Robert S. McNamara mengundurkan diri sebagai Menteri Pertahanan

Robert S. McNamara mengundurkan diri sebagai Menteri Pertahanan

Robert S. McNamara mengumumkan bahwa dia akan mengundurkan diri sebagai Menteri Pertahanan dan akan menjadi presiden Bank Dunia.

Mantan presiden Ford Motor Company, McNamara pernah menjabat sebagai Menteri Pertahanan di bawah dua presiden, John F. Kennedy dan Lyndon B. Johnson, dari tahun 1961 hingga 1968. Dia awalnya mendukung keterlibatan AS dalam Perang Vietnam dan mendorong Presiden Johnson untuk meningkatkan di 1964, tetapi ia kemudian mulai mempertanyakan kebijakan AS secara pribadi dan akhirnya menganjurkan penyelesaian yang dinegosiasikan untuk perang. Pada musim panas 1967, ia membantu merancang formula San Antonio, proposal perdamaian yang menawarkan untuk mengakhiri pengeboman AS di utara dan meminta Vietnam Utara untuk bergabung dalam diskusi yang produktif. Vietnam Utara menolak proposal tersebut pada bulan Oktober.

Awal November, McNamara mengajukan memorandum kepada Johnson yang merekomendasikan agar Amerika Serikat membekukan jumlah pasukannya, menghentikan pengeboman di utara, dan menyerahkan tanggung jawab untuk memerangi perang darat ke Vietnam Selatan. Johnson menolak rekomendasi ini secara langsung. McNamara kemudian mengundurkan diri; Penasihat Johnson Clark Clifford menggantikannya.

BACA LEBIH BANYAK: Bagaimana Perang Vietnam Berkobar di Bawah 5 Presiden AS


Bagaimana Robert McNamara Datang untuk Menyesali Perang yang Dia Tingkatkan

Vietnam adalah perang yang tidak bisa dimenangkan Amerika dan Robert McNamara tidak bisa berdamai.

Konten Terkait

Pada bulan April 1964, seorang Senator AS menggambarkan Vietnam sebagai “McNamara’s War.” Robert McNamara sendiri, di tengah masa jabatannya sebagai menteri pertahanan, menerima julukan itu, tulis Tim Weiner untuk Waktu New York pada kesempatan kematian McNamara pada tahun 2009. “Saya senang diidentifikasi dengan itu,” dia berkata, “dan melakukan apa pun yang saya bisa untuk memenangkannya.”

Kurang dari empat tahun kemudian, dia duduk di depan sebuah siaran berita berlatar belakang kuning dan mengumumkan pengunduran dirinya, pada hari ini di tahun 1967. “Tidak ada pendahulu saya yang menjabat begitu lama. Saya sendiri tidak berencana. Saya melakukannya karena rasa kewajiban saya kepada Presiden dan negara,” katanya. Sebuah ketukan berlalu.  “Meskipun saya merasa untuk beberapa waktu bahwa akan ada manfaat dari penunjukan orang baru.”

8.500 mil jauhnya, perang pada akhirnya akan menelan korban 58.000 nyawa orang Amerika dan lebih dari tiga juta orang Vietnam, belum lagi dampak jangka panjangnya terhadap negara tempat perang itu terjadi. Orang-orang Vietnam dan veteran Amerika terus menanggung efek paparan Agen Oranye hari ini.

McNamara menulis dalam sebuah memoar tahun 1995 bahwa perilakunya sendiri dalam membentuk perang adalah “salah, sangat salah,” tetapi, bagi banyak—termasuk editor majalah tersebut saat itu. Waktu Howell Raines' pengakuan itu terlalu sedikit, terlambat.

“Penyesalannya tidak cukup besar untuk menyeimbangkan pembukuan tentara kita yang tewas,” Raines menulis dalam sebuah editorial.  “Hantu dari kehidupan yang tak bernyawa itu mengelilingi Mr. McNamara.”

Bahkan jika tidak cukup, Weiner menulis bahwa penyesalannya tampak tulus. McNamara berterus terang tentang karirnya di Kabut Perang: Sebelas Pelajaran dari Kehidupan Robert McNamara, dan dalam otobiografinya.

“Saya pikir umat manusia perlu berpikir lebih banyak tentang pembunuhan,” katanya dalam trailer film dokumenter pemenang penghargaan’s. “Berapa banyak kejahatan yang harus kita lakukan untuk berbuat baik?”

“pelajaran” McNamara yang dibahas dalam film tersebut mencakup banyak peristiwa militer yang dia ikuti atau saksikan selama karirnya: pemboman Amerika di kota-kota Jepang selama Perang Dunia Kedua, Krisis Rudal Kuba dan tentu saja Vietnam.

“Apa yang saya lakukan adalah memikirkan ini di belakang,” katanya dalam film dokumenter. “. Saya sangat bangga dengan pencapaian saya, dan saya sangat menyesal bahwa dalam proses mencapai sesuatu, saya telah membuat kesalahan.”

McNamara menyatakan penyesalannya, tetapi tidak pernah membuat permintaan maaf resmi atas peran sentralnya dalam memicu konflik di Vietnam. Dia juga tidak berbicara setelah mengundurkan diri, meskipun pada tahun 1967, seperti yang ditulis Raines, dia menyadari bahwa perang harus dihentikan untuk menghindari “a bencana nasional besar.” Penyesalan publiknya terjadi hampir tiga puluh tahun sejak saat itu. mungkin telah mempengaruhi perang.

“Pasti dia harus di setiap saat yang tenang dan makmur mendengar bisikan tak henti-hentinya dari anak-anak lelaki malang di infanteri itu, sekarat di rerumputan tinggi, peleton demi peleton, tanpa tujuan,” Waktu editor menulis “Apa yang dia ambil dari mereka tidak dapat dilunasi dengan permintaan maaf pada jam tayang utama dan air mata basi, terlambat tiga dekade.”

Delapan tahun setelah editorial itu ditulis, Kabut perang perdana. McNamara hidup enam tahun lagi setelah itu, meninggal dalam tidurnya pada 6 Juli 2009, pada usia 93 tahun.

Tentang Kat Eschner

Kat Eschner adalah jurnalis lepas sains dan budaya yang berbasis di Toronto.


"Kami Berutang kepada Generasi Mendatang untuk Menjelaskan Mengapa." Bagaimana Robert McNamara Datang untuk Menulis Memoarnya Tentang Vietnam

A t Time Magazine merayakan ulang tahun ke-75 pada tanggal 3 Maret 1998. Beberapa tamu diminta untuk bersulang untuk seseorang yang sangat mereka kagumi. John F. Kennedy Jr.&mdashputra presiden yang meninggal setahun kemudian dalam kecelakaan pesawat&mdashmemilih, agak mengejutkan, Robert McNamara, paling dikenal sebagai menteri pertahanan yang bertanggung jawab atas strategi dalam perang Vietnam yang berakhir dengan kekalahan Amerika.

Saya sangat terkesan, bahkan tersentuh, dengan penghargaan tersebut karena saya mengenal McNamara sebagai editor dan penerbit tiga buku, termasuk Dalam Retrospeksi: Tragedi dan Pelajaran Vietnam, memoar yang sangat kontroversial tentang perang, dirilis pada tahun 1995, di mana McNamara menulis: &ldquoKami di pemerintahan Kennedy dan Johnson yang berpartisipasi dalam keputusan di Vietnam bertindak sesuai dengan apa yang kami pikir sebagai prinsip dan tradisi bangsa ini. Kami membuat keputusan berdasarkan nilai-nilai tersebut. Namun kami salah, sangat salah. Kami berutang kepada generasi mendatang untuk menjelaskan alasannya.&rdquo

Kehebohan telah berakhir mengapa McNamara, lebih dari dua dekade setelah perang berakhir, akhirnya harus mengakui kegagalannya. Dalam sebuah editorial, The New York Times mengatakan, pada dasarnya, McNamara tidak boleh dimaafkan dan tidak boleh tidur nyenyak di malam hari.

Ini terjadi sebelum munculnya media sosial, tetapi keributan itu bisa membuat McNamara menyesali keputusannya untuk menulis buku itu. Dia lebih dari siapa pun di puncak kekuasaan di tahun-tahun perang telah secara terbuka mengakui peran utama dalam bencana itu.

&ldquoSetelah meninggalkan kehidupan publik,&ldquo JFK Jr. mengatakan dalam sambutannya. &ldquo[McNamara] mempertahankan nasihatnya sendiri, meskipun sejauh ini merupakan pilihan yang lebih sulit. Bertahun-tahun kemudian&heliphe bertanggung jawab penuh atas keputusannya. Dilihat dari sambutannya, saya ragu banyak pegawai negeri yang berani mengikuti teladannya.

