The History of Earth­quakes In New York Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The History of Earth­quakes In New YorkBy Meteorologist Michael Gouldrick New York State PUBLISHED 6:30 AM ET Sep. 09, 2020 PUBLISHED 6:30 AM EDT Sep. 09, 2020New York State has a long history of earthquakes. Since the early to mid 1700s there have been over 550 recorded earthquakes that have been centered within the state’s boundary. New York has also been shaken by strong earthquakes that occurred in southeast Canada and the Mid-Atlantic states.Courtesy of Northeast States Emergency ConsortiumThe largest earthquake that occurred within New York’s borders happened on September 5th, 1944. It was a magnitude 5.9 and did major damage in the town of Massena.A school gymnasium suffered major damage, some 90% of chimneys toppled over and house foundations were cracked. Windows broke and plumbing was damaged. This earthquake was felt from Maine to Michigan to Maryland.Another strong quake occurred near Attica on August 12th, 1929. Chimneys took the biggest hit, foundations were also cracked and store shelves toppled their goods.In more recent memory some of the strongest quakes occurred On April 20th, 2002 when a 5.0 rattled the state and was centered on Au Sable Forks area near Plattsburg, NY.Strong earthquakes outside of New York’s boundary have also shaken the state. On February 5th, 1663 near Charlevoix, Quebec, an estimated magnitude of 7.5 occurred. A 6.2 tremor was reported in Western Quebec on November 1st in 1935. A 6.2 earthquake occurred in the same area on March 1st 1925. Many in the state also reported shaking on August 23rd, 2011 from a 5.9 earthquake near Mineral, Virginia.

Earthquakes in the northeast U.S. and southeast Canada are not as intense as those found in other parts of the world but can be felt over a much larger area. The reason for this is the makeup of the ground. In our part of the world, the ground is like a jigsaw puzzle that has been put together. If one piece shakes, the whole puzzle shakes.In the Western U.S., the ground is more like a puzzle that hasn’t been fully put together yet. One piece can shake violently, but only the the pieces next to it are affected while the rest of the puzzle doesn’t move.In Rochester, New York, the most recent earthquake was reported on March 29th, 2020. It was a 2.6 magnitude shake centered under Lake Ontario. While most did not feel it, there were 54 reports of the ground shaking.So next time you are wondering why the dishes rattled, or you thought you felt the ground move, it certainly could have been an earthquake in New York.Here is a website from the USGS (United Sates Geologic Society) of current earthquakes greater than 2.5 during the past day around the world. As you can see, the Earth is a geologically active planet!Another great website of earthquakes that have occurred locally can be found here.To learn more about the science behind earthquakes, check out this website from the USGS.

What a US nuclear war with the Chinese Nuclear Horn would look like

What a US nuclear war with China would look like

24 March 2021

2034: A Novel of the Next World War

Former NATO commander James Stavridis and novelist Elliot Ackerman have published a book depicting how the deepening conflict between the United States and China could escalate into a nuclear world war costing tens of millions of lives.

The book, entitled 2034: A Novel of the Next World War, should serve as a warning to millions of people of what is threatened by the massive new nuclear arms race initiated by the United States and its allies targeting China.

2034 is co-written by a man who would be a leading architect of such a war. Stavridis was one of the Pentagon’s most prominent political commanders, having been vetted as a potential running mate by the Clinton campaign and a possible secretary of state by President-elect Donald Trump in the fall of 2016.

A retired four-star Navy admiral, he served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 2009 to 2013, after serving as the head of U.S. Southern Command and U.S. European Command.

Stavridis has decades of experience related to US weapons of mass destruction, “beginning with my first job as a division officer on a destroyer, where I crafted a long-range plan for the maintenance and inspection of our onboard nuclear weapons,” he writes in his memoirs.

Like many generals, Stavridis believes it is better for the United States to achieve its geopolitical aims without resorting to mass murder. But if war cannot be avoided and the bloodletting is to commence, “we must be prepared to fight and win,” as he writes in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post.

2034 is the fusion of two genres: the Pentagon tabletop exercise and the airport thriller. Its cookie-cutter characters and worn-out plot tropes do not merit paraphrase or examination.

The tabletop military exercise proceeds as follows. During a freedom of navigation exercise in the South China Sea taking place in the year 2034, a group of US frigates board a Chinese civilian vessel in distress. The Americans learn the vessel houses sensitive technology and seize it. While the operation is underway, the US vessels are attacked by a Chinese fleet, which totally paralyzes them using advanced cyberweapons.

Foreword to the German edition of David North’s Quarter Century of War

Johannes Stern, 5 October 2020

After three decades of US-led wars, the outbreak of a third world war, which would be fought with nuclear weapons, is an imminent and concrete danger.

When the US dispatches two aircraft carrier battle groups to the Pacific in a show of force, a total of 40 American ships are sunk with negligible Chinese losses. The numbers are not quantified, but some tens of thousands of American sailors, airmen, and marines must have lost their lives.

In response, Washington launches a nuclear weapon at a Chinese coastal city, against which Beijing retaliates by launching a nuclear attack on San Diego, California and Galveston, Texas. The US retaliates by obliterating Shanghai, one of the world’s largest and most important cities.

