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.

The agonizing problem of the Pakistani Nuclear Horn: Revelation 8

The agonizing problem of Pakistan’s nukes

Marvin KalbTuesday, September 28, 2021

“This is a new world,” President Joe Biden declared, when justifying his pullout from Afghanistan and explaining his administration’s war on global terrorism in an August 31 speech. It will go “well beyond Afghanistan,” he alerted the world, focusing on “the threats of 2021 and tomorrow.”

The president will not have to look too far. Bordering Afghanistan, now again under Taliban rule, is Pakistan, one of America’s oddest “allies.” Governed by a shaky coalition of ineffective politicians and trained military leaders trying desperately to contain the challenge of domestic terrorism, Pakistan may be the best definition yet of a highly combustible threat that, if left unchecked, might lead to the nightmare of nightmares: jihadis taking control of a nuclear weapons arsenal of something in the neighborhood of 200 warheads.

Ever since May 1998, when Pakistan first began testing nuclear weapons, claiming its national security demanded it, American presidents have been haunted by the fear that Pakistan’s stockpile of nukes would fall into the wrong hands. That fear now includes the possibility that jihadis in Pakistan, freshly inspired by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, might try to seize power at home.

Trying, of course, is not the same as succeeding. If history is a reliable guide, Pakistan’s professional military would almost certainly respond, and in time probably succeed; but only after the floodgates of a new round of domestic warfare between the government and extremist gangs has been opened, leaving Pakistan again shaken by political and economic uncertainty. And when Pakistan is shaken, so too is India, its less than neighborly rival and nuclear competitor.

Pakistani jihadis come in many different shapes and sizes, but no matter: The possibility of a nuclear-armed terrorist regime in Pakistan has now grown from a fear into a strategic challenge that no American president can afford to ignore.

Former President Barack Obama translated this challenge into carefully chosen words: “The single biggest threat to U.S. security, both short term, medium term and long term,” he asserted, “would be the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon.” (Author’s italics).

The nation that has both nuclear weapons and a dangerous mix of terrorists was — and remains — Pakistan.

No problem, really, Pakistan’s political and military leaders have quickly assured a succession of anxious presidents. Whether it be Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehreek-e-Labaik, al-Qaida, or the Afghan Taliban’s Quetta Shura — these terrorist organizations have always been under our constant surveillance, checked and rechecked. We keep a close eye on everything, even the Islamic madrassas, where more than 2 million students are more likely studying sharia law than economics or history. We know who these terrorists are and what they’re doing, and we’re ready to take immediate action.

These official assurances have fallen largely on deaf ears at the White House, principally because one president after another has learned from American intelligence that these same Pakistani leaders have often been working surreptitiously with the terrorists to achieve common goals. One such goal was the recent defeat of the Kabul regime, which had been supported by the U.S. for 20 years. During this time, the victorious Taliban secretly received political and military support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. Shortly after 9/11, for example, the terrorist mastermind, Osama bin Laden, escaped U.S. capture, in part because sympathetic of ISI colleagues. Bin Laden fled to the one place where his security could be assured — Pakistan. In 2011, when the U.S. finally caught up with bin Laden and killed him, Obama chose not to inform Pakistani leaders of the super-secret operation, even though the target was down the street from a Pakistani military academy, fearful that once again bin Laden would be tipped off and escape.

The U.S. has learned over the years not to trust Pakistan, realizing that a lie here and there might be part of the diplomatic game but that this level of continuing deception was beyond acceptable bounds. That Pakistan was also known to have helped North Korea and Iran develop their nuclear programs has only deepened the distrust.

Indeed, since the shock of 9/11, Pakistan has come to represent such an exasperating problem that the U.S. has reportedly developed a secret plan to arbitrarily seize control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal if a terrorist group in Pakistan seemed on the edge of capturing some or all of its nuclear warheads. When repeatedly questioned about the plan, U.S. officials have strung together an artful, if unpersuasive, collection of “no comments.”

Even though U.S. economic and military aid has continued to flow into Pakistan — reaching $4.5 billion in fiscal 2010, though on other occasions capriciously cut — America’s concerns about Pakistan’s stability and reliability have only worsened. Since the debacle in Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s barely disguised role in it, serious questions have been raised about America’s embarrassing predisposition to look the other way whenever Pakistan has been caught with its hand in a terrorist’s cookie jar. How long can America look the other way?

