1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The Coney Island earthquake of 1884

New York City isn’t immune to earthquakes; a couple of small tremors measuring about 2.5 on the Richter scale even struck back in 2001 and 2002.

But on August 10, 1884, a more powerful earthquake hit. Estimated from 4.9 to 5.5 in magnitude, the tremor made houses shake, chimneys fall, and residents wonder what the heck was going on, according to a New York Times article two days later.

The quake was subsequently thought to have been centered off Far Rockaway or Coney Island.

It wasn’t the first moderate quake, and it won’t be the last. In a 2008 Columbia University study, seismologists reported that the city is crisscrossed with several fault lines, one along 125th Street. 

With that in mind, New Yorkers should expect a 5.0 or higher earthquake centered here every 100 years, the seismologists say.

Translation: We’re about 30 years overdue. Lucky for us the city adopted earthquake-resistant building codes in 1995.

The Nations Continue to Trample Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

IDF to Deploy Drones in Fight Against Incendiary Balloons on Gaza Border

The Israel-Gaza Strip border. Photo: Mary Madigan via Wikimedia Commons.

The IDF is preparing to deploy a fleet of small drones to combat the use of incendiary kites and balloons by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Thursday.

Incendiary devices, though crude, have caused millions of shekels in damage in the Gaza border area since Hamas-orchestrated riots began there last March.

According to Walla, the IDF on Wednesday began a series of tests with small drones designed to thwart the threat.

The relatively small drones are hovering models that employ multiple rotors to stay airborne. They will be used both to locate incoming balloons and to destroy them. After the balloons are identified, a drone operator will direct their drone to the devices and blow them up before they reach Israeli territory.

Russia’s New Nuclear Weapons

Russia’s New Borei-Class Submarine: Armed with a New (And Deadly) Nuclear Missile and Super Stealth?

The National Interest previously reported that the Russian Navy is developing an advanced iteration of its Borei-class submarine line, called Borei II or Project 955A. “The first is being launched this year and is expected to be commissioned next year. There are contracts out for five boats. There was talk of two more being built in the 2020s, but recently the head of naval procurement said that won’t be happening,” said Dmitry Gorenburg, a senior research scientist specializing in Russian military affairs at the Center for Naval Analyses.

Little is known about the status of later entries into the series, commissioned through 2027 for a total of seven 955A submarines. However, more information concerning Russia’s armament plans for the first 955A submarine, Knyaz Vladimir , has come to light over the last year.

Russian state media have recently given an update on ongoing efforts to integrate the Bulava missile system with 955A-series vessels: “The leading Project 955A vessel Knyaz Vladimir will carry out preparatory fire with a Bulava on the Kura Range in Kamchatka at state testing in the fall of 2019,” a military insider source told the Russian TASS news agency.

RSM-56 Bulava, NATO reporting name “Mace,” is a ballistic missile system developed for the Borei-class submarines. It boasts a maximum effective range of around 8,000 to 10,000 km, accompanied by a 550 kiloton (kT) nuclear warhead with a new, GLONASS-powered digital inertial navigation system.

Bulava is submarine-born variant of the Topol-M, widely regarded as the pinnacle of Russian missile engineering. It is meant to replace the aging R-39 Rif ballistic missiles found on Russia’s Typhoon-class submarines, armed with a significantly weaker 100 kT warhead and increasingly obsolete navigation technology.

Despite a tortured development process, the Russian military projects confidence that Bulava will become an integral plank of the Kremlin’s nuclear triad for decades to come.

Former colonel and military expert Viktor Bondarenko gave an optimistic forecast to Russian news: “the maritime launch of the “Bulava” ballistic indicates that the project will continue on a successful development path. This is a very powerful, serious weapon, that was born out of serious engineering agonies. And the more successful [test] launches, the more confidently the Russian navy will take on board this fearsome weapon, whose range approaches 10,000 km,” he said after Bulava’s successful 2017 test launch.

As of the time of writing, Project 955 and 955A submarines are both thought to carry sixteen Bulava missiles; early reports that the 955A-class will come with twenty-tube launchers and other launching mechanism improvements remain unconfirmed. With official Russian channels loath to comment on differences between these two Borei classes, it is unlikely but still unknown if the 955A will feature any combat efficacy changes beyond minor target acquisition improvements.

Knyaz Vladimir will be presented to Russia’s Northern Fleet in the Summer of 2019. As with the rest of the 955A-series, it will offer a host of iterative improvements over its 955 predecessor: new onboard electronics, updated communications systems, and revised crew living quarters. Most recently, the Director of the Kurchatov Institute R&D center Russian told Russian media that the Borei-class submarines will be twice as quiet as the U.S. Virginia-Class Submarine line.

