Mcnamara and the “Fog of War”

Topics: Cuban Missile Crisis, John F. Kennedy, Cuba Pages: 3 (845 words) Published: November 21, 2012
Rebekka Carter
11/15/2012

McNamara and the “Fog Of War”
Sometimes negotiation and peace is the only way to avoid catastrophe that could destroy us all. The first lesson of the “ Fog of War,” that McNamara gave was to empathize with your enemy. McNamara thought it was a must and that is was important to put ourselves into the enemy's shoes. He discussed in the interview that later became a documentary, the possible serious consequences we could face as a nation if we didn’t empathize with Cubans during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. “We must try to put ourselves inside their skin and look at us through their eyes, just to understand the thoughts that lie behind their decisions and their actions,” McNamara justified. If we could negotiate and settle, we might can work something out to benefit both the U.S., and the Soviet Union.

During the Cuban missile Crisis, McNamara tried to persuade President Kennedy not to press on and invade Cuba. He could give the president advice because he was a member of the president's cabinet. Robert McNamara was the Secretary of Defense in office. He persuaded him along with Tommy Thompson whom was the former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow. They gave them advice on two messages we received from the Soviet Union.

McNamara described this as a “hard message” and a “soft message.” The soft message said they would remove the missiles from Cuba as long as we promised not to invade. On the other hand, Kennedy also received the hard message which basically revealed that if we pressed on and invaded Cuba,they would respond with massive military force. McNamara stressed how important it was to empathize with Cuba,if we didn't the consequences could be a nuclear war holocaust. Kennedy ended up empathizing with them by responding to the first message. This action could of saved us from a possible Nuclear War and from devastation, disaster, and from loosing trillions of innocent American people.

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