Name Macro & Micro economics 14 November 2012 Effects of the Vietnam Debt on America 1. Introduction Vietnam is a nation located in Southeast Asia on the eastern section of the Indochinese peninsula. Since its early history, Vietnam has faced constant invasion by outsiders…
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2. Background of the U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War Initially, the United States did not take sides on the war in Vietnam. However, a series of global events provoked the United States into backing up France. This was after President Harry S. Truman promised to assist the French in sustaining their control in Indochina. Consequently, the United Sates got involved in Vietnam. Before the war, in one way or the other, the United States believed that it was in charge of maintaining order in the world. Among Harry Truman’s foreign policies was the policy to control communism and this was very evident in Southeast Asia. During Eisenhower’s administration, the United States continued to directly support the French in form of equipment, weapons and technical assistance. According to a report by Charles E. Wilson, who was the defense secretary during Eisenhower’s first term as president, millions of dollars were allocated to the French Union Forces, in addition to a program for regular Indochinese military assistance for equipment and weapons. Campagna states that “In September 1953, $385 million were allocated to the direct support of the French Union Forces and added to the $400 million previously appropriated for this purpose in the budget for fiscal year 1954” (3). ...
This led to the transfer of these funds from assistance programs to other accounts of allotment. At the same time, a complete account of the amounts spent in Vietnam was demanded revealing the total dollars spent by the United States from 1953 to 1965. The cost of military personnel in Vietnam was not included in the accounts, as it was not clear how many dollars had been spent on this, despite the fact that between 1954 and 1961, the number of troops assigned to Vietnam had gradually increased (Campagna 5). The amounts in millions of dollars are shown in the following table: Fiscal Year Agency for International Development and other Agencies Public Law 480 (all titles) Total 1953-1957 783.9 39.4 823.3 1958 179.1 9.7 188.8 1959 200.6 6.5 207.1 1960 169.0 11.5 180.5 1961 132.6 12.0 144.6 1962 110.7 32.5 143.2 1963 133.2 64.3 197.5 1964 159.3 71.0 230.3 1965 216.1 52.8 268.9 Total 2084.5 299.7 2384.2 Source: Campagna, Anthony S., The Economic Consequences of the Vietnam War, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1991, Print, table 1.1. At this time, it was difficult to determine whether the total amounts spent in Vietnam, with or without the personnel costs, would have an impact on the economy of the United States. In the 1950s, the economy of the United States underwent a period of stagnation with three recessions during Eisenhower’s administration reducing the economic growth rate of the nation to 2.4 percent (Campagna 5). During this era, the economic and technological growth of the Soviet Union was higher than that of the United States. This brought about charges as a result of the technology gap. The United States however closed this gap by establishing the National Aeronautics and Space
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However, the French too were waging a war against the local people, who wanted to be rid of the colonial yoke. Soon after the world war, the fighting for the colony by the French continued, but by the year 1954, after their defeat at Dien Bien Phu, they were forced to agree to the Geneva accords, whereby Vietnam was divided at the seventeenth parallel, and elections to reunify the country were to be held by 1956.
The rulers of South Vietnam who sought American help to oust the communists were immersed in corruption and anti-people governance. At the same time, a spirit of social equality motivated the North Vietnamese communist rulers.
Indeed President Johnson failed to find a decent “way out” of Vietnam and this failure played an important role in the election of 1969 to elect President Nixon. But several issues such as America’s interests at home and abroad, in some way or other, were entangled with a decent conclusion of the war.
Rather than witness recriminations over the war on a massive scale as would have been expected, there was disquiet on the matter as if the war was already forgotten. The American citizens seemed perturbed by the war and nobody dared talk about it. Considering that it was the only war that the country had ever lost, one would have expected uproar.
Thus, after the WWII the US and the USSR embarked on a passive confrontation in which either side would extend support to those countries or regions that stood up for their ideologies. In this case, Vietnam was split into two parts; the North and the South (Anderson 77).
The Government of South Vietnam was supported by the member states of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and the United States, while the communist of North Vietnam were supported by its communist allies. The South Vietnamese communist insurgency, the Vietcong, fourth a guerrilla war, while the North Vietnamese Army fought a more conventional war.
From Presidents Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Johnson to Nixon’s time, Vietnam War continued as an extended attempt to pursue United States’ foreign policy of containment of Communism in favor of establishing liberal institutions and enabling expansion of democratic regimes not only in Europe but also in Middle East, Asia and East Asia.
The war was the longest war, which involved U.S and yet it did not win it. The North Vietnam wanted to convert South Vietnam into a communist territory. The North Vietnam was supported by communist allies while the South Vietnam had the support of U.S. and other
The military actions were held on the territory of Vietnam, where Vietnamese were at home and American soldiers faced many traps. If a person is a stranger in the jungle it is very difficult for him to stay alive for a least a couple of days. A half of
which were the United States of America (USA) as a champion for democracy and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) as the leader of the communist bloc in the world.
Since it was the height of the Cold War, the USA and USSR could not fight each other directly due to
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