The Pentagon sets an example by upholding global norms against chemical weapons.

In a resounding affirmation of its commitment to global norms against the use of chemical weapons, the United States Department of Defense (DOD) has fulfilled its decades-long pledge to destroy the last vestiges of its noxious ammunition stockpile.

Safe Elimination of Decades-Old Stockpile

Kingston A. Reif, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for threat reduction and arms control, emphasized the significance of this accomplishment during his recent statement.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of the milestone we achieved in July. One hundred percent of the world’s declared chemical weapons have now been relegated to the ash heap of history,” stated Reif.

The culmination of this momentous journey occurred in July when disposal experts successfully destroyed the last remaining M55 rocket filled with deadly Sarin nerve agent at a storage facility in Kentucky.

Sarin is an odorless and colorless synthetic chemical compound originally developed in Germany in the 1930s as a pesticide, making it difficult to detect without specialized equipment. It can be absorbed through the skin, eyes, and respiratory system, making it highly dangerous when released as a chemical weapon. Even a small amount of Sarin exposure can be lethal if not treated quickly with antidotes.

The successful disposal milestone marked the safe elimination of approximately 30,600 tons of declared chemical agents accumulated between World War I and the late 1960s.