Future Peace urges extreme caution in the adoption of new weapons technology and is an impassioned plea for peace from an individual who spent decades preparing for war.
Today’s militaries are increasingly reliant on highly networked autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, and advanced weapons that were previously the domain of science fiction writers. In a world where these complex technologies clash with escalating international tensions, what can we do to decrease the chances of war? In Future Peace, the eagerly awaited sequel to Future War, Robert H. Latiff questions our overreliance on technology and examines the pressure-cooker scenario created by the growing animosity between the United States and its adversaries, our globally deployed and thinly stretched military, the capacity for advanced technology to catalyze violence, and the American public’s lack of familiarity with these topics.
Future Peace describes the many provocations to violence and how technologies are abetting those urges, and it explores what can be done to mitigate not only dangerous human behaviors but also dangerous technical behaviors. Latiff concludes that peace is possible but will require intense, cooperative efforts on the part of technologists, military leaders, diplomats, politicians, and citizens. Future Peace amplifies some well-known ideas about how to address the issues, and provides far-, mid-, and short-term recommendations for actions that are necessary to reverse the apparent headlong rush into conflict. This compelling and timely book will captivate general readers, students, and scholars of global affairs, international security, arms control, and military ethics.
1. A Giant Armed Nervous System
2. Urges to Violence
3. Stumbling into War
4. Avoiding War
Major General (Ret.) Robert H. Latiff is adjunct professor with the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame and research professor at George Mason University. He is the author of Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield.
“General Latiff writes with insight about the public belief that new weapons technology will allow us to prevail in any future conflict and how this belief inevitably leads to an increase in the likelihood of war. Future Peace is a book that should be read by US security officials and all members of Congress.” —William J. Perry, United States Secretary of Defense (1994–1997)
“Complacency rather than war weariness may well be the principal product of our recent ‘forever wars.’ Robert Latiff’s excellent Future Peace offers an antidote to that complacency, calling attention to the multifaceted dangers inherent in rapid advances in military technology. Americans ignore his timely warning at their peril.” —Andrew Bacevich, author of After the Apocalypse
“This is a learned, deep, yet broadly accessible overview of one of the most important national security and public policy topics of the twenty-first century. Major General Robert Latiff, USAF, is one of the world’s leading thinkers about the interrelationship between war, technology, and ethics.” —Michael C. Desch, author of Cult of the Irrelevant
"This book draws attention to the increasing reliance on technology and advanced weaponry in warfare, which can circumvent human decision making and expedite war before diplomacy and the human element has time to prevent it." —Veterans Today
"Militaries globally are becoming more dangerously automated, with many decisions being turned over to machines. In this much-anticipated follow-up to his 2017 book, Future War, Latiff . . . warns that we aren’t paying enough attention to the growing influence that artificial intelligence and autonomous weapons systems are having on the strategy and conduct of war." —Notre Dame Magazine
"Latiff suggests that national militaries build machines they do not and cannot entirely understand and whose behavior they may not be able to predict within the complex interactions comprising modern warfare. . . . Anyone interested in national and international security should read this book, from citizen scholars to politicians to specialists in military affairs." —Choice
"Latiff’s book comes as a warning to practice caution when adopting new weapons technology, and aids in understanding human and technical behaviors to attenuate its harms and decrease the chances of war. Not only does technology make war easier and speedier, hence enabling the rush to war, but hinders human reasoning." —Politics Today
Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award: Science & Technology, Bronze Medal