As Defense Secretary of two disposals. the Johnson and Kennedy disposals. severally. Robert McNamara played a great function in determining US policies that led to the determination to step in in the Vietnam War. Prior to his function in the Vietnam War. he was already involved in assorted functions in some of the most major determinations refering atomic arms and bringing system. Such experience would hold been utile for him to find that traveling to war in Vietnam was a immense error and would stop up catastrophically for the Americans.
However. he surely mistook Ho Chi Minh’s nationalist thrust to unify Vietnam as the challenge of a massive Communist work and this proved to be fatal non merely to the United States but to Vietnam every bit good as both cantonments suffered heavy losingss non merely in footings of lives but in footings of fiscal beginnings every bit good. But to his recognition. he was the lone with that sort of position who accepted duty for the Vietnam fiasco which cost the United States 1000s of military military mans and 1000000s of Vietnamese lives.
Despite his belief that the war should hold been ended even in the center of it. McNamara remained “loyal” to the President. Hence. even if his positions were wholly different from the other key participants in the Vietnam war. he did non move responsibly toward the American people as he alternatively kept his silence instead than disputing Johnson and his cabinet and discontinuing mid-war. His inordinate religion in hi-tech arms and ulterior outlooks that massive bombardment and frontal conflicts could have on down the Vietnamese enemy surely added to his answerability.
Furthermore. even with the increasing backdown of support and unfavorable judgment of the Vietnam War. McNamara painstakingly held on to his silence and this might hold resulted in making the tone of ideological resentment that now pervades U. S. political relations. Bill Schneider. a lending editor to Opinion. CNN. Los Angeles Times ( p. 134 ) . This can be seen by the apparent spread or alienation between the regulating category and the people which is symbolized by the bill of exchange issue employed by the armed forces.
The figure of Americans who believe the Vietnam War was a error has steadily risen in the old ages since. “It’s in the scope of 80 % now. ” said John Mueller of the University of Rochester in New York. an expert on public sentiment on foreign policy and war. [ Doyle McManus. Los Angeles Times sentiment ( p. 118 ) . ] McNamara should non hold kept his silence. As Vann puts it. “he saw much that was incorrect about the war in Vietnam. but he could ne’er convey himself to reason that the war itself was incorrect and unwinnable” ( p. 8 ) .
In equity to McNamara nevertheless. he strongly opposed further bombardment of North Vietnam and major deployment of a major ABM system which upset the military heads at that clip. However. his surrender came in excessively late. when Johnson was already gunning for a re-election. He could hold voiced out his expostulation when the odds are still with him and as Frank Rich compactly puts it. “the existent wisdom he might eventually hold attained –a acknowledgment that he was incorrect non to denote his mid-war about turn and discontinue the Johnson Cabinet when lives might still hold been saved– eludes him” . Frank Rich. New York Times sentiment ( p. 126 ) .