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Three years ago, during an interview in New York, McNamara raised the ire of Australian Vietnam veterans by concluding that they should never have been there in the first place.
At the time, comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq were starting to be made as it became apparent Iraq would not be the cakewalk the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, and other Bush Administration hawks had boldly predicted.
McNamara said the US had not fully learned the lessons of Vietnam, one of which was that if you couldn't persuade key allies - the Europeans - to join the cause, then the cause was questionable.
"In Vietnam, we didn't have a single major nation. Australia, to some degree, was supportive," he said.