User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: McNamara's Morons - The Low Intelligence Soldiers Used as Guinea Pigs in the Vietnam

  1. #1
    Alumni Member & VIP V.I.P Achievements:
    50000 Experience PointsTagger Second ClassSocialVeteran
    Overall activity: 99.5%

    Big Dummy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    24,035
    Thanks
    56,180
    Thanked: 36,330
    Rep Power
    21474865

    McNamara's Morons - The Low Intelligence Soldiers Used as Guinea Pigs in the Vietnam




    Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel experiment on American soldiers

    Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

    MATT DAVIS

    14 November, 2018



    Flickr user Tommy Truong79




    • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
    • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
    • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.

    For many people, joining the military is a way to lift oneself out of poverty, find better opportunities, and get a shot at a better life. It can provide a way to pay for the exorbitant cost of college, job training, a sense of discipline and purpose, all in exchange for a few years of following orders, risking one's life, and potentially taking others'.
    It's a tradeoff, to be sure, one that not everybody is comfortable with. But for those with the aptitude and the desire, it might be a tradeoff worth taking. The problem in that last sentence, however, is that desire and aptitude don't always go hand in hand. Sometimes, both are absent entirely. That certainly was the case with Project 100,000.

    Lowering standards


    American soldiers get off helicopters during the operation "Double eagle" against a Vietcong position at Bon Son, south Vietnam, 07 March 1966.
    AFP/Getty Images
    Cruelly nicknamed McNamara's Morons, Project 100,000 was an initiative started under—you guessed it—Robert McNamara during the Vietnam War. In this project, over 320,000 men were either drafted or volunteered for service, nearly all of whom failed the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which is used to determine basic eligibility for military service.
    Project 100,000 inductees placed in the lower 10th to 30th percentiles of the test, referred to as Category IV. Normally, candidates who place in Category IV are deemed unsuitable for military service and are told to return to civilian life. Project 100,000, however, was an experiment to see whether military entry requirements could be lowered.
    Ostensibly, the project's goals were to combat poverty. Lyndon B. Johnson had recently begun his War on Poverty program. Thanks to the G.I. bill and other veterans' programs, military service can be a great way to get out of poverty. But this was a nice bonus to the project's other purpose: The Vietnam War needed more men, and lowering recruitment standards was one way to get them.
    Although about half were volunteers, the other half was drafted, and neither group had any business being in a war zone. The Armed Forces Qualification Test evaluated a variety of domains, all of which were geared toward assessing somebody's eligibility for service. As a result, Project 100,000 brought men to the war who were ill-equipped in different ways.
    Some had physical impairments, some were over- or under-weight, and, most troublingly, many had low mental aptitude—often to the point of being mentally handicapped. Many were illiterate. Since this was an experiment, a small cadre of soldiers were also admitted under the program to act as controls: these were "normal" soldiers.
    Once in the military, Project 100,000 soldiers were treated as any other soldier; to do otherwise would void the experiment. Various human resource personnel wrote up anonymized monthly reports on the soldiers, documenting their progress in military life and in war. The results were not good.


    A failed experiment


    A soldier having his wounds treated during Operation Hue City in Vietnam, 06 February, 1968.
    NATIONAL ARCHIVES/AFP/Getty Images
    Project 100,000 soldiers were about three times more likely to be killed in action. This is not surprising; in addition to being physically and mentally ill-equipped for war, they were unlikely to qualify for technical training that would otherwise keep them off the front lines. As a result, many of them were used as infantry soldiers.
    They were also reassigned 11 times more often than their peers and were between 7 and 9 times more likely to require remedial training. Project 100,000 recruits were more likely to be arrested, too.
    For the ones who survived the war, their outcomes were worse than comparable men who did not join military service. They earned $7,000 less per year than their civilian peers, equivalent to a little under $16,000 today. They were more likely to be divorced and less likely to own a business.
    The reasons for these differences aren't entirely clear: it could be the trauma of war, the lack of access to social programs available in civilian life that weren't available in military life, the possibility that they would have otherwise gone on to complete high school and college—any number of explanations can be offered. But this does show that the ostensible purpose of Project 100,000 was completely invalidated. Offering ineligible soldiers a pass in order to give them a leg up out of poverty through the military did not work.
    A review of Robert McNamara's In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam published in the Washington Post quoted Herb DeBose, a first lieutenant who served in the Vietnam War. He summed up Project 100,000 thusly:
    I saw [Robert McNamara] when he resigned from the World Bank, crying about the poor children of the world. But if he did not cry at all for any of those men he took in under Project 100,000 then he really doesn't know what crying is all about. Many under me weren't even on a fifth-grade level... I found out they could not read... no skills before, no skills after. The army was supposed to teach them a trade in something—only they didn't.


    The story behind McNamaras cruel experiment - Big Think





    Last edited by Big Dummy; 10-17-2020 at 03:02 PM.

