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Posts in "Drones"
August 26, 2014
A pair of senior senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee want President Barack Obama to come to Congress for authorization of any air strikes in Syria targeting the group popularly known as ISIS, which has made big gains in Iraq. Others? Not so interested in Congress getting involved. Full story
July 24, 2014
Leaders in Pakistan have declared it of late, both publicly and privately: The country is going after all militants, even the Haqqani network, an organization that U.S. military officials have deemed a de facto arm of the Pakistan intelligence agency ISI.
Some have raised doubts about whether that’s actually happening, though, pointing to evidence that Haqqani network militants have merely shifted elsewhere, with the complicity of Pakistan. A senior Pakistani official insisted Thursday that Pakistan wants the Haqqani network destroyed, but that to a certain degree it’s in the hands of Afghanistan, NATO and the United States. Full story
July 23, 2014
A State official offered a dire assessment Wednesday about the growing power of the group in Iraq that calls itself the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL): “It’s no longer a terrorist group,” said the department’s deputy assistant secretary of State for Iraq and Iran in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. “It’s a full-blown army.”
July 15, 2014
The XS-1 Spaceplane would theoretically cut the cost of satellite launches down from hundreds of millions of dollars each to more like $5 million each, and would be capable of flying 10 times in 10 days. On Tuesday, the Defense Department’s high-tech Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded contracts to three companies to develop demonstration vehicles. Full story
June 26, 2014
A group led by a former top general and high-ranking Defense Department official has produced a sweeping new report on the use of drones, making recommendations from who should be in charge of drone strikes overseas to what the Federal Aviation Administration should do to integrate unarmed drones over U.S. soil. Full story
June 23, 2014
The schedule is too jam-packed to just highlight one or two events each day. Full story
June 20, 2014
The United States is the most prolific user of armed drones in the world. That puts it in a position prevent widespread proliferation of them elsewhere, a Council on Foreign Relations report announced Friday concludes.
And it’s worth worrying about, because drones have the ability that some other technologies do not to contribute to strife. Full story
June 19, 2014
A New York Times story on the military giving equipment like grenade launchers and M-16s to local law enforcement caused a stir when the newspaper published it earlier this month. The American Civil Liberties Union has an ongoing project to detail such militarization.
On Wednesday evening, Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., offered an amendment on the House floor to block military-to-police transfers of specific equipment. It didn’t make it very far. Full story
June 12, 2014
Besides taking Mosul and Tikrit, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria apparently just became the richest terrorist group in the world, stealing $425 million. And now the group is pledging to take the fight to Baghdad. (Iraqi state TV declared that the government has re-taken Tikrit.)
At the same time, Kurds have moved into Kirkuk. The city has been part of a regional dispute between the Iraqi government and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Had the Kurds and the Iraqi government been on good terms, the Kurds said, they could’ve prevented the fall of Mosul.
The danger is of full-fledged civil war, and that the country could fracture along multiple lines, between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had proposed dividing the country into three parts back in 2006, as a senator.
In brief remarks to the press Thursday, Obama said “I don’t rule out anything” and noted that the United States has been providing some assistance to Iraq in an ongoing fashion: Full story
June 11, 2014
Prospective GOP presidential candidate Rep. Paul D. Ryan offered up his vision Wednesday for the military and diplomacy, contrasting himself with President Barack Obama and perhaps some potential primary challengers. And in offering up that vision, he proposed some specific ideas for what the Defense Department ought to be doing. Full story
June 5, 2014
At #PDF14 in New York City on Thursday — short for Personal Democracy Forum 2014, a gathering of politics enthusiasts (mostly from the left) and tech geeks — artist/designer Adam Harvey made an impression with demonstrations on how makeup can hide someone from facial recognition cameras and how specially designed burqas can evade surveillance by drone thermal-imaging cameras.
Harvey’s subversive fashion tips have generated headlines before. Perhaps because they were particularly visually compelling, they were an especially Twitter-able part of the forum, which also featured Edward Snowden appearing live via satellite from Russia on the anniversary of the first explosive news stories that were published based on his leaked documents.
— Yasmin Green (@yasmind) June 5, 2014
— hαrlo (@harlo) June 5, 2014
— MichelleCoyleEdwards (@mcoyed) June 5, 2014
— Jessica Goldfin (@jgoldfin) June 5, 2014
Just know that the burqa will cost you multiple thousands of dollars.