By happenstance, on the eve of the 7th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Peg and I watched the 2004 Academy Award winning documentary Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.
The parallels between his discussion of the rationale for invading and fighting in Vietnam and the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan are uncanny.
Here are his 11 lessons:
1. Empathize with your enemy.
2. Rationality will not save us.
3. There’s something beyond one’s self.
4. Maximize efficiency
5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war
6. Get the data
7. Belief and seeing are often both wrong
8. Be prepared to re-examine your reasoning.
9. In order to do well, you may have to engage in evil.
10. Never say never
11. You can’t change human nature.