East Coast Quakes and the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6

Items lie on the floor of a grocery store after an earthquake on Sunday, August 9, 2020 in North Carolina.

East Coast Quakes: What to Know About the Tremors Below

By Meteorologist Dominic Ramunni Nationwide PUBLISHED 7:13 PM ET Aug. 11, 2020 PUBLISHED 7:13 PM EDT Aug. 11, 2020

People across the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic were shaken, literally, on a Sunday morning as a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck in North Carolina on August 9, 2020.

Centered in Sparta, NC, the tremor knocked groceries off shelves and left many wondering just when the next big one could strike.

Fault Lines

Compared to the West Coast, there are far fewer fault lines in the East. This is why earthquakes in the East are relatively uncommon and weaker in magnitude.

That said, earthquakes still occur in the East.

According to Spectrum News Meteorologist Matthew East, “Earthquakes have occurred in every eastern U.S. state, and a majority of states have recorded damaging earthquakes. However, they are pretty rare. For instance, the Sparta earthquake Sunday was the strongest in North Carolina in over 100 years.”

While nowhere near to the extent of the West Coast, damaging earthquakes can and do affect much of the eastern half of the country.

For example, across the Tennesse River Valley lies the New Madrid Fault Line. While much smaller in size than those found farther west, the fault has managed to produce several earthquakes over magnitude 7.0 in the last couple hundred years.

In 1886, an estimated magnitude 7.0 struck Charleston, South Carolina along a previously unknown seismic zone. Nearly the entire town had to be rebuilt.

Vulnerabilities

The eastern half of the U.S. has its own set of vulnerabilities from earthquakes.

Seismic waves actually travel farther in the East as opposed to the West Coast. This is because the rocks that make up the East are tens, if not hundreds, of millions of years older than in the West.

These older rocks have had much more time to bond together with other rocks under the tremendous pressure of Earth’s crust. This allows seismic energy to transfer between rocks more efficiently during an earthquake, causing the shaking to be felt much further.

This is why, during the latest quake in North Carolina, impacts were felt not just across the state, but reports of shaking came as far as Atlanta, Georgia, nearly 300 miles away.

Reports of shaking from different earthquakes of similar magnitude.

Quakes in the East can also be more damaging to infrastructure than in the West. This is generally due to the older buildings found east. Architects in the early-to-mid 1900s simply were not accounting for earthquakes in their designs for cities along the East Coast.

When a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck Virginia in 2011, not only were numerous historical monuments in Washington, D.C. damaged, shaking was reported up and down the East Coast with tremors even reported in Canada.

Unpredictable

There is no way to accurately predict when or where an earthquake may strike.

Some quakes will have a smaller earthquake precede the primary one. This is called a foreshock.

The problem is though, it’s difficult to say whether the foreshock is in fact a foreshock and not the primary earthquake. Only time will tell the difference.

The United State Geological Survey (USGS) is experimenting with early warning detection systems in the West Coast.

While this system cannot predict earthquakes before they occur, they can provide warning up to tens of seconds in advance that shaking is imminent. This could provide just enough time to find a secure location before the tremors begin.

Much like hurricanes, tornadoes, or snowstorms, earthquakes are a natural occuring phenomenon that we can prepare for.

The USGS provides an abundance of resources on how to best stay safe when the earth starts to quake.

Israeli Forces Attack Anti-Settlement Protesters Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli Forces Attack Anti-Settlement Protesters, Injure Scores of Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli Forces Attack Anti-Settlement Protesters, Injure Scores of Palestinians in West Bank

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Israeli regime forces dispersed anti-settlement protests in the occupied West Bank on Friday, injuring scores of Palestinians.

The Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service said 10 Palestinians were hit with rubber bullets, while 44 others suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces during clashes in Beita, south of Nablus, on Friday.

According to the report, five other Palestinians suffered different injuries during the clashes.

Since May, Beita has seen intensified clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians protesting against a settlement outpost that has been established on Sobeih Mountain by settlers under the protection of Israeli forces.

To the east of Nablus, Israeli forces used rubber bullets, tear gas, and sound bombs against Palestinian protesters who took to the streets of the village of Beit Dajan on Friday to condemn Israel’s settlement expansion policy and the crimes committed by the Tel Aviv regime against the Palestinians.

During the clashes, 12 demonstrators were hit with rubber bullets, while 20 others suffered breathing difficulties due to the tear gas.

Israeli forces also attacked a weekly anti-settlement protest in Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilya City, on Friday leaving tens of Palestinians injured.

The demonstrators were denouncing Israel’s policy of deliberate medical negligence against Palestinian prisoners.

Also on Friday, clashes erupted between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters at the northern entrance to al-Bireh City.

