Thursday, 9 June 2011

U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes

Drone strikes may seem to be a safe solution for fighting terrorist organisations, but things are never so simple...
"The recent operations come after a nearly year-long pause in American airstrikes, which were halted amid concerns that poor intelligence had led to bungled missions and civilian deaths that were undercutting the goals of the secret campaign.

Officials in Washington said that the American and Saudi spy services had been receiving more information — from electronic eavesdropping and informants — about the possible locations of militants. But, they added, the outbreak of the wider conflict in Yemen created a new risk: that one faction might feed information to the Americans that could trigger air strikes against a rival group.

A senior Pentagon official, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that using force against militants in Yemen was further complicated by the fact that Qaeda operatives have mingled with other rebels and antigovernment militants, making it harder for the United States to attack without the appearance of picking sides."

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Corruption and the arms trade: sins of commission

SIPRI has released its 2011 Yearbook. First chapter is on corruption in the arms trade.
Studies suggest that corruption in the arms trade contributes roughly 40 per cent to all corruption in global transactions. This corruption exacts a heavy toll on purchasing and selling countries, undermining democratic institutions of accountability and diverting valuable resources away from pressing social needs towards corrupt ends.