Ralph Peters

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Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

Our Revels Now Are Ended

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Friday, September 24, 2021

It’s hard to win a war when you refuse to understand your enemy. It’s harder still when you cannot realistically define your strategic mission. You lame yourself further when you reduce a complex history to a single inaccurate cliché; i.e., “Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.”

Related Commentary

Xerxes Made Us Do It: Iran, the Biden Administration, and Mid-East Instability

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Monday, August 2, 2021

Americans obsess over means, while our enemies focus on purpose. American decision-makers and their paladins focus so intently on the practical requirements of an Iranian nuclear weapon that we forget to ask why this Persian-majority state wants one, thus obscuring simultaneous Iranian initiatives designed to achieve the same strategic ends through other means.

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The History Of Killing

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Friday, April 30, 2021

During the week in which this column was drafted, renewed fighting, replete with atrocities, spread in Darfur; in Mozambique, Islamist fanatics continued to kill fellow Muslims; in Chad, the ethno-religious conflict worsened; the Chinese government continued to torture Uighurs; the Taliban welcomed the prospect of an American withdrawal with fresh attacks; and deadly eruptions pocked the Middle East.

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Kabul, Vietnam

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Friday, April 23, 2021

A British military jibe maintains that “Experience is the ability to recognize a mistake the second time you make it.” Can we recognize that, in Afghanistan, we made the identical two grand mistakes we made in Vietnam—then added a third to guarantee our failure?

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Killer Of Armies: Microbes And The Military

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Friday, April 16, 2021

As COVID-19 wages war on the world with its constantly mutating arsenal, this pandemic is a relatively gentle reminder of the effects of plagues on history—not least, upon armies and their operations. We live in an age of medical miracles, yet, faced with death or long-term disability on a global scale, we cannot readily grasp the most-insidious effects of this virus.

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The New Old Frontier Of Islamist Terror

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Monday, April 5, 2021

Largely ignored for years, the hyper-violent Islamist terror in northern Mozambique has begun to receive international attention—now that Western oil and gas projects are threatened.

Related Commentary

Can the United States and Russia Unite Against China? Naw…

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Thursday, January 28, 2021

Under present and probable future conditions, Russia will not ally with the United States against China on any substantial issue in any sphere. The wording of that sentence is carefully chosen, since the U.S.A., under any president, would be glad to have Russia’s support in the great competition of the mid-twenty-first century.

Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

The State Of This Union Is (Remarkably) Strong

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

For years, I was a guest commentator on a business-news show whose host was surprisingly literate. We covered global affairs and shared useful exchanges. But this well-schooled, worldly man had a massive blind spot he shared with a significant number of conservatives: He detested the European Union (EU) obsessively and leapt on every shred of negative data from Brussels as proof that the EU was, finally, this time, at last, truly and belatedly doomed.

Featured Commentary

China Lies, China Kills, China Wins

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Thursday, April 23, 2020

As a plague compounds our political divisions, it’s essential to recall that the cause of the global carnage is not across the congressional aisle or parliamentary divide. This pandemic came courtesy of the breathtaking (literally, in this case) ruthlessness of the Chinese dictatorship, whose policies nurtured, hid, and fostered the spread of the COVID-19 virus currently killing our citizens by the tens of thousands and crippling economies worldwide.

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Quarantines, Soldiers, And Cities

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

At the end of a lecture on future threats to the Missouri National Guard a few years ago, I was asked what unexpected event might challenge their capabilities. I replied that a mission impossible would result from an explosively lethal pandemic that triggered quarantines on major cities—their enforcement efforts would fail, due to the physical structures of today’s urban areas.

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