Columbia University Warns Of Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

    Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study
A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.
Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New Yorkcompared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.” Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.
The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”
Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.
One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.
The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.
“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”
The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.
Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”
The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.
The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.
Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.
“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”
New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:
Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.
Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.
New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.
Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered  in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.
The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.
Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.
Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.
In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

Our enemies HAVE found a way to defeat the United States

Have our enemies found a way to defeat the United States?

Have our enemies found a way to defeat the United States?

By Kevin T. Carroll, opinion contributorAugust 01, 2021 – 10:00 AM EDT

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill 

Iraq is kicking American combat troops out of Iraq, at Iran’s behest, just as the U.S. leaves Afghanistan. We are now 1-3-1 in major conflicts since 1945. Our enemies’ successful strategy appears to be to attack us from third-country sanctuaries and bleed our troops until domestic support for the war collapses.

In Korea, Harry Truman would not attack communist sanctuaries in China. Truman’s decision was reasonable; he did not want to risk World War III and believed a Soviet invasion of western Europe was the bigger threat. His decision had serious consequences, however. China nearly threw U.S. forces off the Korean Peninsula. A stalemate developed, as China sent a practically inexhaustible supply of “volunteers” south. Domestic support for the war — and for Truman — collapsed. He did not seek reelection in 1952.

Dwight Eisenhower achieved an armistice only by threatening to use nuclear weapons. North Korea was left intact as a horrific police state. Today, 28,000 American troops still defend South Korea, and Pyongyang’s erratic dictator threatens the U.S. with “confrontation”.

In Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson conducted only limited airstrikes on North Vietnam, and allowed communist sanctuaries in Cambodia. Johnson’s decision was reasonable; he did not want to risk a “second Korea” nor distract from his domestic agenda. This decision also had consequences. The North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong sent a practically inexhaustible supply of troops south on the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Cambodia and Laos. An insurgency developed, punctuated by conventional attacks such as the Tet Offensive. Domestic support for the war — and for Johnson — collapsed. He did not seek reelection in 1968.

Richard Nixon, helped by his invasion of Cambodia, strategic bombing of Hanoi and mining Haiphong Harbor, achieved the Paris Peace Accords. U.S. troops withdrew in 1973. North Vietnam conquered the south in 1975, and terrible human rights abuses followed.

One exception proves the rule. In the Gulf War, George H.W. Bush used overwhelming force and attacked into Iraq to liberate Kuwait. He achieved his limited goal in just six weeks, while maintaining popular support. Bush lost reelection in 1992 despite — not because of — the war.

In Afghanistan, George W. Bush did not pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders into Pakistan.  Bush’s decision was reasonable; Pakistan is a nuclear power and ostensible U.S. ally. The consequences: Al Qaeda established a redoubt around the Northwest Frontier Provinces and continued to plot terror, and the Quetta Shura Taliban sent a practically inexhaustible supply of Pashtun fighters north.

An insurgency developed, aided by Pakistan. The U.S. only conducted drone strikes against al Qaeda targets within a geographically limited “Predator box,” and launched only two special operations across the border, while leaving the Afghan Taliban leadership undisturbed in Quetta. Gradually, domestic support for the war collapsed. By 2016, Donald Trump campaigned on ending “forever wars.” President Biden will pull out U.S. forces in August. The allied government will soon fall, with human rights atrocities to follow.

In Iraq, Bush allowed two enemy sanctuaries. Sunni foreign fighters flowed in through Syria, while sophisticated munitions for Shia militias, such as explosively formed penetrators, flowed in through Iran. Again, Bush’s decision was reasonable, as world politics might not have borne a regional war.

This consequential decision led to two insurgencies. The U.S. had at least one special operation into Syria, and a border skirmish with Iranian forces, in 2007. But once again, domestic support for the war — and for Bush — collapsed; his party was “thumped,” in his words, in the 2006 midterms. In 2008, Barack Obama campaigned on ending the Iraq War. As president, he withdrew forces in 2011, only to send them back to fight ISIS in 2014.

Former President Trump began to withdraw forces from Syria in 2018. At the host nation’s insistence, Biden is withdrawing troops from Iraq. Iran’s ayatollahs now control a 1,900-mile swath running from Beirut to Herat.

