I have never been a person who is attracted by technology so really I am not interested in the latest gadgets of the arms trade from a geeky point of view. I am, however, interested in drones as the latest expression of warfare, specially with unthinkable consequences in distancing the perpetrator from the victim, making battle feel more like a computer game than a war where people are dying because of your actions. Drones are being used more and more for surveillance and for military attacks, and it is scary to think how far this robotisation of war can go.
While attending meetings on drones and reading about them, I have noticed that they fascinate some people interested in technology, who want to learn all the latest developments and can go on and on about all the different models, prototypes, etc. There are people involved in the work against drones (and the arms trade in general) who have this dark side passion. And I think that can be useful for the whole movement, as we can learn from them all the latest developments of the industry, while at the same time they show how attractive this technology can be.
This is also the case with arms fairs, especially air shows, directed at the general public. They put spectacular technology on show without making the connections between the technology and what it is being used for. It needs people like us, struggling against war, to be there to show this connection. Our presence at arms fairs does not just challenge the industry and government, but also presents the public with just how deadly this business really is.
In this newsletters we have stories on the robotisation of war, with our Campaign of the Month highlighting the work being done in the UK on this. At WRI we intend to help linking groups around the globe campaigning against the robotisation of war. A regular feature of this newsletter are actions against arms fairs, and it is good to see actions being taken in the state of Spain and in South Korea.
Finally, the War Profiteer of the Month, profiles the South African arms producer, Dene,l which is the country's main arms manufacturer. Denel is one of the main focus of campaigning of the organisation, The Ceasefire Campaign in South Africa. We are delighted to report that during WRI's last Council meeting, Ceasefire was accepted as a member organisation. We are looking forward to a fruitful and long lasting cooperation