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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare by Other Means

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Warfare by Other Means Economics, demographics, cultural, technological, and other factors that have affected the course of history.

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  #1  
Old 27 Jan 17, 08:27
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Cold War [with Nam ] worth it?

...this came up while talking about Vietnam/etc in another thread
and then while I was researching Vietnam just now, I came across the same subject/question with this quote from a Nam vet,

...
Quote:
Fourteen years ago, I watched the Berlin Wall come down and, as an ABC News correspondent, I witnessed first hand the collapse of communism. I remember thinking, My God, containment worked. We won the Cold War. And however meaningless Vietnam seemed at the time, it contributed to the fall of communism. Hardly justification for what we went through in Vietnam, but at least it was something.
.....bold mine

...http://www.mishalov.com/death_ia_drang_valley.html

....did containment work? all our sticking our noses in crap like the Bay of Pigs, Iran and the Shah that led to the Iranian hostage mess, Afghanistan back fired on us, flying B 52s around the clock,etc etc ...
....could we not have been stronger economically, etc without the Cold war? was it necessary??
main question: how did it effect the US economically?

Last edited by Moulin; 27 Jan 17 at 08:39..
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  #2  
Old 27 Jan 17, 08:36
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You look at the failures but not the successes.
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Old 27 Jan 17, 13:32
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The Defense Department reported that the overall cost of the Vietnam war was $173 billion (equivalent to $770 billion in 2003 dollars). Veteran's benefits and interest would add another $250 billion ($1 Trillion in 2003 dollars). But the real cost of the war was its impact on the economy, including agriculture.
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Old 27 Jan 17, 14:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
...this came up while talking about Vietnam/etc in another thread
and then while I was researching Vietnam just now, I came across the same subject/question with this quote from a Nam vet,

...
.....bold mine

...http://www.mishalov.com/death_ia_drang_valley.html

....did containment work? all our sticking our noses in crap like the Bay of Pigs, Iran and the Shah that led to the Iranian hostage mess, Afghanistan back fired on us, flying B 52s around the clock,etc etc ...
....could we not have been stronger economically, etc without the Cold war? was it necessary??
main question: how did it effect the US economically?
Since Viet Nam was never about opposing Soviet Russia - we were more worried about China at the time - the answer is a resounding NO, especially since we lost that war.

However, you might, since this is a history forum, take note of the fact that wars are often begun when economies begin to fail. Problme is, if and when thwe war stops, so does the unlimited spending. America hasn't tried to actually pay cash for a war since WWII. We just run up debt instead.

Of course, fifty years down the road we have drastically depleted our resources and run up incredible national debts, but no one ever looks beyond the moment.

Wars used to be about winning land, property, valuable resources and so forth. Now they are about nothing useful at all. Best example? The on-going fiasco in the Middle East. We have paid a huge cost for nothing at all.
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  #5  
Old 27 Jan 17, 14:56
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Supposed we hadn't tried? Isolationism worked so well in the years before Pearl Harbor, right?
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Old 27 Jan 17, 17:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
The Defense Department reported that the overall cost of the Vietnam war was $173 billion (equivalent to $770 billion in 2003 dollars). Veteran's benefits and interest would add another $250 billion ($1 Trillion in 2003 dollars). But the real cost of the war was its impact on the economy, including agriculture.
It would have been much cheaper the entire population of Vietnam were paid not to embrace communism,
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Old 28 Jan 17, 09:12
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thanks for replying
...well, we lost the ''dominoes''--Vietnam, Cambodia, ...
we lost Cuba--right on our door step--
Iran hated us
we had the enmity of the Middle East for helping Israel
.how was the US affected?
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Old 28 Jan 17, 20:46
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Moulin, we didn't 'lose' Cambodia. We never invested in Cambodia to the extent we did in Vietnam. Virtually everything we did there was related to Vietnam. Our goal was a Cambodia that was independent of Vietnam, and that seems to be the extent of it.

As for containment, it certainly worked in the passive sense. We gave communism the time it needed to collapse on it own. Not always voluntarily. And not without pain. But collapse it did. Could that have been accomplished without machinations and wars?