Stavridis writes that after an American nuclear attack on Shanghai, “These many months later the city remained a charred, radioactive wasteland. The death toll had exceeded thirty million. After each of the nuclear attacks international markets plummeted. Crops failed. Infectious diseases spread. Radiation poisoning promised to contaminate generations. The devastation exceeded… capacity for comprehension.”

The American survivors of a Chinese nuclear attack on San Diego are left to live in “wretched camps,” where “cyclical outbreaks of typhus, measles, and even smallpox often sprouted from the unbilged latrines and rows of plastic tenting.”

This appears to be a vision of hell. But it must be stated bluntly that even this depiction falls far, far short of the actual effects of a nuclear world war.

By training and temperament, Stavridis is largely incapable of viewing the world through the eyes of anyone besides a military officer or “national security” bureaucrat. “Ordinary” people are not described. The various protagonists take the lives of millions, and it is very hard on them, and the reader is supposed to sympathize.

In Stavridis’ account, the decisions governing the conflict are made by largely rational and analytical military technocrats. Elected leaders notionally exist, and they sometimes take actions that impinge upon the narrative, but it is the military officials that largely guide the action. Just as politicians have little impact on the plot, social dynamics and popular opinion are largely ignored.

The United States carries out a nuclear attack on a Chinese port city, and it appears to have no domestic social effect, except to lead the public to bray for blood.

Millions are killed, tens of millions are displaced domestically in the United States. In one single incident—the nuclear bombing of Shanghai—the United States carries out an act of mass murder surpassing in scale the vernichtungskrieg (war of extermination) waged by Nazi Germany in the Eastern front over four years.

Amid all of this, there is no domestic social response. The end of World War I toppled the Russian, Austrian, Ottoman, and German empires in a massive revolutionary upheaval. The end of the Second World War completely redrew the map of Europe. But in Stavridis’ account, the population somehow remains complacent throughout a third world war while millions are slaughtered.

This has nothing to do with the real world, dominated by class polarization and conflict. War will be accompanied by massive state repression. The pretext for a domestic crackdown and the need to divert intense internal social conflicts outward are, in fact, among the major unstated reasons why ruling classes are embarking upon military confrontations that can end in the acts of mass murder depicted in 2034.

Finally, the military dynamics are themselves totally unrealistic. The central assumption of the book is that there exists such a thing as a “tactical” nuclear war. Military actions are calmly and rationally discussed and deliberated.

Even so, it is only through an absurd and unbelievable plot twist that a strategic nuclear exchange is avoided. In a ridiculous deus ex machina, India attacks both Chinese and US vessels, bringing about an end to the war.

There is no such thing as a “tactical” nuclear world war. There has never been a full-scale war between two countries armed with nuclear weapons. More importantly, there has never been a full-scale war between “great powers” armed with 21st century technology.

The range, cheapness, and speed of offensive weapons, including drones and high-speed missiles, will mean that a third world war will be conducted everywhere at once, at dizzying speed and complexity. The logic of these phenomena—the complexity of global relations and domestic opposition, the expansion of the battlefield to the entire globe, the delegation of warfare to artificial intelligence—makes nuclear war impossible to control and limit to the “tit-for-tat” military exchanges depicted in the book.

A normal person, that is, one for whom moral derangement is not a professional requirement, would read Stavridis’ book with horror and do everything to avoid the massive level of death it depicts. But the fact is that, for its intended audience within the Beltway and the Pentagon, the tactical nuclear exchanges depicted in the book, constitute, in the words of Dr. Strangelove’s Gen. Buck Turgidson, “getting our hair mussed”—an entirely acceptable consequence of the use of nuclear weapons.

Stanley Kubrick’s masterful Dr. Strangelove, Sidney Lumet’s Fail Safe, and, more obliquely, John Frankenheimer’s Seven Days in May (all released in 1964) were scathing critiques of the military and of nuclear war. No such critical works are being written and produced today, and ground has been ceded to Stavridis’ sanitized depiction of nuclear war from the standpoint of a practitioner.

2034 is a wake-up call. The US military is actively planning and discussing a nuclear war, based on the false claim that such wars can be managed and contained. No, they cannot. Nuclear war threatens the annihilation of humanity. These well-advanced war plans must be opposed and stopped before it is too late.

Troubling trends with the Russian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

Responding to Troubling Trends in Russia’s Nuclear Weapons Program

Peter Brookes

Among a number of international contenders, including China and North Korea, Russia is arguably the country that is most actively developing new nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

With at least six strategic projects unveiled in recent years, including a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), three hypersonic vehicles, a nuclear-powered underwater drone, and a nuclear-powered cruise missile, Russia poses a number of new challenges for the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and international security.

These Russian weapons developments are especially troubling considering Moscow’s malign behavior, from its annexation of Crimea and actions in Eastern Ukraine to its involvement in the civil war in Syria and its use of chemical weapons in assassination attempts at home and abroad.

Indeed, The Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of U.S. Military Strength judges that “Russia remains the primary threat to American interests in Europe and is the most pressing threat to the United States,” describing Russia as “aggressive in its behavior and formidable in its growing capabilities.”1

Important for American interests, the Russian threat has a strong strategic—or nuclear weapon—component.

