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The start of a plenary session at the Nuclear Security Summit, Seoul, South Korea, March, 27, 2012 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

The Last Nuclear Security Summit, in the Shadow of Brussels

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

This week, President Barack Obama and 50 world leaders will convene for the fourth and final time to discuss how to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. This last gathering of the biannual Nuclear Security Summits comes at a particularly poignant moment, given what we know now about the Brussels terrorists’ interest in targeting nuclear facilities. For better or worse, the summits represent a more ad hoc approach to securing nuclear materials in particular, and advancing global cooperation on transnational threats in general.

Since 2010, the Obama administration has organized four summits on nuclear security. Driven by the president’s concerns about nightmare scenarios of terrorists gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, the summits have served to share information and policy ideas, and provide platforms to announce commitments to collective action to reduce risks to nuclear security. ...

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