2019: The Year of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

15073790937_a2b5f1e61f_bSloshing of Earth’s core may spike major earthquakes

By Paul VoosenOct. 30, 2017 , 1:45 PM

The number of major earthquakes, like the magnitude-7 one that devastated Haiti in 2010, seems to be correlated with minute fluctuations in day length.

SEATTLE—The world doesn’t stop spinning. But every so often, it slows down. For decades, scientists have charted tiny fluctuations in the length of Earth’s day: Gain a millisecond here, lose a millisecond there. Last week at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America here, two geophysicists argued that these minute changes could be enough to influence the timing of major earthquakes—and potentially help forecast them.

During the past 100 years, Earth’s slowdowns have correlated surprisingly well with periods with a global increase in magnitude-7 and larger earthquakes, according to Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick at the University of Montana in Missoula. Usefully, the spike, which adds two to five more quakes than typical, happens well after the slow-down begins. “The Earth offers us a 5-years heads up on future earthquakes, which is remarkable,” says Bilham, who presented the work.

Most seismologists agree that earthquake prediction is a minefield. And so far, Bilham and Bendick have only fuzzy, hard-to-test ideas about what might cause the pattern they found. But the finding is too provocative to ignore, other researchers say. “The correlation they’ve found is remarkable, and deserves investigation,” says Peter Molnar, a geologist also at CU.

The research started as a search for synchrony in earthquake timing. Individual oscillators, be they fireflies, heart muscles, or metronomes, can end up vibrating in synchrony as a result of some kind of cross-talk—or some common influence. To Bendick, it didn’t seem a far jump to consider the faults that cause earthquakes, with their cyclical buildup of strain and violent discharge, as “really noisy, really crummy oscillators,” she says. She and Bilham dove into the data, using the only complete earthquake catalog for the past 100 years: magnitude-7 and larger earthquakes.

In work published in August in Geophysical Research Letters they reported two patterns: First, major quakes appeared to cluster in time

—although not in space. And second, the number of large earthquakes seemed to peak at 32-year intervals. The earthquakes could be somehow talking to each other, or an external force could be nudging the earth into rupture.

Exploring such global forces, the researchers eventually discovered the match with the length of day. Although weather patterns such as El Nino can drive day length to vary back and forth by a millisecond over a year or more, a periodic, decades-long fluctuation of several milliseconds—in particular, its point of peak slow down about every three decades or so—lined up with the quake trend perfectly. “Of course that seems sort of crazy,” Bendick says. But maybe it isn’t. When day length changes over decades, Earth’s magnetic field also develops a temporary ripple. Researchers think slight changes in the flow of the molten iron of the outer core may be responsible for both effects. Just what happens is uncertain—perhaps a bit of the molten outer core sticks to the mantle above. That might change the flow of the liquid metal, altering the magnetic field, and transfer enough momentum between the mantle and the core to affect day length.

Seismologists aren’t used to thinking about the planet’s core, buried 2900 kilometers beneath the crust where quakes happen. But they should, Bilham said during his talk here. The core is “quite close to us. It’s closer than New York from here,” he said.

At the equator, Earth spins 460 meters per second. Given this high velocity, it’s not absurd to think that a slight mismatch in speed between the solid crust and mantle and the liquid core could translate into a force somehow nudging quakes into synchrony, Molnar says. Of course, he adds, “It might be nonsense.” But the evidence for some kind of link is compelling, says geophysicist Michael Manga of the University of California, Berkeley. “I’ve worked on earthquakes triggered by seasonal variation, melting snow. His correlation is much better than what I’m used to seeing.”

One way or another, says James Dolan, a geologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, “we’re going to know in 5 years.” That’s because Earth’s rotation began a periodic slow-down 4-plus years ago. Beginning next year, Earth should expect five more major earthquakes a year than average—between 17 to 20 quakes, compared with the anomalously low four so far this year. If the pattern holds, it will put a new spin on earthquake forecasting.

doi:10.1126/science.aar3598

Preparing the Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman speaks during the opening ceremony of the 24th World Energy Congress (WEC) in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on Monday. — AFP

(L to R) UAE’s head of State for National Security Hazza Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan tourd with Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman and UAE’s Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Al-Mazrouei during the opening ceremony of the 24th World Energy Congress in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on Monday. — AFP

Saudi Arabia wants to enrich uranium for nuclear power — Prince Abdulaziz

Energy minister says Kingdom aiming for an IPO of Saudi Aramco ‘as soon as possible’

September 9, 2019

ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia wants to have uranium production and enrichment in future for its planned nuclear power program that will begin with two atomic reactors, the Kingdom’s new energy minister said on Monday.

The world’s top oil exporter has said it wants to use the metal to diversify its energy mix, but uranium enrichment also opens up the possibility of military uses of the material, the issue at the heart of Western and regional concerns over Iran’s atomic work.

“We are proceeding with it cautiously … we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors,” Prince Abdulaziz said, referring to a plan to issue a tender for the Kingdom’s first two nuclear power reactors.

He told an energy conference here that ultimately the Kingdom wanted to go ahead with the full cycle of the nuclear program, including the production and enrichment of uranium for fuel.

The tender is expected in 2020, with US, Russian, South Korean, Chinese and French firms involved in preliminary talks about the multi-billion-dollar project.

Prince Abdulaziz also said that the country is aiming for an initial public offering of its national oil giant Saudi Aramco “as soon as possible.”

He was speaking for the first time since his appointment earlier this week, replacing Khalid Al-Falih, at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

Aramco is preparing to sell up to a 5% stake by 2020-2021, in what could be the world’s biggest IPO.

The company is meeting banks pitching for roles on the deal this week, and is expected to appoint the advisers in the coming days, two sources told Reuters.

The IPO is a centerpiece of Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation drive to attract foreign investment and diversify away from oil.

Prince Abdulaziz said on Monday the world’s top oil exporter would keep working with other producers to achieve market balance and that an OPEC-led supply-curbing deal would survive “with the will of everybody”.

Prince Abdulaziz told reporters there would be “no radical” change in the oil policy of Saudi Arabia, which he said was based on strategic considerations such as reserves and energy consumption.

The prince had helped negotiate the deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, to cut global crude supply in order to support prices and balance the market.

He told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Abu Dhabi that the OPEC+ alliance was “staying for the long term” and called on OPEC members to comply with output targets.

“We have always worked in a cohesive, coherent way within OPEC to make sure that producers work and prosper together,” the prince said.

“It would be wrong from my end to pre-empt the rest of the OPEC members,” he said when asked whether there was a need for further oil production cuts to support the market.

Oil prices rose on Monday on his remarks. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were up 46 cents at $62.00 a barrel by 1011 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate was up 48 cents at $57.00.

Prince Abdulaziz said oil markets were being driven by “negative sentiments” but he did not believe there was an impact on oil demand growth. He said the global economic outlook was expected to improve once a trade dispute between the United States and China was resolved.

“People are speculating about a global recession but there is no recession today,” he said.

The oil ministers of Oman and Iraq earlier told reporters in Abu Dhabi that it was too early to assess whether deeper cuts were required to support oil markets at a time of global recession concerns due to the US-China row.

The energy minister of non-OPEC Oman, Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Rumhy, said Muscat would like to see oil at $70 a barrel. He said overall compliance with the supply-curbing deal was good, but there were concerns that compliance was not fully shared.

The oil minister of Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, said Baghdad was committed to complying with the deal and that his country’s production stood at 4.6 million barrels per day.

“We are definitely committed to respect (the curbs) … our exports have decreased by at least 150,000 bpd from the south,” Thamer Ghadhban said. — Reuters

Arming the South Korean Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

U.S.: ‘Failure to denuke N. Korea’ to prompt Asia’s nuclear armament’

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said in a lecture on Friday that if talks to denuclearize North Korea fail, countries in Asia including South Korea and Japan will demand nuclear armament. Citing former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s remarks “If efforts to denuclearize North Korea fail, the world will come to face the challenge of proliferation of nuclear weapons across the entire Asia region,” Biegun said that Asian allies shelved nuclear programs due to their trust in Washington’s deterrence of nuclear proliferation, but if threat continues, they will begin to ask if they need to be considering their own nuclear capabilities.

The scenario of “nuclear domino” stemming from the North’s nuclear armament is nothing new. As the U.S.-North Koreas negotiations stalled, the U.S. Congress and experts have urged not only redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula but also sharing of nuclear weapons with South Korea and Japan. The latest remarks have been made by a senior Trump administration official and Washington’s chief negotiator for North Korean denuclearization talks, whom Pyongyang has been relatively friendly with. The remarks cannot be taken lightly, since they constitute a warning that even Washington cannot insist forever on a policy to block the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the face of growing threat of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

Biegun’s statement also reminds “the idea of South Korea and Japan’s nuclear armament,” which President Donald Trump mentioned during the 2016 presidential election. The Trump administration has been denying the (U.S.’) role of “global police” and is thoroughly pursuing the “realism of America first,” which requires countries to take responsibility for their own regional security. Some pundits in the U.S. already suggested “offshore balancing” strategy, in which Washington would allow Seoul and Tokyo to seek nuclear armament as measures of checks and balance to counter China’s military rise as well as the North’s nuclear threat. 

The idea of Asia’s nuclear armament is targeted at not only North Korea but also China, which stands behind it. It is implicit pressure on China, which is extremely opposed to the domino nuclear armament in Northeast Asia, indicating that if Beijing blindly seeks to back Pyongyang, China will end up being surrounded by countries armed with nuclear weapons. Biegun even suggested a deadline, saying that significant progress should be made within a year. The timeline is very tight for the parties to be able to conduct practical negotiations, reach agreement, and achieve practical denuclearization, and Washington cannot afford to wait further. It is time that China should take action in order to avoid a nightmare that will become a reality sooner rather than later.

Iran Outwits UK and Babylon the Great

Iranian tanker row: Oil ‘sold’ in defiance of US threats – BBC News

Reuters

Iran had promised a court the tanker would not sail to Syria

A tanker suspected of trying to deliver Iranian oil to Syria in defiance of international sanctions has now sold its cargo, Iran says.

Satellite images appeared to show the vessel, the Adrian Darya-1, off the coast of Syria on Friday.

But an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman would only say the ship had delivered its cargo after docking “on the Mediterranean coast”.

The ship has been at the centre of a US-Iran diplomatic tussle.

It was seized by British marines off Gibraltar in July and held there until 15 August when Iran gave assurances it would not sail to Syria.

The US vowed on Sunday to impose sanctions on any buyer of the oil.

“We will continue to put pressure on Iran and as President (Trump) said there will be no waivers of any kind for Iran’s oil,” US Treasury official Sigal Mandelker told Reuters.

Separately, a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in what many saw as a retaliatory move was being prepared for release, Iran’s foreign ministry said.

The Stena Impero was going through the final legal processes and would be released “soon”, spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

The ship has been held since 19 July, for allegedly breaching maritime law – and Iran has consistently denied its seizure had any link to the detention of the Iranian tanker.

Satellite imaging company Maxar released photographs which is said showed the Adrian Darya about two nautical miles off the Syrian port of Tartus on Friday.

The tanker was carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil.

How did the row start?

The ship, originally known as Grace 1 when it was detained in July off Gibraltar, a British territory, has been a further cause of tension between Washington and Tehran.

British marines had helped Gibraltar authorities detain the vessel, partly drawing the UK into the row.

The United States made an official request to seize the ship in August, but the courts in Gibraltar denied it.

The tanker’s fate was complicated by the different approaches from American and European leaders to Iran.

The US last year withdrew from the international 2015 deal to limit Iran’s nuclear programme, and reinstated sanctions. In response, Iran stopped abiding by some commitments in the deal.

The EU has sought to salvage the accord. The Iranian tanker was seized because it was suspected of heading to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.

Authorities in Gibraltar released the vessel on 15 August after receiving assurances from Iran that it would not discharge its cargo in Syria.

What has the US done in response?

The US has been trying to seize the tanker since it was released by Gibraltar.

It issued a warrant and blacklisted the vessel, threatening sanctions on any country which offered it aid. The ship has since been sailing east across the Mediterranean.

Earlier this week it was revealed that a US official had even offered the captain of the ship millions of dollars to change course and sail the tanker to somewhere the US might be able to seize it.

Following the emergence of the satellite images on Saturday, the UK’s Foreign Office called the reports of the ship’s presence near Syria “deeply troubling”.

Israel Strikes Back Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinian protesters carry away a man injured during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Bureij, Gaza Strip, September 6, 2019. AFP

Israel Strikes Hamas Targets in Response to Gaza Drone Attack

Earlier on Saturday, a drone entered Israeli airspace from Gaza and dropped explosives on a military vehicle

Yaniv KubovichJack Khoury08.09.2019 | 00:17

The Israeli military said it carried out several air strikes in Gaza on Saturday – including on a Hamas naval base and two complexes of the organization’s aerial command. According to the statement, the strikes were in response to a drone attack earlier on Saturday, in which a Gaza drone entered Israeli airspace and dropped explosives on a military vehicle by the border fence.

Palestinians reported explosions in the central Gaza Strip, as well as in the northern Strip by Beit Lahia.

A few hours earlier, an Israeli military aircraft fired at what it identified as the Gaza cell that launched the drone attack.

Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza Strip, September 6, 2019.

In light of the violence and the upcoming Israeli elections, reports in Gaza say that the Egyptian security delegation will arrive in Gaza next week to meet with senior Hamas officials and de-escalate the situation.

On Friday night, Israel struck several Hamas targets in Gaza after five rockets were launched from the Strip overnight Friday, targeting Hamas military positions near the Israeli border with aircraft and tank fire.

Also on Friday, the Gaza health ministry reported that two Palestinian teenagers were killed by Israeli security forces during clashes near the Gaza border fence. At least 66 were also wounded in demonstrations along the border, 38 from gunfire.

Iran Advances Her Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:4)

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, speaks at a news briefing in Tehran on Saturday. Advanced centrifuges are displayed in front of him. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran/AP)

Iran now operating advanced centrifuges in breach of nuclear pact

Erin CunninghamISTANBUL —

September 7 at 10:34 AM

Iran has activated a chain of advanced centrifuges to speed up uranium enrichment in defiance of a 2015 nuclear accord, a senior Iranian official said Saturday, raising the stakes for European powers struggling to prevent the deal’s collapse.

The spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, announced the new measures at a news conference in Tehran, warning that there was little time left to salvage the deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this week that Iran would set aside the accord’s restrictions on nuclear-related research and development and would expand its use of advanced centrifuges.

“These steps are reversible if the other side fulfills its promises,” Kamalvandi said, urging European nations to compensate Tehran following a U.S. withdrawal from the pact last year.

“We cannot remain in the deal unilaterally,” he said.

The landmark agreement was signed by Iran and world powers in 2015 and curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for major sanctions relief. President Trump abandoned the accord and reimposed a near-total embargo on Iran’s economy in the fall, frustrating European allies who helped negotiate the deal.

Under the agreement, Iran is allowed limited research and development on advanced centrifuges, which accelerate the production of fissile material that can be used to make a nuclear bomb. Kamalvandi said Saturday that Iran had begun injecting uranium gas into the centrifuges, which helps quicken the process. He said that the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, had been informed of the recent moves.

But Iran in the past has kept its enrichment levels well below the threshold for a nuclear device.

Before the nuclear deal, Iran was producing material at about 3.5 percent enrichment for its electricity-producing reactor and at a higher level for a research reactor — but still under the more than 90 percent enrichment needed for a warhead.

Iran has already exceeded caps placed on the size and purity of its enriched uranium stockpile, part of a strategy to place increasing pressure on Europe to reset the terms of the deal. Iranian officials say they will reduce their commitments under the agreement every 60 days until Europe negotiates improved economic terms and offsets the effects of the U.S. sanctions.

In recent weeks, France has floated an initiative to grant Iran a $15 billion line of credit to make up for lost oil sales. As part of the agreement, Iran would return to full compliance with the nuclear deal.

But the Trump administration, which has embarked on a “maximum pressure campaign” to isolate Iran, appears unlikely to greenlight the financial package. The United States has worked aggressively to halt Iran’s oil exports, including issuing a warrant for an Iranian supertanker detained by Gibraltar in July.

President Trump says that sweeping sanctions have fundamentally changed Iran’s behavior. But have they? (Atthar Mirza/The Washington Post)

The administration said that the vessel, Adrian Darya 1, was transporting oil to Syria and was therefore in violation of U.S. sanctions and subject to seizure.

Gibraltar released the tanker last month and it has been sailing through the Mediterranean Sea. Earlier this week, it turned off its transponder, according to open source shipping data.

Commercial satellite images Friday appeared to show the vessel anchored near the Syrian port city of Tartus.

“Anyone who said the Adrian Darya-1 wasn’t headed to #Syria is in denial,” U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on Twitter Friday, along with an image he said showed the tanker along Syria’s coast. The image was taken by DigitalGlobe, a Colorado-based satellite imagery firm.

Nothing Can Be Done About the Pakistani Nuclear Horn

Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Pose A Global Danger. What Can Be Done?

Pakistani nuclear doctrine appears to be to deter what it considers an economically, politically and militarily stronger India. The nuclear standoff is exacerbated by the traditional animosity between the two countries, the several wars the two countries have fought, and events such as the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, which were directed by Pakistan.

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

(This first appeared several years ago.)

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization.

Pakistan began the process of accumulating the necessary fuel for nuclear weapons, enriched uranium and plutonium. The country was particularly helped by one A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist working in the West who returned to his home country in 1975 with centrifuge designs and business contacts necessary to begin the enrichment process. Pakistan’s program was assisted by European countries and a clandestine equipment-acquisition program designed to do an end run on nonproliferation efforts. Outside countries eventually dropped out as the true purpose of the program became clear, but the clandestine effort continued.

Exactly when Pakistan had completed its first nuclear device is murky. Former president Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Bhutto’s daughter, claimed that her father told her the first device was ready by 1977. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said design of the bomb was completed in 1978 and the bomb was “cold tested”—stopping short of an actual explosion—in 1983.

Benazir Bhutto later claimed that Pakistan’s bombs were stored disassembled until 1998, when India tested six bombs in a span of three days. Nearly three weeks later, Pakistan conducted a similar rapid-fire testing schedule, setting off five bombs in a single day and a sixth bomb three days later. The first device, estimated at twenty-five to thirty kilotons, may have been a boosted uranium device. The second was estimated at twelve kilotons, and the next three as sub-kiloton devices.

The sixth and final device appears to have also been a twelve-kiloton bomb that was detonated at a different testing range; a U.S. Air Force “Constant Phoenix” nuclear-detection aircraft reportedly detected plutonium afterward. Since Pakistan had been working on a uranium bomb and North Korea—which shared or purchased research with Pakistan through the A. Q. Khan network—had been working on a uranium bomb, some outside observers concluded the sixth test was actually a North Korean test, detonated elsewhere to conceal North Korea’s involvement although. There is no consensus on this conclusion.

Experts believe Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is steadily growing. In 1998, the stockpile was estimated at five to twenty-five devices, depending on how much enriched uranium each bomb required. Today Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear bombs. In 2015 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center estimated Pakistan’s bomb-making capability at twenty devices annually, which on top of the existing stockpile meant Pakistan could quickly become the third-largest nuclear power in the world. Other observers, however, believe Pakistan can only develop another forty to fifty warheads in the near future.

Pakistani nuclear weapons are under control of the military’s Strategic Plans Division, and are primarily stored in Punjab Province, far from the northwest frontier and the Taliban. Ten thousand Pakistani troops and intelligence personnel from the SPD guard the weapons. Pakistan claims that the weapons are only armed by the appropriate code at the last moment, preventing a “rogue nuke” scenario.

Pakistani nuclear doctrine appears to be to deter what it considers an economically, politically and militarily stronger India. The nuclear standoff is exacerbated by the traditional animosity between the two countries, the several wars the two countries have fought, and events such as the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, which were directed by Pakistan. Unlike neighboring India and China, Pakistan does not have a “no first use” doctrine, and reserves the right to use nuclear weapons, particularly low-yield tactical nuclear weapons, to offset India’s advantage in conventional forces.

Pakistan currently has a nuclear “triad” of nuclear delivery systems based on land, in the air and at sea. Islamabad is believed to have modified American-built F-16A fighters and possibly French-made Mirage fighters to deliver nuclear bombs by 1995. Since the fighters would have to penetrate India’s air defense network to deliver their payloads against cities and other targets, Pakistani aircraft would likely be deliver tactical nuclear weapons against battlefield targets.

Land-based delivery systems are in the form of missiles, with many designs based on or influenced by Chinese and North Korean designs. The Hatf series of mobile missiles includes the solid-fueled Hatf-III (180 miles), solid-fueled Hatf-IV (466 miles) and liquid-fueled Hatf V, (766 miles). The CSIS Missile Threat Initiative believes that as of 2014, Hatf VI (1242 miles) is likely in service. Pakistan is also developing a Shaheen III intermediate-range missile capable of striking targets out to 1708 miles, in order to strike the Nicobar and Andaman Islands.

The sea component of Pakistan’s nuclear force consists of the Babur class of cruise missiles. The latest version, Babur-2, looks like most modern cruise missiles, with a bullet-like shape, a cluster of four tiny tail wings and two stubby main wings, all powered by a turbofan or turbojet engine. The cruise missile has a range of 434 miles. Instead of GPS guidance, which could be disabled regionally by the U.S. government, Babur-2 uses older Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) navigation technology. Babur-2 is deployed on both land and at sea on ships, where they would be more difficult to neutralize. A submarine-launched version, Babur-3, was tested in January and would be the most survivable of all Pakistani nuclear delivery systems.

Pakistan is clearly developing a robust nuclear capability that can not only deter but fight a nuclear war. It is also dealing with internal security issues that could threaten the integrity of its nuclear arsenal. Pakistan and India are clearly in the midst of a nuclear arms race that could, in relative terms, lead to absurdly high nuclear stockpiles reminiscent of the Cold War. It is clear that an arms-control agreement for the subcontinent is desperately needed.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009, he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.

Image: Reuters.

(This article first appeared several years ago and is being republished due to reader interest.)