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Monthly intelligence briefing on the Boko Haram insurgency: April 2017

The first of five monthly intelligence briefings on the Boko Haram insurgency being prepared for the Remote Control Project. This briefing summarises and analyses the main international developments, the actions of US and European partners, the actions of local governments and coalitions, and the various Boko Haram operations over the previous month.

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Remote-control warfare briefing #17, August 2016: NATO designates cyberspace as an operational domain, US releases official estimates of deaths from drone strikes, Iraqi special forces play critical role retaking Fallujah

Monthly briefing from the Open Briefing intelligence unit on developments in remote-control warfare. This month: NATO designates cyberspace as an operational domain and includes cyber attacks in Article 5; newly-released official estimates of casualties from US drone strikes step in right direction but too limited; Iraqi special forces play critical role retaking Fallujah from Islamic State; and more.

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Remote-control warfare briefing #16, June 2016: Increasing awareness of risks of cyber conflict, Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen receive US special forces support, Islamic State-linked group urges militants to secure their communications

Monthly briefing from the Open Briefing intelligence unit on developments in remote-control warfare. This month: increasing awareness of risks of cyber conflict drives rise in cyber diplomacy; coalition forces in Yemen receive reinvigorated operational and intelligence support from US special operation forces; Islamic State-linked group urges militants to secure their communications; and more.

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The war with Islamic State: An assessment of the United Kingdom’s Operation Shader and the wider coalition campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Overall, the US-led coalition has had some considerable successes in containing and rolling back Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; however, much more should have been achieved given the combined military might and other resources of the 66 members of the global coalition to counter Islamic State. Those gains that have been made have come at the expense of civilian casualties. Furthermore, there are no signs that the terrorist threat to the United Kingdom from Islamic State is reducing despite nearly two years of UK airstrikes and other efforts to target the group.

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Remote-control warfare briefing #15, May 2016: Shadowy Russian private military company fighting alongside Spetsnaz in Syria, US officials explore scenarios for Islamic State ‘dirty bomb’ attacks, studies find mass surveillance having negative impact on democracy

Monthly briefing from the Open Briefing intelligence unit on developments in remote-control warfare. This month: shadowy Russian private military company fighting alongside Spetsnaz special forces in Syria; US officials explore scenarios for Islamic State ‘dirty bomb’ attacks using drones; studies find mass surveillance having negative impact on democracy and informed debate; and more.

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Remote-control warfare briefing #14, April 2016: Mercenaries increasingly being used in Yemen conflict, covert activities of French and Italian special forces in Libya revealed, US Department of Defence developing robotics and autonomous systems strategy

Monthly briefing from the Open Briefing intelligence unit on developments in remote-control warfare. This month: mercenaries are increasingly being used in Yemen conflict; the covert activities of French and Italian special forces in Libya are revealed; the US Department of Defence is developing its robotics and autonomous systems strategy; and more.

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Nobody, but us! Recent developments in Russia’s airborne forces (VDV)

Recent changes in personnel levels, coupled with equipment modernisation and operational experience, has made Russia’s elite airborne force (the VDV) an even more formidable force. As Russia shifts its gaze from perceived threats along its southern borders to those along its western ones, together with a fundamental shift to a military doctrine that once more sees NATO as the primary threat, the temptation to use the VDV as a military solution to political problems will likely only grow.

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Remote-control warfare briefing #13, March 2016: The dangers of fully-autonomous weapons, UK government’s draft surveillance legislation challenged, UAE and Saudi Arabia pledge special forces to confront Islamic State

Monthly briefing from the Open Briefing intelligence unit on developments in remote-control warfare. This month: The dangers of fully-autonomous weapons discussed at World Economic Forum for first time; UK government’s draft surveillance legislation threatened by European Court of Human Rights ruling and parliamentary committee criticism; UAE and Saudi Arabia pledge special forces to confront Islamic State and support Syrian armed opposition; and more.

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