Mark Episkopos is a frequent contributor toThe National Interest and serves as research assistant at the Center for the National Interest. Mark is also a PhD student in History at American University.

Image: Creative Commons. 

Iran to Launch More Nuclear Missiles

Iran news: Iran is preparing to launch nuclear weapons able to reach the US, Mike Pompeo has claimed (Image: GETTY)

World War 3 warning: Iran to launch DEVASTATING nuclear missiles claims Trump official

IRAN is on the brink of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to an explosive World War 3 warning issued by the US Secretary of State.

By SAM STEVENSON

PUBLISHED: 01:51, Fri, Jan 4, 2019

UPDATED: 02:12, Fri, Jan 4, 2019

Mike Pompeo staged the intervention on Thursday. He claimed Iran’s so-called “space launch vehicles” (SLVs) were in direct violation of a key United Nations (UN) resolution. The Iranian regime has launched ballistic missiles numerous times since United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (UNSCR 2231) was adopted and continues to do so, Mr Pompeo alleged.He said: “Iran plans to fire off space launch vehicles with virtually the same technology as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

“The launch will advance its missile programme.

“US, France, UK and Germany have already stated this is in defiance of UNSCR 2231.

“We won’t stand by while the regime threatens international security.”

Of Iran’s increasingly bellicose actions, which the US claims flout the historic accord, Mr Pompeo said: “Such actions would once again demonstrate Iran’s defiance of UNSCR 2231, which calls upon the Iranian regime not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

An Iranian Saeqeh missile is launched during war games on April 25, 2010 in southern Iran (Image: GETTY)

“This action includes launching SLVs, which incorporate technology that is virtually identical to that used in ballistic missiles, including in ICBMs.”

The US Secretary of State also noted an ICBM with a range of 10,000km could reach the US.

But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected Mr Pompeo’s warning against carrying out space vehicle launches and missile tests, saying on Thursday they did not violate the UN resolution.

Mr Zarif said in an English-language tweet: “Iran’s launch of space vehicles – and missile tests – are not in violation of Resolution 2231.

Donald Trump stood on an anti-Iran nuclear deal platform when he ran for President (Image: GETTY)

Rouhani: US sanctions against Iran are ‘economic terrorism’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the UN General Assembly and discussed the US sanctions imposed upon Iran. He said “unlawful unilateral sanctions in themselves constitute a form of economic terrorism”.

“The US is in material breach of same, and as such, it is in no position to lecture anyone on it.”

UNSCR 2231 was a resolution endorsing the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – or Iran Nuclear Deal – on the nuclear program of Iran.

The Resolution sets out an inspection process and schedule while also preparing for the removal of United Nations sanctions against Iran.

The JCPOA was intended to curb Iran’s nuclear energy programme, which the West said the theocratic Middle Eastern power was using as a front to further its ballistic missile capabilities.

The agreement was struck in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Mike Pompeo insisted Iran was in violation of a UN Resolution (Image: GETTY)

But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran was not in violation of the Resolution (Image: GETTY)

US President Donald Trump notably withdrew from the accord, branding it “decaying and rotten” and “an embarrassment” to him “as a citizen”.

Of the JCPOA, Hossein Abedini, a representative for anti-regime group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told Express.co.uk: “It gave a lot of unnecessary concessions to the regime, which was in a very weak position.

“It was time to get rid of all its nuclear activities but unfortunately they gave a lot of concessions which did not work and made the regime more brazen.”

The pro-regime change NCRI claims to have exposed swathes of Iran’s “clandestine nuclear programme” and says the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent its inspectors to visit the sites.

Iranian ground-to-ground Sajil missile launches at an undisclosed location in Iran (Image: GETTY)

Trump: Iranian regime is ‘leading sponsor of terror’

President of the United States Donald Trump says that the Iranian regime is the ‘leading sponsor of terror’ and should never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon. Trump says that all US nuclear related sanctions will be in full force in November.

Of his group’s findings, Mr Abedini said: “We have exposed the clandestine nuclear sites of the Iranian regime.

“In 2002 we revealed the enrichment of uranium to a recognised degree as well as the heavy water reactor where they were trying to produce plutonium as the main core of a nuclear device.

“The IAEA were very much astonished to see how advanced and sophisticated the nuclear technology of the Iranian regime was.”

The IAEA did not respond to a request for comment when approached by Express.co.u

Trump and the Nuclear Option

Trump, national security and nuclear war

A sorely needed assessment. Where should American nuclear policy go from here?

