DIRECTOREspar, David
TITLEWar and Peace in the Nuclear Age: Part VI, The Education of Robert McNamara
DISTRIBUTORAnnenberg/CPB Project
RUNNING TIME60 minutes

This film concentrates on Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s role in formulating United States nuclear strategy during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Relying on intellectuals rather than military personnel for advice, McNamara took the United States into the Missile Age. Under his direction, the United States developed nuclear weapons to deter Soviet attacks on America and its allies. The film outlines nuclear response policies of the United States, such as the Flexible Response, McNamara’s creation, and the No-Cities Doctrine, which he opposed. When policy shifted toward Assured Destruction, attention was given to the development of air missile defense to deter Soviet attacks. The film is the sixth of a thirteen part series, including interviews and original footage, on World War II and the Cold War through the Reagan administration.

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