In this lively but rarely incisive geo-political screed, the battle lines are starkly drawn. On one side are Americans, who ""are so successful, so powerful, so wealthy-and so humane-that our very existence humiliates the failed and failing around the world,"" assisted by the other English-speaking peoples and the promising regions of India, Africa and Latin America. Opposing us is the Islamic Middle East, a realm of ""malevolence"" and ""sickness of the soul,"" the global scourges of terrorism and corruption and, worst of all, France, a.k.a. ""that vicious child among nations,"" ""the cancer at the heart of Europe,"" ""a two-bit Soviet Union"" and ""poisonous snake."" America's success depends on ""killing boldly when killing is required,"" but we must be careful lest our ferocity be undermined by Pentagon ""court eunuchs"" who insist that war be cheap and bloodless. Ex-Army intelligence officer Peters, author of Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace, is a soldier-scholar who combines pitiless martial aphorisms (""prove your victory by planting your flag in your dead enemy's eye socket"") with impromptu disquisitions on Renaissance art and the novels of Anthony Trollope. But his mixture of stoic verities, erudite allusion and rabid overgeneralizations about national character hardly amounts to a consistent strategic vision. He wants America to champion human rights, but also practice torture and assassination where necessary, and to ensure that our military operations inflict the requisite ""devastation"" and ""pain on the enemy population."" His most substantive recommendation-that America control the Indian Ocean's oil-shipping lanes-relies on the lazy assumption that trying to control Middle East oil is a strategic imperative rather than a strategic blunder. Peters is a vigorous, pithy writer, but he lacks a clear conception of America's global interests and capabilities.