Chemical Weapons


They were at the heart of President Obama’s speech last night.

Sheldon Richman (Reason) has written a piece that places the US position on chemical weapons in broader context. Unfortunately, US policy and practice has not been nearly as consistent as the President suggests.

Moreover, although the US made a commitment under the Chemical Weapons Convention to dispose of its chemical stockpiles by 2007, it was forced to ask for a five year extension. When the April 29, 2012 deadline rolled around, the Global Security Newswire reports that the US missed it once again. The disposal of chemical weapons is currently projected to be completed in 2019 for the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and 2023 for the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky. Of course, the US was not alone in missing the deadline.  It was in the fine company of Libya and Russia.

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