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Posted on Mar 8, 2010 in Books and Movies

Endless War: Middle Eastern Islam vs. Western Civilization – Book Review

By Jerry D. Morelock

Chapter Two, Crescent Descending, traces the long string of Islamic defeats that began with the Ottoman armies’ being turned back at the gates of Vienna in 1683 and following through the end of the Ottoman’s European empire with the 1877 Siege of Plevna. Noting that “this greatest struggle between civilizations produced history’s longest military confrontation,” Peters sagely warns readers that the “contest for hegemony over the Middle East, North Africa and Europe never really ceased (not has it now). The intervals of peace were simply fits of exhaustion.” We can only hope that Peters’ plea that today’s leaders, reporters and the public should “read some history” will be answered by their beginning that reading with these two crucial chapters.


Endless War’s greatest value is in Peters’ superb strategic analysis which particularly shines throughout the book’s 35 stand-alone articles, columns and essays; but he does not neglect leadership, morale, tactics and doctrine, the vital components of fighting and winning the day-to-day battles at the war’s “sharp end.” His sharp critique of the U. S. Army/Marine Corps’ new counterinsurgency manual (published in 2007), for example, is a well-reasoned, historically-based dissection of what Peters is chagrined to find is merely “a politically correct document for a politically correct age.” Appalled at the shallowness and selectivity of the manual’s “historical examples,” Peters notes that the new manual only belatedly mentions what the real historical record consistently proves is the most effective way of defeating guerrillas – killing them. He correctly concludes that “the only admissible criterion is that the doctrine has to work,” but judges that the counterinsurgency doctrine prescribed in the Services’ new manual “creates false expectations” leading inevitably to “flawed choices” by political and military leaders, and that “those in uniform will pay the price.”

February 16, 2010. Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, pause while on patrol in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan. (Lance Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde)Peters addresses the future as well as analyzing the past, and in that regard perhaps none of Endless War’s entries is more pertinent to the increasingly dangerous and potentially disastrous situation posed by Iran’s imminent fielding of nuclear weapons than is his New York Post column, “What ‘Bomb Iran’ Really Takes.” Although Peters sees “bomb Iran” as the option of last resort, he realizes that “the fanatics in Teheran may leave us no peaceful alternative” – yet, he cautions that “If forced to strike, we have to do it right.” To “do it right,” Peters succinctly details “the basic requirements for smacking down Iran’s nuke program,” an 8-step prescription that U. S. military targeting officers should not only read, but should memorize.

Ralph Peters’ Endless War tops our list of “must read” books for its unrivaled history, superb insight and cogent analysis of today’s most vital issue – militant Islam’s continuing war against Western civilization. We highly recommend it to political and military decision-makers, media reporters and analysts, and the general public. This is the single most important book that must be read as the answer to Peters’ lament “after fighting in the Middle East for nearly a decade, we still don’t know how we got there.” Endless War not only details “how we got there,” it explains what we ought to do about it.

We rate Peters’ Endless War FIVE STARS our highest rating.

Author: Ralph Peters is a retired Army intelligence officer and the author of 25 books, including best-selling, prize-winning novels such as THE WAR AFTER ARMAGEDDON as well as influential works on strategy. Peters is an opinion columnist for the New York Post and a regular contributor to USA Today and Armchair General magazine. A member of the Armchair General Advisory Board, Peters is a popular on-air media guest who became Fox News’ first strategic analyst in 2009.

Reviewer: Jerry D. Morelock, PhD, is ARMCHAIR GENERAL Editor in Chief. A retired Army Colonel, his last Pentagon posting was in the Joint Staff’s Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate and his final Army assignment was as the Director of the Combat Studies Institute, the U. S. Army Command & General Staff College’s history department. His books include GENERALS OF THE ARDENNES: AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE.

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  1. May 2010 Issue – Collapse of the Ottoman Empire » Armchair General - [...] EXTRA: Endless War: Middle Eastern Islam vs. Western Civilization – Book [...]