Drugs and Drones: The Crime Empire Strikes Back

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.

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From Surveillance to Smuggling: Drones in the War on Drugs

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?

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Losing control over the use of force: fully autonomous weapons systems and the international movement to ban them

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.

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Too Quiet on the Western Front? The Sahel-Sahara between Arab Spring and Black Spring

While the world’s attention has been focused on the US-led military interventions in Iraq and Syria a quieter build-up of military assets has been ongoing along the newer, western front of the War on Terror as the security crises in Libya and northeast Nigeria escalate and the conflict in northern Mali proves to be far from over. In the face of revolutionary change in Burkina Faso, the efforts of outsiders to enforce an authoritarian and exclusionary status quo across the Sahel-Sahara look increasingly fragile and misdirected.

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