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Civil Society Wins the Discursive Victory, Despite Collapse of Arms Trade Treaty Conference

After a month of procedural wrangling, intense lobbying, heavy campaigning and frantic late night negotiations, the Arms Trade Treaty conference came to a frayed inconclusive end last Friday as skeptical states like China, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba, joined by the United States, called for more time to complete what they saw as an […]

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Draft Arms Trade Treaty Omits Explicit Reference to ‘Unmanned’ Weapons

On Tuesday morning, 24 July, the chair of the Diplomatic Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) released his long-awaited draft of an international instrument to regulate the trade in conventional weapons. Unfortunately, as I explain in my commentary piece for Global Policy today, the draft treaty is…well…drafty. There are several major holes in the […]

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2,100 page CENTCOM report on Afghan casualties of US drone strikes

A report released by US Central Command on 22 March 2012 – an excerpt of 5 pages can be found here – contains interesting and unsettling insights into the targeting practice of drone pilots, with one Captain supposed to act as a safety observer noting the “Top Gun” mentality of some drone pilots, and Predator […]

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DARPA Cheetah Sets Speed Record for Legged Robots

This video released by DARPA, the far-out Pentagon’s research agency, shows “Cheetah” breaking the speed record for legged robots. Cheetah is made by Boston Dynamics, the company that developed BigDog, AlphaDog, and PETMAN. This is what ICRAC’s Noel Sharkey has to say about it on the BBC website: “With faster than human speed, this is […]

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US Navy Developing Pilotless Drones

From the January 26, 2012 Los Angeles Times, “New drone has no pilot anywhere, so who’s accountable?” by W.J. Hennigan The X-47B marks a paradigm shift in warfare, one that is likely to have far-reaching consequences. With the drone’s ability to be flown autonomously by onboard computers, it could usher in an era when death […]

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AP report: 30% of Pakistan drone strike dead not “militants”

This is a guest post by Mark Gubrud (@mgubrud). The Associated Press reports  that an “on-the-ground investigation” it conducted in North Waziristan of “10 of the deadliest [drone] attacks in the past 18 months”  found that  “of at least 194 people killed in the attacks, about 70 percent – at least 138 – were militants.  […]

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