Topics: Robert McNamara, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy Pages: 1 (356 words) Published: May 14, 2013
John Ogunrinu
Professor Peters.
Poli 116
Midterm 2: Fog of War essay.

What does the "Fog of War" tell us about the role of the individual in foreign policy decision-making? Write an essay of about 1,200 words that synthesizes 5 of Robert McNamara's lessons with material in the course text. The movie Fog of War is a documentary film directed by Errol Morris about former secretary of defense, Robert McNamara.   First, this term fog of war means that it is unclear what one should do in certain circumstances.   This confusion is demonstrated and explained multiple times with McNamara in this documentary.   This film covers all of McNamara’s war experiences, from bounded rationality and motivation at the end of World War I to the war in Vietnam and the death of nearly 160 million people during the 20th century. Errol Morris believed the experience would be best shown in documentary form. The documentary featured Morris interviewing the former US secretary of defense Robert Arnold McNamara. The two individuals discussed and analyzed some defining moments in the US history. Here, “Fog of War” was made. The documentary was set up in eleven lessons with Robert McNamara having 5, which I believe to be completely reasonable.

The first lesson that was highlighted in Errol Morris’ film is that which says: empathize with your enemy. Vietnam was used to feature this point. On the individual level of analysis, this is discussed in the course text “Introduction to Global Politics” as a level in which you are looking at the interactions between individuals. For example, in the documentary, our mind set during the war was called into question. Morris argues that we did not empathize with our enemy or allies, South Vietnam. We neglected to comprehend why they were fighting or what terms would allow for them to cease their battle, thus we were unable to come to an ideal resolution. In this situation United States failing to empathize with South Vietnam led to death and...
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