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RIP Robert McNamara

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by CEF1959, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. CEF1959

    CEF1959 Willamette Valley, Oregon New Member

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    Former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, died today at the age of 93. He arguably was more responsible than any other person for the adoption of the M-16 as the standard long gun for all branches of the military.

    The Air Force had adopted the M-16 in 1962, but it was McNamara who approved the adoption of that weapon several years later for all branches of the military. It was largely a move toward greater efficiency in the military, based on an industrial philosophy he had used successfully at Ford Motor Co. Goodbye .308, hello .223.

    That decision has consequences today, including the prevalence of AR-15s in the gun safes of many members of this forum.

    Like him or not, he was a guy who influenced history.
     
  2. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    I've read and watched a lot of programs on McNamara, he actually took responsibility for his mistakes in Vietnam. If I had to sum him up in one word I would call him an accountant.
     
  3. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Oregon Member

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    It was General Westmoreland, who after repeated requests for the M16 through Army channels were ignored, called the White House to get them sent to Vietnam for general issue. Then the Ordnance Dept changed the powder to one with an additive that collects in the gas tube and turns concrete hard.
     
  4. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Curtis Lemay helped also.
     
  5. CEF1959

    CEF1959 Willamette Valley, Oregon New Member

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    Not so sure about that. Westmoreland didn't become head of Military Assistance Command - Vietnam until June of 1964. McNamara cancelled military production of the M-14 in January of 1963, leaving no alternative platform but the AR-15/M-16. And in December of 1963, the military (Army and AF) ordered more than 100,000 M-16s. Westmoreland got to Vietnam several months later and by the time he arrived was just arguing for more weapons period. M-14s were no longer being produced.

    I'm sure a lot of people had a say, though, including LeMay and Westmoreland. Before going to Vietnam, Westmoreland was commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps and likely had the ear of McNamara.
     
  6. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Oregon Member

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    It's been a while since I read Westmoreland's book. IIRC, the only Army soldiers with M16s when he got there were SF and they loved them. He requested more for issue to regular troops. Time went by and he kept requesting M16s and the higher ups didn't send them. Since he could get nowhere using the Chain of Command he called the White House and asked them to intervene and ship the M16s. So finally they were released.

    The Army Ordnance people hated the M16 so didn't send cleaning kits with them and soon started loading ammo with powder that clogs the gas tube permanently, thus the M16 was sabotaged and soldiers died when they stopped working. The Army's answer to this was to add the forward assist.

    The original person who flavored the M16 and loved his own (not sure if it was an AR15 or an M16) was John F. Kennedy. He used to keep one on his boat and shot a lot of sharks with it. I saw the pictures in a magazine long ago but they have since been pulled from the public eye and even the Kennedy museum says they can't find them.
     
  7. aslinged

    aslinged Southern Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I think they should have stuck with the .308 and 30-06.
     
  8. Buddhalux

    Buddhalux Hillsboro, Oregon Active Member

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    You think that until you have to hump 500 rds or more in a jungle for days on end.
     
  9. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    LOL... I was an M60 machinegunner who served in "Latin" America back in the 80's... I carried 3 cans of 7.62 (600-rnds) in addition to the M60, a 1911A1 and 5 mags for that... and my other field gear. My assistant gunner also carried 3 cans, his M16 (with 7 mags), 1911A1 (and 5 mags), plus his field gear... 7.62 is HEAVY stuff... man we had leg and back muscles that the gods dreamed of having :D
     
  10. Buddhalux

    Buddhalux Hillsboro, Oregon Active Member

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    I know what you mean. I was TAC security when we went to Panama. I got my field/combat load (60 lbs) and a singars radio (35 lbs), 6 batteries (30 lbs), 4 60 mm mortar rounds, and 400 rds of 5.56. I thought that those hills would kill me. Especially since it was september and the monsoons where in full force then.
    Jumping into JRTC was worse though. We dropped in heavy, my LCE weighed in at 97 lbs and my ruck was 107 lbs. I lost 15 lbs in 5 days from not having enough time to eat and the rest of the platoon could drop rucks at anytime. I couldn't since I had the radio in it. I felt like a damn mountain goat. I still have the stretch marks on my thighs and hips from it 20 yrs later!!!
     
  11. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    That's why they call 'em "Grunts"! HUAH!!
     
  12. Blackfeather7

    Blackfeather7 Oregon Member

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  13. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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