Academic journal article Military Review

BEYOND BAGHDAD: Postmodern War and Peace

Academic journal article Military Review

BEYOND BAGHDAD: Postmodern War and Peace

Article excerpt

BEYOND BAGHDAD: Postmodern War and Peace, Ralph Peters, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2003, 368 pages, $22.95.

Ralph Peters' Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace is the contemporary companion to his two earlier books, Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World (Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2002), and Fighting for the Future: Will America Triumph (Stack-pole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 1999). This book, which picks up where the others left off, includes a series of essays and editorials from the pre-11 September 2001 to the post-Operation Iraqi Freedom period.

Peters divides the book into two sections, "Our Future" and "Our Wars." In "Our Future" he offers an incisive, provocative, and highly optimistic series of opinions and viewpoints. His analysis is not politically correct. He pulls no punches and spares no scared cows.

Peters' observations are closely tied to those of international affairs and travel author Robert Kaplan. Like Kaplan, Peters believes that the world of the terrorist is the world of frustrated failure. He agrees with fellow analyst Samuel Hunnington that a clash of cultures exists, although Peters frames the competing cultures differently and agrees with fellow regional observer Bernard Lewis that the Muslim world is blaming the West for its own dismal economic and political failures. In short, terrorists favor fundamentalism and a retreat to the past to escape the reality of the Arab inability to compete in the modern world. …

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