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Experts to Discuss Pros and Cons of Privatized Military Industry in Talk at Swarthmore

For Immediate Release:  April 11, 2006
Contact:  Marsha Nishi Mullan     

Experts to Discuss Pros and Cons of Privatized Military Industry in Talk at Swarthmore

Dr. Peter Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), will discuss the booming private military industry on Monday, April 17, at 7 p.m. at Swarthmore College in the Science Center, Room 101.  Their talk, titled "America's Mercenaries:  Private Military Contractors, Iraq, and Genocide," is free and open to the public.

Singer wrote the first major book on the subject, Private Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, and will give an accurate picture of their current and recent impact on the situation in Iraq, where some 50,000 private military contractors operate today.  Brooks will argue that the private military sector can help stop humanitarian catastrophes in places such as Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where major powers are not willing to intervene.  Professor James Kurth of Swarthmore's Department of Political Science will moderate.

This talk is sponsored by the Swarthmore College Forum for Free Speech, the Departments of Political Science and Economics, Peace and Conflict Studies, and the President's Office.  For more information, please contact Andrew Sniderman at or 610-690-3862.

Peter Singer is the Brookings Institution's director of the Project on U.S. Policy toward the Islamic World.  He is the youngest scholar to be named a senior fellow in Brookings' 90-year history and is considered one of the world's leading experts on changes in 21st-century warfare.  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 25 universities on three continents.  He has provided commentary on military affairs for a range of major TV and radio outlets, including ABC-Nightline, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS-60 Minutes, CNN, FOX, NPR, and the NBC Today Show. 

Doug Brooks is president of the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), a nongovernmental, nonprofit, nonpartisan association of service companies dedicated to improving international peacekeeping efforts through greater privatization.  He is a specialist on African security issues and has written extensively on the regulation and constructive utilization of the private sector for international stabilization, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions, especially in Africa.  He has testified before Congress, appeared on the BBC, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, CNN International, National Public Radio, Brazilian Globo Television, Voice of America, SABC in South Africa, Lehrer News Hour, and Russian television.  He has lectured at numerous universities and colleges, including Georgetown University, the South African Defense College, and the South African War College.


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