Hannibal’s Path

Hannibal on Leadership 0

In the run-up to the publication of Masters of Command on Tuesday, I’ll ask each of the book’s three masters for the lessons of his leadership. Yesterday I interviewed the ghost of Alexander the Great. Today I speak to the shade of Hannibal.

Good morning, Son of Hamilcar. What makes you a greater leader than Alexander or Julius Caesar?

“Both Alexander and Caesar suffered mutinies. I did not, although I subjected my men to many hardships during 15 years in Italy. They were a multi-ethnic group, made of Africans, Iberians, Celts, and various Italians, with little to hold them together, but I kept them going. I know how to make men follow my lead.”


Hannibal’s Path: Iran, Israel, and America 0

Hannibal’s Ghost came back from his sacrifice. He had such a fierce look about him that I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had just passed a child through fire to Moloch. But I didn’t ask.

“Welcome back, oh Subjugator of Spain. Before you left, you were clearing up my misconceptions about the Middle East. Let’s return to that subject, please. Can you tell me if the Israelis have the military capacity to set back the Iranian nuclear program by a few years?”

Hannibal’s Path: is War Coming in the Middle East? 0

His bearded face had a weather-beaten look. His one good eye stared in scrutiny beside an aquiline nose. A man in his 60s, he still looked strong and unbowed–for a ghost. He was the shield of Carthage, the avatar of Hercules, the symbol of the one-eyed Celtic war god, the counselor of kings, the idol of the Army, and the terror of Rome–Hannibal.

“Son of Hamilcar,” I said, “I am honored to meet you.”  More

Doing the Hannibal Haul 0

During the recent backing and forthing over the Federal debt, did you ever wish that somebody would walk into the room and turn off the sound system?

Well, two thousand years ago, Hannibal turned that wish into reality. The year was 202 B.C.E. and the great Carthaginian general had just lost the last major battle of his country’s long war with Rome. On his advice, the Carthaginian government sued for peace. Rome’s terms were harsh but they could have been worse – they let Carthage survive. Rome did not always extend that courtesy. More