The Vietnam War was one of the costliest conflicts in American history, totaling more than $273 billion dollars by it conclusion.
1968 was a watershed year for the Vietnam War. It began with the North Vietnamese army breaking a truce orchestrate by the Pope. It was the year of the Tet Offensive, a military operation by the North, which drastically reduced many American’s faith that the war was winnable. It was also the year of many iconic moments. The picture of the South Vietnamese officer executing a Vietcong prisoner was taken this year, as was the call by Walter Cronkite to end the war because he considered it unwinnable.
In the middle of all this, the U.S. spent a record $77.4 billion dollars on the war in 1968 alone. Johnson would ask congress to pass additional taxes to cover the cost of ramping up military operations and the cost in terms of human lives was a staggering 16,592 Americans as well as 200,000 communist troops and civilians killed.