Nuclear Security Summit 2016: Where do the movers and followers stand?

One of the takeaways from the NSS-2016 was that Global leaders will converge again as part of the forum as a specific Contact Group at the highest security materials to secure nuclear materials.

Written by Manan Dwivedi | Updated: May 22, 2016 9:25:48 am
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi arrives for a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (not pictured) at the Nuclear Security Summit, Friday, April 1, 2016, in Washington. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT(AP4_1_2016_000196A) Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at the Nuclear Security Summit, 2016, in Washington. (Source: AP photo)

Since the advent of an independent India, India gradually attempted to move away from the agrarian model of growth and development. Industrialization replaced the agri-mould. Still, the fallouts of modernity and the fast paced mode of development led to the spawning of the novae challenges both in the domestic and the security spheres. One of them was the nuanced debate surrounding Nuclear non-proliferation and Disarmament. Since the heady days of the deep freeze of cold war, the international system has been divided into the separating line of nuclear powers and nuclear have nots.

The great powers of the order of United States, United Kingdom, France, China and Russia emerged as the grandiose arbiters of threshold states such as India and Israel. The Indian intransigence was too marked by its resistance to be part of the rubric of Treaties such as CTBT and NPT. Though India is only a de-facto member of the CTBT still it remains wedded to the idiom of non-testing of nuclear weapons.

As an attendant fact, Hollywood narratives have too shaped our perceptions about what a Nuclear Armageddon, might, appear like in an anarchic international society marked by the threat of non-state actors wielding control over the Weapons of Mass Destruction which the nukes are despairingly called as which as well might fall in the hands of global terror mongers and attendant syndicates. This terror threat is meant to be mitigated by the Nuclear Security Summit which was hosted by United States in April 2016 in the aftermath of Brussels.

What the leaders stressed was that merely declaring moratoriums on nuclear testing is not a security panacea as unprotected Nuclear Reactors and facilities along with the illicit movement of nuclear fuel can lead to a global security catastrophe. One of the takeaways from the NSS-2016 was that Global leaders will converge again as part of the forum as a specific Contact Group at the highest security materials to secure nuclear materials.

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As a piece of history, the NSS web portal informs that, “The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington, DC in 2010, and was followed by additional Summits in Seoul in 2012 and The Hague in 2014. These Summits have achieved tangible improvements in the security of nuclear materials and stronger international institutions that support nuclear security.

“Thus, the notion of human and comprehensive security can be further enlarged to constitute the idiom of nuclear security in the heady times of Doomsdays taking over the supine Supereman and the assiduous avengers of the contemporary global leadership of the day. Still, the remarks by President Obama upon the want of direction being attributed to the military and nuclear doctrines of India and its rival Pakistan, have led to consternation in the Indian diplomatic circles and the hyphenation of India and Pakistan cast a shadow of doubt over the American persistence with consistency.

The American President emphasized over the larger Regime of Disarmament and nuclear security. He remarked that, “And I was heartened by our collective commitment to ensure that the IAEA, Interpol, the United Nations, and the various coalitions that have formed are properly resourced and supported by various nation states in order for them to be able to carry out the ongoing work.” Still, so much the so for the bamboozling bombast and value-verbiage, when, Pakistan militates against the Indian “Cold start Doctrine” with its own avatar of tactical nuclear weapons.

The hyphenation of india and Pakistan has been a fly in the ointment since the times of Bill Clinton’s outrage at India not adhering to the nuclear Regime and letting the Buddha smile at Pokharan during the nineties. Still, the Indian support to the Bush’s ABM initiative and the current continuance of the civil nuclear deal between the largest and the oldest Democracies of the world are the brighter spots in the nuclear snippet of the relational report.

The scenario responses engineered during the culminating session of the Nuclear Summit also hopefully was not a mere exercise in “Smart Diplomacy” but ushered in “new comprehending and enlargement vistas” for the leadership of today in a threatened world. The Hague Summit, hosted by Netherlands, brought to the diplomatic high table, the issues for strengthening the Global Nuclear Security architecture and elevating the semblance of cooperation between the Governments and the nuclear industry, to notify a few flags on the strategic chess board. The 2016 Summit’s rostrum was utilized by the Indian Prime Minister to rally for an Indian membership of the Nuclear supplier Group which can facilitate the liability complaints and reservations of the American Nuclear corporate complex.

The poser is that can such a connection be drawn when India is emphasizing its place at the nuclear high table? Summitry for Summitry’s sake is what a beleaguered and fazed global community needs to evade as the nuke ordained time clock waits for none. In a Churchillian fable, uncaged animals can’t agree upon the rule to get rid of horns and teeth but no one can agree on the modus operandi of a “Bear Hug” in order to establish peace. Before the animals could get further animated, they are happily relegated to their cages and peace is restored.

Dr Manan Dwivedi, Faculty, International Relations and International Organizations, IIPA. Views expressed are personal.

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