Naïve Brilliance

If anything can be said in retrospect about Robert McNamara is not that he was hawkish, evil, corrupt or duplicitous, but that despite his sophistication, the statistical prowess and scientific rigour that he showed in his work, his all-around intellectual capacity (or perhaps, in a way just because of all these) he exemplified the naïve brilliance that often accompanies highly intelligent people that fail to take that macroscopic view and consider where they place their focus and energy and why they do so. His 2003 ‘apology’ film, the Errol Morris documentary ‘The Fog Of War’, as well as his 1995 ‘In Retrospect’ book, both indicate that wisdom came late to McNamara; a clear and very welcome difference, nevertheless, to most of his contemporaries.

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