Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago
It happened before, and it could happen again.
By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg
Boston.com Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM
On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.
According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.
The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.
A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:
“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”
The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.
The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.
The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.
“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”
The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.
“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.”
The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.
There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.
According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.
“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,
that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,
the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;
O turn to God; lest by his Rod,
he cast thee down to Hell.”
Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”
There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.
Well, sort of.
In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”
It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.
In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”
If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The Russian Nuclear Horn Follows Biden and Nukes Up: Daniel 7

Alexei Druzhinin/AP

After AUKUS, Russia sees a potential threat — and an opportunity to market its own submarines

September 22, 2021 10.38pm EDT

The global opinions on the new AUKUS security pact between Australia, the US and the UK have been decidedly mixed. China and France immediately blasted the deal, while others, such as Japan and the Philippines, were more welcoming.

Russia, one of the other few nations armed with nuclear-powered submarines, was more low-key and cautious in its initial reaction.

The Kremlin limited its official commentaryto a carefully crafted statement that said,

Before forming a position, we must understand the goals, objectives, means. These questions need to be answered first. There is little information so far.

Some Russian diplomatic officials joined their Chinese counterparts in expressing their concerns that Australia’s development of nuclear-powered submarines (with American and British help) would undermine the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and “speed up an arms race” in the region. 

They suggested the construction of the nuclear submarine fleet would need to be overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency — a proposition unlikely to be acceptable to Canberra. 


Read more: Why nuclear submarines are a smart military move for Australia — and could deter China further

As more became known about the new security pact, the rhetoric of Kremlin officials began to shift. 

For instance, former Australian ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, boldly declaredAUKUS was intended to counter not only China’s power in the Indo-Pacific region, but Russia’s, too.

Soon after, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, was calling the pact a “prototype of an Asian NATO”. He added, 

Washington will try to involve other countries in this organisation, chiefly in order to pursue anti-China and anti-Russia policies

This change of rhetoric should not come as a surprise to Canberra. Russia has long considered any change to regional security — the creation of new alliances, for instance, or the deployment of new weapons systems — a military risk that would require a response. 

So, what possible options could Russia entertain as part of its response?

Since Moscow’s view of AUKUS is more of a political and military risk, but not yet a threat, its immediate responses are likely to be limited to political manoeuvring and opportunity grabbing. 

Perhaps most notably, Russia may see the AUKUS submarine deal as setting a precedent, allowing it to promote its own nuclear-submarine technology to interested parties in the region. This is not merely hypothetical — it has been suggested by defence experts with close links to Russia’s Ministry of Defence. 

Historically, Russia has held back from sharing its nuclear submarine technology, which is considered among the best in the world, certainly superior to China’s nascent capabilities.

Thus far, Moscow has only entered into leasing arrangements with India, allowing its navy to operate Soviet- and Russian-made nuclear-powered attack submarines since 1987. But this has not entailed the transfer of technology to India.

Should Russia decide to market its nuclear-powered submarines to other nations, it would have no shortage of interested buyers. As one military expert suggested, Vietnam or Algeria are potential markets — but there could be others. As he put it,

Literally before our eyes, a new market for nuclear powered submarines is being created. […] Now we can safely offer a number of our strategic partners. 

In the longer run, Russia will also not disregard the obvious: the new pact unites two nuclear-armed nations (the US and UK) and a soon-to-be-nuclear-capable Australia. 

The expanded endurance and range of Australia’s future submarines could see them operating in the western and northwestern Pacific, areas of regular activity for Russia’s naval force. 

A Russian Navy destroyer visiting the Philippines.
A Russian Navy destroyer visiting the Philippines in 2019. Bullit Marquez/AP

Should the strike systems on board these submarines have the Russian far east or parts of Siberia within their range, it would be a game-changer for Moscow.

As a nuclear superpower, Russia will need to factor this into its strategic planning. And this means Australia must keep a close watch on Russia’s military activities in the Pacific in the coming years.

Over the next 12 months, for instance, the Russian Pacific Fleet is expected to receive at least three nuclear-powered submarines. 

Two of these fourth-generation submarines (the Yasen-M class) are technologically superior to similar vessels currently being built by the Chinese and are believed to be almost comparable to the American nuclear submarines being considered an option for Australia. 