Indeed, according to the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR):

While Russia initially followed America’s lead and made similarly sharp reductions in its strategic nuclear forces, it retained large numbers of non-strategic nuclear weapons. Today, Russia is modernizing these weapons as well as its other strategic systems. Even more troubling has been Russia’s adoption of military strategies and capabilities that rely on nuclear escalation for their success. These developments, coupled with Russia’s seizure of Crimea and nuclear threats against our allies, mark Moscow’s decided return to great power competition.2

Moreover, according to a 2020 assessment by the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS):

Russia has nearly completed modernizing its entire strategic nuclear arsenal and has also introduced or stated its intent to develop several nontraditional nuclear systems (so-called exotic weapons) that are important, from Moscow’s vantage, to pose a credible retaliatory threat to the United States.3

While some experts understandably question the utility of some of these nontraditional or “exotic” weapons systems, including whether they will ever be successfully fielded, militarily significant, or affect the existing strategic balance, these weapons developments should be taken seriously.

These new nontraditional or exotic weapon systems include the hypersonic vehicle-carrying Sarmat ICBM, the Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle (HGV), the Tsirkon sea-launched hypersonic cruise missile, the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic ballistic missile, the Burvestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, and the Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drone.

Not only are these weapons potential threats, they also are arguably a signal of Russia’s continuing commitment to the primacy of its nuclear forces as an element of its defense policy, its ongoing drive for military innovation, as well as an effort at diversifying and deepening its strategic forces and military threat.

It might also be argued that the development of these new strategic systems is an effort to enhance Russia’s status as a great power and increase its capability to exert political-military power abroad on competitors and potential foes through deterrence, threats, and coercion.

More broadly, these novel nuclear-capable weapons, as part of great-power competition, could, according to INSS, “have important effects on U.S. extended deterrence relationships, prospects for further nuclear proliferation, and the future of the global nonproliferation regime.”4

Lastly, these nontraditional strategic systems will also possibly enhance the political power of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin by demonstrating to its citizens its continued and growing commitment to the security of the homeland from potential enemies.

Accordingly, in response, the United States should:

• Continue to make the development of missile defense capabilities a U.S. and NATO defense priority, including the development and deployment of counter-hypersonic capabilities and space-based sensors;

• Increase, alongside U.S. allies and partners, deterrence against Russia’s conventional and hybrid threats to NATO and Europe in order to reduce the chances of open conflict and escalation;

• Fund U.S. nuclear modernization for the purposes of providing political–military assurance to allies and maintaining U.S. direct and extended strategic deterrence capabilities, thereby reducing the risk of Russian provocations and international adventurism; and

• Engage Russia in substantive diplomatic and security dialogues about these new strategic weapon systems as soon as possible for reasons of strategic stability, nuclear risk reduction, and potential arms control.

Russian Nuclear Weapons Developments

Russia has long placed a high priority on its nuclear arsenal, especially since the end of the Cold War, when its conventional forces began to diminish in capability in comparison to NATO’s conventional forces.

Today, unconventional weapons, including nuclear forces, play an important role in the evolving great-power competition involving the United States, Russia, and China; potential arms races; and possible shifts in the strategic balance of global power.

Indeed, according to the National Defense University’s Strategic Assessment 2020:

Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and the means to deliver them—are an important feature of the global security environment and a key element of Great Power competition. For Russia and China, WMD contribute to multiple goals: conflict deterrence at the strategic and regional levels; regime survival; coercion of rival states; and, potentially, as an adjunct to conventional forces to support operations. U.S.–Russia competition in nuclear weapons has been constrained in recent decades by various arms control agreements, but the erosion of this regulatory regime in the context of deteriorating bilateral relations could create new competitive pressures.5

According to the Pentagon’s 2018 NPR, “Most concerning are Russia’s national security policies, strategy, and doctrine that include an emphasis on the threat of limited nuclear escalation, and its continuing development and fielding of increasingly diverse and expanding nuclear capabilities.”6

In addition, the NPR states: “Russia considers the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to be the principal threats to its contemporary geopolitical ambitions. Russian strategy and doctrine emphasize the potential coercive and military uses of nuclear weapons.”7

To this end, in an early 2018 national address to the Russian Federal Assembly, Putin unveiled five new nuclear weapons delivery systems, admonishing listeners at home and abroad: “Russia still has the greatest nuclear [weapon] potential in the world, but nobody listened to us…. Listen [to us] now.”8

Unquestionably in an act of brazen intimidation toward the United States, one part of a provocative video presented at the address showed a missile conducting a strike on what appears to be Florida, the official state of residence of then-President Donald Trump.9

“Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, any kind of attack, will be regarded as a nuclear attack against Russia, and in response, we will take action instantaneously no matter what the consequences are,” Putin said. “Nobody should have any doubt about that.”10

According to the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) 2019 annual threat assessment to Congress on this issue:

Russian President Vladimir Putin used his annual address in March 2018 to publicly acknowledge several of these weapons programs, including a new ICBM designed to penetrate US missile defense systems; an intercontinental-range, hypersonic glide vehicle; a maneuverable, air-launched missile to strike regional targets; a long-range, nuclear-powered cruise missile; and a nuclear-powered, transoceanic underwater vehicle.11

