And pop culture is more than tangential to his work, he insists: Sometimes, there can be more insight into the future of war in one sci-fi thriller than in dozens of peer-reviewed academic works.
A through-line in Singer’s work is an interest in what he calls the seamy side of modern war.
This is not the equivalent of trying to kill Castro. I’m not knocking the operation, but something that we would have previously treated as a war, we aren’t treating in the same way because the technology is unmanned.” Moreover, the U. campaign in Libya will go down as a historical milestone, Singer thinks, because the Obama administration was able to argue that the War Powers Resolution, which dates to 1973 and was intended to rein in an overly adventurous executive branch, did not apply because American servicemen hadn’t been placed in harm’s way — even as U. drones blew up Muammar el-Qaddafi’s air defenses and guided strafing runs by NATO planes. “When I was taking a seminar in political science and philosophy at Princeton, learning why democracy was better than all those other forms of government, a main reason was that the public was linked to its wars,” Singer says.
“It was both making the decisions and bearing the costs.
Singer, the director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D. George Custer declined use of a Gatling gun, an early machine gun, when he headed to the Black Hills because such guns were conceived of as a kind of artillery that would only slow down a fleet cavalry unit.
“We had better technology to monitor our baby than the Iraqi Army had to detect coalition forces during the first Gulf War, in the 1990s,” he says.
In late summer 2012, as Singer and his wife prepared for the birth of their second child, they bought a new system.
Drones remove those challenges, providing an ever-tempting option for policymakers.
“Nothing sucks the oxygen out of a debate over what to do about a country more than military force,” he says: No policymaker believes that drone strikes are a long-term solution for the appeal of terrorist groups, yet the availability of drones makes force frictionlessly available — the default option.
His books also are linked by an interest in military “outsourcing,” broadly defined.