Reagan Calls for Chemical Weapons Ban

Reagan Calls for Chemical Weapons Ban


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On April 4, 1984, in his 23rd news conference broadcast live on radio and television, President Ronald Reagan publicly calls for an international ban on chemical weapons.


Chemical and Biological Weapons Chronology

1969 -- November 25 U.S. RENUNCIATION OF CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS U.S. President Richard Nixon declares that the United States unilaterally renounces the first use of lethal or incapacitating chemical weapons (CW) and unconditionally renounces all methods of biological warfare (BW). The U.S. biological program will be confined strictly to research on defensive measures such as immunization. The president further instructs the Department of Defense to draw up a plan for the disposal of existing stocks of biological agents and weapons.

1970 -- February 14 U.S. BAN ON TOXIN WEAPONS The United States extends its ban on biological weapons to include toxins (agents produced through biological or microbic processes).

1972 -- April 10 SIGNING OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION The United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union sign "The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction" (BWC). Parties to the convention undertake not to develop, produce, stockpile, or acquire biological agents or toxins "of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, and other peaceful purposes," as well as related weapons and means of delivery.

The BWC does not prohibit BW research and does not contain provisions to verify compliance (see April 1979).

1975 -- January 22 U.S. RATIFICATION OF GENEVA PROTOCOL The United States ratifies the 1925 "Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous, or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare" (The Geneva Protocol), which was originally signed by the United States on June 17, 1925. This protocol bans the use of chemical weapons, but not their manufacture or stockpiling.

1975 -- March 26 U.S. RATIFICATION OF BWC The United States ratifies the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. By December 26, 1975, it has completed destruction of all biological weapons.

1979 -- April ANTHRAX EPIDEMIC An epidemic of human anthrax, probably caused by airborne anthrax released from a BW research laboratory, kills at least 64 civilians in Sverdlovsk, U.S.S.R. The cause of the epidemic remains controversial for decades, and the incident generates questions about Soviet compliance with the BWC.

1980 -- March 17 CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION The United Nations Committee on Disarmament begins work on a chemical weapons convention.

1984 -- April 18 U.S. DRAFT TREATY BANNING CHEMICAL WEAPONS At the Committee on Disarmament, U.S. Vice President George Bush presents a draft U.S. treaty banning the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. The plan calls for systematic on-site inspection of CW facilities to ensure compliance.

1984 -- June 28 REESTABLISHMENT OF BILATERAL U.S.-SOVIET TALKS In parallel with the multilateral negotiations on a chemical weapons ban at the CD, the United States and the Soviet Union reestablish the bilateral talks on chemical weapons that had begun in 1976 and were broken off in 1980.

1985 -- February U.S. CALL FOR CHEMICAL EXPORT CONTROLS Following charges by Iran that Iraq had used poison gas in the Iran-Iraq War, the United States proposes the establishment of export controls on the chemicals, equipment, and technology needed to produce chemical weapons. 1985 -- June THE AUSTRALIA GROUP In reaction to the use of CW in the Iran-Iraq War, the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and the 10 EC members establish the Australia Group in 1984. The group begins meeting in June 1985 to develop a system of export controls on the precursor chemicals required to manufacture the weapons being used in the war. At the June meeting, the group adopts a core list of five controlled chemicals.

1985 -- November 21 GENEVA SUMMIT U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev issue a joint statement calling for an accelerated timetable to conclude an effective and verifiable CW ban and to begin discussions on preventing the proliferation of chemical weapons.

1986 -- January 28 U.S.-SOVIET DISCUSSIONS ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS The United States and the Soviet Union begin the first round of intensified bilateral discussions on a CW ban.

1986 -- September 30 SECOND BWC REVIEW CONFERENCE The second BWC Review Conference adopts four "politically binding" confidence- building measures (CBMs):

o The declaration of all high-security containment facilities.

o The declaration of unusual outbreaks of disease.

o The encouragement of the publication of research results.

o The encouragement of international scientific contacts.

1987 -- February 5 PROPOSED GLOBAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS BAN At the CD, the United States asserts that it gives achieving a global CW ban "the highest priority." However, it "will not accept. a ban without sound machinery of verification."

1987 -- August 11-12 SOVIET STATEMENT ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze announces that the Soviet Union will henceforth be willing to accept the principle of "mandatory challenge inspections without right of refusal" as part of the verification provisions of a CW ban. This removes a critical remaining obstacle to an international ban. The foreign minister also invites CD participants to a Soviet military facility to observe the destruction of CW.

1987 -- October 3-4 TOUR OF SOVIET CHEMICAL WEAPONS FACILITY The Soviet Union hosts an international delegation of experts at its previously secret chemical weapons production facility at Shikhany.

1987 -- November 19-20 TOUR OF U.S. CHEMICAL WEAPONS PLANT In a reciprocal visit, Soviet scientists and diplomats tour the U.S. chemical weapons storage and destruction facility at Tooele, Utah.

1987 -- December 26 SOVIET CW STOCKPILE DECLARATION The Soviet Union declares for the first time the size of its chemical weapons stockpile. According to the official statement, "the stocks of chemical weapons in the Soviet Union do not exceed 50,000 tons of poisonous substances."

1988 -- July 28 U.S. CHEMICAL WEAPONS PRODUCTION FACILITIES At the Conference on Disarmament, the United States declares the location of all its chemical weapons production facilities and outlines plans for their elimination under a CW ban. It calls on other states with CW to do the same.

1988 -- September 26 U.S. CALL FOR CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONFERENCE U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, urges the parties to the 1925 Geneva Protocol and other concerned states to convene a conference to reverse the rapid deterioration of respect for international norms against chemical weapons use.

1989 -- January 7-11 PARIS CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONFERENCE One hundred and forty-nine nations meet at a conference in Paris to restore respect for the Geneva Protocol and its prohibition against the use of chemical weapons. In a concluding document, the nations "solemnly affirm their commitments not to use chemical weapons," and stress "the necessity of concluding, at an early date, a convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of all chemical weapons, and on their destruction."

1989 -- January 8 SOVIET STATEMENT Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze announces at the Paris chemical weapons conference that the Soviet Union plans to begin destruction of its CW stockpile upon completion of a destruction facility. He also says that the Soviet Union has ended production of CW and calls on other states to follow this example.

1989 -- February 9 U.S. PRESS FOR CW BAN In a speech to the Congress, U.S. President George Bush restates the U.S. commitment to a CW ban, saying that "chemical weapons must be banned from the face of the earth, never to be used again."

1989 -- February 21-23 U.S. TRIAL INSPECTION The United States conducts a trial inspection of a private chemical production plant. This is part of an experiment by the Conference on Disarmament to develop procedures for a routine inspection regime that would satisfy confidence and security requirements without significantly disrupting the civilian chemical industry. The Soviet Union and other members of the CD subsequently conduct similar trial inspections of their own chemical industries.

1989 -- March 6 U.S. INITIATIVES In Vienna, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker calls for an international conference of government and industry to consider ways to curb the proliferation of chemicals used to produce chemical weapons. Secretary Baker also announces that the United States will explore ways and means to accelerate the current withdrawal schedule of U.S. chemical weapons from West Germany. The United States calls on the Soviet Union to withdraw and destroy its "excessive stocks" of chemical weapons.

1989 -- September 18-22 CANBERRA CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONFERENCE Following up on the U.S. initiative of March 1989, 67 nations attend an International Government-Industry Conference Against Chemical Weapons hosted by the Australian government in Canberra. In an unprecedented statement, chemical industry participants:

o Express their willingness to work for an early conclusion of a global CW ban.

o Oppose misuse of industrial products for the dangerous proliferation of chemical weapons.

o Commit industry to continue its dialogue with governments on ways to implement a chemical weapons convention.

o Accept a self-policing role.

1989 -- September 23 U.S.-SOVIET MOU ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS At a ministerial meeting in the U.S. state of Wyoming, Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze reaffirm the objective of an early conclusion of a comprehensive, effectively verifiable, and global ban on chemical weapons. To intensify efforts toward this goal, and to enhance openness and confidence between the two countries, they sign a Memorandum of Understanding on chemical weapons. The MOU provides for a voluntary exchange of CW stockpile data in the first phase, including "the aggregate quantity of its CW in agent tons," the "specific types" of chemicals possessed, and the "precise location" of CW production, storage, and destruction facilities. Phase I also provides for reciprocal visits to CW facilities.

Phase II calls for more detailed data exchanges and the "opportunity to verify Phase I and II data by means of on-site inspection."

1989 -- September 25 U.S. CHEMICAL WEAPONS INITIATIVE Speaking to the United Nations, President Bush reaffirms the U.S. commitment to a multilateral treaty to eliminate chemical weapons in 10 years provided all CW-capable states become parties to the treaty.

