Quote of the Day

This is not just because of the obvi­ous charge of hypocrisy, although that is there too. Many of those who shout the most about casu­al­ties from U.S. drone strikes rarely con­demn so loudly the many more deaths of civil­ians as a result of Pak­istan army oper­a­tions in FATA or Tal­iban vio­lence. Nor are they particularly […]

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Quoted in Time

I’m quoted in Time about two new reports out by Amnesty Inter­na­tional and Human Rights Watch about the U.S. drone pro­gram. While the reports pro­vide dev­as­tat­ing details and draw atten­tion to the debate, sto­ries of inno­cent peo­ple hurt in drone strikes “don’t add sub­stan­tively to knowl­edge of the drone pro­gram nor do they alter the […]

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Could Drones be Good for Peace?

Over at Medium, I won­der if drones, when used out­side of tar­geted killing pro­grams, might actu­ally be good for peace. The exam­ple I chose is the show­down between Japan and China in the Senkaku Islands. Though rel­a­tively expen­sive to develop and oper­ate, drones allow for a much longer flight time over sen­si­tive areas, and the […]

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The Edward Snowden Snow Job

Over at Bea­con (sub­scribe here!) I lay out the long his­tory of Edward Snow­den and his clos­est allies lying about his his­tory, moti­va­tions, behav­ior, and inten­tions. An excerpt: It is dif­fi­cult to square the known details of Snowden’s cir­cum­stances in Rus­sia with the state­ments made by inter­ested out­siders on his behalf. Snow­den has con­tributed to […]

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Quote of the Day

77. If used in strict com­pli­ance with the prin­ci­ples of inter­na­tional human­i­tar­ian law, remotely piloted air­craft are capa­ble of reduc­ing the risk of civil­ian casu­al­ties in armed con­flict by sig­nif­i­cantly improv­ing the sit­u­a­tional aware­ness of mil­i­tary com­man­ders. – From the UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on the pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion of human rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms while coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ism, Ben […]

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An Expansion of the Science Fictions of Dronephobia

Over at Bea­con, I dis­cussed why so many oppo­nents to drones segue into sci­ence fic­tion to make their case — a habit that is actu­ally poi­so­nous to rea­soned debate about kinetic poli­cies and how they can be reformed to bet­ter safe­guard civil­ian lives. When they were first invented war planes were ter­ri­fy­ing, not just in the sense we’re […]

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Quote of the Day

The alter­na­tive to jour­nal­ists mak­ing those deci­sions is, okay we’ll hand it all over to secret courts, and secret com­mit­tees, and no one will ever know about these bal­ances that are being struck. And the intel­li­gence com­mit­tee in the UK, I think, its mem­bers have been hand­picked by the Prime Min­is­ter, and you have to […]

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The Coming Lethal Autonomous Future

Though I’ve spo­ken of their poten­tial upsides, there are still a lot of chal­lenges to over­come before any lethal autonomous robot is ever deployed. For Defense One, I explore some of them: Drones have been hack­able for years. In 2009, defense offi­cials told reporters that Iranian-backed mili­tias used $26 of off-the-shelf soft­ware to inter­cept the […]

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