The Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Bilal Khan –

On 28 May 1998, Pakistan conducted five simultaneous underground nuclear tests in the Ras Koh Hills in Chagai District, Baluchistan. Though there had been rumblings of Pakistan already possessing – and even testing a live nuclear weapon – as early as 1990 (via Chinese support)[1], Pakistan made it unambiguous as it responded to India’s nuclear detonation tests (which occurred on 11-13 May 1998).

What followed Pakistan’s tests, designated Chagai-I, was two decades of continual development of the delivery mechanisms and warhead technology, controversy (or crisis) on proliferation and struggle to gain worldwide legitimacy – and the benefits it brings – as a respected nuclear power.

Pakistan succeeded in some areas, such as miniaturizing its warheads (by completing plutonium warhead development) and enabling its aircraft, ships and submarines to be stand-off range delivery platforms. However, it continues to struggle in its efforts to gain the kind of acknowledgement that simply translates into expanded access to nuclear technology and fuel resources.

This article is a primer to the many issues feeding into Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. Throughout the month of May, Quwa will release a series of detailed articles – as well as its monthly report – on the history, development, realities and future prospects of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.

The Only Guarantor of Sovereignty

Following the wars of 1965 and 1971, Pakistan’s security intelligentsia and establishment (i.e. its decision-makers) concluded that alliances, no matter how apparently ‘strong’ or ‘deep’, are not true guarantors of Pakistani sovereignty and territorial integrity. In his book Eating Grass, retired Pakistan Army Brigadier General Feroz Hassan Khan stated, “Pakistan found international institutions capricious and alliances unreliable.”[2] In effect, a nuclear deterrence would be Pakistan’s only absolute guarantor of its sovereignty; but pursuing – and even possessing it – drew consternation, particularly from the US.

In a sense, the Pakistan nuclear weapons program is a strong reflection of Pakistan’s historical difficulties in cultivating a strong foreign relations presence. Granted, both India and Pakistan were hit with various sanctions from the US – and to a lesser extent, Western Europe – for their respective programs, but India has evidently emerged in a comparatively better position in terms of being accepted as a nuclear power. One need only look at India’s entry into the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which now afford it with both foreign relations credibility and technology access.

However, one might argue (rightfully) that Pakistan’s foreign relations stature in the 1970s was superior to what it endures today. Indeed, the decision to pursue nuclear weapons appeared to have taken foreign relations – including optimistic scenarios – into account, and so, it was always meant as the guarantor. On the other hand, foreign relations was pivotal to enabling Pakistan to develop the sufficient infrastructure and expertise to produce nuclear weapons in the first place.

[1] C. Uday Bhaskar. “Column – Southern Asia’s nuclear myths revisited post bin Laden”. Reuters. 13 May 2011. URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-56998720110513 (Last Accessed: 03 May 2018).

[2] Feroz Hassan Khan. “Eating Grass.” Stanford University Press. 2012. p.24

Earthquake Assessment For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/content/wabc/images/cms/automation/vod/929833_1280x720.jpgEarthquake Risk in New Jersey

by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.

by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.

A 10–fold increase in amplitude represents about a 32–fold increase in energy released for the same duration of shaking. The best known magnitude scale is one designed by C.F. Richter in 1935 for

west coast earthquakes.

An earthquake’s intensity is determined by observing its effects at a particular place on the Earth’s surface. Intensity depends on the earthquake’s magnitude, the distance from the epicenter, and local geology. These scales are based on reports of people awakening, felt movements, sounds, and visible effects on structures and landscapes. The most commonly used scale in the United States is the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, and its values are usually reported in Roman numerals to distinguish them from magnitudes.

Past damage in New Jersey

New Jersey doesn’t get many earthquakes, but it does get some. Fortunately most are small. A few New Jersey earthquakes, as well as a few originating outside the state, have produced enough damage to warrant the concern of planners and emergency managers.

Damage in New Jersey from earthquakes has been minor: items knocked off shelves, cracked plaster and masonry, and fallen chimneys. Perhaps because no one was standing under a chimney when it fell, there are no recorded earthquake–related deaths in New Jersey. We will probably not be so fortunate in the future.