Other factors played roles in these defeats: Our allies never developed clean, competent, popular governments in Saigon, Kabul or Baghdad. And we underestimated the fervor of Maoism, Vietnamese nationalism, Afghan tribalism and Iraqi sectarianism. But the enemy template is clear: Attack U.S. forces from a sanctuary and wait for domestic opinion to turn.

Biden may face challenges similar to his predecessors. What if Russia uses gray zone techniques, such as cyberattacks and special forces in civilian clothes (“Little Green Men”) staged from Belarus, against the Baltic States, or long-range air defense and artillery fires from Russia’s salient in Kaliningrad? Will we defend forward? What if China seeks to force our tacit ally Taiwan’s submission to unification, using airstrikes and missiles launched from the Chinese mainland? Will we bomb targets on China’s coast?

When Eisenhower threatened nuclear war to force an armistice in 1953, China and North Korea lacked the atomic bomb, and the Soviets likely lacked the ability to drop one on the U.S.  The world is different now, and no easy answers present themselves.

Breaching our NATO commitment to mutual self-defense in Europe, or failing to defend Taiwan against China, would end the American Century with a whimper. Totalitarians in Beijing would assume the mantle of world leadership. Chinese leader Xi Jinping would begin to shape our children’s futures, limiting their economic prospects — and given Han Chinese hypersensitivity to criticism and the globalization of communications, entertainment and media, likely their free expression as well.

Yet, American voters have grown more sensitive to casualties over the past 80 years. This, despite our population growth from 133 million to 333 million, the end of conscription, and an ever-smaller volunteer force. In World War II we suffered 405,399 dead in four years; Korea, 36,515 in three years; Vietnam, 58,209 mostly within seven years; and Afghanistan and Iraq together, 7,056 in 20 years. It hasn’t gotten any harder, or easier, to lose a loved one.

Casualties in a great-power conflict might dwarf those since 9/11. If a conflict over Taiwan devolved into a fleet engagement between the U.S. and China, losses could be particularly severe. For example, the Royal Navy had 6,092 sailors killed in under two days in World War I’s Battle of Jutland. Would America in 2021 bear such losses?

President Biden should ask himself whether he is willing, if necessary, to hold at risk targets adjacent to the countries we are committed to defend. Otherwise, he risks the political fate of Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush.

Kevin T. Carroll is a partner in Wiggin and Dana’s Litigation Department in the Washington and New York offices, and a leader of the firm’s National Security and Congressional Investigations practice groups. He served as an Army and CIA officer, senior counsel to the House Homeland Security Committee, and senior counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security. The views expressed here are his own

The China Horn’s Nuclear Response: Daniel 7

Massive fields of new nuclear missile silos may be China’s answer to rivals with a lot more nukes

Jul 31, 2021, 6:45 AM

China appears to be building hundreds of new silos to house intercontinental ballistic missiles, raising some questions about its intentions. To some experts Insider talked to, the huge silo fields look to be China’s answer to rivals that have a lot more nuclear weapons.

In recent months, analysts with the Federation of American Scientists and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies relying on commercial satellite images have found that China is constructing what looks like around 250 new missile silos. It previously had only about 20 silos.

Silo construction is clearly visible and appears to be underway in Hami in Xinjiang province, Yumen in Gansu province, and Jinlantai in Inner Mongolia. The Hami site, which is still in the early stages of construction, is roughly 300 square miles and the Yumen site is around 700 square miles.

The silos are grouped but spaced roughly two miles apart in grid patterns, which is very different from the way China has approached silos in the past. The country’s older silos are scattered, isolated, and somewhat camouflaged.

Sharing a report on the findings, US Strategic Command tweeted this weekthat “the public has discovered what we have been saying all along about the growing threat the world faces and the veil of secrecy that surrounds it.”

Silos are much more vulnerable than some alternative launch platforms because they do not move, making them easy to find and even easier to target, but with enough silos and modern missile technology, they can be advantageous.

A lot more silos

Having a significant number of missile silos makes it more difficult for an adversary to eliminate a country’s nuclear weapons before it has the chance to use them, and it is not even necessary to fill them all with missiles.

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at MIIS, suspects that China will employ a “shell game” strategy, putting missiles in only some of the silos. The US military pursued a similar strategy during the Cold War.