&ldquoJadi malam ini, saya ingin bersulang untuk seseorang yang saya kenal sepanjang hidup saya, bukan sebagai simbol rasa sakit, yang tidak bisa kita lupakan, tetapi sebagai seorang pria. Dan saya ingin berterima kasih kepadanya karena telah mengajari saya sesuatu tentang memikul tanggung jawab besar dengan martabat yang besar. Kesulitan yang hanya dialami oleh mereka yang menerima tanggung jawab besar.&rdquo

Bagaimana McNamara menerima tanggung jawab atas kesalahannya yang mendalam adalah bagian dari memoar baru saya, Pandangan yang Sangat Bagus: Menonton Sejarah Terjadi.

Saat itu 1993 ketika seorang agen sastra mendekati Random House dengan proposal untuk sebuah memoar oleh Robert S. McNamara, yang tahun-tahunnya sebagai menteri pertahanan untuk Presiden John F. Kennedy dan Lyndon Johnson, 1961-1968, bertepatan dengan penumpukan AS dalam apa yang menjadi bencana Vietnam.

Sebagai reporter, saya telah meliput perang untuk Washington Post dan sedikit mengenal McNamara. Sekarang sebagai editor senior di Random House dan penerbit Times Books, saya mengambil apa yang kami anggap sebagai proyek besar, yang pasti akan kontroversial.

McNamara dibenci banyak orang di lingkaran politik dan jurnalisme Washington. Orang-orang sinis mengatakan dia telah mengambil kursi kepresidenan Bank Dunia untuk menebus tindakannya sebagai menteri pertahanan. Dia adalah sasaran penghinaan tertentu karena dia tampak begitu percaya diri tentang kemajuan perang seperti yang didefinisikan oleh data ketika dia, bahkan mengenali lebih awal tentang apa lintasan perang yang mungkin akan terjadi.

Niat Bob adalah untuk menceritakan kisah lengkap hidupnya termasuk waktunya di Ford Motor Company, di mana dia menjadi presiden dan juga Bank Dunia. Dia merencanakan satu atau dua bab tentang Vietnam. Dalam pertemuan pertama kami, saya memberi tahu Bob bahwa bukunya akan dibaca paling dekat untuk apa yang dia katakan tentang Vietnam dan mendesaknya untuk menulis bab itu terlebih dahulu. Dia setuju. Dalam hitungan bulan, dia kembali dengan 100.000 kata tentang mengapa pemerintahan Kennedy dan Johnson telah mendorong kebijakan seperti yang mereka miliki. Dia memberikan penggambaran pandangannya yang sangat tidak menghakimi.

Tim dalam buku itu termasuk sejarawan muda, Brian VanDeMark dan Geoff Shandler, editor muda di Times Books. Kami memiliki banyak sesi dengan Bob dan menyalin wawancara. Untuk semua kemajuan yang kami buat, saya merasa kami masih belum menembus keputusasaan pribadi Bob atas konflik dan bagaimana hal itu telah memecah belah bangsa. Dalam salah satu sesi terakhir kami, di bawah dorongan hati-hati dari Geoff dan saya&mdash&ldquoBagaimana perasaan Anda ketika Anda mengunjungi monumen Vietnam di mal dengan nama setiap orang Amerika yang tewas dalam perang?&rdquo&mdashBob berkata, &ldquoKami salah besar, dan kami berhutang budi kepada generasi mendatang untuk menjelaskan alasannya.&rdquo Geoff ingat bahwa saya sudah mengumpulkan surat-surat saya untuk pergi ketika McNamara mengatakan itu, dan saya tergagap sesuatu yang mirip dengan &ldquoItu&rsquos!&rdquo

Rilis buku tersebut pada Maret 1995 sangat eksplosif. Itu menjadi berita utama di negara itu selama berhari-hari karena tingkat kemarahan yang diprovokasi. Banyak orang merasa bahwa keheningan McNamara tentang perang selama seperempat abad mendiskualifikasi haknya untuk menjelaskannya dan menjelaskan dirinya sendiri.

Ada banyak alasan&mdashsangat tidak dapat diakses&mdashmengapa Bob tidak secara terbuka membahas pandangannya sebelumnya, meskipun mereka yang mengenalnya dengan baik di Washington menyadari kesedihannya atas perang dan melihat bahwa dia akan menangis jika membicarakannya. Dia bukan dari generasi yang diberikan untuk berbagi perasaan secara terbuka, lebih memilih untuk memiliki beberapa &ldquopops&rdquo beralkohol untuk menangkal emosi. Penasihat Keamanan Nasional McGeorge Bundy, yang perannya dalam perang sebanding dengan McNamara lolos dari aib dengan mempertahankan apa yang dianggap sebagai keheningan yang bermartabat dan dipuji karena kepemimpinannya yang progresif di Ford Foundation.

Jika ada orang yang melihat pengungkapan dalam memoar McNamara sebagai tindakan berani&mdashharfiah tidak ada arsitek besar perang lainnya yang pernah mengakui itu &ldquotsangat salah&rdquo&mdash, mereka ditenggelamkan oleh serangan itu. Kecenderungan Bob ke arah gertakan retoris berarti bahwa penampilan publiknya tidak cukup menyesal untuk memuaskan para pengkritiknya. Namun, buku itu segera menduduki peringkat satu dalam daftar buku terlaris.

Pada sebuah penampilan di Harvard&rsquos Kennedy School of Government di mana atrium dipenuhi dengan reporter dan kamera televisi di tangan untuk mengukur tanggapan, menjelang akhir malam, seorang dokter hewan Vietnam mulai berbicara kepada Bob dengan apa yang tampaknya disetujui oleh sebagian besar penonton. McNamara membentak &ldquoDiam.&rdquo Putra saya, Evan, seorang sarjana di Harvard, duduk di sebelah saya dan meremas lutut saya dengan kuat, mencerminkan ketegangan yang dia rasakan dengan saya dan seluruh ruangan.

Pagi-pagi sekali keesokan paginya ada ketukan di pintu saya di Hotel Charles dan ada Bob dengan jas hujan dan sepatu lari yang bersiap untuk berjalan cepat di sepanjang Sungai Charles. &ldquoSaya tahu apa yang membuat orang begitu marah, &ldquohe berkata, &ldquotetapi saya harus melakukan ini. Saya perlu berbicara tentang perang dan pelajarannya agar kita dapat mencegah hal seperti itu terjadi lagi.&rdquo Bob melanjutkan perjalanan, terbang sendirian dari kota ke kota. Mengingat tingkat kemarahan yang ditimbulkan buku itu, kami menawarkan keamanan jika dia menginginkannya. Dia tidak melakukannya.

Salah satu momen yang menonjol bagi saya sebagai lambang dari jarak yang telah ditempuh Bob, datang ketika saya memperkenalkannya kepada David Harris, seorang pemrotes antiperang terkenal pada tahun 1960-an, yang pernah menjadi presiden badan mahasiswa di Stanford, membakar kartu drafnya. dan pergi ke penjara. Times Books telah menugaskan Harris untuk pergi ke Vietnam dan menulis buku yang mengeksplorasi kesannya tentang negara dan pengalamannya sendiri. Saya baru-baru ini bertanya kepada David apa yang dia ingat dari pertemuan itu, dia menjawab bahwa Bob memberinya salinan tertulis dari Dalam Retrospeksi menulis, &ldquoKepada David Harris. Dengan Kekaguman. Robert McNamara.&rdquo David berkata bahwa dia tercengang, dan bertahun-tahun kemudian masih begitu.

Beberapa tahun kemudian, Bob menelepon dan mengatakan seorang pembuat film bernama Erroll Morris ingin membuat film berdasarkan wawancara dengannya. Mengetahui bahwa film-film Morris secara gelap mengungkapkan subjeknya, saya bertanya kepada Bob tentang kapasitasnya untuk lebih lanjut mencela dan mempermalukan. Bob melanjutkan filmnya Kabut Perang, yang secara keseluruhan merupakan potret adil dari seorang lelaki tua yang berjuang untuk menyampaikan pemikirannya tentang masa lalu sejauh Perang Dunia II, ketika ia menjadi perwira pembom tentara yang memilih sasaran sipil di Jepang. &ldquoKami membakar hingga mati 100.000 warga sipil di Tokyo,&rdquo katanya, seraya mencatat bahwa seandainya Amerika Serikat kalah perang, dia mungkin diadili sebagai penjahat perang untuk itu. Film ini sukses kritis dan merupakan pemenang Oscar 2004 untuk film dokumenter fitur terbaik.