Area Affected by Eastern Earthquakes

Although the United States east of the Rocky Mountains has fewer and generally smaller earthquakes than the West, at least two factors  increase the earthquake risk in New Jersey and the East. Due to geologic differences, eastern earthquakes effect areas ten times larger than western ones of the same magnitude. Also, the eastern United States is more densely populated, and New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation.

Geologic Faults and Earthquakes in New Jersey

Although there are many faults in New Jersey, the Ramapo Fault, which separates the Piedmont and Highlands Physiographic Provinces, is the best known. In 1884 it was blamed for a damaging New York City earthquake simply because it was the only large fault mapped at the time. Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault.

More recently, in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to the Indian Point, New York, Nuclear Power Generating Station. East of the Rocky Mountains (including New Jersey), earthquakes do not break the ground surface. Their focuses lie at least a few miles below the Earth’s surface, and their locations are determined by interpreting seismographic records. Geologic fault lines seen on the surface today are evidence of ancient events. The presence or absence of mapped faults (fault lines) does not denote either a seismic hazard or the lack of one, and earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Jersey.

Frequency of Damaging Earthquakes in New Jersey

Records for the New York City area, which have been kept for 300 years, provide good information

for estimating the frequency of earthquakes in New Jersey.

Earthquakes with a maximum intensity of VII (see table DamagingEarthquakes Felt in New Jersey )have occurred in the New York City area in 1737, 1783, and 1884. One intensity VI, four intensity V’s, and at least three intensity III shocks have also occurred in the New York area over the last 300 years.

Buildings and Earthquakes

The 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, is an example of what might happen in New Jersey in a similar quake. It registered a magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale and produced widespread destruction. But it was the age of construction, soil and foundation condition, proximity to the fault, and type of structure that were the major determining factors in the performance of each building. Newer structures, built to the latest construction standards, appeared to perform relatively well, generally ensuring the life safety of occupants.

Structures have collapsed in New Jersey without earthquakes; an earthquake would trigger many more. Building and housing codes need to be updated and strictly enforced to properly prepare for inevitable future earthquakes.

Trump Expected to End the Iran Deal

The Post’s Alan Sipress and Karen DeYoung explain how President Trump’s decision might affect an already tense Middle East.

President Trump is expected to announce Tuesday that he will not continue a waiver of sanctions against Iran, according to current and former U.S. and foreign officials, a major step toward ending the nuclear agreement he has called an “insane” deal that “never, ever should have been made.”The decision follows the failure of last-ditch efforts by the three European signatories to the agreement to convince Trump that his concerns about “flaws” in the 2015 accord could be addressed without violating its terms or ending it altogether.

While the deal itself contains no provisions for withdrawal, Iran has threatened to reactivate its nuclear program if the United States reneges on any of its obligations under the pact’s terms.

France and Germany, whose leaders visited Washington in recent weeks to appeal to Trump, have warned that nullification of the agreement could lead to all-out war in the Middle East. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in Washington on Monday, said that as far as he knows, the administration has no clear “Plan B” for what to do next.

Trump tweeted Monday that he would announce his decision at 2 p.m. Tuesday. He is free to reimpose all U.S. sanctions, and even announce new ones. But he is expected to stop short of reneging on the deal altogether. ­Instead, he will address a portion of the wide range of sanctions that were waived when the deal was first implemented, while leaving in limbo other waivers that are due in July.

The affected sanctions, imposed by Congress in 2012, require other countries to reduce Iranian oil imports or risk U.S. sanctions on their banks and their ability to conduct Iran-related financial transactions. Waivers on those sanctions must be signed every 120 days, and the next deadline is Saturday.

Trump is unlikely to specify how the United States will treat the complex set of legal designations on banks, companies and people affected by the import waiver, officials said. The Treasury Department has been drawing contingency plans, and it could take months for the measures to be fully reimposed.

