America Overdue For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

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New Study: America Overdue For Major Earthquake … In States You Didn’t Suspect

Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events

The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.

“I worry that we will wake up one morning and see earthquake damage in our country that is as bad as that has occurred in some developing nations that have experienced large earthquakes,” Carl Hedde, a risk management expert at insurer Munich Reinsurance America, said of the map in The Wall Street Journal. “Beyond building collapse, a large amount of our infrastructure could be immediately damaged. Our roads, bridges and energy transmission systems can be severely impacted.”

Among the findings:

  • The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.
  • 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.
  • Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina

“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth told The Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”

Frightening Results From New Study

The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.

New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis

Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:

    • The earthquake danger in Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, New York and parts of New England is higher than previously thought.
    • Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.

“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran told The Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.

Others agree.

“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, told The Journal.

This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.

Iran seek to topple Iraqi PM over ties to US

Pro-Iran forces seek to topple Iraqi PM over ties to US

BAGHDAD –Iraqi political and popular forces opposed to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi are working to pressure the government in Parliament and on the street, with the aim of bringing it down. According to some sources, this summer’s confrontations are expected to be quite heated.

The anti-Kadhimi political forces belong to Iran’s close allies in Iraq.

Informed sources in Baghdad said leaders of the Fatah Alliance, the second largest parliamentary bloc in the Iraqi parliament, have had contacts with the leader of the State of Law Coalition Nuri al-Maliki to discuss the future of the Kadhimi government and the possibility of its dismissal in parliament before it could sign binding long-term agreements with the United States, in the context of the dialogue that was set off between the two countries weeks ago.

Because Kadhimi’s government enjoys the backing of two important Shia blocs, one led by Muqtatda al-Sadr and one led by Ammar al-Hakim, Kadhimi’s opponents know that they do not muster enough clout in parliament to bring it down.

Al-Sadr has yet to clarify his final and genuine stance towards al-Kadhimi, and this is why his bloc, Saeroun, is still sending contradictory signals about the government.

Al-Hakim, however, is one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Kadhimi and his government. He had already taken the initiative to provide political cover for the current government by forming a parliamentary bloc comprising more than 40 MPs all in favour of Kadhimi and his government.

Pro-Iran Shia forces have also to contend with Sunni and Kurdish acceptance of Kadhimi and his government. So, in order to reach their goal, they seem to have decided to experiment with a mixture of different currents in the popular movements that might end up tipping the positions of other political forces towards their project.

The popular mixture targeted by the pro-Iran forces consists of the remnants of the October protests plus recent groups of protesters. The remnant protesters of the October uprising are groups in Baghdad and the provinces that still insist on continuing the protests that began in 2019, despite the major political changes that were introduced because of them. The new protesters are specific groups of individuals recently affected by government decisions aimed at financial reform.

For the past 15 years or so, many large segments of Iraqi society have been benefiting from special privileges and government largesse under the pretext of their involvement in opposing Saddam Hussein’s regime. But these privileges have created feelings of resentment and discrimination among popular circles as they saw one class being enriched at the expense of other classes.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi wearing a protective face mask speaks during a meeting with military officials, in Diyala province, Iraq July 11, 2020. (REUTERS)

Kadhimi and his government took office amid the dreadful economic conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic and plummeting oil prices. Drastic austerity measures had to be taken and the government decided to scrap the financial and other material privileges that thousands of Iraqis had enjoyed over several years. Naturally, these measures angered the affected individuals.

Observers said that Iran’s allies are working to combine the die-hard protesters of the October 2019 demonstrations with those affected by the recent financial reform decision. The goal is to form a popular protest current demanding the fall of Kadhimi’s government, while riding the usual wave of summer protests ignited by electricity shortages as summer temperatures soar to 50°C.

Pro-Iranian Shia parties are hoping that the electricity street protests may entice Muqtada al-Sadr to join their ranks, since the latter’s supporters do seem to enjoy a good confrontation with the riot police now and then.

If the plot succeeds, many political forces will follow suit and abandon Kadhimi. The latter, being aware of the plot, has been moving on all fronts to abort this plan.

On Monday, Kadhimi ordered the suspension of pending energy projects and directed the Ministry of Oil to distribute fuel free of charge to private sector electricity power plants, a measure that may have a quick cooling effect.