Robert McNamara tidak akan pernah dimaafkan oleh sebagian besar orang Amerika, tetapi ketika dia meninggal pada tahun 2009 pada usia 93 tahun, dia setidaknya lebih dipahami.


Biografi

Robert Strange McNamara, pengusaha dan politisi Amerika, adalah Menteri Pertahanan dari tahun 1961 hingga 1968. Ia mengundurkan diri dari jabatan itu untuk menjadi Presiden Bank Dunia dari tahun 1968 hingga 1981.

McNamara lahir di San Francisco di mana ayahnya adalah manajer penjualan sebuah perusahaan sepatu grosir. Dia kemudian mengatakan dia telah bercita-cita untuk pendidikan Universitas Stanford, tetapi tidak mampu. Dia lulus pada tahun 1937 dari University of California, Berkeley dengan gelar di bidang ekonomi dan filsafat, memperoleh gelar master dari Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration pada tahun 1939 , bekerja setahun untuk firma akuntansi Price Waterhouse di San Francisco, dan kemudian pada Agustus 1940 kembali ke Harvard untuk mengajar di sekolah bisnis. Setelah keterlibatannya di sana dalam program untuk mengajarkan pendekatan analitis yang digunakan dalam bisnis kepada perwira Angkatan Udara Angkatan Darat, ia masuk Angkatan Darat sebagai kapten pada awal 1943, bertugas di bawah Kolonel Curtis LeMay dengan analisis efisiensi dan efektivitas pembom AS sebagai tanggung jawab utama, dan meninggalkan tugas aktif tiga tahun kemudian dengan pangkat letnan kolonel.

Pada tahun 1946 McNamara bergabung dengan Ford Motor Company, yang kemudian dia katakan sebagai hasil dari artikel majalah Life yang mengatakan betapa sedikitnya manajer berpendidikan perguruan tinggi di perusahaan yang saat itu tidak menguntungkan. Dia mulai di sana sebagai manajer perencanaan dan analisis keuangan. Dia maju pesat melalui serangkaian posisi manajemen tingkat atas, menjadi pada 9 November 1960 presiden pertama Ford dari luar keluarga Henry Ford, satu hari setelah pemilihan Presiden Kennedy. McNamara menerima kredit besar untuk ekspansi dan kesuksesan Ford pada periode pascaperang.

Presiden terpilih John F. Kennedy, yang sangat peduli dengan masalah pertahanan meskipun kurang menguasai masalah Eisenhower, pertama-tama menawarkan jabatan menteri pertahanan kepada mantan sekretaris Robert A. Lovett. Lovett menolak tetapi merekomendasikan McNamara Kennedy agar dia didekati oleh Sargent Shriver (mengenai jabatan Departemen Keuangan atau kabinet Pertahanan), dan kurang dari lima minggu setelah menjadi presiden di Ford Motors, McNamara menerima undangan Kennedy untuk menjabat sebagai Menteri Pertahanan.

Meskipun tidak terlalu berpengetahuan tentang masalah pertahanan, McNamara membenamkan dirinya dalam subjek, belajar dengan cepat, dan segera mulai menerapkan filosofi manajemen "peran aktif", dalam kata-katanya sendiri "memberikan pertanyaan kepemimpinan yang agresif, menyarankan alternatif, mengusulkan tujuan, dan merangsang kemajuan. ” Dia menolak perubahan organisasi yang radikal, seperti yang diusulkan oleh kelompok yang ditunjuk Kennedy, dipimpin oleh Sen. W. Stuart Symington, yang akan menghapus departemen militer, mengganti Kepala Staf Gabungan dengan satu kepala staf, dan membentuk tiga pejabat fungsional. perintah terpadu. McNamara menerima perlunya layanan terpisah tetapi berpendapat bahwa “pada akhirnya kita harus memiliki satu kebijakan pertahanan, bukan tiga kebijakan pertahanan yang saling bertentangan. Dan itu adalah tugas Sekretaris dan stafnya untuk memastikan hal ini terjadi.”

Awalnya kebijakan dasar yang digariskan oleh Presiden Kennedy dalam pesannya kepada Kongres pada 28 Maret 1961 membimbing McNamara dalam reorientasi program pertahanan. Kennedy menolak konsep serangan serangan pertama dan menekankan perlunya persenjataan dan pertahanan strategis yang memadai untuk mencegah serangan nuklir terhadap Amerika Serikat dan sekutunya. Senjata AS, katanya, harus terus-menerus berada di bawah komando dan kendali sipil, dan postur pertahanan negara harus “dirancang untuk mengurangi bahaya perang umum yang tidak rasional atau tidak direncanakan.” Misi utama pasukan luar negeri AS, bekerja sama dengan sekutu, adalah “untuk mencegah erosi terus-menerus dari Dunia Bebas melalui perang terbatas.” Kennedy dan McNamara menolak pembalasan besar-besaran untuk sikap respons yang fleksibel. Amerika Serikat menginginkan pilihan dalam keadaan darurat selain "mundur yang memalukan atau pembalasan tak terbatas," seperti yang dikatakan presiden. Dari tinjauan besar terhadap tantangan militer yang dihadapi Amerika Serikat yang diprakarsai oleh McNamara pada tahun 1961, muncul keputusan untuk meningkatkan kemampuan perang negara yang terbatas. Langkah-langkah ini penting karena McNamara mengabaikan kebijakan pembalasan besar-besaran Eisenhower demi strategi respons fleksibel yang mengandalkan peningkatan kapasitas AS untuk melakukan perang non-nuklir yang terbatas.

Konflik Vietnam datang untuk mengklaim sebagian besar waktu dan energi McNamara. Pemerintahan Truman dan Eisenhower telah mengikat Amerika Serikat untuk mendukung pasukan anti-komunis Prancis dan pribumi di Vietnam dalam melawan upaya Komunis di Utara untuk menguasai negara itu. Peran AS, termasuk dukungan keuangan dan nasihat militer, diperluas setelah 1954 ketika Prancis mundur. Selama pemerintahan Kennedy, kelompok penasihat militer AS di Vietnam Selatan terus meningkat, dengan persetujuan McNamara, dari hanya beberapa ratus menjadi sekitar 17.000. Keterlibatan AS meningkat setelah Insiden Teluk Tonkin pada Agustus 1964 ketika kapal angkatan laut Vietnam Utara dilaporkan menembaki dua kapal perusak AS. Presiden Johnson memerintahkan serangan udara pembalasan di pangkalan angkatan laut Vietnam Utara dan Kongres menyetujui hampir dengan suara bulat Resolusi Teluk Tonkin, yang memberi wewenang kepada presiden "untuk mengambil semua tindakan yang diperlukan untuk mengusir serangan bersenjata apa pun terhadap pasukan AS dan untuk mencegah agresi lebih lanjut."

Pada tahun 1965, sebagai tanggapan atas peningkatan aktivitas militer oleh Komunis Viet Cong di Vietnam Selatan dan sekutu Vietnam Utara mereka, Amerika Serikat mulai membom Vietnam Utara, mengerahkan pasukan militer besar, dan memasuki pertempuran di Vietnam Selatan. Permintaan dari komandan tinggi militer AS di Vietnam menghasilkan komitmen 485.000 tentara pada akhir tahun 1967 dan hampir 535.000 pada tanggal 30 Juni 1968. Daftar korban meningkat karena jumlah pasukan dan intensitas pertempuran meningkat.

Meskipun dia dengan setia mendukung kebijakan administrasi, McNamara secara bertahap menjadi skeptis tentang apakah perang dapat dimenangkan dengan mengerahkan lebih banyak pasukan ke Vietnam Selatan dan mengintensifkan pengeboman Vietnam Utara. Dia melakukan perjalanan ke Vietnam berkali-kali untuk mempelajari situasi secara langsung. Dia menjadi semakin enggan untuk menyetujui penambahan kekuatan besar yang diminta oleh para komandan militer. Pada awal November 1967, rekomendasi McNamara untuk membekukan jumlah pasukan, menghentikan pengeboman Vietnam Utara dan agar AS menyerahkan pertempuran darat ke Vietnam Selatan ditolak mentah-mentah oleh Presiden Lyndon B. Johnson. Akibatnya, pada 29 November tahun itu McNamara mengumumkan pengunduran dirinya yang tertunda dan bahwa dia akan menjadi presiden Bank Dunia.


