Andrew Exum, the fresh face of COIN and moderator of a blog dedicated to its acolytes, took rigorous notes at an exclusive lunch with Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George Casey. Invite-only for “defense policy wonks and a few journalists,” Peters was regarded enough as either/or to be among the lucky few.
Opening the floor to questions, people smarter than me asked about the budget and the QDR. I was more interested in current operations, so my ears perked up when Ralph Peters asked whether or not counterinsurgency warfare is causing younger officers to “lose their killer instinct.” Gen. Casey responded by talking a little bit about how he has seen the pendulum swing from too kinetic to too non-kinetic and then back again but that he does not worry about the younger officers not knowing how to kill. He said he is “not worried about the long-term impact because it is a combat-seasoned force.”
Coming on the heels of Peters’ umpteenth bloodthirsty screed regarding the country’s gastrointestinal fortitude for war, this grandstanding (American counterinsurgency in turn of the century Philipines might be “killer” enough for Peters) isn’t surprising. That out of all the “defense policy wonks” and capable national security journalists roaming around the Washington, DC area, Peters is still considered part of the go-to club, kind of is. Just a testament to the institution’s blind and ill-fated dedication to message control, I guess. The Army must believe it needs every flyboy from the 101st Keyboard Brigade available in its war against public opinion. I’m sure Peters embraces his role — he thinks the “partisan media” should be censored and even targeted by the military if they get in the way on the battlefield. And a regular column for the NY Post doesn’t count as partisan media anyway, right?