The electricity power grid in Iraq was completely shattered during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Since then, the country has been suffering from a severe shortage of electricity. As a remedy, the government encouraged setting up local private sector electricity generating stations which would sell electricity directly to consumers.

Over the past years, these private power plants have contributed 50% of the electricity consumed in Iraq.

During the past two weeks, electricity output of public power plants dropped sharply, coinciding with a particularly blistering heat wave across the country. Temperatures soared to 50°C in many Iraqi cities, placing private sector power plants under tremendous pressure.

Always within the context of pre-empting public anger, Kadhimi was in Karbala on Tuesday, where he inaugurated a number of service projects.

“The past periods saw billions of dollars spent on the electricity sector; it was plenty sufficient to build a modern electrical grid, but corruption, financial waste and mismanagement were all factors that undermined solving the electricity crisis in Iraq. The result is worsening citizens’ suffering in summer,” the Prime Minister said.

He viciously attacked the government of his predecessor, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, for not implementing “the maintenance projects devoted to the electricity sector, and that has exacerbated the problem, especially in these tough economic conditions for Iraq due to the collapse of oil prices globally as a result of the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As a relief measure, Kadhimi directed the Ministry of Oil “to provide fuel free of charge to the owners of private electricity generators, in exchange for lower electricity prices and increased supply hours.”

Observers said that the Iran allies’ strategy of focusing on igniting popular anger in Baghdad specifically aims at keeping the Prime Minister busy with the protests and consequently divert his attention and efforts from pursuing Shia militias involved in theft, extortion, kidnapping, weapons and drugs smuggling, and participating in armed conflicts abroad.

They also expect that the coming confrontations will have consequences for the Iraqi government’s approach to building a future partnership with the United States.

Kadhimi has plans to visit Washington soon, in preparation for the second round of dialogue between the two countries, which opened last month via closed-circuit television.

Of Course Israel Has Been Sabotaging Iran

Has Israel been sabotaging Iran? Here’s what we know.

Four reasons Israel might be waging its shadow war more overtly — which could backfire.

These images obtained from the state-run Iran Press news agency on June 30 shows footage of a powerful explosion at a clinic in northern Tehran. (Roy Issa/AFP/Getty Images)

Over the last few weeks, Iran has been hit by a series of unusual explosions at such sensitive facilities as its nuclear enrichment complex, factories and gas pipelines. Many analysts and diplomats suspect sabotage by Israel, the United States or some other outside force. While reliable information from within Iran is difficult to come by, and conflicting accounts are emerging, at least two of the incidents occurred at sites linked to Iran’s missile and nuclear programs. The New York Times quoted a “Middle Eastern intelligence official” claiming that Israel planted a bomb at the Natanz nuclear facility in the building where Iran had resumed work on advanced centrifuges. The Times of Israel reported that the “official” may be Mossad head Yossi Cohen.

These incidents reflect growing tensions and escalation between Iran and the United States and Israel since the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018. Heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran are a familiar story, including a targeted U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian commander of the Quds forces, the foreign operations arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in January. Iran retaliated by launching a dozen missiles at Iraqi bases, one of which housed U.S. personnel.

Israel’s escalating conflict with Iran is not as well understood. Several factors give weight to the reports that Israel might have found this an opportune time to attack a facility like Natanz — and may even be engaged in a larger campaign of sabotage.

1. Israeli officials perceive Iran as weakened

Like top Trump administration officials, Israeli policymakers believe that Iran is especially vulnerable now. Based on conversations with Israeli analysts, they view the combination of the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign, sanctions, the pandemic and the aftermath of last fall’s massive protests as weakening a constrained Iran. With few exceptions, Israeli security analysts and officials widely view the Soleimani killing as a success and endorse the Trump administration’s narrative that the operation restored deterrence to prevent further Iranian attacks against U.S. personnel and regional partners.

Never mind that rocket attacks against U.S. forces by Iranian-linked military in Iraq have continued, killing two U.S. and one British service member in March. Or that Iran has launched a military satellite and attempted a cyberattack against Israeli water infrastructure in April, provoking an Israeli counterattack. Or that few other nations supported the U.S. attempt to gain international support for extending the U.N. arms embargo that is set to expire this October. In the Israeli view, Iran is weakened and isolated, creating more favorable conditions for kinetic actions. A former intelligence chief for the Israel Defense Forces voiced a common view in Israel that the Iranians are waiting out the Trump administration, hoping for a better agreement under a Biden presidency.