The anguishing problem for the Biden administration is now coming into sharper focus: Even if the president decided to challenge Pakistan’s dangerous flirtation with domestic and regional terrorism, what specific policies could he adopt that would satisfy America’s obvious desire to disengage from Afghan-like civil wars without at the same time getting itself involved in another nation’s domestic struggles with terrorists?  Disengagement has become the name of the game in Washington.

One approach, already widely discussed, is that the U.S. can contain the spread of terrorism in South Asia by relying on its “over-the-horizon” capabilities. Though almost every senior official, including Biden, has embraced this approach, it’s doubtful they really believe it’s a viable substitute for “boots on the ground.”

Another possibility would be the Central Intelligence Agency striking a new under-the-table deal with the ISI that would set new goals and guidelines for both services to cooperate more aggressively in the war against domestic and regional terrorism. Unfortunately, prospects for such expanded cooperation, though rhetorically appealing, are actually quite slim. Veterans of both services shake their heads, reluctantly admitting it is unrealistic, given the degree of distrust on both sides.

But even if Biden, despite knowing better, decided to continue to look the other way, hoping against hope that Pakistan would be able to contain the terrorists and keep them from acquiring nuclear warheads, he will find that Prime Minister Imran Khan is not a ready and eager ally, if he ever was one. Lately he’s been painting the Biden administration as damaged goods after its hurried exit from Afghanistan. And he has been rearranging Pakistan’s regional relationships by strengthening his ties with China and extending a welcoming hand to Russia. Also Khan may soon discover that his pro-Taliban policy runs the risk of backfiring and inspiring Pakistani terrorists to turn against him. To whom would he then turn for help?

Khan, who won his mandate in 2018, surely knows by now that he runs a decidedly unhappy country, beset by major economic and political problems, waves of societal corruption and the no-nonsense challenge coming from domestic terrorists eager to impose a severe Islamic code of conduct on the Pakistani people. Sixty-four percent of the population are under the age of 30 and more desirous of iPhones and apps than of religious zealotry.

Pakistan is a looming problem with no satisfactory solutions. For Biden, no matter what policies he pursues, it remains a recurring nightmare, the stuff of a paperback thriller: a scary mix of terrorists who may one day be able to seize power and, with it, control over the nation’s stockpile of nuclear warheads — all of this happening in a shaky, strategically-located country that was once an ally.

Since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, geostrategic relationships on the Asian subcontinent have been undergoing important changes. Pakistan has tilted its future towards a closer relationship with China, while its principal adversary, India, has tightened its ties to the United States, both of them sharing an already deep distrust of China. In this increasingly uneasy atmosphere, the U.S. remains concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile falling into terrorist hands. If this seemed to be happening, the U.S. would feel the need to intervene militarily to stop it. Pakistan would likely turn to China for help, setting the stage for the U.S. and China, because of Pakistan’s nukes, to head towards a direct and possibly deadly confrontation which neither superpower wants or needs

Despite Iraq election win, the Antichrist still has to work with the Iranian Horn

Despite Iraq election win, Sadr still has to work with pro-Iran groups

BAGHDAD–Firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr may be Iraq’s big election winner but he will still have to haggle with his opponents, linked to armed pro-Iranian groups, to forge a new government.

War-scarred Iraq, an oil-rich country plagued by corruption and poverty, last Sunday held its fifth parliamentary elections since the 2003 US-led invasion toppled president Saddam Hussein.

Sadr, a Shia preacher who once commanded an anti-US militia, had campaigned as a nationalist and criticised the influence of big neighbour Iran, which has grown strongly since Saddam’s fall.

The political maverick had initially vowed to boycott the polls but then sent his movement into the race, proclaiming in recent months that it will be he who chooses Iraq’s next prime minister.

At first glance, his bloc’s election win would seem to reinforce that view. The Sadrists won 70 out of the assembly’s 329 seats, according to preliminary results, boosting their lead from the previous parliament.

But analysts say Sadr will now have to come to terms with his adversaries, the pro-Iran Shia parties linked to the Hashed al-Shaabi network of paramilitary forces.

The Fatah (Conquest) Alliance, Hashed’s political wing, lost more than half of its 48 deputies, according to preliminary results.

