Intelligence: Real Time Legal Advice


August 15, 2009: NATO is spending $56 million to give its forces in Afghanistan the ability to easily share real-time video with each other, and the U.S. (which has long had this capability). This effort includes installing encrypted data links with NATO unit headquarters and airborne video cameras (in manned aircraft and UAVs.) The NATO nations with Predator UAVs (Britain and Italy) will be the first to come online (because the U.S. already has some of the technology in place for its own UAV fleet). By the end of the year, most other NATO forces in Afghanistan will be able to share their aircraft and UAV video with other NATO forces.

Until now, most NATO nations had UAV video only accessible by the UAV operator (or, as a recorded vid, seen later on at headquarters). The real time sharing of video is crucial in staying ahead of the enemy, and making decisions faster. Lawyers with NATO forces can also use real time video to make sure any use of lethal force against hostile fighters is legal. Eventually, the NATO forces will add real time sharing of ground sensors (including vidcams).



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