Professors, don’t miss TMC’s growing list of classroom topic guides.

2. Israel’s “Octopus” doctrine

Second, an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facility would fit the emerging Israeli doctrine of striking Iran itself. Coined the “Octopus” doctrine by Israeli politician Naftali Bennett, the strategy involves directly attacking Iranian personnel in Syria and Iraq, not just proxies like Hezbollah. For years, Israel has been waging a “campaign between wars” to prevent Iranians from gaining a foothold on Israel’s border with Syria. But over the last year, Israel expanded that campaign to Iraq, a far more sensitive theater, given the significant U.S. presence.

What’s more, Israeli leaders have become more willing to acknowledge openly that Israel is behind these attacks, shifting the so-called shadow war with Iran into an open and direct conflict.

What does Israel’s response to two U.S. congresswomen mean for the future?

3. Israel’s history of targeting nuclear sites in the region

Israel has a history of targeting nuclear sites to prevent other regional powers from developing nuclear weapons. Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981; the Syrian nuclear facility at al-Kibar in 2007; and reportedly helped test the Stuxnet computer worm that the United States used in its cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear centrifuges in 2009.

Even if these operations were tactical successes, it is less clear whether they produced strategic gains. In some cases, they may have only increased regional proliferation risks. For example, political scientist Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer found archival evidence that Israel’s strike on Osirak propelled Saddam Hussein to embark on a covert nuclear program for a decade. That was only effectively halted in the decade after the 1991 Gulf War, when the International Atomic Energy Agency removed Iraq’s weapons-related nuclear material and destroyed all known nuclear facilities.

The 2009 Stuxnet operation successfully destroyed Iranian centrifuges. But like the Osirak attack, that appeared to only deepen Iran’s resolve to clandestinely develop a nuclear program. At best, it just bought time. Even after Stuxnet, Iran advanced its nuclear program so much that it could have converted its uranium to weapons grade material in just weeks, according to some accounts. The JCPOA restrictions on centrifuge development, enrichment levels and stockpiles extended that period — called its “breakout time” — to approximately a year. That’s consistent with findings that, historically, diplomacy and international arms control missions have been more successful in curbing regional nuclear ambitions than unilateral military strikes and cyberattacks.

4. The Trump administration isn’t restraining Israel

Finally, Washington isn’t pushing back against potential covert actions against Iran; in fact, the New York Times recently reported that the United States may be coordinating such operations with Israel. At the very least, Israel is likely to believe it has a green light. Nor do Israel’s political or security establishments appear to be debating the merits of military options against Iran, as they have in the past.

Why the Trump administration’s resolve against Iran could backfire

Given these conditions, Israeli involvement in the Natanz explosion would not be surprising — and more such attacks might be coming. However, Israel’s bet that the Iranians will not respond is risky. It’s hard to control escalation when things are so volatile, especially as hardline Iranian leaders may increase pressure to retaliate. Israel and the United States may be pushing Iran toward recommitting itself to a nuclear weapons program and dangerous regional actions.

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Dalia Dassa Kaye is a senior political scientist and the director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation.

Building Up The Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan’s Military Spending and Defence Budget 2020-21

By Sher BanoJuly 14, 2020

Last month the federal government of Pakistan announced its annual budget 2020-21 according to which Rs.1, 289 billion has been allotted to the defence sector. The defence budget has increased by 11.9% in the fiscal year 2020-21. However, if compared with the 2019-20 revised spending, which was Rs.1, 227 billion, the growth would be 5%. The increasing tensions between India and Pakistan post-Pulwama and the Kashmir issue are one of the main reasons behind this increase in defence spending. The defence policy of Pakistan and military spending have always been India-centric. Hence Pakistan being a much smaller state in order to maintain the conventional balance vis-à-vis India has to enhance its defensive capabilities, e.g. short-range weapons. Due to the volatile, complex and ambiguous strategic environment, military spending is essential for Pakistan.

