Laos is the most heavily bombed country ever. The USA dropped enormous amounts of bombs on Laos between 1964 and 1973. There were more than 580,000 bombing missions (or a bombing mission every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day, for 9 years). This led to over 2 million tons of ordnance being dropped on Laos. Over 270 million cluster bombs were used, of which an estimated 80 million malfunctioned and remained live and buried in the Lao landscape after the war's end as Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). About 1/3 of the land in Laos is contaminated by UXO. Over 20,000 people have been killed by these bombs since the end of the war.
You can find more information at National Regulatory Authority for UXO/Mine Action Sector in Lao PDR, Legacies of War, a Washington Post article and Mines Advisory Group (MAG).
A CPB documentary called "The Secret War (BOMBIES) America's war on Laos!" is available on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HPH7grVHR0. It is chilling to watch.
Laos is a poor country to begin with. The problem of the UXO exacerbates this greatly. It prevents the people in Laos from farming a large portion of their farm land because of the dangers posed by the UXOs. It also causes personal suffering, especially since very often children are killed by these unexploded bombs. I think it is a moral obligation for the USA to help fix this mess that we created and provide substantial funding to clear this dangerous legacy of our bombing campaign.
All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.
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Page last updated on Fri Oct 2 09:29:39 2020 (Mountain Standard Time)
Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) on gei.guenther-eichhorn.com