Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Defense

Even soldiers who fight wars from a safe distance have found themselves traumatized. Could their injuries be moral ones?

The New York Times – The Wounds of the Drone Warrior – “…It has been almost 16 years since a missile fired from a drone struck a Toyota Land Cruiser in northwest Yemen, killing all six of its passengers and inaugurating a new era in American warfare. Today, targeted killings by drones have become the centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism policy. Although the drone program is swathed in secrecy — the C.I.A. and the military share responsibility for it — American drones have been used to carry out airstrikes in at least eight different countries, analysts believe. Over the past decade, they have also provided reconnaissance for foreign military forces in half a dozen other countries. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based organization that has been tracking drone killings since 2010, U.S. drone strikes have killed between 7,584 and 10,918 people, including 751 to 1,555 civilians, in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. The U.S. government’s figures are far lower. It claims that between 64 and 116 noncombatants outside areas of active hostilities were killed by drones between 2009 and 2016. But as a report published last year by the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies noted, the government has failed to release basic information about civilian casualties or to explain in /detail why its data veers so significantly from that of independent monitors and NGOs. In Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, the report found, the government officially acknowledged just 20 percent of more than 700 reported strikes since 2002…”

The June 12 Trump-Kim Jong-un Summit

Via EveryCRSReport.com: The June 12 Trump-Kim Jong-un Summit – June 12, 2018 “On June 12, 2018, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program, building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and the future of U.S. relations with North Korea (known officially as the… Continue Reading

Preparing Libraries for Nuclear War

JSTOR: “During the Cold War, America’s libraries helped patrons prepare for nuclear war, from stocking reference materials to providing fallout shelters: “From seemingly useless under-desk drills to legit bunkers, the general public was prepared for nuclear war during the Cold War. But what about libraries? Reference librarian Brett Spencer examines how libraries and librarians braced for… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of State Personnel: Background and Selected Issues for Congress

CRS report via FAS – U.S. Department of State Personnel: Background and Selected Issues for Congress. Cory R. Gill, Analyst in Foreign Affairs. May 18, 2018. “Shortly after his confirmation as Secretary of State in April 2018, Secretary Mike Pompeo lifted the hiring freeze that former Secretary Rex Tillerson left in place for over a… Continue Reading

AP – US expects fallout from Snowden leaks for years to come

AP: “National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the lid off U.S. government surveillance methods five years ago, but intelligence chiefs complain that revelations from the trove of classified documents he disclosed are still trickling out. That includes recent reporting on a mass surveillance program run by close U.S. ally Japan and on how the… Continue Reading

INTERPOL information database inquiries jump 200 percent

Homeland Preparedness News: “Use of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) global databases has been on the rise in recent years amid growing threats of terrorist attacks in Europe, with inquiries to stolen and lost travel documents data increasing by more than 200 percent since 2014. Delegates recently met at the 48th INTERPOL European Regional… Continue Reading

Withdrawal from International Agreements: Legal Framework, the Paris Agreement, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement

CNN – President Trump announced on May 8 2018 that the US is withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal – Signs Presidential Memorandum to reinstate economic sanctions – and via EveryCRSReport.com – Withdrawal from International Agreements: Legal Framework, the Paris Agreement, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement, May 8, 2018: “The legal procedure through which the… Continue Reading

CRS Report – Artificial Intelligence and National Security

CRS report via FAS – Artificial Intelligence and National Security  – Daniel S. Hoadley, US Air Force Fellow; Nathan J. Lucas, Section Research Manager, April 26, 2018. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing field of technological development with potentially significant implications for national security. As such, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is developing AI… Continue Reading

DHS acknowledges rogue cellphone tower activity in DC

In a break from the Cambridge Analytic saga, this news on expanded use of Stingray cellphone tracking from AP: “…In a March 26 letter to Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that last year it identified suspected unauthorized cell-site simulators in the nation’s capital. The agency said it had not determined… Continue Reading

CRS – Is the Grid More Secure? Not Yet!

NERC Standards for Bulk Power Physical Security: Is the Grid More Secure? Paul W. Parfomak, Specialist in Energy and Infrastructure Policy. March 19, 2018. “Although the electric power sector seems to be moving in the overall direction of greater physical security for critical assets, many measures have yet to be implemented and the process of… Continue Reading

Iraq War continues to divide the U.S. public, 15 years after it began

“Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the American public is divided over whether using military force was the right decision. Nearly half (48%) of Americans say the decision to use military force was wrong, while slightly fewer (43%) say it was the right decision, according to a Pew Research Center… Continue Reading

Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plant

“New computer screenshots released by the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday made clear that Russian state hackers had the foothold they would have needed to manipulate or shut down power plants.” Nicole Perlroth and David Sanger in the NYT: Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants. “The Trump administration accused Russia… Continue Reading