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I've been looking for an English equivalent of the Chinese, "不怕神一样的对手 就怕猪一样的队友," which has been, rather directly, translated as:

We fear not God-like rivals, but pig-like team members

and rather funnily enough attributed to JFK.

  • Did JFK ever say anything even remotely close to this?

  • Are there other idiomatic phrases in English that resemble "We fear not God-like rivals, but pig-like team members"? (i.e: who needs enemies, with friends like you?)

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  • A different U.S. president, Warren G. Harding, expressed a similar sentiment: "I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends...They're the ones that keep me walking the floor nights."
    – D Krueger
    Jul 13, 2014 at 14:11
  • Negli amici guarda mi Dio; negli nemmici mi guardo io. (This was taught to me decades ago by a new immigrant, so the spelling is not guaranteed.) Its meaning: Among my friends, God guards me; among my enemies, I guard myself. Jul 14, 2014 at 21:12
  • Questions about whether someone said something are more usual on history.stackexchange.com but someone here might know.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 17, 2021 at 14:03

2 Answers 2

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(With apologies and thanks to Janus)

Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.

It's sometimes used as an ironic twist on

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

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This is a quote, but it reads like a proverb.

A strong foe is better than a weak friend. (Edward Dahlberg)

I have also found other expressions of your version:

A weak teammate does more harm than the enemy.

and

What one should really fear is not a competent enemy, but an incompetent ally.

[Aside: I can't resist posting this quotation from Oscar Wilde which I found while doing research for this answer:

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.]

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