According to the defence budget of 2020-21, the share of navy has increased and reached 10.85 %. Similarly, PAF budget has been increased to 21.25%, the army budget has increased up to 47.55%, and there has been 20.33% increase in the budget for inter-services establishment. Whereas last year the navy’s share was 11.3%, while for PAF it was 22%, for army 45.4% and 21% was for the inter-services establishment.  This year Pakistan navy gets Rs.140 billion, PAF Rs.274 billion, army Rs.613 billion and Rs.262 billion will be given to inter-services establishment. Moreover, for the employee related expenses Rs.475 billion have been allocated, Rs.301 billion will be given for operating expenses which include ration, transport, POL, training and medical treatment-it is 13.77% increase as compared to the previous year. For the import of arms and ammunitions and local purchases, Rs.357 billion have been allotted, which is 13.3% increase as compared to the previous year. The civil works section will grow by 26.14% as the amount allotted to it is Rs.155 billion. The growth in the civil work component was essential because of two major projects that are currently being commenced by the military i.e. the construction of border posts and fencing of Afghanistan and Iran borders. This year the lowest increment is given to the employee related expenses which are 5.6%.

In the developing states which have various military and strategic issues, the effect of military spending upon the economic growth has always been controversial because of continuous tensions between foreign policy and defence compulsions on the one hand and socio-economic needs on the other. However, according to the classical economist Adam Smith “The first duty of the state is to protect its society from the injustice and violence of the other societies as it moves towards civilization”. Despite limited resources, the Pakistan army has been fighting successfully on both the borders in the east and west. About 800 million dollars is the expected cost of the border security plan. Moreover, for years Pakistan army and law enforcement agencies have been fighting against terrorism, operations like Zarb-e-Azab and Radd-ul-Fasad are among the great achievements in the mission to eradicate terrorism from the country. Hence principle responsibility of every state is to enhance its defence forces for the sake of survival and to maintain sovereignty. Hence for Pakistan in order to tackle with these internal and external threats, it has become necessary to increase its defence budget.

The continued animosity and strategic competition between India and Pakistan are also one of the main reasons that Pakistan had increased its defence budget by 11.9% in the ongoing fiscal year. Both countries were at the verge of war after the Pulwama incident when Indian aircrafts entered Pakistan. It was due to the timely and effective response of the Pakistan air force that forced Indian jets to flee, and the situation did not escalate. Hence Pakistan must maintain the strategic parity and conventional balance in order to deter India. India has enhanced its defence spending by 6% this year. According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) annual report, India has the third-largest military budget in the world. The excessive Indian defence spending creates a security dilemma and compels Pakistan to maintain a precarious military balance by increasing its defence spending. According to the recent budget, Pakistan’s emphasis would be on procurement of the equipment’s to enhance air defence capabilities, improve operational capabilities of the naval fleet and to advance surveillance and communication systems. Pakistan needs to protect itself with all the available means after looking at the grand designs of India. The basis of defence planning has always been threat perception. Moreover, when one has to defend itself against a much larger enemy with the comparatively weak resource, even minimum sufficient defensive capability can only be attained through attaining massive share of the nation’s resource.

Currently, Pakistan is facing different challenges and threats to its security posed by its long-term enemy India. Given the growing tensions among both countries Pakistan has increased its military budget 2020-21 in order to maintain strategic balance in the region vis-à-vis India.

The China Horn Nukes Up (Daniel 7)

China Rejects US Nuclear Talks Invitation as Beijing Adds to Its Arsenal

By John Xie

July 13, 2020 03:06 PM

China has rejected any prospect of joining in nuclear talks with the United States and Russia, raising fears that nuclear weapons will become a new issue of contention between Washington and Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters Friday that “China’s objection to the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations is very clear, and the U.S. knows it very well.”

To try to reduce the odds of nuclear annihilation, Washington and Moscow reached a reduction treaty in 2010 that limits the number of deployed nuclear warheads each can possess. As Beijing’s military has steadily grown as a global power, Robert O’Brien, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, said in February that the new pact should include China.

“The president believes that it shouldn’t just be the U.S. and Russia,” he said to a group of 50 foreign ambassadors in Washington, adding, “The days of unilateral American disarmament are over.”

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said last Thursday in a statement that the special presidential envoy for arms control, Ambassador Marshall Billingslea, would invite China to join in negotiations and that it was time “for dialogue and diplomacy between the three biggest nuclear weapons powers on how to prevent a new arms race.”

However, China doubled down on its opposition last week, accusing the U.S. of “playing dumb.”

