Robert McNamara Dead at 93

Breaking news from CNN: “Former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, architect of U.S. war in Vietnam, has died at 93, according to his family.”

I click the link and get:

Seriously?

AP has a more fitting obituary:

In a Nov. 17, 1961 file photo, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara holds a news conference at the Pentagon. Former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara died Monday, jULY 6, 2009, according to his wife. He was 93. (AP Photo/Harvey Georges, File)

In a Nov. 17, 1961 file photo, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara holds a news conference at the Pentagon. Former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara died Monday, jULY 6, 2009, according to his wife. He was 93. (AP Photo/Harvey Georges, File)

Robert S. McNamara, the cerebral secretary of defense who was vilified for prosecuting America’s most controversial war and then devoted himself to helping the world’s poorest nations, died Monday. He was 93.

McNamara died at 5:30 a.m. at his home, his wife Diana told The Associated Press. She said he had been in failing health for some time.

For all his healing efforts, McNamara was fundamentally associated with the Vietnam War, “McNamara’s war,” the country’s most disastrous foreign venture, the only American war to end in abject withdrawal rather than victory.

Known as a policymaker with a fixation for statistical analysis, McNamara was recruited to run the Pentagon by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 from the presidency of the Ford Motor Co. He stayed seven years, longer than anyone since the job’s creation in 1947.

[…]

After leaving the Pentagon on the verge of a nervous breakdown, McNamara became president of the World Bank and devoted evangelical energies to the belief that improving life in rural communities in developing countries was a more promising path to peace than the buildup of arms and armies.

Much more at the link. By any measure, 93 is a ripe old age.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, National Security, Obituaries
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Paul Barnes says:

    The Fog of War is probably the best documentary I have ever seen. Absolute fantastic and it made me wish I had of met Mr. McNamara before he died. May he rest in peace.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicenda est.

  3. Anderson says:

    The second-worst SecDef passes on. I wonder whether Rumsfeld will come to harbor any comparable regrets.

  4. Triumph says:

    I click the link and get:

    Seriously?

    It is weird that you never saw Jackson and McNamara in the same room…..

  5. DL says:

    When you have little to do,a neat thing to ponder is what the world would have been like if he had Michael Jackson’s hair and Michael had his.

  6. floyd says:

    Actually the picture looks more like Farrakhan than Jackson, It’s probably because Louie still dresses like it’s 1961?

  7. Mike says:

    Thanks for the flawed… well everything.

    Other than feeling for his family, i don’t feel much. I wish that Rumsfield had learned something from him, but i guess maybe he did, it just wasn’t anything good.