The Israeli forces used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters, who marched toward the vicinity of Bet El settlement, leaving a journalist and a number of Palestinians injured. The protest was staged in support of Nasser Abu Hamid, a cancer patient held in Israeli jails whose health has deteriorated.

In the city of al-Khalil (Hebron), two Palestinians were hit with rubber bullets, while tens of others suffered breathing difficulties during skirmishes with Israeli forces in Bab al-Zawya district on Friday.

A number of Palestinians also suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces during clashes in Araqah Village, west of Jenin.

Local sources told WAFA news agency that the clashes took place after the Israeli forces stormed the village.

Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — territories the Palestinians want for a future state — during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza. More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. All the settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the settlement activities in several resolutions.

On Thursday, reports said that an Israeli local committee approved plans to build more than 3,500 new illegal settler units in the occupied East al-Quds.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry decried the move on Friday. Haitham Abu al-Foul, a spokesman for the ministry, stressed that the Israeli action was “a flagrant violation of international law.” He emphasized that Israel’s settlement policy was “illegitimate, illegal, rejected and condemned.”

One Reason China’s Nuclear Horn is growing: Daniel 7

FILE - Spectators wave Chinese flags as military vehicles carrying DF-41 nuclear ballistic missiles roll during a parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2019.
FILE – Spectators wave Chinese flags as military vehicles carrying DF-41 nuclear ballistic missiles roll during a parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2019.

One Reason China Intends to Bulk Up its Nuclear Arsenal

China will bolster its nuclear weapons arsenal in the years ahead, mainly to match the United States, experts predict.

Beijing will continue to “modernize its nuclear arsenal for reliability and safety issues,” Fu Cong, director general of arms control at the Chinese foreign ministry, told reporters Tuesday.

The Pentagon had warned less than two years ago about China’s nuclear capability after learning that Beijing was building 110 more missile silos.

FILE PHOTO: PLA soldiers salute in front of nuclear-capable missiles during a parade in Beijing.

SEE ALSO:US Concern Over China Nukes Buildup After New Silos Report

Signs of nuclear weapons growth in a country that seldom discusses its military developments means Beijing hopes at least to show its arsenal can resist that of Washington, if not catch up, scholars say. China has no other major rivals, they say, as its relations with nuclear power Russia are improving.

FILE - Russian, left, and Chinese flags sit on a table before a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, June 8, 2018.

SEE ALSO:China Deepens Informal Alliance With Russia

“I think that is a signal to the United States that China is not happy with [the] U.S. position of enjoying nuclear superiority,” said Alexander Vuving, professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, in Hawaii.

Great power competition

An atomic bomb test in 1964 got China started with nuclear weapons. As of 2020, the country was developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, that would “significantly improve its nuclear-capable missile forces,” the Pentagon said in an annual report to Congress.

The number of warheads on land-based ICBMs “capable of threatening the United States is expected to” reach about 200 over the next five years, the Pentagon report said. Beijing had previously maintained just 20 or so silo-based ICBMs, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a 2021 study.

A mobile, ground-launched, intermediate-range ballistic missile system that could swap conventional and nuclear warheads is expanding, too, the Pentagon report said.

The U.S. nuclear arsenal totaled 3,750 warheads as of 2020. Since 2017, 711 U.S. nuclear warheads have been dismantled. At its peak during the Cold War, the stockpile totaled around 31,000, the State Department said in an October news release. The department called for “increasing the transparency of states’ nuclear stockpiles” as part of their nonproliferation and disarmament efforts.

Washington still leads Beijing in the development of the world’s deadliest type of weaponry, experts said. “New improvements to U.S. capabilities constantly remind Chinese nuclear experts of their nuclear deterrent’s potential vulnerability,” the Carnegie study said. “As a result, Chinese experts have consistently agreed that Beijing needs to continue gradually modernizing its nuclear forces.”

More nuclear weapons authorized by Beijing would reflect a wider U.S.-China arms race, said Eduardo Araral, associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s public policy school. Weaker countries in Asia may chafe but should not feel surprised, he said.

“I think there’s already an arms race. This is not new. This is just an extension, whether it’s submarine building, whether it’s cyber capabilities, or now a competition for satellite powers. Nuclear weapons capability is just a continuation of the bigger scheme of things in U.S.-China rivalry,” Araral said.

Scenarios for using nukes

China and four other permanent U.N. Security Council members – a group known as the P5 – said Monday that they would work together to stop the further spread of nuclear arms and avoid nuclear conflict.

FILE - This image taken with a slow shutter speed shows an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile test launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, Oct. 2, 2019.

SEE ALSO:Five Global Powers Pledge to Avoid Nuclear Conflict

Officials in Beijing have maintained over the years that their nuclear weapons are for national security only, not an offensive strike.

