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Need further proof we’re some short weeks from war? Today marks Ralph Peters’ third column in a single week for the New York Post.

Oh, and the content is kinda killer, too. Read:

As an old intel hand, I recognize both the quality of the data Powell presented and the certainty that we hold even more incriminating information – gleaned through intelligence capabilities we cannot afford to compromise. The question isn’t whether Powell was convincing, but whether the last obstructionist countries are willing to be convinced by even the strongest evidence.
Powell’s performance was flawless. His former reluctance to pursue a military solution gave him street cred with the world’s do-nothings. In rigorous detail, he described Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), how they are produced, how they would be delivered, how great a threat they pose and how we know what Saddam is doing to obstruct the U.N. inspectors.

And Powell made the terrorist connection. He underlined it with hard evidence, tying everything together.

From an intelligence officer’s perspective, it’s clear that internal debates over how much to reveal ended in compromise: Powell laid out enough evidence to convince the reason- able doubters, but avoided giving away the deep secrets we need for war. He convinced, but he didn’t squander.

It gets better, so read the whole thing.

Oh, if you’re unfamiliar with Peters, he a retired Army intelligence officer who spent most of his career in Europe, Central Aisa, and the Middle East. He’s walked the lands, speaks the languages, and knows just how rotten it all is. He’s written a few excellent novels, with The War in 2020 and Flames of Heaven as my personal faves.

The guy is good.