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Exactly a year ago, the UK carried out its first drone strike from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Like the more than 450 other remote weapon launches carried out by UK drones, no details about the strike or the resulting casualties have ever been made public. As British troops pack to leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014, information leaks suggest that the UK’s armed Reaper drones will not be brought back to the UK, but rather be deployed for a counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism role in Africa and the Middle East.
Despite calls for greater transparency from many civil society groups, MPs, the defence select committee and the UN human rights council, all the Ministry of Defence will say is that “no decision has yet been taken”. The use of armed drones to carry out remote strikes with no risk to the operators raises serious legal and ethical concerns. The MoD has so far refused to release empirical data about the use of such systems on the grounds of operational security. Before any further deployment of the UK’s Reaper drones is contemplated, the MoD must release more information about the impact of its drone strikes in Afghanistan to enable proper public scrutiny and inform the wider debate about growing use of armed drones.
Director, Drone Wars UK
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We attribute nobility to animals such as the British army labrador killed in Afghanistan. But humans are the only species to memorialise what is lost
Animals cannot really be “gallant”. They cannot be cowardly either. Neither can they hate, murder, torture or campaign for peace. All these, like war itself, are unique to humans.
That has not stopped an organisation called the PDSA giving its Dickin Medal posthumously to Sasha the labrador, who was killed by a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan along with her handler, Lance Corporal Kenneth Rowe, in July 2008. They were on patrol searching for explosive devices when they were shot.
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PDSA awards ‘animals’ Victoria Cross’ to Sasha the labrador for helping save lives by detecting explosive devices
A British army dog that helped save lives by finding explosive devices in Afghanistan is to be awarded a posthumous medal by the animal charity PDSA.
Sasha, a four-year-old labrador, was killed along with her handler, Lance Corporal Kenneth Rowe, in a Taliban ambush in July 2008. The two were shot dead while on patrol from a remote base in Helmand province.
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Leaving the Armed Forces with a lump sum you’re looking to invest? Fed up with being told what to do? Why not become your own boss? You won’t be alone.
From Civvy Street Magazine #46 (April 2014), Words: Paul F. Cockburn
Glasgow-based Chief Petty Officer and submariner, Stewart Bisley is in his final two years of service with the Royal Navy. Unlike many of his peers, however, he knows exactly what he’ll be doing afterwards. Alongside his wife, Kim, he’ll be running his own snack food delivery business, a company that’s already up and running!
Continue reading “Be Your Own Boss”