Stockpile of Lethal Chemical Munitions and Agents--Better Management Needed

LCD-77-205: Published: Sep 14, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 3, 1982.

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The United States has a large stockpile of lethal chemical munitions and agents to deter another country from using chemical warfare and to retaliate if deterrence fails. The stockpile consists of various munitions and bulk containers filled with nerve agents and mustard gas. They are stored in eight continental United States and two overseas locations managed by the Army. Visits to five of the storage sites showed that improvements were needed in inspection and maintenance, storage and handling, safety and security, and demilitarization and disposal of the stockpile.

Department of Defense officials have testified in congressional hearings that the stockpile is deteriorating and that much of it is unserviceable. The true condition of the stockpile is unknown.

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