“If there are silos, you have to take them seriously as being full. That is precisely how the shell game works. You don’t know, and you have to assume that,” he said.

The “shell game” strategy is a reasonable approach if China wants to retain its retaliatory capability while maintaining its minimum deterrence stance. Even empty silos would potentially help deter an adversary given the cost of destroying missile silos versus the cost to build them.

“They can add silos more cheaply than we can add missiles with warheads,” Lewis explained.

He said that the layout of the silos, which are far enough apart that a single warhead could not take out multiple silos but close enough that missiles could be shuffled among the silos as needed, suggests a “shell game” strategy.

Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at FAS, acknowledged that a “shell game” strategy is certainly possible.

“You could say the Chinese have created a nuclear sponge by building all these silos,” Kristensen said. “If it is a shell game, then it is partly the intention to force United States planners to waste a lot of warheads trying to chase down loaded missile silos.”

“But if you’re China, is that necessarily the way you think, or is it much more straightforward?” he asked.

Kristensen and his colleague Matt Korda wrote in a report on developments in Hami this week that China’s silo construction may represent “the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever.”

The pair suggested that China may have decided it needs more silos for a more robust nuclear force that ensures it can deliver a retaliatory strike able to break through an adversary’s defenses and hold strategic positions at risk.

It could also be a matter of national prestige, part of China’s pursuit of great power status. China has yet to acknowledge the silo construction, so its intentions are unclear.

The Chinese arsenal of nuclear weapons is significantly smaller than those of the US and Russia, both of which have thousands of nuclear weapons, but if it is expanding the size of its arsenal, it could be seen as a departure from minimum deterrence.

Kristensen and Korda wrote that “the build-up is anything but ‘minimum’ and appears to be part of a race for more nuclear arms to better compete with China’s adversaries.”

The new silos China appears to be building are positioned at more secure locations deeper in the country, likely improved compared to China’s older silos, and will likely be armed with better ICBMs.

Kristensen explained that a motivating factor for ongoing construction efforts might simply be a desire for “harder silos with better missiles capable of responding in a way that ensures the survivability of the retaliatory capability.”

Adm. Charles Richard, the head of US Strategic Command, explained to lawmakers in April that China is “moving to solid fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles, silo-based,” describing the weapons as “very responsive compared to a liquid fuel one.”

At least some, if not all, of the silos under construction are believed to be for China’s new solid-fueled DF-41 ICBM, which can be fueled in advance, is less dangerous to work with, and requires far less preparation time than the older liquid-fueled silo-based DF-5 missiles.

The DF-41 was first showcased during a military parade on a transporter erector launcher, indicating it, like many others in the Chinese arsenal, would be a road-mobile missile.

The problem is that the size and weight of the missile hinders mobility in this configuration.

“While it’s mobile, it’s going to tear up your roads,” Lewis explained. “It is going to have trouble getting over bridges. It has a terrible turning radius. It is not really able to go offroad.” And those are not the only potential issues.

Xu Tianran, an Open Nuclear Network analyst, said that the “DF-41 TEL is very large,” explaining that “with today’s and future surveillance technology, the mobile platform would also bear more risk of being taken out or suppressed.”

“We focus on road mobility because it seems almost like a submarine on land,” Lewis said, “but we kind of gloss over the real limitations of those systems, especially when you’re handling a big missile.” A silo might actually be a better choice comparatively.

The US, though it considered road-mobile missiles, keeps its ICBMs in a collection of roughly 450 silos.

Fielding the new solid-fueled DF-41 ICBMs in silos would also allow China to shift its silo-based force to a launch-on-warning (LOW) status to increase survivability.

“They have the radars. They have the missiles that are ready to go. It would be the easiest thing in the world for them to just keep the ones in the silos on alert,” Lewis said.

In its latest report on China’s military power, the Pentagon said that evidence, including “further investment in silo-based forces,” indicates “that China seeks to keep at least a portion of its force on a LOW posture.”

Nuclear modernization and posture changes are always challenging though because it is difficult for a country to bolster its own security without creating unease elsewhere.

“On the one hand, you have to deter an adversary from using nuclear weapons, but you don’t want to deter them or threaten them so much that they take steps to increase their force and its capability and its readiness in such a way that you end up facing something that is more dangerous than it was before,” Kristensen said.