“The results give Sadr an upper hand when it comes to politics and his negotiating position, but that is not the only thing that is important here,” said Renad Mansour of the Chatham House think tank.

The Hashed “has lost political power by losing seats, but they still have coercive power and that will be used in the bargaining,” he said of the movement, which according to estimates has over 160,000 men under arms.

Despite the implicit “threat of violence” Mansour does not predict an escalation, but he warned, “That doesn’t mean that each side won’t use threats and sometimes violence … to show that they have that power.”

Sour mood

Iraqi politics have been dominated by factions representing the Shia majority since the fall of Saddam’s Sunni-led regime.

They are, however, increasingly split, especially on their attitude toward powerful Shia neighbour Iran, which competes with the United States for strategic influence in Iraq.

The Hashed were formed in 2014 to fight the Sunni-extremist Islamic State (ISIS) group and entered the legislature for the first time in the 2018 vote, after playing a major role in defeating ISIS.

Opposition activists accuse Hashed’s armed groups, which are now supposedly integrated into Iraq’s state security forces, of being beholden to Iran and acting as an instrument of oppression against critics.

A youth-led anti-government protest movement that broke out two years ago ended after hundreds of activists were killed and the movement has blamed pro-Iranian armed groups for the bloodshed.

Washington, meanwhile, accuses Tehran-backed armed groups of being behind rocket and drone attacks on its military and diplomatic interests.

Among many Iraqis, the mood over Iranian interference has soured and Sadr voiced that sentiment after the election.

He attacked “the resistance,” the name pro-Iran armed groups give themselves in the Middle East.

“Arms should be in the hands of the state and their use outside of that framework prohibited, even for those who claim to be from the resistance,” he said in a clear reference to Hashed.

Rejecting election results

The Hashed and their allies denounced the election outcome as a “scam.”

“These elections are the worst Iraq has known since 2003,” charged the head of Houqouq, a party close to the Hezbollah Brigades which are under the Hashed umbrella.

The faction’s military spokesman accused Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi of being the “sponsor of electoral fraud.”

Amid the heated rhetoric, the political blocs are seen to be starting the process of post-election haggling aimed at forming parliamentary blocs ahead of finding a prime minister.

One pro-Iran figure and Hashed partner made surprising gains, former Prime Minister Nuri Maliki, who served from 2006 to 2014 and whose State of Law Alliance can count on more than 30 seats.

Fatah is looking at Maliki’s party and smaller groups to create the largest parliamentary bloc and nominate him as prime minister, said Hamdi Malik, of the Washington Institute for Near East Study.

“This is very hard to achieve, but it can form their starting point to enter into negotiations with Sadr to secure a lot of positions in the next government,” Malik said.

The most likely outcome, the analyst added, is “a compromise PM with a lot of Sadrist control over him”.

Political scientist Ali al-Baidar said that, whatever happens, Hashed won’t be content sitting in opposition.

“There is no culture of opposition in Iraqi politics,” he said. “Everyone wants some of the power.”

Casualties mount outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Gaza-Israel: Casualties mount as violence continues

UN officials say more than 100,000 people have been forced to take shelter in UN buildings in Gaza because of the violence – double the number of the Gaza conflict five years ago.

Diplomatic efforts to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas have intensified, with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meeting the US Secretary of State John Kerry in Cairo. 

A woman the BBC filmed being pulled from rubble in a Gaza blast was taken to hospital – but later died from her injuries.

Paul Adams reports.

First broadcast Tuesday 22 July

The new hypersonic nuclear arms race: Daniel

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Hypersonic Arms Race

Written by Syed Alyaan Kazmi• October 15, 2021• 11:47 am•

The Hypersonic Arms Race Between the US, China & Russia

The development of hypersonic weapons has made it difficult to distinguish between nuclear weapons and non-nuclear strategic weapons. Yet, it has made it clear that hypersonic weapons cannot be taken lightly. The strategic instability created by these weapons has triggered a hypersonic arms race between the US, China, and Russia. The author, Syed Alyaan Kazmi, notes that each state views the other two with suspicion and fears a pre-emptive strike, thus triggering a security dilemma. The existence of hypersonic weapons greatly influences the decision-making process due to their unpredictability. Fearing the destabilization of the arms race between the nuclear states, the author suggests the establishment of new multilateral agreements to limit the development and proliferation of hypersonic weapons.

