P.W. Singer

Peter Warren Singer is Senior Fellow and Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution. He is the youngest scholar named Senior Fellow in Brookings's 90-year history. In 2005, CNN named him to their "New Guard" List of the Next Generation of Newsmakers. Singer has also been recognized by the Financial Times as "Guru of the Week" for the thinker who most influenced the world that week and by Slate Magazine for "Quote of the Day." In his personal capacity, Singer served as coordinator of the Obama-08 campaign’s defense policy task force. In 2009, Singer was named by Foreign Policy Magazine to the Top 100 Global Thinkers List, of the people whose ideas most influenced the world that year. 

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 has written for the full range of major media and journals, including the Boston Globe, L.A. Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Current History, Survival, International Security, Parameters, Weltpolitik, and the World Policy Journal. He has been quoted in every major U.S. newspaper and news magazine and delivered talks at venues ranging from the U.S. Congress to over 35 universities around the world. He has 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 is also a founder and organizer of the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, a global conference that brings together leaders from across the US and the Muslim world (www.thedohaforum.org).

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 planed 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. Singer’s work was featured in the History Channel documentary “Soldiers for Hire” and he served as a consultant on the topic for the TV drama The West Wing.

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. Singer also helped advise the Don Cheadle movie Traitor, as well as the 24 TV series and DVD.

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. It has already been featured in the video game “Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot,” the CBS “Late Late Show,” as well as in over 75 presentations 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 is 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, the International Peace Academy, and was a policy task force coordinator for the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign. Singer received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.


Books: Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University Press, 2003) Children at War (Pantheon, 2005)


Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Cornell International Law Journal, Current History, Encarta Dictionary (Microsoft), Foreign Affairs, Hispano-American Military Review, Humanitarian Review, Jane’s Defense Weekly, International Security, le Monde, Military History Quarterly, Military Review, Parameters, Policy Review, Political Science & Politics, Salon, Survival, Weltpolitik, and World Policy Journal.


Al Hayat (Saudi), The Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, The Daily Star (Beirut), Defense News, The Friday Times (Pakistan), The Guardian (UK), London News Review, Los Angeles Times, Newhouse News Service, New York Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Washington Post, USA Today.

Media and Outreach Appearances:

Presentations /Consultation:

1) U.S. National Intelligence Council, U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. State Department.

2) U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, Central Intelligence Agency, European Union, 21st Century Visions of Governance Project, International Studies Association, American Political Science Association, International Security Studies-ISA, International Security Forum (Switzerland), Carnegie Council, East West Center, Atlantic Council, Council on Foreign Relations, World Affairs Council, National Contract Management Association, Quandt-BMW Foundation (Munich), United Nations Association, Harvard University, Princeton University, American University, Tulane University, Georgetown University, New York University, University of Turin (Italy), University of Westminster (London), University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, Rowan University, Drexel University, Hertie School of Government (Berlin) National Defense

University, U.S. Army War College, US Army Judge Advocate School, US Air Force Keystone Conference, Koerber Foundation-Bergedorf Roundtable, U.S. Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference

TV & Radio Appearances: ABC (Nightline with Ted Koppel, World News Tonite with Peter Jennings, 20-20), Abu Dhabi TV (UAE), Air America (Al Franken Show), Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera (Qatar), Alalam (Iran), BBC (Newsnight, Daytime News, BBC World TV and Radio, The World Today, The World Tonite), CBS (Evening News with Dan Rather, 60 Minutes II), CNBC (Closing Bell, Power Lunch), CNN (American Morning, CNN Headline News, CNN Live with Paula Zahn, Diplomatic License, Newsnight, World Report, Your World Today) C-SPAN (Book-TV), Discovery Channel, Fox (Fox News, Fox and Friends, The Big Story), Globo TV (Brazil), Hearst, The History Channel, Judicial Watch, ITN, Middle East Broadcasting (MBC), MSNBC (Hardball), NBC (The Today Show, NBC Nightly with Tom Brokaw, Dateline), NHQ (Japan), NPR (All Things Considered, The Connection, Morning Edition, Fresh Air, Diane Rehm, Here and Now, On Point, Talk of the Nation, Weekend Edition), OVT (Austria), PBS (Frontline, NewsHour with Jim Leher), PRI (Marketplace, To the Point), Qatar TV, Radio France, RAI (Italy), Regional News Network, RTE-TV (Ireland), SAT-1 (Germany), SWR (Germany), TV-2 (Norway), Voice of America

Magazines: Armed Forces Journal, Business 2.0, Businessweek, Congressional Quarterly, Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, The Economist, El Siglo (Spain), Fast Company, Federal Times, Fortune, Forum (Denmark), GQ, India Today, Insight, Jane’s Defense Weekly, La Republica, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Les Temps, L’spressa, Kiplinger’s, Marie Claire, Mother Jones, Moment, National Post, Navy Times, Nedeljni Telegraf (Serbia), Newsweek, The New Yorker, People, Publico-Domingo (Portugal), Salon, Stern (Germany), Time, Teenspeak, Tokyo Weekly Post

Newspapers and Wire: Agencé France Presse, Asahi Shimbun, Baltimore Sun,  Boston Globe, Charlotte Observer, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Copley, Dallas Morning News, The Daily Star (Beirut), Dawn (Pakistan), Detroit Free Press, Frankfurter Allegemine, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Gulf News, Hartford Current, Hearst, Houston Chronicle, London Times, Miami Herald, New Orleans Times Picayune, Newsday, New York Daily News, New York Observer, New York Times, New York Post, Omaha World, Orlando Sentinel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union Tribune, San Jose Mercury, Seattle Post Intelligencer, The Statesman, Stuttgarter Allegemeine, Toronto Star, USA Today, Virginia Lighter, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times