Amplifying Our Work
Since our founding in 2004, we have achieved an enormous amount on
a very limited budget. As we look ahead at the start of a new decade, we are energized by our core pillars: History. Healing. Hope.
Our efforts have contributed significantly to increases in U.S. investment in unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance and survivor assistance in Laos, from $1.3 million per year in 2004 to a historic amount today.
Legacies of War does not receive any government funding. In bringing greater attention and increasing resources, we’ve helped to make a real impact on the ground in Laos: more land being cleared, lives being saved, and additional care and services made available for the approximately 15,000 UXO survivors living in Laos.
An one-of-a-kind collection
Legacies Library is a collection of books, films, articles, and oral histories vetted by Legacies of War that tells the story of the American bombing of Laos (1964-1973) and its neighbors in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does my donation to Legacies of War support?
We're supported primarily by individual donors and a few larger grant organizations. Our funds go into supporting core initiatives - a few of which are below!
1.) Legacies Library, which we hope to develop into an online resource for the general public to learn more about the Secret War in Laos and is housed here on our website.
3.) Our Legacies of War Tour, planned for 2023 for locations throughout the United States, aimed at face-to-face education about The Secret War
4.) Staff as they work on our advocacy initiatives, trying to ensure that the U.S. Government continues to fund demining and victims assistance in Laos.
If you have any questions, please let us know and we'd be happy to clarify them!
Why is it called the 'Secret War'?
After Laos established its independence, civil war began between the Royal Lao Government and the Communist Pathet Lao. As a result, a conference at Geneva was held between 14 countries: Britain, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, China, France, India, Laos, Poland, Thailand, the Soviet Union, the United States. North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
1962 Geneva Accords -
There were two agreements signed at this conference. With the exception of Laos, 13 countries pledged the following:
Here are just a few. Read the agreement here
(a) they will not commit or participate in any way in any act which might directly or indirectly impair the sovereignty, independence, neutrality, unity or territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Laos ;
(b) they will not resort to the use or threat of force or any other measure which might impair the peace of the Kingdom of Laos
(g) they will not introduce into the Kingdom of Laos foreign troops or military personnel in any form whatsoever, nor will they in any way facilitate or connive at the introduction of any foreign troops or military personnel
(j) they will not use the territory of any country, including their own for interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Laos.
The United States signed this agreement and violated it. The Secret War in Laos is called the 'secret war' because the U.S. wasn't allowed to get involved. The U.S. did get involved and they made Laos the most bombed country, per capita, in history.
The U.S. is the largest funder for UXO removal globally. In FY2022 a historic $45M was approved to go toward UXO removal and victim assistance in Laos. In today's dollar, the U.S spent $17M per day to bomb Laos. The U.S must increase its funding for UXO removal in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.