Syed Alyaan Kazmi 

Syed Alyaan Kazmi is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in strategic and nuclear studies from the National Defence University, Islamabad. His areas of interest include the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region and South Asia.

Introduction

Despite disagreements, the majority of the experts from the US, China, Russia, and Europe agree that the advancements in military technology have the potential to exacerbate the complexity of deterrence and strategic stability, and intensifying the hypersonic arms race. Until the end of the Cold War, the entire construct of deterrence rested upon the presumption of survivability of credible nuclear forces to launch a counter nuclear strike, in retaliation to the first strike.

In recent years, advances in military technology—predominantly, the development of hypersonic weapons—have obscured the distinction between nuclear weapons and non-nuclear strategic weapons. Since hypersonic missiles can carry both nuclear and non-nuclear warheads at intercontinental ranges, their incredible speed and maneuverability enable them to incapacitate the adversary’s strategic forces like the nuclear command, control, and communication facilities without even crossing the nuclear threshold of the opponent.

Consequently, this warhead ambiguity might encourage a pre-emptive counterforce strike to limit the damage inflicted by the first strike. Hence, triggering an unstable hypersonic arms race leading to uncontrollable escalation, threatening the global strategic stability.

Hypersonic missiles, touted by many experts as the demolishers of anti-missile systems, travel at a speed faster than Mach 5 (about 5000-25000 km/hr) which makes them invulnerable to any missile defense system in the world. Presently, there are two main well-tested types of hypersonic missiles: hypersonic boost-glide vehicles (HGVs) and hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs). Both have different working principles from traditional ballistic missiles.

HGVs are unpowered vehicles that glide at hypersonic speed in the upper atmosphere at an altitude above 50 km. Being equipped with propulsion systems, an HGV travels with greater maneuverability, having greater self-orientation and directional control.

The glide vehicle upon reaching about 100 km of altitude (depending upon the target location) separates from the booster and skims through the atmosphere by the momentum gained due to its aerodynamic shape. Moreover, an HGV follows an unpredicted non-ballistic trajectory, maneuvering at the hypersonic speed which makes it invulnerable to any missile defense system.

The second type, hypersonic cruise missile, uses a Supersonic Combustion Ramjet Engine (SCRAMJET engine) which generates supersonic airflow thrust. An HCM needs to gain a supersonic speed of about 4 to 5 Mach before the engine starts working and for this purpose, booster rockets are used. 

Furthermore, land, aircraft, and ship-based launchers are used to launch an HCM, traveling at a low altitude of 12 to 30 miles, above the earth’s surface. Due to its high speed and unpredictable trajectory, an HCM poses a serious threat to most defense systems. Depending upon its speed, weight, and material stiffness, a hypersonic cruise missile possesses the capability to destroy any underground facility, solely through its kinetic energy, with high precision.

Currently, the US, China, and Russia are the major countries actively pursuing research and development programs in the arena of hypersonic missile technology. Some other countries including France, India, and Australia are also pursuing hypersonic weapons for military use, however, they are still far behind the big three in this race.Also Read:  Sino-Russian Relations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization: The Tides of Power

Russia is the only country having hypersonic missiles developed and fully operationalized in its arsenal, while some are reaching operational status. At present, three main hypersonic missiles in the Russian arsenal pose serious threats to the US missile defenses. Firstly, the Avangard, an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)-launched hypersonic glide vehicle that can travel at a velocity of more than 20 Mach—20 times faster than the speed of sound.

Avangard is fitted to carry both nuclear and conventional warheads capable of delivering a yield of 2 megatons. The defense minister of Russia, Sergei Shoigu, in a press release on December 27, 2019, confirmed the entry of Avangard HGV into the service of Russian rocket forces.

Another missile, the Kinzhal Kh47-M2is an air-launched hypersonic ballistic missile that can travel at the velocity of 10 Mach, capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads at the distant ranges of 2,000 km. A TU-22M3, a maritime strike fighter, and MIG-31K interceptor aircraft provide a reliable platform for its possible launch. Kinzhal, because of its maneuverability, is highly valuable to strike naval targets such as aircraft carriers. In December 2017, it entered into the Russian rocket force service.

