Mao Zedong and Robert Mcnamara

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Introduction The character of political leaders shape the way they conduct their domestic and foreign policies. Generally, leaders cans either be known as: 1) an idealist, someone who takes a very optimistic stand in international relations, with moral and ethical basis, 2) a realist, an opposition towards naiveté of optimistic idealists, but instead adopts a pessimistic view that believes that war and conflicts are inevitable and hence military capability is very important, 3) a liberalists, one who prefers not to be overly pessimistic, and sees mutual respect, trust and cooperation a key to creating peace in international relations. However, with that being said, it does not necessarily mean that political leaders have to be classified as either a realist or an idealist or a liberalist. These leaders are not rigid entities and hence can change their “role”, but certainly they are usually more of one type than the other. In my essay, I will examine 2 well known political leaders and examine if they can considered a realist in terms of how they conduct their defence policies. One of whom will be Mao Zedong, a Chinese communist revolutionary, while the other would be Robert S. McNamara, ex secretary of Defence of the United States of America (USA). Mao Zedong Mao Zedong was the chairman of the communist party in China from 1943 to 1976 (Lynch, 2004, p. 125). He had transformed China from an agrarian society into a modern and industrialized state. During his rule in the mid 1950’s, he alongside with the different military leaders, notable Nie Rongzen and advisors felt that it was imperative that China rethinks their defence industry (China Culture, 2003). Hence in the years and decades following, China’s “military science” was the preferred industry which gained top priority in terms of resources (Feigenbaum, 1999, p. 287) . According to Mao and Nie, they defend

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