Larry Lewis, Ph.D.
Vice President and Director
Larry Lewis is the Vice President and Director of the Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence at CNA. His areas of expertise include lethal autonomy, reducing civilian casualties, identifying lessons from current operations, security assistance, and counterterrorism.
Lewis spent a decade analyzing real world operations as the project lead and primary author for many of DOD's Joint Lessons Learned studies. For example, he was the lead analyst and co-author (with Dr. Sarah Sewall) for the Joint Civilian Casualty Study (JCCS) in support of GEN Petraeus, GEN McChrystal, and ADM Olson (SOCOM); GEN Petraeus described the study as "the first comprehensive assessment of the problem of civilian protection." His other areas of expertise include counterinsurgency and high value targeting in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Colombia, and elsewhere. In addition, he authored the 2012 "Lessons from a Decade of War" report for CJCS. He also served as senior advisor to the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and was on the U.S. delegation to the CCW regarding Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS).
Lewis has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Rice University.
RECENT NEWSApril 1, 2019
Larry Lewis says, "When I was there the US and the UK certainly weren't on the operations floor, not regularly, only by invitation and that was kind of by exception."
Channel 4 London: "Britain's Hidden War: Channel 4 Dispatches"March 12, 2019
Larry Lewis writes, "With both the Defense Department and Congress actively working on the issue of civilian casualties, a moment of reflection can help the government to better meet a key intent of the EO: to systematize learning and improve U.S. efforts to protect civilians."
Just Security: "Reflecting on the Civilian Casualty Executive Order: What Was Lost and What Can Now Be Gained"
Larry Lewis says, "The consequences of that are seen in Mosul and Raqqa, where the risk to civilians grew and grew, and there were no adjustments made."
Washington Post: "Trump Administration Alters Obama-Era Bill on Civilian Casualties in U.S. Airstrikes"February 12, 2019
Larry Lewis says, “It's coming out with a very strong stance saying there are virtuous uses of AI”
Axios: “The Pentagon's Alluring AI Pitch to Silicon Valley”February 4, 2019
Larry Lewis provide his expert opinion on reducing civilian casualties.
Washington Post: “After Bloody Insurgent Wars, Pentagon Launches Effort to Prevent Civilian Deaths”December 31, 2018
Larry Lewis says, “The non-combatant causality value often called the NCV, that is kind of a cap on the acceptable number of civilian causalities. That is done in addition to the legal considerations that are made during a strike. In late 2016 that number was increased , so as you say the willingness to take risks to civilians, that risk threshold was increased.”
PBS News Hour: “The U.S. Military Has a Number of Civilian Casualties That Is Deemed Acceptable. Has That Number Changed?”
CNA Field Program
Command and Control
Drones and Unmanned Vehicles
Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence
Center for Naval Analyses
Redefining Human Control: Lessons from the Battlefield for Autonomous Weapons
Insights for the Third Offset: Addressing Challenges of Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence in Military Operations
Decade of War: Applying Past Lessons to the Counter-ISIS Campaign
Summary Report: U.S.-UK Integration in Helmand
Improving Lethal Action Learning and Adapting in U.S. Counterterrorism Operations (U)