Retired US ARMY major: The war in Afghanistan cannot be won — but even a Trumpian solution is better than none

U. S. Marines from Gun-3, Alpha Battery ram a satellite-guided Excalibur XM982 Precision Engagement Projectile during a fire mission. The battery, which belongs to 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, has fired more than 67 Excalibur missions in just three months, more than any other battery in Firebase Saenz, Helmand Province, Afghanistan Jul 08, 2011. (Official U. S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt Earnest J. Barnes/Released)

Could Donald Trump end the Afghan war someday? I don’t know if such a possibility has been on your mind, but it’s certainly been on the mind of this retired U.S. Army major who fought in that land so long ago. And here’s the context in which I’ve been thinking about that very possibility.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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