The Trump Administration cited China as a major reason behind its decision to announce U.S. intentions to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. China is not a party to the INF Treaty, which has allowed Beijing to rapidly expand its missile arsenal as part of a military strategy designed to counter U.S. and allied military power in Asia. China has consistently refused to accede to the accord and expressed its opposition to U.S. withdrawal, positions that implicitly recognize the advantages Beijing derives from being unconstrained by the treaty’s limits. This report explains the importance of China’s ground-launched missiles to Beijing’s overall military strategy; surveys Chinese reactions to the potential U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty; and assesses both the positive and negative implications of U.S. withdrawal for the military balance in Asia, global arms control regime, U.S. relations with Asian allies, and China-Russia ties.
Hamas called on Arabs in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron to riot and attack Israelis, in the wake of the death of an Arab near the town of Adei Ad on Shabbos. Thousands of Arabs gathered in Ramallah Motzoei Shabbos, calling for revenge against Israel in the wake of the incident.
In the incident, an Israeli youth who was walking by himself in the area of Adei Ad was attacked by Arabs, and wounded when an Arab stabbed him. A group of Israelis nearby called for help, and the security team of Adei Ad showed up. According to a spokesperson for the team, members of the team fired into the air in order to fend off the Arab mob, which then attacked them as well, causing a “life-threatening situation,” the spokesperson said. One of the rioters was apparently hit in the incident.
According to Arabs, the incident was set off when Israelis attempted to overturn a tractor in a field in a “price tag” attack, but the victim of the stabbing said that he had ventured several hundred meters out of Adei Ad, when he was ambushed by three Arabs, who attempted to drag him to the village of Al Mu’ayeer, next to Adei Ad. He told Yediot Acharonot that he managed to escape, and realized when he was running that he had been stabbed. He called for help and Adei Ad’s security team chased the Arabs, he said.
A report named the stabber as Hamdi Naasan, a terrorist who had been convicted in the past for shooting Israelis and setting off bombs. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for his activities, but was released in 2007 as part of a group of terrorists released as a “gesture” to Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.
On Friday, some 10,000 Gaza Arabs rioted along the security fence. Hundreds attempted to breach the fence, and many threw rocks and firebombs at IDF troops along the border. Rioters also burned tires, causing large amounts of air pollution. Several rioters cut through the fence and ran to the Israeli side before running back into Gaza. Israeli soldiers used anti-riot methods to break up the crowds.
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.
The time–spans between the intensity VII earthquakes were 46 and 101 years. This, and data for the smaller–intensity quakes, implies a return period of 100 years or less, and suggests New Jersey is overdue for a moderate earthquake like the one of 1884.
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.
New Jersey’s building code has some provisions for earthquake–resistant design. But there are no requirements for retrofitting existing buildings—not even for unreinforced masonry structures that are most vulnerable to earthquake damage. Housing of this type is common in New Jersey’s crowded urban areas. If an earthquake the size of New York City’s 1884 quake (magnitude 5.5) were to occur today, severe damage would result. Fatalities would be likely.
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.
The new weapon is designed to be launched on a ballistic missile fired from a submarine.
Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Gutridge/Commander, Submarine Group Nine
The U.S. Department of Energy has started making a new, low-yield nuclear weapon designed to counter Russia.
The National Nuclear Security Administration says production of the weapon, known as the W76-2, has begun at its Pantex Plant in the Texas Panhandle. The fact that the weapon was under production was first shared in an e-mail to the Exchange Monitor, an industry trade magazine, and independently confirmed by NPR.
The weapon is a variant of the Navy’s primary submarine-launched nuclear weapon, the W76-1. That warhead is a „strategic weapon,“ meaning it makes a very big boom. The W76-1 is believed to have a yield of around 100 kilotons, according to Hans Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists, an arms control advocacy group. By contrast, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of about 15 kilotons.
The Energy Department would not provide details about the W76-2, but it’s believed to have a yield of around 5 to 7 kilotons, Kristensen says. That smaller yield is probably created by removing or disabling the secondary stage of the W76-1. The secondary is designed to deliver a large thermonuclear blast triggered by a much smaller nuclear weapon known as the primary. Removing or disabling the secondary while leaving the primary would, in effect, create a smaller weapon.
Last year the Trump administration made the case for the development of a smaller nuclear weapon that could be launched from a submarine. In a document known as the Nuclear Posture Review, the administration claimed that Russia believed its own, smaller nuclear weapons could give it an advantage in a conflict. By using small, tactical nuclear weapons, the thinking goes, Russia could essentially scare NATO into halting a military operation. „[Moscow] mistakenly assesses that the threat of nuclear escalation or actual first use of nuclear weapons would serve to ‚de-escalate‘ a conflict on terms favorable to Russia,“ the document says.
New, smaller warheads will help balance Russian forces, the report claims. „It will raise the nuclear threshold and help ensure that potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in limited nuclear escalation, making nuclear employment less likely.“
However, Kristensen worries the new warhead could actually make nuclear war far more likely. For one thing, he says, the W76-2 will be launched on the same Trident missile used to launch the much larger W76-1. „It’s not like the Russians are going to be sitting there saying, ‚Well, let’s wait to see this one detonate first. Oh, it’s a small mushroom cloud! Well, in that case…'“
And even if they did wait, he says, it would not change the fact that the U.S. would have used a nuclear weapon, however small, in a conflict. „A nuke is a nuke,“ he says. „Once it’s used, the gloves are off.“
The National Nuclear Security Administration says its first production unit of the new weapon is underway. It is on track to deliver a small number of weapons to the Navy by October of this year.