Robert Mcnamara Vietnam War Summary

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Robert McNamara directed a disastrous, failed war that was very costly. He visioned an “active management” approcah. He wanted a Pentagon where the secretary would have his own large staff that would provide civilian advice. This advice would only allow the secretary to be the only one able to assess alternatives. This would also allow him to be the only one making choices when it comes to defining budgets, foreign policy, military strategy, and integrating forces and weapons. Budgets in the 50s were done by services instead of missions and used estimates that had an unclear validity. There was no way that duplication nor functional gaps could be identified. Concerns arose from discrepancies about the defense posture on whether it had rational basis for the allocation of resources. McNamara also proposed a system analysis that calculated the defense needs, but it had its limits. The military was caught off guard with this and programs that he did not agree with were seen as not to be cost-effective. McNamara’s agenda also included acquisition reforms. This…show more content…
McNamara’s Planning-Programming-Budget System was an approach to the government that was businesslike and this led to a high body count in the Vietnam War. Running the military like a corporation I believe is risky. McNamara tried to have a businesslike approach and it did not work out.
Sapolsky mentions that the two most demanding challenges that the Secretary of Defense faces are “kicking as many problems as possible down the road to the next administration and attribute any major failings to the neglect of the past administrations, especially those of the other party.”
Our present Secretary of Defense is Jim Mattis. Mattis faces challenges when it comes to dealing with ISIS and North Korea. ISIS attacks are still continuing and tension with North Korea are rising. While these are rising, it makes facilitating them
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