The following year, in another presidential address to the Federal Assembly, Putin announced an additional new nuclear-capable weapons system, a sea-launched hypersonic cruise missile, bringing the total to six new potentially strategic systems available to Russian forces in the coming years.12

Indeed, according to Putin in late 2019, Russia has modernized 82 percent of its nuclear air–sea–land triad, noting that “our equipment must be better than the world’s best if we want to come out as the winners.”13 In reference to a possible all-out, nuclear conflict, Putin’s use of the word “winners” is noteworthy. He added: “[W]e will continue to create other promising missile systems” to further deter possible enemies.14 One analysis assesses that the modernization of Russian strategic forces adds to the “uncertainty” about Russia’s intentions and nuclear strategy.15

Indeed, all of these new weapons seem to indicate a deep and continuing Russian concern about U.S. missile defense and are purposed with overcoming air and missile defenses in an effort to preserve Russia’s strategic deterrence.16

But these novel weapons, according to one analysis, also indicate that Russian nuclear doctrine goes beyond strategic deterrence and in the direction of regional warfighting with an “escalate to de-escalate” strategy and possibly even having an element of psychological “terror” at the idea of their use (such as the Poseidon).17

Of course, the production, testing, and deployment of new Russian strategic systems are likely to be affected by the usual challenges of fielding new systems. At the current time, the process is also likely to be influenced by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Russian defense industry.18

While all of these weapons pose unique challenges, the hypersonic weapons (HSWs) are particularly vexing because of their reported velocity, maneuverability, and expected reduction in reaction time allowed the defending forces.

The New Russian Nuclear-Capable Weapons

Most of the system capabilities described in this section are from Russian open sources, meaning that data, such as velocity or range, could be exaggerated for a number of purposes, including the development of threat perception among potential foes, such as the United States.

The Tsirkon Hypersonic Cruise Missile. The Tsirkon is a sea-launched, hypersonic, dual-capable cruise missile with a reported speed of Mach 9 and a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (km), according to a media source citing a senior Russian officer.19

The cruise missile reportedly may be launched from submarines and surface ships against land targets and sea targets.20 Its expected mission is to destroy enemy aircraft carriers, missile defense systems, and command-and-control centers.21

Flying the low-level, maneuverable flight profile of a cruise missile at many times the speed of sound with either potentially conventional or nuclear warheads makes the Tsirkon a daunting challenge for defending adversary air defenses and missile defenses.

Putin has warned that Russia might deploy such hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles on submarines near U.S. waters.22 The Tsirkon entered testing in 2015 and was test-launched most recently in November 2020.23

The Avangard Hypersonic Boost-Glide Vehicle. Another newly developed Russian HSW designed to destroy or counter U.S. air and missile defenses—and assure a second-strike capability—is the intercontinental-range, dual-capable, hypersonic, boost-glide vehicle, the Avangard.24 This HGV is reportedly capable of traveling up to Mach 27.25

Proclaimed operational by Russia’s Ministry of Defense in December 2019, the Avangard is launched—or boosted—initially aboard an ICBM.26 At the ICBM’s flight apogee, the maneuverable HGV is released en route to its target.27

The Avangard is expected to be carried aboard the silo-based SS-19 ICBM initially, and the Russian Ministry of Defense claims that it entered service in December 2019 with a unit in the southern Ural Mountains.28 Eventually, the Avangard will be paired with the Sarmat next-generation heavy ICBM.29

Capable of using a conventional warhead, the Avangard can also reportedly carry a two-megaton nuclear warhead.30 It reportedly can be used as a first-strike or second-strike weapon against a variety of targets, including missile defense sites, missile silos, and high-value command-and-control complexes.31

The Kinzhal Hypersonic Ballistic Missile. Similarly, Russia is deploying the Kinzhal, an air-launched, dual-capable hypersonic ballistic missile capable of targeting both land targets and sea targets with either conventional or nuclear warheads.32 The missile can reportedly fly up to Mach 10.33

The Kinzhal is reportedly based on the land-based Iskander short-range ballistic missile.34 It can be carried aloft aboard the Tu-22 Backfire bomber and the MiG-31 Foxhound fighter.35 The missile is believed to be operational with a number of MiG-31 aircraft specially outfitted to carry the Kinzhal.36

The total range of the system, which includes the range of its launch platform, is expected to be 2,000 km, making the Kinzhal a regional threat to both land targets and maritime targets, including missile and air defense systems and aircraft carriers.37

The Sarmat Heavy ICBM. The Sarmat is a next-generation, silo-based, liquid-fueled heavy ICBM currently in development and intended to replace the aging SS-18 Voyevoda ICBM.38 Reportedly capable of carrying 20 warheads, its mission is nuclear strike as well as serving as the boost vehicle for the Avangard.39 With a reported throw weight (potential payload) of 10 tons, its warhead will likely carry multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) along with countermeasures to evade potential missile defense intercepts.40