To accelerate agreement on and implementation of a total ban on the production, storage, transfer, and use of chemical weapons, the president offers the following initiatives:

o The United States will destroy more than 98 percent of its current CW stockpile within eight years after entry into force of a multilateral CWC, provided the Soviet Union is also a party to the treaty.

o The remaining 2 percent of the stockpile will be destroyed in the next two years after all CW-capable states become parties to the convention.

o While working to complete a global CWC, the United States and the Soviet Union will destroy a major portion of their CW stockpiles to an equal, interim level set at about 20 percent of the current U.S. level. The process of destruction would take place on mutually agreed terms and would include verification provisions.

o The United States will accelerate and significantly expand its efforts to improve verification capabilities and resolve the problems associated with verifying a ban on chemical weapons.

1989 -- December 29 U.S.-SOVIET DATA EXCHANGE ON CW STOCKPILES The United States and the Soviet Union provide each other with general data on their CW stockpiles and facilities, in accordance with their MOU on chemical weapons signed on September 23, 1989. This exchange is designed to facilitate negotiations on a multilateral CW ban.

1990 -- February 7-9 MOSCOW MINISTERIAL Following meetings between Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze, they issue a joint statement on chemical weapons that includes the following points:

o The sides agree to work "to expedite the negotiations [on a CWC] in Geneva with the view to resolving main outstanding issues as soon as possible and to finalizing the draft convention at the earliest date."

o Pending the multilateral CWC, the sides will seek to complete a bilateral agreement calling for the destruction of the bulk of their CW stocks to equal low levels.

o "The sides share the view that both nations should be among the original parties to the [CWC], whose ratification would be necessary for its entry into force.

o "The multilateral [CWC] shall contain the provision that all production of [CW] will halt upon its entry into force."

1990 -- May 22 BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS ANTI-TERRORISM ACT President Bush signs the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act, making it illegal for the United States to develop or possess biological weapons. This piece of legislation completes U.S. implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

1990 -- June 1 U.S.-SOVIET CW ACCORD Presidents Bush and Gorbachev sign the bilateral "Agreement on Destruction and Non-production of Chemical Weapons and on Measures to Facilitate the Multilateral Convention on Banning Chemical Weapons" during a summit meeting in Washington. The agreement requires:

o The destruction, beginning in 1992, of CW stockpiles down to no more than 5,000 agent tons each by December 31, 2002.

o A halt to CW production upon entry into force of the accord.

o On-site inspections to confirm that destruction has taken place.

o Annual data exchanges on stockpile levels to facilitate monitoring.

o Support for conclusion of a global ban on CW "at the earliest date."

1990 -- June 19-21 AUSTRALIA GROUP AND CONTROLLED ITEMS At a meeting of the Australia Group in Paris, the United States obtains an agreement "to control additional chemicals, expand the group's activities into biological weapon proliferation, pursue further standardization, and create an export data base."

1990 -- November 16 U.S. CHEMICAL WEAPONS/BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS POLICY President Bush issues Executive Order 12735, which finds that the spread of chemical weapons and biological weapons constitutes an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," and declares a state of national emergency to deal with this threat. The order reiterates U.S. policy to lead and seek multilaterally coordinated efforts to control the spread of CW and BW and directs the secretaries of State and Commerce to adopt a variety of export controls.

1991 -- April 3 UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 687 ON IRAQ Following the Persian Gulf War, the UN Security Council establishes a Special Commission to monitor the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in Iraq. UNSC Resolution 687 empowers UNSCOM to carry out on-site inspection and elimination of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons capabilities, as well as its ballistic missiles, with a range greater than 150 kilometers (see section 4, April 3, 1991).

The United States provides significant support to UNSCOM, including financial transfers, specialized equipment and support services, personnel for staff and inspections, and expert advice.

1991 -- May 13 U.S. MODIFICATION OF CWC POSITION In a significant modification of the U.S. position on the draft chemical weapons convention, President Bush states that "we are formally forswearing the use of chemical weapons for any reason, including retaliation, against any state, effective when the convention enters into force, and will propose that all states follow suit. Further, the United States unconditionally commits itself to the destruction of all our stocks of chemical weapons within 10 years of entry into force and will propose that all other states do likewise" (see September 25, 1989).

In addition, the White House announces that the United States will revise its position on CW verification, dropping its insistence on "anytime-anywhere" challenge inspections. This revision leads the way to the adoption of a "managed access" chemical weapons verification regime.

1991 -- May 21-23 AUSTRALIA GROUP AND CHEMICAL EXPORT RULES The Australia Group expands its list of controlled chemicals to 50 and further requires member country chemical manufacturers to obtain a license for the sale of any controlled chemicals to non-member nations.

1991 -- September 9-27 THIRD BWC REVIEW CONFERENCE The third BWC review conference reaffirms the four CBMs developed at the second review conference and strengthens the convention by adding three more CBMs to provide information on:

o National legislation related to the BWC. o Past biological weapons research and development programs. o Human vaccine production facilities.

The conference also creates an Ad Hoc Group of Governmental Experts (VEREX) to "identify measures which would determine whether a State Party is developing, producing, stockpiling, acquiring, or retaining" biological weapons.

1992 -- February 1 END OF RUSSIAN BW RESEARCH Russian President Boris Yeltsin announces the end of Russian biological weapons research. He further states that several Russian BW centers and programs have already been closed and that no further budget allocations will be made to that program. On April 11, President Yeltsin signs a decree . "on Fulfilling International Obligations with Regard to Biological Weapons," banning BW programs.

1992 -- September 3 CD AGREEMENT ON CWC The Conference on Disarmament agrees on the Chemical Weapons Convention and forwards it to the United Nations.

1992 -- September 15 TRILATERAL STATEMENT ON BW The United States, Britain, and Russia agree to establish a trilateral process of information sharing and reciprocal site visits in order to increase the transparency of unauthorized Russian BW programs.

1993 -- January 13 CWC OPENED FOR SIGNATURE One hundred and thirty nations, including the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China, sign the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction" (CWC).

The purpose of the CWC is to achieve the global elimination of chemical weapons within 10 years of the treaty's entry into force. It bans the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling, and use of chemical and toxin weapons and mandates the destruction of all chemical weapons and CW production facilities. It further seeks to control the production and international transfer of the key chemical precursors of these weapons. The treaty also creates a wide-reaching verification system that includes extensive reporting requirements, baseline inspections, and on-site and challenge inspections.

1993 -- September 24 VEREX REPORT ON BWC VERIFICATION VEREX submits its report on 21 potential BW verification measures, including data exchanges and on-site inspections.

1993 -- September 27 U.S. PUSH FOR TRANSPARENCY U.S. President Bill Clinton announces in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly that, to help deter violations and enhance compliance with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the United States will promote new measures to increase the transparency of "every nation's biological activities and facilities."

1993 -- November 24 CWC SUBMITTED FOR RATIFICATION President Clinton submits the Chemical Weapons Convention to the U.S. Senate for ratification.

1994 -- January 12-15 MOSCOW SUMMIT Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin announce the "conclusion of the implementing documents" for the 1989 MOU between the United States and the former Soviet Union at Jackson Hole, Wyoming (see September 23, 1989). The presidents also reaffirm their intention to "promote ratification as rapidly as possible" of the CWC.

1994 -- August 9 TRANSPARENCY OF BW FACILITIES President Clinton announces that the United States supports new measures to increase the transparency of potential BW facilities.

1994 -- September 19-20 SPECIAL CONFERENCE ON BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS The 79 state-parties attending a Special Conference on Biological Weapons in Geneva agree to establish an ad hoc group to consider the 21 verification measures suggested by VEREX (see September 24, 1993) and make proposals to strengthen the treaty at the fourth BWC review conference in late 1996. 1995 -- March 20 NERVE GAS INCIDENT IN JAPAN Concern is heightened over terrorist activities involving chemical and biological weapons when members of a Japanese religious sect, the Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth), release the nerve gas Sarin in the Tokyo subway system. Although the CWC is not designed to deal with terrorism directly, the treaty would be accompanied by domestic implementing legislation criminalizing activities by individuals who attempt or intend to make or use CW.

1996 -- September 12 CWC VOTE POSTPONED Leaders of the U.S. Senate agree to postpone action on a resolution approving ratification of CWC (originally scheduled for a vote by September 14) after Republican presidential candidate Robert J. Dole expresses opposition to the treaty and Democrats express concern that they do not have enough votes for passage.

1996 -- January 22 U.S. DISCLOSURE OF STOCKPILE The United States discloses the exact amount (30,599 tons of unitary agents and 680 tons of binary agent components) and location (nine storage facilities) of its chemical weapons stockpile.

1996 -- September 12 STATUS OF CWC Supporters of the Chemical Weapons Convention are forced to remove the treaty from the U.S. Senate calendar rather than risk its possible defeat or the adoption of amendments to the resolution of ratification that would effectively block U.S. ratification.

1996 -- October 31 CWC RATIFICATION Hungary deposits the 65th instrument of ratification of the CWC at the United Nations and begins the 180-day countdown until entry into force of the CWC.

