The Pakistani government is largely not okay with US drone strikes in their country, as is logical for any country who’s sovereignty is being violated by another country. Especially considering that the United States continues to kill numerous, innocent, Pakistani civilians with these strikes, being outraged makes a lot of sense for the Pakistani government. Even Sharif, the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, who very much so wants to maintain good ties with the US and is willing to help out with the Afghanistan peace processes is pretty ticked off at the way we conduct drone strikes. The friction in the relationship certainly can’t be good, and could only be detrimental to the relationship and our ability to conduct peaceful affairs with Pakistan and other states in the Middle East/South Asia. Hopefully the United States will come to their senses soon and realize that constraining the drone program is a good idea. When even the Taliban is mocking us for our drone policy, it’s time to change things.
This article by the Foreign Policy Initiative explains the Asia Pivot pretty well, for those of you who are interested in it but don’t know a lot about it. Effectively, the United States has decided that East and South Asia are the regions with the biggest threats in the world (IE China) and that we need a large military presence there in order to prevent any bad things from happening. I certainly think it’s good that we have military presence throughout the world, but I largely think that the pivot is a bit excessive. We should beef up our military presence in the region a little bit, but not nearly as much as we are right now. Especially since we’re attempting to solve issues with China (and issues between China and Japan over places like the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands) diplomatically, having a massive military presence in the region may make solving these issues more difficult. It’s difficult to want to properly negotiate and agree with another person when you’re staring down the barrel of a gun. Instead of pivoting so much of our forces to the region, why don’t we send some of our soldiers back home? Or even to a place closer to home, like Hawaii, where they can maybe relax a bit, yet still be largely ready for anything that could happen in the Asian Pacific?
I’m not sure why anyone wants to be the site of drone testing. It only legitimizes their usage domestically, which can only lead to bad things. I’m more concerned about the government eventually instilling attack drones domestically, but there are certainly surveillance concerns as well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what actually happens.
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SALT LAKE CITY — The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to decide by the end of the month where it will begin testing airspace regulations for drones.
Utah is hoping to be one of the six chosen test sites.
“There are great civil and commercial applications for these systems,” said Marshall Wright, the aerospace and defense cluster director for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Utah is one of 24 states seeking to be a test site for unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The FAA is developing regulations, and it wants test sites to conduct scenarios and experiments. Unmanned aircraft have been used primarily in the military. Most recently, Amazon announced it was exploring using drones to deliver packages.
“The FAA would like to get information out of these test sites as fast as they can, because what they want to do is normalize access for unmanned systems…
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Last month, NATO began initiating some cyber defenses in order to defend against potential attacks. This is especially interesting considering how involved the United States is in the organization. Hopefully these new defenses will stay defensive instead of offensive and NATO won’t create or perpetuate a cyber war. Especially considering that a central tenant of the alliance is that if anyone attacks one of the countries involved, all of the countries retaliate. Considering that the new technology (presumably) involves some ability to detect attacks and figure out who started the attack, this could easily escalate to a cyber war, if not a real one, if NATO doesn’t act defensively and stay defensive instead of retaliatory.
The Onion is my favorite parody news site, and they’ve published several articles about drone strikes over the past year. If you’re interested in laughing at the misfortune that is the United States’ drone policy, check them out.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/sweating-obama-admits-drone-strikes-have-been-happ,31219/ — “Sweating Obama Admits Drone Strikes Have Been Happening on Their Own”
http://www.theonion.com/articles/obama-takes-out-romney-with-middebate-drone-attack,30055/ “Obama Takes Out Romney With Mid-Debate Drone Attack”
http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-england-patriots-now-using-drones-to-take-out,34602/ “New England Patriots Now Using Drones To Take Out Offensive Threats”
A new NSA scandal was released this week when it was revealed that the NSA has been spying on World of Warcraft. My reaction is two-fold– first, this shows the extent of the NSA’s power. It’s amazing what government spying programs can do. Second, why World of Warcraft? I seriously doubt that you’re going to find anything that you’re looking for on that video game. The game is also so massive, that even if it was possible that there could be information worth receiving in game, I’d doubt it would be possible to find.
The Onion‘s “American Voices” about the event is also hilarious.
Yes, the United States government is continuing the drone race by developing a new stealth drone (and it’s being developed at Area 51). What’s especially interesting about this article is that it makes the claim about the drone race– that what we’ve feared would happen with the development of this new technology (and has happened with pretty much every technology in the past) actually happened and is still happening. New countries have developed drone technology, and other actors are catching up to us. This new drone development will only further the arms race.