Ralph Peters

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Asymmetrical Warfare: What We All Missed

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Twenty-five years ago, I published an essay, “The New Warrior Class,” arguing that our military’s most-frequent opponents in the coming decades would be irregular forces, such as guerrillas, terrorists, militias, pirates, and even criminal networks. Hostile, nuclear-armed states would remain the paramount threat to our existence, but it would be the “all-others” who kept us busy. We needed to prepare for changing battlefields and tenacious, if lesser, enemies.

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“Hail Caesar!” Again And Again

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Friday, April 19, 2019

By his own account, Julius Caesar was a brilliant soldier, and his masterful prose obscures his later misrule. Brutus didn’t draw his dagger because he was having a bad-toga day. In his time, Caesar set the pattern for repeated—all but countless—military moves against the Roman state and, consequently, rule by ill-suited emperors, with here and there a blood-sustained triumvirate or a doomed duopoly inserted between one-man reigns. The Roman Empire was not destroyed by barbarians, but by soldiers determined to fix it.

New War for an Ancient Prize

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

As the forces of Libyan warlord, self-promoted General Khalifa Haftar, sweep out of Cyrenaica to close on Tripoli, the weaponry has changed but the patterns of military movement remain roughly the same as they have for four millennia.

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U.S. Armed Forces On The Border With Mexico? We Never Left.

by Ralph Petersvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Amid threats to close the southern border of the United States, a benign U.S. military deployment along our frontier with Mexico remains a charged political issue. Yet, not only do the U.S. Armed Forces have a long history of serving on that border, they, in fact, never left it. Active U.S. Army installations, such as Fort Bliss near El Paso or Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona, serve as thriving testaments to an armed presence more than 170 years old: There is little new along the Rio Grande or under the Sonoran sun.

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Distrust, but Keep Talking

by Ralph Petersvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2019

US-Russian relations are hardly doomed to an eternal deep freeze, but Vladimir Putin will keep them on ice as long as he’s around.

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

NATO Renewed (Coming Soon To A Theater Of War Near You)

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Clio, the muse of history, has a fabulous sense of irony: As the human pageant unfolds, she delights in confounding our intentions and expectations. Thus, two public enemies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (whose acronym, NATO, sounds like another Greek deity) promise to be the unwitting saviors of the alliance, rescuing it from complacency, lethargy, and diminishing relevance.

Related Commentary

Regional Bipolarity, The New Global Model

by Ralph Petersvia Strategika
Thursday, November 15, 2018

The United States’ superpower monopoly endures, but only in the western hemisphere. There is no regional military or economic competitor, and ideological challengers have failed or remain strategically marginal. Elsewhere, the emerging model is regional bipolarity coincident with global economic tri-polarity (United States, China, European Union).

Period Military History

Ricarda Huch, Der Dreißigjährige Krieg (The Thirty Years War) (1937)

by Ralph Petersvia Classics of Military History
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This is the most important portrayal of war that remains untranslated into English. A profound study of how military behavior, values, and entire societies degenerate under the stress of extended warfare, this is a book that shaped the reviewer’s thinking for the past forty years.

Period Military History

Bruce W. Menning, Bayonets Before Bullets: The Imperial Russian Army, 1861-1914 (1992)

by Ralph Petersvia Classics of Military History
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This unique book has never gotten the broad recognition it deserves. The finest available study of the late-czarist Russian army as an institution, it analyzes bureaucratic and cultural problems that continue to afflict Russian forces today. 

Military Fiction

James Jones, From Here to Eternity (1951)

by Ralph Petersvia Classics of Military History
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

.Yes, it’s a novel, but this is the finest book, fiction or non-fiction, ever written about the United States Army. Regulations have changed, as have accepted behaviors, technologies, uniforms, rations…yet, today’s soldiers remain these soldiers.