The United States agreed that it might increase the $15 million a year it spends on dealing with the legacy of its “secret” bombing of Laos, Secretary of State John Kerry said. Yet, even a few million more would come nowhere near to matching the amount it cost the US to bomb the country between 1964 and 1973. How long it would take to rid Laos of unexploded bombs and mines at the rate they were being cleared in 2010, Maligna Souvignongs, who was then the head of the government agency tasked with clearing said 100 years.
Legacies of War said in a statement yesterday that it would be appropriate for the US to, at minimum, double the level of its current funding over the next decade. As the group noted: “The US flew 580,000 bombing missions over Laos, the equivalent of one bombing mission every eight minutes, around the clock, for nine years.”