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Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  35 reviews
An urgent, prescient, and expert look at how future technology will change virtually every aspect of war as we know it and how we can respond to the serious national security challenges ahead.

Future war is almost here: battles fought in cyberspace; biologically enhanced soldiers; autonomous systems that can process information and strike violently before a human being can
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Rachel Noel
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*Free copy for an honest review.

The first part of this book showed me just how close we are to the military Sci-Fi books I love becoming a lot less Sci-Fi. This both thrilled and terrified me. In the Sci-Fi books, the technologies are already common place and the errors minimized. We're still in the testing phases and the full ramifications are not yet thought through.

The technologies that we are looking at are amazing developments, if they can be perfected. We've seen videos of amputees contro
Matt Fitz
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
"If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." - Omar Bradley, General of the Army, Armistice Day 1948.

That's the initial quote into this book about future war and it is MORE true today than when General Bradley said it 70 years ago. This book lays out the need for a greater societal discourse about what future war looks like. In short, the wars of our history will no longe
H. P.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It isn’t just science fiction writers who should keep an eye on the cutting edge of tech, especially in the military. Defense is a big part of what the government does, and tech is a big part of defense. It is your civic responsibility to pay a certain amount of attention. Future War does mention a lot of cool tech. And the focus on ethical issues is welcome. But Future War is ultimately unsatisfying because, while it raises questions, it doesn’t deal with them in a serious way.

Latiff has the ri
Tyson Adams
Oct 12, 2020 rated it liked it
USA: Hello Mr Scientist, can you make me an even more horrifying way to kill people?
Scientist: Sure. But it might not be a good idea.
USA: We'll worry about that later. Here's some money.
Scientist: I'll get started.

Retired Major General Dr Robert Latiff spent much of his career looking at the cutting edge of military technology. As both a scientist and an officer, he knows what is already being developed to wage war, and is well placed to speculate about the future of war. He doesn't just want to
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although this book seems, at first, to be the manifesto of a technology fetishist, the author soon dispels the reader of that misconception. Although he still looks at the World generally through the lens of rapid technological change, Latiff explores the deeper problems that technology brings to warfare. These include new moral and ethical dilemmas, exploding financial burdens, and the ever-widening divide between the American people and their military.

I would hesitate to say that this book br
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking insights from a leading military expert: technology, ethics, and the role of society.
Paul Franco
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This review is a bit difficult for me, as I read an excellent book with the same title some years ago. Despite all attempts at not comparing, I have to admit some expectations seeped through, and the fact that they turned out to be on completely different paths didn’t help.
That other book was talking about weapons of the future, and there’s a little bit of that here: sonic waves, lasers, and other non-lethal newfangled inventions that DARPA’s working on. Twice the author lists historical militar
Ann Bridges
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Engage! That is the premise of fellow author and retired US Air Force Major General Robert H. Latiff, Ph.D, in his newly-released book Future War: Preparing the for New Global Battlefield. It’s not often someone so highly regarded simply pleads for help, but that is General Latiff’s most salient message. And I, for one, listen.

Technology has changed warfare in ways the average citizen barely comprehends. Each day dizzying choices become available to defense contractors, Pentagon procurement offi
Robert S
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction
Future War raises a lot of excellent questions but I do feel it needs to be fleshed out more to be a more comprehensive and impacting read.
Ken Hammond (kenzaz)
So Future War is just big business, it's a money go round for the west and east. Until strong man leaders throughout most of the war torn parts of this planet, are displaced with a form of rule, whatever it maybe but it must be something these people can believe in then unfortunately we have what is going on, weapons to the moon and back flowing like the amazon from western/eastern factories to fuel a never-ending wars. Complicated as it is we in the west are trapped when we vote for the status ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A decent primer on future war, tech, and ethical implications.
Jason Makansi
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I applaud the author’s brevity and conciseness, both of which are lacking in many non-fiction books on “big” topics.” I felt I was reading a thorough RAND briefing paper or something. Although I appreciated the author’s extrapolations to what a future war will look like, I learned more about how a veteran defense establishment type views the dichotomy between the US civilian and military populations. Not only do almost all Americans have hardly a clue about the military and its extensive activit ...more
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Really 4.5 stars. The reasons for it not being five stars are:
1. Too many " I was there so I know what I am talking about" episodes that really would be more effective as substantive and expanded footnotes or sidebars
2. Tangential aspects or subjects that turn into rants, not informed discussions of topics.
3. Some conclusions and "pleas" that are ill-informed, or strongly reflect authors' inherent bias.