China might use nuclear weapons, however, if the United States threatened to overwhelm it with tactical weapons in a real conflict, said Scott Harold, a Washington-based senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation research group. He pointed to development of intermediate-range missiles and the role of submarines and stealth bombers in nuclear weaponry as signs that China is preparing for a fight if needed.

Chinese President Xi Jinping may want better nuclear weapons as part of his bigger plans for China, too, Harold said. “Xi Jinping is all about making China great again, restoring China to a position of what he calls national rejuvenation, or achieving the China dream, one part of which is to have a world-class military by midcentury,” he said.

Nuclear weapons will further help Beijing to discourage any attacks on its territory and get what it wants during Sino-foreign diplomatic negotiations, analysts say.

Statements from China about modernizing its arsenal could spark other countries to make deals with Beijing now while it’s “weaker” and easier to engage, Harold said.

The updated arsenal will ultimately help China in any diplomatic talks as “backup by hard power,” Araral said. Other Asian countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, are modernizing their militaries, partly so they can keep up diplomatically at the bargaining table with China, he said.

Sunni, Kurdish blocs back the Antichrist

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (L) meets with Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf, January 6, 2021. (AFP)

Sunni, Kurdish blocs back Sadrist Movement ahead of parliament session but will Kadhimi be the PM?

BAGHDAD, Iraq-

The outline of a governing coalition has begun to emerge in Iraq with the success of Sunni forces, represented by Al-Taqaddom and Al-Azm blocs, in allying with each other, along with the two main Kurdish parties, the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP)  and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which have bridged their own differences. The formations are about to form a unified delegation in government formation talks.

Regarding the premiership, the Sadrist movement, which has avoided nominating any candidate for prime minister, is said to lean towards maintaining current Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in his position, despite the objections of the Coordination Framework, which comprises Shia parties loyal to Iran.

Sadr has warmly received Kadhimi, Thursday, in the Najaf governorate amid cabinet formation talks.

Kadhimi said earlier that his visit to Najaf was “purely administrative and not of political in nature.” But Iraqi political sources said that the visit was not devoid of political significance especially considering its timing.

They noted that Sadr sees Kadhimi as the most capable figure that could lead a “national majority government”, which he seeks to form.

They attribute Sadr’s desire to hold on to Kadhimi to many considerations, including the current prime minister’s independence from political parties and his pragmatic management of crises during the past period. The soures add that Sadr and Kadhimi see eye to eye on many issues, especially security concerns, as the prime minister, much like the Sadrist movement’s leader, believes only the state should bear arms.

Pro-Iran forces are said, however, to be opposed to Kadhimi’s nomination to a new term in office as they consider him to be hostile to their interests.

Cementing alliances

Iraqi political analysts say that the current arrangements by Sunni and Kurdish parties are a prelude to declaring the formation of a larger alliance between these forces and the Sadrist movement.

The Sadrist Movement won the October legislative elections and want to form a “national majority” government that breaks with the consensus-based quota system, which has guided the country’s political process for years.

Analysts indicate that the road seems clear for the Sadrist Movement to forge a comfortable parliamentary alliance with the Sunni and Kurdish forces, especially if it also succeeds in including independents. This may usher in a new political era where pro-Iran forces are confined to leading the opposition camp.

They believe this emerging alliance is likely to break with the consensus-based system on which previous governments were built, which set the country on a slippery slope, where the political process was marred by ineptitude and the spread of nepotism and corruption.

Analysts caution, however, that the change in the rules of political engagement is unlikely to lead to improved living conditions for Iraqis, especially since the forces that will lead the next stage had been part of the ruling system against which the Iraqi street rose up.

The Sunni alliance of Al Takddom and Al Azm parties announced on Wednesday evening,  will be represented by 64 MPs as the opening session of parliament takes place next Sunday.

The creation of this alliance has been welcomed by the Sadrist movement and the KDP, which had been part of past efforts to bridge differences between the leaders of Takaddom and Al-Azm, former Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi and businessman Khamis al-Khanjar.

This nascent Sunni coalition also enjoys wider Arab support. The announcement of the alliance between the two Sunni blocs had been preceded by a joint tour, which took Halbousi and Khanjar to countries of the region, including the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt.

In a press statement, Halbousi called for joint action to ensure the stability and reconstruction of the country and for common positions to help achieve the unity of Iraq. Khanjar said in a similar statement that the alliance being formed is intended to serve Iraq and promote the rights of its people. It would remain impervious to the pressures aimed at dissuading the Sunni blocs from joining hands.

Observers believe the success of Halbousi and Khanjar in overcoming the differences of the past is an important step that will allow their parties to play a pivotal role in Iraqi politics. They hope to restore a measure of balance within the political system and overcome the obstacles that have hindered their influence, including the dominance of pro-Iran factions as well as divisions within the Sunni camp itself.