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal in 2018

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal. 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade” by The Presidential Press and Information Office is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Lastly, Tsirkon 3M22 (Zircon) is a ship-launched hypersonic cruise missile that can fly at the speed of up to Mach 9 with a range of 1000 km. In July 2021, Russia successfully tested Zircon HCM from Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate on the Barents sea coast, which President Vladimir Putin described as a great event for Russia. Moreover, Russia is also pursuing a submarine version of Tsirkon HCM, which will further enable it to strike key US command and control centers with a slight warning.

For the United States, the development of hypersonic weapons remains the highest technical priority. At first, the US actively pursued the hypersonic missiles development program for its conventional use, however, the Pentagon had to drop the plans fearing their possible perception as nuclear warheads, triggering a nuclear response.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) unsuccessfully tested two Hypersonic Test Vehicles (HTVs) in 2010 and 2011 but failed due to vehicle destruction. Nevertheless, the other US military services continued testing their hypersonic weapons. For instance, In 2013, the US Air Force tested the X-51A Waverider hypersonic glide vehicle reaching the speed of Mach 5.1. In June 2021, the US defense department announced a defense budget of $3.8 billion for the hypersonic weapons initiative in the fiscal year 2022.

X-51A Waverider during its final mission in 2013

X-51A Waverider during its fourth and final mission on May 1st, 2013

Similarly, in China, hypersonic technology has become the focus of aeronautical research. To counter the US technological monopoly, China is also pursuing hypersonic weapons for military use. Since 2014, China has conducted several successful tests of DF-17 HGV, which can achieve a velocity of Mach 5-10 with a range of 1600-2400 km. Currently, China is also considering the development of hypersonic cruise missiles, which can be deployed by the mid of 2023. For Instance, DF-21D—an intermediate-range missile also known as “carrier killer”—can penetrate the deck of the US aircraft carriers at the range of more than 1,500-2,600 km.

In the second nuclear age, the emerging competition in hypersonics poses grave challenges to strategic stability. Security professionals largely view strategic stability as the absence of incentives between nuclear powers to use nuclear weapons first to initiate a conflict. During the Cold War, strategic stability had two specific meanings: crisis stability and arms race stability.Also Read:  U.S. and China’s Balance of Power on the Asia-Pacific Chessboard

Crisis stability is the situation between two nuclear states when both sides consider their nuclear forces as invulnerable, breaching any missile defense system an enemy may develop. Moreover, both sides assure that they are fully capable of massive retaliation if one side decides to launch the first nuclear strike.

In contrast, crisis instability, according to Thomas C. Schelling, is the fear of a pre-emptive counter-force strike by any side in a crisis. For crisis instability, two weapons are implicated— counter-force weapons and ballistic missile defense systems (BMDs). The former include ballistic missiles, MIRVs (multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles), and hypersonic missiles. In the 21st century, hypersonic missiles possess such prevailing capabilities having the potential to severely impact crisis stability between global nuclear powers.

The US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002 and the development of the Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) strategy gave incentive to Russia and China to develop hypersonic weapons. Russia’s intentions to develop hypersonic weapons are the product of a historical fear of the vulnerability of its strategic nuclear forces.

After the American withdrawal from the ABM treaty, Russia believed that the United States would develop conventional counter-force weapons to launch a first strike on Russia, and then, through advanced missile defenses, the US will circumvent the damage of Russian retaliatory strikes. Therefore, hypersonic missiles, armed with nuclear warheads, having rapid speed and maneuverability might assist in restoring the Russian logic of strategic stability.

For Russia, the strategic rationale behind hypersonic missiles development was to evade the US missile defense systems to secure second-strike capability. In February 2019, the Trump administration announced the decision to suspend US obligations under the landmark 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. The treaty led to the elimination of cruise missiles and ground-launched ballistic missiles of range 500 – 5000 kilometers.

Russia views NATO enlargement as an existential threat to its national security. To address the advanced conventional capabilities of NATO, Russia is developing a land-based intermediate-range version of the Tsirkon-3M22 hypersonic cruise missile. Due to the unpredictable trajectory, high speed, and low altitude, the intermediate-range Zircon HCM can even circumvent the US Aegis-class system. Also, Russian theater-range hypersonic missiles as an essential part of the anti-access/area-denial strategy is a major threat to the forward-deployed US forces in the European theater.

