Posted: Apr 30, 2010
As a public servant, I am confronted every day by serious problems without clear solutions. Once in awhile, however, I come upon a problem that actually can be fixed, if only we summon the necessary will and resources. The scourge of unexploded ordnance in Laos – remnants of a war that ended decades ago but still kills innocent civilians – is just such a problem.
Posted: Apr 24, 2010
The United States is spending millions of dollars to clean up unexploded ordnance it dropped on Laos during a secret bombing campaign during the Vietnam War, a senior U.S. official says, but legislators and advocates want it to do even more.
Posted: Apr 22, 2010
Growing up in the Midwest, I always heard “You break it, you bought it.”
Thirty-five years after the secret war for Laos, when America was the proverbial bull in the china shop, we’ve still got a lot of pieces to pick up. Technically, 78 million dangerous pieces called UXO, a catchy shorthand term for unexploded ordnance.
Posted: Apr 22, 2010
This April marks 35 years since the formal end of the war for Laos and much of Southeast Asia. Nearly four decades later, we’ve seen many attempts to streamline and simplify the story of how we got to this point as a community and why we fought. And there were many voices in our story. We have some names, but many more we will never know. There were Lao and Americans, Hmong, Khmu, Tai Dam, Thai, and Iu Mien just to name a few who were caught up in the geopolitical struggles of the 20th century. Only recently are we beginning to grasp the complexity of that war and the lingering ghosts we must still confront.
Posted: Apr 20, 2010
Legacies of War will be appearing before Congress to discuss the issue of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in Laos and U.S. funding for their removal. The hearing will be held before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, chaired by Rep. Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa).
Posted: Mar 21, 2010
I received an e-mail a few weeks ago from a colleague in Laos regarding yet another deadly accident. On Feb. 22 a cluster bomb that the U.S. dropped on Laos more than four decades ago killed five children and severely injured another. The children, ages 10 to 14, were feeding their water buffalo in a rice field when they found the bomb. They were the latest victims among the more than 300 new casualties that occur every year – one-third of them children, according to Lao government figures.
Posted: Mar 11, 2010
Five children were killed and one injured when a cluster submunition exploded in a village in Lao PDR’s Champasak province on 22 February 2010. The incident highlights the need for urgent action to assist survivors and ensure the clearance of cluster munition remnants when states parties to the treaty banning cluster bombs gather for their first official meeting in the Lao capital, Vientiane, this November, the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) said today.
Posted: Mar 5, 2010
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dropped more bombs on supply routes in Laos than it did on all of Europe during World War II. Laos is paying the price, as the countryside is still riddled with unexploded bombs — many of which look like harmless metal spheres. Bomb disposal units are trying to reclaim the land from tons of unexploded ordnance.