The Report of the President’s commission on Campus Unrest (1970)
Throughout the Vietnam War, American soldiers were faced with many new tactics by the communist Viet cog on unfamiliar ground. Many American citizens strongly opposed the war. Philip Caputo, “describes how difficult it was for American troops trained for conventional combat to adjust to the realities of a guerrilla war of attrition against a largely unseen enemy.” (p. 339). Following incidents of the war, an increase in human casualties created sentiment that promoted protests and riots. One such example is the incident that took place at Kent University Campus. “During a tense confrontation, the poorly trained guard troops and nervous guardsmen fired on student protesters, killing four.” (p.332). Demonstrations continued to be commonplace as the people’s sentiment toward the war saw a foreseeable political and economic downturn.
Throughout the 1970’s, there was a period of economic stagflation, where both high rates of inflation and a stagnant economy were present. Stagflation is usually cause by a shock in the supply of an economy. With the ongoing war, the United States made the wrongful decision to pump even more money into the economy, it needed the money for the war, but this decision ultimately made the situation much worse. The 1970’s was a time where shortage at gas pumps was rampant. Signs such as “Sorry, No Gas Today” littered the coastlines, and the very few available gasoline you could find, was price hiked tremendously.
Many experts today share a common view that the Vietnam War played a contributing factor that directly influenced inflation. There were budget deficits, and as with any war, wars can become quite expensive. Eventually, the American veterans came home defeated. When these veterans came back from Vietnam, they were not as well received or highly praised as previous veterans by their fellow citizens. Eight years later, North and South Vietnam finally united into one cohesive country. The Vietnam War can be seen as the most devastating dud in history.