Robert McNamara
Overview
 
Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

, serving under Presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Following that he served as President of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 from 1968 until 1981. McNamara was responsible for the institution of systems analysis
Systems analysis
Systems analysis is the study of sets of interacting entities, including computer systems analysis. This field is closely related to requirements analysis or operations research...

 in public policy
Public policy
Public policy as government action is generally the principled guide to action taken by the administrative or executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. In general, the foundation is the pertinent national and...

, which developed into the discipline known today as policy analysis
Policy analysis
Policy analysis is "determining which of various alternative policies will most achieve a given set of goals in light of the relations between the policies and the goals". However, policy analysis can be divided into two major fields. Analysis of policy is analytical and descriptive—i.e., it...

.
Robert McNamara was born in San Francisco, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

.
Quotations

"Management is the gate through which social and economic and political change, indeed change in every direction, is diffused though society."

Encyclopedia
Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

, serving under Presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Following that he served as President of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 from 1968 until 1981. McNamara was responsible for the institution of systems analysis
Systems analysis
Systems analysis is the study of sets of interacting entities, including computer systems analysis. This field is closely related to requirements analysis or operations research...

 in public policy
Public policy
Public policy as government action is generally the principled guide to action taken by the administrative or executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. In general, the foundation is the pertinent national and...

, which developed into the discipline known today as policy analysis
Policy analysis
Policy analysis is "determining which of various alternative policies will most achieve a given set of goals in light of the relations between the policies and the goals". However, policy analysis can be divided into two major fields. Analysis of policy is analytical and descriptive—i.e., it...

.

Early life and career

Robert McNamara was born in San Francisco, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. His father was Robert James McNamara, sales manager of a wholesale shoe company. His mother was Clara Nell Strange McNamara. His father's family was Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 and in about 1850, following the Great Irish Famine, had emigrated to Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 and later to California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. He graduated from Piedmont High School in Piedmont, California in 1933 where he was president of the Rigma Lions boys club and earned the rank of Eagle Scout
Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America)
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America . A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men...

. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 in 1937 with a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree in economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 with minors in mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta
Phi Gamma Delta
The international fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta is a collegiate social fraternity with 120 chapters and 18 colonies across the United States and Canada. It was founded at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, in 1848, and its headquarters are located in Lexington, Kentucky, USA...

 fraternity, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his sophomore year and earned a varsity letter in crew. He was also a member of the UC Berkeley's Order of the Golden Bear
Order of the golden bear
The Order of the Golden Bear is a fellowship of UC Berkeley students, faculty, and alumni who are committed to serving and bettering the University of California. Founded in 1900, The Order of the Golden Bear is a group that loves the University and its traditions and is dedicated to ensuring its...

 which was a fellowship of students and leading faculty members formed to promote leadership within the student body. He earned an MBA
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration is a :master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out...

 from Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States and is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the world. The school offers the world's largest full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, and many executive...

 in 1939.

After graduating from Harvard Business School, McNamara worked a year for the accounting firm Price Waterhouse
PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest professional services firm measured by revenues and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms....

 in San Francisco. In August 1940 he returned to Harvard
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 to teach accounting in the business school and became the highest paid and youngest assistant professor at that time. Following his involvement there in a program to teach analytical approaches used in business to officers of the United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

, he entered the USAAF as a captain in early 1943, serving most of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 with its Office of Statistical Control. One major responsibility was the analysis of U.S. bombers' efficiency and effectiveness, especially the B-29
B-29 Superfortress
The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing that was flown primarily by the United States Air Forces in late-World War II and through the Korean War. The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II...

 forces commanded by Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Curtis LeMay
Curtis LeMay
Curtis Emerson LeMay was a general in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of American Independent Party candidate George Wallace in 1968....

 in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and the Mariana Islands
Mariana Islands
The Mariana Islands are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of 15 volcanic mountains in the north-western Pacific Ocean between the 12th and 21st parallels north and along the 145th meridian east...

. McNamara established a statistical control unit for XX Bomber Command
XX Bomber Command
The XX Bomber Command is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Far East Air Forces, based on Okinawa. It was inactivated on July 16, 1945.- History:...

 and devised schedules for B-29s doubling as transports for carrying fuel and cargo over The Hump
The Hump
The Hump was the name given by Allied pilots in the Second World War to the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains over which they flew military transport aircraft from India to China to resupply the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the United States Army Air Forces based in...

. He left active duty in 1946 with the rank of lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

 and with a Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...

.

President of Ford Motor Company

In 1946 McNamara joined Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 at the suggestion of Charles "Tex" Thornton
Tex Thornton
Charles Bates "Tex" Thornton was an American business executive who was the founder of Litton Industries.-Biography:...

, a colonel under whom McNamara had served; Thornton had seen an article in Life magazine portraying Ford as being in dire need of reform.

McNamara became one of ten former military officers—Ford's "Whiz Kids"—who helped the money-losing company reform its chaotic administration through modern planning, organization and management control systems. Starting as manager of planning and financial analysis, he advanced rapidly through a series of top-level management positions.

