Ralph Peters

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Ralph Peters
Born (1952-04-19) April 19, 1952 (age 66)
Pottsville, Pennsylvania U.S.
NationalityAmerican
EducationPennsylvania State University
Alma materSt. Mary's University, Texas,[1] M.A. (international relations), 1988
OccupationFormer U.S. Army officer, military analyst, writer
Home townSchuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Janice Stickler (divorced)
Marion Ann Martin (divorced)
Katherine McIntire (m. 1994)
Parent(s)Ralph Heinrich Peters
Alice Catherine (née Parfitt) Peters

Ralph Peters (born April 19, 1952) is a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel and author. Peters appeared frequently as an analyst on Fox News until March 2018 when he resigned, calling the network a "propaganda machine" for the Trump administration and accused the network of "wittingly harming our system of government for profit."[2]

In addition to his non-fiction books, he has published eight novels under the pen name Owen Parry of which Honor's Kingdom received the Hammett Prize. Three of his novels published as Ralph Peters received the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction.

Early life and education[edit]

Peters is of German Lutheran descent on his father's side, and Welsh Methodist on his mother's. He was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and grew up in nearby Schuylkill Haven. His father was a coal miner and businessman. His wife, Katherine McIntire Peters, is the Deputy Editor of Government Executive Media Group, a division of Atlantic Media.[3]

Career[edit]

Military[edit]

Peters enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1976 after graduating from Pennsylvania State University.[4][5]

Peters' first assignment was in Germany. After returning from Germany, he attended Officer Candidate School and received a commission in 1980.[6][7] Subsequently, he served with 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment, then part of the 1st Armored Division.[8]

Peters spent ten years in Germany working in military intelligence. He later became a Foreign Area Officer, specializing in the Soviet Union. He attended the Command and General Staff College. His last assignment was to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. He retired in 1998 as a lieutenant colonel.

Writing[edit]

Peters's first novel was Bravo Romeo, a spy thriller set in West Germany, and was published in 1981. Since then, his novels progressed from futuristic scenarios involving the Soviet 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 cannot or will not. His novel, The War After Armageddon, was released in 2009. In 2008, he published the non-fiction Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World. He is a regular contributor to the military history magazine, Armchair General Magazine, and he also serves on its Advisory Board.[9]

He has also written historical war novels. His novels about the American Civil War have been well received and recognized with the Hammett Prize and the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction.

He 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 (see Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities[permanent dead link]), formerly wrote 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. Peters is a member of the Board of Contributors for USA Today's Forum Page, part of the newspaper's Opinion section.

Views[edit]

Afghanistan[edit]

In February 2009 Peters called for U.S. troops to be pulled out of Afghanistan, writing, "we've mired ourselves by attempting to modernize a society that doesn't want to be – and cannot be – transformed." He continued, "We needed to smash our enemies and leave. Had it proved necessary, we could have returned later for another punitive mission. Instead, we fell into the great American fallacy of believing ourselves responsible for helping those who've harmed us."[10]

Bowe Bergdahl[edit]

Peters expressed sympathy for POW Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's family, but speculated (Fox News, July 19, 2009) that Bergdahl might be "an apparent deserter ... if he walked away from his post and his buddies in wartime – I don't care how hard it sounds – as far as I'm concerned the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills." He characterized Bergdahl's description (in the Taliban produced video) of U.S. military behavior in Afghanistan as collaboration with the enemy, even if coerced.[11] Peters hoped Bergdahl would be reunited with his family, but argued that the US media had glorified one captured soldier who Peters claimed had shamed his unit and lied, while ignoring genuine heroes and casualties (The O'Reilly Factor, July 21).[12]

Donald Rumsfeld[edit]

In 2011, Peters criticized former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying: "I am allergic to Rumsfeld. We did a great thing in Iraq, but we did it very badly. He is an extremely talented man but he has the tragic flaw of hubris. His arrogance is unbearable. My friends in uniform just hate him."[13]

Obama foreign policy[edit]

During Stuart Varney's Fox Business Network show on December 7, 2015, Peters referred to Obama as a "total pussy", leading Fox News to suspend him for two weeks.[14]

Fox News[edit]

In March 2018, Peters publicly quit his role as an expert commentator on Fox News.[15]

Four decades ago, I took an oath as a newly commissioned officer. I swore to "support and defend the Constitution," and that oath did not expire when I took off my uniform. Today, I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers. Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed.

