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Effects of the Vietnam War Debt on America - Essay Example

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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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Effects of the Vietnam War Debt on America

Download file to see previous pages... 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 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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