Robert S. McNamara, 1916-2009


“He concluded well before leaving the Pentagon that the war was futile, but he did not share that insight with the public until late in life,” says the Times of John Kennedy’s and Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, who died this morning at 93, and Vietnam. He was among the “Best and the Brightest” of the 1960s whose technocratic approach managed to lose a foreign war against a small enemy nation, as well as thousands of American servicemembers. It is less well remembered that he was a successful president of the Ford Motor Company before his government service. In this clip from Errol Morris’ The Fog of War, McNamara discusses the morality of the mass killing of civilians as an instrument of war.