Ralph Peters is a hot mess.

by Joshua Foust on 5/14/2009 · 5 comments

Ralph Peters is just so so so so so wrong, it’s difficult to know where to start. He doesn’t seem to get that limiting ourselves to Special Forces in the beginning is why the Taliban has the space to return; that abandoning any pretenses of COIN to begin a totally black-ops war of HVT strikes is a surefire way to lose; that actually no one on “Team Obama” is a war virgin, unless he means to impugn SecDef Gates and Adm. Mullen, and Gen. Jones, and so on.

Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine Peters, who spent most of his career as an intelligence officer in Germany, complaining about the actual combat veterans on Obama’s staff of being “war virgins.” Just as it is difficult to escape the conclusion that he suffers from a rather dreadful lust for killing, since that is his solution to everything. Similarly, his distaste of Army doctrine—and portrayal of General Petraeus as abandoning it to succeed when he was in fact implementing it—is disturbing considering how often he lectures those out of uniform for the need to respect the institution. I just don’t get it.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 5 comments }

Josh May 14, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I don’t know, I like the line “We turned the blood tide during the hours of darkness, while journalists snored in their bunks.” My second favorite line: “Killing works.”

afpakwar May 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I don’t know, Josh, as a civilian in the Af/Pak theatre enthusiasm for “killing works” (and other Ralph Peters’ quotes like, “ethnic cleansing works”) sure makes it hard for us to distinguish between the killers in our ‘hood.

afpakwar May 14, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I don’t know, Josh; as a civilian in the Af/Pak theatre enthusiasm for “killing works” (and other Ralph Peters’ quotes like, “ethnic cleansing works”) sure makes it hard for us to distinguish between the killers in our ‘hood.

Nick May 17, 2009 at 3:10 am

“-Afghanistan’s worthless in and of itself.” Really clued me in to how seriously we should take this guys advice.

fnord May 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

I would really like to hear that fckheads perspective on logistics, etc, if Pakistan becomes a US “hunting-ground”. He doesnt understand the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan/NWT when it comes to political tradition. sigh

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