27 September 2009

The only man crazier than Qadaffi: Ralph Peters

Spencer Ackerman is keen to point out that Ralph Peters is back to his old tricks in the New York Post.

In today's post at Attackerman, Ackerman notes that Peters is claiming that the rules of engagement in Afghanistan don't allow troops to unleash mass destruction upon the enemy. Now, you're probably about to note that in population-centric counterinsurgency, enemy body counts aren't important—it's better to secure the population, clear the area of insurgents, and build security forces and social services on top of these areas—basically separating the fish from the water, to reverse-engineer Maoist insurgency. You know—the "clear, hold, and build" we learned from David Galula.

Well, along comes Ralph Peters to claim that the only way to win is through brute force. Says Peters:

Over the decades, political correctness insinuated itself into the ranks of our "Washington player" generals and admirals. We now have four-stars who believe that improving our enemies' self-esteem is a crucial wartime goal.

And the Army published its disastrous Counterinsurgency Manual a few years back -- doctrine written by military intellectuals who, instead of listening to Infantry squad leaders, made a show of consulting "peace advocates" and "humanitarian workers."

The result was a manual based on a few heavily edited case studies "proving" that the key to success in fighting terrorists is to hand out soccer balls to worm-eaten children. The doctrine ignored the brutal lessons of 3,000 years of history -- because history isn't politically correct (it shows, relentlessly, that the only effective way to fight faith-fueled insurgents is with fire and sword).

The New York Times lavished praise on the manual. What does that tell you?

Bah, those draft-card burning hippie junior officers, peace activists, and humanitarian workers with their New York Times-endorsed Counterinsurgency Manual! What happened to credible news sources like the New York Post, the Fox News Channel, and the Weekly World News! (You know, the only news sources that will host Ralph Peters)

Anyway, I'm stealing Ackerman's thunder when I talk about this. I'll have to quote him directly.

And then, following one of Rumsfeld's famous rules, Peters decides to broaden his attack, going after the generation of theorist-practitioners who emerged from Iraq and Afghanistan determined to ensure that the U.S. would develop a counterinsurgency capability that would allow it to mitigate being thrust into such awful situations. You know. Pussies.

Exactly. Peters, who spent ten years as a military intelligence officer in Germany is once again calling out the current generation of military officers for "forgetting how to kill". Somehow he's under the impression that the military's killer instincts were much sharper in the early 90s, when our greatest challenge was dealing with a post-Oktoberfest hangover, and we had our tanks in Europe lined up to fight an enemy that didn't even exist anymore. Seriously, as much as Peters claims he supports the troops, he couldn't be any more alienated from the realities of the modern US military.

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