The debate now unfolding -- in the White House, in Congress and in the public square -- about the way ahead in Afghanistan is one that McNamara and Bundy, given their efforts late in life to come to terms with Vietnam, would have no doubt followed with keen interest. In his final interview, McNamara was asked how a country truly learns from its mistakes. "I think you break" from replicating history, he said, "by writing thoughtful retrospective reviews of what we've done in the past that may apply to the current situation or the future."Fair enough. But I wish I read as much about what Democratic congressional leaders could have done in 1973-75 to save South Vietnam as I do ritualistic flagellations of Johnson and McNamara for what they did in escalating the war. The war wasn't lost until it was lost, after the Watergate Congress systematically set about to deprive our allies of bullets. As a matter of fact, there's a lesson in that for Obama, too.
Hat tip to Maarja Krusten