And the first sci-fi weapon the Space Force gets is....a device to scramble communications?
- The United States Space Force recently got its first real weapon, a satellite communications jammer.
- The device was previously used by the Air Force.
- While seemingly mundane, the jammer will serve a very real purpose on the battlefield.
Despite potential good intentions, interventionist policies are often viewed by classical liberals as violations of individual freedoms.
- Intervention covers a range of activity broader than just war. Some interventions have more humanitarian aims, such as disaster relief and development aid.
- Oftentimes, the drive behind many instances of intervention involves some form of political, economic, or social outcome.
- There are important questions to consider regarding knowledge, goals, incentives, and unintended consequences. The answers to these indicate whether an intervention is necessary and appropriate.
Proponents of drones in foreign conflicts argue that it reduces harm for civilians and U.S. military personnel alike. Here's why that might be wrong.
- There has been a huge increase in drone usage since the war on terror. Proponents of drone warfare claim it reduces civilian casualties and collateral damage, that it's cheaper than conventional warfare tactics, and that it's safer for U.S. military personnel.
- The data suggests those claims may be false, says scholar Abigail Blanco. Drones are, at best, about equivalent to conventional technologies, but in some cases may actually be worse.
- Blanco explains how skewed US government definitions don't give honest data on civilian casualties. Drone operators also suffer worse psychological repercussions following a drone strike because of factors such as the intimacy of prolonged surveillance and heat-sensing technology which lets the operator observe the heat leaving a dying body to confirm a kill.
When it comes to foreign intervention, we often overlook the practices that creep into life back home.
- Methods used in foreign intervention often resurface domestically, whether that's in the form of skills or technology.
- University of Tampa professor Abigail Blanco calls this the boomerang effect. It's a consequence not often thought about when we discuss foreign intervention.
- The three channels to consider when examining the boomerang effect include human capital in the form of skills, administrative dynamics, and physical capital in the form of tools and technology.
Does the President get to decide when to ignore the law?
- During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln decided to suspend habeas corpus, a protection in the Constitution that prohibited imprisonment without a trial.
- From Lincoln's point of view, following the law to the letter during that unprecedented and pivotal moment in history (i.e. the threat of war and secession from the Union) would put lawfulness itself at risk, so some restrictions of civil liberties were necessary.
- The war and the president's actions changed how the founding document is interpreted and sometimes challenged by the rule of men.