Open Briefing has today published the first in a new series of remote-control warfare monthly briefings commissioned by the Remote Control Project.
Each month, the analysts in our unique intelligence unit will monitor developments in five key areas of remote-control warfare and analyse their implications:
Special operations forces: including analysis of deployments and covert actions and developments in training, capabilities and use.
Private military and security companies: including analysis of their use, the development of regulatory frameworks and attempts to hold the state accountable for their use.
Unmanned vehicles and autonomous weapon systems: including the development and deployment of new weapon technologies that enable policymakers to use the remote-control approach.
Cyber warfare: including analysis of incidences of cyberwarfare, discussion of trends and the part it plays in ‘shadow wars’, such as between Iran and the United States/Israel.
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance: including analysis of developing trends in technology (including NSA-style mass surveillance) and the blurring lines between intelligence operators and special operations forces on the ground.
These are the areas that Open Briefing considers central to the development and application of the new concept of remote-control warfare. Together, they allow for warfare to be actioned at a distance and for policymakers and military planners to become one step further removed from the realities of war fighting for both the military operators and the civilian casualties. These ‘smart’ technologies and light-footprint deployments allow actions to be approved that would never be considered if using conventional means, and yet the consequences and risks of those actions are not being adequately considered.
The first briefing covers subjects as diverse as the deployment of US special forces to Uganda, Kiev’s alleged but unlikely use of a private military company to suppress pro-Russian dissent, the demonstration of a new Israeli intelligence-gathering and surveillance system during a Brazilian carnival, and much more.
The initial run of six briefings has been commissioned by the Remote Control Project, a project of the Network for Social Change, hosted by Oxford Research Group. The project is looking at the current developments in military technology and the re-thinking of military approaches to future threats.