Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Robert McNamara and the Limits of Numbers Crunching

Michael Anton writes a thoughtful and measured piece for The Weekly Standard examining the highly imperfect legacy of Robert McNamara, not only with respect to Vietnam but also with regard to our nuclear posture. Much has been written about McNamara’s legacy in Vietnam, but less has been said about the latter. McNamara was largely responsible for the thinking that led to the concept of "MAD"--mutually assured destruction--and all that it implied. One consequence of MAD, Anton argues, has been an inclination to neglect civil and missile defense--a consequence that Reagan and George W. Bush worked to combat, but one that Obama appears to be content to accept.   

Discussions - 2 Comments

Julie, that was good. Anton's characterization of McNamara reminded me of the "wunderkind" Hoover. If human intelligence and clever systems could solve the world's problems, all the world would be America rightly understood. Or something like that.

Before coming to NLT, I read the Breitbart article on the Obama/Medvedev talks.

Obama reiterated the U.S. insistence that the missile defense system would pose no threat to Russia. U.S. officials say they (sic) intent would be to guard against a potential missile threat from Iran, but Russian officials say they fear its real intent is to weaken their country's nuclear deterrent. Those Russian officials are right, but why is that wrong?

Its wrong if your Russia, the last European nation without a Rothschild controlled central bank, a nation now rich with natural resources coveted by traditional EU powers. What would your response be if russia wanted missle defense systems in Canada? MAD is nothing more than the doomsday device and for all the horribleness of it, it at least keeps one from using nukes. The only way nukes would be used is if a crazed lunatic got control of one or as part of a larger false flag scenario. The people running our country today might as well be called the offspring of McNamara. Their complex thinking just leads to more and more absurd things and demands for more power and control.

On the bigger picture I just don't understand the continued antagonism toward Russia now that they abandoned communism. Its hardly a liberal democracy, but are their crackdowns any worse than what is going on in England? From a grand game perspective why don't we try to ally with Russia and then have a buffer against China, We probably get more out of an alliance with Russia than the EU alliances. Don't forget it was Russia who saved us during the civil war by sending her navy to help in the blockade, keeping the British from serving their ends and breaking up the United States.

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