This article complicates and challenges the existing records on US-Lao relations during the Second Indochina War by examining military waste in Laos as an archive. Over two million tons of bombs were dropped during US bombing in Laos from 1964 to 1973. Today, Laos remains the most heavily bombed country per capita, where more than 580,000 bombing missions were conducted (the equivalent of one raid every eight minutes for nine years). The war metal and scraps that saturate northern Laos motivated my examination of an alternative archive, as have incomplete records—those restricted or absented—in the state archive. Located in the massive accumulation of military waste, these archives tell a different story about the war by highlighting the convergence of militarism and capitalism that led to the production of bombs and that continue to shape life-making practices in the war’s aftermath.

You do not currently have access to this content.