In P.W. Singer's most recent book, "Wired for War," he studies robotic and drone warfighters — and explores how these new war machines are changing the very nature of human conflict. He has also written on other facets of modern war, including private armies and child soldiers.

Why you should listen

Peter Warren Singer is the director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution -- where his research and analysis offer an eye-opening take on what the 21st century holds for war and foreign policy. His latest book, Wired for War, examines how the US military has been, in the words of a recent US Navy recruiting ad, "working hard to get soldiers off the front lines" and replacing humans with machines for bombing, flying and spying. He asks big questions: What will the rise of war machines mean to traditional notions of the battlefield, like honor? His 2003 book Corporate Warriors was a prescient look at private military forces. It's essential reading for anyone curious about what went on to happen in Iraq involving these quasi-armies.

Singer is a prolific writer and essayist (for Brookings, for newspapers, and for's great Threat Level), and is expert at linking popular culture with hard news on what's coming next from the military-industrial complex. Recommended: his recent piece for Brookings called "A Look at the Pentagon's Five-Step Plan for Making Iron Man Real."

What others say

“Singer's strength lies in the way that he has meticulously pulled together practically all the available evidence and research.” — New York Review of Books

P.W. Singer’s TED talk

P.W. Singer on the TED Blog