U.S., Russia Step Up Chemical Weapons Destruction

By Oliver Meier

Russia and the United States have announced measures to step up destruction of their chemical weapons stockpiles. The Department of Defense plans to speed up construction of the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky and the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado. The two facilities are key to meeting the congressionally mandated destruction deadline of 2017. The fiscal year 2009 defense budget provides $427.5 million to the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, an increase of $20 million from last year. Three U.S. destruction facilities have already completed their task, with four more in Alabama, Arkansas, Oregon, and Utah expected to conclude between 2015 and 2017. Nonetheless, this plan would lead to U.S. chemical weapons stockpiles continuing to exist well beyond the 2012 destruction deadline for all chemical weapons mandated by the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The United States is a CWC state-party.

Click here to return to the full article.

1 comment:

Paul Walker said...

The title of Meier's article, "US, Russia Step Up Chemical Weapons Destruction," is very misleading. The US has in fact slowed its CW destruction, recently stating that it may not even finish by 2023. The FY09 budget was indeed increased, but this was due to NGO and Congressional add-ons, not by the DoD. In Russia, its budget has also increased, but it's increasingly clear that Russia will also miss the legally binding April 2012 CWC deadline. A more appropriate title would have been "US, Russia Make Progress in CW Destruction, but Continue to Stretch their Schedule."