The National Interest has compiled a list of what they think will be the most influential new weapons that will influence how we wage war in the future. I may write a longer piece at some point analyzing some of the security and political implications of these.
Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, and Laura Poitras have started a new digital magazine, The Intercept. Their first article, co-authored by Scahill and Greenwald, explains the role of the NSA and its metadata tracking in U.S. drone strikes. The big problem is that the NSA’s intelligence tracks phones, not people, and requires no human intelligence confirmation of who actually is in possession of that phone. An interesting tangent from this: a review of a book about the manhunt for Che Guevara in Bolivia discusses how that event illustrates the importance of human intelligence over other forms of intelligence gathering.
The pick-up truck has a surprisingly extensive and interesting role in modern warfare.
An anti-drone activist in Pakistan was abducted 10 days ago, shortly before he was due to testify before European parliamentarians. Witnesses claim to have seen people in police uniforms among his captors. He has just been released. Undeterred by beatings and torture, he is once again preparing to give testimony on the drone strikes that killed his son and brother.
If your car had digitized elements, it can be hacked and controlled. Also my friend wrote this article and it is really cool and she’s really cool, so if you’re interested in tech you should keep reading her stuff.
NSA surveillance also may target American lawyers, particularly those representing foreign clients.
Unseen War is a short film that examines the drone war in Pakistan. Of course, if you haven’t already, you should also check out the documentary Dirty Wars.
The International Political Forum has an informative piece about the role of oil in Iraq’s ongoing civil unrest. One of the interesting issues at play is that the Iraqi constitution gives the region of Kurdistan autonomy. As a result, the Kurds are exporting oil under their own seal and keeping the revenues. However, the Iraqi government is claiming that the oil is also the sovereign property of Iraq, since Kurdistan is an autonomous region, not an independent state, and thus the Iraqi national government should also benefit from the sale of Kurdish oil.
Student protests are rocking Venezuela. The fixed-exchange rate for the country’s currency, among several other policies, has led to major inflation and scarcity issues. Meanwhile, crime rates remain high, and a crackdown on protests instead seems to have helped them gain momentum.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s protests continue. They began as demonstrations against corrupt privatization processes, and escalated into broader protests of abuses of power in the government.
Egypt’s security forces are doing “virginity tests” on female detainees. It’s an abusive tactic that many thought had been left behind in the era of Mubarak.
Amie Ferris-Rotman is a journalist who is starting a mentoring program called Sahar Speaks for female journalists in Afghanistan.