Robert McNamara Quotes
15 Sourced Quotes
We all make mistakes. We know we make mistakes. I don't know any military commander, who is honest, who would say he has not made a mistake. There's a wonderful phrase: "the fog of war." What "the fog of war" means is: war is so complex it's beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables. Our judgment, our understanding, are not adequate. And we kill people unnecessarily.
All the evidence of history suggests that man is indeed a rational animal, but with a near infinite capacity for folly.... He draws blueprints for Utopia, but never quite gets it built. In the end he plugs away obstinately with the only building material really ever at hand—his own part comic, part tragic, part cussed, but part glorious nature.
We of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who participated in the decisions on Vietnam acted according to what we thought were the principles and traditions of this nation. We made our decisions in the light of those values. Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why.