1996 -- November 25-December 6 BWC REVIEW CONFERENCE The fourth review conference of the Biological Weapons Convention meets in Geneva, but members are unable to agree on measures to strengthen verification provisions of the 1972 BWC. Conference members instead call on the Ad Hoc Group, the body tasked with drafting a legally binding document to strengthen the BWC, to prepare such verification provisions.

1997 -- March 21 HELSINKI SUMMIT At the Helsinki Summit, Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin issue a Joint U.S.- Russian Statement on Chemical Weapons in which the presidents agree that both leaders will "take the steps necessary to expedite ratification in each of the two countries" and pressure their respective legislatures to ratify the convention.

1997 -- April 24 U.S. APPROVAL OF CWC The U.S. Senate approves a resolution of ratification of the CWC by a vote of 74 to 26.

1997 -- April 29 CWC ENTRY INTO FORCE The CWC enters into force. As of early November 1997, 165 nations had signed the CWC and 104 nations had ratified the treaty.


NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETS EXPOSED

All warfare is based on Deception
Sun Tzu

April 4, 1984 Reagan Calls for Chemical Weapons Ban

April 4, 2017 the Syrian Weapons attack takes place

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was founded on April 4th, 1949.

April 4, 1973 The World Trade Center Opened

On April 12, 1995 the FSB was founded
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB Russian: Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации (ФСБ), tr. Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii IPA: [fʲɪdʲɪˈralʲnəjə ˈsluʐbə bʲɪzɐˈpasnəstʲɪ rɐˈsʲijskəj fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨjɪ]) is the principal security agency of Russia and the main successor agency to the USSR’s Committee of State Security (KGB). Its main responsibilities are within the country and include counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance as well as investigating some other types of grave crimes and federal law violations.

Side note: A senior judge was found floating in the Hudson River on April 12, 2017


Contents

The CWC augments the Geneva Protocol of 1925, which bans the use but not the development or possession of chemical and biological weapons. [11] The CWC also includes extensive verification measures such as on-site inspections, in stark contrast to the 1975 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which lacks a verification regime. [12]

After several changes of name and composition, the ENDC evolved into the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in 1984. [13] On 3 September 1992 the CD submitted to the U.N. General Assembly its annual report, which contained the text of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The General Assembly approved the convention on 30 November 1992, and the U.N. Secretary-General then opened the convention for signature in Paris on 13 January 1993. [14] The CWC remained open for signature until its entry into force on 29 April 1997, 180 days after the deposit at the UN by Hungary of the 65th instrument of ratification. [15]

The convention is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which acts as the legal platform for specification of the CWC provisions. [16] The Conference of the States Parties is mandated to change the CWC and pass regulations on implementation of CWC requirements. The Technical Secretariat of the organization conducts inspections to ensure compliance of member states. These inspections target destruction facilities (where permanent monitoring takes place during destruction), chemical weapons production facilities which have been dismantled or converted for civil use, as well as inspections of the chemical industry. The Secretariat may furthermore conduct "investigations of alleged use" of chemical weapons and give assistance after use of chemical weapons.

The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the organization because it had, with the Chemical Weapons Convention, "defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law" according to Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. [17] [18]

  • Prohibition of production and use of chemical weapons
  • Destruction (or monitored conversion to other functions) of chemical weapons production facilities
  • Destruction of all chemical weapons (including chemical weapons abandoned outside the state parties territory)
  • Assistance between State Parties and the OPCW in the case of use of chemical weapons
  • An OPCW inspection regime for the production of chemicals which might be converted to chemical weapons
  • International cooperation in the peaceful use of chemistry in relevant areas

Controlled substances Edit

The convention distinguishes three classes of controlled substance, [19] [20] chemicals that can either be used as weapons themselves or used in the manufacture of weapons. The classification is based on the quantities of the substance produced commercially for legitimate purposes. Each class is split into Part A, which are chemicals that can be used directly as weapons, and Part B, which are chemicals useful in the manufacture of chemical weapons. Separate from the precursors, the convention defines toxic chemicals as "[a]ny chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or elsewhere." [21]

    chemicals have few, or no uses outside chemical weapons. These may be produced or used for research, medical, pharmaceutical or chemical weapon defence testing purposes but production at sites producing more than 100 grams per year must be declared to the OPCW. A country is limited to possessing a maximum of 1 tonne of these materials. Examples are sulfur mustard and nerve agents, and substances which are solely used as precursor chemicals in their manufacture. A few of these chemicals have very small scale non-military applications, for example milligram quantities of nitrogen mustard are used to treat certain cancers. chemicals have legitimate small-scale applications. Manufacture must be declared and there are restrictions on export to countries that are not CWC signatories. An example is thiodiglycol which can be used in the manufacture of mustard agents, but is also used as a solvent in inks. chemicals have large-scale uses apart from chemical weapons. Plants which manufacture more than 30 tonnes per year must be declared and can be inspected, and there are restrictions on export to countries which are not CWC signatories. Examples of these substances are phosgene (the most lethal chemical weapon employed in WWI), [22] which has been used as a chemical weapon but which is also a precursor in the manufacture of many legitimate organic compounds (e.g. pharmaceutical agents and many common pesticides), and triethanolamine, used in the manufacture of nitrogen mustard but also commonly used in toiletries and detergents.

A treaty party may declare a "single small-scale facility" that produces up to 1 tonne of Schedule 1 chemicals for research, medical, pharmaceutical or protective purposes each year, and also another facility may produce 10 kg per year for protective testing purposes. An unlimited number of other facilities may produce Schedule 1 chemicals, subject to a total 10 kg annual limit, for research, medical or pharmaceutical purposes, but any facility producing more than 100 grams must be declared. [19] [23]

The treaty also deals with carbon compounds called in the treaty "discrete organic chemicals", the majority of which exhibit moderate-high direct toxicity or can be readily converted into compounds with toxicity sufficient for practical use as a chemical weapon. [24] These are any carbon compounds apart from long chain polymers, oxides, sulfides and metal carbonates, such as organophosphates. The OPCW must be informed of, and can inspect, any plant producing (or expecting to produce) more than 200 tonnes per year, or 30 tonnes if the chemical contains phosphorus, sulfur or fluorine, unless the plant solely produces explosives or hydrocarbons.

Before the CWC came into force in 1997, 165 states signed the convention, allowing them to ratify the agreement after obtaining domestic approval. [1] Following the treaty's entry into force, it was closed for signature and the only method for non-signatory states to become a party was through accession. As of March 2021, 193 states, representing over 98 percent of the world's population, are party to the CWC. [1] Of the four United Nations member states that are not parties to the treaty, Israel has signed but not ratified the treaty, while Egypt, North Korea, and South Sudan have neither signed nor acceded to the convention. Taiwan, though not a member state, has confirmed that it complies with the treaty. [25]

Key organizations of member states Edit

Member states are represented at the OPCW by their Permanent Representative. This function is generally combined with the function of Ambassador. For the preparation of OPCW inspections and preparation of declarations, member states have to constitute a National Authority. [ citation needed ]

A total of 72,304 metric tonnes of chemical agent, and 97 production facilities have been declared to OPCW. [8]

Treaty deadlines Edit

The treaty set up several steps with deadlines toward complete destruction of chemical weapons, with a procedure for requesting deadline extensions. No country reached total elimination by the original treaty date although several have finished under allowed extensions. [26]

Reduction Phases
Phase % Reduction Deadline Notes
I 1% April 2000
II 20% April 2002 Complete destruction of empty munitions, precursor chemicals,
filling equipment and weapons systems
III 45% April 2004
IV 100% April 2007 No extensions permitted past April 2012

Progress of destruction Edit

At the end of 2019, 70,545 of 72,304 (97.51%) metric tonnes of chemical agent have been verifiably destroyed. More than 57% (4.97 million) of chemical munitions and containers have been destroyed. [27]

Seven State Parties, namely Albania, an unspecified state party (believed to be South Korea), India, Iraq, Libya, Russia and Syria have completed the destruction of their declared stockpiles. The United States is in the process of destruction and scheduled to complete in 2023. [28] The destruction of Libya's Category 1 chemical weapons was completed in 2014 destruction of its chemical weapon precursors was completed in November 2017. [29] [30]

Japan and China in October 2010 began the destruction of World War II era chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China by means of mobile destruction units and reported destruction of 35,203 chemical weapons (75% of the Nanjing stockpile). [28] [31]

Country Date of accession/
entry into force
Declared stockpile
(Schedule 1) (tonnes)
% OPCW-verified destroyed
(date of full destruction)
Destruction
deadline
Albania 29 April 1997 17 [32] 100% (July 2007) [32]
South Korea 29 April 1997 3,000–3,500 [33] 100% (July 2008) [33]
India 29 April 1997 1,044 [34] 100% (March 2009) [35]
Libya 5 February 2004 25 [36] 100% (January 2014) [36]
Syria (government held) 14 October 2013 [37] 1,040 [38] 100% (August 2014) [38]
Russia 5 December 1997 40,000 [39] 100% (September 2017) [40]
United States 29 April 1997 33,600 [41] 91% [41] 29 April 2012 (intends by 2023) [42]
Iraq 12 February 2009 remnant munitions [43] 100% (March 2018) [44]
Japan (in China) 29 April 1997 - ongoing 2022 (commitment) [45]

Iraqi stockpile Edit

The U.N. Security Council ordered the dismantling of Iraq's chemical weapon stockpile in 1991. By 1998, UNSCOM inspectors had accounted for the destruction of 88,000 filled and unfilled chemical munitions, over 690 metric tons of weaponized and bulk chemical agents, approximately 4,000 tonnes of precursor chemicals, and 980 pieces of key production equipment. [46] The UNSCOM inspectors left in 1998.

