So, I am TOTALLY addicted to the History Channel. Watch it nearly every day. Besides ESPN, Family Guy and Charmed, it’s about all I ever watch. And, if you ever watch it, you’ve no doubt seen Richard A. Gabriel.
Richard A. Gabriel is a distinguished professor in the Department of History and War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and in the Department of Defence Studies at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He was professor of history and politics at the U.S. Army War College and held the Visiting Chair in Military Ethics at the Marine Corps University. A retired U.S. Army officer living in Manchester, New Hampshire, Gabriel is the author of numerous books and articles on military history and other subjects.
Anyway, I couldn’t find his damn email because my research skills suck. Nonetheless, here are some questions I would ask him if my 4 hour search for his email hadn’t been futile last night.
1) Thermopylae, Camerone, The Alamo, Roarke’s Drift….we seem to have an unhealthy fascination with last stands. Why do you think that is, and are there other examples you would cite to of tactical losses that amounted to strategic victories?
2) The American military has exempted homosexuals from serving openly; do you believe that a model of inclusion based in part on the Sacred Band of Thebes is potentially a viable option?
3) There is always discussion of Maneuver vs. Firepower coming out of the Pentagon. In today’s world of asymmetric warfare, is the distinction important, or is there a better way of phrasing the hardware choices that must be made?
4) Which would you rather have if you were serving in Afghanistan: A battalion with a great commander and average squad leaders, or a battalion with an average commander and great squad leaders? What about in other conflicts through history?
Some not so serious questions:
1) It has been noted on my blog that while Canadians export Hockey players, seal pelts and Medal of Honor recipient Peter Lemon to the United States, we send deserters north. Since you work at the Canadian Military College, what can you tell us about any nascent plan by the Canadians to mount up on their Caribou and invade south to fix this trade deficit?
2) It’s been said that you are to the History Channel as Tom Brady is to the NFL, that you totally make it your bitch. Do you concur with this assessment?
3) If you woke up tomorrow and some evil bastard had stolen your moustache, who would you hunt down and kill with your bare hands before stealing their moustache?
4) Hypothetical cage match of you vs. Dr Steven Pressfield, what sort of fighting style would you use? Do you know any crazy Shaolin type shit?
MR Gabriel is here, at just shy of a minute, and Pressfield at 5:30. If you have not read Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire, you honestly should shut down your computer, drive to the nearest bookstore and read it. I can say without a doubt that it is one of the most important books I have ever read, and I have passed around more copies of that book than I care to remember. Hell, I even got Southern Democrat to read it, and he is barely literate. I actually not only have the book in Hard and soft cover, I also have both the abridged and unabridged CD versions.