This is in reference to Ex Picks the Winners and Losers of The Gamble.
It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
--Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
I spent a good part of last night corresponding with COL Gian Gentile -- an Army officer I greatly respect and consider a dear friend. While we often find ourselves on the opposite poles of the COIN -- conventional warfare debate -- I relayed to him that this debate is a worthy debate -- critical to the future of our armed forces. He deserves the highest credit for pushing this debate into the public domain.
Gian did this, all the while opening himself up to both warranted and unwarranted criticism. He stood in the arena while others either cheered or jeered from the sidelines. I cannot express how impressed I am with those who actually take a stand -- those who stand tall in that arena.
Gian, as I said in at least two e-mails -- you done good and have everything to be proud of. I salute you sir -- as a brother in arms and as a loyal friend.