Croughton from Rainsborough Camp
The radomes of USAF Croughton, dawn, November 2017

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Croughton- Watch

This site is devoted to USAF Croughton (and its outstation, Barford St. John) on the border of Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire – part of a global electronic communications, control and surveillance that works on behalf of the US military and intelligence establishment, projecting of American military power across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

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This page lists information resources available about USAF Croughton, USAF Barford St. John, and on the wider issues of technological change and, militarism and cyberwarfare:

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USAF Croughton & Barford St. John

Information specifically about USAF Croughton & USAF Barford St. John sites:

‘Keep Space for Peace 2019’
Information about this year’s march and rally at USAF Croughton, Noon-4pm, Saturday 5th October 2019.

☮ Croughtonwatch: USAF Croughton, Networked Warfare, and the Intelligence-Fusion Complex, June 2018
How digital networks, data, and artificial intelligence are blurring the boundaries between military, political and civil conflict. This short report on NATO’s Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre was written by researcher and consultant, Paul Mobbs. The report considers not only the details of the recently permitted JIAC development, but also the wider technological and policy issues surrounding 'information' and 'hybrid' warfare – and the critical role of data collection and analysis in that process.

‘Keep Space for Peace’, part 2 – USAF Croughton
This video investigates not just USAF Croughton ('RAF' assumes a level of control that does not, in reality, exist), but also the evolution of the idea of "network-centric warfare" as it has developed at this site.

‘The Global Military Infrastructure and You’
A presentation on the use and abuse of data by military and intelligence agencies. A new ‘intelligence fusion’ centre is being built at USAF Croughton. Experience suggests that the flaws in how data is processed, but more significantly the bias that the ‘intelligence fusion’ process has historically created in the USA since 9/11, will have a negative impact on European security, privacy and civil liberties.

Reports & Information

A list of general, short reports on information warfare and intelligence fusion:

☮ New Statesman/Society: Somebody's listening... and they don't give a damn about privacy or commercial confidence, 12th August 1988
Project 415 is a top secret new global surveillance system. It can tap into a billion calls a year in the UK alone. Inside, Duncan Campbell on how spying entered the 21st Century.
☮ Military Aerospace: Electronic warfare to be part of all military operations, August 2014
New threats and technologies are giving rise to terms like spectrum warfare that seek to blend electronic warfare, cyber warfare, and other technological approaches to controlling the RF spectrum.
☮ Yorkshire CND: Lifting the Lid on Menwith Hill, 2012
Anyone travelling along the A59 to Skipton cannot fail to notice the collection of large white spheres spread over many acres of otherwise green fields just outside Harrogate. Some may know that these ‘golfballs’, as they are often called, contain satellite receiving dishes, but few will know much more than that. In fact, it’s extremely difficult to find out very much more because this place – RAF Menwith Hill – is the largest secret intelligence gathering system outside of the US and it is run, not by the RAF (as its name would suggest) but by the National Security Agency of America.
☮ CIA: The Origin and Evolution of the Joint Analysis Center at RAF Molesworth, March 2018
The story of how critically important US intelligence centers in Europe came to operate in a rural setting far from any major headquarters illustrates the many ways in which the fortunes of the intelligence profession can be affected by technology, fiscal conditions, expediency, and radical changes in the global security environment.
☮ Open Society Justice Initiative: Death by Drone: Civilian Harm Caused by U.S. Targeted Killings in Yemen, 2015
The United States has been conducting targeted killings in Yemen at least since 2002. These killings have been cloaked in secrecy. Neither the U.S. nor the Yemeni government systematically discloses information on civilian deaths and injuries caused by U.S. airstrikes. In the face of pervasive government secrecy, this report provides detailed and thorough information on civilian harm caused by nine such strikes in Yemen, all apparently conducted by U.S. drones.
☮ Human Rights Watch/ACLU: With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy, July 2014
With Liberty to Monitor All, a joint report by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU, documents the insidious effects of large-scale US surveillance on the practice of journalism and law in the United States, and the threat it poses to basic freedoms and democratic values. The report is based on extensive interviews with journalists, lawyers, and senior US government officials. The US has an obligation to protect national security, and may engage in surveillance to the extent it is lawful, necessary, and proportionate to a legitimate state interest. But many existing surveillance programs are indiscriminate or overbroad, and threaten freedom of expression, the right to counsel, and the public's ability to hold its government to account.
☮ Human Rights Watch/International Human Rights Clinic: Losing Humanity: The Case against Killer Robots, November 2012
With the rapid development and proliferation of robotic weapons, machines are starting to take the place of humans on the battlefield. Some military and robotics experts have predicted that "killer robots" – fully autonomous weapons that could select and engage targets without human intervention – could be developed within 20 to 30 years. At present, military officials generally say that humans will retain some level of supervision over decisions to use lethal force, but their statements often leave open the possibility that robots could one day have the ability to make such choices on their own power.
☮ New Statesman: Death by data: how Kafka’s The Trial prefigured the nightmare of the modern surveillance state, January 2014
We live in a world of covert court decisions and secret bureaucratic procedures and where privacy is being abolished – all familiar from Kafka’s best-known novel, The Trial.
☮ International Committee of the Red Cross: New technologies and warfare, Spring 2012
The dazzling scientific and technical progress of recent decades has given rise to unprecedented means and methods of warfare. Some of these new technologies (such as observation and combat drones) are already in use, while others (nanotechnologies, combat robots, and laser weapons) are still in the experimental and developmental stages. As well as the need for military capabilities on land, sea, and airspace, great armies are recognizing the need to have military capabilities in cyberspace.
☮ Human Rights Watch/International Human Rights Clinic: Advancing The Debate on Killer Robots: 12 Key Arguments for a Preemptive Ban on Fully Autonomous Weapons, May 2014
The development of fully autonomous weapons, also known as 'killer robots', and the proposal to ban them preemptively have sparked impassioned debate at the international and national levels. Experts – including lawyers, ethicists, military specialists, human rights advocates, and scientists – have argued about the legality and desirability of the weapons in official diplomatic meetings, at conferences around the world, in academic journals, and on the Internet.
☮ JFQ: Defense Intelligence Analysis in the Age of Big Data, Winter 2015
Over the past decade, the U.S. and Australian intelligence communities have evolved rapidly to perform new missions. They have developed new capabilities and adapted their business processes, especially in support of joint and complex military operations. But in the coming decade, their greatest challenge will be to develop new capabilities to manage and exploit big data. We use the term big data to mean the exponentially increasing amount of digital information being created by new information technologies (IT).
☮ Article 36: Killer Robots: UK Government Policy on Fully Autonomous Weapons, April 2013
Whilst considering that unmanned and automated systems will take on a growing role in its military forces, the UK Government has committed in parliament that the operation of weapon systems will always remain under human control. This commitment provides a positive basis for discussing the effective control of autonomous weapons for the future. However, this commitment is brought into question by a consideration of the UK Ministry of Defence's (MoD) Joint Doctrine Note on 'The UK Approach to Unmanned Systems.' As a result, current UK doctrine is confused and there are a number of areas where policy needs further elaboration if it is not to be so ambiguous as to be meaningless.
☮ Quaker Peace & Social Witness: United States military and intelligence bases in Britain – a briefing, June 2004
As part of this global network, US forces are accommodated on 35 sites in Britain. Collectively, these occupy about 10 square miles. Of these sites, six are one square mile or larger and four host more than 1000 US personnel each. All US bases in Britain are advertised as Royal Air Force facilities. In addition, two large US bases on British island territories provide the US with a presence in strategically significant locations – the South Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.