Oleh John Nicols

7 Juli 2009

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Daftar ke Klub Anggur kami hari ini.

Tindakan Robert McNamara selama Perang Vietnam salah, sangat salah.

Begitulah penilaian seorang kritikus berpengetahuan: McNamara sendiri.

Menteri Pertahanan pada masa pemerintahan Presiden John Kennedy dan Lyndon Johnson, yang telah meninggal pada usia 93 tahun, pada zamannya digambarkan sebagai teknokrat paling brilian di era ketika teknokrat brilian dipuja oleh media dan elit politik. Sayangnya, lintasan tragisnya sendiri menegaskan bahwa yang terbaik dan tercerdas adalah salah — secara ekstrem.

Seorang 'anak jagoan' Ford Motors yang membawa keterampilan manajemennya ke Camelot Kennedy dan tinggal cukup lama untuk menyaksikan mimpi itu runtuh di bawah Johnson. Ketika tiba di Departemen Pertahanan, McNamara mengakui bahwa pengetahuannya tentang masalah militer masih sedikit. Tapi dia cukup percaya diri — bisa dibilang “cukup arogan”— — untuk percaya dia bisa menguasai Pentagon dengan omong kosong manajemen omong kosong — mengumumkan niatnya untuk menerapkan filosofi manajemen “peran aktif” yang melibatkan “memberikan pertanyaan kepemimpinan yang agresif, menyarankan alternatif, mengusulkan tujuan, dan merangsang kemajuan.”

Dengan kata lain, McNamara mengayunkannya.

McNamara menjajakan fantasi bahwa sesuatu terjadi di Teluk Tonkin yang membenarkan memberinya cek kosong untuk perang besar-besaran di Asia Tenggara. Dan McNamara mencairkan cek tersebut, membanjiri Vietnam dengan pasukan AS — 535.000 pada tahun 1968 — dan membawa puluhan ribu tentara muda itu pulang tewas atau terluka parah. Menteri Pertahanan telah mencoba berperang dengan teori statistik dan fantasi anti-komunis, teori Domino. Dan proyek itu gagal.

McNamara menyadari hal ini pada akhir 1967 dan melakukan beberapa upaya untuk mengubah strategi AS. Tapi sudah terlambat, untuk dia dan kepresidenan Lyndon Johnson, yang jatuh dan terbakar di Delta Mekong.

Johnson mengirim McNamara untuk menjalankan Bank Dunia — di mana manajer utama melakukan kerugian besar sebagai pendukung perintis skema pembangunan neo-kolonial yang terus dilakukan oleh kelas manajerial kepada orang-orang termiskin di planet ini — dan hanya itu. .

McNamara merasa bersalah atas pengelolaannya atas imbroglio Vietnam.

Refleksi terlarisnya pada tahun 1995 tentang mimpi buruk pribadi dan global bahwa perang di Asia Tenggara menjadi, Dalam Retrospeksi dibaca oleh banyak orang Amerika sebagai permintaan maaf. Meskipun mungkin tidak memenuhi apa yang diminta, McNamara mengakui bahwa dia dan rekan senegaranya melakukan pelanggaran yang mengerikan.

Secara khusus, McNamara menulis: “Kami dari pemerintahan Kennedy dan Johnson yang berpartisipasi dalam keputusan di Vietnam bertindak sesuai dengan apa yang kami pikir sebagai prinsip dan tradisi bangsa ini. Kami membuat keputusan berdasarkan nilai-nilai tersebut. Namun kami salah, sangat salah.”

Noam Chomsky memberikan ulasan yang tegas tetapi adil tentang memoar McNamara: “Satu aspek yang menarik dari buku ini adalah betapa sedikit yang dia pahami tentang apa yang sedang terjadi atau pahami hari ini. Dia bahkan tidak mengerti apa yang dia terlibat. Saya berasumsi dia mengatakan yang sebenarnya. Buku ini memiliki semacam cincin kejujuran tentang hal itu. Apa yang terbaca adalah seorang teknokrat yang sangat sempit, seorang insinyur kecil yang diberi pekerjaan tertentu untuk dilakukan dan hanya mencoba melakukan pekerjaan itu secara efisien, tidak mengerti apa pun yang sedang terjadi, termasuk apa yang dia sendiri lakukan.& #8221

Hampir satu dekade kemudian, dalam film dokumenter Kabut perang McNamara akan mengakui lebih banyak kegagalan. Yang terpenting, ia memperluas pengakuannya sebelumnya bahwa, “Kami tidak memiliki hak yang diberikan Tuhan untuk membentuk setiap bangsa menurut gambar kami atau seperti yang kami pilih.”

McNamara menerapkan standar itu pada kesalahan gila pemerintahan Bush-Cheney di Irak, dengan mengatakan bahwa: “(Jika) kita tidak dapat membujuk negara lain dengan nilai-nilai yang sebanding dan kepentingan-kepentingan yang sebanding dengan manfaat dari jalan kita, kita harus mempertimbangkan kembali saja, dan sangat mungkin mengubahnya. Dan jika kita mengikuti aturan itu, kita tidak akan berada di Vietnam, karena tidak ada satu sekutu utama, bukan Prancis atau Inggris atau Jerman atau Jepang, yang setuju dengan arah kita atau berdiri di samping kita di sana. Dan kami tidak akan berada di Irak.”

Apakah membuat Irak benar menawarkan pengampunan untuk membuat Vietnam salah?

Apakah pengakuan kesalahan meringankan beban kesalahan itu?

McNamara hidup cukup lama untuk mengajukan pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini.

Sejarah akan menjawabnya, mungkin dengan tidak ramah.

Tapi kita tidak boleh meremehkan pentingnya pengakuan McNamara bahwa dia 'salah, sangat salah.”

Dia menunjukkan tingkat kesadaran diri, dan keraguan diri, yang sehat 'dan terlalu langka di antara tokoh-tokoh besar di kompleks industri militer tentang yang diperingatkan Dwight Eisenhower pada malam konfirmasi Robert McNamara sebagai Sekretaris Pertahanan, dan McNamara adalah perwujudannya.

Pertimbangkan prospek bahwa Dick Cheney atau Donald Rumsfeld akan pernah mengakui telah 'salah, sangat salah' tentang Irak dan Anda mulai memahami arti dari penerimaan mantan Menteri Pertahanan di akhir hayatnya. Dapat dengan mudah dikatakan bahwa dia tidak cukup bertobat, dan tidak cukup berwawasan. Tetapi ada sesuatu yang menyegarkan tentang fakta bahwa McNamara merasa terdorong untuk mencoba dan menjelaskan dirinya sendiri.


Pengakuan McNamara

SELAMA HAMPIR 25 tahun, Robert S. McNamara, menteri pertahanan selama sebagian besar perang di Vietnam, menolak untuk berbicara tentang perannya dalam peristiwa tahun 1961 hingga 1967. Saya tahu ini karena saya adalah salah satu orang yang mencoba untuk mendapatkan dia untuk melakukannya, mewawancarainya terakhir pada tahun 1990. Tapi sekarang dia telah menulis sebuah buku tentang hal itu, berjudul "In Retrospect -- The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam."

Saya belum pernah membaca sesuatu yang seperti itu, serangan biadab terhadap diri sendiri. Ya, ya, itu aku, tolong maafkan aku! McNamara the Sure tidak lagi yakin akan apa pun, dan dia menyerahkan dirinya pada belas kasihan Amerika.

"Mengapa setelah bertahun-tahun diam saya yakin saya harus berbicara?" dia menulis. "Ada banyak alasan: Yang utama adalah saya menjadi sakit hati menyaksikan sinisme dan bahkan penghinaan yang banyak orang kita lihat terhadap institusi politik kita."

Saya berbagi keprihatinan itu. Sayangnya, perang McNamara adalah akar penyebab sinisme itu -- dan buku ini mungkin akan memperburuk keadaan.

Dia memulai, "Kami salah, sangat salah ..." Kemudian mengikuti, lagi dan lagi dan lagi: "Saya salah". . . "Kami salah". . . "Mereka salah." Dan: "Sebenarnya saya tidak mengerti rencananya" . . . "Saya salah memahami sifat konflik". . . "Kami kekurangan ahli untuk kami konsultasikan untuk mengimbangi ketidaktahuan kami". . . "Kami benar-benar salah menilai kekuatan politik". . . "Sekali lagi, kami telah gagal total untuk mengoordinasikan tindakan diplomatik dan militer kami". . . "Dalam retrospeksi, kami melakukan kesalahan serius."