Bottom line though, this book is a lucid, logical, well written, cogent Economist-magazine s
Andrew Carr
On one level, this is a book about future military technology and conflict, offering a general though engaging primer on the myriad of technological advances and opportunities for harm and conflict that are emerging. It doesn't rival the best works, ala Paul Scharre's Army of None, but it's solid.

In a deeper sense however, this book is much more about the people and society that owns such technology, rather than the military who use it on their behalf. Latiff, a retired US Air Force Major Genera
Carol Balkcom
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of meeting retired Air Force Major General Bob Latiff at a recent annual meeting of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the organization that annually sets the "Doomsday Clock". Bob was kind, gracious, easy to talk with, and as someone who was previously in charge of U.S. weapons development, he gave a riveting presentation on the ethical considerations involved in our choices moving forward. His book is no less riveting, and not a little disturbing. It is a well written re ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military, war, audio, 2021-read
He brought up a lot of great points and I think I'll buy this one. I thought the chapter on Americans and their rah rah support the troops talk but not much action was spot on. He mentioned how few people actually know members of the military and perhaps that's why we let the government send them to far away places to fight wars most people don't think about. There's no direct effect on their lives. The talk about biological weapons, neurotoxins and scaling up vaccine production for pandemics wa ...more
Jay Palat
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A tour of the technology and challenges the military and society face in the coming years. From AI to autonomous systems to neutropics and drug enhancements there are many new weapons and threats that are starting to hit society. There are new challenges for society and for government on how to manage a very rapidly changing situation.
Cynthia Turner
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had no idea how much war had changed. Just about every aspect from soldiers and weapons and the areas we fight in is all different from previous wars and the way they were fought in the past. One can not fathom all the differences and tactics that will be used in the coming warfare. This book brings them into view and it is scary. Interesting and informative read and I highly recommend.
A critical, and thought provoking look at how technology will change the aspect of war ,and how it will be conducted both on the battlefield, in cyberspace and in the war room. Military art and science, along with the moral and ethical aspect of the new, and enhanced warrior are all addressed in this book, and how it will reshape the future of war and peace.
Franc Ingram
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this for research on my next WIP and it gave me so many good insights into the future of not only war but our future as a civilians in a chaotic world. Clear and concise writing. gave me chills to think how easily things can go very wrong if we make the wrong choices or get distracted and let things continue the way they are. A must read for all concerned citizens and soldiers alike.
Jeremy Weber
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Future War is a good overview of emerging technologies, and there are sprinkles of insight into the current human and societal issues of war. The book is generally well written and concise. It's just too short to meaningfully cover such a broad topic, and the two parts of the book aren't joined into any cohesive whole. ...more
Douglas Meyer
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
While I appreciated the passion and decades of service that led to this work—I was disappointed by the results. It read more like a rant or lecture, than a well-researched piece of literature. Whether I agreed with the positions taken or not was not the issues—rather I was underwhelmed by the research, structure, and clear evidence behind the assertions. Thankfully it was short.
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: été-2020
An insightful discussion of the changing geopolitical dynamics of conflicts, the growing automation of weapons and the changing relationship between professional troops and the general public. Latiff also discusses the need for accountability at the institutional and individual level. Thought-provoking and well worth the read.
Bobbi Trimble
Apr 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very well thought out and well researched book. Latiff knows his stuff. His urgency about civilians knowing more about the military and what we are really doing overseas and how our money is being spent makes me want to be more engaged. He did well at conveying how disturbed he was by the priorities of the American public today. A must read!
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, but not groundbreaking

I liked this book, but I was expecting a little more on the technical aspects of future combat. There is a bit of that, but the bulk of the text is concerned with the social and ethical implications of the future of warfare.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
An enlightening blame game and call to arms, if a little touch-and-go.
Zachery Tyson
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Bland and poorly-written while covering the same subjects covered by better authors.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A solid view of the pro's and con's of future military operations, with regard to technology, and to the ethical aspects, even the human condition itself. ...more
Larry Farren
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting book to listen to. Shorter than most books.
Nathan Gilliatt
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This book got a lot easier to process once I started reading it like a State of the Union address: its basic structure is a list of issues, each needing further consideration, expanded into paragraphs of text. Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield is packed with observations, trends and implications. It raises many questions and answers few. It makes so many points on so many topics, it’s best to think of it as a survey of a broad landscape of military concerns from the battlef ...more
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