The March Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague is the beginning of the end of a unique summit process initiated by U.S. President Barak Obama in 2010. The likely end of this series will be at the 2016 summit in the U.S. In order to leave a lasting legacy worthy of the costs, and involvement of over 50 world leaders, the final two summits must act decisively to eliminate the weak links that exist and persist in the current nuclear security system.
The challenges posed by the current nuclear control system are clear. The architecture is a patchwork of voluntary recommendations and a few binding agreements; countries are free to accept or reject any of these at will. There are no standards for security performance, no regularized and objective assessment of security effectiveness on a global basis, and no requirement that nations take any steps to build international confidence in their security system by providing non-sensitive information on their planning and practices.