Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.
Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist. Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market.
Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq.
The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.
The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.
The purity of the agent inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions.
While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal.
It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons. (emphasis added)
Is this what all of the fuss was about back in 2002? No. As I have pointed out before, we didn't invade Iraq because Saddam had "sarin and mustard-filled projectiles" or "pre-Gulf War chemical munitions." We invaded Iraq because of the grave threat that might end in a mushroom cloud.
As awful as it would no doubt be to be subjected to an attack by mustard and sarin gas shells, assuming that any of them still worked; they didn't pose a "grave threat" to the United States in 2002. In fact, artillery shells, which is what this report appears to be about, wouldn't pose any threat to Americans unless we invaded Iraq. And I have yet to see any reports that Americans have been subject to a poison gas attack.