Seventy percent of Army's chemical weapons stockpiles destroyed

U.S. Army officials have announced that more than 70 percent of the Army's chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed with the majority expected to be destroyed by 2012.

The United States' arsenal includes 31,500 tons of chemical weapons, made up of sarin, VX and mustard agents. To date, 22,322 tons of that arsenal have been destroyed.

"It is a tremendous success story," Carmen Spencer, deputy assistant Secretary of the Army (Elimination of Chemical Weapons), told "Not only is the U.S doing all it can to meet its international commitments, but more importantly the Chemical Materials Agency is contributing to the national security of the United States in the process. These weapons in the wrong hands can do harm. They are safely and securely storing and destroying them while providing maximum protection to the public and environment."

More than 3,084 tons of chemical weapons were destroyed by the Army's Chemical Stockpile Elimination mission in 2009. That mission began in the early 1990's, prior to the 1992 international Chemical Convention arms control agreement that called for destroying chemical weapons stockpiles as well as a prohibition on their use and production.

Under the treaty, signed in 1993 and ratified by 188 countries, states that, "Each State Party undertakes to destroy chemical weapons it owns or possesses, or that are located in any place under its jurisdiction or control, in accordance with the provisions of this convention."