In 2009, before Iraq joined the CWC, the OPCW reported that the United States military had destroyed almost 5,000 old chemical weapons in open-air detonations since 2004. [47] These weapons, produced before the 1991 Gulf War, contained sarin and mustard agents but were so badly corroded that they could not have been used as originally intended. [48]

When Iraq joined the CWC in 2009, it declared "two bunkers with filled and unfilled chemical weapons munitions, some precursors, as well as five former chemical weapons production facilities" according to OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter. [35] The bunker entrances were sealed with 1.5 meters of reinforced concrete in 1994 under UNSCOM supervision. [49] As of 2012, the plan to destroy the chemical weapons was still being developed, in the face of significant difficulties. [43] [49] In 2014, ISIS took control of the site. [50]

On 13 March 2018, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, congratulated the Government of Iraq on the completion of the destruction of the country's chemical weapons remnants. [44]

Syrian destruction Edit

Following the August 2013 Ghouta chemical attack, [51] Syria, which had long been suspected of possessing chemical weapons, acknowledged them in September 2013 and agreed to put them under international supervision. [52] On 14 September Syria deposited its instrument of accession to the CWC with the United Nations as the depositary and agreed to its provisional application pending entry into force effective 14 October. [53] [54] An accelerated destruction schedule was devised by Russia and the United States on 14 September, [55] and was endorsed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118 [56] and the OPCW Executive Council Decision EC-M-33/DEC.1. [57] Their deadline for destruction was the first half of 2014. [57] Syria gave the OPCW an inventory of its chemical weapons arsenal [58] and began its destruction in October 2013, 2 weeks before its formal entry into force, while applying the convention provisionally. [59] [60] All declared Category 1 materials were destroyed by August 2014. [38] However, the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack in April 2017 indicated that undeclared stockpiles probably remained in the country. A chemical attack on Douma occurred on 7 April 2018 that killed at least 49 civilians with scores injured, and which has been blamed on the Assad government. [61] [62] [63]

Controversy arose in November 2019 over the OPCW's finding on the Douma chemical weapons attack when Wikileaks published emails by an OPCW staff member saying a report on this incident "misrepresents the facts" and contains "unintended bias". The OPCW staff member questioned the report's finding that OPCW's inspectors had "sufficient evidence at this time to determine that chlorine, or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical, was likely released from cylinders". [64] The staff member alleged this finding was "highly misleading and not supported by the facts" and said he would attach his own differing observations if this version of the report was released. On 25 November 2019, OPCW Director General Fernando Arias, in a speech to the OPCW's annual conference in The Hague, defended the Organization's report on the Douma incident, stating "While some of these diverse views continue to circulate in some public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusion" of the probe. [65]

Financial support for destruction Edit

Financial support for the Albanian and Libyan stockpile destruction programmes was provided by the United States. Russia received support from a number of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Canada with some $2 billion given by 2004. Costs for Albania's program were approximately US$48 million. The United States has spent $20 billion and expected to spend a further $40 billion. [66]

Known chemical weapons production facilities Edit

Fourteen states parties have declared chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs): [27] [67]

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • China
  • France
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Libya
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Syria
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • 1 non-disclosed state party (referred to as "A State Party" in OPCW-communications said to be South Korea) [68]

Currently all 97 declared production facilities have been deactivated and certified as either destroyed (74) or converted (23) to civilian use. [27]


Reagan Calls for Chemical Weapons Ban - HISTORY

Thank you. Thank you, very much.

Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen, ladies and gentlemen: Twenty four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, and speaking to the people of this city and the world at the city hall. Well since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn to Berlin. And today, I, myself, make my second visit to your city.

We come to Berlin, we American Presidents, because it's our duty to speak in this place of freedom. But I must confess, we’re drawn here by other things as well by the feeling of history in this city -- more than 500 years older than our own nation by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer, Paul Linke, understood something about American Presidents. You see, like so many Presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: “Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin” [I still have a suitcase in Berlin. ]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America. I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe, I extend my warmest greetings and the good will of the American people. To those listening in East Berlin, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. [There is only one Berlin. ]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. From the Baltic South, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guard towers. Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same -- still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state.

Yet, it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world.

Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German separated from his fellow men.

Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

President Von Weizsäcker has said, "The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed." Well today -- today I say: As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind.

Yet, I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph.

In this season of spring in 1945, the people of Berlin emerged from their air-raid shelters to find devastation. Thousands of miles away, the people of the United States reached out to help. And in 1947 Secretary of State -- as you've been told -- George Marshall announced the creation of what would become known as the Marshall Plan. Speaking precisely 40 years ago this month, he said: "Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

In the Reichstag a few moments ago, I saw a display commemorating this 40th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. I was struck by a sign -- the sign on a burnt-out, gutted structure that was being rebuilt. I understand that Berliners of my own generation can remember seeing signs like it dotted throughout the western sectors of the city. The sign read simply: "The Marshall Plan is helping here to strengthen the free world." A strong, free world in the West -- that dream became real. Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy, France, Belgium -- virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth the European Community was founded.

In West Germany and here in Berlin, there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder. Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty -- that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders -- the German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

Where four decades ago there was rubble, today in West Berlin there is the greatest industrial output of any city in Germany: busy office blocks, fine homes and apartments, proud avenues, and the spreading lawns of parkland. Where a city's culture seemed to have been destroyed, today there are two great universities, orchestras and an opera, countless theaters, and museums. Where there was want, today there's abundance -- food, clothing, automobiles -- the wonderful goods of the Kudamm. 1 From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again ranks as one of the greatest on earth. Now the Soviets may have had other plans. But my friends, there were a few things the Soviets didn't count on: Berliner Herz, Berliner Humor, ja, und Berliner Schnauze. [Berliner heart, Berliner humor, yes, and a Berliner Schnauze. 2]

In the 1950s -- In the 1950s Khrushchev predicted: "We will bury you."

But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind -- too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now -- now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty -- the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.

There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate.

Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.

Mr. Gorbachev -- Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent, and I pledge to you my country's efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So, we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides.

Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles capable of striking every capital in Europe. The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counter-deployment (unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution) -- namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counter-deployment, there were difficult days, days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city and the Soviets later walked away from the table.

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then -- I invite those who protest today -- to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. Because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.

As I speak, NATO ministers are meeting in Iceland to review the progress of our proposals for eliminating these weapons. At the talks in Geneva, we have also proposed deep cuts in strategic offensive weapons. And the Western allies have likewise made far-reaching proposals to reduce the danger of conventional war and to place a total ban on chemical weapons.

While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur. And in cooperation with many of our allies, the United States is pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative -- research to base deterrence not on the threat of offensive retaliation, but on defenses that truly defend on systems, in short, that will not target populations, but shield them. By these means we seek to increase the safety of Europe and all the world. But we must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. When President Kennedy spoke at the City Hall those 24 years ago, freedom was encircled Berlin was under siege. And today, despite all the pressures upon this city, Berlin stands secure in its liberty. And freedom itself is transforming the globe.

In the Philippines, in South and Central America, democracy has been given a rebirth. Throughout the Pacific, free markets are working miracle after miracle of economic growth. In the industrialized nations, a technological revolution is taking place, a revolution marked by rapid, dramatic advances in computers and telecommunications.

In Europe, only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom. Yet in this age of redoubled economic growth, of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice: It must make fundamental changes, or it will become obsolete.

Today, thus, represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safer, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start.

Free people of Berlin: Today, as in the past, the United States stands for the strict observance and full implementation of all parts of the Four Power Agreement of 1971. Let us use this occasion, the 750th anniversary of this city, to usher in a new era, to seek a still fuller, richer life for the Berlin of the future. Together, let us maintain and develop the ties between the Federal Republic and the Western sectors of Berlin, which is permitted by the 1971 agreement.

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world.

To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.

With -- With our French -- With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to Berlin. It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control, or other issues that call for international cooperation.

There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds, and we would be honored to sponsor summer youth exchanges, cultural events, and other programs for young Berliners from the East. Our French and British friends, I'm certain, will do the same. And it's my hope that an authority can be found in East Berlin to sponsor visits from young people of the Western sectors.

One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you may have noted that the Republic of Korea -- South Korea -- has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin, East and West.