With an expected range of 16,000 km, this counterforce weapon will conceivably be able to attack the United States via either the North Pole or South Pole.41 A southern approach would reportedly allow the ICBM to avoid U.S. early warning radars and missile defense installations in Alaska and California.42

Some portion of the Sarmat arsenal is also expected to be tasked with carrying the Avangard HGV to intercontinental distances. The Sarmat could be capable of carrying three to five hypersonic boost-glide vehicles.43

Though possibly overly optimistic, according to Russian military sources, the Sarmat is expected to conduct flight tests sometime in 2021 and enter service with Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces in 2022.44

The Burvestnik Cruise Missile. The Burvestnik is a nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed subsonic cruise missile, which, due to its unique propulsion plant, could theoretically have “unlimited range.”45 According to one analysis, the “military objective of the Burevestnik is to evade missile defense, follow untraditional flight paths, and be able to strike any target with little warning,” including a retaliatory strike.46

The controversial program is not yet operational, and reportedly has suffered a number of setbacks in research and development, including a possible fatal testing explosion in summer 2019 that may have released radioactive fallout into the atmosphere.47

The ground-based missile is also controversial in that its nuclear power plant could shed radioactive material en route to its target, possibly endangering those living below and along its flight path, potentially causing collateral damage for innocents.

The Poseidon Underwater Drone. Russia is also developing the Poseidon, an autonomous, nuclear-powered, nuclear-capable underwater drone that will be carried aboard specially configured submarines currently under development.48

Potentially targeting a variety of military and counter-value targets, including large coastal cities, major naval bases, and port facilities, the Poseidon reportedly will use a subsurface nuclear explosion to create a tsunami-like wave to swamp its objectives.49

Estimates vary widely among experts, but the drone might carry a nuclear warhead ranging from two megatons to a fantastical 100 megatons.50 While unconfirmed, the Poseidon may employ a cobalt bomb that creates long-lived radioactive contamination, leaving its target uninhabitable for a lengthy period.51

The Poseidon reportedly has a range of 10,000 km, which gives it significant stand-off capability against both American coasts.52 Russia will reportedly deploy a total of 32 Poseidon aboard two submarines with the Northern Fleet and two submarines with the Pacific Fleet.53

Expected to be primarily purposed as a retaliatory second-strike—or even third-strike—weapon that would challenge U.S. and allied anti-submarine forces, it is reportedly set to be in service by 2027.54

Political–Military Challenges

While some national security and foreign policy experts understandably question the utility and capability of some of these new or exotic Russian weapons systems, the United States and NATO, among others, should take these military developments seriously for a number of reasons.

Broadly speaking, these nontraditional weapons constitute a unique and evolving political–military threat primarily to American, NATO, allied, and others’ national security interests, potentially affecting U.S. direct deterrence in defense of the homeland, as well as some allies’ perceptions of U.S. political–military assurances and extended deterrence.

While unlikely to shift the strategic balance with the United States and NATO, these novel systems diversify the Russian conventional and unconventional threat to American and allied national security interests, especially in regard to the hypersonic threat.

These new weapons also expand Russian nuclear first-strike and second-strike options, strengthening Moscow’s strategic deterrent posture, potentially providing Russia with greater freedom of action internationally, which would be of significant consequence.

If fielded, these advanced armaments will also likely increase the perception of Russia’s military capabilities among competitors, rivals, and neighboring and other states, improving Moscow’s ability to deter, dissuade, or deny any attempts at influence, coercion, or aggression.

The U.S. and its allies will also need to pose, and answer, questions about the potential transformational threat from these weapons on transatlantic security and the possible political and military policy responses by the United States, NATO, and other American allies and partners.

For instance, the Russian development and deployment of these new strategic weapons will arguably have a negative psychological and political effect on the NATO alliance and Europe, which are both concerned about the regional security environment, especially as regards nuclear matters.

In addition, even with the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, these new weapons systems may give Russia added clout in any future arms control negotiations with the United States.

There is a potential domestic angle as well. Being on the cutting edge of new military capabilities, the deployment of novel nuclear-capable systems arguably enhances Russia’s political pride and the regime’s self-image at home, potentially strengthening the Kremlin’s grip on political power.

Operational Risks. Designed to evade or overcome U.S. missile defenses and re-establish Russia’s sense of strategic stability, these new nontraditional weapons, especially the HSWs, all pose potential operational risk to U.S. forces and American interests at home and abroad.55

Due to a number of reasons, the HSWs are a good example of the concern about the evolving Russian nuclear threat. For example, these weapons fly at tremendous speed within the atmosphere, reducing the potential reaction time of a defending adversary.

As Air Force General John Hyten, then-Commander of Strategic Command, noted in 2019, while the United States might have 30 minutes before an ICBM strikes the United States from Russia, it could be half that time with an HSW.56

As a result, these high-speed weapons could complicate and significantly curtail the timeline of the defender’s decision-making process, increasing the “the risk of miscalculation or unintended escalation in the event of a conflict.”57

Besides their high speed, these dual-capable HSWs are also maneuverable, creating trajectory and targeting uncertainties in comparison to ballistic missile systems which follow a predictable path to its target.58 According to one analysis: “In contrast to ballistic missiles, which also travel at hypersonic speeds, hypersonic weapons do not follow a parabolic ballistic trajectory and can maneuver en route to their destination, making defense against them difficult.”59

A defense dilemma also arguably exists for the U.S. and its allies with the Poseidon and Burvestnik systems due to their stated long-range ability to launch from inside friendly, protected territory or waters, and potentially unpredictable travel profiles (such as course, altitude, and depth) en route to the target.

