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Pallets of 155 mm Pueblo Depot Activity (PUDA) chemical weapons storage facility
|Sulfur Mustard (Yperite)||(HD)|
|Soviet chemical weapons canister from an Albanian stockpile|
|Weapons of mass destruction|
WMD world map
A chemical weapon (CW) is a device that uses chemicals weapons of mass destruction, and have been “condemned by the civilised world”. They are separate from biological weapons (diseases), nuclear weapons (which use sub-nuclear fission) and radiological weapons (which use radioactive decay of elements). Chemical weapons can be widely dispersed in gas, liquid and solid forms and may easily afflict others than the intended targets. Nerve gas and tear gas are two modern examples.
Lethal unitary chemical agents and munitions are extremely phosgene gas and others caused lung searing, blindness, death and maiming. In addition, the gas was unreliable because of wind dispersion and often drifted back into the user’s own lines. The public was so horrified by the results and the military so unimpressed that the complete elimination of this class of weapon was widely supported after the war. Large modern stockpiles continue to exist, though usually only as a precaution against use by an aggressor. Progress is still being made to fulfill its eradication through international law.
 International law
“International law is the term commonly used for referring to laws that govern the conduct of independent nations in their relationships with one another.” They are generally regarded as binding, and State Parties accept the terms. Treaties like the Geneva Conventions require nations assent to the terms, which often requires acts of national legislation to conform. Nations may delegate their national jurisdiction to a supranational tribunal such as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court.
 Before the Second World War
The World War I.
The Central Powers on the German side of World War I were dealt with in separate treaties.
The Washington Naval Treaty, signed February 6, 1922, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, aimed at banning CW—but did not succeed because the French rejected it. The subsequent failure to include CW has contributed to the resultant increase in stockpiles.
The  This treaty states that chemical and biological weapons are “justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilised world.” While the treaty prohibits the use of chemical, and biological weapons, it does not address the production, storage, or transfer of these weapons. Later treaties would address these omissions and have been enacted.
 Modern agreements
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is the most recent arms control agreement with the force of International law. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. This agreement outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an independent organization based in The Hague.
The OPCW administers the terms of the CWC to 188 signatories which represents 98% of the global population. Of the stockpiles, 44,131 of the 71,194 tonnes declared (61.99%) have been destroyed. The OPCW has conducted 4,167 inspections at 195 chemical weapon-related and 1,103 industrial sites. These inspections have affected the sovereign territory of 81 States Parties since April 1997. Worldwide, 4,913 industrial facilities are subject to inspection provisions.
“Chemical warfare (CW) involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military initialism for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (warfare or weapons). None of these falls under the term conventional weapons which are primarily effective owing to their destructive potential. Chemical warfare does not depend upon explosive force to achieve an objective. Rather it depends upon the unique properties of the chemical agent weaponized. A lethal agent is designed to injure or incapacitate the enemy, or deny unhindered use of a particular area of terrain. Defoliants are used to quickly kill vegetation and deny its use for cover and concealment. It can also be used against agriculture and livestock to promote hunger and starvation. With proper protective equipment, training, and decontamination measures, the primary effects of chemical weapons can be overcome.”
 State parties with declared stockpiles
Of 188 signatory nations to the CWC, state parties listed below have also declared stockpiles, agreed to monitored disposal, and verification, and in some cases, used CW in conflict. Both military targets and civilian populations have been affected—the affected populations were not always damaged collaterally, but rather at times, the target of the attack. As of 2012, only four nations are confirmed as having chemical weapons: the United States, Russia, North Korea and Syria.
Japan stored chemical weapons on the territory of 
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which oversees destruction measures has announced “The government of Iraq has deposited its instrument of accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention with the Secretary General of the United Nations and within 30 days, on 12 February 2009, will become the 186th State Party to the Convention”.
On June 28, 1987, Iraqi aircraft delivered what was believed to be 
Russia entered the CWC with the largest declared stockpile of chemical weapons.
 United States
The U.S. stored its chemical weapons at eight U.S. Army installations within the Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
Currently stockpiles have been eliminated at Johnston Atoll, APG, and NAAP. Stockpiles are nearly eliminated at ANAD, UMDA,
The U.S. policy on the use of chemical weapons is to reserve the right to retaliate. First use, or 
 Non-member states of OPCW with declared or undeclared stockpiles
Syria is one of only 7 states which are not party to the Chemical Weapons Convention. However, it is party to the 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibiting the use of chemical weapons in war.
Syrian officials have stated that they feel it appropriate to have some deterrent against Israel’s similarly non-admitted nuclear weapons program when questioned about the topic, but only on July 23, 2012, the Syrian government acknowledged for the first time that it had chemical weapons
Independent assessments indicate that Syrian production could be up to a combined total of a few hundred tons of chemical agent per year. Syria reportedly manufactures Sarin, Tabun, VX, and mustard gas types of chemical weapons.
Syrian chemical weapons production facilities have been identified by Western nonproliferation experts at approximately 5 sites, plus one suspected weapons base:
- Al Safir (Scud missile base)
In July 2007, a Syrian arms depot exploded, killing at least 15 Syrians. Jane’s Defence Weekly, a U.S. magazine reporting on military and corporate affairs, believed that the explosion happened when Iranian and Syrian military personnel attempted to fit a Scud missile with a mustard gas warhead. Syria stated that the blast was accidental and not chemical related.
On July 13, 2012, The Syrian government moved its stockpile to an undisclosed location.
In September 2012, information emerged that the Syrian military had begun chemical weapons tests and was reinforcing and resupplying a base housing these weapons located east of 
 North Korea
North Korea is not a signatory of CWC and has never officially acknowledged the exsitence of its offensive CW program. Nevertheless, the country is believed to possess a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons. It reportedly acquired the technology necessary to produce tabun and mustard gas as early as the 1950s.
 Manner and form
There are three basic configurations in which these agents are stored. The first are self-contained munitions like projectiles, cartridges, mines, and rockets; these can contain propellant and/or explosive components. The next form are aircraft-delivered munitions. This form never has an explosive component.
Higher temperatures are a bigger concern because the possibility of an explosion increases as the temperatures rise. A fire at one of these facilities would endanger the surrounding community as well as the personnel at the installations.
The stockpiles, which have been maintained for more than 50 years, The Congressional directive has resulted in the present Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program.
Some places where chemical weapons were tested, such as the citation needed]
Historically, chemical munitions have been disposed of by land burial, open burning, and ocean dumping (referred to as Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) began in 1985.
This was to be a full-scale prototype facility using the baseline system. The prototype was a success but there were still many concerns about CONUS operations. To address growing public concern over incineration, Congress, in 1992, directed the Army to evaluate alternative disposal approaches that might be “significantly safer”, more cost effective, and which could be completed within the established time frame. The Army was directed to report to Congress on potential alternative technologies by the end of 1993, and to include in that report—”any recommendations that the 
Chemical weapons are said to “make deliberate use of the toxic properties of chemical substances to inflict death”. However, chemical weapons were not used to the extent feared.
An unintended chemical weapon release occurred at the port of 
The U.S. Government was highly criticized for exposing American service members to chemical agents while testing the effects of exposure. These tests were often performed without the consent or prior knowledge of the soldiers affected.
 Unitary versus binary weapons
Unitary munitions are opposite of 
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- 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord
- Chemical weapon designation
- General Purpose Criterion
- List of chemical warfare agents
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