In these four decades, as I have said, you Berliners have built a great city. You've done so in spite of threats -- the Soviet attempts to impose the East-mark, the blockade. Today the city thrives in spite of the challenges implicit in the very presence of this wall. What keeps you here? Certainly there's a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage. But I believe there's something deeper, something that involves Berlin's whole look and feel and way of life -- not mere sentiment. No one could live long in Berlin without being completely disabused of illusions. Something, instead, that has seen the difficulties of life in Berlin but chose to accept them, that continues to build this good and proud city in contrast to a surrounding totalitarian presence, that refuses to release human energies or aspirations, something that speaks with a powerful voice of affirmation, that says "yes" to this city, yes to the future, yes to freedom. In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin -- is "love."

Love both profound and abiding.

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront.

Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw: treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere, that sphere that towers over all Berlin, the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner (quote) :

"This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality."

Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall, for it cannot withstand faith it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

And I would like, before I close, to say one word. I have read, and I have been questioned since I've been here about certain demonstrations against my coming. And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they're doing again.


Remarks on East-West Relations at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin

Thank you very much. Chancellor Kohl, Governing Mayor Diepgen , ladies and gentlemen: Twenty four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin , speaking to the people of this city and the world at the city hall. Well, since then two other presidents have come, each in his turn, to Berlin . And today I, myself, make my second visit to your city.

We come to Berlin , we American Presidents, because it's our duty to speak, in this place, of freedom. But I must confess, we're drawn here by other things as well: by the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation by the beauty of the Grunewald and the Tiergarten most of all, by your courage and determination. Perhaps the composer, Paul Lincke , understood something about American Presidents. You see, like so many Presidents before me, I come here today because wherever I go, whatever I do: " Ich hab noch einen koffer in Berlin ." [I still have a suitcase in Berlin .]

Our gathering today is being broadcast throughout Western Europe and North America . I understand that it is being seen and heard as well in the East. To those listening throughout Eastern Europe , I extend my warmest greetings and the good will of the American people. To those listening in East Berlin , a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin . [There is only one Berlin .]

Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe . From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash of barbed wire, concrete, dog runs, and guardtowers . Farther south, there may be no visible, no obvious wall. But there remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same--still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state. Yet it is here in Berlin where the wall emerges most clearly here, cutting across your city, where the news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world. Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.

President von Weizsacker has said: "The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed." Today I say: As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind. Yet I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of (Pg. 635) triumph.

In this season of spring in 1945, the people of Berlin emerged from their air raid shelters to find devastation. Thousands of miles away, the people of the United States reached out to help. And in 1947 Secretary of State--as you've been told-George Marshall announced the creation of what would become known as the Marshall plan. Speaking precisely 40 years ago this month, he said: "Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

In the Reichstag a few moments ago, I saw a display commemorating this 40th anniversary of the Marshall plan. I was struck by the sign on a burnt-out, gutted structure that was being rebuilt. I understand that Berliners of my own generation can remember seeing signs like it dotted throughout the Western sectors of the city. The sign read simply: "The Marshall plan is helping here to strengthen the free world." A strong, free world in the West, that dream became real. Japan rose from ruin to become an economic giant. Italy , France , Belgium --virtually every nation in Western Europe saw political and economic rebirth the European Community was founded.

In West Germany and here in Berlin , there took place an economic miracle, the Wirtschaftswunder . Adenauer, Erhard, Reuter, and other leaders understood the practical importance of liberty--that just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom. The German leaders reduced tariffs, expanded free trade, lowered taxes. From 1950 to 1960 alone, the standard of living in West Germany and Berlin doubled.

Where four decades ago there was rubble, today in West Berlin there is the greatest industrial output of any city in Germany-busy office blocks, fine homes and apartments, proud avenues, and the spreading lawns of park land. Where a city's culture seemed to have been destroyed, today there are two great universities, orchestras and an opera, countless theaters, and museums. Where there was want, today there's abundance--food, clothing, automobiles-the wonderful goods of the Ku'damm . From devastation, from utter ruin, you Berliners have, in freedom, rebuilt a city that once again ranks as one of the greatest on Earth. The Soviets may have had other plans. But, my friends, there were a few things the Soviets didn't count on Berliner herz , Berliner humor, ja , und Berliner schnauze . [Berliner heart, Berliner humor, yes, and a Berliner schnauze .] [Laughter]

In the 1950's, Khrushchev predicted: "We will bury you." But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind-too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control. Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.

There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe , if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

I understand the fear of war and the pain (Pg. 636) of division that afflict this continent--and I pledge to you my country's efforts to help overcome these burdens. To be sure, we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So we must maintain defenses of unassailable strength. Yet we seek peace so we must strive to reduce arms on both sides. Beginning 10 years ago, the Soviets challenged the Western alliance with a grave new threat, hundreds of new and more deadly SS-20 nuclear missiles, capable of-striking every capital in Europe . The Western alliance responded by committing itself to a counterdeployment unless the Soviets agreed to negotiate a better solution namely, the elimination of such weapons on both sides. For many months, the Soviets refused to bargain in earnestness. As the alliance, in turn, prepared to go forward with its counterdeployment , there were difficult days--days of protests like those during my 1982 visit to this city--and the Soviets later walked away from the table.

But through it all, the alliance held firm. And I invite those who protested then--I invite those who protest today--to mark this fact: Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table. And because we remained strong, today we have within reach the possibility, not merely of limiting the growth of arms, but of eliminating, for the first time, an entire class of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. As I speak, NATO ministers are meeting in Iceland to review the progress of our proposals for eliminating these weapons. At the talks in Geneva , we have also proposed deep cuts in strategic offensive weapons. And the Western allies have likewise made far-reaching proposals to reduce the danger of conventional war and to place a total ban on chemical weapons.

While we pursue these arms reductions, I pledge to you that we will maintain the capacity to deter Soviet aggression at any level at which it might occur. And in cooperation with many of our allies, the United States is pursuing the Strategic Defense Initiative-research to base deterrence not on the threat of offensive retaliation, but on defenses that truly defend on systems, in short, that will not target populations, but shield them. By these means we seek to increase the safety of Europe and all the world. But we must remember a crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed we are armed because we mistrust each other. And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty. When President Kennedy spoke at the City Hall those 24 years ago, freedom was encircled, Berlin was under siege. And today, despite all the pressures upon this city, Berlin stands secure in its liberty. And freedom itself is transforming the globe.

In the Philippines , in South and Central America , democracy has been given a rebirth. Throughout the Pacific, free markets are working miracle after miracle of economic growth. In the industrialized nations, a technological revolution is taking place--a revolution marked by rapid, dramatic advances in computers and telecommunications.

In Europe , only one nation and those it controls refuse to join the community of freedom. Yet in this age of redoubled economic growth, of information and innovation, the Soviet Union faces a choice: It must make fundamental changes, or it will become obsolete. Today thus represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safer, freer world.

And surely there is no better place than Berlin , the meeting place of East and West, to make a start. Free people of Berlin : Today, as in the past, the United States stands for the strict observance and full implementation of all parts of the Four Power Agreement of 1971. Let us use this occasion, the 750th anniversary of this city, to usher in a new era, to seek a still fuller, richer life for the Berlin of the future. Together, let us maintain and develop the ties between the Federal Republic and the Western sectors of Berlin , which is permitted by the 1971 agreement.

And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world. To open Berlin still further to (Pg. 637) all Europe , East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe .

With our French and British partners, the United States is prepared to help bring international meetings to Berlin . It would be only fitting for Berlin to serve as the site of United Nations meetings, or world conferences on human rights and arms control or other issues that call for international cooperation. There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds, and we would be honored to sponsor summer youth exchanges, cultural events, and other programs for young Berliners from the East. Our French and British friends, I'm certain, will do the same. And it's my hope that an authority can be found in East Berlin to sponsor visits from young people of the Western sectors.

One final proposal, one close to my heart: Sport represents a source of enjoyment and ennoblement, and you many have noted that the Republic of Korea -- South Korea -has offered to permit certain events of the 1988 Olympics to take place in the North. International sports competitions of all kinds could take place in both parts of this city. And what better way to demonstrate to the world the openness of this city than to offer in some future year to hold the Olympic games here in Berlin , East and West?

In these four decades, as I have said, you Berliners have built a great city. You've done so in spite of threats--the Soviet attempts to impose the East-mark, the blockade. Today the city thrives in spite of the challenges implicit in the very presence of this wall. What keeps you here? Certainly there's a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage. But I believe there's something deeper, something that involves Berlin 's whole look and feel and way of life--not mere sentiment. No one could live long in Berlin without being completely disabused of illusions. Something instead, that has seen the difficulties of life in Berlin but chose to accept them, that continues to build this good and proud city in contrast to a surrounding totalitarian presence that refuses to release human energies or aspirations. Something that speaks with a powerful voice of affirmation, that says yes to this city, yes to the future, yes to freedom. In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin is love--love both profound and abiding.

Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz . Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the Sun strikes that sphere--that sphere that towers over all Berlin --the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin , like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner, "This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality." Yes, across Europe , this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

And I would like, before I close, to say one word. I have read, and I have been questioned since I've been here about certain demonstrations against my coming. And I would like to say just one thing, and to those who demonstrate so. I wonder if they have ever asked themselves that if they should have the kind of government they apparently seek, no one would ever be able to do what they're doing again.
Thank you and God bless you all.


Reagan Calls for End to World’s Farm Subsidies

President Reagan, who less than two years ago signed the most expensive farm aid bill in history, called Friday for the elimination of agricultural subsidies worldwide by the year 2000 as a way of promoting better world economic health.

At the same time, Reagan said that the United States has made “real progress” in trimming its budget deficit, despite ongoing spending battles with Congress, thereby freeing for private investment abroad some of the foreign capital that has been tied up financing the U.S. debt.

Reagan’s remarks, made in a speech televised by Worldnet and provided to networks around the world by the U.S. Information Agency, outlined goals and themes he will press on other government leaders at the seven-nation economic summit conference that begins here next week.

The President will take the opportunity to proselytize Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and West Germany on the economic philosophy he has represented in the United States, based on lower taxes, less government regulation and greater emphasis on private business.

Governments, he said, must “move to dismantle trade-distorting subsidies and labor laws that promote unemployment.”

“Agricultural subsidies, for instance, have been some of the worst culprits behind our growing trade frictions” by giving some sellers unfair advantages in world markets. “Let’s jointly defuse this expensive farms race by setting a goal of a subsidy-free world for the year 2000,” he said.

In the past, Reagan has spoken against subsidies, while at the same time agreeing to continue them at home to protect U.S. farmers.

Farm price supports, which guarantee farmers a specific price for their crops--at a significant cost to the federal budget--grew six-fold from $4 billion in 1981 when Reagan took office to $25.8 billion in 1986.

While agriculture has not been a central issue at the previous 12 economic summit conferences, it has taken on growing importance recently, with a U.S. official saying that international farming is in a state of chaos, facing overproduction and depressed prices.

But any steps Reagan could take to encourage reduced subsidies could place him in conflict with American farmers, whose problems have become a prime issue in domestic politics.

Touching on another sensitive issue, the U.S. trade deficit, Reagan used the speech to call again upon two of the United States’ closest allies, West Germany and Japan, to stimulate their economies to help reduce their trade surpluses with the United States.

If those nations’ consumers had more disposable income to buy U.S. products, American manufacturers could expand their markets and increase employment, he said.

It is “essential” that West Germany adhere to its pledge to pump up its economy, which grew at a sluggish rate of 2.6% last year, Reagan said, and “Japan, too, could help right the imbalance in the world economy by righting the imbalance in its own economy. It’s time for Japan to let free the pent-up consumer demand in their nation. Allow the Japanese people to enjoy more of the benefits of the remarkable economy they have worked so hard to build.”

The President acknowledged that Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone has recognized the need for such a course and sent a program to the Japanese Parliament.

On Friday, the Labor Department announced in Washington that unemployment in May remained stable at 6.3%, which White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater called “good unemployment news on the eve of the economic summit.”

Reagan taped his speech Friday morning at the Villa Condulmer, an estate 12 miles north of Venice. He and his wife, Nancy, are staying there until the summit meetings begin Monday.

Today, they will fly to Rome, where the President will meet with Pope John Paul II and have lunch with Italian President Francesco Cossiga.

At the summit, Reagan will confer with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada, President Francois Mitterrand of France, Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani of Italy, Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany, and Nakasone.

With the allies agreeing, in some cases only reluctantly, to support the United States’ efforts to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union to eliminate medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe, Reagan, in his Friday speech, emphasized that the United States would not ignore its allies’ defense needs.

The allies have expressed concern that the removal of the United States’ “nuclear umbrella” would leave them vulnerable to the superior conventional forces maintained by the Warsaw Pact nations.

Defense Improvements Urged

“As long as the Soviet Union stockpiles chemical weapons and maintains massive conventional forces, poised in attack positions on its own territory and in Eastern Europe, the free nations of Europe must remain strong and ready,” the President declared. “Indeed, given the Soviet superiority in these forces, we must improve our conventional defense capabilities, difficult and expensive as that might be.”

“The United States will not waver in our commitment to the defense of Europe,” he said.

A senior White House official said that Reagan raised the defense issue to offer Europe and Japan a “reassuring sign that we’re not walking away from any commitments.”


A brief history of chemical warfare

How long have poisonous weapons been used?For more than 2,000 years. As early as 600 B.C., the Athenians poisoned the wells of the Spartans, who later tried lobbing burning sulfur pitch over the walls of Athens, hoping to fill the city with toxic smoke. Genghis Khan used that same trick, catapulting burning sulfur pitch during his siege of fortified cities around A.D. 1200. Over the centuries, various armies put poisons on arrows and in bullets to make them more lethal. But it wasn't until the 19th and 20th centuries that mankind began developing toxins and poison gases of devastating lethality, including mustard gas, chlorine, and the nerve gas sarin. Even before these gases were used in war, they created a special kind of fear and moral revulsion.

What makes these weapons different?In a literal sense, they're not, since the goal of warfare is to kill lots of people in an efficient way. Bombs, missiles, and other munitions achieve very similar results, especially when dropped on civilian areas. But chemical weapons evoke a strong emotional response, perhaps because they can be invisible, and victims often suffer slow and agonizing deaths, convulsing and gasping for breath. "This 'chemical weapons taboo' appears to have originated in the innate human aversion to poisonous substances," says Jonathan Tucker, author of a history of chemical weapons. Tucker says that established nations also look at such weapons as cowardly and ignoble — as a "duplicitous use of poison by the weak to defeat the strong without a fair physical fight."

When were chemical weapons banned?As societies became capable of manufacturing large quantities of poison chemicals, there were repeated attempts to make the use of them taboo. In 1874, European nations attending the Brussels Convention on the rules of war called for — but did not approve — a ban on the "employment of poison or poisoned weapons." In 1899, major Western nations participating in the Hague Peace Conference went further, approving an agreement to prohibit the firing of any projectiles "the sole object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases." The ban didn't stand long.

What happened?World War I. On April 22, 1915, Germany attacked Allied troops outside Ypres, Belgium, with chlorine gas. It was the first time a lethal gas had been used on a large scale in a modern war. "Suddenly we saw. this yellow wall moving quite slowly towards our lines," recounted Archibald James of the Royal Flying Corps. "We hadn't any idea what it was." French soldiers were enveloped by the gas, and began choking. Many made the mistake of diving for cover at the bottom of their trenches, where the gas — heavier than air — collected in a lethal cloud. When it was over, British soldier Lendon Payne said, the Allied line "was absolutely covered with bodies of gassed men. Must have been over 1,000 of them."

How did the world react?The Allies saw how effective gases could be, and started using them. Both sides went on to use phosgene, a choking agent, and mustard gas, which causes painful burns and blisters. By the end of the Great War — dubbed by historians "the chemists' war" — more than 90,000 soldiers had been killed by poison gas, many succumbing only after days or weeks of agony. A million more were injured — many blinded for life. The world's horror led the League of Nations in 1925 to draft the Geneva Protocol, banning chemical weapons in war and declaring that their use "has been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilized world." Most nations signed on (though the U.S. did not until 1975).

Did the Protocol end their use?No, but it effectively stigmatized them so that only rogue nations have used them since. Even the Nazis — who used gas to murder prisoners en masse in concentration camps — never unleashed gases on the battlefield. Still, the Geneva Protocol only banned using chemical weapons in war it did not prohibit countries from producing and stockpiling them, and countries, including the U.S., did just that for decades, to serve as a deterrent to other nations. Only after the Cold War ended did the U.S. and the Soviet Union sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, and begin to slowly incinerate their vast storehouses of chemical weapons.

Why did Syria get them?Syria began stockpiling chemical weapons in the 1970s and '80s, after losing three consecutive wars to Israel. The Syrians saw chemical weapons — which have been called "the poor man's nuclear weapon'' — as a last resort to counter Israel's military superiority and nuclear arsenal. Syria has been steadily manufacturing chemical weapons ever since. Intelligence services have estimated Syria's stockpile at 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, stashed in 50 facilities. Syria, says former Pentagon official Steven Bucci, has become "the superpower of chemical weapons." With its back against the wall, the regime has proven its willingness to use them.


The U.S. Once Had A Ban On Assault Weapons — Why Did It Expire?

A visitor peruses H&K rifles at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Such weapons were once restricted under a 1994 ban that expired with changing politics in the United States.

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET

On the presidential campaign trail in Iowa and on the op-ed page of The New York Times, former Vice President Joe Biden has made the case for going back to a nationwide ban on assault weapons and making it "even stronger."

Some have reacted with quizzical expressions: "Back?" "Stronger?"

Yes. Twenty five years ago, when Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Congress passed the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act — commonly called the assault weapons ban.

