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How much did the Vietnam war cost the US?


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Answered 2009-04-15 09:50:56

You ask a challenging question; the answer depends upon how you do the accounting. There are a lot of different "costs" being reported by different sources, many of whom did not get their information from reliable primary sources. What items should be included in the "cost"? And do you use the value of the dollar in 1965-1975 or the current value of the dollar? A 2008 report of the Congressional Review Service of the US Library of Congress has estimated the direct financial cost of the Vietnam War at 111 billion 1975 dollars, which is 676 billion 2008 dollars. However, this is the excess cost over-and-above the estimated cost of maintaining a "normal" military force in peacetime, not the actual total spent. Another approach to looking at the cost is to look at the total of military spending for the Vietnam War period 1965-1975. 1965 -- 51 $billion .......... 1971 -- 79 $billion 1966 -- 58 $billion .......... 1972 -- 79 $billion 1967 -- 71 $billion .......... 1973 -- 77 $billion 1968 -- 82 $billion .......... 1974 -- 79 $billion 1969 -- 83 $billion .......... 1975 -- 87 $billion 1970 -- 82 $billion On this basis, the US spent 828 billion 1975 dollars on all military operations during the Vietnam War period, which is $5 trillion 2008 dollars. The CRS report mentioned above is assuming that we would have spent 80% of this amount even if there had been no Vietnam War. Please click the link below for the CRS report quoted in this answer.

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See website: Vietnam War


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