Robert McNamara - Pentagon Papers

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Delta75
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Robert McNamara - Pentagon Papers

Postby Delta75 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:42 pm

I had always viewed Robert McNamara, in anger, as one of the hawks who got us into a war that we never should have been involved in. This was based upon my reading many books that referenced his public position on the war.

It wasn't until last week when I started reading the Pentagon Papers (almost finished) that I discovered that as early as 1966 he was actually telling President Johnson that, considering the corrupt South Vietnamese government, that cared nothing for their people, and a South Vietnamese Army that was not willing to fight, the war was unwinnable, and that we needed to get out before we got in too deep to get out. His Memo dated Oct 14, 1966 "Opposing Increase in the War Effort" contained so many comments that I agree with. He, however, fought a losing battle against the military giants in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Finally, in order to get rid of him, President Johnson nominated him as head of the World Bank and replaced him with someone who had not turned "anti-war".

If you have never read the Pentagon Papers...you might want to consider it. The thing that surprised me the most was the amount of discussion related to the bombing of the North campaigns that every intelligence agency, to include the CIA, were saying was not impacting the infiltration of troops into the South, and that it was never going to force the Northern leaders to the peace table....at least not under the conditions that we were requiring, which was basically "surrender" on their part. Only the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a few of Johnson's staff believed that it was. The same could be said for all of the troop increases that Westmoreland was continually requesting.

So...today....my feelings about McNamara are different.

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