President Joe Biden has announced that the United States has destroyed the last of its chemical weapons. The United States is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which has been in force since 1997, and must therefore destroy its chemical weapons by September 30, 2023.
The remaining stockpiles were destroyed at chemical weapons depots in Pueblo, Colorado, and Richmond, Kentucky. In 2022, the last M55 missile containing the nerve agent VX was destroyed at the Kentucky factory. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the RIVM’s American counterpart, the US stockpile of chemical warfare agents in 1968 was nearly 40,000 tons.
The United States is the last of the 165 signatories to the treaty to possess chemical weapons. “The conclusion of the destruction of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons is an important milestone,” Fernando Arias, head of the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said in a statement.
However, Arias warned that the world should be wary of chemical weapons. For example, in recent years the OPCW has accused Syria of chemical attacks during its civil war. The watchdog has also investigated the use of Soviet-era nerve gas against Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a former Russian spy in Britain.
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