Throughout all levels of education, we have observed a significant gap in the curriculum regarding the history of the Vietnam War era, particularly The American Secret War in Laos - a neutral country. Legacies is driven by three core pillars: History, Healing, and Hope. To achieve the latter two pillars, Healing and Hope, it is essential to ensure that the first pillar, History, is comprehensively addressed. Due to decades of disinformation and erasure of history, Southeast Asian Americans remain a vital American community that has been left out of the American consciousness even though many of the families fleeing war and conflict had no choice.
Our goal is to uplift these communities and permanently preserve and protect the unique contributions, experiences, cultures, and languages which have not been recognized. Refugee families, survivors, and voices of the diaspora will never be forgotten through our preservation of history: Legacies Library, Thip Khao Talk Podcast, and the interactive Khao Niew’s Classroom.
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.