The McNamara Legacy
In January 1969 Richard Nixon was inaugurated as President, ending eight years of Democrat administrations for most of which Robert McNamara had served as Secretary of Defense. In the nuclear area McNamara’s legacy was formidable. A series of propositions had come to be embedded in American thinking about nuclear strategy that influenced the early policies of the Nixon Administration. These propositions were soon challenged and over the course of the 1970s they were qualified in significant ways but never quite discarded.