Feb. 2, 2021
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Lab publishes fourth ‘Strategic Latency Unleashed’ book

Stephen Wampler, wampler1 [at] llnl.gov, 925-423-3107

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Center for Global Security Research (CGSR) has published the fourth book in its Strategic Latency series — "Strategic Latency Unleashed: The Role of Technology in a Revisionist Global Order and the Implications for Special Operations Forces."

Previous volumes in the Latency series have examined the effects of emerging technologies on national and international security from the perspective of the intelligence community and the defense department.

The recent volume, which has 40 chapters and includes more than 60 authors, examines the implications of emerging technologies from the perspective of America’s special operations forces (SOF).

The book’s sponsor, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), asked principal investigator and project lead Zachary Davis to assemble a group of experts to explore how emerging technologies are shaping the operational environment for future SOF.

Davis, a senior fellow at CGSR and research professor at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in the department dedicated to SOF, combined scientists and analysts from national labs, think tanks and universities, with experienced special operators to examine the ways that emerging technologies can assist or threaten SOF in future conflicts.

Speaking about the nearly 600-page book, Davis said: “Projects of this scope and magnitude that cross so many disciplinary boundaries and involve so many experts from multiple agencies can be challenging, but also rewarding in terms of intellectual payback.”

Asked if he is ready to begin another book, Davis said that several prospective sponsors have expressed interest, but he’s in no rush. As for next steps, CGSR will host a workshop in April on Strategic Latency for SOF.

In line with CGSR’s core mission, the volume brought together outstanding contributors from the scientific, technical and national security communities within LLNL.

CGSR Director Brad Roberts wrote about SOF contributions to strategic deterrence and Z Program manager Brad Hart and Forensic Science Center expert Brian Souza contributed a chapter on new forensic techniques. Davis wrote chapters on SOF counterproliferation futures and about the geopolitical trends that are remaking global security. Chris Rager of Z Program was the chief editor.

The book is divided into six sections that explore trends in geopolitics, biology, materials science, cyber tools, business practices and the multi-domain operational environment.

In many chapters, SOF operators collaborated with scientists to ensure relevance for the SOF community, including current and former NPS students and faculty.

The growing relationship between LLNL and NPS was enshrined in a recent memorandum of understanding signed by both institutions that supports this type of collaboration. Many of Davis’ NPS students have conducted thesis research with LLNL scientists who benefit from their operational experience.

The book is receiving praise from the SOF, defense and intelligence communities for both its breadth and depth of content as well as its readability for both the expert community and newcomers to the field.

Along with the book, "Strategic Latency Unleashed" has a multimedia web page that contains videos for the chapters and additional resources recommended by the authors. The password is Beyond;20.

"Strategic Latency Unleashed" and previous volumes in the Strategic Latency series are available on the CGSR website.