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IN RETROSPECT:
THE TRAGEDY AND LESSONS OF VIETNAM

ROBERT S. MCNAMARA WITH BRIAN VANDEMARK


Appendix:
The Nuclear Risks of the 1960s
and Their Lessons for the Twenty-first Century

(selection from p. 345 )

In the early 1960s, I had reached conclusions similar to these. In long private conversations, first with President Kennedy and then with President Johnson, I had recommended, without qualification, that they never, under any circumstances, initiate the use of nuclear weapons. I believe they accepted my recommendations. But neither they nor I could discuss our position publicly because it was contrary to established NATO policy.


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