“The U.S. keeps badgering on the issue and even distorted China’s position,” Zhao said.

The US-China nuclear deadlock

The current arms control architecture, which helped keep the world from nuclear annihilation during the U.S.-Soviet Cold War of the 1980s, was a result of years of tough negotiations between Washington and Moscow.

By inviting China to the talks, analysts say Washington essentially is acknowledging Beijing’s status as a military power.

“The U.S. knows it is unlikely that China will join the talks, but the fact that China was invited shows that the U.S. recognizes China as an increasingly very powerful country with a military that the U.S. regards as threatening. That wasn’t the case years ago,” Timothy Heath, a senior international and defense researcher for the policy research  group the RAND Corporation, told VOA.

“The notion of trying to pull the Chinese into that agreement is, in theory, a good idea. In practice? impossible,” former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China has about 320 nuclear warheads, only a fraction of what the U.S. and Russia have. In comparison, SIPRI estimated that the U.S. has 5,800 warheads in its stockpile and Russia has 6,375.

Analysts say that given “the huge gap” between China’s nuclear arsenal and that of the U.S. and Russia, “it is unrealistic” to expect China to join the negotiations.

“My view is that the United States is unlikely to convince China to join the nuclear negotiations with Russia. Moscow and Washington retain far more nuclear weapons, so Beijing sees little reason to enter into the negotiations,” said Zack Cooper, a former U.S. official working on China-related issues at the White House and the Department of Defense. “So in the view of Communist Party leaders, it is not in their strategic interest to negotiate from a position of weakness,” Cooper told VOA.

A senior Chinese diplomat said last week Beijing would be happy to join talks if the U.S. agreed to lower its number of nuclear weapons to match China’s.

“I can assure you that if the U.S. says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level, China will be happy to participate the next day,” Fu Cong, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s arms control department, said at a news briefing in Beijing. “But actually, we know that’s not going to happen.”

Yang Chengjun, a former Chinese nuclear negotiator, said last month that Washington’s true aim is getting China to provide an accurate count of its nuclear weapons. “They invited China to participate in the talks to get to the bottom of our nuclear forces.” Yang wrote in the state-run Global Times.

A growing nuclear threat

While the Chinese military currently has far fewer nuclear weapons than the U.S. and Russia, it is widely believed that Beijing has dramatically increased its nuclear capability. The New York Times reported early this month that the American officials surprised their Russian counterparts with a classified briefing on China’s threatening nuclear capabilities at a recent negotiation in Vienna. Billingslea described the Chinese program as a “crash nuclear buildup.”

The report said that nuclear weapons are joining the other issues — including trade deals and 5G — that Trump has put at the center of a series of U.S.-China standoffs.

General Robert P. Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said last year that “the resurgence of great power competition is a geopolitical reality.” According to a speech posted on the agency’s website, Ashley said China launched more ballistic missiles for testing and training than the rest of the world combined in 2018, and over the next decade, China is likely to at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile in the course of implementing the most rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal in China’s history.

In Beijing, Washington’s foreign policy choices are increasingly being seen as aggressive and aimed at containing China. They say Chinese officials may see the country’s nuclear weapons program as one way to respond.

“If left unaddressed, this issue would continue fueling China’s anxiety about its nuclear deterrent and seriously disrupting the stability of the bilateral nuclear relationship,” Tong Zhao, a senior fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, wrote on June 29. He said this comes “at a time when the world’s existing arms control institutions are falling apart and there are public voices within China calling for massive Chinese nuclear expansion.”

One of the calls for more weapons came from Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of Global Times. Hu argued in a recent Weibo post that “China needs to expand the number of its nuclear warheads to 1,000 in a relatively short time and procure at least 100 DF-41 strategic missiles.”

Last October, China had a massive military parade that displayed some of the country’s most advanced military equipment, including a supersonic drone, hypersonic missile and a robot submarine. But the huge intercontinental-range DF-41 ballistic missile took center stage in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Touted as the most powerful missile on the planet in China, the DF-41 is capable of carrying 10 independently targeted nuclear warheads and could theoretically hit the continental United States in 30 minutes, according to the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The New Nuclear Space War (Revelation 16)

Space to be a battleground in future wars, says Ben Wallace

By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline 13:51 15 Jul 2020, updated 15:15 15 Jul 2020

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace spoke about future warfare and technology

• He said weapons capable of destroying satellites were a risk to infrastructure

• Wallace argued that the UK needs to be ready to defend itself from these attacks

• He said cyberwarfare was also a serious issue and the country was under threat of ‘constant competition’ from a range of enemies wearing ‘many masks’

Britain needs to be prepared to defend itself in space, as future wars will be fought above the Earth using zero-gravity weapons, says the UK Defence Secretary.