As such, there are clearly challenges for U.S. and allied forces defending their homelands and interests against these novel weapons—from detection and tracking to engagement.

While the U.S. is developing theater-range, conventionally armed HSWs for offensive purposes, there is currently no dedicated missile or air systems to counteract HSWs.60 The best current option is to strike these weapons or their platforms, using kinetic or non-kinetic options (such as precision strikes or cyber operations) “left of launch” before they are fired at their targets. This requirement, of course, can create significant intelligence and warning challenges.

Fortunately, the U.S. is making additional efforts to address some of these challenges, especially regarding HSWs. For instance, because HSWs have a less distinguishable infrared signature and fly at lower altitudes than ballistic missiles, the Pentagon and U.S. defense industry are developing a low-Earth-orbit satellite constellation capable of detecting and tracking HSWs throughout the entirety of their flight.61

In addition, since current missile defense systems are purposed with targeting ballistic missiles, some U.S. defense firms were reportedly looking at refining or building on existing missile defense systems to address the hypersonic threat.62 The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was also reported to be working on a hypersonic missile defense interceptor as late as 2020.63

Theoretically, HGVs and their launch vehicles may be vulnerable to missile defenses at points along their flight paths, including in the ascent, glide, late-glide, and terminal phases of flight.64

Of course, while the Russians are spending time, effort, and financial resources on these new strategic weapons systems, it is possible that some of these systems will never become operational or be produced in significant numbers to be militarily significant, remaining a novelty.

This outcome, not unusual in weapons development, could end up being due to any number of factors, including flawed design or engineering, development or production costs, or mismatched doctrine or operational need, among others.

Lastly, though a system such as the Burvestnik may not be operationally deployed, the research and development phases—even if unsuccessful—can lead to new technologies that may aid other Russian weapons systems that are under development or yet to come.

Recommendations for the U.S.

In response to these developments in Russia’s nuclear arsenal and posture, the United States should:

• Continue to make the development of missile defense capabilities a U.S., NATO, and allied defense priority, including the development and deployment of counter-hypersonic capabilities and space-based sensors. In light of the emerging Russian nontraditional conventional and nuclear threats, the Administration, Congress, and allies should work together to advance U.S. and NATO missile defense systems to detect, track, and defeat a variety of missile threats, including the emerging Russian dual-capable hypersonic threat. A failure to do so will provide Russia with an asymmetric hypersonic missile advantage that will give Russia political–military leverage and hold NATO forces at risk. Discussions should also be conducted with other missile defense–capable allies, such as Japan, which might be threatened by Russian HSWs. Since detection and tracking are critical to deterrence and defense against HSWs, appropriate priority must also be given to the development and deployment of U.S. space-based sensors.

• Increase,with allies and partners, deterrence against Russia’s conventional and hybrid threats, especially to NATO and Europe, in order to reduce the chances of escalation of aggression and open conflict. Russian ambitions abroad must be deterred across the range of international engagement, including diplomatically, economically, informationally, or militarily—or any combination thereof. While Russia’s seemingly ambitious nuclear policy is related to its concerns about NATO’s conventional superiority, Russia must first be deterred on the ladder of escalation well before open conflict erupts. In addition, burden sharing—whether economic, diplomatic, on defense spending or otherwise—must be distributed equitably among the NATO allies and is critical to this joint deterrence, dissuasion, and denial effort. Moreover, the Pentagon must again emphasize anti-submarine warfare in order to address threats such as the Poseidon, among other subsurface threats.

• Fund U.S. nuclear modernization to provide political–military assurance to allies, and to ensure U.S. direct and extended strategic deterrence capabilities, thereby reducing the risk of Russian provocation and international adventurism. While some progress has been made, U.S. nuclear forces are long overdue for replacement, with many systems dating back to the 1970s. A failure to introduce replacement systems quickly enough could result in gaps in the U.S. strategic deterrent, especially with the introduction of new Russian nuclear-capable weapons. Such a development is unacceptable. As an adjunct to this, in response to increased Russian nuclear challenges, NATO must reaffirm its commitment to remaining a nuclear alliance and maintain U.S. tactical nuclear weapons and capabilities in Europe.

• Engage Russia in substantive diplomatic and security dialogues about these new strategic weapons systems as soon as possible for reasons of strategic stability, nuclear risk reduction, and potential arms control. Both sides must pursue political–military efforts aimed at strategic stability and nuclear risk reduction. Russia’s new nuclear-capable weapons must be included in any new talks or negotiations, including arms control discussions. The New START extension covers Sarmat and Avangard, but allows Russia to continue developing its other destabilizing systems unchecked. Washington should also look to other capitals, especially in Europe but also in Asia (such as Tokyo), for consultation and help with influencing and pressuring Russia to come to the table for substantive talks on these new weapons.