McNamara was a force behind the wildly popular Ford Falcon sedan, introduced in the fall of 1959— a small, simple and inexpensive-to-produce counter to the large, expensive vehicles prominent in the late Fifties.
McNamara placed a high emphasis on safety: the Lifeguard
Lifeguard (Automobile safety)
Lifeguard was the name of a 1956 safety package marketed by the Ford Motor Company.Spurred by Robert McNamara, the Cornell University crash research program and the first year of Ford's own crash testing the Lifeguard package included:...

 options package introduced the seat belt (a novelty at the time) and a dished steering wheel which help prevent the driver's being impaled on the steering column.

After the Lincoln
Lincoln (automobile)
Lincoln is an American luxury vehicle brand of the Ford Motor Company. Lincoln vehicles are sold mostly in North America.-History:The company was founded in August 1915 by Henry M. Leland, one of the founders of Cadillac . During World War I, he left Cadillac which was sold to General Motors...

 line's very large 1958, 1959 and 1960 models proved unpopular, McNamara pushed for smaller versions, such as the 1961 Lincoln Continental—now an icon among Sixties automobiles.

On November 9, 1960, McNamara became the first president of Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 from outside the Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

 family.
He received substantial credit for Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

's postwar success.

Secretary of Defense

After his election
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

 in 1960, President-elect
President-elect
An -elect is a political candidate who has been elected to an office but who has not yet been sworn in or officially taken office. These may include an incoming president, senator, representative, governor and mayor.Analogously, the term "designate" An -elect is a political candidate who has been...

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 first offered the post of Secretary of Defense to former secretary Robert A. Lovett
Robert A. Lovett
Robert Abercrombie Lovett was the fourth United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the cabinet of President Harry S. Truman from 1951 to 1953 and in this capacity, directed the Korean War. Promoted to the position from deputy secretary of defense Domhoff described Lovett as a "Cold War...

; Lovett declined but recommended McNamara. Kennedy then sent Sargent Shriver
Sargent Shriver
Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., known as Sargent Shriver, R. Sargent Shriver, or, from childhood, Sarge, was an American statesman and activist. As the husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, he was part of the Kennedy family, serving in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations...

 to approach him regarding either the Treasury or the Defense cabinet post less than five weeks after McNamara had become president at Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

. McNamara immediately rejected the Treasury position but eventually accepted Kennedy's invitation to serve as Secretary of Defense.

According to Special Counsel Ted Sorensen
Ted Sorensen
Theodore Chaikin "Ted" Sorensen was an American presidential advisor, lawyer and writer, best known as President John F. Kennedy’s special counsel, adviser and legendary speechwriter. President Kennedy once called him his “intellectual blood bank.”-Early life:Sorensen was born in Nebraska, the son...

, Kennedy regarded McNamara as the "star of his team, calling upon him for advice on a wide range of issues beyond national security, including business and economic matters." McNamara became one of the few members of the Kennedy Administration to work and socialize with Kennedy, and he became so close to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

 that he served as a pallbearer at the younger Kennedy's funeral in 1968.

Initially, the basic policies outlined by President Kennedy in a message to Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 on March 28, 1961, guided McNamara in the reorientation of the defense program. Kennedy rejected the concept of first-strike attack and emphasized the need for adequate strategic arms and defense to deter nuclear attack on the United States and its allies. U.S. arms, he maintained, must constantly be under civilian command and control
Civilian control of the military
Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P...

, and the nation's defense posture had to be "designed to reduce the danger of irrational or unpremeditated general war." The primary mission of U.S. overseas forces, in cooperation with allies, was "to prevent the steady erosion of the Free World through limited wars." Kennedy and McNamara rejected massive retaliation for a posture of flexible response
Flexible response
Flexible response was a defense strategy implemented by John F. Kennedy in 1961 to address the Kennedy administration's skepticism of Dwight Eisenhower's New Look and its policy of Massive Retaliation...

. The United States wanted choices in an emergency other than "inglorious retreat or unlimited retaliation", as the president put it. Out of a major review of the military challenges confronting the United States initiated by McNamara in 1961 came a decision to increase the nation's "limited warfare" capabilities. These moves were significant because McNamara was abandoning President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

's policy of massive retaliation in favor of a flexible response strategy that relied on increased U.S. capacity to conduct limited, non-nuclear warfare.

He also created the Defense Intelligence Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
The Defense Intelligence Agency is a member of the Intelligence Community of the United States, and is the central producer and manager of military intelligence for the United States Department of Defense, employing over 16,500 U.S. military and civilian employees worldwide...

 in 1961 and the Defense Supply Agency.