But “you could immediately see countries start to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil,” said Richard Nephew, a former State Department official who headed the sanctions team during negotiations on the agreement. Countries, and the companies that actually buy and sell oil, could say, “Let’s not bank on this all turning out okay,” he said.

The Iranian economy has been in crisis mode for much of this year, with the currency, the rial, losing more than a third of its value, despite an increase in oil production and sales. Iran has long alleged that the United States has violated the deal by continuing to make it difficult for U.S. and international companies to invest there, despite the removal of sanctions.

Under the terms of the nuclear deal — negotiated under President Barack Obama, along with the three European allies, Russia and China — Tehran agreed to sharply curtail the quantity and the quality of enriched uranium it produced for the next 15 years. It shut down most of its nuclear production facilities and shipped most of its stored fuel out of the country. In return, nuclear-related international economic sanctions were lifted, and the United States agreed to activate waiver provisions for its unilateral sanctions.

Officials, who spoke about the upcoming announcement on the condition of anonymity, suggested that Trump will use the threat of further measures as leverage on both the Europeans and Iran itself.

Trump, who criticized the Iran deal throughout his presidential campaign, said in January that the United States would “withdraw” unless the agreement was rewritten to address his concerns. They included its sunset and verification provisions; Iran’s separate ballistic missile development and testing programs; and Iranian support for terrorism and interference in regional conflicts, such as in Syria and Yemen.

U.S. regional allies, led by Israel and Saudi Arabia, strongly supported his position. They said Iran threatened their own national security.

Britain, France and Germany, while saying they shared Trump’s concerns, noted that Iran had not violated the nuclear accord and said the world was better off keeping the deal in place while other worries were separately addressed. Over the past several months, the three have agreed to take new measures, including sanctions, to crack down on Iran’s regional activities and its missile program.

But despite their promises and appeals — and statements of support by Trump’s own military advisers and a number of U.S. lawmakers who previously had objected to the deal — the Europeans were unable to persuade the president. His tough stand has been bolstered by new members of his national security team, including national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both long-standing opponents of the agreement.

In his announcement, Trump is expected to describe the action as one element of a tougher position on Iran, although it remained unclear whether he will propose any additional policy elements to deal with Iran’s regional activities and ballistic missiles.

He will cite Iranian documents about a 1990s-era covert nuclear weapons project as proof that Iran lied about the extent of its program, two people familiar with discussions about the decision said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled the documents last week.

The Israeli presentation was widely criticized as a publicity stunt designed to influence U.S. public opinion with information that was widely known and had provided the impetus for the negotiations in the first place. The U.S. intelligence community has said the weapons program ended in 2003.

In a tweet Monday, Trump alleged that John F. Kerry, who led Obama’s negotiating team while serving as secretary of state, was engaging in “possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy,” referring to a Boston Globe report that Kerry was consulting with the European allies.

Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, a global risk-analysis firm, said a withdrawal from the Iran deal would be the “biggest slap in the face to date to U.S. allies,” more significant than withdrawing from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations and the Paris climate accord, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Japan and other nations.

Trump’s decision comes weeks before he is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a bid to curb that nation’s nuclear weapons program. Some foreign policy experts said that canceling the Iran deal could send a message to Kim’s regime that the United States is an unreliable negotiating partner.

But Victor Cha, a Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said at a conference Monday that the Trump White House would use a withdrawal to “send the signal that an Iran deal is not good enough for North Korea — that they need to do better than an Iran deal.”

“In terms of how the North Koreans would take it, I don’t think they’d take it one way or the other,” Cha said. “I don’t think they’d see it as negative or positive, because they think they’re different from everybody else, anyway.”

South Korea Will Become a Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)

 

South Korea’s rapid submarine buildup has developed a capable undersea force with nearly as many hulls as Japan. Construction of the latest generation submarines will provide the country with a fleet of powerful, flexible submarines capable of performing traditional attack submarine duties—and perhaps the job of nuclear deterrence.

One of the most underreported aspects of the Republic of Korea (ROK) armed forces is its submarine force. A relatively recent development, the ROK’s submarine arm is taking on increased importance in light of North Korean nuclear, missile and submarine developments. This force would not only chase Pyongyang’s missile boats, but also shelter for South Korea’s own nuclear arms—if it decides to build them.