The third is a 30,000-tonne, modified Oscar II class Belgorod submarine converted to carry several nuclear super-torpedos capable of destroying major naval bases. 

By 2028, I estimate Russia’s navy will have a force of at least 14 nuclear-powered submarines and six conventional attack submarines in the Pacific. 

Should Russia start considering AUKUS a military threat, we could expect more to arrive. Their area of operations could also be expanded to the South China Sea, and beyond. 

In the most dramatic scenario, Russia and China could form a loose maritime coalition to counter the combined military power of the AUKUS pact.

Given the deepening state of Russia-China defence relations, particularly in the naval sphere, this does not seem unrealistic.


This possible coalition is unlikely to become an actual maritime alliance, let alone the basis for larger bloc involving other countries. Still, if Russia and China were to coordinate their naval activities, that would be bad news for the AUKUS. 

Should tensions escalate, Moscow and Beijing could see Australia as the weakest link of the pact. In its typical bombastic language, China’s Global Times newspaper has already referred to Australia as a “potential target for a nuclear strike”. 

This might be a far-fetched scenario, but by entering the nuclear submarine race in the Indo-Pacific, Australia would become part of an elite club, some of whom would be adversaries. And there is the potential for this to lead to a naval Cold War of sorts in the Indo-Pacific.

Sceptics may say Moscow is likely to be all talk but no action and the risks posed by Russia to Australia are minimal. Let’s hope this is correct.

The Chinese Nuclear Horn Moved Into Space: Revelation 7

51st Anniversary of Great October Revolution, 1968

Yes, China Could Park Nukes In Orbit. America Would Have Itself To Blame.

08:00am EDTAerospace & Defense

I write about ships, planes, tanks, drones, missiles and satellites.

More From Forbes

China in theory could develop an orbital nuclear weapon that could dodge America’s mainly north-facing strategic radars.

The United States in theory could head off this possible development by agreeing to give up certain missile defenses.

It’s a hypothetical scenario. But there’s real danger of it becoming real, U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall warned at an industry event in Maryland on Monday. 

“​​There is a potential for weapons to be launched into space, then go through this old concept from the Cold War called the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, which is a system that basically goes into orbit and then de-orbits to a target,” Kendall said.

There are no indications China is developing a FOBS. But there also is no reason it couldn’t develop one. 

At the same time, there’s one good reason why it might do so. Namely, the United States for decades has been developing and deploying increasingly sophisticated anti-ballistic-missile defenses, including land- and sea-based interceptors. 

“As long as the U.S. pursues an ABM capability that can, in concert with modernized strategic offensive forces, neutralize Russia, China or North Korea’s strategic deterrent capability, those countries will try to build their way back to deterrence,” tweeted Jeffrey Lewis, an arms-control expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California. “That may well include FOBS.”

FOBS has a long history. The Soviet Union between 1969 and 1983 fielded a small number of these fractional orbital missiles. Then, as now, the prospect of American missile-defense systems swatting away normal nuclear-tipped missiles motivated the FOBS deployment.

Early in the nuclear arms race, successive U.S. administrations worked on surface-launched missile systems that could shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. President Richard Nixon in 1969 finally approved the deployment of the Safeguard Anti-Ballistic-Missile system.

Safeguard included two types of nuclear-armed missile-interceptor cued, in succession, by satellites with infrared sensors, then north-looking strategic radars and finally a pair of shorter-range radars.

American officials were aware that missile defenses risked escalating the arms race. Strategic deterrence works when both combatants in a potential nuclear war understand neither side can win—so fighting isn’t really an option. 

Deploying missile defenses signals that one side believes it can win and thus might risk a first strike. Why then wouldn’t the other side develop even better offensive missiles? 

“Were we to deploy a heavy ABM system throughout the United States, the Soviets would clearly be strongly motivated to increase their offensive capability so as to cancel out our defensive advantage,” saidRobert McNamara, secretary of defense for presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. 

“It is futile for each of us to spend $4 billion, $40 billion or $400 billion—and at the end of all the spending, and at the end of all the deployment, and at the end of all the effort, to be relatively at the same point of balance on the security scale that we are now.”

