Peter W. Singer

Peter W. Singer is the director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative and a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings. Singer’s research focuses on three core issues: the future of war, current U.S. defense needs and future priorities, and the future of the U.S. defense system. Singer lectures frequently to U.S. military audiences and is the author of several books and articles, including Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. Peter Warren Singer is the youngest scholar named senior fellow in Brookings's 90-year history. He has been named by CNN to their "New Guard" List of the Next Generation of Newsmakers, by the Smithsonian Institution-National Portrait Gallery as one of the 100 “leading innovators in the nation,” and by Foreign Policy Magazine to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, of the people whose ideas most influenced the world. In his personal capacity, Singer served as coordinator of the Obama-08 campaign’s defense policy task force, as a consultant for the US Department of Defense and FBI, and has advised a host of entertainment programs, including the video game series Call of Duty and Metal Gear Solid, movies like Traitor, Whistleblower, Line of Sight, and Battleship, and TV series like The West Wing, Curiosity, and Strikeback. Dr. Singer is considered one of the world's leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare. He was named by the President to Joint Forces Command's Transformation Advisory Group. He is a columnist for Armed Forces Journal and has written for the full range of major media and journals, including the L.A. Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Current History, Survival, International Security, Parameters, Weltpolitik, etc. He has delivered talks at venues ranging from the U.S. Congress to over 60 universities around the world and provided commentary on military affairs for nearly every major TV and radio outlet, including ABC-Nightline, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS-60 Minutes, CNN, FOX, NPR, and the NBC Today Show. He was a founding organizer of the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, a global conference that brings together leaders from across the US and the Muslim world. His first book Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University Press, 2003) pioneered the study of the new industry of private companies providing military services for hire, an issue that soon became important with the use and abuse of these companies in Iraq. The book, originally planned for a 500 copy print run, has sold over 40,000 copies, gone through 3 print runs and a paperback version, as well as being translated into Japanese, Korean, Urdu, Chinese, Turkish and Italian. It was named best book of the year by the American Political Science Association, among the top five international affairs books of the year by the Gelber Prize, and a “top ten summer read” by Businessweek. It is now in the assigned texts at venues ranging from Yale Law School to the Army War College. Singer continues to serve as a resource on the private military issue to the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Defense, CIA, and the European Union and he helped bring to light the role of private contractors in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and the Halliburton contract controversies in Iraq. Dr. Singer’s next book, Children at War (Pantheon, 2005), explored the rise of another new force in modern warfare, child soldier groups. Dr. Singer’s “fascinating” (New York Post) and “landmark” (Newsweek) work was the first book to comprehensively explore the compelling and tragic rise of child soldier groups and was recognized by the 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book of the Year Award. His commentary on the issue was featured in a variety of venues ranging from NPR and Fox News to Defense News and People magazine. Dr. Singer has served as a consultant on the issue to the U.S. Marine Corps and Congress, and the recommendations in his book resulted in changes in the UN peacekeeping training program. An accompanying A&E/History Channel documentary, "Child Warriors," won a 2008 CINE Golden Eagle Award for excellence in the production of film, television, video and new media. Dr. Singer’s most recent book, Wired for War (Penguin, 2009), looks at the implications of robotics and other new technologies for war, politics, ethics, and law in the 21st century. Described as: “An exhaustively researched book, enlivened by examples from popular culture" by the Associated Press and “awesome” by Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, Wired for War made the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list in its first week of release. It was named a non-fiction Book of the Year by The Financial Times and featured at venues as diverse as all three US military academies, the US Congress, the National Student Leadership Conference, and the royal court of the United Arab Emirates. The book has also been made an official reading with organizations that range from National Defense University, US Air Force, US Navy, to the Royal Australian Navy. Prior to his current position, Dr. Singer was the founding director of the Project on U.S. Policy Towards the Islamic World in the Saban Center at Brookings. He has also worked for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, the Balkans Task Force in the U.S. Department of Defense, and the International Peace Academy. Singer received his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University and a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

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