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The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

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The Fog of war is a 2003 documentary film directed by Errol Morris about the life of former US secretary of Defense, Robert s. McNamara. Using a wealth of archive footage we see some of the tough decisions that were made by Robert during his period in office from April 1st 1968 - July 1st 1968, the difficulty of which being a keystone to the premise of the film hence the title "The Fog Of War".

 

Robert McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009) was the United States Eighth secretary of defense who served under the presidency of both John F Kennedy and Lydon B. Johnson. The 1960's was a controversial period of time for the US military primarily because of the Vietnam war (1955 - 1975),a conflict that McNamara was a significant catalyst in speeding up US involvement in. Following office he became president of the world bank from 1968 to 1980, a United Nations financial institution created more than 70 year ago to help aid in the loaning of money to developing countries with the ultimate goal of reducing world poverty. However, all its decisions must be guided by a commitment to the promotion of foreign investment and international trade and to the facilitation of Capital investment.

 

Robert McNamara infront of Vietnam map in the 1950's

Above: Robert McNamara infront of Vietnam map in the 1960's

 

The Fog War gives the viewer a unique insight into crucial historical moments that McNamara had a front row seat in such as a the Cuban missile crisis. To make the feature documentary film he was interviewed for more than 20 hours to share 10 lessons that we can learn from war, refusing to apply those ideas to the current major war at the time of filming (Iraq),claiming that former secretaries of defense should not talk about their countries current conflicts. In his words we should note that the lessons are about war in general, not a specific war.

Reviews (1)

dude profile image
Review by dude 100

One of the best documentaries I have ever seen. McNamra gives us a genuine account of what happened during the cold war era, from a view point that was close to the top of United States administration.

Reviewed on November 23, 2016

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