Ralph Peters

Infobox Person
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birth_date = 1952-04-19
birth_place = Pottsville, Pennsylvania
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residence = New Baltimore, Virginia
nationality = United States
ethnicity = Welsh and German
citizenship = United States
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education = St. Mary's University, M.A. (international relations), 1988
alma_mater = Pennsylvania State University
employer = New York Post
occupation = Writer
army officer (retired)
home_town = Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania
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party = Independent
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spouse = Marion Ann Martin, 1982 (marriage ended)
Katherine McIntire, June 4, 1994.
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parents = Ralph Heinrich Peters
Alice Catherine (nee Parfitt) Peters
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Ralph Peters (born 1952) is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel, novelist and essayist. He has sometimes written under the nom-de-plume Owen Parry.


Peters was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Schuylkill Haven. His father was a coal miner and unsuccessful businessman. Peters has written "I am a miner's son, and my father was a self-made man who unmade himself in my youth."

His wife, Katherine McIntire Peters, is a reporter for Government Executive magazine (a property of National Journal Group, Inc.)

He works from their home near New Baltimore, Virginia.

Military career

Peters enlisted in the Army as a private soldier in 1976, after graduation from Pennsylvania State University. [cite news
first= |last= |authorlink= |author= |coauthors=
title=Soldier writer speaker: Ralph Peters brings to the National Convention a wealth of on-the-ground experience and incisive opinions.
work=The Officer (A trade publication for active and reserve officers. Offers news in force activities of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Also reports congressional and administrative actions affecting uniformed services.)
publisher= |location= |id= |pages= |page= |date= |accessdate=2008-01-16 |language=
quote= |quote=After graduating from Penn State University, he enlisted, at age 23, as a private with two flat feet, curved spine, and intermittent asthma.
archiveurl= |archivedate=
] He served with [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/1-46in.htm 1st Battalion - 46th Infantry Regiment] , then part of the 1st Armored Division,cite web
title=1st Battalion, 46th Infantry
author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=
work=Lineage and Honors Information
publisher=U.S. Army Center of Military History
pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=
] and attained the rank of sergeant. He was commissioned in 1980.cite web
title=In Depth with Ralph Peters 280144-1 :
author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=
work=C-SPAN Video Library
publisher= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=
] Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRCDocument Number: H1000113025Retrieved 2008-08-04.Revised 2006-08-31.Fee.] He spent ten years in Germany working in military intelligence. Years later, during the 2004 Killian documents controversy, Peters pointed out that in his front-line division in 1977, five years after the memos in question were allegedly written, only the general's secretary had an electric typewriter. It was, he says, too primitive to produce the documents in question, and moreover, National Guard units "…got the junk we didn't want."

After returning from Germany, Peters attended Officer Candidate School and received a commission, eventually attending the Command and General Staff College, and still later graduated from the U.S. Army War College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His last assignment was to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. He retired in 1998 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Writing career

Peters has appeared on PBS, FOX News, CNN and other networks with commentary on military issues and current affairs.

Peters's first novel was "Bravo Romeo", a spy thriller set in West Germany. His novels progressed from futuristic scenarios involving the Red Army to contemporary terrorism and failed state issues. His characters are often presented as military mavericks who have the knowledge and courage to tackle problems others can't or won't.

His latest book is titled "Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the 21st Century", and was released on July 15 2007.

Peters is a regular contributor to the military history magazine, "Armchair General", and also serves on its Advisory Board.

Peters has published numerous essays on strategy in military journals such as Parameters, Military Review, and Armed Forces Journal, reports for the United States Marine Corps [https://www.mcwl.quantico.usmc.mil/ceto.cfm Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities] , writes a regular opinion column for the New York Post, and has written essays and columns for USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Monthly and Army magazine. He has reported from Iraq, Israel, West Africa and other trouble spots.

He has published six collections of his essays and columns, listed below.

Opinions on the Middle East

Peters was a strong supporter of the 2003 invasion and ongoing war in Iraq. Defending the war from critics who claimed that Iraq was descending into civil war, he authored a March 5 2006 piece in the New York Post entitled "Dude, Where's My Civil War?", in which he wrote:

I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it...The Iraqi Army has confounded its Western critics, performing extremely well last week. And the people trust their new army to an encouraging degree. [cite web
title=Dude, Where's My Civil War?
date=March 22 2006

Claims that Iraq was descending into civil war, he wrote, were the politically motivated claims of "irresponsible journalists" who have "staked their reputations on Iraq's failure", though six months later, in an interview with "FrontPageMag.com" magazine, He stated that:

civil war is closer than it was...The leaders squabble, the death squads rule the neighborhoods. [cite news
publisher=New York Post
date=August 16 2007
quote=Those dead and maimed Yazidis were just props: The intended audience was Congress.

While it would be "too early to walk away from Iraq", the fate of the country was threatened by the US's failure after the invasion to provide adequate troop levels to maintain order, as well as "the Arab genius for screwing things up."

On November 2 2006, he wrote in "USA Today":

Iraq is failing. No honest observer can conclude otherwise. Even six months ago, there was hope. Now the chances for a democratic, unified Iraq are dwindling fast ... Iraq could have turned out differently. It didn't. And we must be honest about it. We owe that much to our troops. They don't face the mere forfeiture of a few congressional seats but the loss of their lives. Our military is now being employed for political purposes. It's unworthy of our nation. [cite web
title=Last Gasps in Iraq
publisher=USA Today
date=November 2 2006

In this piece he also speculates that "only a military coup — which might come in the next few years — could hold the artificial country together" and that "it appears that the cynics were right: Arab societies can't support democracy as we know it."