Mengesampingkan perasaan saya sendiri bahwa ini semua terlalu sedikit terlambat, buku ini menjernihkan beberapa penipuan dan delusi seputar dua pertanyaan kritis tentang peran Presiden John F. Kennedy di Vietnam Selatan dan dalam upaya berulang kali AS untuk membunuh Fidel Castro.

-- Apakah Kennedy berencana menarik diri dari Vietnam Selatan?

McNamara masih mengatakan dia yakin Kennedy akan mundur lebih awal dari yang dilakukan Presiden Lyndon Johnson -- tanpa memberikan bukti apa pun. Tetapi dia akhirnya mengakui bahwa proposal penarikan pasukan pada Oktober 1963 bukanlah cara untuk keluar dari Vietnam tetapi untuk masuk lebih dalam dengan memaksa Vietnam Selatan untuk menerima perintah Amerika bersama dengan uang, pelatihan, dan senjata Amerika. Dia menulis: "Dengan mengancam akan mengurangi bantuan AS atau bahkan benar-benar menguranginya, kami pikir kami dapat, seiring waktu, meyakinkan Presiden Vietnam Selatan Ngo Dinh Diem untuk mengubah perilakunya yang merusak."

-- Apakah Kennedy mengetahui rencana CIA yang berlipat ganda untuk membunuh Castro?

Tentu saja dia melakukannya, tetapi McNamara telah menjadi salah satu loyalis JFK yang menawarkan penyangkalan yang masuk akal bagi Kennedy selama ini. Faktanya, McNamara adalah pendukung utama pembunuhan. Lebih dari sekali pada pertemuan tingkat tinggi McNamara menganjurkan pembunuhan Castro.

Apa "pelajaran" McNamara dari "tragedi" ini? Bagi saya, orang Amerika di kedua sisi debat nasional yang memecah belah tentang Vietnam tidak harus menunggu sampai mereka berusia 78 tahun (usia McNamara) untuk mengatakan yang sebenarnya tentang apa yang terjadi saat itu. Perang itu bodoh, mungkin tidak ada gunanya, tetapi banyak dari kita masih mencoba membenarkan apa yang kita lakukan atau tidak lakukan saat itu. Atau, kami mencoba untuk memiliki keduanya.

Kami memiliki seorang presiden sekarang, Bill Clinton, yang berusia 47 tahun, seorang pengunjuk rasa saat itu, yang tampaknya ditakdirkan, seperti McNamara, untuk menunggu sampai dia berusia 78 tahun sebelum berdiri dan mengatakan apa yang seharusnya dia katakan selama ini: "Perang adalah sebuah kesalahan. Saya pikir begitu. Saya pikir begitu sekarang. Apakah kita setuju atau tidak setuju tentang itu, itu sudah berakhir, dan kita harus bergerak bersama sekarang."

Adapun McNamara, jiwanya dalam kesedihan -- memang seharusnya begitu. Dia bukan orang yang sangat anekdot, tetapi dia menceritakan satu kisah mengharukan tentang temannya, Jacqueline Kennedy, memukulkan tinjunya ke dadanya, menangis dan berkata, "Lakukan sesuatu untuk menghentikan pembantaian!"

McNamara tidak. Tidak ketika dia memiliki kekuatan. Sekarang dia meminta pengampunan. Dia tidak akan mendapatkannya dari saya.


Robert McNamara

Robert McNamara (1916-2009) adalah seorang pengusaha Amerika dan Menteri Pertahanan terlama di Amerika Serikat. Masa jabatannya berlangsung delapan tahun (1961-68) di bawah presiden Kennedy dan Johnson.

Lahir di San Francisco, McNamara adalah putra seorang penjual sepatu keturunan imigran Irlandia. Robert McNamara dididik di Berkeley dan Harvard, lulus di bidang ekonomi dan akuntansi. Dia kemudian kembali ke Harvard sebagai akademisi junior, mengajar studi bisnis selama tiga tahun. Pada tahun 1943, McNamara mendaftar di Korps Udara Angkatan Darat AS, di mana ia bekerja di bidang logistik dan perencanaan. Dia mengakhiri perang sebagai letnan kolonel tetapi tanpa melihat pertempuran.

Setelah perang, McNamara diburu oleh perusahaan kendaraan bermotor Ford, di mana ia memainkan peran utama dalam memodernisasi desain, produksi, dan pemasaran Ford pascaperang. Pada akhir 1950-an, McNamara dipuji sebagai penyelamat Ford, dan pada akhir 1960 ia menjadi presiden perusahaan pertama yang ditunjuk dari luar keluarga Ford.

Namun, masa tinggal McNamara sebagai presiden Ford berlangsung singkat. Dalam beberapa minggu dia diburu oleh presiden baru John F Kennedy untuk menjabat sebagai Menteri Pertahanan, tawaran yang dia terima. McNamara menjadi bagian dari lingkaran dalam Gedung Putih, menjalin persahabatan dengan saudara-saudara Kennedy dan memberikan nasihat tentang sejumlah bidang kebijakan.

Dalam portofolio pertahanannya, McNamara menerapkan rezim perencanaan dan penganggaran yang menghilangkan duplikasi dan pemborosan. Dia juga memodernisasi dan mereorientasi Komando Udara Strategis (SAC), meningkatkan sistem respons, kesiapan, dan efektivitas biaya. Secara strategis, McNamara adalah pendukung Teori Domino dan ‘kehancuran yang saling menjamin’. He believed the US nuclear arsenal should exist as a deterrent rather than a first-strike weapon. McNamara also sought to minimise the chances of an accidental or spontaneous nuclear war by ensuring that major command decisions were in civilian rather than military hands.

Robert McNamara is perhaps best remembered for overseeing the US military build-up in Indochina and the first years of the Vietnam War. During Kennedy’s presidency, McNamara recommended a steady increase in the number of US military advisors in Vietnam. Under Lyndon Johnson, McNamara urged a targeted military deployment to eradicate the Viet Cong from South Vietnam.

By 1967, however, McNamara had become convinced that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable. He urged a withdrawal of US forces but was overruled by Johnson. McNamara resigned from cabinet in early 1968 and soon after was appointed president of the World Bank. He held this office until his retirement in 1981. In 2003 McNamara appeared in a television documentary, Kabut Perang, where he explained his decisions – and admitted his failures – during the Vietnam War.

McNamara died in Washington DC in July 2009, aged 93, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Explore History

Robert Strange McNamara, 1916 - 2009

Robert McNamara shaped the Bank as no one before him. He came to the Bank brimming with energy, forceful, active, pushing to get things done. He brought with him the firm belief that the problems of the developing world could be solved. What was needed was clear analysis of the problems and determination in the application of appropriate remedies. If this happened, success could not fail to materialize.

McNamara eschewed the cautious, Wall Street-oriented approach of his predecessors. He adopted an aggressive mission that emphasized the claims and expectations of the Bank's developing member countries. The needs of the developing world - not the need to satisfy the investment community - became paramount in determining the type and quantity of the Bank's activities.

The Bank that McNamara left in 1981 was completely transformed from the institution he had entered thirteen years earlier. It was a much larger organization, and much more complex. Its membership had continued to expand, and with the People's Republic of China assuming full participation, it was well on its way to becoming a universal organization. The Bank began to address problems of income disparity and poverty. The Bank diversified into sectors of activity where progress was inevitably slow and unspectacular. And the Bank became more deeply involved in the economic and social conditions of its borrowers. It diversified its sources of funding, drawing from a growing number of international sources.

McNamara's role as a spokesman for the developing countries and the size and financial weight of the organization that he led assured the Bank a position of authority as intermediary between the rich and poor countries. The Bank played a critical role in many developing economies, and its coordination of aid with other donors greater increased the leverage it wielded. The strengthening of the research staff stimulated interaction with the academic community and allowed the Bank to claim a role as an intellectual leader in development matters.

Robert Strange McNamara was born in Oakland, California in 1916. He attended University of California at Berkeley, majoring in economics and excelling in his studies. His personal experiences during the Great Depression and the liberal outlook at Berkeley combined to shape his liberal social outlook. He enrolled in the Harvard Business School in 1937 and it was here that he acquired the management techniques that became characteristic of his leadership style. The concept of management based on the accumulation and analysis of quantitative data appealed to his disciplined mind and provided him with a tool for exercising control in uncertain conditions.

He applied this management style in the military during World War II and in private industry (Ford Motor Company) after the war. The aggressive new management techniques earned McNamara and his colleagues the nickname "Whiz Kids." In November 1960 McNamara was named president of Ford Motor Company. But after only one month in this position, McNamara was called to the new Kennedy administration to serve as Secretary of Defense, with a mandate to bring the military under control through the application of efficient management.

