Why did the "McNamara Project" fail to send soldiers with low iqs to Vietnam

Why did the "McNamara Project" fail to send soldiers with low iqs to Vietnam

Categories: North America

45 years have passed since the end of the Vietnam War, but this largest armed conflict after the Second World War still continues to reveal its secrets, sometimes unsightly. One of them can be called the "McNamara Project" or "Project 100,000", which, for obvious reasons, the "empire of good" did not advertise too much.

Why did the "McNamara Project" fail to send soldiers with low iqs to Vietnam

US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who headed the military department during the Vietnam campaign, developed a project according to which up to 345 thousand citizens of the country could be sent to fight in Vietnam within 5 years. But not simple ones, but with a low IQ, who were considered unfit for military service.

Robert McNamara

Such a desperate decision was made due to the fact that the Americans began to suffer one crushing defeat after another, and the anti-war movement was actively developing in the country. There were very few people who wanted to go to fight in the jungle overseas, and guys with a low level of intelligence can perfectly "patch up" a gap in the draft campaign.

But McNamara, if you believe his words, also pursued noble goals. The minister argued that serving in a combat zone will give people with low iqs the social skills they lack and, after returning home, they will better adapt to life in society. This is a kind of" social elevator " in khaki.

Why did the "McNamara Project" fail to send soldiers with low iqs to Vietnam

Guys with a low IQ level, people from the most socially disadvantaged families and ordinary homeless people were attracted to participate in the project. These recruits were not only not very intelligent and almost completely illiterate, but also extremely undisciplined. That is why the military met the news about the start of the project without enthusiasm and immediately dubbed the recruits "morons of McNamara" and "division of jerks".

Why did the "McNamara Project" fail to send soldiers with low iqs to Vietnam

The first stage of the draft for the "Project 100,000" was held in 1968 and it was more or less coped with. But when it came time to move on to the study of military disciplines, it turned out that only 68% of the guys are ready for further training. Of these people, only 37% successfully overcame the second stage and went to war.

The guys who got to the front became simple cannon fodder, which was thrown to break through or used for hopeless and dangerous military operations in the jungle. Those recruits of the "McNamara Project" who worked as drivers or cooks could consider themselves lucky. In the first 10 months, the losses among these fighters amounted to 10%. The vast majority of the victims were black.

Why did the "McNamara Project" fail to send soldiers with low iqs to Vietnam

The fighters called up as part of the project were not going to socialize and improve — they refused to obey their commanders, grossly violated discipline and deserted. There were cases when privates shot officers in the back during a battle, blaming it on the Vietnamese.

Why did the "McNamara Project" fail to send soldiers with low iqs to Vietnam

Thanks to the project, the government managed to postpone the call of college and university students. They still had to be sent to war later, and new protests that began in this regard led to the defeat of the United States in the war and a serious decline in the authority of the government and the president in the eyes of ordinary citizens.

Keywords: Vietnam | Intelligence | Minister | Officer | Project | Protests | Soldiers

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