Western states are growing increasingly reliant on private military and security companies. Fully understanding the privatization of security and its effects on sustainable security requires the inclusion of a critical gender lens. Introduction In […]
This article is part of the Remote Control Warfare series, a collaboration with Remote Control, a project of the Network for Social Change hosted by Oxford Research Group. Islamic State (IS) […]
Ever advancing remote warfare technology is being increasingly used by law enforcement agencies to counter drug trafficking. In response, drug cartels are also adopting new technology to smuggle and distribute drugs. However, the technological superiority of law enforcement-military actors is also causing criminal and militant groups to adapt by employing the very opposite tactic, by resorting to highly primitive technology and methods. In turn, society is doing the same thing, adopting its own back-to-the-past response to drug trafficking and crime.
In Latin America drones are being used as part of the War on Drugs as both regional governments and the US are using surveillance drones to monitor drug trafficking and find smuggling routes.. However, as drones are increasingly being used by drug cartels themselves to transport drugs between countries, could Latin America find itself at the forefront of emerging drone countermeasures?
US drug policy has become increasingly privatised in recent years as the US government contracts private military and security companies (PMSCs) to provide intelligence, logistical support and training to state security forces in drug-producing and –transit states. As the cases of Colombia and Mexico illustrate, this privatisation strategy is having a damaging impact on these already fragile environments.
Over-burdened in its requests for continuous surveillance of an expanding battlefield, the US military is increasingly turning to private contractors to fill key roles in its operation of armed drones.
Last week the new UN privacy chief said UK surveillance was “worse than [George Orwell’s novel] 1984”. In the two years since the Snowden leaks revealed the existence of bulk internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence services and their partners, including the UK, the British government continues to engage in the mass collection of citizens’ communications data.
Whilst much debate has focused on the ethics, legality and civilian costs of drone technology, little attention has been given to the broader repercussions US drone strikes have had on Pakistan as a whole in the last 11 years.
States’ ability to move forward on the issue of lethal autonomous weapons will depend on not only finding consensus on key concepts but also having the will to find concrete outcomes.
Later this month, governments will meet in Geneva to discuss lethal autonomous weapons systems. Previous talks – and growing pressure from civil society – have not yet galvanised governments into action. Meanwhile the development of these so-called “killer robots” is already being considered in military roadmaps. Their prohibition is therefore an increasingly urgent task.