Located on a peninsula adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, South Korea is naturally a maritime-oriented nation. Unfortunately, Seoul’s emphasis on countering North Korea and its large ground forces dominated South Korean military priorities for decades, leaving little room for naval forces. A growing South Korean economy, along with the low personnel costs associated with conscription, has enabled the country to gradually expand its naval power.

As late as 1976 the ROK Navy (ROKN) consisted of a handful of destroyers and destroyer escorts, minesweepers, patrol craft and amphibious landing craft. The navy was primarily configured to counter North Korea’s large number of patrol boats and landing craft, and also to support the ROK Marine Corps in amphibious warfare. In February 1988, the government in Seoul decided to commit to the establishment of a submarine force.

South Korea’s first attack submarine was SS-61, also known as Jang Bogo. Built in Germany, she was a Type 209 diesel electric boat that displaced 1,285 tons submerged and had a crew of thirty-five. She had eight bow-mounted 533mm torpedo tubes and was typically armed with fourteen STN Atlas Electronik SUT Mod. 2 heavyweight torpedoes. Alternately she could carry twenty-eight mines, and some ships in the class that followed were modified to launch the submarine version of the American-made Harpoon missile.

Eight more Type 209s followed, boats two and three constructed from subassemblies shipped from Germany. The submarines were gradually “Koreanized,” steadily introducing Korean-made parts with each new boat as they became available. According to the authoritative Combat Fleets of the World, South Korea’s Type 209s are reportedly the quietest of the type ever made due to sound-damping rafting of machinery.

The last of the 209s, Lee Eokgi, was commissioned in 2001, making the class between sixteen and twenty-four years old. The Diplomat reports that ROKN plans to upgrade the nine subs with an air independent propulsion system (AIP) to allow the boats to remain submerged longer and flank sonar arrays.

South Korea’s second generation diesel electric submarines are another fleet of nine procured under a program known as KSS-II. Again South Korea turned to Germany for a proven design, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, with production equipment provided by the German firm Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, built nine submarines of the newer Type 214 class. The last, Sin Dol-Seok, commissioned into the ROKN in September of this year and the ROKN should have a fleet of eighteen submarines fully operational by 2019.

KSS-II, also known as the Son Won Il–class submarines are 50 percent larger than the Type 209s by displacement, similarly armed and have a crew of forty. The submarines are the first South Korean subs specifically built with air independent propulsion, allowing them to remain submerged for up to two weeks at a time. Built from austenitic steel, the hulls are rated for normal operation at depths of up to 820 feet and up to 1,300 feet in emergencies.

Meanwhile, South Korea is forging ahead with third generation submarines, known for now as KSS-III. KSS-III will be Seoul’s first domestically made submarines, though with obvious German influences in the hull design. At 3,750 tons submerged, these ships are three times larger than South Korea’s first generation submarines.

Antichrist Slams Prior Prime Minister

Iraq’s Sadr slams Maliki’s absolute majority policy ahead of elections

The Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr has slammed former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for suggesting the formation of an absolute majority policy in the coming new government, in the wake of the awaited parliamentary elections due next week.

Sadr said that he is currently against an absolute majority policy, adding – in a hint to Malaki – that some “illusioned politicians” believe that they can have absolute majority policy to continue with their corruption further.

Blamed for the widespread corruption and divisive policies that contributed to the collapse of the Iraqi military and the rise of Islamic State, Maliki lost the premiership to fellow Dawa Party member Haider al-Abadi after a 2014 election.

Now, after four years sidelined as one of three largely ceremonial vice-presidents, Maliki is taking on Abadi in a May 12 election in a bid to win a third term as prime minister, and is posing again as Iraq’s Shiite champion.

Iraq will be holding parliamentary elections on Saturday with 7,000 candidates competing for 329 seats.

The Iraqi electoral commission has welcomed local and international observers to take part in monitoring the elections.

Last Update: Sunday, 6 May 2018 KSA 18:07 – GMT 15:07