It prohibited the manufacture or sale for civilian use of certain semi-automatic weapons. The act also banned magazines that could accommodate 10 rounds or more.

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"Assault weapons — military-style firearms designed to fire rapidly — are a threat to our national security, and we should treat them as such," Biden wrote in his weekend op-ed. "Anyone who pretends there's nothing we can do is lying — and holding that view should be disqualifying for anyone seeking to lead our country."

The earlier ban was enacted as a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, an election-year package meant to show that Democrats were "tough on crime."

Times were different then. More Americans said they worried about violent crime and the threat associated with criminals armed with powerful weapons.

So among other things, Biden and Democrats got behind stricter sentencing guidelines and expanding the category of federal crimes punishable with the death penalty.

At the time, Biden defended the legislation against charges of weakness by saying: "We do everything but hang people for jaywalking in this bill."

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Eagerness to tackle crime rates made at least some Democrats in 1994 also willing to address the role of guns – particularly those perceived as more dangerous and which had been turned on innocent citizens.

In his Times op-ed, Biden salutes the senator often credited as the architect of the 1994 ban, Dianne Feinstein of California. Then, in just her second year as a senator, Feinstein took over as chief sponsor of a bill originally offered by Ohio Democrat Howard Metzenbaum in 1989 after a mass shooting on a schoolyard in Stockton, Calif.

That shooting took the lives of five children and injured 28 others and a teacher.

Feinstein's resolve to carry this legislation forward was bolstered when eight more people were killed and six injured in another California horror, this time at a law firm in San Francisco.

National

In Dayton And El Paso, A Search For Comfort And Healing

"It was the 1993 mass shooting at 101 California Street," she later said. "That was the tipping point for me. That's what really motivated me to push for a ban on assault weapons."

But to secure the votes for passage, the ban's sponsors agreed to allow those who already had these guns to keep them. Biden now says he would initiate a buyback program instead, although it isn't clear how that might work or how effective it might be.

Sponsors also accepted a "sunset provision" by which the 1994 ban would automatically expire after 10 years unless renewed by a vote of Congress. Even so, the ban only got 52 votes in the Senate on its way to inclusion in the overall crime bill, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

The world turns

By the time those 10 years had passed, however, the political climate had changed.

Republicans by then had held the House throughout the period and the Senate for all but 18 months. The GOP had just increased its numbers in both chambers in the midterm elections of 2002, a political season dominated by anxiety after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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In Dayton And El Paso, A Search For Comfort And Healing

Feinstein and others made numerous efforts to restore the ban that year and over the next several years. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 he made renewing the ban part of his agenda. Efforts were mounted again after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, but none bore fruit.

The attempt to reinstate the ban after Sandy Hook attracted 12 fewer votes in the Senate than Feinstein had mustered in an attempt to renew the ban in 2004.

Former Vice President Joe Biden says if he's elected, he'd support a new ban on assault weapons, along with a buyback program. Charlie Neibergall/AP hide caption

Former Vice President Joe Biden says if he's elected, he'd support a new ban on assault weapons, along with a buyback program.

Biden has come to rue much about the 1994 legislation.

It led to a surge in prison populations that has since been reviled as "mass incarceration" that proved disproportionately injurious to African Americans. Biden has been upbraided for it by his rivals since this year's Democratic presidential contest began.

But in 1994, the most immediate consequence of the crime bill was a backlash against the assault weapons ban among gun advocates.

The midterm elections that fall were already difficult for the Democrats, who had to defend the new North American Free Trade Agreement, some higher taxes and a scandal in the House banking system.

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Adding in the blowback over the assault weapons ban — particularly intense in the rural South and West — turned the midterm into a debacle for Democrats. They lost control of both the Senate and House, the latter for the first time in 40 years.

Among those defeated that fall was 42-year veteran Jack Brooks, a Texas Democrat who had been chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when the crime bill passed.

Brooks had tried to have the assault weapons ban removed from the bill and was himself a longtime member of the National Rifle Association. But it was not enough to save him in rural Texas that fall.

The sense that gun control cost Democrats votes intensified after the presidential election of 2000. That year's Democratic nominee, Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee, could not carry his home state or other swing states won by the Clinton-Gore ticket in the 1990s.

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Gore surely paid a price for his stances on coal and other issues as well, but much of the blame for his narrow Electoral College loss fell on voters' response to his positions on guns.

In 2004, when the Republican Congress refused to renew the assault weapons ban, the Democrats' presidential nominee was Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who sought to style himself as a hunter and gun owner but nonetheless supported the ban and its renewal.

The Electoral College that year looked a lot like 2000, and Kerry could have won had he carried Ohio. But in that state, as elsewhere, a poor showing in rural counties doomed the Democratic nominee.

What effect did the ban have?

Today we can look back at the 10 years of the ban and at 15 years since its expiration.

Critics of the ban have argued that it violated Second Amendment rights while accomplishing little, and evidence suggests it did not do much to reduce the incidence of gun violence overall.

What it did, its defenders reply, was reduce the number of people killed in mass shootings.

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Both sides of the debate claim vindication in subsequent research. Comparing the various studies is difficult because they use different definitions of "assault weapon" and mass shooting.

One thing is clear: Assault weapons like those once restricted by the ban were used in the most memorable events that have defined the current era of random massacre, including at Sandy Hook in 2012, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in 2018 — and this month in Texas and Ohio.

They are the emblem of the nation's soul sickness over these tragedies.

So today Democratic candidates stand by the assault weapons ban, despite its political costs in the past and potential costs in the future.

President Trump now calls for having "strong background checks" for gun purchases but does not call for new restrictions on assault weapons.

"There's no political appetite for it," he says.

National

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But many surveys show the opposite.

A survey done this month by Morning Consult and Politico found 7 in 10 voters, including 54% of Republicans, supported "a ban on assault-style weapons." Even higher percentages supported a ban on high-capacity magazines and a purchase age of at least 21 for any gun. The survey, done Aug. 5-7, included 1,960 interviews and had a margin of error of two percentage points.

Given that similar percents supported a ban after the shootings of the early 1990s and after the Sandy Hook and Parkland tragedies, there would seem to be a long-term pattern.

Whether that can be translated into legislative action by the current political establishment is — as always — another question.


Contents

The U.S. had participated in the formulations of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 which banned chemical warfare, among other things, but the U.S. never joined the article which prohibited chemical weapons.

World War I Edit

In World War I, the U.S. established its own chemical weapons research facility and produced its own chemical munitions. [1] It produced 5,770 metric tons of these weapons, including 1,400 metric tons of phosgene and 175 metric tons of mustard gas. This was about 4% of the total chemical weapons produced for that war and only just over 1% of the era's most effective weapon, mustard gas. (U.S. troops suffered less than 6% of gas casualties.) [2] The U.S. also established the First Gas Regiment, which left Washington, D.C. on Christmas Day, 1917, and arrived at the front in May 1918. [1] During its time in France, the First Gas Regiment used phosgene in a number of attacks. [3]

The United States began large-scale production of an improved vesicant gas known as Lewisite, for use in an offensive planned for early 1919. Lewisite was a major American contribution to the chemical weapon arsenal of World War I, although it was not actually used in the field during World War I. It was developed by Captain Winford Lee Lewis of the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service in 1917. [2] (The Germans later claimed that they had manufactured it in 1917 prior to the American discovery.) By the time of the armistice on 11 November 1918, a plant near Willoughby, Ohio, was producing 10 tons per day of the substance, for a total of about 150 tons. [2] It is uncertain what effect this new chemical agent would have had on the battlefield, however, as it degrades in moist conditions. [4] [5]

After the war, the U.S. was party to the Washington Arms Conference Treaty of 1922 which would have banned chemical weapons but failed because it was rejected by France. The U.S. continued to stockpile chemical weapons, eventually exceeding 30,000 tons of material.