Awards[edit]

In 2013, Peters was named as the recipient of the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction from the American Library Association for his novel Cain at Gettysburg.[16] He received the award again in 2014 for Hell or Richmond[17] and in 2016 for Valley of the Shadow.[18]

In 2002, he received the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers, North American Branch (IACW/NA) for Honor's Kingdom.[19]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • As Ralph Peters
    • Bravo Romeo – 1981 ISBN 978-0399900976
    • Red Army – 1989 ISBN 978-0671676681
    • The War in 2020 – 1991 ISBN 0671676709
    • Flames of Heaven: A Novel of the End of the Soviet Union – 1994 ISBN 0811726843
    • The Perfect Soldier – 1995 ISBN 0671865838
    • The Devil's Garden – 1998 ISBN 978-0811731065
    • Twilight of Heroes – 1999 ISBN 0811726908
    • Traitor – 1999 ISBN 0380976412
    • The War After Armageddon – 2009 ISBN 978-0765323552
    • The Officers' Club – 2011 ISBN 978-0765326805
    • Cain at Gettysburg – 2012 ISBN 978-0765330475
    • Hell or Richmond – 2013 ISBN 978-0765330482
    • Valley of the Shadow – 2015 ISBN 978-0765374035
    • The Damned of Petersburg – 2016 ISBN 978-0765374066
    • Judgment at Appomattox – 2017
  • As Owen Parry

Nonfiction[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ Ralph Peters (2010). Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World. Stackpole Books. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-8117-0689-6.
  2. ^ "A Fox News contributor quit the network, calling it a 'propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration'". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  3. ^ "Voices: Katherine McIntire Peters". GovExec.com. August 21, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  4. ^ "Soldier writer speaker: Ralph Peters brings to the National Convention a wealth of on-the-ground experience and incisive opinions". The Officer. July 1, 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2008. After graduating from Penn State University, he enlisted, at age 23, as a private with two flat feet, curved spine, and intermittent asthma.
  5. ^ "Fox News analyst saves his most searing commentary for Fox News". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 21, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018. He had enlisted after graduating from Penn State in 1976.
  6. ^ "In Depth with Ralph Peters 280144-1". C-SPAN Video Library. August 3, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  7. ^ Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Document Number: H1000113025 Retrieved August 4, 2008. Revised 2006-08-31. Fee.
  8. ^ "1st Battalion, 46th Infantry". Lineage and Honors Information. United States Army Center of Military History. January 12, 2005. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  9. ^ "Advisory Board". Armchair General.
  10. ^ "The mendacity of hope", Ralph Peters, USA Today, February 24, 2009
  11. ^ David Edwards and Daniel Tencer (July 20, 2009). "Fox analyst: Taliban should kill US soldier if he deserted". Raw Story. Archived from the original on July 24, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  12. ^ The Enterprise: Rep. Massa was right – POW deserves our support. July 30, 2009.
  13. ^ Baxter, Sarah; York, New (February 2, 2011). "Neocons join the lynch mob for 'arrogant' Rumsfeld". Times Online. London. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  14. ^ Stelter, Brian (December 7, 2015). "Fox News suspends two commentators for profanity while criticizing Obama".
  15. ^ Namako, Tom (2018-03-20). "An "Ashamed" Fox News Commentator Just Quit The "Propaganda Machine"". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  16. ^ "W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction". ala.org.
  17. ^ "'Hell or Richmond' by Ralph Peters wins the 2014 W.Y. Boyd Award | News & Press Center". Ala.org. April 29, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  18. ^ CMALDEN (May 10, 2016). "'Valley of the Shadow' wins W.Y. Boyd Award for excellence in military fiction".
  19. ^ Sciandra, Mary Frisque and Lisa. "IACW/NA: Hammett Prize: Past Years".

External links[edit]