McNamara quickly became involved in the substance and politics of government administration, and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson sought his advice on defense, foreign policy, and international relations. The Vietnam War claimed much of McNamara's time and energy at the Defense Department, and over the years he began to feel that victory in this war was impossible. His thinking on the war gradually diverged from that of President Johnson, and Johnson abruptly nominated McNamara as the next World Bank president.

Role of the World Bank

The World Bank was, to McNamara, "an innovative, problem-solving mechanism…to help fashion a better life for mankind in the decades ahead." The primary consideration driving the Bank was the needs of the developing countries. It was obvious that these countries required more assistance than they had been receiving, and he set out to make the Bank a "critical mass" of financial and technical power. McNamara realized that the Bank could not solve by itself the world's problems but it could provide leadership and the will to leverage the world's resources for development.

McNamara believed that there was a direct link between concerns about military security and economic development. For McNamara the threat of warfare was a consequence of the widening income gap between the industrial and developing countries.

McNamara was never constrained by the Bank's tradition of financial prudence. He felt that the daunting problems faced by the world required daring and risk-taking. Upon his arrival at the Bank, McNamara was surprised at what he considered the small volume of lending the Bank had made compared to the vastness of the needs. He developed an elaborate system of numerical reporting tables that provide complete and up-to-date pictures of the lending program and country needs: the Bank's balance sheet, cash flow, lending program, and borrowing requirements. These reporting methods grew progressively more complex as McNamara insisted that more data be included in the reports.

Robert McNamara in front of the Bank's Main Complex.

Bank commitments increased from an annual level of about $1 billion in 1968 to over $13 billion in fiscal 1981. Governments were urged to speed up the preparation of appropriate projects to expedite the increased lending. McNamara quickly realized that a list of individual projects for a particular member country should conform to an overall development strategy, and in 1969 he instituted the practice of creating Country Program Papers.

The proposed increase in the Bank's activities required a rapid expansion in the number of staff. Between 1968 and 1973 the professional staff increased in number by 125%. The staff as a whole grew from 1,600 at the time he took over to 5,700 when he left in 1981. In addition to the increase in numbers, the nationality diversification of staff was increased. The results of these simultaneous changes caused some degree of tension and strain among staff during this period.

McNamara also decided that the Bank's organizational structure required an overhaul. With an expanding volume of business the system of large centralized projects departments and geographical regional departments became unwieldy and bureaucratic. In 1972 he hired McKinsey & Co. to analyze the existing structure and business and to make recommendations for change. McNamara followed the process closely and in 1972 a major reorganizaiton of the Bank took place. Responsibility for lending was placed in the hands of regional vice presidents, who had control over resources required to meet agreed output targets.

McNamara expanded the geographical range of the Bank's lending, and the Bank became actively engaged in all countries that needed help. He re-established lending relationships with Egypt and Indonesia, and the latter became one of the Bank's most important country programs. McNamara took personal charge of the membership negotiations with the People's Republic of China. The prospect of extending the Bank's support to a country with a billion people was a fascinating challenge for McNamara, and he used his considerable political skills to expedite membership. In May 1980, the People's Republic of China assumed its membership in the Bank.

The drastic increase in lending activities stimulated a debate over project quantity versus quality. McNamara denied that increased lending would sacrifice project quality, insisting that the same sound appraisal methods would be used. In fact, the appraisal process became more rigorous and sophisticated, the amount of staff time devoted to preparation and appraisal increased, and conditions designed to safeguard implementation and project supervision became more extensive. Nevertheless, there was a widespread perception among the staff that quality was being sacrificed for quantity. (The issue was never satisfactorily resolved during McNamara's tenure, and this perception persisted until the 1992 Task Force on Portfolio Management pointed out the tension between new commitments and effective implementation.)

McNamara's sharply increased level of lending necessitated a quantum leap in mobilizing both conventional and concessional resources. When McNamara arrived at the Bank, the climate for a massive increase of development aid was unfavorable. The UN Development Decade resulted in some donor fatigue as development problems persisted. Despite the adverse economic situation (the Bank's liquidity was low, necessitating a temporary suspension of lending toward the end of George Woods' tenure IDA replenishment negotiations were stalled and the US Treasury refused permission for the Bank to enter the capital market with any large issues), McNamara announced that in his first five years the Bank's net borrowing would increase to three times the level of the previous five years.

To accomplish this he proposed to increase borrowings from central banks break into the European pension trust market, and borrow more in Switzerland, Kuwait and Italy. He looked outside of Wall Street to Germany, Japan, and the oil-rich Middle East. He hired Eugene Rotberg to take command of his ambitious borrowing plans. McNamara's plans were extraordinarily successful, and the Bank's net borrowings averaged $780 million per year during the first five years of McNamara's presidency.

The first oil shock presented a particular challenge to the Bank and its member countries. McNamara responded by increasing the lending level even more. McNamara turned to the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to finance this increase. He negotiated with the Shah of Iran for a development fund supported and controlled by OPEC and administered by the Bank. This did not materialize due to opposition from the U.S. government, and McNamara's support for the fund caused tensions with the U.S. Treasury.

Tensions with the U.S. arose again when the Bank sought a general capital increase in the 1970s. After two years of negotiations, a selective capital increase of $8.5 billion was approved in 1976. While this provided some relief, it did not satisfy McNamara's demands. He created a task force to consider "the future role of the Bank", which concluded that an increase of $45 billion was needed to support the needs of the borrowers. The executive directors ultimately approved a capital increase of $40 billion in 1979, following the second oil shock.

McNamara was willing to examine new approaches to mobilize resources for development. In 1975 he introduced the "third window" lending, an attempt to leverage limited concessional funds. And he attempted to create a separate energy affiliate to assist developing countries in the improvement of their energy position. He was also ready to consider a recommendation of the Brandt Commission that the statutory ratio between the Bank's lending and its equity be relaxed. Only the "third window" proposal came into being, but these efforts illustrate McNamara's untiring search for new ways to mobilize resources.

The task of raising the necessary IDA funding - concessional funds for the Bank Group's poorest members - became a personal challenge for McNamara. He used his extensive political contacts to bolster Congressional support in the U.S. He contacted prominent and persuasive people in the U.K., the Netherlands and Kuwait to urge positive action for IDA.

Robert McNamara delivering a speech.

McNamara's efforts were successful. IDA replenishment amounts increased from an annual rate of $400 million in the second replenishment to $4 billion during the sixth. Some of this increase was automatically eaten up by rapid inflation during this period, but in real terms, IDA resources more than doubled between the fourth and sixth replenishments.

President George Woods had called for a "grand assize" of development experts to revitalize the donor community, and McNamara took up this proposal upon joining the Bank. He asked Lester Pearson, former prime minister of Canada, to head a commission which was to be independent of the Bank but would work in close proximity to McNamara. The Pearson Commission report Partners in Development, issued in 1969, gave a fresh impetus to development assistance. The commission supported an expanded role for the bank in aid coordination through the creation of further consultative groups and through increased monitoring of the external debt of the developing countries. The commission also highlighted the burden imposed by uncontrolled population growth. The Commission's report was successful in energizing donor support, and facilitated the third IDA replenishment, which doubled IDA resources.

Throughout his tenure at the Bank, McNamara struggled to gain a clear understanding of the problems the developing countries were facing. He traveled extensively, and consulted with a wide group of development thinkers. He insisted on spending time in the field, visiting schools and population clinics, talking to farmers and extension workers. And he pushed the Bank to be more inquisitive about development issues. The Bank's economic research capacity expanded under the leadership of Hollis Chenery. The collection and processing of data became an important institutional response to the quest for better understanding and more effective solutions.

From the beginning, McNamara tried to grasp the causes of economic underdevelopment. He knew that economic development was a multifaceted, multidimensional process, yet was always looking for some single key to the problem. This constant search for answers was reflected in the sequence of dominant themes in the work of the Bank during the McNamara period.

One issue that came to characterize the McNamara presidency was the problem of population growth. McNamara believed that rapid population growth was the greatest barrier to economic progress. The Bank's first financing for family planning was in 1970 in Jamaica.

McNamara realized that economic growth without equitable distribution did little to change the worst economic problems. He turned to Hollis Chenery, head of the Bank's economic research department, who focused on the problems related to the uneven income distribution in developing countries. Chenery's Redistribution with Growth was published in 1974. McNamara presented the results of Chenery's research at the 1972 UNCTAD Conference in Santiago, Chile. He stated that in the early stages of a country's economic growth the poorest segment of society was liable to suffer the most. This was most evident in subsistence agrarian economies, and McNamara recommended measures such as land and tenancy reform and programs to increase the productivity of small farmers.