The Kennedy administration placed particular emphasis on improving ability to counter communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 "wars of national liberation", in which the enemy avoided head-on military confrontation and resorted to political subversion and guerrilla tactics
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

. As McNamara said in his 1962 annual report, "The military tactics are those of the sniper, the ambush, and the raid. The political tactics are terror, extortion, and assassination." In practical terms, this meant training and equipping U.S. military personnel, as well as such allies as South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, for counterinsurgency
Counter-insurgency
A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency involves actions taken by the recognized government of a nation to contain or quell an insurgency taken up against it...

 operations.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

 in October 1962 McNamara served as a member of EXCOMM
ExComm
The Executive Committee of the National Security Council was a body of United States government officials that convened to advise President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962...

 and played a large role in the Administration's handling and eventual defusing of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was a strong proponent of the blockade option over a missile strike and helped persuade the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

 to agree with the blockade option.

Increased attention to conventional strength complemented these special forces preparations. In this instance he called up reserves and also proceeded to expand the regular armed forces. Whereas active duty strength had declined from approximately 3,555,000 to 2,483,000 between 1953 (the end of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

) and 1961, it increased to nearly 2,808,000 by June 30, 1962. Then the forces leveled off at around 2,700,000 until the Vietnam military buildup began in 1965, reaching a peak of nearly 3,550,000 by mid-1968, just after McNamara left office.

Other steps

McNamara took other steps to increase U.S. deterrence posture and military capabilities. He raised the proportion of Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command
The Strategic Air Command was both a Major Command of the United States Air Force and a "specified command" of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic...

 (SAC) strategic bombers on 15-minute ground alert from 25 percent to 50 percent, thus lessening their vulnerability to missile attack. In December 1961 he established the United States Strike Command
United States Strike Command
In 1961 the United States Strike Command was established at MacDill Air Force Base as a unified combatant command capable of responding to global crises. The name of the command was originally derived from the acronym for Swift Tactical Reaction In Every Known Environment...

 (STRICOM). Authorized to draw forces when needed from the Strategic Army Corps
Strategic Army Corps
The Strategic Army Corps was a command of the United States Army, with a mission of high readiness, active in the 1960s, but later inactivated.-Background:...

 (STRAC), the Tactical Air Command
Tactical Air Command
Tactical Air Command is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force, established on 21 March 1946 being headquartered at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia...

, and the airlift units of the Military Air Transport Service
Military Air Transport Service
The Military Air Transport Service is an inactive Department of Defense Unified Command. Activated on 1 June 1948, MATS was a consolidation of the United States Navy Naval Air Transport Service and the United States Air Force Air Transport Command into a single, joint, unified command...

 and the military services, Strike Command had the mission "to respond swiftly and with whatever force necessary to threats against the peace in any part of the world, reinforcing unified commands or… carrying out separate contingency operations." McNamara also increased long-range airlift and sealift
Sealift
Sealift is a term used predominantly in military logistics and refers to the use of cargo ships for the deployment of military assets, such as weaponry, vehicles, military personnel, and supplies...

 capabilities and funds for space research and development. After reviewing the separate and often uncoordinated service efforts in intelligence and communications, McNamara in 1961 consolidated these functions in the Defense Intelligence Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
The Defense Intelligence Agency is a member of the Intelligence Community of the United States, and is the central producer and manager of military intelligence for the United States Department of Defense, employing over 16,500 U.S. military and civilian employees worldwide...

 and the Defense Communications Agency (the latter originally established by Secretary Gates in 1960), having both report to the secretary of defense through the JCS. The end effect was to remove the Intelligence function from the control of the military and to put it under the control of the Secretary of Defense. In the same year, he set up the Defense Supply Agency to work toward unified supply procurement, distribution, and inventory management under the control of the Secretary of Defense rather than the uniformed military.

McNamara's institution of systems analysis
Systems analysis
Systems analysis is the study of sets of interacting entities, including computer systems analysis. This field is closely related to requirements analysis or operations research...

 as a basis for making key decisions on force requirements, weapon systems, and other matters occasioned much debate. Two of its main practitioners during the McNamara era, Alain C. Enthoven and K. Wayne Smith, described the concept as follows: "First, the word 'systems' indicates that every decision should be considered in as broad a context as necessary… The word 'analysis' emphasizes the need to reduce a complex problem to its component parts for better understanding. Systems analysis takes a complex problem and sorts out the tangle of significant factors so that each can be studied by the method most appropriate to it." Enthoven and Smith said they used mainly civilians as systems analysts because they could apply independent points of view to force planning. McNamara's tendency to take military advice into less account than had previous secretaries and to override military opinions contributed to his unpopularity with service leaders. It was also generally thought that Systems Analysis, rather than being objective, was tailored by the civilians to support decisions that McNamara had already made.

The most notable example of systems analysis was the Planning, Programming and Budgeting System (PPBS) instituted by United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 Comptroller
Comptroller
A comptroller is a management level position responsible for supervising the quality of accounting and financial reporting of an organization.In British government, the Comptroller General or Comptroller and Auditor General is in most countries the external auditor of the budget execution of the...

 Charles J. Hitch
Charles J. Hitch
Charles J. Hitch was Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1965. He was president of the University of California from 1967 to 1975....

