India’s Missile Defense WILL Trigger a Nuclear War with Pakistan

Could India’s Missile Defense Trigger a Nuclear War with Pakistan?

by Michael Peck

Forget North Korea. The situation here might be far more dangerous.

India says it has successfully tested an interceptor capable of shooting down ballistic missiles.

But could this trigger a nuclear war with Pakistan?

On August 2, the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) — India’s equivalent of the Pentagon’s DARPA research agency — launched an Advanced Area Defense (AAD) missile from Abdul Kalam island off India’s eastern coast.

“The endo-atmospheric missile, capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 kilometers [9 to 16 miles] was launched against multiple simulated targets of 1,500 kilometer [932 mile]-class ballistic missiles,” according to the DRDO announcement.

“One target among simultaneously incoming multiple targets was selected on real time, the weapon system radars tracked the target and the missile locked on to it and intercepted the target with a high degree of accuracy. The complete event including the engagement and interception was tracked by a number of electro-optical tracking systems, radars and telemetry stations. All the mission objectives were successfully met.”

India’s missile defense program is a two-tiered system: the Prithvi missile (derived from the Prithvi tactical ballistic missile) for exo-atmospheric intercepts in outer space, before they near the target, and the Advanced Area Defense missile for endo-atmospheric intercepts within the Earth’s atmosphere, in the terminal phase when the target warhead is making its final descent.

In that sense, it is similar to the 1960s U.S. Anti-Ballistic Missile System, which used Safeguard and Sprint missiles, or any integrated air defense system. A long-range interceptor to take out the incoming missile far from the target, and a short-range point defense weapon to destroy any missile that penetrates the long-range screen.

Previous tests of Indian interceptors targeted short-range Prithvi ballistic missiles on a trajectory that mimicked medium-range missiles. The Diplomat magazine suggests that the dummy target this time could have been an Agni, an intermediate-range missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Indian press trumpeted that India’s missile defense is a homegrown program developed by India, rather than imported from Russia and America as are so many Indian weapons such as jet fighters and tanks. That’s no small point of pride for the world’s second most-populous nation, once the poster child for poverty, and now the world’s sixth-largest economy.

Interestingly, while India boasts of developing its own missile defense system, it is also buying Russian S-400 air defense missiles capable of intercepting missiles as well as aircraft.

“The S-400 acquisition, which has some utility for missile defense, suggests that India is interested in the capability and not merely letting DRDO have a science project,” Christopher Clary, a professor of international relations at State University of New York Albany, told The National Interest .

But there is another danger with Indian missile defense, as history shows. When America and the Soviet Union developed anti-missile systems in the 1960s, the opposing superpower either built more missiles, or increased the number of warheads on existing missiles, to saturate enemy defenses.

So what will Pakistan do?

India and Pakistan “are already in an arms race for all intents and purposes and have been so for some time,” Georgetown University professor C. Christine Fair, who has written on the Pakistani military, told The National Interest .

“There is, of course more nuance: Pakistan has the world’s fast growing nuclear weapons program. India has chosen not to reciprocate in growing its stockpiles. Pakistan has and is trying to acquire tactical nuclear weapons while India has demurred.”

“Pakistan will field more warheads on more delivery vehicles than it would in the absence of BMD [ballistic missile defense], Clary says.

“Pakistan could develop multiple warheads for its current ballistic missiles, or develop short-range tactical nuclear weapons and cruise missiles that are harder to intercept.”

Recommended: Imagine a U.S. Air Force That Never Built the B-52 Bomber

Recommended: Russia’s Next Big Military Sale – To Mexico?

Recommended: Would China Really Invade Taiwan?

In turn, a Pakistani buildup might prompt an India buildup, sparking a vicious cycle reminiscent of the Cold War.

Ironically, India is notorious for developing home-grown weapons, such as aircraft and tanks, that take much longer to develop than expected, and are plagued with problems when they are fielded. But as always with nuclear weapons and missile defense, perception is everything.

