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Peter W. Singer Ph.D.

Self Description

June 2007: "Expertise

Contemporary warfare, foreign policy, national security, peacekeeping, terrorism, U.S. relations with the Islamic world

Current Projects

Changes in 21st century warfare


Ph.D., Harvard University, 2001; A.B., Princeton University, 1997


Current Position(s): Senior Fellow and Director, Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World

Previous Position(s): Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University; Action Officer, Balkans Task Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Special Assistant, International Peace Academy; Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Duke University Talent Identification Program"

Third-Party Descriptions

April 2012: "But still, there are few limitations on drones’ use by others. Peter Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, described to Congress two years ago how a 77-year-old blind man has already flown his own homemade drone across the Atlantic. Even for those who are not amateur engineers, access to drones is so easy that I have one myself: I bought it online for $300. I thought it might be fun to get one and spy on the drone makers. There’s nothing illegal about it here in Britain. Because small drones are still considered the equivalent of radio-controlled toy airplanes, I can fly it almost anywhere I want. Even when I attach a camera, I can hover over the drone makers’ offices at 150 feet and film them to my heart’s content."

April 2010: 'Mr. Kessel suggests a baseline standard of 10 percent of income or 1 percent of net worth, whatever is greater. Peter Singer, a bioethics professor at Princeton who argued forcefully for devoting more individual resources to ending global poverty in his book “The Life You Can Save,” raised concerns that some assets were illiquid or unavailable until later in life.'

May 2007: In recent years, Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton University, has said, 'It does not seem quite wise to increase any further draining of limited resources by increasing the number of children with impairments.'

June 2007: Whatever the outcome, his case seems destined to become a landmark, though some scholars say not enough attention has been given to its importance. “What is the precedent that we are setting with this unique step?” asked Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has written about child fighters.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Brookings Institution, The (Brookings Institute) Organization Jun 5, 2007
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Department of Defense (DOD)/Defense Department Organization Jun 5, 2007
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Duke University Organization Jun 5, 2007
Student/Trainee (past or present) Harvard University Organization Jun 5, 2007
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) International Peace Academy (IPA) Organization Jun 5, 2007
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) New York Times Source Dec 16, 2006
Student/Trainee (past or present) Princeton University Organization Jun 5, 2007

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Jul 10, 2016 Police used a robot to kill -- The key questions

QUOTE: While there are links to the discussion on the future of killer robots, known as LAWS (lethal autonomous weapons systems), there are also three important differences to keep in mind.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Apr 28, 2012 Buy Your Own Drone! Now Only $300 Online: We don’t need to imagine the future anymore.... In the dystopian reality of 2012, the drone can ruin your life in ways you never imagined.

QUOTE: independent data suggest that U.S. drones have killed hundreds of women and children. That should be no surprise, since the CIA is using the same forms of intelligence that landed 779 people in Guantánamo Bay, more than 80 percent of whom were subsequently shown not to be terrible terrorists. The intel the agency relies on is purchased by offering bounties to people who would sell their own grandmothers for half the price.

The Daily Beast
Apr 30, 2010 How Much to Donate? God Knows

QUOTE: If we’re going to try to set standards that might offer guidance for us all, shouldn’t we look not just at what people earn but what they have? Once you do, it suggests a whole new way of thinking about what to give and a couple of ways to donate higher amounts more easily.

New York Times
Dec 10, 2009 Blackwater Guards Tied to Secret C.I.A. Raids

QUOTE: Private security guards from Blackwater Worldwide participated in some of the C.I.A.’s most sensitive activities — clandestine raids with agency officers against people suspected of being insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and the transporting of detainees, according to former company employees and intelligence officials.

New York Times
Jul 22, 2009 Nobody's Normal Anymore: Should we blame overdiagnosis for rising health costs?

QUOTE: It's tempting to complain that Americans today are wussy hypochondriacs, overmedicated and overtreated for all kinds of imagined disorders. Some of them no doubt are. But, to take my personal experience as an example, many aren't.

Jul 18, 2007 Silent surge in contractor 'armies': A key support for US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, civilians have little oversight and, back home, little help.

QUOTE: Everything from who controls their activities to who cares for them when wounded remains unresolved, say experts in and out of the military. This has led to protests from families in the United States as well as concerns in military ranks about how contractors fit into the chain of command.

Christian Science Monitor
Jun 27, 2007 On Education: Film Portrays Stifling of Speech, but One College’s Struggle Reflects a Nuanced Reality

QUOTE: A new documentary is making the rounds that argues, with vivid examples, that the nation’s colleges are squelching freedom of expression and are no longer free marketplaces of ideas.

New York Times
May 20, 2007 Haunting Echoes of Eugenics

QUOTE: This month marked the 80th anniversary of the disgraceful Supreme Court decision in Buck v. Bell, which upheld Virginia's involuntary sterilization laws .... Though society may be inclined to regard Holmes's detestable opinion in Buck v. Bell as a relic of a time past, eerie similarities exist in contemporary remarks of the well-respected.

Washington Post
Dec 16, 2006 What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You?

QUOTE: In the same world in which more than a billion people live at a level of affluence never previously known, roughly a billion other people struggle to survive on the purchasing power equivalent of less than one U.S. dollar per day. .... Philanthropy on this scale raises many ethical questions: Why are the people who are giving doing so? Does it do any good? Should we praise them for giving so much or criticize them for not giving still more?

New York Times