“The grave fears that what if the nuclear weapons reach in the hands of terrorism has always remained.”
Why doesn’t terrorism breed in Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland or other developed nations but in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria ? If the answer is prosperity, then, why isn’t Saudi Arabia the most developed nation in the world? The answer is prosperity is not just the money; it is democracy, its institution and the ideals.
Poverty creates and encourages corruption, crimes, epidemics, wars, arm revolt, terrorism and vice- versa. Education gives knowledge, changes perspective. Employment opportunities that support economic well-being, security that secure people from threats, health care that keep citizens away from epidemics are all important aspects of peace. Until and unless we understand these aspects, only the hard power or the huge military budget will never bring peace.
The importance of prosperity has increased more than ever as the terrorists around the world are using poverty to recruit into their radical organization. Countries where the terrorism is fertile; lack education, employment, health care and people lacking in these needs don’t care whether the radical terrorist leader, dictator or government provide the basic elements for decent life in a proper way. They are just desperate and they will tap from any kind of leader who provides them.
The report on global peace index 2018 by the Institute of Economics and Peace revealed that the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated by 2.38 percent since 2008. Over that period, eighty five countries deteriorated while seventy five improved over the last decade. Countries with the largest improvement in peace recorded seven times higher per capita GDP growth than those deteriorated the most and in last seventy years per capita GDP growth was three times higher in highly peaceful countries.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria accounts for breeding 78 percent of global terrorism. Since the September 11 terrorist attack, U.S has spent $2.8 trillion on the war against terrorism from the fiscal year 2002 to 2017, as per the report released by Stimson Study Center which reached its peak in 2008 amounting $260 billion and drooped to $175 billion in 2017.
North Korea has been ruled by communist dictators since its proclamation in 1948. In 2005, it publicly admitted for possessing nuclear weapons which were aprt of program started from 2003, the same year when it withdrew from NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). Since then, it has continuously tested its nuclear weapons, bombs, and missiles. Tension rose to an all-time high when it continuously tested the long-range missile thrice in a year between January to July in 2017. That year in July, it fired a long-range missile in the Sea of Japan, threatening Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. It boasted about its successful test which many believed to have reached U.S territory, Alaska.
The historic summit in July this year between U.S president Donald Trump and supreme leader of DPRK Kim Jun- Un in Singapore with the signature signed for denuclearization and destruction of its nuclear test site is the achievement done so far but U.S intelligence has remained skeptic about its nuclear built up and many experts believe all of these as the part of DPRK propaganda in order to lift the sanction imposed. North Korean play is highly probable to be true as propaganda has always been the part of communist regimes.
Pakistan is another worry for being the home to many Islamic fundamental extremists and is considered to be the safe haven of terrorists. The history of unstable government, successful military coup, undemocratic practices along with the existence of sympathizers in its military and being a state out of NPT has made everyone fearful about the nuclear weapons reaching in the hands of terrorists.
The world was introduced with the first cyber weapon, a stunt in 2010 when it attacked the nuclear facility developing the nuclear weapon in Natanz, Iran. Believed to develop by Israel by the U.S, this weapon has changed the course of warfare we knew as it can kill millions of people without firing a single bullet rather by the click of a mouse of the PC.
Former U.S president Barack Obama pushed harder and brought Iran on the table and the nuclear deal was reached between p5+1 nations (China, France, Germany, Russia, USA+ E.U). This nuclear deal lifted the international sanction imposed on Iran and in return Iran halted its nuclear program. But the trump administration withdrew from the deal unilaterally despite the criticism from the European ally, imposed the sanction. In fact, this move squandered the achievement of the Obama administration to keep the world away from another nuclear threat.
Similarly trump administration in October this year confirmed to pull out from the (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty which is one of the landmark deals to limit the nuclear and non- nuclear missiles with the short and medium range between 500 to 5,500 km excluding sea-launched weapons. This 1987 INF treaty signed between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S president Ronald Regan has played a significant role in the prevention of development short and medium missiles but analysts worry as Russia threatening of consequences that the U.S withdraw will bring back the arms race.
Although India, Israel, Pakistan have not signed NPT and DPRK withdrew in 2003, the nuclear treaty works. Former U.S president John F. Kennedy projected that 25 nations around the world would develop nuclear weapons but that number declined to nine states and 191 nations are the parties to NPT and other multilateral and bilateral treaties. Many states like former Soviet republics Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine and other countries like Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Japan, Libya, South Africa, South Korea, Syria, Sweden, Switzerland have once considered but dismantled or abandoned their nuclear programs.
Thus, the history has thought that the threat of military option to stop terrorism and nuclear development has pushed the dictators in North Korea, Iraq, Libya to open the option for nuclear development threatening millions of people around them to live in fear. Rather than using hard power, the global power should focus on the elements that build trust along with the political capital and economic, diplomatic as well as technological power to enhance the lives of people living in poverty and hardship which are the main causes of crimes, arm revolt, and epidemics.