“The biggest problem from India’s side is that it all too frequently announced that it has a capability which mobilizes Pakistan to innovate when in fact India is a long way from achieving the stated capability but Pakistan has already developed a counter measure,” Fair warns.

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: Reuters. 

The Next Major Quake: The Sixth Seal of NYC

New York is overdue an earthquake from faults under city

New York is OVERDUE an earthquake from a ‘brittle grid’ of faults under the city, expert warns

• New York City last experienced a M5 or higher earthquake in 1884, experts say

• It’s thought that these earthquakes occur on a roughly 150-year periodicity 

• Based on this, some say the city could be overdue for the next major quake 

By Cheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com

Published: 15:50 EDT, 1 September 2017 | Updated: 12:00 EDT, 2 September 2017

When you think of the impending earthquake risk in the United States, it’s likely California or the Pacific Northwest comes to mind.

But, experts warn a system of faults making up a ‘brittle grid’ beneath New York City could also be loading up for a massive temblor.

The city has been hit by major quakes in the past, along what’s thought to be roughly 150-year intervals, and researchers investigating these faults now say the region could be overdue for the next event.

Experts warn a system of faults making up a ‘brittle grid’ beneath New York City could also be loading up for a massive temblor. The city has been hit by major quakes in the past, along what’s thought to be roughly 150-year intervals. A stock image is pictured

THE ‘CONEY ISLAND EARTHQUAKE’

On August 10, 1884, New York was struck by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake with an epicentre located in Brooklyn.

While there was little damage and few injuries reported, anecdotal accounts of the event reveal the frightening effects of the quake.

One newspaper even reported that it caused someone to die from fright.

According to a New York Times report following the quake, massive buildings, including the Post Office swayed back and forth.

And, police said they felt the Brooklyn Bridge swaying ‘as if struck by a hurricane,’ according to an adaptation of Kathryn Miles’ book Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake.

The rumbles were felt across a 70,000-square-mile area, causing broken windows and cracked walls as far as Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The city hasn’t experienced an earthquake this strong since.

According to geologist Dr Charles Merguerian, who has walked the entirety of Manhattan to assess its seismicity, there are a slew of faults running through New York, reports author Kathryn Miles in an adaptation of her new book Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake.

One such fault passes through 125th street, otherwise known as the Manhattanville Fault.

While there have been smaller quakes in New York’s recent past, including a magnitude 2.6 that struck in October 2001, it’s been decades since the last major tremor of M 5 or more.

And, most worryingly, the expert says there’s no way to predict exactly when a quake will strike.

‘That’s a question you really can’t answer,’ Merguerian has explained in the past.

‘All we can do is look at the record, and the record is that there was a relatively large earthquake here in the city in 1737, and in 1884, and that periodicity is about 150 year heat cycle.

‘So you have 1737, 1884, 20- and, we’re getting there. But statistics can lie.

‘An earthquake could happen any day, or it couldn’t happen for 100 years, and you just don’t know, there’s no way to predict.’

Compared the other parts of the United States, the risk of an earthquake in New York may not seem as pressing.

But, experts explain that a quake could happen anywhere.

According to geologist Dr Charles Merguerian, there are a slew of faults running through NY. One is the Ramapo Fault

‘All states have some potential for damaging earthquake shaking,’ according to the US Geological Survey.

‘Hazard is especially high along the west coast but also in the intermountain west, and in parts of the central and eastern US.’

A recent assessment by the USGS determined that the earthquake hazard along the East Coast may previously have been underestimated.

‘The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments,’ the USGS report explained.

The experts point to a recent example – the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that hit Virginia in 2011, which was among the largest to occur on the east coast in the last century.

This event suggests the area could be subjected to even larger earthquakes, even raising the risk for Charleston, SC.

It also indicates that New York City may be at higher risk than once thought.

A recent assessment by the USGS determined that the earthquake hazard along the East Coast may previously have been underestimated. The varying risks around the US can be seen above, with New York City in the mid-range (yellow).