. McNamara directed Hitch to analyze defense requirements systematically and produce a long-term, program-oriented Defense budget. PPBS evolved to become the heart of the McNamara management program. According to Enthoven and Smith, the basic ideas of PPBS were: "the attempt to put defense program issues into a broader context and to search for explicit measures of national need and adequacy"; "consideration of military needs and costs together"; "explicit consideration of alternatives at the top decision level"; "the active use of an analytical staff at the top policymaking levels"; "a plan combining both forces and costs which projected into the future the foreseeable implications of current decisions"; and "open and explicit analysis, that is, each analysis should be made available to all interested parties, so that they can examine the calculations, data, and assumptions and retrace the steps leading to the conclusions." In practice, the data produced by the analysis was so large and so complex that while it was available to all interested parties, none of them could challenge the conclusions.

Among the management tools developed to implement PPBS were the Five Year Defense Plan (FYDP), the Draft Presidential Memorandum (DPM), the Readiness, Information and Control Tables, and the Development Concept Paper (DCP). The annual FYDP was a series of tables projecting forces for eight years and costs and manpower for five years in mission-oriented, rather than individual service, programs. By 1968, the FYDP covered ten military areas: strategic forces, general purpose forces, intelligence and communications, airlift and sealift, guard and reserve forces, research and development, central supply and maintenance, training and medical services, administration and related activities, and support of other nations.

The DPM, intended for the White House and usually prepared by the systems analysis office, was a method to study and analyze major defense issues. Sixteen DPMs appeared between 1961 and 1968 on such topics as strategic offensive and defensive forces, NATO strategy and force structure, military assistance, and tactical air forces. OSD sent the DPMs to the services and the JCS for comment; in making decisions, McNamara included in the DPM a statement of alternative approaches, force levels, and other factors. The DPM in its final form became a decision document. The DPM was hated by the JCS and uniformed military in that it cut their ability to communicate directly to the White House. The DPMs were also disliked because the systems analysis process was so heavyweight that it was impossible for any service to effectively challenge its conclusions.

The Development Concept Paper examined performance, schedule, cost estimates, and technical risks to provide a basis for determining whether to begin or continue a research and development program. But in practice, what it proved to be was a cost burden that became a barrier to entry for companies attempting to deal with the military. It aided the trend toward a few large non-competitive defense contractors serving the military. Rather than serving any useful purpose, the overhead necessary to generate information that was often in practice ignored resulted in increased costs throughout the system.

The Readiness, Information, and Control Tables provided data on specific projects, more detailed than in the FYDP, such as the tables for the Southeast Asia Deployment Plan, which recorded by month and quarter the schedule for deployment, consumption rates, and future projections of U.S. forces in Southeast Asia.

ABM

Toward the end of his term McNamara also opposed an anti-ballistic missile
Anti-ballistic missile
An anti-ballistic missile is a missile designed to counter ballistic missiles .A ballistic missile is used to deliver nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight trajectory. The term "anti-ballistic missile" describes any antimissile system designed to counter...

 (ABM) system proposed for installation in the United States in defense against Soviet missiles, arguing the $40 billion "in itself is not the problem; the penetrability of the proposed shield is the problem." Under pressure to proceed with the ABM program after it became clear that the Soviets had begun a similar project, McNamara finally agreed to a "light" system which he believed could protect against the far smaller number of Chinese missiles. However, he never believed it was wise for the United States to move in that direction because of psychological risks of relying too much on nuclear weaponry and that there would be pressure from many directions to build a larger system than would be militarily effective.

He always believed that the best defense strategy for the US was a parity of mutually assured destruction with the Soviet Union. An ABM system would be an ineffective weapon as compared to an increase in deployed nuclear missile capacity.

Cost reductions

McNamara's staff stressed systems analysis as an aid in decision making on weapon development and many other budget issues. The secretary believed that the United States could afford any amount needed for national security, but that "this ability does not excuse us from applying strict standards of effectiveness and efficiency to the way we spend our defense dollars…. You have to make a judgment on how much is enough." Acting on these principles, McNamara instituted a much-publicized cost reduction program, which, he reported, saved $14 billion in the five-year period beginning in 1961. Although he had to withstand a storm of criticism from senators and representatives from affected congressional districts, he closed many military bases and installations that he judged unnecessary to national security. He was equally determined about other cost-saving measures. But in the end, most of the cost savings were illusionary. Every base he closed resulted in a new construction project elsewhere to expand another base, relocation of forces projects and other related spending. The actual cost savings through consolidation of installations was often minimal or in some cases negative.

Due to the nuclear arms race, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 buildup and other projects, total obligational authority (TOA) increased greatly during the McNamara years. Fiscal year TOA increased from $48.4 billion in 1962 to $49.5 billion in 1965 (before the major Vietnam increases) to $74.9 billion in 1968, McNamara's last year in office. Not until FY 1984 did DoD's total obligational authority surpass that of FY 1968 in constant dollars
Constant dollars
The term constant dollars refers to a metric for valuing the price of something over time, without that metric changing due to inflation or deflation. The term specifically refers to dollars whose present value is linked to a given year. The term constant dollars refers to a metric for valuing the...

