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Peter Forster, Ph.D.

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Peter Forster
332P Information Sciences and Technology Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-8304
  • Ph.D., Political Science (International Relations/Comparative Politics), Penn State 1997

  • M.A., Political Science (International Relations), Penn State 1984

  • B.A., History with honors, Penn State 1982


Dr. Peter K. Forster is Associate Dean for Online and Professional Education and a member of the graduate faculty, in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (International Relations) and has affiliate status with the School of International Affairs and the Center for Network Centric Cognition and Information Fusion (NC2IF), an IST-based research center.

Dr. Forster’s primary areas of interest are terrorism/counter-terrorism, risk and crisis management, international relations and national security and homeland security. Since 2010, Dr. Forster has been the principle investigator on a grant exploring how broadband technologies may be used to improve law enforcement’s situational awareness of major issues such as human trafficking and is a faculty adviser on an initiative to re-develop the MINDS group crisis management simulation. He is the co-chair of the NATO/OSCE Partnership for Peace Consortium Combating Terrorism Working Group which brings academics and practitioners together to examine the global aspects of terrorism and its impact. Most recently, Forster helped develop and facilitate a tabletop exercise involving representatives from 40 countries to address the Foreign Terrorist Fighter threat (listen to a discussion: ( During his career, Dr. Forster has been involved in security sector reform initiatives including defense institution building in the Caucasus and South Central Europe as well as consulting on national distance education initiatives in Central Asia and the Caucasus.  He is the co-author and contributing author to books on NATO’s military burden sharing and intervention including most recently Multinational Military Intervention, Stephen J. Cimbala & Peter K. Forster and Policy, Strategy & War: The George W. Bush Defense Program, Stephen J. Cimbala ed. He also has published articles on technology and terrorism, homeland security, and American foreign policy and interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus. His current research focus is evolution of terrorists’ use of on-line and mobile technologies in a variety of aspects including the development of a tabletop exercise to identify indicators and warnings of foreign terrorist fighter threats.

Dr. Forster teaches courses on crisis and risk management, terrorism, the impact of information on 21st century society, war and conflict, and the international relations of the Middle East. Prior to joining IST, Peter worked in a number of administrative position with Penn State’s World Campus contributing to original plan that saw Penn State transition to online learning environment and subsequently to its strategic development.

  • Know Your Enemy: What is a Terrorist?” Peter Kent Forster in Defence Review: The Central Journal of the Hungarian Defence Forces vol 143 2015.
  • “Crisis management simulations: Lessons Learned from a cross-cultural perspective” Tristan Endsley, James Reep, Michael D. McNeese, Peter Forster in Procedia Manufacturing eds. Tareq Ahram, Waldemar Karwowski, and Dylan Schmorrow, 6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) vol 3, 2015.
  • “Countering the Individual Jihad: Perspectives on Nidal Hasan and Collen LaRose” Peter Kent Forster in CTX vol. 2 No. 4 November 2012.
  • “Terrorist Innovation: Homegrown Terrorism and the Internet” Forster, Peter K. in The Dangerous Landscape: International Perspectives on Twenty-First Century Terrorism; Transnational Challenge, International Responses John J. LeBeau, ed.
  • Multinational Military Intervention NATO Policy, Strategy and Burden Sharing, Cimbala, Steven J. and Forster Peter K., Ashgate Publishing, Surrey, UK ISBN Number 978-1-4094-0228-2 February 2010.
  • Coalition Warfighting: NATO in Afghanistan” Forster, Peter K. in The George W. Bush Defense Program: Policy, Strategy and War, Steven J. Cimbala, ed. Potomac Publishers, Inc., Washington DC, 2010.
  • Extremism and Security Coalescence, Forster, Peter Kent, ISN Security Watch 8/18/08
  • “Integrating Information Technology in the Defense Sector: A role for education?” ,  Forster, Peter Kent, Modern Informational Technologies in the Sphere of Security and Defense Ukraine Ministry of Defense, Kiev, Ukraine, April 2008.
  • “International Factors Stopping Security Sector Reform: The Uzbek Case”, Forster Peter K., China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly Vol. 5 No. 1 Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Silk Road Studies Program 2007 p. 61 – 66.
  • The Battle for Sadr City, Forster, Peter K., ISN Security Watch 1/15/07 on-line @
  • “Beslan: Counter-terrorism Incident Command: Lessons Learned” Forster, Peter K., Homeland Security Affairs Journal Volume II, Issue 3: October 2006.
  • Lebanon, the risks of intervention, Forster, Peter K., ISN Security Watch 9/25/06 on-line @
  • “The Terrorist Threat and Security Sector Reform in Central Asia: The Uzbek Case,” Forster, Peter K.  Facing the Terrorist Challenge – Central Asia’s Role in Regional and International Cooperation, National Defense Academe Vienna and the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces, Geneva April 2005 p. 227-246.
  • The U.S., NATO and Military Burden Sharing, Forster, Peter K. and Cimbala Stephen J. Taylor & Francis (Frank Cass) Publishing, London & NY, January 2005. ISBN: 0-415-35607-5.
  • Russia’s Struggling Caucasus Policy, Forster, Peter K. Open Society Institute EurasiaNet September 2, 2004 on-line @    
  • “The Paradox of Policy: American Interests in the post-9/11 Caucasus”, Forster, Peter K., Security Sector Reform in Southern Caucasus - Challenges and Visions, Bureau of Security Policy Austrian Ministry of Defense and the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces February 2004 p.12-33.                        
  • “Azerbaijan: A Clash of Succession Process”, Peter K. Forster, Open Society Institute EurasiaNet October 2003 on-line @  
  • “Balancing American Involvement in Uzbekistan”, Connections QJ 2003 No. 1, Partnership for Peace Consortium, George C. Marshall Center, Garmisch, Germany, April 2003.
  •  “Globalizing Education: The Role of the Virtual University”, Open Praxis, Spring 2001.