There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the silos. Pushing for arms control, Kristensen said that “the United States and China have to be really careful about how they move forward on this because it can very rapidly spin out of control.”

Iraq: Shiite Factions Scramble to Win Parliamentary Majority After Withdrawal of the Antichrist

Iraq: Shiite Factions reassessxrxr Scramble to Win Parliamentary Majority After Withdrawal of Sadrist Movement

Saturday, 31 July, 2021 – 09:00 

Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on a billboard in Baghdad’s Sadr City district, June 21, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed SaadBaghdad – Asharq Al-Awsat

An announcement made by Moqtada al-Sadr that he won’t run in Iraq’s parliamentary elections has increased the chances of those seeking to postpone the early polls scheduled for Oct. 10 to their constitutional date in April 2022

Sadr’s Sairoon bloc is the biggest in the Iraqi parliament with 54 out of 329 seats.

Several other prominent factions and parties have recently announced their rejection to run in the elections, including the Iraqi Communist Party, the Iraqi Forum Movement led by Ayad Allawi, the National Dialogue Front led by Saleh al-Mutlaq, the Iraqi Republican Gathering of Saad Asim al-Janabi, and others.

A well-informed Iraqi politician told Asharq Al-Awsat that the priority was now to hold the elections in October.

Setting this date was part of the commitment made by Prime Minister Mustafa to hold early elections, deal with the foreign presence in Iraq, reveal the killers of demonstrators during protests that erupted in 2019, as well as address the economic crisis and confronting the Covid-19 pandemic, said the politician.

The Iraqi premier has now set an early date for the elections, achieved progress in the assassinations case, and reached an agreement over the withdrawal of the US combat forces in Iraq by the end of the year.

While none of the Shiite factions and parties have announced their support or rejection of Sadr’s position, the surprise came from the leader of the State of Law Coalition, Nuri al-Maliki, Sadr’s most prominent opponent.

In a statement on Thursday, Maliki announced that the parliamentary elections would not be postponed and would take place on time. He also declared his rejection of an “emergency government because it means a rebellion against democracy and the principles of parliamentary transfer of power.”

The Fallout of the First Nuclear War: Revelation 8

A Nuclear War Between India and Pakistan Would Cause Fallout Elsewhere

Here’s What You Need To Remember: Between February 26 and 27 in 2019, Indian and Pakistani warplanes launched strikes on each other’s territory and engaged in aerial combat for the first time since 1971. Pakistan ominously hinted it was convening its National Command Authority, the institution which can authorize a nuclear strike.

The two states, which have retained an adversarial relationship since their founding in 1947, both deploy nuclear warheads that can be delivered by land, air and sea.

However, those weapons are inferior in number and yield to the thousands of nuclear weapons possessed by Russia and the United States, which include megaton-class weapons that can wipe out a metropolis in a single blast.

Some commenters have callously suggested that means a “limited regional nuclear war” would remain an Indian and Pakistani problem. People find it difficult to assess the risk of rare but catastrophic events; after all, a full-scale nuclear war has never occurred before, though it has come close to happening.

Such assessments are not only shockingly callous but shortsighted. In fact, several studies have modeled the global impact of a “limited” ten-day nuclear war in which India and Pakistan each exchange fifty 15-kiloton nuclear bombs equivalent in yield to the Little Boy uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Their findings concluded that spillover would in no way be “limited,” directly impacting people across the globe that would struggle to locate Kashmir on a map.

And those results are merely a conservative baseline, as India and Pakistan are estimated to possess over 260 warheads. Some likely have yields exceeding 15-kilotons, which is relatively small compared to modern strategic warheads.

Casualties

Recurring terrorist attacks by Pakistan-sponsored militant groups over the status of India’s Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir state have repeatedly led to threats of conventional military retaliation by New Delhi.

Pakistan, in turn, maintains it may use nuclear weapons as a first-strike weapon to counter-balance India’s superior conventional forces. Triggers could involve the destruction of a large part of Pakistan’s military or penetration by Indian forces deep into Pakistani territory. Islamabad also claims it might authorize a strike in event of a damaging Indian blockade or political destabilization instigated by India.