Following the 2006 US Congressional election, Peters wrote:

It's going to be hard. The political aim of the Democrats will be to continue talking a good game while avoiding responsibility through '08. They'll send up bills they know Bush will veto. And they'll struggle to hide the infighting in their own ranks - Dem unity on this war is about as solid as the unity of Iraq.

Now that they've won on the issue, the Dems would like Iraq to just go away. But it won't. And they've got to avoid looking weak on defense, so the military will get more money for personnel, at least. But we won't get a comprehensive plan to deal with Iraq or, for that matter, our global struggle with Islamist terrorists.

No matter how many troops we send, we're bound to fail if the troops aren't allowed to fight - under the leadership of combat commanders, not politically attuned bureaucrats in uniform. At present, neither party's leaders want to face the truth about warfare - that it can't be done on the cheap and that war can't be waged without shedding blood.

[cite web
date=November 9 2006
title=New Iraq Risks: What the Election Means

In an article titled "Blood borders: How a better Middle East would look", Peters conducted a thought experiment by changing the borders in the Middle East: "In each case, this hypothetical redrawing of boundaries reflects ethnic affinities and religious communalism—in some cases, both." [cite web
date=June 2006
title=Blood borders: How a better Middle East would look

Ralph Peters recently wrote in the New York Post the quadruple truck bomb attack in Iraq that killed reportedly 500 individuals was "a sign of al Qaeda's frustration, desperation and fear." [cite web
date=August 16 2007

In a recent column for Armchair General Magazine he wrote in support for regime change in Syria, Iran and Pakistan:

Syria's determination to develop nuclear weapons apes Iran's and North Korea's nuke programs, as well as Pakistan's successful bid to join the club of nuclear powers....Given a choice between taking out Osama Bin Laden and his entire leadership network and eliminating renegade nuclear engineers, the latter option might do far more for our long-term security. [Armchair General Magazine Vol V No.2]

Peters is a strong supporter of the "surge" strategy and considers it successful, In January 2008 he wrote:

Determined to elect a Democrat president, the "mainstream" media simply won't accept our success. "Impartial" journalists find a dark cloud in every silver lining in Iraq. And the would-be candidates themselves continue to insist that we should abandon Iraq immediately - as if time had stood still for the past year - while hoping desperately for a catastrophe in Baghdad before November. These are the pols who insisted that the surge didn't have a chance. And nobody calls 'em on it. [ NY Post January 11, 2008 ]

His article "Constant Conflict" [cite journal
quotes =
author = Ralph Peters
date = Summer 1997
year =
month =
title = Constant Conflict
journal = Parameters (journal) | volume =
issue = Summer 1997
pages = pp. 4-14
publisher = United States Army War College
location = Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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url = http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/97summer/peters.htm
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accessdate = 2008-08-04
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quote =The next century will indeed be American, but it will also be troubled. We will find ourselves in constant conflict, much of it violent.
] was controversial for this section:

There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The "de facto" role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.



*As Ralph Peters
**"Bravo Romeo" - 1981 ISBN 0-399-90097-7
**"Red Army" - 1989 ISBN 0-671-67668-7
**"The War in 2020" - 1991 ISBN 0-671-67670-9
**"The Perfect Soldier" - 1995 ISBN 0-671-86583-8
**"The Devil's Garden" - 1998 ISBN 0-380-97362-6
**"Twilight of Heroes" - 1999 ISBN 0-8117-2690-8
**"Traitor" - 1999 ISBN 0380976412
**"Flames of Heaven: A Novel of the End of the Soviet Union" - 2003 ISBN 0-8117-2684-3

*'Abel Jones Series" {as "Owen Parry", pseudonym of Ralph Peters)
**"Faded Coat of Blue" - 2000 ISBN 0-380-97642-0
**"Shadows of Glory" - 2000 ISBN 0-380-97643-9
**"Call Each River Jordan" - 2001 ISBN 0-06-018638-0
**"Honor's Kingdom" - 2002 ISBN 0060186348
**"Our Simple Gifts: Civil War Christmas Tales" - 2002 ISBN 0060013788
**"Bold Sons of Erin" - 2003 ISBN 0-06-051390-X
**"Strike the Harp!: American Christmas Stories" - 2004 ISBN 0-06-057236-1
**"Rebels of Babylon" - 2005 ISBN 0-06-051392-6


*"Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph?" - 1999 ISBN 0-8117-0651-6
*"Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World" - 2002 ISBN 0-8117-0024-0
*"Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace" - 2003 ISBN 0-8117-0084-4
*"New Glory: Expanding America's Global Supremacy" - 2005 ISBN 1-59523-011-4
*"Never Quit the Fight" - 2006 ISBN 0-8117-3328-9 978-0811702744
*"Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the 21st Century" - 2007 ISBN
*"Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World" - 2008 ISBN 0-8117-3410-2


External links

* [http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NAZ20061116&articleId=3882 Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”] (Centre for Research on Globalization)
* [http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org/events/2005-09-21-ralphPeters.jsp Interview] on "New Glory" at the Pritzker Military Library
* [http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org/events/2007-11-29-RalphPeters.jsp Interview] on "Wars of Blood and Faith"
* [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3011.htm Constant Conflict]

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