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Mea Culpa Research Paper

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Mea Culpa Research Paper
R. S. McNamara: Mea Culpa

Robert Strange McNamara, the longest serving Secretary of State of the United States of America (between 1961 and 1968), is regarded in hindsight as having had both positive and negative impacts on America’s foreign involvement policies. We ask ourselves today whether McNamara, who died in 2009, would be welcomed in heaven, damned to hell or counting clouds while waiting in limbo at the Pearly Gates for his acts.

McNamara’s government career began successfully. Following his natural bent for efficiency, first displayed as a hotshot executive with Ford Motor Company in the ‘50s, McNamara began his seven years at the Pentagon by effectively cutting down costs in the military, and reforming and modernizing the armed forces. President J. F. Kennedy
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The answer is ruefully poignant: Vietnam. McNamara was a stoic believer in the war in Vietnam and initially supported the pouring of soldiers and dollars into the war. "I think it is a very important war," McNamara wrote in April 1964, "and I am pleased to be identified with it and do whatever I can to win it." American involvement in South-East Asia (no doubt a western knee-jerk Cold War response) was greeted with criticism and was opposed by the American populace at the time. This led to McNamara’s labeling as the ‘architect’ of the Vietnam War, in effect also labeling him as the sole reason of the deaths and losses endured by the U.S.A. The war itself came to be known as ‘McNamara’s war’, which he came to regret. He was reported to have said, "I didn't have the answers. All I knew was we were in a hell of a mess”, showing his post-revisionist view on the conflict. When the fog of war lifted, McNamara was able to see the damage ‘his’ war caused, the money wasted on the ‘unwinnable’ war, and the devastation caused by his ‘belief’ that America had the right to intervention in South-East Asian

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