Weekend Roundup 6/9

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News Trending Now

The new Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, called for a halt to American drone strikes. “It is not fair that we respect others’ sovereignty,” he said at his swearing-in ceremony, “and they do not respect ours.”(Al Jazeera)

Two days later, a U.S. drone strike killed seven in northern Waziristan, in the country’s northwest. (Reuters)

In response, Nawaz Sharif’s government summoned the U.S. Embassy Charge D’Affaires to lodge a formal complaint. (CTV News)

Al Jazeera reported on the Yemeni public’s response to recent drone strikes.

A new report from U.S. consulting firm Frost & Sullivan shows huge growth in Israeli drone sales, which now surpass those of the United States by around $2 billion. (Yahoo News)

An NBC News investigation has revealed classified CIA documents showing that over a 14-month period beginning in 2010, the intelligence organization did not always know exactly who it was targeting with drones. In thirty attacks over this period, the victims were listed only as “other militants” or “foreign fighters.”

The UK continues to debate the international legal basis for drone strikes after a group of lawyers challenged the justifications offered by the Royal Air Force. (The Guardian)

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 66% of Americans support drone strikes.

Eric Holder, the American Attorney General, testified before Congress this week about drone strikes and denied that the administration was using drones to avoid taking prisoners to Guantanamo. “The desire to capture,” he said, “is something that we take seriously because we gain intelligence.” (Miami Herald)

Drones are being used to aid the search for pipeline faults in the oil fields in Alaska. (Reuters)

The Huffington Post examines a county in Colorado that has become a national leader in domestic drone use. Its police department alone has logged 171 drone flight hours since 2010.

Commentary, Analysis and Art

In “The World as a Free Fire Zone,” which was published in the MIT Technology Review, Fred Kaplan provides a history of the drone. The essay traces the progression from Cold War remote-controlled planes with cameras on their bellies through to what Kaplan describes as “a war without borders.”

Philip Morton writes that he is thankful for drones because his 11-year-old son, who spends all his time playing video games, will have a job. “‘Stop gaming, read a book!” he tells his son. “Then it hit me. He’s already in basic training!” (Huffington Post)

Murmuration, a month-long online art festival organized by the Dubai-based publication practice The State, will feature a new piece of drone art every day in June.

James Bridle has an exhibition about drones and the disposition matrix at the Pilar Corrias Gallery in London called “Coded Conduct.”

John Arquilla, the author of books such as Networks and Netwars, argues in Foreign Policy that President Obama should use special forces operators and cyber attacks  instead of drones to take down terrorists.

In a short but provocative letter to the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore resident William Smith argues that armed drones could be used to solve the city’s gang problem.

Know Your Drone

The internet got very excited about Domino’s pizza-delivery drone. (TIME)

That said, as Jason Koebler explained, food-delivery drones are still a long way from becoming a reality. “Drones have a future in delivery,” he writes, “but it’s not in the food market.” (US News)

The K-Max drone, by Lockheed Martin, is designed to assist in resupply operations for Marine Corps ground units.

The Robo Raven, a US Army drone, is frequently attacked by hawks because of its super realistic design. (Washington Times)

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are developing the first brain-controlled drone, US News reports. See the full study here.

A previously classified video shows a German Luna drone coming within feet of an Airbus A300 carrying 100 passengers over Kabul nine years ago. The drone later crashed in the nearby Kunduz Province. (Business Insider)

Center for the Study of the Drone Roundup

Arthur Holland Michel examines the use of Predator drones in Bosnia in 1995, arguing that it was a seminal moment in the history of drone warfare.

“Drones.”, a performance art video made by students from the Center’s seminar at Bard College, explores the imprint that drones leave on the imagination, while at the same time meditating on the ongoing debate about military UAVs.

(Photo credit: Lockheed Martin)