Well, it couldn't have been accomplished without the positioning of US warships in the Taiwan Straight, and the Korean War, both of which semi-permanently divided countries much as East and West Germany. And our limited assistance to the Royal Hellenic Government in the Greek Civil War seemed to provide a model for success. Not being an expert on Iran, I'll say that we might have avoided entanglements there, as well as in Guatemala. Would that have kept the Shah out of power, Guatemala at peace, and the Sandinistas and El Salvador's FMLN minor communist splinter groups? Maybe, maybe not.

Could we have stayed out of Vietnam? No; we were the America we were, seeing the world through lenses forged in the 30s and 40s. Once China was "lost", non-Communist Nationalist Vietnam was not going down without a fight, even if we had to send in American troops. Had the anti-War movement avoided the lunatic left-wing tones it took on, perhaps saner heads would have been able to scale back American involvement to advisory support only. But that's a big 'if'.

As for Cuba, we never lost it. It was never ours to lose. Che was a suicide
searching the appropriate theater for his self-immolation. Had his arrogance not antagonized the Bolivian communists, he might yet be alive. He fought a good fight, sent his Bolivian prisoners back unharmed, and was killed by Bolivians who were not amused by his having chosen them to be the key to his LATAM liberation. (Notwithstanding contrary claims in certain Miami circles). Fidel, unfortunately, was more careful in his choices of US beard-pulling. He enlisted the Soviets, who brought the world to the edge of disaster, which caused some needed reassessments on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The Russians unilaterally removed their missiles, the US stood down at sea, and the Cuban military got its combat experience in darkest Africa. But Grenada showed them just how haphazard tugging on Uncle Sam's beard could be.

THe very best thing that has happened in Cuba for over half a century was the lifting of (some) US sanctions on Cuba. Now, that seems in peril, we'll see if ideology or common sense prevails. Either way, Cuba is not ours to win or lose.
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  #9  
Old 28 Jan 17, 20:53
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The Soviet Union collapsed. We didn't. Japan didn't go over. South America didn't go over. California went over a little. We won more than we lost.
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Old 29 Jan 17, 11:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
Moulin, we didn't 'lose' Cambodia. We never invested in Cambodia to the extent we did in Vietnam. Virtually everything we did there was related to Vietnam. Our goal was a Cambodia that was independent of Vietnam, and that seems to be the extent of it.

As for containment, it certainly worked in the passive sense. We gave communism the time it needed to collapse on it own. Not always voluntarily. And not without pain. But collapse it did. Could that have been accomplished without machinations and wars?

Well, it couldn't have been accomplished without the positioning of US warships in the Taiwan Straight, and the Korean War, both of which semi-permanently divided countries much as East and West Germany. And our limited assistance to the Royal Hellenic Government in the Greek Civil War seemed to provide a model for success. Not being an expert on Iran, I'll say that we might have avoided entanglements there, as well as in Guatemala. Would that have kept the Shah out of power, Guatemala at peace, and the Sandinistas and El Salvador's FMLN minor communist splinter groups? Maybe, maybe not.

Could we have stayed out of Vietnam? No; we were the America we were, seeing the world through lenses forged in the 30s and 40s. Once China was "lost", non-Communist Nationalist Vietnam was not going down without a fight, even if we had to send in American troops. Had the anti-War movement avoided the lunatic left-wing tones it took on, perhaps saner heads would have been able to scale back American involvement to advisory support only. But that's a big 'if'.

As for Cuba, we never lost it. It was never ours to lose. Che was a suicide
searching the appropriate theater for his self-immolation. Had his arrogance not antagonized the Bolivian communists, he might yet be alive. He fought a good fight, sent his Bolivian prisoners back unharmed, and was killed by Bolivians who were not amused by his having chosen them to be the key to his LATAM liberation. (Notwithstanding contrary claims in certain Miami circles). Fidel, unfortunately, was more careful in his choices of US beard-pulling. He enlisted the Soviets, who brought the world to the edge of disaster, which caused some needed reassessments on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The Russians unilaterally removed their missiles, the US stood down at sea, and the Cuban military got its combat experience in darkest Africa. But Grenada showed them just how haphazard tugging on Uncle Sam's beard could be.

