US drug policy has become increasingly privatised in recent years as the US government contracts private military and security companies (PMSCs) to provide intelligence, logistical support and training to state security forces in drug-producing and –transit states. As the cases of Colombia and Mexico illustrate, this privatisation strategy is having a damaging impact on these already fragile environments.Read more "Privatising the War on Drugs: PMSCs in Colombia and Mexico"
Over-burdened in its requests for continuous surveillance of an expanding battlefield, the US military is increasingly turning to private contractors to fill key roles in its drone operations.Read more "EXPANDING CONTRACTING: THE PRIVATE SECTOR’S ROLE IN DRONE SURVEILLANCE AND TARGETING"
The use of security forces to protect merchant vessels from piracy has led to a rise in ‘floating armouries’: vessels that are used for weapons storage, often moored in international waters. This growing trend raises a number of concerns over security, oversight and transparency.Read more "Floating liabilities? Maritime armouries, risks and solutions"
The centenary of the First World War also marks the anniversary of the practice of recording and naming casualties of war. But a century on, new forms of ‘shadow warfare’ limit the ability to record casualties of conflict and thus threaten to allow states a free hand to employ dangerous new tactics without threat of individual or international accountability.Read more "FROM THE GREAT WAR TO DRONE WARS: THE IMPERATIVE TO RECORD CASUALTIES"
Despite the crumbling facade of its interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, America is preparing for a new century of ‘light footprint’ warfare, using Africa as its laboratory.Read more "Quiet legacies and long shadows: The Obama era of counterterrorism in the Sahel-Sahara"