The Fog of War – Lesson #2: Rationality will not save us

It is difficult to summarize this lesson any better than McNamara did below (emphasis added):

“I want to say, and this is very important: at the end we lucked out. It was luck that prevented nuclear war. We came that close to nuclear war at the end. Rational individuals: Kennedy was rational; Khrushchev was rational; Castro was rational. Rational individuals came that close to total destruction of their societies. And that danger exists today.”

Poignantly, McNamara notes:

“The major lesson of the Cuban missile crisis is this: the indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will destroy nations.”