Military Spending - Arms Industry

NEW KILLER SEMI-AUTONOMOUS ROBOT DRONE

ARMS TRADE FAIR IN LONDON - THE GUARDIAN, 110913.

"Another exhibitor with a strong presence is Elbit, the Israeli specialist in unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, and a joint venture partner, with Thales, in the Watchkeeper unmanned air system being developed for British forces." We know what drones do. Please be aware also that TCD are involved in a research consortium with Elbit that is EU funded and supervised by a former Irish Government Minister - Maire Geoghan Quinn. More on that anon.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/10/defence-secretary-weapons-priority-britain

Video: Former US Army Col. Ann Wright Speaking in Galway

Part 1: Col. Ann Wright Speaks in Galway

Part 2: Col. Ann Wright Speaks in Galway

Part 3: Col. Ann Wright Speaks in Galway

Part 4: Col. Ann Wright Speaks in Galway

REPRIEVE's Drone Strikes Report

Drone strikes

Reported deaths: Up to 3,180
Locations: Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen

The CIA drones programme is both the next phase in the so-called ‘War on Terror’ and the death penalty without trial. Reprieve is therefore working to expose and challenge the programme, along with Islamabad lawyer Shahzad Akbar and various international and Pakistani artists and activists.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that up to 3,180 people have been killed by US unmanned aircraft, or 'drones', in Pakistan since 2004 - with the numbers rapidly escalating under President Obama. As many as 1,007 victims have been wholly innocent, including 175 children. In Yemen, approximately forty drone strikes during the past decade have killed up to 138 civilians. Strikes in Somalia - commenced in 2007 - have reportedly taken up to 169 innocent lives so far.

Former US diplomat cautions against Irish Nato involvement

ÁINE McMAHON - IRISH TIMES

Ann Wright, a former US diplomat and the highest ranking member of the US military to resign over the Iraq war, has cautioned against Ireland getting involved in Nato.

Ms Wright was special guest at a joint Irish Anti-War Movement/ Peace and Neutrality Alliance meeting in Dublin yesterday. She is most noted for having been one of three state department officials to publicly resign in protest at the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

“I would urge the citizens of Ireland to really push back on this attempt to get Ireland as a part of the Nato forces. We have seen what has happened in Afghanistan and the numbers of Afghans that have been killed in by military operations,” said Ms Wright.

Ms Wright praised Ireland’s record of neutrality but warned it was now being “shopped around” by Nato. “They are trying to get Ireland to join up with them .The secretary general of Nato, Rasmussen, is here today to try and convince the Irish Government to join up with Nato,” she said.

Slippery slope

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on a visit to Dublin this week, encouraged Ireland to get involved in more Nato projects and to develop its defence forces. Ms Wright described any involvement of Ireland with Nato as a “slippery slope”.

“It’s a much different road than working with UN forces doing peace keeping operations in Lebanon, [as] Ireland has done for a long time.”

Obamas Perpetual War

Micah Zenko - Foreign Policy

"The United States is in a state of perpetual war, spending $633 billion this year on defense, with over 200,000 US servicemembers deployed around the world."

During his second inaugural address on 21 January 2013, President Obama offered two aspirational statements that struck many observers as incongruous with administration policies: "A decade of war is now ending" and "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."

We should question these observations, not least because of the string of US government plans and activities that increasingly blur the conventional definition of war.

My own list of war-like activities since Obama's inaugural would include:
four drone strikes that killed 16 people (all in Yemen);
the acknowledgement by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta regarding drones, "We've done that in Pakistan. We're doing it in Yemen and elsewhere. I think the reality is its going to be a continuing tool of national defense in the future";

the announcement that the US military would provide intelligence, transportation, and refueling support for the French intervention in Mali;
the signing of a US-Niger status of forces agreement that will likely include a drone base for surveillance missions, although US officials "have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point";
the forthcoming expansion (perhaps quintupling) of US Cyber Command, including "combat mission forces" for offensive cyberattacks;
the executive branch's secret legal review determining that Obama "has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad";
the Marine commandant's announcement of a new "crisis response unit" that would be "rapidly employable" to "address crises";

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