future. I shared some of these thoughts with my col­leagues. Shouldn’t we, I sug­gested, stop kid­ding our­selves about “find­ing solu­tions” to the chal­lenges posed by tech­nolo­gies that evolve faster than our brains? Shouldn’t we instead […]

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Interviewed in the L.A. Times

I spoke with The Los Ange­les Times’ Shashank Ben­gali this week about why drone strikes in Afghanistan rose sharply in 2012. “With fewer troops, and even with fewer manned air­craft fly­ing over­head, it’s harder to get tra­di­tional sup­port in com­bat mis­sions,” said Joshua Foust, a Washington-based ana­lyst who has advised the U.S. mil­i­tary in Afghanistan. “Drones […]

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Quoted in UPI

I’m quoted in this UPI piece about drones in Afghanistan. “With fewer troops, and even with fewer manned air­craft fly­ing over­head, it’s harder to get tra­di­tional sup­port in com­bat mis­sions,” said Joshua Foust, an ana­lyst in Wash­ing­ton who has advised the U.S. mil­i­tary in Afghanistan. “Drones pro­vide a good way to do that with­out importing […]

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Iran to build oil refinery in Pakistan

Chabahar and Gwadar are practically right next to each other when looking at the region.

Iran has inked a deal to build an oil refin­ery in Gwadar, Pak­istan. In a major move to boost bilat­eral coop­er­a­tion, Iran has agreed to set up a $4 bil­lion oil refin­ery in Gwadar with an esti­mated capac­ity of about 400,000 bar­rels per day. Prime Minister’s Adviser on Petro­leum and Nat­ural Resources Dr Asim Hus­sain told […]

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