Robert McNamara

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Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916July 6, 2009) was an American politician, former US Secretary of Defence and former President of the World Bank.

See also
Fog of War


  • I must say I don't object to its being called McNamara's War. I think it is a very important war and I am pleased to be identified with it and do whatever I can to win it.
    • In: United States. Congress. Senate (1964) Hearings, Vol. 4, p. 177: Of the Vietnam War
  • Management is the gate through which social and economic and political change, indeed change in every direction, is diffused through society.
    • Robert McNamara (1967); quoted in: Bruce Rich (1994) Mortgaging the Earth: The World Bank, Environmental Impoverishment and the Crisis of Development, p. 83
  • You can never substitute emotion for reason. I still would allow a place for intuition in this process, but not emotion. They say I am a power gabber. But knowledge is power, and I an giving them knowledge, so they will have more power. Can't they see that?
    • In: Henry L. Trewhitt (1971) McNamara, p. 119
  • It would be our policy to use nuclear weapons wherever we felt it, necessary to protect our forces and achieve our objectives.
    • In: Herbert Y. Schandler (1975), US Policy on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1945-1975. p. 55
  • Lesson #7: Belief and seeing are both often wrong.
    Lesson #8: Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning.
    Lesson #9: In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil.
    Lesson #10: Never say never.
    Lesson #11: You can't change human nature...
    • Robert S. McNamara (2004), Official Teacher's Guide for The Fog of War, p. 5
  • Neither conscience nor sanity itself suggests, that the United States is, or should or could be the global gendarme.
    • In: Charles E. Miller (2010) Conscience, Denied, p. 21

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