Sit back and watch these basic introductions to what USAF Croughton, and similar sites, are involved with – which will give you a quick mental map to understand the more complex issues:

☮ Paul Mobbs/MEI: The Global Military Infrastructure and You, June 2018
As part of the Global Network's annual conference in Oxford, Paul Mobbs gave a presentation on military infrastructure and the 'brave new world' of data fusion. This outlines not so much the new role of USAF Croughton's new Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex, but rather how every military site is now becoming part of one system through the use of data, communications and data fusion.
☮ Global Network: USAF Croughton Site Visit, June 24th 2018
As part of their annual conference in Oxford, delegates paid a visit to USAF Croughton, to view the site of the new NATO Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex (JIAC) development.
☮ Global Network: Videos from the Global Network conference, Oxford 2018
A playlist of videos showing highlights from the Global Network's conference in Oxford, June 2018
☮ Croughtonwatch: USAF Croughton – Keep Space for Peace 2018, June 2018
USAF Croughton is about to undergo one of the biggest redevelopments since it was constructed by the USAF almost 70 years ago. The new "Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex" will put the site at the heart of a web of military and intelligence networks stretching from the USA to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. However, given the nature of the operations this will involve, the question arises as to whether the development is lawful under International Law.
☮ ramblinactivist: 10/17: 'Keep Space for Peace', part 2 – USAF Croughton, December 2017
This video investigates not just USAF Croughton ('RAF' assumes a level of control that does not, in reality, exist), but also the evolution of the idea of "network-centric warfare" as it has developed at this site. USAF Croughton is about to undergo a large upgrade to extend its mission. The new 'Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre' (JIAC) will create an intelligence hub in Europe that will co-ordinate NATO (but predominately US) military and intelligence services across the new 'electronic battle space'.
☮ ramblinactivist: 9/17: 'Keep Space for Peace', part 1 – NSA Menwith Hill, December 2017
A trip to NSA Menwith Hill, for the 'Keep Space for Peace' week gathering. It's possible to say many things about this site, and give a technical analysis of its capabilities, but what concerns me is something relatively simple. Who is accountable for the acts carried out within the perimeter fence?
☮ TED: Military robots and the future of war, 2009
In this powerful talk, P.W. Singer shows how the widespread use of robots in war is changing the realities of combat. He shows us scenarios straight out of science fiction -- that now may not be so fictitious.
☮ DIA: Defense Intelligence Agency - We're DIA, 2010
A promotional video from the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
☮ NATO: NATO's new Unmanned Air Vehicles , 2012
NATO is preparing to acquire 5 unmanned air vehicles or UAVs. With the support of resources on the ground they will allow the Alliance to develop its own ground defence capability.
☮ Democracy Now!: Jeremy Scahill on U.S. Kill Program’s Secrets & the Whistleblower Who Leaked Them, October 2016
One of the most secretive military campaigns in U.S. history is under the microscope like never before. In a major exposé based on leaked government documents, The Intercept has published the most in-depth look at the U.S. drone assassination program to date. “The Drone Papers” exposes the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, revealing a number of flaws and far more casualties than the intended targets.
☮ Democracy Now!: Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Reveal NSA Role in Assassinations Overseas, 2014
In the first exposé for their new venture, First Look Media’s digital journal The Intercept, investigative journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald reveal the National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes. The NSA identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cellphone tracking technologies, an unreliable tactic that has resulted in the deaths of innocent and unidentified people. The United States has reportedly carried out drone strikes without knowing whether the individual in possession of a tracked cellphone or SIM card is in fact the intended target of the strike.
☮ Brookings Institute: A New Model for Defense Intelligence, {DATE}
On November 20, the Intelligence Project at Brookings and the National Intelligence University co-hosted a discussion with Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), to examine this uncertain future, DIA's role in this complex security environment and a new model for defense intelligence that ensures preparedness to address these challenges and the crises of tomorrow.


A list of further information sources related to networked warfare and intelligence fusion:

Drone Wars UK
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
The Peace Report
Campaign to Stop killer Robots
The Intercept
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – Drone Warfare
Drone Campaign Network
ACLU – Fusion Centers Blog
Privacy International
Reprieve – Drones
War Resisters International
Electronic Frontier Foundation