Will Robert McNamara's legacy be remembered as a positive one?

Asked by: cdessert1995
  • He apologized for his actions in the Vietnam war, his work for the World Bank, and he put seat belts in cars.

    As the first chief executive of Ford from outside the ford family aside from turning the business around Robert Macnamara was responsible for making Ford the first car company to install seatbelts in its new models ( optionally as part of its Lifeguard package) and modifying the dashboards so there were less of a risk of people being impaled on them. This In this respect Macnamara has been described as being ahead of his time as in 1965 the US congress passed the first federal standards making amongst other things seatbelts compulsory. Even though safety didn't sell the regulations saved lives and made Ford a trailblazer because of doing the research.

    There are some good reason Robert Macnamara has a Fellowship established in 1982 by the World Bank in his name which balance his damage in Vietnam. Aside from being the person who coined the term absolute poverty as opposed to relative poverty his thirteen years in charge lead to some major successes including an increase in the banks budget and a growth in it's prominence with the bank's commitments exceeding $10 billion for the first time. Aside from that Mcnamara was responsible for a successful campaign against river blindness and helping to challenge the established view of global security primarily being a military based one.

    Robert McNamara apologised for his role in the war’s buildup admitting that the war policy had been wrong. The assumptions upon which it had been fought were wrong, the Department of Defence and the White House approached Vietnam, with "sparse knowledge, scant experience and simplistic assumptions." Making them victims of their own "innocence and confidence," ignoring potential splits in communism thereby making it a monolithic enemy that could cause a domino effect throughout South East Asia. That they misunderstood how nationalist the North Vietnamese were and therefore the amount of damage they were willing to take. He regrets not being more open to the public and for failing to explore possibilities that might have lead to peace or a de-escalation.

  • No amount of apology can cleanse him.

    His monumental blunders and complete lack of judgement make him a villain in the hearts and minds of not only Americans, but the Vietnamese. He was a man who could not see any solution except the one that he had already decided. Americans were dying at home protesting the war and he continued to fight.

    He is directly responsible for so many atrocities I don't even want to get into them. He was as crooked as they come, and when the time came for him to do something spectacular he blew it. He was a puppet and a puppeteer of evil and stands for everything I loath about the United States.

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