What is the 'McNamara Fallacy' that has driven the United States into defeat?

There are several reasons why the United States was defeated in the

Vietnam War , one of which is 'McNamara Fallacy '.

The McNamara Fallacy – measurement is not understanding

From November 1965 to April 1975, the Vietnam War unfolded over the unification of Vietnam, which was divided into north and south. The Vietnam War, also known as the Cold War proxy war between the United States and Russia, sent a huge number of American troops to fight the Communists of North Vietnam on behalf of South Vietnam. During the involvement of the United States in the war, 894,018 soldiers died, of which 58,318 were American soldiers.

At the cost of so many, the United States has lost the Vietnam War. One of the causes is ' McNamara Fallacy '. 'McNamara Fallacy' is named after Robert McNamara , who was Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, 'to make decisions based solely on quantitative observations and ignore all other factors.'

McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense at the time of the Vietnam War, is said to have learned the scientific measurement method established under

Frederick Taylor known as 'scientific management'. Based on this experience, McNamara believed that he could win the Vietnam War using quantitative indicators.

Specifically, McNamara focused on 'the ratio of the number of deaths of American soldiers to the number of deaths of enemy soldiers' and 'as long as the number of deaths of enemy soldiers is greater than the number of deaths of American soldiers, the army is on the road to victory. I am advancing. ' However, McNamara did not consider that the war involved not only both troops but also civilians from the countries concerned. McNamara uses the famous business phrase 'I can't control what I can't measure,' claiming that his thoughts are correct, and that non-quantifiable indicators other than the number of deaths are 'irrelevant to the outcome of the war.' And excluded from consideration.

This result, as is widely known, ended with the defeat of the United States.

Therefore, 'A: I always assume that the actual quantitative model is more accurate than other models.' 'B: I think that the easiest quantitative measurement is the most appropriate.' As the three points of 'C: deciding that there were no factors other than those used in the quantitative metric, or diminishing with no significant effect' are known as the quantitative errors committed by McNamara. became.

It's not wrong to use quantitative indicators, but to conclude that quantitative analysis is always the most effective option, such as 'McNamara Fallacy'.

McNamara's fallacy is not something that only military strategists should consider, but something that everyone who uses numbers should understand. Especially in the digital business, the huge amount of quantitative data collected online is used in all fields such as marketing and product development, so both companies and consumers need to understand McNamara fallacy.

Specifically, as a method to avoid making mistakes in dealing with quantitative indicators like McNamara, 'We have a wide range of analytical perspectives and consider issues while checking quantitative and qualitative indicators from various perspectives. 'To do' is mentioned, and not only superficial research but also qualitative research should be conducted at the same time, in which case interviews will be an important tool.

in Note, Posted by logu_ii