Basics Matter in Killer Robots Debate

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Kazakhstan’s quest for nuclear power relevance

Kazakhstan's quest for nuclear power relevance
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 ...

What Matters in 2015?

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 As of December 31, 2014, the last conventional combat trooper is going to be withdrawn from Afghanistan and a new era of U.S. engagement with that country will begin.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 ...

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 ...

The Case for Optimism

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

Iran to build oil refinery in Pakistan

Iran to build oil refinery in Pakistan
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 ...