April 2023

5:30 PM IST

Online Via Zoom


Advanced Weapons: Technology in Service of Violence

Seminar and Lecture Series

Major General (Ret) Robert Latiff

Adjunct Professor
University of Notre Dame
Research Professor
George Mason University

Over time, war and violent conflict have changed both in character and in the tools with which they are fought. Classic modes of warfare, with armed force pitted against armed force, have given way to so-called hybrid war, or grey zone conflict utilizing combinations of cyber, crime, terror, disinformation and the like. New technologies of war have emerged, to include drones, cyberwar, hypersonic weapons, soldier enhancement, biology and genetics, space, and others. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomy find their way into an increasing number of military systems.

This talk will address some of the new technologies, their value, and some of the dilemmas they present to warfighters and planners. It will describe attempts to apply the Laws of Armed Conflict to their potential use. It will focus on the application of AI to command and control and discuss the obvious, and not so obvious issues. Finally, the talk will delve into the contributors to growing militarism in many countries and the role technology plays, and has played, into decisions to go to war.


Major General (Ret) Robert Latiff

Major General (Ret) Robert Latiff is a technology advisor to corporations, universities, and government agencies. Dr Latiff retired from the US Air Force in 2006. His last active-duty assignment was at the National Reconnaissance Office where he served as Director of Advanced Systems and Technology. He has also commanded the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center. General Latiff received his commission from Army ROTC at the University of Notre Dame, He served in the infantry, commanded a tactical nuclear weapons unit, and taught engineering at the US Military Academy prior to transferring to the US Air Force. He received his PhD in materials science from Notre Dame and is a graduate of the National Security Fellows Program at Harvard. He is a member of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academy of Sciences and serves on the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 

General Latiff is the author of Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield (Alfred A. Knopf, September 2017) and Future Peace: Technology, Aggression, and the Rush to War, (University of Notre Dame Press, March 2022.)