.

Program consolidation

One major hallmark of McNamara's cost reductions was the consolidation of programs from different services, most visibly in aircraft acquisition, believing that the redundancy created waste and unnecessary spending. McNamara directed the Air Force to adopt the Navy's F-4 Phantom and A-7
A-7 Corsair II
The Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-based subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the United States Navy's Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, initially entering service during the Vietnam War...

 combat aircraft, a consolidation that was quite successful. Conversely, his actions in mandating a premature across-the-board adoption of the untested M16 rifle
M16 rifle
The M16 is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for both semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO...

 proved catastrophic when the weapons began to fail in combat. McNamara tried to extend his success by merging development programs as well, resulting in the TFX dual service F-111
General Dynamics F-111
The General Dynamics F-111 "Aardvark" was a medium-range interdictor and tactical strike aircraft that also filled the roles of strategic bomber, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare in its various versions. Developed in the 1960s by General Dynamics, it first entered service in 1967 with the...

 project. It was to combine Air Force requirements for an air superiority fighter
Air superiority fighter
An air superiority fighter is a type of fighter aircraft intended to gain air superiority in a war, by entering and seizing control of enemy airspace. Air superiority fighters are designed to effectively engage enemy fighters, more than other types of aircraft...

 and tactical bomber. His experience in the corporate world led him to believe that adopting a single type for different missions and service would save money. He insisted on the General Dynamics entry over the DOD's preference for Boeing because of commonality issues. Though heralded as a fighter that could do everything — fast supersonic dash, slow carrier and short airfield landings, tactical strike, and even close air support, in the end it involved too many compromises to succeed at any of them. The Navy version was drastically overweight and difficult to land, and eventually canceled after a Grumman study showed it was incapable of matching the abilities of the newly revealed Soviet MiG-23 and MiG-25 aircraft. The F-111 would eventually find its niche as a tactical bomber and electronic warfare aircraft with the Air Force.

However, many analysts believe that even though the TFX project itself was a failure, McNamara was ahead of his time as the trend in fighter design has continued toward consolidation — the F-16
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force . Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since...

 and F/A-18 emerged as multi-role fighters, and most modern designs combine many of the roles the TFX would have had. In many ways, the Joint Strike Fighter
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

 is seen as a rebirth of the TFX project, in that it purports to satisfy the needs of three American Air arms (as well as several foreign customers), fulfilling the roles of strike fighter, carrier-launched fighter, VSTOL, and close air support
Close air support
In military tactics, close air support is defined as air action by fixed or rotary winged aircraft against hostile targets that are close to friendly forces, and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces.The determining factor for CAS is...

 (and drawing many criticisms similar to those leveled against the TFX).

Vietnam War

During President John F. Kennedy's term, while McNamara was Secretary of Defense, America's troops in Vietnam increased from 900 to 16,000 advisers, who were not supposed to engage in combat but rather to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam , sometimes parsimoniously referred to as the South Vietnamese Army , was the land-based military forces of the Republic of Vietnam , which existed from October 26, 1955 until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975...

.

The Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 and Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 administrations had committed the United States to support the French and native anti-Communist forces in Vietnam in resisting efforts by the Communists in the North to control the country, though neither administration established actual combat forces in the war. The U.S. role, initially limited to financial support, military advice and covert intelligence gathering, expanded after 1954 when the French withdrew. During the Kennedy administration, the U.S. military advisory group in South Vietnam steadily increased, with McNamara's concurrence, from 900 to 16,000. U.S. involvement escalated after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Gulf of Tonkin Incident
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, or the USS Maddox Incident, are the names given to two incidents, one fabricated, involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin...

 in August 1964 when North Vietnamese naval vessels were falsely reported as firing on two U.S. destroyers. McNamara was instrumental in presenting this event to Congress and the public as a pretext for escalation. The Vietnam War came to claim most of McNamara's time and energy.

President Johnson ordered retaliatory air strikes on North Vietnamese naval bases and Congress approved almost unanimously the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was a joint resolution which the United States Congress passed on August 10, 1964 in response to a sea battle between the North Vietnamese Navy's Torpedo Squadron 10135 and the destroyer on August 2 and an alleged second naval engagement between North Vietnamese boats...

, authorizing the president "to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the U.S. and to prevent further aggression."

In 1965, in response to stepped up military activity by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam and their North Vietnamese allies, the United States began bombing North Vietnam, deployed large military forces and entered into combat in South Vietnam. McNamara's plan, supported by requests from top U.S. military commanders in Vietnam, led to the commitment of 485,000 troops by the end of 1967 and almost 535,000 by June 30, 1968. The casualty lists mounted as the number of troops and the intensity of fighting escalated. McNamara put in place a statistical strategy for victory in Vietnam. He concluded that there were a limited number of Viet Cong fighters in Vietnam and that a war of attrition would destroy them. He applied metrics (body counts) to determine how close to success his plan was.

