WHEN IT comes to using artificial intelligence (AI), intelligence agencies have been at it longer than most. In the cold war America's National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) explored early AI to help transcribe and translate the enormous volumes of Soviet phone-intercepts they began hoovering up in the 1960s and 1970s. Your browser does not support the audio element. Yet the technology was immature. One former European intelligence officer says his service did not use automatic transcription or translation in Afghanistan in the 2000s, relying on native speakers instead.
WHEN IT COMES to artificial intelligence (AI), spy agencies have been at it longer than most. In the cold war, America's National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) explored early AI to help transcribe and translate the enormous volumes of Soviet phone-intercepts they began hoovering up in the 1960s. Yet the technology was immature. One former European intelligence officer says his service did not use automatic transcription or translation in Afghanistan in the 2000s, relying on native speakers instead. Now the spooks are hoping to do better. The trends that have made AI attractive for business--more data, better algorithms, and more processing power to make it all hum--are giving spy agencies big ideas, too.
File photo - U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment watch as CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade lands after an advising mission at the Afghan National Army headquarters for the 203rd Corps in the Paktia province of Afghanistan December 21, 2014. Warrior Maven: What is the primary purpose of the Army's AI Task Force? Matty: The Army AI Task Force was established with a Secretary of the Army directive in October of 2018. There are four thrusts or top initiatives from the Secretary's directive. One component is we are leveraging AI to help our talent management in human resources.
When U.S. Special Forces entered Afghanistan in 2001, Facebook didn't exist, the iPhone had yet to be invented, and "A.I." often referred to an NBA star. Seventeen years later, American special operations forces continue to ride horseback in rural Afghanistan, but information technology has advanced rapidly. Recent breakthroughs in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) have captured the popular imagination and prompted sober talk of an impending AI revolution. Yet surprisingly little of that talk has touched on the small wars and insurgencies that have dominated U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century. The definitive work on emerging technology and insurgency has yet to be written, but two recent books offer suggestions for how the era of big data and AI will affect the United States' modern conflicts.
KABUL – President Ashraf Ghani confirmed Friday that Pakistani Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah has been killed in a U.S. drone strike. Fazlullah is believed to have ordered the failed 2012 assassination of Malala Yousafzai, who became a global symbol of the fight for girls' rights to schooling, and who later won the Nobel Peace Prize. U.S. forces targeted Fazlullah in a counterterrorism strike Thursday in eastern Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. officials said, without confirming his death. "I spoke with Prime Minister of #Pakistan Nasir ul Mulk and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and confirmed the death of Mullah Fazlullah," Ghani tweeted, adding: "His death is the result of tireless human intel led by #Afghan security agencies." Ghani added the Pakistani leaders had assured him the strike was "a great step toward building trust between the two nations," while urging them to "bring (the) Afghan Taliban residing in Pakistan to the negotiation table."
Mullah Fazlullah, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader, accused of shooting activist Malala Yousafzai was killed by a United States drone strike June 13 close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a U.S. military official confirmed to Voice of America. "U.S. forces conducted a counterterrorism strike June 13 in Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization," army Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said. He was reportedly traveling in a vehicle with four other commanders when the strike took place, Pakistani daily the Express Tribune reported. "A US drone strike in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province has killed the leader of the TTP," Mohammad Radmanish, Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense spokesperson, told CNN. "US Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support forces continue to adhere to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's unilateral ceasefire with the Afghan Taliban, announced by ... Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which began on the 27th day of Ramadan," a statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said claiming the strike did not put the ceasefire order by President Ashraf Ghani into risk, CNN reported. "As previously stated, the ceasefire does not include US counterterrorism efforts against IS-K, al Qaeda, and other regional and international terrorist groups, or the inherent right of US and international forces to defend ourselves if attacked," the statement added.
Pakistan Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan, the Afghan Defense Ministry announced Friday. The U.S. military said Thursday it had carried out an airstrike targeting a senior militant in northeastern Kunar, according to Reuters. A U.S. official told the news agency the target was believed to be Fazlullah. Four other senior Taliban militants were also killed in the strike, The New York Times reported. Fazlullah is considered one of the most-wanted Pakistan militants and is believed to be behind the attacks on Pakistani security officials and civilians.
SHORTLY after 9/11, the US deployed a new form of high-tech warfare: sending drones into foreign airspace to kill terror suspects. At first the strikes were restricted to Afghanistan, but soon they were extended into Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The strategy has been escalated by presidents Obama and Trump. Initially the US had a virtual monopoly on drone technology, but commentators pointed out that this would only be temporary. Legal scholars also warned that the strikes were of dubious international legality.