Drone Warfare: Contestable Successes And Uncertain Futures

Obama Drones Reaper Orange

As its name suggests, the MQ-9 Reaper has been one of the deadliest tools of the drone war. Source: Department of Defense

Since Barack Obama took office, a key part of his foreign policy has been disentangling the U.S. military from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This stance also determined the administration’s refusal to intervene in Syria, where a horrendous civil war has cut down hundreds of thousands of lives.

Ironically, even while pursuing a policy of disentanglement, the Obama administration has intensified military campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. But instead of deploying the men and women of the armed forces, his administration has empowered the CIA to send unmanned aircrafts armed with missiles to hunt down targets and kill them.

Obama has become the president of the drones.

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Jigokudani Monkey Park: Where Snow Monkeys Go To Hot Tub

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Source: Pastalert

Everybody loves a hot shower, including these adorable snow monkeys from Japan’s Jigokudani monkey park. Located in the northern part of the Nagano prefecture, the park draws visitors from all over the world. And who can blame them? There’s nothing quite like watching dozens of wild monkeys have a blast in the park’s natural hot springs.

Tourism in Monkey Park

Source: Whizztrip

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXVI

Sun Rays Field Fog

Sunrise over the small mountain hamlet of Cemoro Lawang, Indonesia. Source: Twisted Sifter

Dazzling Aerial Photography From Around The World

Aerial Elephants Grass

Elephants in Botswana’s Okavango flood plain. Source: Twisted Sifter

The view from on high can be at once elegant and cluttered, clarifying and overwhelming. But, most often, the view from above is absolutely gorgeous. The annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, ending June 30, attracts reams of striking images taken from vantage points you and I will probably never occupy. Perhaps chief among those images–both in terms of beauty and uniqueness–are those taken from the sky. Yes, you and I may never hover above the plains of Africa or the mountains of Indonesia, but the arresting photographs at Twisted Sifter come quite close to bringing us there.

Great Barrier Reef Aerial

The Great Barrier Reef near Hamilton Island. Source: Twisted Sifter

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Impressive Robot Learns To Limp On A Broken Leg

French researchers design a robot that can re-learn how to walk on a broken limb.

Okay, the study of robotics is starting to really take off– researchers at the French Institute For Computer Science have recently designed a robot that is able to diagnose and compensate for its own injuries. Most mobile robots, when faced with a broken leg, will helplessly plod around in circles, unable to continue. These robots are different– they re-learn how to walk with their new limitations.

Source: Nature

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