Pentagon To Dispose Of Chemical Weapons

05.06.09 | FL News Team

The Pentagon is planning to speed up the destruction of its aging chemical weapons stockpile by more than three years. Quoting government budget documents, "USA Today" reports the acceleration includes one-point-two-billion-dollars for construction of two new disposal plants.

The proposal represents a 60-percent increase in projected spending through 2015 and will help build the plants in Pueblo, Colorado and Richmond, Kentucky.

Despite the increased spending, the Pentagon says it does not expect to eliminate all of its chemical weapons until 2021. That is well past the 2012 deadline set by the international Chemical Weapons Convention.

So far, the military has destroyed 60-percent of its stockpile, which includes VX, GB and mustard gas produced before the weapons program was ended in 1969. By contrast, Russia, owner of the world's largest chemical arsenal, has destroyed only 30-percent of its 44-thousand tons of chemical weapons.