Nearly fifty years after the nine-year Secret War (1964–1973), Laos is the scene of a US$35–$40 million annual enterprise, employing more than 3,000 workers who, with assistance from governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) around the world, are engaged in unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance, victim assistance and mine risk education (MRE). The 2.2 million tons of bombs included an estimated 270 million cluster munitions, many of which failed to detonate on impact and created a lethal landscape to which villagers returned after the war. The inevitable post-war casualties now number more than 20,000. A high percentage of victims over the past several decades were not alive when the bombs fell.
"The UXO Sector in Laos,"
Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction: Vol. 20
, Article 11.
Available at: http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cisr-journal/vol20/iss2/11