Prof. Louis René Beres (israelnewsphoto: R. B.)

The writer (Ph.D, Princeton, 1971) is emeritus professor of Political Science and International Law at Purdue University. He is the author of many books, monographs, and articles dealing with Israeli security matters, nuclear strategy and nuclear war.

More from the author

“I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds.” – Bhagavad Gita, cited by American nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945

Quite literally, at any moment in 2019, US President Donald Trump could be faced with unprecedented challenges to American security. The most plainly serious threats will concern some forms or other of nuclear strategy and nuclear war.[1] “Will he be ready?” – we must immediately inquire – “for any such conspicuously daunting challenges?”

Significantly, there can be no more important inquiry.

More precisely, as the relevant interrogatory must proceed, will this president be up to meeting such starkly complex challenges?[2]

Mr. Trump’s analytic and state-of-mind abilities continue to be deeply concerning. This informed apprehension is all the more noteworthy whenever these abilities might become: (1) intersecting and reinforcing;[3] (2) are considered together with the president’s persistently willing subservience to the Russian president in the midst of “Cold War II;[4]  and (3) assessed within the appropriate statutory and Constitutional parameters of formal US nuclear command authority.

In fairness, any prospective personal shortcomings are not necessarily unique or distinctive to President Donald Trump. Rather, at a more expressly generic level, they represent certain continuously complex qualities and issues, ones about which I have been lecturing and publishing for almost half a century. If I might now be permitted to share some closely related insights, this might help us to better understand just how irremediably perilous the Trump presidency could very rapidly become.

In essence, the cumulative national security risks we face as a nation are potentially immediate and conceivably existential. Most obvious, in this regard, is the stubbornly complex problem of North Korea. Here, inter alia, the US president’s routinely indiscriminate confusion of belligerent rhetoric with actual power could lead the United States further and further away from capably sustaining its required national security.

To be sure, incessant presidential bravado need not be very convincing. Even as quixotic an adversary as Kim Jung Un can normally tell the difference between his American adversary’s real military capacity, and bombast.

Going forward, the principal risks to US security are distinctly tangible and multi-sided. These risks would become especially high during any foreseeable circumstances of competitive risk-taking with Kim Jung Un; that is, in those identifiably deliberative moments when each side is energetically (and perhaps desperately) seeking “escalation dominance.”  

Already, back in the nineteenth century, Friedrich Nietzsche had it right. Warned the seminal philosopher in his magisterial Zarathustra:  “One must never seek the Higher Man in the marketplace.” (Today, of course, we would want to make this into a more properly gender-neutral “Higher Person”).

More urgently than on any other specific security hazard, President Trump must make himself much better informed about all potentially pertinent nuclear conflict scenarios in our anarchic[5]  or “Hobbesian” world system.[6] 

Correspondingly, both the Congress and the citizenry must keep a much closer and more honest (non-partisan) watch on Mr. Trump’s problematic unwillingness to take nuclear war with sufficient seriousness.[7] 

Among other things, he will need to be reminded that no scientifically accurate estimates of nuclear war likelihood are logically possible.[8] This is because, in science, true probabilities must always be based upon a determinable frequency of pertinent past events, and because there has never been a nuclear war event.

Never.

The American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 “don’t count” as nuclear war examples. These events were singular episodes of nuclear attack upon enemy civilian populations in an otherwise purely conventional war. It follows that in any still-upcoming nuclear crisis situations, a casually dismissive presidential stance on expected outcomes could produce fully unexpected or even intolerable results.

Quickly.

I have been studying nuclear warfare issues for a long time. After four years at Princeton in the late 1960s, long an intellectual center of American nuclear history and thought, I first began to think about adding a modest personal contribution to the growing literatures of first-generation nuclear thinkers. Accordingly,  by the mid- 1970s, I was busily preparing an original manuscript on U.S. nuclear strategy and on certain corollary risks of nuclear war.[9]  

At that time, moreover, I was interested in very specific questions of presidential authority to order the use of American nuclear weapons.

Among other things, I soon learned that reliable safeguards had been carefully built into all American nuclear command/control decisions, but also that these reassuring safeguards could never apply at the presidential level. To a young strategic scholar, this ironic disjunction didn’t make any obvious intellectual sense, especially in a world where national leadership irrationality was assuredly not without precedent.[10]  For needed clarifications, I reached out to retired General Maxwell D. Taylor, a distinguished former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In rapid response to my query, General Taylor sent me a detailed handwritten reply. Dated 14 March 1976, the General’s informed letter concluded presciently: “As to those dangers arising from an irrational American president, the only protection is not to elect one.”

