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Unformatted text preview: War in The Reagan Era Looking at the Past Through the Lens of War A Broken Military in a Renewed Cold War When Ronald Reagan took his oath of office as commander-in-chief in January 1981, he inherited a military that was still struggling to overcome the severe damage inflicted by the Vietnam War , which had ended in defeat in 1975. For fifteen long years leading up that date, American soldiers had borne the brunt of a demoralizing and ultimately fruitless campaign to prop up our country's anticommunist allies in Vietnam's civil war. More than 57,000 American servicemen ultimately died in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and much of the American military's fighting spirit and effectiveness died with them. Billions of dollars worth of equipment and munitions were destroyed in the fighting, while an unpopular draft filled the ranks with soldiers who didn't want to be there, sapping morale. Many of the best and brightest men of the junior officer corps left the force in disgust and exhaustion, robbing the military brass of a generation of...
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- Fall '10
- Cold War