Weapons of mass destruction, failed states, and nuclear proliferation combine to form one of the greatest threats to global security today. Each in their own right are dangerous, but when taken together they represent an international political nightmare. Weapons of mass destruction are capable of ending life on Earth on their own. When taken with failed states that provide breeding grounds for terrorism, these weapons can easily proliferate into the wrong hands.
Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Weapons
Proliferation of chemical and biological weapons cannot be ignored as a threat to international security. It is these deadly weapons that are often the cheapest, and thus are appealing to underfunded terrorist factions or rogue states without the budget for an intensive nuclear program. They are also extraordinarily indiscriminate, with the ability to wipe out massive segments of populations without regard to any standards of fair play in warfare. They are finally both hard to track and easy to transport, making them appealing for those working underground to collect and distribute such weapons.
Nuclear weapons, none the less, can not be ignored as an appealing tool for wreaking havoc. Knowledge of how to produce nuclear weapons exists, and that knowledge can easily fall into the wrong hands. The world remains anarchic; a notion that appeals to states that have both immediate enemies and possess nuclear weapons such as India and Pakistan.
The Threat of Failed States
In a failed state, no one body has a monopoly over the legitimate use of force. With that dearth of power comes a decline in law and order and national defense. There is an ensuing deficit in resolving inequality, enhancing social welfare, and improving economic performance. The result is a hotbed of instability, with problems like refugee flow creating danger for neighboring countries. Institutions are undermined, and power can be seized by unofficial groups not bound by the same rules that the rest of the international conglomerate play by. Terrorist networks provide an appealing alternative to the failed state, as they often provide support for those involved and a community of people who can identify with each other and rally against a cause. Without a state overseeing internal affairs, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction becomes much more of a reality, as flow of goods into and out of the states is largely unregulated. Failed states thus facilitate proliferation and hold the terrorist hotbeds most likely to use them.