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July 06, 2009

Robert Mcnamara dies

Robert Mcnamara, sometimes called the architect of the Vietnam War, has died aged 93. It's actually a little unfair to call Mcnamara such, for he didn't start the war and didn't determine whether it was fought or not. However, he did have a great deal to do with the way it was fought.

Mcnamara was a great deal more than just Secretary of Defence to JFK and LBJ of course: he had been President of Ford Motors and after leaving politics became a long serving President of the World Bank.

The heart of what was both good and bad about Mcnamara's influence is captured here:

Known as a policymaker with a fixation for statistical analysis, McNamara...

While statistical analysis is essential to understand what is happening, it's not quite true to say that you should use no other techniques. Mcnamara was at times guilty of breaching that latter.

July 6, 2009 | Permalink


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