Oh he was hated among the Right as well.
Worst SecDef ever.
That would not have been pretty, to say the least. Nobody’s saying anything about what the USSR’s anticipated response would be, either. The Bear was very much on the prowl in those days and would not have taken kindly to a nuclear power projection at its back door.
Bob was sure full of nutty ideas. Maybe this was his attempt to make up for botching Vietnam.
Couple of thoughts:
The Kennedy doctrine shifted nuclear strategy away from “Massive Retaliation” and toward something called “Flexible Response”. In theory this meant that the US might use nukes earlier & in small parcels as part of an overall battlefield strategy. In reality once there was an initial nuclear exchange the ‘incentives’ for all sides would be to fire their entire inventory before their Command & Control Systems went offline.
My second thought — and perhaps this is more likely — is that McNamarra was playing poker with the hawks. In effect he was saying, “we can do little (conventionally), so we need to go nuke” hoping that the hawks within the Kennedy administration would fold.
Ahhhh... the Hawker Hunter was a second-generation jet fighter. It was pretty effective as a fighter-interceptor. All those other aircraft were WW2, but they would have been reasonably effective if protected by the Hunters.
The problem was the altitude. The Sino-Indian War was fought in the Himalaya's. Ask any WW2 air crew who flew the Hump from India to China how difficult it was just to navigate & fly safely though those mountains.
That man managed to mess up the Vietnam War, For Motor Company and the world-wide banking system all in one lifetime.