It should have surprised no one that, in response to Nixon’s approval of Safeguard, the Soviets quickly designed a FOBS. 

As its name implies, a fractional orbital nuclear weapon launches like an ICBM but then enters a brief but stable orbit before firing a small rocket in order to de-orbit after just a fraction of a trip around Earth.

Where a traditional ICBM briefly escapes the atmosphere as it predictably arcs toward its target—over the North Pole, in the case of a Soviet or Chinese rocket heading for the United States—a FOBS actually stays in orbit just long enough that, depending on its trajectory, it can streak toward a target from any of several directions. 

As many of the most powerful strategic radars are fixed, and thus point in just one direction, a FOBS has great potential for an atomic sneak-attack. The less warning a target country has of an incoming nuclear strike, the less likely its anti-missile defenses are to work.

Thus FOBS is a kind of strategic remedy to ABM systems.

The Soviet Union deployed 18 R-36O FOBS missiles starting in 1969. Three years later, the U.S. and USSR signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which limited the two countries each to two ABM sites. Further negotiations decreased the limit to one site. 

In 1975, the U.S. Congress voted to dismantle what was left of Safeguard. Eight years later, following the signing of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks 2 agreement, Moscow withdrew the FOBS missiles. “Why did the Soviets give up on FOBS?” Lewis tweeted. “Because the U.S. gave up on ground-based missile defenses.”

America’s missile-defenses spurred the Soviet FOBS deployment. Diplomacy eventually unwound that escalation after 14 dangerous years. What’s chilling about the state of the world in 2021 is that the United States, having unilaterally withdrawn from the ABM Treaty back in 2002, is deploying ever-better anti-missile systems without also negotiating in a serious way with any other nuclear power.

Indeed, thanks in large part to a deep resentment toward any arms controls on the part of ex-President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress, the United States in recent years has been canceling treaties rather than writing them.

It’s an open question whether a Chinese FOBS—assuming Beijing opted to develop and deploy one—would change minds in the U.S. government and bring presidents and diplomats back to the negotiating table in good faith.

In this hypothetical scenario, the Chinese surely would give up a theoretical FOBS only in exchange for an end to U.S. ABM development. Would the Americans be willing to discard missile-killing missiles in exchange for the Chinese abandoning their own (again, theoretical) missile-defense-dodging orbital nukes?Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website or some of my other work here. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a journalist, author and filmmaker based in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Saudi Nuclear Horn threatens Iran: Daniel

Saudi king Tells UN Kingdom Supports Efforts To Prevent Nuclear Iran

US Says Window Open For Iran Nuclear Talks But Won’t Be Forever

Thursday, 23 Sep 2021 20:38 

WASHINGTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – The window is still open to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but Tehran has yet to indicate whether it is willing to resume talks in Vienna or whether it would do so on the basis of where they left off in June, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

The official told reporters on condition of anonymity that Washington’s patience would not last forever but declined to set a deadline, saying this depended on technical progress in Iran’s nuclear program and a wider judgment by the United States and its partners on whether Iran was willing to revive the deal.

“We’re still interested. We still want to come back to the table,” the senior U.S. State Department official said in a telephone briefing. “The window of opportunity is open. It won’t be open forever if Iran takes a different course.”

Under the 2015 deal, Iran curbed its uranium enrichment program, a possible pathway to nuclear arms, in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. Former President Donald Trump quit the deal three years ago and re-imposed harsh sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors that have crippled its economy, prompting Iran to take steps to violate its nuclear limits.

The U.S. official declined to say what the United States might do if Iran refuses to return to negotiations, or if a resumption of the original deal proves impossible. Such U.S. contingency planning is often referred to as “Plan B.”

“The ‘Plan B’ that we’re concerned about is the one that Iran may be contemplating, where they want to continue to build their nuclear program and not be seriously engaged in talks to return to the JCPOA,” he said, in a reference to the deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Australian Nuclear Horn will challenge the nonproliferation regime, and China: Daniel 7

Nuclear subs in Australia will challenge the nonproliferation regime, and China

Nuclear subs in Australia will challenge the nonproliferation regime, and China

By George M. Moore and Frank N. von Hippel, Opinion ContributorsSeptember 22, 2021 – 03:00 PM EDT

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

President Biden and the prime ministers of Australia and the United Kingdom announced on Sept. 15, as the first action in their new AUKUS defense agreement, the sale to Australia of nuclear submarine technology to replace an existing Australian deal with France for conventional submarines. The plan is to build the submarines in Australia with assistance, and perhaps components, from the UK and U.S.

