Robert S. McNamara's Ghosts in Afghanistan
by Tom Hayden
Robert McNamara Attempts to get into Heaven
(c) Jack Ohman
It wasn't the deaths on the same day that made me remember McNamara's folly. It was the sense that McNamara's ghost is hovering over the new graveyard of America's future.
McNamara's team, most products of
Though liberal and secular in temperament, they held a faith-based belief in victory. Fifty-eight thousand Americans died, along with countless Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians, because of these best and brightest. Not one of them went to jail. McNamara went to the
So is Gen.
I first heard of
I was skeptical, however, of McNamara's application of scientific management techniques to corporate, government and military policy. I couldn't understand the mystique of intelligence, detached as it was from an understanding of a world in unpredictable transition.
From the perspective of McNamara's funeral, we can take a reckoning.
The Vietnam War was the greatest American folly of the 20th century. Applied to large universities, the same scientific management approaches provoked the
The brightest were clueless and, in songwriter
For what earthly purpose did those seven Americans die in southern
You can have the IQ of a plant to smell this stupidity.
The Pentagon predicts an 18-month war for southern
The logical move now for the Taliban would be to draw the young Americans into a bloody quagmire in
In an example of further idiocy masked as intelligence, a Pentagon spokesman said the seven deaths were "what we expected." And Nagl of the CNAS told the press that the Taliban and "other insurgents" had engaged in "less direct combat than was expected by the military,"
The Taliban and these "other insurgents" used roadside bombs instead of throwing themselves in front of the American guns. This was a surprise. That's what happens when you go into "Indian country," said a Pentagon official.
In more dangerous
This operation has created more casualties than any time since
None of this makes any Americans safer. If anything, more civilians will grow to hate us in both countries; some of those civilians will join the Taliban or al-Qaida, the Europeans will soon be abandoning the
The best and brightest, by their own definition, are incapable of being wrong. McNamara couldn't admit his mistake for decades and still remained at loss for words in the painful final moments of the film "Fog of War." The new best and brightest are like McNamara in this respect as well.
It took an anti-war movement to provoke
Robert S. McNamara's Tortured Life
by Jules Witcover
When former Kennedy and Johnson Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara died the other day at age 93, he was widely remembered, and castigated, as 'the architect of the Vietnam War.' McNamara came to the Pentagon, however, ill equipped emotionally to be the most powerful warlord in modern history. His benign background belied that role thrust upon him by Kennedy, who was looking for the right man not to wage a war, but to bring order and discipline to the military establishment.
War By Other Means
International Politics & World Affairs
by Robert C. Koehler
We live in a world where arrogance and power are concentrated to an unbelievably fine point, while responsibility is diffused into a global mist. A few fanatics can plot and wage a war, stirring up consequences infinitely beyond what they are capable of imagining, then retire, when things go bad, into a luxury tinged with disgrace.
Les Gelb on How America Muddles Its Power
by Andrew Burt
Leslie H. Gelb's résumé is all about power. But Gelb, currently president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, thinks American politicians have forgotten how to use it. He recently spoke about how his new book, Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy, offers lessons on navigating the challenges confronting the United States.
A Hegemon's Coming of Age
Walter Russell Mead
Defining American Interests in Afghanistan
President Obama: The Too Usable Past
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