Ralph Peters
Ralph Peters is a retired United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

. As a novelist he has sometimes written under the pen name Owen Parry.
Peters was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Pottsville is the only city in and the county seat of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 15,549 at the 2000 census. The city lies along the west bank of the Schuylkill River, north-west of Philadelphia...

 and grew up in Schuylkill Haven
Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania
Schuylkill Haven is a borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, four miles south of Pottsville and north-west of Philadelphia, in the United States. The borough's population was 5,548 as of the 2000 census. Schuylkill Haven is situated along the Schuylkill River for which it is named...

. His father was a coal miner
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

 and unsuccessful businessman. His wife, Katherine McIntire Peters, is a reporter for Government Executive
Government Executive
Government Executive is an American trade magazine, founded in 1969. In 2009, the independent research firm Market Connections, Inc. cited the magazine as the number one publication read by federal managers...

magazine (a property of National Journal
National Journal
National Journal is a nonpartisan American weekly magazine that reports on the current political environment and emerging political and policy trends. National Journal was first published in 1969. Times Mirror owned the magazine from 1986 to 1997, when it was purchased by David G. Bradley...

Group, Inc.).
Peters enlisted in the Army as a private
Private (rank)
A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank .In modern military parlance, 'Private' is shortened to 'Pte' in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries and to 'Pvt.' in the United States.Notably both Sir Fitzroy MacLean and Enoch Powell are examples of, rare, rapid career...

 in 1976, after attending Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU, is a public research university with campuses and facilities throughout the state of Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1855, the university has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service...


If there is a single power the West underestimates, it is the power of collective hatred.

Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph?, p. 13

We [Americans] choose not to understand the world on terms other than our own.

Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph?, p. 51

We [the U.S.] think nothing…of attempting to inflict upon other peoples forms of government ill-tailored to their needs.

Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World, p. 218

The message of Vietnam is not that Americans will not take casualties; it is that the American people do not want the lives of their sons and daughters wasted.

Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World, p. 287

We have moved from an age in which government leaders sought to do what was best for the people to one in which the political leadership is convinced it knows what is best for the people, whether they like it or not.

Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World, p. 133

There is no lack of bravery in the ranks of our armed forces, but bureaucratic cowardice rules in our intelligence establishment (as well as at the higher levels of military command).

Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World, p. 196