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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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The remote warfare digest

Open Briefing has produced a series of monthly intelligence briefings on remote warfare since April 2014. Periodically, we undertake a more in-depth assessment of the trends in remote warfare. This current report sets out the findings of the third such assessment. A key theme of this assessment is the adoption of remote warfare by state and non-state actors beyond the United States and its Western allies.

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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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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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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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Securing change: Recommendations for the British government regarding remote-control warfare

The United States has led the way in developing a new way of conceptualising and executing war. With the rise of austerity in Europe, other Western states have adopted part or all of this ‘remote-control warfare’ approach. However, the assessment of recent trends contained in this report makes it increasingly clear that remote-control warfare has its limits. As such, this report makes 31 specific recommendations to the British government.

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