In a speech on air and space power in the ‘age of constant competition’ Ben Wallace said China and Russia were already developing space-based weapons.

Satellites, that provide communication, intelligence, surveillance and navigation services will be a key battleground and need defending in future, he explained.

Beyond space, Wallace said the country should also be prepared for ‘constant competition’ from outside forces including possible ‘high-level cyber strikes’.

‘Today we’re facing coronavirus, tomorrow it could be a cyber strike. It’s clear the binary distinctions between peace and war have disappeared,’ he said.

Satellites, that provide communication, intelligence, surveillance and navigation services will be a key battleground and need defending in future,

A number of weapon types exist that can be used either from Earth-to-space, space-to-Earth or even within space itself, according to defence specialists.

This could be as simple as one satellite physically intercepting another satellite in order to disrupt or destroy it in a way that would impact national infrastructure.

Existing weapons are also a risk, with the Pentagon admitting it is concerned China or Russia could detonate a nuclear weapon in space.

This would generate an electromagnetic pulse that could fry the electronics of spacecraft and take out satellites without any warning.  

‘China and Russia present the greatest strategic threat due to their development, testing and deployment of counterspace capabilities,’ the US government has said.

In a speech on air and space power in the ‘age of constant competition’ Ben Wallace said China and Russia were already developing space-based weapons

‘China and Russia each have weaponized space as a means to reduce US and allied military effectiveness and challenge our freedom of operation in space.’

The biggest issue when it comes to space warfare is the risk of debris, as even the smallest piece of a destroyed satellite could cause serious and unexpected harm to other objects – and even humans – in orbit around the Earth.

It isn’t just nations gaining access to advanced technology, and Mr Wallace explained that cyberwarfare is as much of an issue as space warfare.

‘Our adversaries now wear many masks,’ Wallace said in his speech.

‘They know we’re dependent on IT. They know that Information Advantage is key. They know globalisation makes us more vulnerable,’ he explained.

‘So there’s a danger our competitors will use proxies and new technologies to outflank us’, adding we can’t sit back and let these states outmanoeuvre us anymore.

Wallace said in future we have to be prepared to make the ‘tough choices necessary to unmask and counter our opponents in the interests of promoting our national peace, purpose, and prosperity.’

It is no longer possible to pick and choose isolated battles, he said, adding we can’t think about ‘fighting the last war but instead prepare for constant competition.

‘That means asking ourselves what the air and space environment of 2030, 2040 or even 2050 will look like. How will we operate? How will we fight?’

In future he said the ‘battle space’ could be in actual space, with sub-surface, surface, air and space all playing a part in protecting Britain’s interests.

In 2007, Beijing successfully tested a surface-to-air missile strike against a satellite, according to the Pentagon and in 2017 Russia launched an ‘inspection satellite’.

The US Space Force also has a weapon capable of disrupting and knocking out enemy satellite transmissions. 

Beyond space, Wallace said the country should also be prepared for ‘constant competition’ from outside forces including possible ‘high-level cyber strikes’

The Space Force said that it deliberately chose a non-kinetic anti-satellite weapon in order to avoid physically destroying enemy assets in space, which would create floating debris that could threaten friendly systems in orbit.

Wallace gave the example of Russian activity in the Ukraine where they used electronic warfare to jam enemy communications as a reason the UK needs to be prepared for a changing landscape.

This included using their own technology against them to locate and target troops by getting them to follow false GPS signals.

‘Russia and China are developing offensive weapons in space a major cause for concern,’ he said.

The US Space Force has a weapon capable of disrupting and knocking out enemy satellite transmissions without physically destroying them

‘Satellites don’t just provide our global communications, critical intelligence, and surveillance and navigation but underpin our critical national infrastructure from mobile phones, to cashpoints, to the stock market.’

