National Security Strategy: From South Park, Colorado to Washington D.C.

In the Comedy Central television series South Park, the boys discover a cartel of gnomes who steal people’s underwear. Over the course of the episode it’s revealed that these seizures are part of their business plan which goes:   Step 1: Collect Underpants → Step 2: ? → Step 3: Profit   The punchline, of course, is Read more about National Security Strategy: From South Park, Colorado to Washington D.C.[…]

Who Killed Giovanni Lo Porto?

The death of Giovanni Lo Porto, the Italian aid worker killed in a drone strike in Pakistan last January, had the potential for becoming a diplomatic incident–or at least to cause some tension between the US and Italy. This is especially true in light of the modality by which the incident has been disclosed, and Read more about Who Killed Giovanni Lo Porto?[…]

CIA Drone Campaign Demonstrates Need for Greater Intelligence Oversight, Accountability

A year ago SISMEC pointed out that, although most of the victims of U.S. drone strikes have ostensibly been “militants,” the White House definition of “militant” is extremely vague (generally, any fighting-aged male). Moreover, the purpose of the program isn’t to target any and all possible combatants, but instead to eliminate high-value targets from international terror Read more about CIA Drone Campaign Demonstrates Need for Greater Intelligence Oversight, Accountability[…]

Droning on about UAVs: A Metacriticism

“Before we can talk about what is ‘effective’ we have to talk about what the goal is of using military force at all. Is it to make Americans safer? Is it to keep Afghanis, Pakistanis or Yemenis safe? What’s the goal?  The question of being ‘effective’ – if you’re asking do drones work to kill Read more about Droning on about UAVs: A Metacriticism[…]

The Problem with Pakistan: Drones or Delusions?

The Drone Smokescreen On October 23, 2013, President Obama hosted a meeting with the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in order to discuss a bilateral relationship greatly strained by the killing of Osama Bin Laden on Pakistani soil. Subsequent to the U.S. Navy Seal raid in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, the U.S. suspended $800 Read more about The Problem with Pakistan: Drones or Delusions?[…]

Blowback nothing?

Colin Owens Christopher Swift’s article “Strikes in Yemen Aren’t Pushing People to Al Qaeda” (July 2012) draws conclusions about the expanded U.S./Yemen drone program in Yemen, including signature strikes, based on interviews concerning a different and limited Yemen campaign. While the article argues that al-Qaeda recruitment in Yemen is largely driven by economics, and that Read more about Blowback nothing?[…]

Afghanistan’s Post-Modern Security Crisis

Identity and Boundaries at the crux of “insider attacks” So far in 2012, NATO forces have seen a 45% increase in “insider attacks” against coalition forces by their Afghan security counterparts, accounting for more than 18% of the total 2012 NATO casualties. Beyond the loss of life, these attacks have had a devastating impact on Read more about Afghanistan’s Post-Modern Security Crisis[…]

Drones: The New American Way of War

SISMEC’s research on drones in Middle East Policy: “Drone Warfare in Yemen: Fostering Emirates through Counterterrorism?” Dr. Leila Hudson, Colin S. Owens, David J. Callen. Middle East Policy, Fall 2012. “Drone Warfare: Blowback from the New American Way of War,” Dr. Leila Hudson, Matt Flannes and Colin Owens. Middle East Policy, Fall 2011.   SISMEC Presents “Drones: The Read more about Drones: The New American Way of War[…]

Droning on through Chaos and Illusion

When Hadi Met Saleh, or When I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Drone After 33 years of autocratic rule, Ali Abdullah Saleh was not voted in as president earlier this week. Despite the elections some activists have scoffed at the notion that they represent anything more than an opinion poll and that democracy Read more about Droning on through Chaos and Illusion[…]