THe very best thing that has happened in Cuba for over half a century was the lifting of (some) US sanctions on Cuba. Now, that seems in peril, we'll see if ideology or common sense prevails. Either way, Cuba is not ours to win or lose.
...we did not want Cambodia to be taken over by the Khmer Rouge
we spent big $ for that
..we did not want these countries to become communists--but they did--we lost them all to communism/etc
..main point: we fought and spent billions to keep the above countries from going communists or trying to overthrow them--we failed--
...............did the US self destruct/die/etc because these countries went communists? no--not even close--we just wasted billions of $
....Bay of Pigs ! why did we try to overthrow Castro? my exact point--we did not need to spend millions$ for that..we lost big time--money and world wide trust...
...we could have and should have stayed out of Nam...we lost money, world trust and most importantly--millions of lives--for what? the communist won
...so if we didn't go in, they would've won sooner....without millions of dead
same ending no matter what--so why get 50,000 Americans killed and millions of civilians?
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Old 29 Jan 17, 12:01
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We demonstrated a willingness to resist the spread of Communism. That intangible was worth a lot to "fence sitting" 3rd world nations.
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Old 29 Jan 17, 20:50
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Moulin

If you are the numerically small wealthy elite then you must vote YES that being the Cold War was worth it and the policy of containment (Vietnam included). Reason being that the areas of the world containing valuable resources were grabbed away from their native populations by way of authoritarian local governments allied to the said western elites.

If you are the numerous common people of the West (North America included) then you must vote NO that being it was the common people's blood and their tax money being wasted to make the above happen for the elites to have a higher scale of living while the people's standard of living stayed frozen and declined since 1980 and earlier for many.
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Old 30 Jan 17, 07:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
We demonstrated a willingness to resist the spread of Communism. That intangible was worth a lot to "fence sitting" 3rd world nations.
but Nam demonstrated that a little, poor, country could defeat the US
Bay of Pigs, Nam/etc demonstrated that the US could not be trusted...
Iran-Shah demonstrated that the US would back an uncaring dictator..
what does resisting have to do with our economy at that time? did these nations need to think the US would use it's might to help them?
...what were some of the successes in the Cold War? and how did they affect the US?
...what were some of these 3rd world nations?
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Old 30 Jan 17, 08:12
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Quote:
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Moulin

If you are the numerically small wealthy elite then you must vote YES that being the Cold War was worth it and the policy of containment (Vietnam included). Reason being that the areas of the world containing valuable resources were grabbed away from their native populations by way of authoritarian local governments allied to the said western elites.

If you are the numerous common people of the West (North America included) then you must vote NO that being it was the common people's blood and their tax money being wasted to make the above happen for the elites to have a higher scale of living while the people's standard of living stayed frozen and declined since 1980 and earlier for many.
thank you for your input
...also not only valuable resources--but also strategic locations such as Somalia-Ethiopia
Somalia also should be in the fiasco thread--and also--we see again-- the millions $ spent ! for what ???
we see the Cold War powers vying for the countries of the world and did not this cause problems/ more porblems/conflicts/wars/etc in these countries?
..
http://allafrica.com/stories/200201210455.html

omg! for the money spent in all these Cold War ''fiascos''/etc, did we get anything in return? we got a lot of people killed and world shame, yes?
what did we get in return?
thanks all replies...I know there are many aspects/etc to this
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Old 30 Jan 17, 09:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
but Nam demonstrated that a little, poor, country could defeat the US
Bay of Pigs, Nam/etc demonstrated that the US could not be trusted...
Iran-Shah demonstrated that the US would back an uncaring dictator..
what does resisting have to do with our economy at that time? did these nations need to think the US would use it's might to help them?
...what were some of the successes in the Cold War? and how did they affect the US?
...what were some of these 3rd world nations?
Bah, it proved that the press could defeat the military.

And you seriously want a list of countries that didn't go communist?
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