^ Well it is Halloween month after all, so ghost threads are to be expected occasionally.
Well, if we're playing this game, while I might not think that Picard's that great of a tactician (his skill is diplomacy), I think OP's assessment of him is a bit unfair. His not rising up through the ranks wasn't because of his lack of killer instinct, but because he chose
not to ascend, IIRC. He felt his place was on the bridge, and not admiralty.