1. And what is Ferrill primary source? Stilicho was order to withdraw in the first expedition, not in the second. But you have not considered that Alaric was defeated also in Italy. Was him captured, killed, chased? No, he was prized. Really impossible to justify, all the events go in the same direction: Stilicho was a traitor.I just reread Ferrill's account in The Fall of the Roman Empire the Military Explanation. After Stilicho entered the ERE to fight Alaric on the peloponnesus, Eutropius persuaded Arcadius to declare Stilicho a public enemy (for his unauthorized intrusion into eastern territory).
Zosimus wrote that Stilicho's troops were too busy plundering the gothic camp to prevent the escape of alaric and his troops. He didn't blame Stilicho himself. And he said Arcadius ordered Stilicho to withdraw.
Considering the great importance of north Africa to the WRE it was very important to suppress Gildo.
This was the fifth century not the second. But 400 CE at the latest, citizen recruitment was nowhere near what it once had been.
No, the problem was partly political--the ERE leadership hindered him--and there was also the poor discipline of his barbarian comitatenses.
No, the fifth century was just a lousy time to be a Roman general...
2. Also the north was important, as demonstrated by history, but Stilicho unprotected it. So, it was not thinking to the empire but to his position.
3. Barbarian comitatenses? A contradiction in terms. Simply, Stilicho preferred to keep an army loyal to him instead to Rome. This is betrayal and trust badly placed.
4. True, but acting worse than Stilicho is pretty impossible. We should also consider Roman position before and after him. A total disaster