Weekend Roundup 5/28

The Unveiling of Northrop Grumman's Triton Drone (The Aviationist)
The Unveiling of Northrop Grumman’s Triton Drone (The Aviationist)

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News Trending Now

The United States Attorney General, Eric H. Holder, admitted this week in a letter to Congress that American drones had deliberately targeted Anwar al-Awlaki, and accidentally killed three other American citizens. (Wired.com)

In his first national security speech of his second term, President Obama promised to limit drone strikes and to close Guantanamo. Here’s the full transcript. (New York Times)

Ben Emmerson, the UN rapporteur for drones and solid critic of their use in Pakistan, praised President Obama’s speech as ‘historic.’ (BBC News)

The Pakistani Government reiterated their opposition to drone strikes despite the limitations promised by Obama last week. (Dawn)

US drones posted to a base in Niger, originally intended to be used over Mali, might also be tasked to watch over the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria. (Nigeria Daily Post)

The Washington Post and the New York Times examine the opportunities for a sea change in the role of the CIA in global counterterrorism efforts.

Drones could be used to combat forest fires in Canada. (CBC News)

The Onion story about Obama’s plans to limit civilian casualties by equipping drones with tasers has more than a hint of truth to it for drones on the domestic front. (Digital Journal)


Commentary, Analysis and Art

Lawfare Blog has a slew of commentary on the President’s national security speech last week. Some highlights: Benjamin Wittes parses the President’s language on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), and Robert Chesney questions whether the legal framework of ‘armed conflict’ is still relevant.

The Vision Machine is a new website devoted to “critically engaging the intersection of war, peace, and media.”

David Corn at Mother Jones discusses the Obama administration’s crackdown on leaks and the President’s recent national security speech.

National security lawyer and commentator Ken Anderson makes a case for drones. (Commentary)

Michael Cohen at The Guardian asks us to ‘give Obama a chance’ on drones.

The International Crisis Group released a new report about the use of drones in Pakistan.

Admiral Dennis Blair, a former Obama advisor on intelligence, spoke to NPR about the President’s recent speech on drones.


Know Your Drone

The United States Navy completed the first test flight of Northrop Grumman’s Triton drone. The Triton is intended to replace Northrop’s Global Hawk as a long-distance and high-flying surveillance drone. (LA Times)

DroneDeploy is a recent startup tech company created by former ‘Googlers’ that creates software which allows commercial drone operators to manage multiple drones at once. (Tech Crunch)

Google thinks drones can revolutionize the clean energy industry. (Motherboard)

General Atomics has an action-packed animated video about their newest combat drone, the Predator C, which features lasers, “plug & play,” and swarming capabilities.

Drone Center Roundup

Arthur Holland Michel re-reads The Birds by Daphne du Maurier as a story about drones.

On Memorial Day, Dan Gettinger implores us to remember the human element in the drone debate.


(Photo credit: The Aviationist)