Biometrics in Afghanistan

There’s a very interesting video-report from Sebastian Meyer here on the US military use of biometrics in Afghanistan to try to identify Taliban in what he calls ‘frontline anthropology’. Wired revealed last month that the NATO / US army operation is planned to be expanded into a nationwide biometric ID card scheme by next May. Wired says that there are only two biometric systems operating in Afghanistan but they don’t seem to have noticed that the UNHCR mission in the country is also using biometrics to identify returnees who¬† have already claimed the financial assistance on offer and are making fraudulent claims, in conjunction with the Afghan government. Are these systems all connected? More investigation is needed…

New UAVs in Afghanistan

The USAF continues to use the Afghanistan / Pakistan conflict as a test bed for new military surveillance technologies and robotic weapons. The latest thing is apparently the RQ-170, codenamed Sentinel, which is a radar-evading UAV or drone aircraft.

This picture of the aircraft was apparently shot near Kandahar…

The Sentinel (source unknown)

It seems that as this conflict drags on, more and more of these things will get wheeled out. Its only purpose seems to have become to field test all these black-project developed technologies that the US security-industrial complex has been churning out. It wasn’t that long after the Predator drone emerged that we saw a weaponized version. It is unclear whether there is any such version of the Sentinel yet, but no doubt there will be soon enough. The increasing reliance on remote-controlled and robotic weapons seems to be a new article of faith amongst the world’s wealthier militaries.