Conclusion

It is unclear at this time whether all or some of these new Russian strategic weapons will ultimately be fielded, due to a number of factors—from the challenging development of novel technologies to potential defense budgetary constraints during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most likely nuclear-capable weapons that Russia will field are the new Sarmat ICBM, due to the need to replace an aging strategic system, and the various HSWs as an emerging key technology among the great powers and their potential impact on future warfare.

Russia is arguably less likely to field the Burvestnik cruise missile and the Poseidon underwater drone—or, if deployed, only in small numbers—due to their likely limited military utility, complex engineering, and expense. Nonetheless, the potential undersea threat of Poseidon warrants U.S. expanded undersea sensors and anti-submarine warfare capacity.

Of course, these new systems demonstrate to the Russian people that under Putin’s leadership Russia is committed to ensuring the country’s national security, and is continuously thinking about how to improve it through defense innovation and modernization.

To foreign observers, the dramatic, public unveiling of these weapons is meant to send an unmistakable message: Putin’s Russia is a dynamic, advanced, global military power that will be able to protect and advance its national interests against any foe, but especially the United States.

The new weapons also signal a significant emphasis on strategic systems as central to Russia’s defense plans, doctrine, and policy, showing little change in Moscow’s questionable confidence that its conventional forces are able to meet its security needs in Europe—or even Asia (for example, in China).

Indeed, according to the DNI’s 2019 annual threat assessment to Congress, “We assess that Russia will remain the most capable WMD adversary through 2019 and beyond, developing new strategic and nonstrategic weapons systems.”65 Russia’s nontraditional strategic systems support that assessment.

These novel nuclear-capable weapons complicate U.S. and allied defense planning and policy, and must be addressed in the short term to bolster American and allied security, reducing the chances of misunderstanding, misperceptions, and mistakes that could lead to crisis and conflict.

Peter Brookes is Senior Research Fellow for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counter Proliferation in the Center for National Defense, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation.

Antichrist offers his own men help to disarm other militias in Iraq

Sadr offers his own militias’ help to disarm other militias in Iraq

BAGHDAD–Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr is increasingly wanting to appear as a statesman while his political ambitions to hold the reins of the executive authority in the country are growing.

Earlier in February, the populist Shia cleric said he backed early elections overseen by the UN, in a rare news conference outside his home in the Iraqi shrine city of Najaf.

Iraq is meant to hold earlier parliamentary elections this year, a central demand of an anti-government protest movement which erupted in 2019 and involved Sadr’s supporters.

The elections will be taking place under a new electoral law that has reduced the size of constituencies and eliminated list-based voting in favour of votes for individual candidates.

Sadr’s supporters are expected to make major gains under the new system.

In November, Sadr said he would push for the next prime minister to be a member of his movement for the first time.

With eyes on the executive authority, the Shia cleric has been calling recently for control of the weapons’ chaos in the country so as to curb attacks by armed factions on foreign forces, their supply convoys and the headquarters of the US embassy in Baghdad.

Sadr’s calls come even though the Shia cleric himself is at the head of the most powerful militias in Iraq, the Peace Brigades, which are seen as a heir to the Mahdi Army militia that had previously led an offensive against government forces under the rule of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Sadr had also been involved in a crackdown on a massive uprising that took place in the cities of central and southern Iraq starting from October 2019. In that period, he employed a militia called Blue Hats to confront demonstrators in the streets and sit-in squares, as part of his efforts to crush the protest movement and protect the regime.

In recent statements, the leader of the Sadrist movement offered to help the government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi  end the spread of illegal weapons in the country.

“The Iraqi government must work diligently and firmly against all armed actions that target the security of Iraq and its citizens, regardless of the affiliation of the perpetrators,” Sadr said, adding, “I am aware that they (the militants who launch attacks) are recruited to destabilise security, threaten stability and weaken the state with the aim of discrediting the honourable reputation of the government for the benefit of those who carry foreign agendas.”

The majority of these militias have links with Iran and have been helping pursue Teheran’s agenda, which is to expand the Islamic Republic’s influence in Iraq and the region.

Most of the Iraqi Shia militias that were trained to fight ISIS in 2014 are with the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), formally affiliated with the Iraqi armed forces. Some PMF factions, however, respond only to the orders of leaders who are close to Iran.

In his recent statements, Sadr stressed that “the security chaos and the spread of weapons should not last,” calling on the government to “double its efforts” and offering his services when saying, “We are ready for cooperation.”

Sadr is known for his extreme self-confidence, at times acting as a holder of absolute power by issuing orders, warnings and setting deadlines for his demands to be fulfilled. This is fundamentally contrary to the logic of thegovernment’s control that he has been preaching with his call for ending chaos in the country and halting the spread of weapons.

Since 2003, Sadr has been part of the political process in Iraq. He didn’t, however, hold any official positions like his major opponents and rivals from within the Shia political family.

In recent years, the Shia cleric, who hails from a prominent religious family in Iraq, has sought to distance himself from the bad governance that led to massive popular protests against the ruling class.

He portrayed himself as being different from other leaders of Shia parties and militias, and sought to act as a spokesman for the people, a defender of their cause, a reformer and an enemy of corruption.

