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We need to talk about Yemen

The briefing argues that greater transparency over the UK’s role in the conflict would benefit the government for many domestic reasons, particularly given the levels of public and parliamentary scepticism about arms sales and secret wars.

Open Briefing Report | The Remote Warfare Digest

Commissioned by the Remote Control project, this digest from Open Briefing covers developments in five key areas of remote warfare: special forces, private military and security companies, unmanned vehicles and autonomous weapon systems, cyber warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The digest discusses how the level of transparency and oversight of special forces missions is out […]

Yemen: A Battle for the Future

Summary Yemen is embroiled in multiple civil wars, triggered by a long-term decline in oil production, the failure of state-building, strong sub-national identities and internal competition between rival elite networks that comprised the regime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Regional actors are intervening in Yemen’s local wars to support their preferred allies, resulting in […]

Assessing SOF Transparency and Accountability

In this report, commissioned by Remote Control, Dr. Jon Moran, Reader in Security at the University of Leicester, discusses the growth in the use of Special Operations Forces by the UK, US, Australia, and Canada throughout the War on Terror. The report examines why SOF have become so prominent in the tool box of modern […]

Nigeria’s Private Army: A perception study of private military contractors in the war against Boko Haram

Commissioned by the Remote Control project, the Nigeria Security Network carried out a perception study into the use of private military contractors.  The study suggests that the majority of Nigerians support using private military contractors to fight Boko Haram. However, within the minority that oppose their use, some expressed opinions that could be vulnerable to manipulation […]

Hostile drones: The hostile use of drones by non-state actors against British targets

Commissioned by the Remote Control project this report from Open Briefing examines the design and capabilities of over 200 current and upcoming unmanned aerial, ground and marine systems, providing analysis of the specifications that would affect their threat to potential targets, including payload, range and imaging capabilities.

The report then goes on to assess known drone use by non-state groups, including terrorist organisations, insurgent groups, organised crime groups, corporations and activists, before outlining recommendations to mitigate these threats, including specific regulatory, passive and active countermeasures.

Tear gassing by remote control: The development and promotion of remotely operated means of delivering or dispersing riot control agents

Commissioned by the Remote Control project this report from by the Omega Research Foundation and Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project, looks at the development and promotion of “remote control” riot control systems.

The report highlights the States and companies that have developed and promoted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – drones, unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) and other remotely operated systems for delivering tear gas or other so-called “less-lethal” weapons. The report has found that there is inadequate regulation of “remote control” means of delivery of riot control agents (RCAs) (tear gasses) and that they could be at risk of being misused by both State and non-State actors. The report concludes that it is critical for the international community to determine constraints upon these devices under international and regional human rights law to guard against misuse. The report sets out specific recommendations for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure effective regulation.

Mass surveillance: security by ‘remote control’ – consequences and effectiveness

This briefing paper, by the Remote Control project, looks at the implications and effectiveness of mass surveillance as a counter-terrorism strategy following the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013.

The briefing finds that mass surveillance programmes are leading to a number of unforeseen consequences, including the proliferation of surveillance technologies to authoritarian regimes, a decrease in public trust in government and the weakening of internet security. As well as this, doubts over the ability of mass surveillance to thwart terror plots have also been found.