Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Although Syria has been given a year to dismantle their chemical weapon arsenal, the U.S. and Russia have yet to get rid of their own chemical weapon stockpile. Back in the 1990s both the U.S. and Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, which states that there is to be no use, production, or stockpiling of chemical weapons. Both countries have failed to meet the already once extended deadline to destroy these weapons, which was back in April 2012.
This issue arose last Friday during a ceremony in which the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for their commitment in helping to remove the chemical weapons from Syria. A Nobel committee member stated, “Certain states have not observed the deadline, which was April 2012. This applies especially to the USA and Russia.”
According to the OPCW, the U.S. has more than 3,000 tons of chemical weapons left within the country. Two main facilities are used to store these weapons, and they are located in Pueblo, Colorado and Bluegrass, Kentucky. The majority of what is left is in Pueblo, and, according to officials, is scheduled to begin to be dealt with come 2015 and should take an estimated four years.
A former worker for the United States effort to destroy their stockpile of weapons, Wade Mathews, believes Syria will not be able to meet the deadline the U.S. has given them. “We had a coordinated effort, we had a government that insisted that it be done safely and that the community was protected, I don’t think those things are in place in Syria.” He also said the effort made in the U.S. costs billions of dollars. A year for Syria to rid their country of chemical weapons may be too short of a deadline, especially since the U.S. has been slowly getting rid of chemical weapons since 1942 and still has yet to destroy them all.
Sean Breen is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at

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