''The Fog of War'' is a 2003 war documentary about the life of UsefulNotes/VietnamWar Secretary of Defence, Robert S. [=McNamara=] and includes his eleven lessons of war. Directed by Creator/ErrolMorris.
!!Provides examples of:
* AnachronicOrder: [=McNamara=] is more interested in illustrating particular points than in a strict chronology, although each individual point is usually explained chronologically. As a whole, the film starts with the Cuban Missile Crisis, jumps back to UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, advances to 1960 only to jump back to 1945, and so on.
* TheBookOfTheFilm: A companion book with the same name uses lessons from [=McNamara's=] life to examine issues of war and peace in the 20th century.
* DueToTheDead: [=McNamara=] is notably shaken when he recalls the requiem and burial of UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy, forty years on.
* HappilyMarried: [=McNamara=] and Margaret, his wife for 41 years. He defines it as "a marriage made in heaven". She was survived by him.
* HonestAdvisor: One of the reasons why [=McNamara=] continued in office under UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson and became the longest serving Secretary of Defense.
* TheMentor: Much of the film has [=McNamara=] being the mentor to the documentary audience; he points out many mistakes and near-misses that he saw, and pleads with the audience to learn from his experiences. Particularly chilling is his recounting of a meeting in 1992 with Fidel Castro, who told him that, during the Cuban Missile Crisis 30 years previously, he (Castro) [[Main/ANuclearError wanted Khrushchev to launch the stationed missiles]].
* MortonsFork: [=McNamara=] is asked a difficult question about the VietnamWar and answers "damned if I do (reply), damned if I don't". He chooses to remain quiet.
* RefusalOfTheCall: [=McNamara=] was reluctant about his joining the cabinet because he knew nothing about politics. JFK [[TheCharmer charmingly]] convinced him by saying "Look, Bob, I don't think there's any school for Presidents either."
* ShoutOut: Several parallelisms to Sun Tzu's treatise ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' are evoked.
* TheSmartGuy: [=McNamara=]'s background; war data analyst, whiz kid at Ford and later successful CEO.
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: [=McNamara=]'s iconic glasses contribute to his intellectual aura.
* StockFootage: As a documentary about the history of the twentieth century, it uses quite a lot, but usually rather well.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: In reference to the firebombing campaign:
--> '''[=McNamara=]:''' I don't want to suggest that it was I who put in [[GeneralRipper LeMay's]] mind that his operations were totally inefficient and had to be drastically changed. But, anyhow, that's what he did. He took the B—29s down to 5,000 feet and he decided to bomb with firebombs.
* WarIsHell: As Curtis Lemay puts it "War is cruelty", but a [[NecessarilyEvil lesser evil]].
* WhosOnFirst: To great hilarity, when Robert Strange [=McNamara=] was asked in a telegram for his full name by his future wife in order to print wedding invitations, he wired back "My middle name is Strange," to which she retorted "I know it's strange, but what is it?"
* WorthyAdversary: [=McNamara=] portrays UsefulNotes/FidelCastro and Kruschev as rational, pragmatic counterparts during the CubanMissileCrisis.
* WrittenByTheWinners: [=McNamara=] admits that firebombing 63 Japanese cities and following it up with 2 nuclear bombs would be considered a war crime if not for the fact that he was on the winning side.