Chinese experts argue that the US’ CPGS strategy can undermine the credibility of China’s nuclear deterrent. China maintains a “minimum credible deterrence” nuclear posture and has a no-first-use nuclear policy. Therefore, China believes that the US hypersonic weapons as a part of its CPGS tactic can decapitate its small strategic forces in a pre-emptive decapitation strike, ultimately weakening China’s counter-strike capability.

For that reason, China, like Russia, is also pursuing hypersonic weapons as a part of its anti-access/area-denial (A2AD) strategy to counter the US weapons. The US decision to deploy BMDs and advanced radar systems in the Asia-Pacific region produces incentives for China to shift on a policy of launch-on-warning and deploy intermediate-range hypersonic missiles as a part of the A2AD strategy.

The utility of hypersonic weapons in a crisis involves many implications for the crisis stability because the hypersonic weapons possess some exceptional features which enable them to create security dilemmas between the hostile nuclear states. The hypersonic speed of these missiles severely impacts the decision-making timelines.

Decision-makers, after a hypersonic weapon has been detected, would have to act in a very short time after receiving initial intel from detection radars. The whole chain of command would be under greater pressure under the tainted environment of compressed timelines. For instance, a hypersonic missile like Avangard, capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads, approaching at the speed of more than 25 Mach, would give little time to US decision-makers to detect and analyze the intelligence received from the radars.Also Read:  Civil War in Myanmar and Human Rights Violations

Consequently, the warhead ambiguity could encourage a nuclear response to a conventional strike due to inefficient decision-making in a degraded decision-making environment, triggering a nuclear crisis. Similarly, target ambiguity is another challenge for the decision-makers because the hypersonic weapons can maneuver even before the point of contact with the target. It makes it impossible for the radars to track the trajectory of an incoming hypersonic missile.

As a consequence, decision-makers will be facing a “use-it or lose-it dilemma” because a delay of a minute in decision-making can result in the decapitation of the entire command and control center. Hence, the increased degree of unpredictability could result in miscalculated pre-emptive nuclear response which will ultimately start a nuclear conflict.

Nevertheless, this inefficient decision-making will have other serious implications on the organization of strategic forces. For instance, regional commanders of strategic forces might be given full authority to make independent decisions in a state of crisis. This decentralization of command and control might result in miscalculated nuclear launches resulting in uncontrollable nuclear escalation.

The advent of hypersonic weapons is most likely to be destabilizing for the arms race behavior of nuclear states. The contemporary world is entering into an age of great uncertainty because the advent of hypersonic weapons is further intensifying the offense-defense dynamic of the arms race. For instance, in this arms race, China and Russia are developing new offensive strategic hypersonic missiles to evade the US missile defense systems.

At the same time, the US is investing heavily in the means to counter this new hypersonic threat. For this purpose, the US has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman and L3Harris to develop prototypes of hypersonic and ballistic tracking space sensors (HBTSS). To avoid this new hypersonic arms race there is a need to negotiate new multilateral agreements limiting the development and proliferation of hypersonic weapons. However, major world powers, unfortunately, are less likely to negotiate any new treaty limiting the use of hypersonic weapons.

In this age of great power competition and a hypersonic arms race between the US, China, and Russia, it seems impossible that any treaty or an agreement could limit the development of these disruptive technologies. However, the establishment of a mechanism to prevent conflicts and ensure confidence-building measures to limit the incentives for the first use of hypersonic weapons could be the first step towards negotiating a new multilateral agreement between the world powers and maintaining global strategic stability

Read the original post at ParadigmShift.com.pk: https://www.paradigmshift.com.pk/hypersonic-arms-race/
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Israel resumes Gaza offensive after Hamas rockets

Israel resumes Gaza offensive after Hamas rockets

Israel resumes Gaza offensive after Hamas rocketsClose

The Israeli military says it is resuming its air, ground and naval raids on Gaza as Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets after rejecting a humanitarian truce.

Israel had accepted a UN request for a 24-hour ceasefire, but warned it would act if it was breached by Hamas.

Hamas said it would not accept a truce unless Israeli troops left Gaza and the displaced were allowed to return home.

More than 1,000 Palestinians and 46 Israelis have been killed.

Chris Morris reports from Gaza