Crimea annexed by the Kremlin, the rest of Ukraine at risk as Russian troops mass on its borders…
It is not as if the world’s leaders do not have enough real-life international problems to keep them busy.
Nevertheless, with the crisis deepening in the east, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping ended up playing a computer game dubbed ‘nukes on the loose’ at a conference this week.
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The war game, the brainchild of the Dutch hosts of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) meeting in The Hague, revolves around a terrorist network planning to launch a ‘dirty bomb’ in a high-profile financial centre.
‘It could be the City of London, or Wall Street, Milan or anywhere,’ the 53 world leaders at the NSS were told.
The game, split across four three-minute videos, involves terrorists stealing nuclear material from an unidentified country which has not properly secured its stockpile.
They use uranium to build a bomb which could kill millions of people if unleashed.
With the clock ticking, Mr Cameron and his fellow leaders – each playing the game on touch screen computers – had to figure out what to do.
After each video, they made their decision from four options and the answers were shared anonymously with the group for discussion.
The leaders were reported to have enjoyed the video game and President Obama even told delegates that the US regularly performs similar exercises.
He had America’s top adviser on weapons of mass destruction, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, at his side during the game but the other leaders were alone.
However, among all the excitable men, there was at least one leader who raised an eyebrow at the proceedings.
German Chancellor Merkel was said to have been apprehensive taking part in a role-playing game about such a serious issue, especially alone, whereas in real life she would have advisers.
But while she normally plays hardball in negotiations, in this case she was talked around.
The summit’s Dutch organisers said it was the first time they had tried anything like this, but felt the ‘interactive approach’ was successful and the participants were ‘enthusiastic’.
NSS spokesman Frank Wassenaar said it was a ‘fictitious but realistic scenario’ and the right outcome was achieved by countries working together.
‘It was quite innovative and not the convention in a summit like this,’ he added. ‘Usually the leaders of delegations just make a statement. [But] the leaders debated freely.’
A diplomatic source told The Daily Telegraph that the nukes video game was actually a tough test for leaders.