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The Fog of War - Essay Example

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The Fog of War In 2003 Errol Morris, an outstanding documentary filmmaker, created a piece dedicated to the major events in the US and world history of XX century and to the memories and views of Robert S. McNamara the man who directly participated and influenced the course of those events…
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The Fog of War

Download file to see previous pages... This exercise representing the life drama, especially when it comes to public persons, demonstrates the evolution of human consciousness. Reflecting upon the autobiographical milestones Robert McNamara makes a direct connections to the significant events such as the end of World War I, Great Depression, World War II, bombings of Japan, raise of post war capitalism while working at Ford company, appointment for the Secretary of Defense and Cuban missile crisis, war in Vietnam, and subsequent awareness of the situations and actions during the conferences with principals from Cuban crisis and Vietnam War. It is interesting how he applies in the statistical method in order to analyze the sequence of events talking about proportionality of civil casualties and military efficiency (The Fog of War). The most prominent part of McNamara’s life that left a footprint in the American history, was a period of his appointment for the position of the Secretary of Defense under the Kennedy and later Johnson administration. By the time he was asked to join the cabinet in November 1960, he had already made a career in Ford Motor Company. Advancing rapidly to the top-level management positions McNamara become the first company head selected outside the Ford family. Probably due to his uncommon ability to immerse in the subject and learn quickly he achieved such an outstanding professional success. Although not having any special knowledge about the defense, McNamara quickly begins to play an active role, introducing several innovations into the ministry and stimulating progress (“Robert S. McNamara”). Strategically both Kennedy and McNamara opposed the idea of massive retaliation making an emphasis on increasing the limited warfare capabilities through the training and equipment of the American and allies’ military personnel. McNamara argued that the principal military objectives should follow the “no-cities” concept aimed at destruction of the enemy’s military forces and not his civilians in the case of both nuclear and conventional warfare. In the Fog of War he states: “proportionality should be a guideline to war” (The Fog Of War). Due to the huge public resonance to Vietnam War McNamara as a person that embodied the entire system became an object to blame for the failure. It is quite common to demonize a single person and truly believe that only this single person has a responsibility for sufferings the people face because of the war. The Morris’ film is called the Fog of War in order to express the usual uncertainty inherent to the war. This term precisely describes the situation mutual deterrence of the Cold War in general and numerous political incidents between two superpowers in particular. Also I think the term can be applied to express the uncertainty on the personal level considering assumptions, logic, and posterior awareness of the individual who took a direct part in those events. As many of Morris’ films, Fog of War intends to put across a message that the situation tends to go out of control. In fact it is never under rational actor’s control. The example of Cuba missile crisis from the McNamara’s story demonstrates this point. The statement can also be referred to the overall uncertainty not only in the war but in life in general (Anderson, “the Fog Days” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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