India’s official policy is that it will never be first to strike with nuclear weapons—but that once any nukes are used against it, New Dehli will unleash an all-out retaliation.

The Little Boy bomb alone killed around 100,000 Japanese—between 30 to 40 percent of Hiroshima’s population—and destroyed 69 percent of the buildings in the city. But Pakistan and India host some of the most populous and densely populated cities on the planet, with population densities of Calcutta, Karachi and Mumbai at or exceeding 65,000 people per square mile. Thus, even low-yield bombs could cause tremendous casualties.

A 2014 study estimates that the immediate effects of the bombs—the fireball, over-pressure wave, radiation burns, etc.—would kill twenty million people. An earlier study estimated a hundred 15-kiloton nuclear detonations could kill twenty-six million in India and eighteen million in Pakistan—and concluded that escalating to using 100-kiloton warheads, which have greater blast radius and overpressure waves that can shatter hardened structures, would multiply death tolls four-fold.

Moreover, these projected body counts omit the secondary effects of nuclear blasts. Many survivors of the initial explosion would suffer slow, lingering deaths due to radiation exposure. The collapse of healthcare, transport, sanitation, water and economic infrastructure would also claim many more lives. A nuclear blast could also trigger a deadly firestorm. For instance, a firestorm caused by the U.S. napalm bombing of Tokyo in March 1945 killed more people than the Fat Man bomb killed in Nagasaki.

Refugee Outflows

The civil war in Syria caused over 5.6 million refugees to flee abroad out of a population of 22 million prior to the conflict. Despite relative stability and prosperity of the European nations to which refugees fled, this outflow triggered political backlashes that have rocked virtually every major Western government.

Now consider likely population movements in event of a nuclear war between India-Pakistan, which together total over 1.5 billion people. Nuclear bombings—or their even their mere potential—would likely cause many city-dwellers to flee to the countryside to lower their odds of being caught in a nuclear strike. Wealthier citizens, numbering in tens of millions, would use their resources to flee abroad.

Should bombs beginning dropping, poorer citizens many begin pouring over land borders such as those with Afghanistan and Iran for Pakistan, and Nepal and Bangladesh for India. These poor states would struggle to supports tens of millions of refugees. China also borders India and Pakistan—but historically Beijing has not welcomed refugees.

Some citizens may undertake risky voyages at sea on overloaded boats, setting their sights on South East Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. Thousands would surely drown. Many regional governments would turn them back, as they have refugees of conflicts in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar in the past.

Fallout

Radioactive fallout would also be disseminated across the globe. The fallout from the Chernobyl explosion, for example, wounds its way westward from Ukraine into Western Europe, exposing 650,000 persons and contaminating 77,000 square miles. The long-term health effects of the exposure could last decades. India and Pakistan’s neighbors would be especially exposed, and most lack healthcare and infrastructure to deal with such a crisis.

Nuclear Winter

Studies in 2008 and 2014 found that of one hundred bombs that were fifteen-kilotons were used, it would blast five million tons of fine, sooty particles into the stratosphere, where they would spread across the globe, warping global weather patterns for the next twenty-five years.

The particles would block out light from the sun, causing surface temperatures to decrease an average of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit across the globe, or 4.5 degrees in North American and Europe. Growing seasons would be shortened by ten to forty days, and certain crops such as Canadian wheat would simply become unviable. Global agricultural yields would fall, leading to rising prices and famine.

The particles may also deplete between 30 to 50 percent of the ozone layer, allowing more of the sun’s radiation to penetrate the atmosphere, causing increased sunburns and rates of cancer and killing off sensitive plant life and marine plankton, with the spillover effect of decimating fishing yields.

To be clear, these are outcomes for a “light” nuclear winter scenario, not a full slugging match between the Russian and U.S. arsenals.

Global Recession

Any one of the factors above would likely suffice to cause a global economic recession. All of them combined would guarantee one.

India and Pakistan account for over one-fifth world’s population, and therefore a significant share of economic activity. Should their major cities become irradiated ruins with their populations decimated, a tremendous disruption would surely result. A massive decrease in consumption and production would obviously instigate a long-lasting recessionary cycle, with attendant deprivations and political destabilization slamming developed and less-developed countries alike.

