Thursday, 14 January 2016

Surveillance and Surveys in Kabul

Surveillance and Surveys in Kabul
In Kabul, where the Afghan Peace Volunteers have hosted me in their community, the US military maintains a huge blimp equipped with cameras and computers to supply 24-hour surveillance of the city. Remotely piloted drones, operated by Air Force and Air National Guard personnel on US bases, also fly over Afghanistan, giving US military analysts miles of camera footage every day. Billions of dollars have been invested in a variety of blimps, which various vendors such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman and Aeros have shipped to Afghanistan. All of this surveillance purportedly helps establish "patterns of life" and bring security to people living here. But this sort of "intelligence" discloses very little about experiences of poverty, chaos, hunger, child labor, homelessness and unemployment which afflict families across Afghanistan.

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