September 22, 1996
Robert McNamara, former secretary of defense, spoke on U.S. military policy to a small group of students and President Ferguson. In his remarks, he stressed the need for more education about the beliefs and practices, as well as policies of other nations. He admitted that the lack of American understanding, and lack of desire for understanding, of Vietnam was a major failure by the United States government, and described the Vietnam War as “a war of nationalism, not aggression.” The Miscellany News
Between November 1995 and February 1998, Vassar history professor Robert Brigham joined Secretary McNamara and other American diplomats, military men and scholars in a series of meetings in Hanoi, Vietnam, with Vietnamese scholars and former civilian and military officials. The wide-ranging discussions led to Argument Without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy (1999) written by McNamara, Brigham and Brown University historian James G. Blight.