When is a war really over? When the peace treaties are signed and the armies withdrawn? Or, when ordnance left over from the fighting is no longer killing people? If the answer to the last question is yes, then the Vietnam War is still going on. In Vietnam today people are being killed, or wounded on a daily basis by ordnance left behind by a conflict that should have ended 24 years ago. Most of those people are children. Throughout the Vietnamese countryside there are tens of thousands of pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO). These UXO run the gamut from M-79 rifle grenade projectiles to artillery rounds and aerial bombs of all sizes. They lie buried or just on the surface waiting to be disturbed. The vast majorities of these UXO were manufactured in the United States, and are causing a great problem for the Vietnamese people. I have recently seen this problem first hand.
"Reclaiming the Land: A Veteran Revisits Vietnam,"
Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction: Vol. 3
, Article 13.
Available at: http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cisr-journal/vol3/iss2/13