Throughout Dr. Strangelove, there are examples of a variety of leaders and leadership styles or lack thereof. A majority of the characters in this movie obviously have a difficult time being effective leaders.
It is apparent from the beginning of the movie, particularly the scene where Mandrake enters Rippers office. There are obvious issues with his Rippers mental capabilities. Ripper, because of his position, at some point must have been an excellent leader, appears to have lost his sense of reality and become paranoid. This became clear when he convinced himself that the Russians had infiltrated the water system, which are the causing him ill effects. Because of his delusions and paranoia, Ripper put his country at risk of a disaster confirming that he is incapable of still leading.
On the other hand, Mandrake appears to be a sufficient leader and makes every attempt to reassure Ripper and try to obtain the code to stop an unnecessary attack on the Soviet Union. Throughout the movie, Mandrake appears to be the most competent leader and in the end confirms this by deciphering a code that prevented all but one of the bombings.
Buck Turgidson sees himself throughout Dr. Strangelove as a superior officer and leader. Proven repeatedly through the movie Turgidson exhibits an enormous ego and has a questionable sense of leadership. He seems more occupied with his personal life and his paranoid beliefs of the Soviet Union than leading his saving his own country.
The president in this film, Merkin Muffley, is an interesting portrayal of a United States President. Muffley shows no exceptional leadership skills but does seem to have the ability to make his own decisions. However, there are points while in the war room that make his leadership skills questionable. The conversations between the president and Dmitri Kissof, for instance, definitely show a submissive side of Muffley. However, he does seem to redeem himself in several scenes when...
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