Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Under JFK's administration of the so-called 'best and the brightest', a number of academics and business directors were promoted to executive power. With [Robert] McNamara as secretary of defence, technocratic management theory became the ubiquitous language for all military matters in the Pentagon during the 1960s. Guided by theoretical 'models', systems analysis, operational research, 'game theory' and numbers-driven management, McNamara's group of 'whizz kids' believed war was a rational business of projected costs, benefits and kill-rations, and that if only these could be maximized, war could be won. Although the Pentagon under McNamara put much effort into modelling, and then fighting, according to these models, the Vietnamese guerrillas refused to act as 'efficient consumers' in the Pentagon's market economy, or as the 'rational opponents' in the 'game theories' of RAND - indeed, opinion has it that this approach led to the unnecessary prolongation of the Vietnam war."

from Hollow Land by Eyal Weizman

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