The announcement surprised many, including the French government, whose foreign minister referred to the decision as a “stab in the back.”

The Biden administration has touted the agreement as a counter to growing Chinese naval intimidation of Australia and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region. It appears likely, however, that any beneficial impacts on China will be offset by negative impacts on the nuclear weapons nonproliferation regime. Other non-nuclear-armed states, such as South Korea and Iran, are likely to be incentivized to acquire nuclear-powered attack submarines from the U.S. and UK, or perhaps Russia or China. 

The AUKUS deal is especially problematic because U.S. and UK nuclear-powered submarines use weapon-grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) as fuel. An obvious presumption therefore is that the Australian submarines too will be fueled with HEU drawn from the U.S. Cold War surplus. 

It is hard to understate what a departure the Australian plan is from prior U.S. policy. In the 1980s, the U.S. pressured France and the UK not to supply nuclear-powered submarines to Canada due to the perceived negative impact on the nonproliferation regime. U.S. nonproliferation policy has also had a bedrock principle of reducing the global availability and use of HEU. It would be folly for the U.S. to now export weapon-grade uranium to non-nuclear-armed states after spending more than a billion dollars since 9/11 to convert research reactors that the U.S. and the Soviet Union had exported to dozens of countries from weapon-grade to low enriched uranium fuel.

Since Australia does not have a commercial nuclear power program (it does have a research reactor) and no military support facilities for nuclear-powered vessels at this point, it will probably have to rely initially on the U.S. or UK for both personnel training and support for nuclear infrastructure development. Given the strong historic relation between the Royal Australian Navy and UK’s Royal Navy, the UK might provide initial training for submarine cadres to man the new Australian nuclear submarine force. 

The ultimate creation of a nuclear submarine force in Australia will take decades. Therefore, Australia might follow India’s model and start by renting a nuclear submarine from either the U.S. or UK. India rented two submarines: The first from the Soviet Union and then a second from Russia, before building its own nuclear submarine, whose design appears to be based to a significant degree on its second leased submarine. Acquiring a U.S. or UK submarine, possibly with a joint crew, could be a big first step forward for an Australian nuclear submarine program.

If the AUKUS plan goes forward, a significant question is whether the proliferation risks associated with HEU could be reduced by developing propulsion reactors fueled with non-weapon-usable low-enriched-uranium (LEU). France and China already use LEU to fuel their naval reactors. Russia and India use HEU fuel, although not weapon-grade.

Despite encouragement from Congress over the past 25 years, the U.S. Navy has vehemently rejected designing its future submarines to be powered by LEU. The principal argument is that the reactor core would have to be larger or would have to be refueled once or twice. The U.S. Navy’s current reactors are designed to be life-of-the-ship, which the Navy considers to be a significant cost and time savings. U.S. refueling cycles have kept U.S. submarines in shipyards for over a year to carry out refuelings, although France has developed robotic refueling arrangements through hatches that have reduced that time to a few weeks.

After the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile peaked in 1964, the U.S. continued to produce weapon-grade uranium for naval reactor fuel until 1992. For the past two decades, U.S. and UK submarines have been fueled with HEU from more than 10,000 U.S. nuclear warheads that became excess at the end of the Cold War. This source will run out by around 2060. In order to maintain HEU fueled submarines and aircraft carriers, the U.S. will soon need to study and fund a very expensive new facility to produce HEU. Providing HEU fuel for Australia will accelerate the need for a new facility.

The Biden administration could also look at the Australian development program as an additional motivation to shift U.S. submarines and aircraft carriers to LEU fuel. That would avoid the need for the U.S. setting the dangerous example of developing a new HEU production facility after the existing supply is used up. Australia, France, the U.S. and UK could also work with the International Atomic Energy Agency to deal with the safeguard issues that arise from the military use of nuclear reactors in non-nuclear-weapon states. That too would be made much easier if the submarines were fueled with low-enriched uranium.

