Amnesty International called upon countries to ban fully autonomous weapons systems on the first day of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems meeting. Amnesty states that technology related to advanced weapons systems is outpacing international law. Future technologies may be able to replicate human responses, including "the ability to analyse the intentions behind people's actions, to assess and respond to often dynamic and unpredictable situations, or make complex decisions about the proportionality or necessity of an attack." A complete ban on fully autonomous weapons is necessary in order to avoid possible "dystopian" futures. Human interaction should be required by law to be involved in the identification, selection, and engagement of targets in advanced weapons. (Photo: Future of Life Institute)
Journalist Dan Young speaks with CounterVortex editor Bill Weinberg in an interview for Northern California's KNYO. They discuss the prospects for resisting the global vortex of ecological collapse, totalitarianism and permanent war—and supporting indigenous and autonomy struggles, popular democracy, and peace initiatives. Weinberg traces his own political evolution through the Cold War endgame of the Reagan era, the Lower East Side squatter scene, the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, 9-11 and the "Global War on Terrorism," to the Arab Revolution, the Syrian war and the current dilemma. The discussion touches on the abysmal politics of the contemporary American left, the urgent need for international solidarity across the Great Power "spheres of influence," the contradictions and challenges posed by digital technology, and the possibilities for a decent future for humanity on Planet Earth.
On the heels of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's Manila meeting with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, NBC News reports that the Pentagon is considering a plan for the US military to conduct air-strikes on ISIS targets in the archipelago nation. The account quotes two unnamed defense officials who told the network that "authority to strike ISIS targets…could be granted as part of an official military operation" likely to be named in the coming days. The strikes would probably be conducted by armed drones.
Qatar's diplomatic isolation by the other Gulf states, accused of supporting terrorism in the region, heightens contradictions for the Pentagon's use of the critical al-Udeid Air Base.
The UN Special Rapporteur on protection of human rights while countering terrorism said that Saudi Arabia's sweeping anti-terror laws pose a threat to fundamental freedoms.
The US military plans to station ground troops in Libya to help local forces fight the ISIS faction there, and also seeks greater scope to target insurgents in Somalia.
Lynne Stewart, the fighting activist attorney who gained fame with her 2005 conviction for “providing material support” to terrorism, died at her home in Brooklyn. (Photo: The Indypendent)
The US commander in Afghanistan told lawmakers he needs several thousand more troops to break "a stalemate" with the Taliban and other insurgents.
With a Trump despotism looming, CounterVortex offers its final assessment of Barack Obama's record in addressing the oppressive legacy of the Global War on Terrorism.
The US is investing at least $50 million in a military air base in Niger that will be capable of deploying drones to police the greater Sahara and Sahel regions.
Two weeks after the Syrian "ceasefire," Aleppo is under intense bombardment and 2 million are without water in the besieged city—portending a massive death toll.
It is telling that Islam Karimov, the murderous dictator of Uzbekistan, is hailed upon his death as an ally in the war on terrorism by both Washington and Moscow.