He said there will need to be dramatic changes to the way the UK armed forces are structured, including a shift from Industrial Age to Information Age capabilities.

This involves investing in cyber, space, electronic warfare, AI, robotics and autonomy – coupled with their integration with the best of what already exists.

‘I have a vision of UK defence, where we’re able to join the dots between space, air, surface and sub-surface, so that the sum of the parts means much more than the value of the individual parts, and where we can do this in real time at the time and place of our choosing,’ Wallace said in his speech.

There will likely be cooperation with allied nations in space and cyberwarfare protections.

The United States’ closest intelligence allies, the ‘Five Eyes’ group (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the US), have been cooperating since 2014 within the Combined Space Operations initiative. France and Germany joined them in February.

SPACE WARS: NATIONS CONSIDER RULES TO GOVERN THE USE OF MILITARY WEAPONS IN SPACE

A group of more than 40 international experts are conducting a multi-year research project that will culminate in a Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space.

MILAMOS Project is to ensure space activities are conducted in accordance with the rule of law.

This will involve a consideration of the existing international rules on outer space.

It will also involve integration with international humanitarian law and the rules prohibiting the use of force.

The drafting of the rules will involve many meetings, heated discussions and compromises.

It is envisaged that at the end of the project the applicable rules will be agreed on the basis of consensus.

The MILAMOS Project is not an effort to condone warfare in outer space.

On the contrary, it seeks to prevent armed conflict and minimise the devastating impact that space technology and military operations may have on the long-term and peaceful use of outer space.

The Outer Space Treaty, which was signed in 1967, was agreed through the United Nations, and today it remains as the ‘constitution’ of outer space.

The space treaty states that celestial territory is not subject to ‘national appropriation’ – in other words, no country can lay claim to them.

In the fifty years the treaty has existed, it has yet to be violated.

The Russian Horn is working on weapon of the future (Revelation 16)

Russia is working on weapon of the future

Forbes15 Jul in 1:14

At the moment, Russia is testing electromagnetic weapons. The range of destruction of some samples is from two to ten kilometres. According to Russian media, during the tests, the EMP cannons destroy electronics both on the ground and in the air, shooting down drones. As Forbes writes in the article Russia Working On Directed Energy Weapon, since humans have bent electricity to war, there has been a hunt for a special weapon that renders the technology particularly useless. Lurking in the annals of weapon design, and periodically re-emerging as a novel solution to some new machine, exist tools that target electronics, and electronics only.

Early in July, Russian media described a weapon that roughly fits into this tempo, using the phrase “EMP cannon.” EMP, or electro-magnetic pulse, is a real, observable phenomenon, but the primary way to produce the effect at scale is to use a nuclear weapon.When the nuke is detonated low to the ground, an electromagnetic pulse is one effect of many, limited in range and whose effect is largely overshadowed by the fire and death of the nuclear blast. When the nuke is detonated at high altitude, in the lower reaches of space, the pulse can travel quite a distance, though the effect is mitigated by hardening of second-strike nuclear weapons and the almost certain nuclear retaliation that would follow.

This Russian EMP-cannon is neither of those effects, which makes the moniker vexing. Instead, the weapon as described more closely resembles microwave guns, a kind of directed energy weapon that’s seeing modern usage as an anti-drone tool. 

In that sense, the weapon can be seen as “an extension of Russia’s pledge to develop breakthrough capabilities to counter what they perceive as the current Western overmatch in hi-tech and [Precision-Guided Munition] weapons,” says Samuel Bendett, adviser to CNA Russia Program who specializes in Russian unmanned military systems.

Creating a directed energy weapon that can specifically disable drones is one way to leap-frog into the future of war, as human-piloted and robotic aircraft look to contest skies filled with hostile machines. TASS notes that such a weapon is expected to be incorporated in the remotely piloted version of any sixth-generation fighters produced.

“The cannons as described would also fit into Russia’s overall counter-drone research, development, testing, and evaluations,” says Bendett, a CNAS Adjunct Senior Fellow who researches applications of Russian military unmanned system and AI. “This work is carried out as an extension of Russia’s counter-drone lessons learned from its Syria experience, as well as part of defense against Western high-altitude drones that currently conduct surveillance missions near Russian borders.”

Whatever the nature of the anti-electronics weapon actually being developed, the future of war is likely to see far more new energy weapons, put to familiar use.