Antichrist warns against calls for transitional Iraqi govt

Al-Sadr warns against calls for transitional Iraqi govt

by Mohamed Mostafa Aug 6, 2018, 3:24 pm

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The movement led by Iraqi Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, has warned against calls to form a provisional government, labelling the adoption of such a move illegitimate.

Salah al-Obaidi, a spokesperson of the “Sadrist Movement”, said in a press statement, quoted by Iraqi Alforatnews website, saying that “it is not in the (national) interest to resort to unconstitutional measures (forming a provisional government), because that would open the door for several possibilities”.

According to al-Obaidi, “there is an opportunity to form the government differently in a way that saves the situation in Iraq”, adding that “elections pushed away several old characters through legal and constitutional means”.

Obaidi’s remarks came after Iraqi Vice President, Eyad Allawi, a former prime minister and an election contender, called in a recent statement for the formation of “a transitional government that runs transparent elections and establishes security”.

Earlier on Monday, Iraq’s electoral commission said it had concluded manual recount of votes for the parliament elections held in May,, wrapping up a process that followed  accusations of forgery.

The recount was launched early July at polling stations where complaints of vote manipulation had been filed as per a ruling by the Federal Court.

Those were the first polls Iraq held for the 329-seat chamber since declaring the defeat of Islamic State militants late 2017.

The polls put the bloc sponsored by al-Sadr first, with the bloc led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi coming third.

Babylon the Great Re-imposes Iranian Sanctions

US re-imposes sanctions on Iran as Europe tries to maintain nuclear deal

Laurie Mylroie

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani disembarks from a plane upon his arrival at the airport in Zurich, Switzerland, July 2, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)

WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan24) – On Monday, the Trump administration announced the first stage of the re-imposition of the economic sanctions on Iran that had ended with the 2015 nuclear deal.

The initial set of sanctions went into effect at midnight on Monday. They include a prohibition on Iran’s acquisition and use of US dollars, trade in gold and other metals, as well as the import into the US of Iranian carpets and pistachios.

A second, perhaps more important set of sanctions, which will take effect on November 5, targets Iran’s oil sector.

All other parties to the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including France, Germany, the UK, Russia, and China, object to the US decision and have told Iran they will do their best to preserve the JCPOA.

The US sanctions, dating from the Obama administration, were originally imposed in concert with those other powers. The new sanctions may still have considerable effect on Iran, despite the opposition of those governments, because the US has threatened to impose secondary sanctions on any company violating them.

Essentially, the US is saying that companies can do business with Iran or business with the US, but not both. Given the size of the US economy, almost all companies, US officials expect, will choose to retain commercial relations with the US.

Following the US announcement of its re-imposition of sanctions, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Frederica Mogherini, issued a statement faulting Washington.

“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter’s withdrawal from the [JCPOA],” she said. Her statement was signed by the French, German, and British Foreign Ministers.

In an interview, broadcast late on Monday, Iranian President Hassan al-Rouhani said that he was willing to talk with the US, as US President Donald Trump has proposed.

“If the US government is willing, let’s start right now,” Rouhani said. “I don’t have preconditions.”

However, Rouhani then went on to explain why changes to the US sanctions were a precondition for talks!

“If somebody puts a knife in his opponent or enemy’s arm and says we want to negotiate, the answer is that they must first pull out the knife and then come to the negotiating table,” Rouhani said.

Since April, Iran’s currency has lost half its value, hitting record lows. Since December, the country has seen widespread, sporadic protests, encompassing over 80 cities.

The protestors have complained about Iran’s poor economy and corruption, as well as water shortages, as Iran experiences its worst drought in 50 years.

Some protests have targeted Iran’s aggression in the region. Tehran spends a lot of money supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Houthis in Yemen, radical Palestinian groups, and certain militias in Iraq, but many Iranians want that money used for domestic purposes—and their own needs.