He also emphasized the need for projects supporting education. During his tenure lending for education increased threefold.

Rural development was the centerpiece of the second five-year plan, introduced in Nairobi in 1973. To raise the productivity of the rural poor, the Bank increased lending to agriculture by over 40 percent, and three out of every four projects included components to help smallholder farmers. The integrated rural development project became the prototype for this assistance. Rural development programs benefited millions of people, but still rural laborers and the landless benefited, at best indirectly. Institutional weaknesses, such as tenant and land reform, hindered progress, and progress was slowest where it was most needed - in Sub-Saharan Africa.

McNamara also launched an attack on urban poverty, where he again attempted to raise the productivity of the poor. Urban assistance programs aimed at increasing employment opportunities, improving services, sites-and-service projects, squatter settlement programs, small-scale enterprise financing, and plans for basic services in transport, electricity, water supply, and education.

McNamara also urged governments to meet the "basic human needs" of their populations. Despite annual growth, malnutrition was common, infant mortality high, life expectancy low, illiteracy widespread, unemployment growing, income distribution skewed, and the gap between the rich and poor countries was growing. He devised strategies to address specific needs: literacy, nutrition, reduction in infant mortality, and health. McNamara's obsession to assist those in "absolute poverty" remained the backbone of his presidential tenure.

Public Sector and Private Sector

Robert McNamara with Pope John Paul II.

McNamara did not see private capital as a realistic option in addressing critical development needs. But his reliance upon government intervention sometimes meant turning a blind eye to coercive practices - the involuntary collectivization of farmers in Tanzania, for example - and could lead the Bank to ignore the inefficiency and economic cost of government policies.

The oil shocks of the 1970s proved to be the most serious threat to the fight against poverty. No longer was the burning question how to reduce the number of the poor, but rather how to prevent a massive increase in their number. McNamara responded in his proven method: asses the damage, express it in numerical terms and then work on a solution. He estimated that the poor countries needed an additional three to four billion dollars in concessional assistance, and he urged the industrial countries and the oil producing states to provide this support. OPEC agreed to increase their commitments - $2 billion by 1974, and by 1975 OPEC members were contributing 3 per cent of their GNP.

Structural Adjustment

In response to the oil crises, McNamara urged developing countries to adjust their economic policies: change the pattern of use and production of energy, increase the production of food grains, and revise their policies of subsidized capital, overvalued exchange rates and excessive regulation. He also asked donor countries to actively support structural adjustment programs. He called for a fundamental reorientation of economic policies to accomplish higher savings and investment rates, greater efficiency in the domestic use of capital, and more emphasis on the private sector than he had previously advocated.

Some executive directors objected to these programs: some did not see this short-term response as appropriate for an institution meant to support long-term investment some felt uneasy at what they felt was an unwarranted intrusion by the Bank into a country's economic policies. Support for structural adjustment was obtained only when the Bank assured the directors that this was to be a short-lived program to meet immediate needs. Structural adjustment operations subsequently became a major aspect of the Bank Group’s lending throughout the next decade.


U.S. Civil‐Defense Director Resigns

WASHINGTON, March 8—Assistant Secretary of Defense Sieuart L. Pittman has resigned as head of the nation's civil‐defense program. He will return to private law practice in Washington.

It is understood that Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara will soon send the resignation to the White House, and at the same time recommend a successor, probably another Pentagon official.

Mr. Pittman, who was appointed by President Kennedy in August, 1961, was the first chief of the civil‐defense program to administer it from the Pentagon. It had previously been run from the White House, but with relative ineffectiveness in the face of nationwide apathy.

Mr. Pittman administered some of the biggest civil‐defense efforts in recent years. He also gained some support in Congress for the program.

However, he will be leaving at a critical period in the history of Government attempts, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, to develop a nationwide program of protection for the civilian population against nuclear attack.

The civil‐defense program received a major setback last Monday, when a Senate Armed Services subcommittee deferred action on a $190 million shelter program. The program has been passed in the House.

The Pentagon in now under‐ stood to be preparing an important national strategic proposal combining an extensive shelter program with an antimissile‐missile project, such as the Nike‐X. The Nike‐X, now in the research stage, is being designed to knock down enemy long‐range ballistic missiles.

Mr. Pittman's resignation was not related to these developments. He has stayed on in his post more than two months longer than had been expected. He planned to leave the Pentagon before the beginning of this year but remained because of President Kennedy's assassination and to try to win passage of the $190 million shelter bill.

The bill would have provided Federal incentives for the construction of shelters in hospitals, schools and similar nonprofit institutions. It was passed in the House after widely publicized hearings. These started with a general attack on the civil‐defense plans, on moral as well as practical grounds.

Mr. Pittman led a number of civilian and military witnesses to the hearings and reversed an apparent inclination in the House to kill the program.

Although the Senate subcommittee deferred action on the bill, it did not, as some had feared it would, denounce the shelter program. Senator Henry M. Jackson, Democrat of Washington, who is chairman of the subcommittee, suggested alternatives.

Mr. Pittman, who could not be reached today to comment on his resignation, conceded after the Jackson subcommittee in effect had quashed the shelter program for this year that he was disappointed. But he took solace in the subcommittee's implied support of the bill's objectives.

The Pentagon official also stressed that the subcommittee action would in no way retard the current $111 million program for the identification of and stocking with food and other necessities 70 million shelter spaces.

The identity of Mr. Pittman's probable successor could not be learned. According to one source, it may be either of his deputies, Walter F. Lineberger Jr. or William P. Durkee. Secretary McNamara has consistently promoted his civilian aides to fill high‐ranking vacancies.


Robert S. McNamara resigns as Secretary of Defense - HISTORY

Robert S. McNamara (1916-2009) was the most powerful American Secretary of Defense in history and in many ways the architect of the modern war on terror. He was an immensely talented and successful man, whose career went up like a rocket from the beginning. Born in San Francisco, he was an Eagle Scout and President of the Rigma Lions boys club in 1933. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied economics, mathematics, and philosophy, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his sophomore year, and earned a varsity letter in crew. After receiving a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1939, he worked for Price Waterhouse for a year. He then joined the Harvard faculty as the youngest and highest paid Assistant Professor at the university. He joined the Army Air Force in 1943 and worked in the Office of Statistical Control, where he analyzed the accuracy and effectiveness of US bombing missions, and made powerful connections.

In 1946, McNamara and 9 other former officers joined Ford Motor Company with a mandate to stop its financial and administrative chaos using modern planning and management control systems. He again advanced rapidly, and in November, 1960 became the first president of the company who was not a member of the Ford family. A few weeks later, President-elect John F. Kennedy recruited him to be Secretary of Defense. Kennedy described McNamara as the smartest man he had ever met.

Kennedy first directed McNamara to plan the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was a disaster, and then asked him to develop even more elaborate plans to overthrow Castro. In 1962, McNamara began implementing the modern strategy of counterinsurgency warfare to combat terrorism he created special forces like the Green Berets, and sponsored secret paramilitary operations throughout Asia and Latin America. In 1963, again in response to the President’s request, he began a troop build-up in South Vietnam. After Kennedy’s assassination in November, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson asked him to stay on as Defense Secretary, and in essence turned the conduct of foreign policy over to him. Johnson, in awe of McNamara, commented “He is like a jackhammer….He drives too hard. He is too perfect.” In 1964, Johnson asked him to be his Vice-Presidential running mate, but McNamara declined.

McNamara prosecuted the Vietnam War with his usual diligence, but had doubts about it being winnable. In 1967, he sent President Johnson a long memo urging him to begin negotiating with the North Vietnamese rather than escalating the war. Johnson decided that McNamara was plotting against him on behalf of the Kennedys, fired him as Secretary of Defense, and anointed him as President of the World Bank where he served from April, 1968 to June, 1981, when he retired.

The Vietnam War is widely regarded as the greatest foreign policy mistake in U.S. history. Over 54,000 American troops died, millions of Vietnamese were killed, and nothing was resolved. In 1995, McNamara published a memoir in which he said his conduct of the war was “wrong, terribly wrong”. In reply, Howell Raines, the editor of the New York Times, wrote an editorial in which he noted: “Surely he must in every quiet and prosperous moment hear the ceaseless whispers of those poor boys in the infantry, dying in the tall grass, platoon by platoon, for no purpose. What he took from them cannot be repaid by prime-time apology and stale tears, three decades late.”

