Speaking at the closing session of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington last week, US President Barack Obama has urged world leaders to take ‘tangible and concrete steps’ to safeguard vulnerable nuclear facilities to prevent ‘madmen’ from getting hold of nuclear or radioactive material for a ‘dirty bomb’. The ‘persistent and evolving threat’ of nuclear terrorism remained the focal point of the fourth and final session of President Obama’s signature foreign policy Initiatives on the nuclear security. President Obama believes ‘the danger of terrorist groups obtaining and using a nuclear weapon is one of the greatest threats to global security’. He is also convinced that roughly 2,000 tons of nuclear materials, held at military and civilian facilities around the world, are not properly secured.

Following the 9/11 incident, a number of US leaders and statesmen have expressed their serious concerns about the looming threat of nuclear terrorism in the world. President Obama is best known for his similar concerns. In 2009, he delivered a historic speech at Prague in which he identified the nuclear terrorism as one of the greatest threats to international security. Later in 2014, at the conclusion of third Nuclear Security Summit in Hague, he observed, “I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospects of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan (NYC)”. Therefore, President Obama’s underlying security concerns have always been lying at the heart of all Nuclear Security Summits consecutively held since 2010.

Against the backdrop of recent deadly terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, the last Nuclear Summit obviously gained greater significance and relevance. These two terror incidents in Europe substantially reinforced all the perceived nuclear terror threats worldwide in some way.

The world community has started seriously realizing the growing threats of global terrorism in general. At the same time, there is also comparatively a greater global resolve to forcefully combat militancy and terrorism across the world to minimize or avert these threats.

Undoubtedly, the successive security summits have taken up very pertinent and crucial challenge faced by the contemporary world.

However, owing to multiple reasons, these Summits have failed in devising any comprehensive mechanism to prevent the illegal transfer of nuclear material, and thereby averting the potential nuclear terrorism. Among other things, Russia’s non-participation in the US-dominated Nuclear Summit somehow undermined the current global efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism. Besides this, presently the required degree of resolution on the part of world leaders to adequately combat terrorism is also essentially missing. Similarly, the institutional capacity of the International Nuclear watch-dog IAEA is also observably impaired to effectively prevent the illegal transfer of nuclear and other radioactive materials across the world.

The current overriding concerns of the US about the so-called nuclear terrorism appear to be a bit irrational and rather excessive in the sense that not a single nuclear terror incident has yet been reported in the world. In fact, preparing and operating a nuclear device necessarily involve some advanced and sophisticated nuclear technology which, under the circumstances, is very unlikely to be possessed by the individual aspirants of nuclear terrorism. Certainly, nuclear devices, and even the ‘dirty bombs’ are by no means improvised explosive devices (IED’s), or shoulder-launched assault weapons. Therefore, instead of being overly obsessed with the ambiguous and self-perceived nuclear terror threats, the global community should focus on eliminating the terrorists, and destroying their known strongholds all over the world. By doing so, all the conventional and nuclear terror threats can conveniently be averted.

After the defeat of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and subsequent death of its founder OBL, now the Middle East-based terrorist outfit ISIS or Daesh is the greatest threat to the world peace and security. Having played havoc with the peace and stability of Iraq and Syria, now it is trying to extend the scope of its terror operations to the Western countries. It has claimed responsibility for both recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels. The UN Security Council, through its Resolution 2249, authorized a global military campaign against the ISIS in Iraq and Syria following the deadly Paris attacks last year. However, we couldn’t witness a befitting or serious global response to significantly curb ISIS militancy in the Syria and Iraq. Soon after the Paris incident, the Russia-Turkey confrontation instantly triggered when Turkey downed a Russian jet in its territory. After this, the California firing incident in the US attracted the considerable global attention. These two consecutive incidents somehow eclipsed the Paris Incident diluting the global resolve to fight against ISIS in the Middle East.

On the other hand, apparently aimed at fighting terrorism in the Muslims countries, the 34-state Islamic military alliance was also formed under the command of Saudi Arabia last year. Many important Muslim states, including Pakistan, have joined this military alliance.

Strangely, the Iran and pro-Iran countries in the Middle East have not been asked to join this grand alliance. As a matter of fact, the instant extinction of ISIS in Iraq and Syria is not in line with the broader strategic interests of the United States, Turkey and GCC countries including the Saudi Arabia. The US and GCC countries are actively opposing the Iran and pro-Iran elements in the region, namely the Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah. Similarly, Turkey has also been deeply concerned about the rising influence and strength of Kurds in this region. Therefore, these countries would hardly wish to eliminate ISIS which is effectively serving their national objectives. It is a well-known fact that Saudi Arabia has been providing moral and material support to the Islamic State affiliates. Similarly, Russia has also accused Turkey of supporting ISIS monetarily by secretly purchasing oil from it.

Presently, the Russia-Iran-Hezbollah axis is proactively fighting against the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Therefore, only this military axis is offering considerable resistance to the diabolic activities of ISIS in the region. But regrettably, instead of reinforcing this resistance axis against the ISIS, the US and GCC countries are deliberately trying to undermine it only to preserves their respective strategic objectives in the regions. The ISIS has already consolidated its position in these areas on account of half-hatred global coercive response against its militancy and terrorism. In fact, the current duplicity on the part of global power-brokers towards the Middle Eastern monster has become a major hurdle in way of so-called global war against the ISIS in the world. This is the reason now the Islamic State ‘mad-men’ are attacking the European nations with impunity.

Instead of rather confusing and complicating the issue of global terrorism by unnecessarily adding another nuclear dimension to it, the global community should analyzed this issue in its true perspective keeping in view the prevailing ground realities in the world. Pacific and diplomatic means must be sought for the ultimate resolution of longstanding unresolved political disputes in the world to discourage all forms of militancy and violence whatsoever in the name of any ‘higher objective’. Similarly, global power brokers should also stop articulating and pursuing their selfish state interests in the world at the cost of global peace and security.

Logically, there can only be two pragmatic methods to substantially avert the typical threats of global nuclear terrorism. The very first method includes the complete annihilation of the ‘made-men’, belonging to various terror outfits, by curbing terrorism in all its forms and manifestation all over the world. And the second one involves reaching the goal of so-called Global Zero by making the world free of all kinds of nuclear arsenals, including the ‘dirty bombs’. All else would either be the figment of someone’s imagination, or simply anther illusive instrument aiming at hoodwinking the global community in the name of combating terrorism.