US officials, as well as Tehran-based journalists from major Western media, note that the protests appear to be directed more against the Iranian leadership, than the US—a notable development in a country, where the national mood long seemed to be embodied in the chant of “Death to America.”

However, Entifadh Qanbar, an Iraqi-American and head of the Future Foundation in Washington, expressed one cautionary note.

Qanbar welcomed the tough new US measures, but he also stressed to Kurdistan 24 that Iran will attempt to evade them, and Iraq will be a major theater for such activity.

Qanbar warned about two sectors in particular: petroleum and banking. Iran will try to pass off oil that it is pumping as Iraqi oil and export it as such. Iran will also use Iraq’s private banking sector for money laundering.

“The biggest loophole in these sanctions will basically be Iraq,” Qanbar said, “in every possible way.”

Editing by Nadia Riva

The Rising Iranian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:4)

Iran nuclear deal: Washington warns other countries to end trade and investment in Iran and stop buying its oil or face punitive measures, a move which also threatens foreign companies doing deals with Iran.

Tehran: With US sanctions back in force Tuesday, here is a look-back over developments in the 90 days since President Donald Trump withdrew from a hard-won 2015 accord on Iran’s nuclear programme:

– Washington walks away –

Trump pulls the US out of the landmark nuclear pact between world powers and Iran on May 8, reinstating Washington’s sanctions on Iran and companies with ties to the Islamic republic” The Iran deal is defective at its core,” he says. Washington warns other countries to end trade and investment in Iran and stop buying its oil or face punitive measures, a move which also threatens foreign companies doing deals with Iran.

Tehran’s regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel applaud the decision. But other parties to the deal – Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – say Iran has abided by its commitment and that they are determined to save the agreement and ensure continued economic benefits for Iran.

– Threats to resume enrichment –

On May 12, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is preparing to resume “industrial-scale” uranium enrichment, limited under the accord, unless Europe provides solid guarantees to maintain trade ties reinstated under the deal. Washington warns on May 21 that Iran will be hit with the “strongest sanctions in history” unless it capitulates to a series of US demands aimed at curbing its missile programme and “malign regional behaviour”.

On May 30, the United States places several Iranian state groups on its sanctions blacklist, accusing them of serious human rights abuses and censorship. On June 4, Iran notifies the International Atomic Energy Agency of the launch of a plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity.

– Five powers stand by deal –

A top US official says on July 2 that Washington is determined to force Iran to change behaviour by cutting its oil exports to zero, confident the world has enough spare oil capacity to cope. President Hassan Rouhani responds on July 3, saying the United States can never prevent Iran from exporting its oil.

On July 6, Tehran’s five remaining partners vow in Vienna to back “the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas”. On July 16. EU countries reject the US demand that they economically isolate Iran and move to give European firms legal cover to operate in Iran.

A day later the Trump administration rejects calls by Brussels for an exemption from sanctions. A top Iranian official says Tehran is ready to boost its uranium enrichment to higher levels if talks fail with Europe on salvaging the nuclear deal.

Iran calls on the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice, to order the United States to immediately lift sanctions, claiming they are causing “irreparable prejudice”.

– War of words –

On July 22, Rouhani tells the US it should not “play with the lion’s tail” and warns any conflict with Iran would be the “mother of all wars”. Trump responds with an all-caps Twitter tirade warning against making threats to the United States, “OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE”.

On July 30, however, Trump says he is ready to meet with Iranian leaders “anytime they want” and promises “no preconditions”. “Threats, sanctions & PR stunts won’t work,” Iran’s foreign minister says on Twitter. “America is not trustworthy,” Iran’s interior minister says.

– Mounting tensions –

On August 3, protesters attack a religious school in a province near Tehran, as part of sporadic protests simmering ahead of the reimposition of US sanctions on August 7.

The conservative Fars news agency acknowledges protests have taken place in “five or six cities” since July 31 over water shortages, rising prices and joblessness, with “about 1,000 or 2,000 people” taking part.