It’s pretty easy to label Robert McNamara a pessimist. He does say “I’m not so naive or simplistic to believe we can eliminate war,” and after all, he suggests, you can’t change human nature.
I don’t think his skepticism stems from a belief that human nature is evil. It’s closer to what my friend Erik told me in a discussion about Syria. It’s not that we are inherently violent. It’s that we are bad at making decisions and war is ALWAYS an option. I tend to agree.
The most important thing we can do is learn from whatever mistakes we make. Continue reading