Taken together, these outcomes mean even a “limited” India-Pakistan nuclear war would significantly affect every person on the globe, be they a school teacher in Nebraska, a factory worker in Shaanxi province or a fisherman in Mombasa.

Unfortunately, the recent escalation between India and Pakistan is no fluke, but part of a long-simmering pattern likely to continue escalating unless New Delhi and Islamabad work together to change the nature of their relationship.

Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring. This article was first published in 2019.

Image: Reuters

Israel strikes outside the Temple Walls after Hamas launches incendiary balloons: Revelation 11

Israel strikes Gaza after Hamas launches incendiary balloons

Updated 02 July 2021 

AP 

July 02, 202105:15

JERUSALEM: Israeli fighter jets struck a weapons manufacturing site in Gaza overnight in response to incendiary balloons launched over the frontier into Israel, the military said early Friday.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from the strike, which the military said targeted a facility used by the Islamic militant group Hamas to research and develop weapons.
It was the third time Israel has carried out airstrikes in Gaza since the end of the 11-day war it fought with the territory’s militant Hamas rulers in May. Each came after activists mobilized by Hamas launched incendiary balloons that caused fires in nearby Israeli farming communities.
Hamas uses such tactics to pressure Israel and international mediators to ease a crippling blockade imposed on Gaza when it seized power from rival Palestinian forces in 2007. Israel has vowed to respond to even minor attacks.
Egyptian and international mediators have been trying to shore up the informal cease-fire that ended the most recent war. In recent days, Israel has eased restrictions to allow in Qatar-funded fuel, extend Gaza’s fishing zone and permit increased cross-border commerce.
Israel says such steps are contingent on Hamas preserving calm along the frontier.

Hamas intensifies efforts to launch terror attacks outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Palestinian supporters of Hamas, gather to celebrate the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on May 21, 2021, in the West Bank town of Hebron. (HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Hamas intensifies efforts to launch West Bank terror attacks — report

Kan news says key Gaza recruiter has contacted dozens in past few months to try and enlist them to carry out assaults

By TOI staffToday, 2:53 am

The Hamas terror group has intensified efforts to carry out West Bank terror attacks, with guidance from the Gaza Strip, Kan news reported Saturday in an unsourced report.

The TV network said Abdallah Arar, a Hamas man released from Israeli prison in the 2011 exchange for the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, had contacted some 60 West Bank Palestinians over the past six months to try to recruit them to carry out attacks.

The report said Arar contacted individuals online, on social media ad on the phone, and had managed to recruit several people to Hamas in recent months. It said Arar was seen as particularly talented at recruitment, and that he often provides the people he enlists with detailed instructions on how to find targets for attacks and build bombs.

Israel and Hamas engaged in 11 days of fighting in May, during which the terror group launched thousands of rockets at Israeli cities and towns, and Israel launched hundreds of retaliatory airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. In the days after the ceasefire was declared, senior Israeli defense officials said they were not sure how long the truce would last, describing it as unstable.

In the most recent round of fighting, Palestinian terror groups tied the rocket fire from Gaza to unrest in Jerusalem, connected to both clashes on the Temple Mount during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the pending eviction of a number of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

A poll in June found a dramatic surge in Palestinian support for Hamas following the Gaza conflict, with around three-quarters viewing the Islamist terrorists as victors in a battle against Israel to defend Jerusalem and its holy sites.

On Thursday, sources in Hamas told a Lebanese newspaper it would escalate the situation on the Gaza border if Israel does not allow the passage of Qatari funds into the Strip by the end of the week.

With Israel’s approval, Qatar has in recent years distributed hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to enable Gaza’s Hamas rulers to pay for fuel for the Strip’s power plant, pay civil servants’ salaries, and provide aid to tens of thousands of impoverished families.Advertisement

An official familiar with the negotiations told The Times of Israel this month that Israel had notified Egyptian mediators that it will no longer allow the entrance of unmonitored Qatari cash into the Strip, as had previously been done.

In recent weeks, ministers in Israel’s high-level security cabinet were presented a new proposal that would enable aid to reach Gaza without enriching the terror organization. But no final decision has been reached yet.

Earlier this month it was reported that the United Nations has agreed to take responsibility for the disbursement of the Qatari funds.