    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes." - Cesare Beccaria

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Big Dummy For This Useful Post:

    Quark (10-17-2020)

  3. #2
    Alumni Member & VIP V.I.P Achievements:
    Social50000 Experience PointsVeteranTagger First Class
    Overall activity: 59.0%

    nonsqtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    31,284
    Thanks
    12,866
    Thanked: 32,935
    Rep Power
    21474874
    Johnson was a dick, and he surrounded himself with dicks.

    I wouldn't have gone to Vietnam. I'd die for you, but not for Lyndon Johnson.

    I can totally understand why there were so many genuine terrorist organizations at the time.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to nonsqtr For This Useful Post:

    Big Dummy (10-17-2020),Quark (10-17-2020)

  5. #3
    Alumni Member V.I.P Achievements:
    50000 Experience PointsSocialTagger First ClassCreated Blog entryVeteran
    Overall activity: 92.0%

    Quark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    32,016
    Thanks
    66,330
    Thanked: 29,885
    Rep Power
    21474874
    Schools had no problem telling poor kids that they were nothing but cannon fodder. I know I was considered one of them. What saved my ass is that I was a musician. One of my music teachers was also a major in the Army National Guard with connections. He arranged an audition for me with the state Army National Guard band, I passed and joined the National Guard. That went a long ways to saving my ass from being cannon fodder.

    I'm not dying to save any fooking collective if I can avoid it. My life is not worth any collective of idiots which every collective is.
    Last edited by Quark; 10-17-2020 at 09:54 PM.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Quark For This Useful Post:

    Big Dummy (10-17-2020)

  7. #4
    V.I.P. V.I.P Achievements:
    50000 Experience PointsCreated Blog entry1 year registeredSocialOverdrive
    Overall activity: 99.2%

    US Conservative's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    7,893
    Thanks
    12,202
    Thanked: 14,564
    Rep Power
    21474845
    I listened to this talk a while back.

    Something to consider, with an IQ difference of say 20 points-the actions of one person seem almost non sensical to the other. That works both ways incidentally.



  8. The Following User Says Thank You to US Conservative For This Useful Post:

    Big Dummy (10-18-2020)

  9. #5
    Alumni Member & VIP V.I.P Achievements:
    50000 Experience PointsTagger Second ClassSocialVeteran
    Overall activity: 99.5%

    Big Dummy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    24,035
    Thanks
    56,180
    Thanked: 36,330
    Rep Power
    21474865
    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    I listened to this talk a while back.

    Something to consider, with an IQ difference of say 20 points-the actions of one person seem almost non sensical to the other. That works both ways incidentally.


    Proof we are diametrically opposed with blm. Well at least the rest of you are. Me, I'm not sure which side of the spectrum I'm on.
    Last edited by Big Dummy; 10-18-2020 at 01:43 AM.

    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes." - Cesare Beccaria

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Big Dummy For This Useful Post:

    US Conservative (10-18-2020)

  11. #6
    Senior Member Achievements:
    50000 Experience PointsTagger Second Class1 year registeredSocial
    Overall activity: 42.0%

    APACHERAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    3,213
    Thanks
    1,869
    Thanked: 5,317
    Rep Power
    8249168
    Project 100,000 aka McNamara Moron Corps or McNamara Moron Brigade was just another example of Democrats using the military for social experimentations.

    To stupid to be drafted but liberals said serving in the military is a right and even morons should be allowed to enlist even though they are to stupid to be drafted.

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to APACHERAT For This Useful Post:

    Big Dummy (10-18-2020),US Conservative (10-18-2020)

  13. #7
    V.I.P. V.I.P Achievements:
    50000 Experience PointsCreated Blog entry1 year registeredSocialOverdrive
    Overall activity: 99.2%

    US Conservative's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    7,893
    Thanks
    12,202
    Thanked: 14,564
    Rep Power
    21474845
    Quote Originally Posted by APACHERAT View Post
    Project 100,000 aka McNamara Moron Corps or McNamara Moron Brigade was just another example of Democrats using the military for social experimentations.

    To stupid to be drafted but liberals said serving in the military is a right and even morons should be allowed to enlist even though they are to stupid to be drafted.
    There is not a thing that Democrats have touched that they haven't fucked up royally on.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to US Conservative For This Useful Post:

    APACHERAT (10-18-2020)

  15. #8
    Alumni Member & VIP V.I.P Achievements:
    50000 Experience PointsTagger Second ClassSocialVeteran
    Overall activity: 99.5%

    Big Dummy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    24,035
    Thanks
    56,180
    Thanked: 36,330
    Rep Power
    21474865
    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    There is not a thing that Democrats have touched that they haven't fucked up royally on.
    It's not a fuc up, if it was intentional. Housing market crash, obozocare, etc. All intentional attacks on the middle class. The welfare plantations of crime and illiteracy also intentional. Show me one that was a mistake.

    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes." - Cesare Beccaria

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Big Dummy For This Useful Post:

    US Conservative (10-18-2020)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •