History Expects the Sixth Seal in NYC (Revelation 6:12)

According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.

A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.

Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.

There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.

He adds: “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”

Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.

The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale. (ANI)

Iran Has Long Been Working on the Nuclear Bomb

Secret document that PROVES Iran was building a nuclear weapon as far back as 2002

By Jack Elsom For Mailonline 06:33 EST 18 Jan 2020 , updated 08:04 EST 18 Jan 2020

A never-seen-before secret Iranian government document proves the regime was trying to build a nuclear weapon as far back as 2002.

It shows scientists outlining their proposals for a ‘warhead’, which are given the green light by Tehran’s top nuclear official.

The document was seized as part of a raid by intelligence agents on a compound in Tehran in 2018, and is now being exclusively revealed to the world by MailOnline.

The damning nuclear blueprint forms the centrepiece of a soon-to-be published report by the Friends of Israel Initiative (FOII), a group of foreign policy experts including several former presidents and prime ministers.

As part of a fact-finding mission to the country led by Canada’s former foreign minister John Baird, they were given exclusive access to the haul of documents stashed in the Tehran hanger.

This included a piece of paper dated November 28, 2002, which they say is from a ‘senior Iranian official requesting the parameters of a warhead fitted on a missile’.

Scribbled in the top left corner is a note from Moshen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s nuclear science chief, who writes: ‘In the name of God. Right now in a treatment process. Please archive the original script of the document. Fakhrizadeh.’

A never-seen-before secret Iranian government document (with translation, right) proves the regime was trying to build a nuclear weapon as far back as 2002. Dated November 28, 2002, it is from a senior Iranian official requesting the parameters of a warhead fitted on a missile. Scribbled in the top left corner is a note from Moshen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s nuclear science chief, who writes: ‘In the name of God. Right now in a treatment process. Please archive the original script of the document. Fakhrizadeh’

Moshen Fakhrizadeh at a meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Moshen Fakhrizadeh

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (right) at a meeting which was attended by nuclear chief Moshen Fakhrizadeh

Iran touts capability after scaling back nuclear compliance in 2019

The FOII report claims this proves the ‘military dimension’ of Iran’s nuclear project, despite the regime claiming its programme did not go beyond ‘feasibility’ studies.

Fakhrizadeh is also pictured meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, highlighting the extent of his power.

After being ‘briefed extensively by Israeli security officials’ on the contents of the Iranian archives, the authors of the FOII report write that ‘Iran intended to become a fully operational nuclear state’.

They claim that these documents undermine the basis of the 2015 nuclear deal brokered between Iran and the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Prior to signing the agreement – formally known as he Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the International Atomic Energy Agency reported it had not found ‘credible indications of the diversion of nuclear material in connection with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme’.

But this was rubbished in an explosive press conference by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose agents launched a daring raid on a Tehran compound they suspected of hiding their nuclear plans.

In January 2018 successfully extracted a haul of thousands of files from metal safes which Netanyahu said proved Iran had deceived Barack Obama on the extent of its nuclear programme.  

In April 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Israeli operatives launched  a daring raid on a compound in Tehran and retrieved thousands of documents pointing to an Iranian nuclear programme

The archives were kept in a secret hanger in Shorabad district, Tehran

They were stored in rows of metal safes , which the Israelis broke into

The 2015 nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran, who in turn vowed to limit its nuclear activities and the amount of enriched Uranium it stockpiled.

But after Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out in 2018, the deal now appears to be unravelling.

Earlier this week, the UK, France and Germany said they were triggering the agreement’s dispute mechanism after accusing Iran of violating terms of the accords.

Iran batted back the allegations and said the trio were in the pocket of the US President.

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, chief author of the report Mr Baird, who steered Canada’s foreign policy from 2011 to 2015 said Iran was the ‘biggest terrorist organisation in the world’.

He also said that, in light of Donald Trump’s isolationism and clarity over Brexit, Boris Johnson is best-placed to be the next ‘leader of the free world’ and spearhead the Western push-back against Iran.

Mr Baird said: ‘I cannot tell you how strongly I feel that. This is a moment for Boris Johnson to lead the free world, Angela Merkel became leader of the free world ten years ago. I think Boris has the capacity to provide the Western leadership the world needs.’

New documents show the regime was trying to develop nuclear warheads”

An Iranian long-range Shahab-3 missile is fired in desert terrain at an unspecified location in Iran on September 28, 2009. New documents show the regime was trying to develop nuclear warheads

Former Canadian foreign minister John Baird (centre) being briefed by Israel’s former defence minister Moshe Ya’alon, on the Friends of Israel fact-finding mission

Mr Baird, who sensationally closed down the Canadian embassy in Tehran in 2012 and expelled Iranian diplomats from his country, urged UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab to consider the safety of his ambassador Rob Macaire who was temporarily arrested and whose effigy was burned in the street.

He said: ‘I would say to him do you feel confident your diplomats are safe in Tehran with this regime?

‘We look at the situation after they ransacked your mission, and came to the conclusion “absolutely not”.

‘When they’re burning you an effigy and they regularly ransack diplomatic compounds… I just don’t think you can trust these people to protect diplomats.’

Mr Baird was accompanied on the fact-finding mission to Israel by ex-Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi, former UK government counter-terrorism adviser and Army colonel Richard Kemp, and Spain’s former national security adviser Rafael Bardaji.

The FOII is chared by former prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper and boasts members including former president of Spain José Aznar, former prime minister of Australia John Howard, former president of Colombia Andres Pastrana, former president of Uruguay Luis Alberto Lacalle and Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison.

IDF Storms the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli forces attack Palestinian worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli police stormed  inside occupied East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa complex and attacked worshipers after they finished performing morning prayer.

Thousands of Palestinians performed morning prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, to affirm their devotion to it and their refusal to the Israeli incursions.

As the prayer ended, the worshipers came out chanting “Allahu Akbar”. Police force stormed the mosque and started beating and chasing the worshipers.

Earlier on December 2019, hundreds of Palestinians took part in protests along the Gaza-Israel border, the last of the Hamas-backed demonstrations until March.

Amid heavy rain and wind, the rallies had the lowest turnout in months, with tensions far lower than in previous weeks and no live fire by the Israeli army.

The army fired however some volleys of tear gas in the southern Gaza Strip after protesters in the border town of Rafah and in Khan Yunis approached the fence, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers on the other side of the frontier.

I am Israel’s best friend says Donald Trump

The often violent weekly protests began in March 2018, calling for an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and for Palestinians to be allowed to return to their ancestral homes inside the Jewish state.

Israel contends that any return of Palestinian refugees or their descendants would mean an end to its status as a Jewish state and accuses Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas of orchestrating the protests as a cover for attacks.

At least 348 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli fire since the marches began, the majority during the demonstrations, according to an AFP toll.

A further 7,800 people have been wounded by gunfire, according to the World Health Organization.

Eight Israelis have been killed during the same period in Gaza-related violence.

Organizers announced on Thursday the protests would halt until March 2020 amid dwindling turnout.

Hamas has over the last year shaped a precarious informal truce with Israel, which has slightly eased its blockade of the enclave in exchange for calm along the border, despite intermittent flare-ups.

The Deadliness off the Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan Has a Truly Deadly and Scary Nuclear Weapons Program

Key point: Pakistan and India have a dangerous rivalry that could one day lead to nuclear war. Islamabad has its own formidable nuclear arsenal and has threatened to use it.

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.

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. This first appeared earlier in 2017.

Image: Reuters.

The Power of the Tongue (James 3:4)


WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump said Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should be very careful about what he says after Khamenei harshly criticized the United States in a Friday prayers sermon in Tehran.

“The so-called ‘Supreme Leader’ of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe,” Trump said in a tweet.

“Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering. He should be very careful with his words!”

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Chris Reese)

Rocket Fire From Outside the Temple Walls Threatens Israel-Hamas Arrangement (Revelation 11)

Although the party behind recent missile attacks remains unclear, Israel held Hamas at least partially responsible and directed its military retaliation at the Islamist group.

On Jan. 15, sirens blared in Israel’s Gaza border communities, alerting residents to incoming rockets from Gaza. Israel’s anti-missile Iron Dome system intercepted two of them and another two fell in open spaces without inflicting casualties or causing damage. In response, Israeli air force jets bombed Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip in a raid described in Gaza as the heaviest since the November 2019 clash that followed Israel’s killing of a senior Islamic Jihad commander, Baha Abu al-Atta.

Israel believes the rockets were launched by rogue Islamic Jihad militants, but directed its military retaliation at Hamas. The military said it held Hamas responsible, as ruler of the Strip, for all violence emanating from the enclave. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are gearing up for additional rockets, and Iron Dome batteries have been deployed in the south.

The previous rocket attacks from Gaza occurred Dec. 25, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a political rally in the southern town of Ashkelon. Netanyahu, who was spirited off stage by his bodyguards when the sirens sounded, told his followers once he was allowed to return to the stage: “Hamas and Jihad don’t want me to win.” He then advised whoever was responsible for the rocket launch to pack his bags, adding that the person behind a similar attack designed to embarrass him during a September 2019 political rally in the nearby town of Ashdod had since met his maker — referring apparently to the Atta assassination.

Following the launch at Ashkelon in December, Hamas conveyed a message to Israel via Egypt, saying the firing had been carried out by rogue Islamic Jihad activists and promising to take appropriate action so that such “missteps” would not recur. Netanyahu, perhaps because he had no other choice, accepted the explanation to avoid undermining Egyptian-mediated efforts to forge a long-term Hamas-Israel deal, and hoped for the best.


IRAN-US TENSIONSKhamenei delivers Friday sermon after 8-year absence

But the Hamas pledge of calm lasted only three weeks, until Jan. 15. The IDF’s response — a raid on Hamas targets — stemmed not only from its strategy of holding Hamas responsible for events in Gaza as the enclave’s sovereign power, but also from an assessment that the Hamas military wing was somehow complicit in the launches — whether by turning a blind eye to them (at best) or being involved (in a worst-case scenario).

All Hamas promises to prevent attacks on Israeli targets do not hold water for long. After every launch, the organization comes up with an excuse to mitigate its responsibility. At times, it blames rogue Islamic Jihad activists. At other times, it claims the economic crisis in Gaza pushed its armed wing to attack Israel to “convince” it to ease the 12-year blockade of Gaza. In October 2019, Hamas even blamed a rocket launch at the town of Beersheba on a lightning strike that triggered the launcher.

After each incident, the Egyptians were the ones who mediated between Israel, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad on a cease-fire, or conveyed messages back and forth to avoid further escalation and possible war in the south. However, Egypt did not intervene following the four Jan. 15 launches, and Israel even believes the attack resulted from Egypt’s pressure on Hamas over the surprising visit of its leader Ismail Haniyeh to Tehran.

Head of Hamas political bureau Haniyeh landed in Tehran Jan. 3 — in blatant disregard of Egypt’s advice to avoid visiting there — to take part in the funeral of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani. As I previously reported, Egypt was expected to respond. Indeed, Egypt was so furious that it immediately turned off its supply of cooking gas for the Strip’s 2 million residents to signal the heads of the organization that Haniyeh’s provocative step would not go unpunished. Over the past week, the Egyptians have clamped down on the movement of goods and people through its Rafah border crossing with Gaza. No one knows what might happen once Haniyeh asks to return to the Strip and whether Egypt will let him through.

Egypt’s pressure on Gaza is clearly felt, and two residents of the town of Khan Yunis described growing criticism of Hamas in a conversation with Al-Monitor this week. “We are no longer afraid to say what people think about them [Hamas leadership] and the situation to which they have led Gaza,” one of them said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The protest is massive, we’re not talking about a small group. Hamas used to arrest anyone who opened his mouth against them, but today everyone is criticizing and cursing. What, Hamas is going to arrest them all? Shoot at our legs?”

The other Khan Yunis resident said people do not understand why Hamas had turned its back on Egypt and chose Iran. “What do we have in common with them?” he asked in anger.

At this stage, it is hard to gauge the extent of the protest in Gaza, but Israel believes the Hamas leadership is greatly concerned by growing Egyptian pressure on the enclave. Whether Hamas armed-wing activists took part in the latest rocket attack or simply turned a blind eye to them, Egypt is no longer going out of its way to avert an Israel-Hamas escalation, as a result of Haniyeh’s visit to Tehran.

As mentioned, the Egyptians had not spared any effort to prevent a military deterioration with Gaza, playing a key role in defusing tensions with Israel, even if this occasionally entailed compromises on their part, such as welcoming the Islamic Jihad leadership to Cairo in October 2019 despite Iran’s declared support for the Islamist organization. Egyptian intelligence delegations, led by deputy intelligence chief Ayman Badiyeh, are frequent visitors to Gaza, not only in times of escalation but also for talks on a long-term deal with Israel. An Israeli security source said the Egyptians are also seeking a high profile in the Strip to signal to the Hamas leadership that Egypt has a vested interest there and was keeping its eye on the organization. This tactic worked, up until Haniyeh’s unexpected visit to Iran.

Is it all over? At this stage, Egypt appears interested in ratcheting up tensions with Hamas, until it is convinced Hamas has received the message of deterrence and its leadership has learned a lesson from its mistake. The troubling question is whether Egypt will intervene if the rocket launches continue.

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/01/israel-gaza-strip-palestinians-iran-hamas-ismail-haniyeh.html#ixzz6BP7dvbWp

Why the First Nuclear War is a Terrible Idea (Revelation 8 )

RIP Humanity: Why a Pakistani-Indian Nuclear War Would Be a Terrible Idea

The final war.

Key point: North Korea might be scary but it can’t cause global crop failures like a nuclear war between India and Pakistan would. Everyone has a really good reason to keep the peace between New Delhi and Islamabad.

With the world’s attention firmly fixated on North Korea, the greatest possibility of nuclear war is in fact on the other side of Asia.

That place is what could be called the nuclear triangle of Pakistan, India and China. Although Chinese and Indian forces are currently engaged in a standoff, traditionally the most dangerous flashpoint along the triangle has been the Indo-Pakistani border. The two countries fought three major wars before acquiring nuclear weapons, and one minor one afterwards. And this doesn’t even include the countless other armed skirmishes and other incidents that are a regular occurrence.

At the heart of this conflict, of course, is the territorial dispute over the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, the latter part of which Pakistan lays claim to. Also key to the nuclear dimension of the conflict is the fact that India’s conventional capabilities are vastly superior to Pakistan’s. Consequently, Islamabad has adopted a nuclear doctrine of using tactical nuclear weapons against Indian forces to offset the latter’s conventional superiority.

This first appeared earlier in 2017.

If this situation sounds similar, that is because this is the same strategy the U.S.-led NATO forces adopted against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In the face of a numerically superior Soviet military, the United States, starting with the Eisenhower administration, turned to nuclear weapons to defend Western Europe from a Soviet attack. Although nearly every U.S. president, as well as countless European leaders, were uncomfortable with this escalatory strategy, they were unable to escape the military realities undergirding it until at least the Reagan administration.

At an event at the Stimson Center in Washington this week, Feroz Khan, a former brigadier in the Pakistan Army and author of one of the best books on the country’s nuclear program, said that Pakistani military leaders explicitly based their nuclear doctrine on NATO’s Cold War strategy. But as Vipin Narang, a newly tenured MIT professor who was on the same panel, pointed out, an important difference between NATO and Pakistan’s strategies is that the latter has used its nuclear shield as a cover to support countless terrorist attacks inside India. Among the most audacious were the 2001 attacks on India’s parliament and the 2008 siege of Mumbai, which killed over 150 people. Had such an attack occurred in the United States, Narang said, America would have ended a nation-state.

The reason why India didn’t respond to force, according to Narang, is that—despite its alleged Cold Start doctrine—Indian leaders were unsure exactly where Pakistan’s nuclear threshold stood. That is, even if Indian leaders believed they were launching a limited attack, they couldn’t be sure that Pakistani leaders wouldn’t view it as expansive enough to justify using nuclear weapons. This is no accident: as Khan said, Pakistani leaders intentionally leave their nuclear threshold ambiguous. Nonetheless, there is no guarantee that India’s restraint will continue in the future. Indeed, as Michael Krepon quipped, “Miscalculation is South Asia’s middle name.”

Much of the panel’s discussion was focused on technological changes that might exacerbate this already-combustible situation. Narang took the lead in describing how India was acquiring the capabilities to pursue counterforce strikes (i.e., take out Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in a preventive or more likely preemptive strike). These included advances in information, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to be able to track and target Islamabad’s strategic forces, as well as a missile-defense system that could take care of any missiles the first strike didn’t destroy. He also noted that India is pursuing a number of missile capabilities highly suited for counterforce missions, such as Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs), Maneuverable Reentry Vehicles (MARVs) and the highly accurate BrahMos missiles that Dehli developed jointly with Russia. “BrahMos is one hell of a counterforce weapon,” even without nuclear warheads, Narang contended.

As Narang himself admitted, there’s little reason to believe that India is abandoning its no-first-use nuclear doctrine in favor of a first-strike one. Still, keeping in mind Krepon’s point about miscalculation, that doesn’t mean that these technological changes don’t increase the potential for a nuclear war. It is not hard to imagine a scenario where the two sides stumble into a nuclear war that neither side wants. Perhaps the most plausible scenario would start with a Mumbai-style attack that Indian leaders decide they must respond to. In hopes of keeping the conflict limited to conventional weapons, Delhi might authorize limited punitive raids inside Pakistan, perhaps targeting some of the terrorist camps near the border. These attacks might be misinterpreted by Pakistani leaders, or else unintentionally cross Islamabad’s nuclear thresholds. In an attempt to deescalate by escalating, or else to halt what they believe is an Indian invasion, Pakistani leaders could use tactical nuclear weapons against the Indian troops inside Pakistan.

With nuclear weapons introduced, Delhi’s no-first-use doctrine no longer applies. Indian leaders, knowing they’d face incredible domestic pressure to respond, would also have no guarantee that Pakistani leaders didn’t intend to follow the tactical use of nuclear weapons with strategic strikes against Indian cities. Armed with what they believe is reasonable intelligence about the locations of Pakistan’s strategic forces, highly accurate missiles and MIRVs to target them, and a missile defense that has a shot at cleaning up any Pakistani missiles that survived the first strike, Indian leaders might be tempted to launch a counterforce first strike. As former Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon wrote in his memoirs (which Narang first drew people’s attention to at the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference in March): “India would hardly risk giving Pakistan the chance to carry out a massive nuclear strike after the Indian response to Pakistan using tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, Pakistani tactical nuclear weapon use would effectively free India to undertake a comprehensive first strike against Pakistan.”

One factor Indian leaders would be forced to consider is how the other third of Asian nuclear triangle, China, would react. Although the Stimson Center event focused primarily on India and Pakistan, China has always been the primary focus of India’s nuclear program. Beijing is also a staunch if informal ally of Pakistan, with a growing economic stake in the country. It is this multipolarity that is the hallmark of the second nuclear age.

Zachary Keck is the former managing editor of the National Interest.You can find him on Twitter: @ZacharyKeck. This first appeared earlier in 2017.