Robert McNamara, the wunderkind who fascinated President John F. Kennedy with his intellectual gymnastics while serving as his secretary of defense, has died at the age of 93.
McNamara, who also went on to serve President Lyndon Johnson, was a key architect of the Vietnam War.
He was brilliant, the quintessential liberal do-gooder who sincerely believed he was doing the right thing but whose efforts almost invariably led to disaster.
His horrendous “Project 100,000” program was aimed at getting more black Americans serving in the military but was savaged as an attempt to use minorities as cannon fodder. Much like another liberal idealist a decade later, Jimmy Carter, the harder McNamara worked, the more he seemed to fail.
McNamara was a very interesting, tragic historical figure who in later life came to recognize the error of his ways.
We can learn from his mistakes.