The machinery of the death industry is becoming well established in the Celtic countries and the announcement that Spirit AeroSystems (Belfast) is to take the lead role in ‘Project Mosquito’ takes it a step further. The system will develop attack drones for the RAF and for export to operate with manned aircraft.
Up to now the RAF have operated US made surveillance and offensive drones so this will be a venture for the ‘domestic’ market. It all compliments work by Qineteq in Wales and outfits like Raytheon whose factory in Scotland makes components for so called ‘smart bombs’.
The attraction of drones presently is that you sit on a control module (or cabin) in Waddington or at an RAF base in Cyprus and incinerate someone in the Middle East of the Horn of Africa. That evening you can be home in time for tea!
This activity is described as acting in ‘self defence’ by ‘taking out terrorists’ but as no detailed information about these attacks is released you never know just who else has been vaporized just because they were in the same area. In any case eliminating people without due process has caused some worries to the Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions at the UN OHCHR.
Ms Callamard said in July 2020:
“The growing use of weaponised drones risks destabilising global peace and security and creating a “drone power club” among nations, that face no effective accountability for deploying them as part of their “war on terror”.
She said States are in effect rewriting the rules on ‘self defence’ under article 51:
“a small number of rather influential States” had sought to reinterpret the law of self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
Other States and groups of course don’t just stand by whilst the big nations equip themselves with this machinery of war. They acquire the skills themselves as the Houthis demonstrated in Yemen when tired of being ‘bombed into the stone age’ by the Royal Saudi Air Force (assisted by the UK and US) they hit back with their own drone strikes against targets in Saudi Arabia.
Not to be outdone Qinetiq in Wales are now developing anti-drone technology so this arms race seems set to continue to spiral.
The old adage ‘an eye for an eye and the world is blind’ springs to mind.
(The Celtic League opposes the use of the Celtic Countries for military purposes by the nation states of France, the United Kingdom and their allies. We also oppose the development of industry which sustains global military actions which are not mandated by the United Nations in the context of peacekeeping).
Detail here on Project Mosquito and the Belfast contract:
Statement here from Agnes Callamard UN Special Rapporteur calling for action via the UN SecurityCouncil:
pp Celtic League Military Monitoring (5th February 2021)