US Secret War In Laos: Grim Details Of 1964 To 1973

US Secret War In Laos: Grim Details Of 1964 To 1973
Photo Credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D. – Global Photo Archive via Compfight cc

On September 6, U.S President Barack Obama made a historic visit to Laos, becoming the first American president to visit the communist country. But the horror of the U.S. secret war in Laos still lingers today.


According to a report from war history website Legacies of War, beginning in 1964 until 1973, the U.S. carried out 580,000 bombing missions across Laos. This translates to more than two million tons of ordnance.

Horror of the ‘Secret War’

Obama’s visit to Laos drew several interesting discussions on the U.S.-Laos diplomatic relations and on its dark history. Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to set foot on Laotian lands, is visiting Vientiane for the Rim Pacific Summit.

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“The bombings were part of the U.S. Secret War in Laos to support the Royal Lao Government against the Pathet Lao and to interdict traffic along the Ho Chi Minh Trail,” the report noted.

Although decades have passed and American troops are no longer present in the country, the destruction of the so-called U.S. secret war in Laos continues to linger among Laotians. Not only historically. The nine-year extensive bombings caused damage even today’s Laotians continue to experience, which was briefly illustrated in a video from Mother Jones uploaded on YouTube.

Unexploded Ordnances

The report revealed that roughly one third of the bombs dropped in Laos did not explode. It means that hundreds of thousands of unexploded ordnances (UXO) remain as threats to people in Laos, causing thousands of deaths and injuries.

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In fact, data revealed that at least 20,000 deaths and injuries have been recorded due to unexploded ordnance or UXO.

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