Showing posts tagged Drones

Fault Lines: On the Pulse of the Pentagon

The US announced a new military strategy today at a Pentagon briefing. Much of the discussion concerned what could be read as predictable—and cyclic—budget cuts of a post-war drawdown. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also took pains to mention what wouldn’t feel the fiscal pinch: offensive and defensive cyber security and unmanned systems.

We at Fault Lines have covered and predicted both of these trends.

First with an episode called Cyberwar.

A growing fear of computer hackers—a term encompassing a broad range of entities from digital spy rings to information thieves to cyberarmies of kids, criminals and terrorists (some backed by nation states)—and their potentially massive threat to national security has Washington maneuvering into position to defend its assets from a new style of warfare: one without foot soldiers, guns or missiles. Crucial national infrastructure, high value commercial secrets, tens of billions of dollars in defense contracts—as well as values like privacy and freedom of expression—are at stake. 

In this episode of Fault Lines, I enter the domain of “cyber” and speak to a former US national security official turned cybersecurity consultant, a Silicon Valley CEO, a hacker, and those who warn of a growing arms race in cyberspace.

Is the US contributing to the militarisation of cyberspace? Are the reports of cyber threats being distorted by a burgeoning security industry? And are the battles being waged in cyberspace interfering with the Internet as we know it? 

Then last week we filed a report titled Robot Wars.

Over the past decade, the US military has shifted the way it fights its wars, deploying more unmanned systems in the battlefield than ever before.

Today there are more than 7,000 drones and 12,000 ground robots in use by all branches of the military.

These systems mean less American deaths and also less political risk for the US when it takes acts of lethal force – often outside of official war zones.

But US lethal drone strikes in countries like Pakistan have brought up serious questions about the legal and political implications of using these systems.

Fault Lines looks at how these new weapons of choice are allowing the US to stretch the international laws of war and what it could mean when more and more autonomy is developed for these lethal machines.

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Stills from tonight’s Fault Lines episode. It debuts at 530 EST. If you can watch or stream it, I’ll be live tweeting. For info on how to see it, see previous post…


Our Fault Lines episode on drones and the future of the US military and intelligence airs tonight at 2230 GMT/5:30p EST on Al Jazeera English. 

Watch online.

(Reblogged from ajfaultlines)

Have you watched all the Holiday movies you can stand? Time for something different? Join me tonight at 5:30 pm EST to watch my new Fault Lines episode on killer robots (see promo above). It’s a Capraesque look at what happens when killing can be automated. Critics rave, “It’s the feel-good Fault Lines of the year!” I’ll live tweet throughout the show, so it’ll be like we’re watching it together. Pass the popcorn…

PS — If you can’t get Al Jazeera English at home: first, shame on your cable provider, go here for help; second, you can stream it live for free here; third, I’ll post the video here on tumblr tomorrow,where you’ll be able to ask me questions about it, reblog it, even share it with friends and family as a hoilday bonus gift. ;-)

the show will be online by tomorrow, I’ll post it here


Tonight at 2230 GMT/ 5:30 p EST, our new Fault Lines episode on how drones change the way the US fights wars airs on Al Jazeera English. Above, the trailer, and we’ll post the entire episode here after it airs. 

Watch online.

(Reblogged from ajfaultlines)

Here’s a story I did yesterday about Iran airing the video of the captured US Drone.

I was on The Stream today to discuss drones. I also filmed an episode on the topic for Fault Lines. It airs December 26th at 2230 GMT. I’ll be live tweeting during that episode, so if you tune in, it will be like we’re watching it together. If you can’t tune in, it will be posted for eternity here.