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Credibility gap is a term that came into wide use with journalism, political and public discourse in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. At the time, it was most frequently used to describe public skepticism about the Lyndon B. Johnson administration's statements and policies on the Vietnam War.
The war in Vietnam had lasting consequences for US foreign policy. Congress passed the War Powers Act in 1973, in a clear attempt to reassert a measure of control over the making of foreign policy and to impose constraints on presidential power. For well over a decade, American public opinion was hostile to the idea of foreign interventions. This was known as the “Vietnam syndrome,” and it entailed an unwillingness to become bogged down in foreign wars in which American national security interests were unclear.