Small Wars Journal

Peter K. Forster


Dr. Peter Forster is an associate teaching professor of Security & Risk Analysis in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), and an affiliate professor in Penn State’s School of International Affairs. As a member of a number of research centers, he studies risk and crisis management situation awareness, social network analysis, counterterrorism policies and strategies. His work includes using simulations and tabletop exercises to improve command and control. Dr. Forster is the co-chair of the NATO/OSCE Partnership for Peace Consortium Combating Terrorism Working Group (CTWG) and co-course director of NATO's Defence Against Terrorism course.


Dr. Forster’s primary areas of interest are terrorism/counter-terrorism, risk and crisis management, and national and homeland security. Most recently, Forster developed and facilitated tabletop exercises involving representatives from 40 countries under the auspices of the CTWG. Similar exercises are being repeated in a number of countries. He has led grants exploring process and technology integration to improve law enforcement’s situational awareness of issues such as drug and human trafficking and right-wing extremism.  He also oversees a research project on improving the understanding of how extremist organizations’ use the online environment. Dr. Forster serves on the Department of Homeland Security Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism, is a member of the advisory board of the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies online journal Terrorism: An Electronic Journal and Knowledge Base, and is the co-PI on the National Science Foundation’s Federal Cyber Corps Scholarship for Service grant at Penn State.


He is the co-author and contributing author to books on NATO’s military burden sharing and intervention and cognitive systems including Multinational Military Intervention, Stephen J. Cimbala & Peter K. Forster 2008 and Cognitive Systems Engineering Michael D. McNeese & Peter K. Forster, 2017. He has published articles on technology and counter-terrorism, extremist recruitment models in the United States, understanding distributed team cognition, homeland security, and American foreign policy and interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus.  Dr. Forster holds a PhD. in Political Science (International Relations) from Penn State.

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