Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Drone Warfare Arms Race Escalates



Excellent video: Jeremy Scahill at the Nation
http://www.thenation.com/video/168007/jeremy-scahill-short-history-drone-warfare?rel=emailNation

[Introduction to the video] "The United States is on a new trajectory in warfare, says Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for The Nation. With its increase in drone strikes, the United States is turning away from the large-scale military interventions of the past decade and towards covert operations, beyond such known locations as Pakistan and Yemen. Check out this video to learn where else Scahill thinks these covert ops are headed."


MAJIA HERE: News stories in the WSJ indicates US hopes to spread the drone warfare. I imagine that this is a twofold strategy: 

1) It makes money for private contractors involved in drone warfare  

2) It helps the US arm its allies with the latest technology in the ongoing "new cold war."

[SEE http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/wsj-us-pursues-sale-of-armed-drones.html]

Here is a relevant story from yesterday about the spread of US drone technology: 

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Plans to Arm Italy's Drones May 29 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303395604577432323658176792.html

[excerpt]—"The Obama administration plans to arm Italy's fleet of Reaper drone aircraft, a move that could open the door for sales of advanced hunter-killer drone technology to other allies, according to lawmakers and others familiar with the matter.

The sale would make Italy the first foreign country besides Britain to fly U.S. drones armed with missiles and laser-guided bombs. U.S. officials said Italy intends initially to deploy the armed drones in Afghanistan.

Lawmakers who question the planned deal say the decision to "weaponize" Italy's unarmed surveillance drones could make it harder for the U.S. to deny similar capabilities to other North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, and set back efforts to urge sales limitations on other nations that make sophisticated drones such as Israel..."

MAJIA HERE: Don't the citizens have any say in the spread of this new arms race and the conduct of a new cold war? Why aren't we protesting in the streets about this new drone warfare given its implications for surveillance and habeas corpus?


RELEVANT READING

Turkey's Attack on Civilians Tied to U.S. Military Drone Wall Street Journal May 16 2012
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303877604577380480677575646.html

[excerpt] "The strike in late December was meant to knock out Kurdish separatist fighters. Instead it killed civilians smuggling gasoline, a tragic blunder in Turkey's nearly three-decade campaign against the guerrillas. The killings ignited protests across the country and prompted wide-ranging official inquiries.

The civilian toll also set off alarms at the Pentagon: It was a U.S. Predator drone that spotted the men and pack animals, officials said, and American officers alerted Turkey..."

Predator NationBy Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch 14 May 12
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175541/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_predator_nation/

MY PREVIOUS POSTS ON DRONES

Dystopic Futures: Surveillance by Radioactive Drones
http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/latest-update-on-japans-proposal-to-re.html#uds-search-results

The Surveillance Society Meets Robotic Warfare
http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/surveillance-society-meets-robotic.html

Fascism in America: Ubiquitous Surveillance and Poisoned Food 
http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/fascism-in-america-ubiquitous.html

Forging the American Garrison State by Privatizing the State's Repressive Apparatuses
http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/forging-american-garrison-state-by.html

Fundamental Right of Habeas Corpus Discarded
http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/fundamental-us-right-of-habeas-corpus.html

Predator Nation
http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/predator-nation.html
 

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