At each point in his career—as a student, academic, business executive, Cabinet Secretary, and public figure—Robert McNamara was fabulously successful. He substantially rebuilt Ford Motor Company, as Defense Secretary, he was instrumental in putting in place wide ranging reforms to streamline the Pentagon and make it more effective, and he transformed the World Bank from an old boy’s club to an instrument for third world economic development. And then there is the Vietnamese war—an unmitigated disaster. How are we to understand this?

The answer concerns how we think about leadership. The academic literature defines leadership in terms of the ability to ascend to the top of a hierarchy, and McNamara was superbly equipped to do this. He was very smart, very hard working, great with numbers and details, clear-minded, logical, and very, very eager to please his superiors. This is the recipe for success in a bureaucracy.

In contrast with the academic literature, I think the essence of leadership concerns being able to build a team, being able to unite a group and act toward a common goal. McNamara was ruthlessly dismissive of subordinates who challenged him (he had no peers). His talent was for fixing inefficiencies and implementing processes. He had no talent for anticipating or even considering the human costs of his processes. His concern about the Vietnam war was that it was unwinnable from a technical perspective, not that lives were being wasted. He was an immensely successful bureaucrat but not a gifted leader.

There is a sense in which Robert McNamara was a train wreck waiting to happen. He was an exquisitely tooled bureaucratic instrument, who could and would deliver results for whoever happened to be his boss. As Secretary of Defense, his first boss was the callow and impulsive John Kennedy, who ordered him to begin what ultimately became our war on terror—covert and illegal operations in Latin America and Southeast Asia. He second boss was Lyndon Johnson, a skilled and ruthless legislator who knew nothing about international relations, and whose staff feared he was insane. Kennedy foolishly invaded South Vietnam, Johnson inherited the project, and vowed not to be the first American President “to cut and run.” McNamara’s ambition and eagerness to please authority prevented him from opposing these policies and the rest is history. As for moral culpability, he was just following orders.


McNamara's Legacy Mired In Vietnam Debacle

Robert McNamara spent the last chapter of his life striving mightily to atone for the sins — his sins — of Vietnam.

In a 1995 memoir, he called the Vietnam War and crucial decisions he made as President Lyndon B. Johnson's secretary of defense "wrong, terribly wrong."

He cooperated in a 2004 documentary, Fog of War, which laid out his pivotal role in pursuing war in Vietnam and put his old man's anguish on big-screen display.

And he vigorously pursued what had become his passions: battling famine and hunger in the Third World, and working to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

McNamara's road to rehabilitation ended Monday with his death at 93.

But a longer road and more good works likely could never have erased or even much eased what is destined to be history's harsh assessment of the man known as the architect of the debacle that was Vietnam.

"Along with LBJ, he was the fulcrum on which a generation pivoted, and the price in blood was breathtaking," says author Robert Timberg, a Vietnam veteran who bears the scars from a near-fatal fuel-tank explosion he survived during the war.

"He did lots of things to redeem his reputation, but ultimately, we are what we do," says Timberg, a Naval Academy graduate who wrote The Nightingale's Song, an examination of how the lives and careers of five academy graduates — including Sen. John McCain — intersected in the Vietnam era and after. "You can't hit the delete button on 58,000 dead."

'All-Purpose Whipping Boy'

Vietnam — and McNamara — defined a divided nation, and the profound effects on the baby boomer generation resonate to this day.

As secretary of defense first to President John F. Kennedy and then to Johnson, McNamara became "the all-purpose whipping boy" for everybody involved in Vietnam, says historian Douglas Brinkley.

"The anti-war movement saw him as a liar with blood on his hands who fudged facts, misinformed the president," Brinkley says. "Military leaders and hawks saw him as someone who wasn't gutsy, who crumbled when the pressure was on and sent servicemen into a war with no hope."

McNamara, who came to harbor strong private doubts about the nation's foray into Southeast Asia, became what Brinkley describes as a "metaphor for what happens to a Cabinet officer who withholds the truth from a president."

No Forgiveness

Despite his later-in-life regrets, McNamara was initially a proponent of the U.S. intervention in Vietnam, and in 1964, he pronounced himself pleased to have the Vietnam War tagged as "McNamara's War."

For that — and for his failure to publicly express his misgivings about the war — McNamara deserves little sympathy, says journalist Stanley Karnow, whose 1983 book, Vietnam: Sebuah Sejarah, is considered a definitive look at the war.

"He came out with his memoir, this mea culpa," says Karnow, referring to McNamara's In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, published in 1995. "But if I was the father of a son who was killed in Vietnam, I'd give rather short shrift to McNamara because he was the architect."

Karnow recalls that when the war was degenerating, McNamara during a trip called reporters into his hotel room and expressed doubts about the effectiveness of U.S. bombing missions.

"He didn't come out publicly, but of course word eventually went out that he had these doubts," Karnow says. "And Johnson, who once thought McNamara the best civil servant ever, believed he was unraveling and moved him to the World Bank."

A 'Terrible Error'

Daniel Ellsberg is a former military analyst famous for leaking the Pentagon Papers — the government's top secret history of the Vietnam War — to The New York Times in 1971. He says McNamara recognized early on that he made a "terrible error" in urging Johnson in 1964 and 1965 to continue bombing in Vietnam.

By staying on as defense secretary, McNamara may have played a key role in preventing the war from expanding further, Ellsberg says. But he says McNamara blundered historically by staying loyal to the president and not to the public.

"Although he worked as an insider to keep a lid on the war, he did not do what he could and should have done in 1967: reveal to the public and Congress what he was telling the president," Ellsberg says, "and that was to end the bombing and negotiate a power share" with Hanoi and the Viet Cong.

More than 16,590 American servicemen were killed in Vietnam in 1968, and another 11, 616 in 1969, the deadliest years in a war that didn't end until 1975.

Haunted By The War

Karnow, a World War II veteran who covered the entire Vietnam War for magazines and newspapers, said it was clear to him that McNamara was haunted by Vietnam and his role in it.

At a conference both men happened to be attending in Japan some years before McNamara wrote his memoir, the former secretary of defense mentioned briefly during his turn on stage that he thought Vietnam was a mistake.

Approached later by Karnow, who asked for an interview, McNamara said he wasn't ready to talk. But Karnow's phone rang at 7 the following morning. On the other end was McNamara.

"He started babbling — expressing all his doubts about the war. But it wasn't anything I could use," Karnow says. "It was a bit incoherent."

'Credit For Seeing The Folly'

Sen. George McGovern won the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972 on his anti-Vietnam War stand.

Now 86, McGovern, who lost in a landslide to Richard Nixon, says he appreciated that McNamara acknowledged the mistake of Vietnam.

"I think that Robert McNamara did a very brave act when he came out against the Vietnam War many years later," McGovern said Monday from his home in his native South Dakota.

"He deserves great credit for seeing the folly of our involvement there, though I wish he had come to that conclusion earlier," McGovern says. "It's very hard for people in public life to say, 'I made a mistake.' "

McGovern said he approached McNamara after the two had participated in a panel discussion in New York and personally congratulated him for "recognizing the folly."

"And from that time on, he and I had a congenial relationship," McGovern said.

'He'll Never Get Redemption'

Before his White House years, McNamara was a top executive at Ford Motor Co.

He pioneered safety features on cars, Brinkley says, and was "a young, new hotshot" at a company experimenting in new car designs, including that of the popular Thunderbird.

It's Brinkley's assessment that McNamara was a successful defense secretary under Kennedy, but will go down in history as one of the worst to fill that role for his performance under Johnson.

"He knew in 1965 that Vietnam was not winnable, and he didn't tell the president," Brinkley says. "He was one of the worst secretaries of defense in American history, and only Donald Rumsfeld has moved him up a notch from the bottom."

"He'll never get redemption, never escape the brand of failure on his chest that came from mismanaging the war," he says.

A Tragic Life?

Those who have watched, wrote about and knew McNamara — and knew of his brilliance and wit, his successes as a business executive and as a later-in-life humanitarian — still assess his life as a tragedy.

"Vietnam was his defining time," McGovern says, "and it imbued his life with tragedy."

Says Karnow: "I began to feel, in the end, that McNamara was himself a casualty of the war. He was, in fact, tormented by it — more tormented than a lot of people."

But he should have gone public with his doubts at the time of the war and resigned, says Karnow.

"Considering that 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam, not to mention a couple million Vietnamese, he had a duty to stand up and protest," he says.