Sadr, in fact, sees the failure of his political rivals as an opportunity to control the executive , especially in the light of new international and regional dynamics that may redraw the political map in Iraq.

After 18 years of mostly Shia rule in Iraq, the security situation in the country is still a serious problem affecting all aspects of life.

The Shia militias, who had obtained weapons and financial resources to help fight the Islamic State (ISIS) group, constitute today’s the biggest challenge to peace and security in the country, according to experts.

Washington accuses armed Iraqi factions linked to Iran, including Kata’ib Hezbollah, of being behind a number of attacks targeting its embassy and military bases, from which American soldiers are sometimes deployed in the country.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, whose leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was assassinated in January by the US military while he was with Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad airport, is considered one of the factions with the closest ties toTehran.

Iraqi politicians and activists from the protest movement accuse militias loyal to Iran of kidnapping and torturing protesters, placing them in secret prisons and shooting demonstrators.

Kadhimi promised to hold the killers of demonstrators accountable and made surprise visits to numerous prisons to find out whether they included detainees from the protest movement.

Last July, the Iraqi judiciary announced the formation of an investigative body to look into assassination crimes, hours after an expert on armed groups, Hisham Hashemi, was assassinated.

Israeli warplanes strike outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli warplanes strike parts of Gaza Strip

Anadolu2:12 PM | March 24, 2021

Israeli warplanes have carried out attacks on points in the Gaza Strip, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported Wednesday from the region.

No information has been released so far on casualties or injuries in the attacks on the northern and central parts of Gaza.

Israeli army spokesperson Avichay Adraee announced on his social media account that their warplanes and helicopters had attacked a rocket-producing point and a Hamas military position.

The attack was carried out in response to a rocket launched from Gaza towards Israel last night, he said.

The Israeli military said the rocket fell into an open area in Israel. No party in Gaza has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Israelis on Tuesday headed out to cast votes in Knesset elections. It marked the fourth time in two years that elections were being held in Israel as a political deadlock persists.

The Pakistan Horn flexes its military muscles: Daniel 8

Pakistan flexes its military muscles

Friday, 26 March 2021 12:52 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 26 March 2021 12:52 AM ]

Javed Rana

Press TV, Islamabad

Pakistan has showed off its military might with an impressive airshow and display of high tech indigenous weapons particularly nuclear capable missiles.

A massive airshow in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad; the armed forces flexed their muscles on the eve of Pakistan’s national day. Pakistan celebrates every year the very idea of its creation in the name of Islam over 80 years ago when this part of the world together with India was under the imperial rule of the British.

The significant part of the airshow was the acrobatic maneuverability of these war planes known as JF Thunder. Pakistan endogenously manufactured them in cooperation with China after the US stopped the supplies of F-16 fighter jets. Pakistan is fast reducing its reliance on the US for military hardwares with growing role of China in the indigenous production of its high tech weapons with focus on fighter jets.

These are the nuclear capable missiles which Islamabad showed off to demonstrate its military might against arch rival India. Pakistan had four wars with India, three of which were over disputed Kashmir region divided between two nuclear armed neighbors in South Asia.

Kashmir dispute between two nuclear armed neighbors have become a nuclear flashpoint after New Delhi refused to implement UN Security council resolutions which call for plebiscite.

According to study by American think tanks (the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center), Islamabad is far outpacing New Delhi in the development of nuclear warheads and Pakistan would posses more nuclear weapons than any other country except Russia and the US within next five years.

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The Saudi Horn Opposes the Iranian Nuclear Horn: Daniel

Saudi Arabia welcomes efforts to ensure Iran does not acquire nuclear weapon – Cabinet

Updated 18 March 2021 Arab News March 16, 2021 23:22

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia welcomed international efforts to ensure Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, and to make the Gulf region free of all weapons of mass destruction.

During the weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by King Salman, ministers said they supported efforts to respect the independence and sovereignty of states and not to interfere in their internal affairs.

The cabinet also called for extending the arms embargo on Iran, as “it continues to provide the Houthi militia with advanced weapons and drones that are used to terrorize Yemenis, and to target civilians and civilian objects in the Kingdom in a deliberate and systematic manner,” acting information minister Majid Al-Qasabi said.

The Kingdom supports the efforts of the UN envoy to Yemen to reach a comprehensive cease-fire and start a political process to end the war in Yemen, he added.

The ministers also stressed the importance of continuing to support efforts to solve the Syrian crisis, and find “a political path that adds to the settlement and stability of the situation, in a way that guarantees the security of its people and protects them from terrorist organizations and sectarian militias.”

The cabinet congratulated Libya on the new unity government and said the Kingdom supports efforts leading to a political solution to the crisis that achieves stability, security and development, and preserves its unity and sovereignty void from “external interference that endangers Arab regional security.”

During the meeting, the minsters were briefed on King Salman’s letter to the Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah that dealt with consolidating relations.

They were also briefed on talks between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, that dealt with enhancing bilateral relations, regional and international developments, and coordinating efforts to enhance security and stability.

The ministers also reviewed the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic, including statistics and data from the national vaccination campaign, which has now expanded and launched more vaccine centers in various regions of the Kingdom.