Although he was a prime architect of the Vietnam War and repeatedly overruled the JCS on strategic matters, McNamara gradually became skeptical about whether the war could be won by deploying more troops to South Vietnam and intensifying the bombing of North Vietnam, a claim he would publish in a book years later. He also stated later that his support of the Vietnam War was given out of loyalty to administration policy. He traveled to Vietnam many times to study the situation firsthand and became increasingly reluctant to approve the large force increments requested by the military commanders.

McNamara said that the Domino Theory
Domino theory
The domino theory was a reason for war during the 1950s to 1980s, promoted at times by the government of the United States, that speculated that if one state in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect...

 was the main reason for entering the Vietnam War. In the same interview he stated, "Kennedy hadn't said before he died whether, faced with the loss of Vietnam, he would [completely] withdraw; but I believe today that had he faced that choice, he would have withdrawn."

Social equity

To commemorate President Harry S Truman's signing an order to end segregation in the military
Executive Order 9981
Executive Order 9981 is an executive order issued on July 26, 1948 by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. It expanded on Executive Order 8802 by establishing equality of treatment and opportunity in the Armed Services for people of all races, religions, or national origins."In 1947, Randolph, along...

 McNamara issued Directive 5120.36
Directive 5120.36
Department of Defense Directive 5120.36 was issued in July 1963 by Robert S. McNamara, then Secretary of Defense of the United States. This directive dealt directly with the issue of racism in areas surrounding military communities. The directive declared:...

 on July 26, 1963. This directive, Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces, dealt directly with the issue of racial and gender discrimination in areas surrounding military communities. The directive declared, “Every military commander has the responsibility to oppose discriminatory practices affecting his men and their dependents and to foster equal opportunity for them, not only in areas under his immediate control, but also in nearby communities where they may live or gather in off-duty hours.” (para. II.C.) Under the directive, commanding officers were obligated to use the economic power of the military to influence local businesses in their treatment of minorities and women. With the approval of the Secretary of Defense, the commanding officer could declare areas off-limits to military personnel for discriminatory practices.

Departure

McNamara wrote of his close personal friendship with Jackie Kennedy, and how she demanded that he stop the killing in Vietnam. As McNamara grew more and more controversial after 1966 and his differences with the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

 over Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 strategy became the subject of public speculation, frequent rumors surfaced that he would leave office. In an early November 1967 memorandum to Johnson, McNamara's recommendation to freeze troop levels, stop bombing North Vietnam
North Vietnam
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

 and for the US to hand over ground fighting to South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 was rejected outright by the President. McNamara's recommendations amounted to his saying that the strategy of the United States in Vietnam which had been pursued to date had failed. McNamara later stated he "never heard back" from Johnson regarding the memo. Largely as a result, on November 29 of that year, McNamara announced his pending resignation and that he would become President of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

. Other factors were the increasing intensity of the anti-war movement in the United States, the approaching presidential campaign in which Johnson was expected to seek re-election, and McNamara's support - over the objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

 - of construction along the 17th parallel separating South and North Vietnam of a line of fortifications running from the coast of Vietnam into Laos. The President's announcement of McNamara's move to the World Bank stressed his stated interest in the job and that he deserved a change after seven years as Secretary of Defense, much longer than any of his predecessors or successors.

Others give a different view of McNamara's departure from office. For example, Stanley Karnow
Stanley Karnow
Stanley Karnow is an American journalist and historian.After serving with the United States Army Air Forces in Asia during World War II, he graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in 1947; in 1947 and 1948 he attended the Sorbonne, and from 1948 to 1949 the Institut d'Études Politiques de...

 in his book "Vietnam: A History" strongly suggests that McNamara was asked to leave by the President. McNamara himself expressed lack of certainty about the question.

McNamara left office on February 29, 1968; for his efforts, the President awarded him both the Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 and the Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is a United States military award which is presented for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to national security or defense of the United States...

.

Shortly after McNamara departed the Pentagon, he published "The Essence of Security", discussing various aspects of his tenure and position on basic national security issues. He did not speak out again on defense issues or Vietnam until after he left the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

.

World Bank President

McNamara served as head of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 from April 1968 to June 1981, when he turned 65. In his thirteen years at the Bank, he introduced key changes, most notably, shifting the Bank's focus towards targeted poverty reduction. He negotiated, with the conflicting countries represented on the Board, a spectacular growth in funds to channel credits for development, in the form of health, food, and education projects. He also instituted new methods of evaluating the effectiveness of funded projects. One notable project started during McNamara's tenure was the effort to prevent river blindness.

The World Bank currently has a scholarship
World Bank scholarship
The World Bank Scholarship programme began in 1982. Students are able to undertake graduate studies in subjects related to economic development. There are two kinds of scholarship currently available on a very competitive basis:1...

 program under his name.

