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Remote Control Project: Remote-control warfare briefing #10

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23 March 2015

The tenth in the Remote Control Project's monthly briefing series from Open Briefing has been published today. The briefings cover developments in five key areas or remote warfare: special forces, private military and security companies, unmanned vehicles and autonomous weapon systems, cyber warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Key stories this month:

  • Special operations forces: Key countries in Middle East and North Africa contemplating special operations forces deployments against Islamic State: The visible participation of MENA partners has become an important aspect of the Obama administration’s rhetoric and political position on US engagement in Iraq and Syria.
  • Private military and security companies: Scandal over Sri Lankan ‘floating armoury’ highlights collusion between public and private sectors: Former Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is accused of maintaining his own private army with the floating armoury, stationed in the southern port of Galle.  Floating armouries take advantage of weak international regulatory frameworks, are a security risk in their own right and risk increasing collusion between the private and public sectors.
  • UAVs: Proliferation of drones leads to calls for international regulation: Today, unmanned aerial vehicles are available from a sizeable number of international sources and armed drones will be used by an increasing number of countries in the near future. A new report by Rand Corporation has urged the US the lay the foundations for new international law on the use of drones by state military and security forces.
  • Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance: UK surveillance laws need overhaul according to parliamentary committee: The recent UK parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC) report has concluded that the various pieces of legislation governing Britain’s intelligence agencies and their mass surveillance operations requires a total overhaul to make them more transparent, comprehensible and appropriate to modern methods and requirements.
  • Cyber: CIA announces significant organisational changes to broaden cyber intelligence capacity:The changes include the establishment of a fifth wing, known as the directorate of digital innovation, which will in part collect and use digital intelligence in operations.

The Remote Control project is a project of the Network for Social Change hosted by Oxford Research Group. The project examines changes in military engagement, in particular the use of drones, special forces, private military companies and cyber warfare.

 

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