Saturday, 31 March 2012

Robert McNamara and the Fog of War

Highly recommended watching for anyone with the remotest interest in 20th century history, politics, foreign affairs etc etc. In this documentary, former US Secretary of Defense (sic) Robert McNamara gives an illuminating and highly emotive glimpse into some of the most intense instances of the Cold War: The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam conflict. McNamara was one of the most influential men in the White House during both crises: His recollections give a fascinating account of the mentality of the US government elite as they succeeded in empathising with their Russia counterparts to prevent nuclear war, but were guilty of severe misperception and misunderstanding of the situation in Vietnam. The title is a battlefield reference to such confusion, when there are so many variables that it is impossible for a rational human being to take account of all of them.

The film expertly positions the crises within the Cold War context and traces their origins to the closing of the Second World War. This is both a very accessible and fascinating film that everyone (including myself) will benefit from watching!


  1. If I might weigh-in as chief film specialist. My review from some years back...
    "A superbly made documentary, exploring the life and philosophies of Vietnam War expert Robert McNamara whose slippery and yet remarkably likeable persona makes for an utterly compelling, completely involving subject matter that successfully ponders the long term consequences of disparate conflict-leadership."
    A five-star film, i'm sure you agree.