As World Bank President, McNamara declared at the 1968 Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group
Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group
The IMF and World Bank meet each autumn in what is officially known as the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group and each spring in the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group...

 that countries permitting birth control practices would get preferential access to resources.

Post-World Bank activities and assessments

In 1982 McNamara joined several other former national security officials in urging that the United States pledge not to use nuclear weapons first in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the event of hostilities; subsequently he proposed the elimination of nuclear weapons as an element of NATO's defense posture.

In 1993, Washington journalist Deborah Shapley published a 615-page biography of Robert McNamara entitled Promise and Power: the Life and Times of Robert McNamara. The last pages of her book made clear that while Ms. Shapley deeply admired certain aspects of McNamara the man, and the public servant, she had seen first-hand his need to manipulate the truth, as well as to tell it. Shapley concluded her book with these words: "For better and worse McNamara shaped much in today's world -- and imprisoned himself. A little-known nineteenth century writer, P.W. Bornum, offers a summation: `We make our decisions. And then our decisions turn around and make us.'"

McNamara's memoir, In Retrospect, published in 1995, presented an account and analysis of the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 from his point of view. According to his lengthy New York Times obituary, "[h]e concluded well before leaving the Pentagon that the war was futile, but he did not share that insight with the public until late in life. In 1995, he took a stand against his own conduct of the war, confessing in a memoir that it was 'wrong, terribly wrong.'" In return, he faced a "firestorm of scorn" at that time.

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
The Fog of War
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara is a 2003 American documentary film about the life and times of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara as well as illustrating his observations of the nature of modern warfare...

is a 2003 Errol Morris
Errol Morris
Errol Mark Morris is an American director. In 2003, The Guardian put him seventh in its list of the world's 40 best directors. Also in 2003, his film The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.-Early life and...

 documentary
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 consisting mostly of interviews with Robert McNamara and archival footage. It went on to win the Academy Award for Documentary Feature
Academy Award for Documentary Feature
The Academy Award for Documentary Feature is among the most prestigious awards for documentary films.- Winners and nominees:Following the Academy's practice, films are listed below by the award year...

. The particular structure of this personal account is accomplished with the characteristics of an intimate dialog. As McNamara explains, it is a process of examining the experiences of his long and controversial period as the United States Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

, as well as other periods of his personal and public life. In this documentary he referred to the Vietnam War and he said, "None of our allies supported us. Not Japan, not Germany, not Britain or France. If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."

The eleven lessons explored in the documentary are:
  1. Empathize with your enemy
  2. Rationality will not save us
  3. There's something beyond oneself
  4. Maximize efficiency
  5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war
  6. Get the data
  7. Belief and seeing are both often wrong
  8. Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning
  9. In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil
  10. Never say never
  11. You can't change human nature.


McNamara maintained his involvement in politics in his later years, delivering statements critical of the Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. On January 5, 2006, McNamara and most living former Secretaries of Defense and Secretaries of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 met briefly at the White House with President Bush to discuss the war.

Personal life

McNamara married Margaret Craig, his teenage sweetheart, on August 13, 1940. Margaret McNamara
Margaret McNamara
Margaret Craig McNamara was the founder of the nonprofit children's literacy organization Reading is Fundamental....

, a former teacher, used her position as a Cabinet spouse to launch a reading program for young children, Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. is the oldest and largest nonprofit literacy organization in the United States. Founded in 1966, it is based in Washington, D. C.. RIF's community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory provide 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy...

, which became the largest literacy program in the country. She died of cancer in 1981.

The couple had two daughters and a son. The son Robert Craig McNamara
Robert Craig McNamara
Craig McNamara, born as Robert Craig McNamara, is the president and owner of Sierra Orchards, a diversified farming operation that includes field, processing, and marketing operations, producing primarily organic walnuts and olive oil. McNamara also serves as the founder and president of the Center...

, who as a student objected to the Vietnam War, is now a walnut and grape farmer in California. He is the owner of Sierra Orchards in Winters, California
Winters, California
Winters is a city in Yolo County, California. The population was 6,624 as of the 2010 census. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is near Lake Berryessa. It is noted as the one-time residence of cartoonist R...

. Daughter Kathleen McNamara Spears is a forester
Forester
250px|thumb|right|Foresters of [[Southern University of Chile|UACh]] in the [[Valdivian forest]]s of San Pablo de Tregua, ChileA forester is a person who practices forestry, the science, art, and profession of managing forests. Foresters engage in a broad range of activities including timber...

 with the World Bank. The second daughter is Margaret Elizabeth Pastor.

In the Errol Morris documentary, McNamara reports that both he and his wife were stricken with polio shortly after the end of World War II. Although McNamara had a relatively short stay in the hospital, his wife's case was more serious and it was concern over meeting her medical bills that led to his decision to not return to Harvard but to enter private industry as a consultant at Ford Motor Company.