Should there be interest in the Biden administration to patch things up with France, it might explore bringing France back into the Australian submarine program to provide its expertise on LEU-fueled submarines. 

George M. Moore is a scientist-in-residence at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He was previously a staff member at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and was a senior analyst at the International Atomic Energy Agency.Frank N. von Hippel, a nuclear physicist, is professor of public and international affairs emeritus in Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security.

Shooting down the dome outside the temple walls: Revelation 11

WSJ Opinion: Make No Mistake: Al Qaeda Is Back
Journal Editorial Report: Paul Gigot interviews Long War Journal editor Bill Roggio. Images: Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

Shooting Down Israel’s Iron Dome

Democrats pull funding for missile defenses that save civilian lives.

By Sept. 21, 2021 6:38 pm ET

The Democratic Party still likes to say it supports Israel. But on Tuesday House Democrats stripped from their government funding bill the $1 billion earmarked for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system. Facing a revolt from progressive lawmakers, and with limited time to avert a government shutdown, Speaker Nancy Pelosi buckled.

Democrats say the funding will be included in a defense bill later this year, and the moderates among them may fight for it another day. But why has the party been made to retreat? Iron Dome has enjoyed strong bipartisan support. It is a defensive system that shoots down in midair rockets fired by Hamas and other Iran-backed terrorist groups in the Gaza strip.

US law makers try to stop the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

Ensure that Taliban do not destabilise Pakistan and acquire nuclear weapons: US lawmakers to Biden

A group of US lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to ensure that the Taliban, which is now the de facto ruler of Afghanistan, do not destabilise Pakistan and acquire nuclear weapons

PTI

Published: 26 Aug 2021, 8:49 AMEngagement: 206

A group of US lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to ensure that the Taliban, which is now the de facto ruler of Afghanistan, do not destabilise Pakistan and acquire nuclear weapons.

The lawmakers demanded that Biden should answer critical questions on what happened in Afghanistan and what are his plans to move forward.

Are you prepared to support regional allies militarily in the event that the Taliban militarise the Afghanistan border? What is your plan to help to ensure that the Taliban do not destabilise its nuclear neighbour Pakistan? the group of 68 lawmakers from the Senate and the House of Representatives asked in a letter addressed to Biden on Wednesday.

Do you have a plan to ensure that Afghanistan, under Taliban occupation, will never acquire a nuclear weapon? they asked.

The lawmakers said over the past weeks, the world watched with utter shock as the Taliban took over Afghanistan with astonishing speed, “the result of unforced errors made by withdrawing completely the small remaining footprint of our main military force from Afghanistan, and by unnecessarily delaying the evacuation of US personnel and its Afghan partners”.

The situation in Afghanistan has rapidly “metastasized” into Taliban
rule with reinstated oppression of women and girls, the repression of civil society, the displacement of countless Afghans from their homes who the Taliban then use force to prevent from fleeing Afghanistan, and a power vacuum that China seeks to fill by increasing its ties to the Taliban, they said.null

Observing that the consequences of US withdrawal from Afghanistan are not isolated to that country, or even to the Middle East region, the lawmakers said the action carried geopolitical and strategic consequences that have already begun to unfold and will reverberate for decades.

Dealing with these consequences means that we must take action now to chart the course for American strategy, while we manage the immediate repercussions of this self-inflicted crisis in Afghanistan. To this end, we write to ask you to outline what your plan is to move America forward, they wrote.

Noting that the intelligence community has warned that Al Qaida and ISIS-K will be given carte blanche by the Taliban to use Afghanistan as a safe haven to train and equip for future terrorist attacks against the US, they asked: What is your plan to ensure that Al Qaida does not resurge and regain a foothold in Afghanistan? What ‘over the horizon’ operations are you prepared to use to counter this threat?

The letter questioned that with the Taliban taking over Kabul, does the armed group now have de facto command and control over the Afghan security forces’ former personnel, equipment and infrastructure.

“If so, does this mean that the Taliban possess an air force through this de facto control? What is your plan to disable any air forces that operate under orders from the Taliban? it asked.

The lawmakers asked Biden about his plan to ensure that more US and Afghan military equipment do not end up in the hands of the Taliban.

What is your plan to reclaim US military equipment that has already fallen into the hands of the Taliban? they asked.