Cost of the Vietnam War

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Cost of the Vietnam War

  • Up to 3 million people were killed and 15 million made homeless
  • 100s of 1,000s suffered similarly in Laos and Cambodia
  • 46,000 US soldiers died in combat, and over 10,000 from accident or disease (compared with less than 35,000 in Korea)
  • About 300,000 US sldiers were wounded: without improved medical services and rapid evacuation by helicopter, may of these would have died
  • War cost the US about $167 billion, undermining LBJ's "Great Society" welfare programme, forcing the $ to leave the gold standard in 1971, in the 1970s the $ was devaluated and there was a growing inflation problem
  • Congress passed the War Powers Act in 1973: insisting on congressional approval within 30 days of the President committing US troops to action
  • It was the only war the USA has ever lost
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