When working at Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

, McNamara resided in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 rather than the usual auto executive domains of Grosse Pointe
Grosse Pointe
Grosse Pointe refers to a coastal area in Metro Detroit, Michigan, United States that comprises five adjacent individual communities. From southwest to northeast, they are:*Grosse Pointe Park, city*Grosse Pointe, city*Grosse Pointe Farms, city...

, Birmingham
Birmingham, Michigan
Birmingham is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan and an affluent suburb of Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,103...

, and Bloomfield Hills. He and his wife sought to remain connected with a university town (the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

) after their hopes of returning to Harvard after the war were put on hold.

In 1961 he was named Alumnus of the Year by the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

.

On September 29, 1972, a passenger on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard
Martha's Vineyard
Martha's Vineyard is an island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, known for being an affluent summer colony....

 recognized McNamara on board and attempted to throw him into the ocean. McNamara declined to press charges. The man remained anonymous, but was interviewed years later by author Paul Hendrickson, who quoted the attacker as saying, "I just wanted to confront (McNamara) on Vietnam."

After his wife's death, McNamara dated Katharine Graham
Katharine Graham
Katharine Meyer Graham was an American publisher. She led her family's newspaper, The Washington Post, for more than two decades, overseeing its most famous period, the Watergate coverage that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon...

, with whom he had been friends since the early 1960s. Graham died in 2001.

In September 2004, McNamara wed Diana Masieri Byfield, an Italian-born widow who had lived in the United States for more than 40 years. It was her second marriage. She was married for more than three decades to Ernest Byfield, a former OSS officer and Chicago hotel heir whose mother, Gladys Tartiere, leased her 400 acres (1.6 km²), Glen Ora estate in Middleburg, Virginia
Middleburg, Virginia
Middleburg is a town in Loudoun County, Virginia, United States with a population of approximately 976 as of July 2010.-History:The town was established in 1787 by American Revolutionary War Lieutenant Colonel and Virginia statesman, Levin Powell. He purchased the land for Middleburg at $2.50 per...

 to John F. Kennedy during his presidency.

McNamara was, at the end of his life, a life trustee on the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...

 (Caltech), a trustee of the Economists for Peace and Security, and an honorary trustee for the Brookings Institution
Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

.

McNamara died in his sleep at his home in Washington, D.C. early in the morning on July 6, 2009. He was 93.

McNamara has been portrayed or fictionalized in several films;
in a popular video game McNamara and several former Presidents of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 make common cause with Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 against attacking zombies.

See also

  • List of California Institute of Technology trustees
  • List of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
  • List of United States political appointments that crossed party lines
  • Project Dye Marker
    Project Dye Marker
    Project Dye Marker also nicknamed McNamara's Wall or the Electric Fence was the third and final name for an electronic infiltration barrier constructed by the American forces in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam and intended to curb the transport of North Vietnamese troops and supplies through the...

  • The Fog of War
    The Fog of War
    The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara is a 2003 American documentary film about the life and times of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara as well as illustrating his observations of the nature of modern warfare...


Works

  • (1968) The Essence of Security: Reflections in Office. New York, Harper & Row, 1968; London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1968. ISBN 0-340-10950-5.
  • (1973) One hundred countries, two billion people: the dimensions of development. New York, Praeger Publishers, 1973. ASIN B001P51NUA
  • (1981) The McNamara years at the World Bank: major policy addresses of Robert S. McNamara, 1968-1981; with forewords by Helmut Schmidt and Léopold Senghor. Baltimore: Published for the World Bank by the Johns Hopkins University Press
    Johns Hopkins University Press
    The Johns Hopkins University Press is the publishing division of the Johns Hopkins University. It was founded in 1878 and holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously running university press in the United States. The Press publishes books, journals, and electronic databases...

    , 1981. ISBN 0-8018-2685-3.
  • (1985) The challenges for sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, DC: 1985.
  • (1986) Blundering into disaster: surviving the first century of the nuclear age. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986. ISBN 0-394-55850-2 (hardcover); ISBN 0-394-74987-1 (pbk.).
  • (1989) Out of the cold: new thinking for American foreign and defense policy in the 21st century. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989. ISBN 0-671-68983-5.
  • (1992) The changing nature of global security and its impact on South Asia. Washington, DC: Washington Council on Non-Proliferation, 1992.
  • (1995) In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. (with Brian VanDeMark.) New York: Times Books, 1995. ISBN 0-8129-2523-8; New York: Vintage Books, 1996. ISBN 0-679-76749-5.
  • (1999) Argument without end: in search of answers to the Vietnam tragedy. (Robert S. McNamara, James G. Blight, and Robert K. Brigham.) New York: Public Affairs, 1999. ISBN 1-891620-22-3 (hc).
  • (2001) Wilson’s ghost: reducing the risk of conflict, killing, and catastrophe in the 21st century. (Robert S. McNamara and James G. Blight.) New York: Public Affairs, 2001. ISBN 1-891620-89-4.

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