Although the US government has been signaling since 2010 that it intends to invest in modernizing its nuclear capabilities (beginning with the April 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report) and modernization in Russia is well underway, the issue of nuclear modernization has recently captured the attention of major news outlets, with both The Economist [...]Continue Reading →
Beyond these individual examples of failure, there may be an inherent mismatch in seeking to instill values of professionalism, civic service, and democratic control of security sectors through private (and perhaps mercenary) contractors. In countries where SSR is struggling to confront marketplaces that commodify violence, PMCs represent exactly that—the commoditization of military skills.Continue Reading →
On Tuesday, United States President Barak Obama issued a new policy on the sale of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), also known as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and drones. Although the policy is couched in terms of human rights and international law, its likely purpose is to pave the way for greater sales of American-made [...]Continue Reading →
A triumph for transparency in defense spending came earlier this week when the Pentagon reversed its decision to classify information about funds spent on military training for the Afghan army and police. The reversal came after mainstream media joined traditional DoD allies in criticizing the decision. For instance, John McCain stated: “These are [...]Continue Reading →
Since the Institute for Economics and Peace began publishing its Global Peace Index (GPI) in 2008, each year has become less peaceful than the past, based on an assessment of 22 variables that measure the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict, and the degree of militarization of [...]Continue Reading →
Commissioners, I am now faced with a difficult choice. How should I respond to your subpoena?
I am mindful of the fact that the arms deal has wrought havoc on the lives of ordinary South Africans and corrupted our politics for the past 15 years. It has profited international arms corporations while weakening our democratic state institutions. It has profited the rich at the expense of the poor.
I am also mindful that the cover-up that followed the arms deal has put in place a system of patronage with the purpose of keeping alleged corrupt elites out of prison. It allows them to continue benefiting from the spoils of an unequal society. I have regretfully come to the conclusion that this Commission will provide no remedy to this situation.
For these reasons, I can no longer in good conscience participate in a hearing of the Arms Procurement Commission.Continue Reading →
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