Until now, I had never really given any extended thought to this truthful but distressing response. Instead, I had assumed that somehow “the system” would somehow always operate precisely according to plan. Today, as the presidency of Donald Trump coincides with a North Korean nuclear standoff and continued Iranian nuclearization, General Taylor’s 1976 warning takes on even greater and more urgent meaning. Now, however reluctantly, Americans must realistically assume that if President Trump were ever to exhibit emotional instability or irrationality, he could nonetheless order the use of American nuclear weapons, and do so without any calculable expectations of any official “disobedience.”

At this point, a distressingly core question should come immediately to mind. What should be done by the National Command Authority (Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, and presumptively several others) if it should ever decide to oppose a determinably inappropriate presidential order to launch American nuclear weapons? Could the National Command Authority reliably “save the day” by acting in an impromptu or creatively ad hoc fashion? Or should there already be in place aptly credible and effective statutory measures to (1) meaningfully assess the ordering president’s judgment; and (2) promptly countermand any wrongful order?

In law, Article 1 (Congressional) war-declaring expectations of the Constitution notwithstanding, any presidential order to use nuclear weapons, whether issued by an apparently irrational president, or by an otherwise incapacitated one, must be obeyed. To do otherwise, in such dire circumstances, would be prima facie illegal; that is, impermissible on its face. Additionally, there could be the first use of American nuclear weapons even if this country were not under any specifically nuclear attack.

Here, too, a further strategic and legal distinction must be made between first use and first strike. There exists an elementary but vitally important difference, significantly one that candidate Donald Trump had failed to understand during his 2016 campaign debates. This core difference has to do with distinguishing essential self-defense from aggression.[11]

Aggression, of course, is a codified crime under international law.[12] It is, therefore, reciprocally prohibited by pertinent US law.

Where should American nuclear policy go from here? To begin, a coherent and comprehensive answer will need to be prepared for the following very basic question: If faced with any presidential order to use nuclear weapons, and not offered sufficiently appropriate corroborative evidence of any actually impending existential threat, would the National Command Authority: (1) be willing to disobey? and (2) be capable of enforcing such seemingly well-founded expressions of authoritative disobedience?

In any such unprecedented nuclear crisis circumstances, all relevant decisions could have to be made in a compressively time-urgent matter of minutes. Needless to say, such tight chronological constraints could quickly become overriding.

The only time for Americans to prepare for such vital national security questions is now. This is the case whether or not President Donald Trump should incrementally prove himself to be a stable and capable crisis decision-maker. Though we might all draw a huge sigh of relief if the ongoing North Korean nuclear crisis were to subside, there will inevitably arise other similar or even more portentous atomic emergencies.[13] 

There is one last but still important point. Whether it is in reference to a proposed military intervention or to another considered military action, the American president is bound not only by US law, but also by international law. The latter, which is discoverable, inter alia, in various customary norms as well as in bilateral and multilateral treaties, is always an integral part of American law.[14] Such “incorporation” is most prominently expressed at Article 6 of the US Constitution (the “Supremacy Clause”), and also at various major US Supreme Court decisions.[15]

Looking ahead, Donald Trump’s policies for dealing with adversarial nuclear threats must always remain consistent with American military requirements and with certain corollary jurisprudential obligations. Striking the necessary and optimal balance between both coinciding imperatives will inevitably confront this president with stark intellectual and ethical challenges of the very highest order. .[16]

So, what happens then?[17]

Louis René Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books, monographs, and scholarly articles dealing with various legal and military aspects of nuclear strategy. In Israel, he was Chair of Project Daniel (PM Sharon, 2003). Over the past years, he has published extensively on nuclear warfare issues in the Harvard National Security Journal (Harvard Law School); International Security (Harvard); World Politics (Princeton); Yale Global Online (Yale); JURIST; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence; Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs; The Atlantic; The Washington Times; US News & World Report; Special Warfare (Pentagon); Parameters: Journal of the US Army War College (Pentagon); The New York Times; The Hill; The Jerusalem Post; The National Interest; and Oxford University Press. His twelfth book, published in 2016 by Rowman & Littlefield, is titled: Surviving amid Chaos: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442253254/Surviving-Amid-Chaos-Israel’s-Nuclear-Strategy (2nd ed., 2018) A widely-circulated monograph with U.S. General (USA/ret.) Barry R. McCaffrey was published at Tel Aviv University in December 2016:  https://sectech.tau.ac.il/sites/sectech.tau.ac.il/files/PalmBeachBook.pdf