World War II Edit

Chemical weapons were not used by the U.S. or the other Allies during World War II however, quantities of such weapons were deployed to Europe for use in case Germany initiated chemical warfare. At least one accident occurred: On the night of December 2, 1943, German Junkers Ju 88 bombers attacked the port of Bari in Southern Italy, sinking several American ships – among them John Harvey, which was carrying mustard gas. The presence of the gas was highly classified, and authorities ashore had no knowledge of it – which increased the number of fatalities, since physicians, who had no idea that they were dealing with the effects of mustard gas, prescribed treatment not consistent with those suffering from exposure and immersion. According to the U.S. military account, "Sixty-nine deaths were attributed in whole or in part to the mustard gas, most of them American merchant seamen" out of 628 mustard gas military casualties. [Navy 2006] [Niderost] Civilian casualties were not recorded. The whole affair was kept secret at the time and for many years after the war. Large quantities of chemical weapons were also deployed to India, from where they could have been delivered to Japan by B-29 bombers. At the end of the war, over 50,000 mustard gas bombs, 10,000 phosgene bombs and other chemical munitions were dumped into deep water in the Bay of Bengal. [6]

Cold War Edit

After the war, the Allies recovered German artillery shells containing three new nerve agents developed by the Germans (Tabun, Sarin, and Soman), prompting further research into nerve agents by all of the former Allies. Thousands of American soldiers were exposed to chemical warfare agents during Cold War testing programs (see Edgewood Arsenal human experiments), as well as in accidents. In 1968, one such accident killed approximately 6,400 sheep when an agent drifted out of Dugway Proving Ground during a test. [7]

The U.S. also investigated a wide range of possible nonlethal, psychobehavioral chemical incapacitating agents including psychedelic indoles such as lysergic acid diethylamide (also experimenting to see if it could be used for effective mind control) and marijuana derivatives, certain tranquilizers like ketamine or fentanyl, as well as several glycolate anticholinergics. One of the anticholinergic compounds, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, was assigned the NATO code BZ and was weaponized at the beginning of the 1960s for possible battlefield use. This agent was allegedly employed by American troops as a counterinsurgency weapon in the Vietnam War but the U.S. maintains that this agent never saw operational use. [8] The North Koreans and Chinese have alleged that chemical and biological weapons were used by the United States in the Korean War [9] but the United States' denial is supported by Russian archival documents. [10]

The growing protests over the U.S. role in the Vietnam War, the use of defoliants there, and the use of riot control agents both in Southeast Asia and inside the U.S. (as well as heightened concern for the environment) all gradually increased public hostility in the U.S. toward chemical weapons in the 1960s. Three events particularly galvanized public attention: a 1968 sheep-kill incident at Dugway Proving Ground, Operation Cut Holes and Sink ‘Em (CHASE) — a program involving disposal of unwanted munitions at sea — and a 1969 accident with sarin at Okinawa. [11]

Renunciation Edit

On November 25, 1969, President Richard Nixon unilaterally renounced the first use of chemical weapons and renounced all methods of biological warfare. [12] He issued a unilateral decree halting production and transport of chemical weapons which remains in effect. From 1967 to 1970 in Operation CHASE, the U.S. disposed of chemical weapons by sinking ships laden with the weapons in the deep Atlantic. The U.S. began to research safer disposal methods for chemical weapons in the 1970s, destroying several thousand tons of mustard gas by incineration at Rocky Mountain Arsenal and nearly 4,200 tons of nerve agent by chemical neutralization at Tooele Army Depot and Rocky Mountain Arsenal. [13]

The U.S. entered the Geneva Protocol in 1975 at the same time it ratified the Biological Weapons Convention. This was the first operative international treaty on chemical weapons that the United States was party to.

The U.S. began stockpile reductions in the 1980s, removing some outdated munitions and destroying its entire stock of BZ beginning in 1988. In June 1990, Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System began destruction of chemical agents stored on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific, seven years before the Chemical Weapons Convention came into effect. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan made an agreement with Chancellor Helmut Kohl to remove the U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons from Germany. As part of Operation Steel Box, in July 1990, two ships were loaded with over 100,000 shells containing GB and VX taken from U.S. Army weapons storage depots such as Miesau and then-classified ammunition FSTS (forward storage/transportation sites) and transported from Bremerhaven, Germany, to Johnston Atoll in the Pacific, a 46-day nonstop journey. [14]

Decommissioning and destruction Edit

In May 1991, President George H.W. Bush unilaterally committed the United States to destroying all chemical weapons and renounced the right to chemical weapon retaliation. In 1993, the United States signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, which required the destruction of all chemical weapon agents, dispersal systems, and chemical weapons production facilities by April 2012. The U.S. prohibition on the transport of chemical weapons has meant that destruction facilities had to be constructed at each of the U.S.'s nine storage facilities. The U.S. met the first three of the treaty's four deadlines, destroying 45% of its stockpile of chemical weapons by 2007. By January 2012, the final treaty deadline, the United States had destroyed 89.75% of the original stockpile. [15] As of 2019, complete destruction of the country's last stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot is expected by the end of 2023. [16]

A policy of "calculated ambiguity" warns of an "overwhelming and devastating" response in the event of a chemical or biological weapons attack against the United States or its allies. [17]

The United States was a party to some of the earliest modern chemical weapons ban treaties, the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and the Washington Arms Conference Treaty of 1922 although this treaty was unsuccessful. The U.S. ratified the Geneva Protocol which banned the use of chemical and biological weapons on January 22, 1975. In 1989 and 1990, the U.S. and the Soviet Union entered an agreement to end their chemical weapons programs, including "binary weapons". The United States ratified the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, which came into force in April 1997. This banned the possession of most types of chemical weapons. The United States and Russia possess the largest remaining chemical stockpiles among Convention members according to the Centre for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, as of 2014. [ citation needed ] The convention also banned chemical weapons development, and requires the destruction of existing stockpiles, precursor chemicals, production facilities and weapon delivery systems.

Disposal of chemical munitions has concluded at seven of the U.S.'s nine chemical depots (89.75% stockpile reduction).

The U.S. stored its chemical weapons at eight U.S. Army installations within the Continental United States (CONUS). The stockpiles were maintained in exclusion zones [18] at the following Department of Army installations, (the percentages shown are reflections of amount by weight):

    (TEAD), Utah (42.3% of total stockpile) (PBA), Arkansas (12%) (UMDA), Oregon (11.6%) (PUDA), Colorado (9.9%) (ANAD), Alabama (7.1%) (APG), Maryland (5%) (NAAP), Indiana (3.9%) (BGAD), Kentucky (1.6%).

The remaining 6.6% was located on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

Stockpiles have been eliminated at Johnston Atoll, APG, NAAP, UMDA, [19] PBA, [20] TEAD, [21] and ANAD. [22] PUDA began elimination during fiscal year (FY) 2015, and was scheduled to complete in FY 2017, but this deadline was extended to 2022 and elimination is ongoing. [23] BGAD will be last to complete this elimination, for which tentative dates have not been set as of 2016. [24] [ needs update ]

According to the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, by January 2012 the United States had destroyed 89.75% of the original stockpile of nearly 31,100 metric tons (34,300 tons) of nerve and mustard agents declared in 1997. [15] The U.S. disposed of the more dangerous modern chemical weapons before starting the destruction of its older mustard gas stockpile which presented additional difficulties due to the poor condition of some of the shells. Of the weapons destroyed up to 2006, 500 tons were mustard gas and the majority were other agents such as VX and sarin (GB) (86% of the latter was destroyed by April 2006). [25] 14,000 metric tons (15,400 tons) of prohibited weapons had been destroyed by June 2007 to meet the Phase III quota and deadline. [26]

The original commitment in Phase III required all countries to have 45 percent of the chemical stockpiles destroyed by April 2004. Anticipating the failure to meet this deadline, the Bush administration in September 2003 requested a new deadline of December 2007 for Phase III and announced a probable need for an extension until April 2012 for Phase IV, total destruction (requests for deadline extensions cannot formally be made until 12 months before the original deadline). This extension procedure spelled out in the treaty has been utilized by other countries, including Russia and the unnamed "state party". Although April 2012 is the latest date allowed by the treaty, the U.S. also noted that this deadline may not be met due to environmental challenges and the U.S. decision to destroy leaking individual chemical shells before bulk storage chemical weapons. [27] [28]

The primary remaining chemical weapon storage facilities in the U.S. are Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky. [29] These two facilities hold 10.25% of the U.S. 1997 declared stockpile and destruction operations are under the Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives. [30] Other non-stockpile agents (usually test kits) or old buried munitions are occasionally found and are sometimes destroyed in place. Pueblo and Blue Grass are constructing pilot plans to test novel methods of disposal. The U.S. also uses mobile treatment systems to treat chemical test samples and individual shells without requiring transport from the artillery ranges and abandoned munitions depots where they are occasionally found. The destruction facility for Pueblo began disposal operations in March 2015. [31] Completion at Pueblo is expected in 2022. Blue Grass is expected to complete operation by 2023. [32]

In 1988–1990, the destruction of munitions containing BZ, a non-lethal hallucinating agent occurred at Pine Bluff Chemical Activity in Arkansas. Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada destroyed all M687 chemical artillery shells and 458 metric tons of binary precursor chemicals by July 1999. Operations were completed at Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System, where all 640 metric tons of chemical agents were destroyed by 2000, as well as at Edgewood Chemical Activity in Maryland, with 1,472 metric tons of agents destroyed by February 2006. All DF and QL, chemical weapons precursors, were destroyed in 2006 at Pine Bluff. Newport Chemical Depot in Indiana began destruction operations in May, 2005 and completed operations on August 8, 2008, disposing of 1,152 tonnes of agents. Pine Bluff completed destruction of 3,850 tons of weapons on November 12, 2010. Anniston Chemical Activity in Alabama completed disposal on September 22, 2011. Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon finished disposal on October 25, 2011. Tooele Chemical Demilitarization Facility at Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah finished disposal on January 21, 2012. [15]


Watch the video: President Reagans Remarks on Chemical Weapons with members of Congress on June 17, 1985