Kurds united

New developments have also emerged within the Kurdish camp, specifically between the KDP and the PUK, which have reached a tentative agreement paving the way for the formation of a joint negotiating delegation.

KDP spokesman Mahmoud Mohamed al-Khamis confirmed the plan to form a joint delegation which will participate in talks on forming a government.

Khamis said the intention was to join an alliance with the Sadrist Movement and the Sunnis, as part of an effort aimed at putting together a majority government.

The spokesman backed the Sadrist break with the old quota system, saying, “The Sadrists support the formation of a national majority government, which in their view will not include all parties, as used to be the case in the past following the consensus-based system. This means there will be government parties and an opposition.”

This is the first clear and explicit statement on the KDP’s view of an alliance with the Sadrists.

“We have already endeavoured and will continue our attempts in the remaining few days to enlarge the majority, but if this cannot be achieved, there cannot be an institutional vacuum. We need to form a government to resolve current problems and make a decision in this regard during the next few days, ” said the KDP spokesman.

Observers believe that the road has been cleared for the launch of an alliance between the Sadrists, the Kurds and the Sunnis, noting that while the independents’ bloc may not join the alliance, it is likely to vote in favour of the new government in the parliament.

Last Thursday, Iraqi President Barham Salih signed a decree convening the new parliament in session for January 9.

In it, Salih stressed the need to “meet national interests by forming a competent and effective government that protects the interests of the country and enhances its sovereignty, as well as protects and serves Iraqis,” adding that “this requires solidarity in order to implement the reforms needed for a stable and prosperous Iraq.”

Early parliamentary elections were held in Iraq, October 10. The Sadrist movement took the lead with 73 seats out of 329, while the Progress Alliance won 37 seats, the Rule of Law coalition garnered 33 seats, while the Democratic Party took 31.

China’s rapid nuclear horn expansion worries US

China’s rapid nuclear arsenal expansion worries US

January 7, 202211 Views5 Min Read

ANI |
Updated: 07 January 2022 12:26 IST

Washington [US], Jan. 7 (ANI): The US Department of Defense report indicates that China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal. The report has sparked debate and has raised concerns for the US. Satellite photos taken in 2021 also indicated that Beijing was finally dramatically expanding its nuclear arsenal, The National Interest said.
This is contrary to the Chinese position on nuclear weapons. The People’s Liberation Army tested a nuclear delivery system in space in October, suggesting it is working on more weapons to counter the US’s limited-capacity missile defense systems.
Historically, China has always maintained that it has a significantly smaller nuclear arsenal than Russia or the US. China calls it “minimal deterrence,” meaning it has just enough nuclear power to ensure Beijing’s retaliatory strike. Also, Beijing’s No First Use policy claims that nuclear weapons would only be used in response to an enemy’s first nuclear strike, the US-based think tank reported.
So is the current dramatic expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal a sham?
In summary, two reports published in late 2021 offer a measured perspective on changes in China’s nuclear forces: military and security developments involving the People’s Republic of China, released by the Ministry of Defense; and Chinese Nuclear Forces 2021 by Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen, the think tank said.
Now the question arises how many nuclear weapons China possesses and how many does it want?
According to the Defense Ministry, China is estimated to have nuclear warheads of “low 200s” by 2020, a total expected to double, while the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates the figure at 350.
However, according to the Ministry of Defense forecast for 2021, a new normal has emerged.
“The accelerating pace of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) nuclear expansion could enable the PRC to have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027,” the report states. “The PRC probably plans to have at least 1,000 nuclear warheads by 2030, exceeding the pace and magnitude projected by the DoD in 2020,” the think tank said.
For example, the United States has 1,550 atomic bombs on active duty and many more in reserve. Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) inventory is estimated to be in the hundreds.
Is Beijing now more likely to use nuclear weapons as a form of coercion, including more “usable” tactical nuclear weapons with lower yields?

Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, published by the Ministry of Defense, and Chinese Nuclear Forces 2021, by Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen, published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, are two reports worth reading about China’s nuclear doctrine and capabilities. Despite their differences in epistemological orientations, the assessments as a whole paint a balanced picture of China’s nuclear forces.
How many nuclear weapons does China have and how many does it want? The Defense Ministry estimated that China had nuclear warheads of “low 200s” by 2020, and the total was expected to double, while the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimated the figure at 350.
However, according to the Ministry of Defense forecast for 2021, a new normal has emerged.
“The PRC’s nuclear growth could accelerate to the point where it will have up to 700 nuclear warheads by 2027,” the study said. “By 2030, the PRC is expected to have at least 1,000 nuclear warheads, much higher than the rate and size predicted by the Pentagon in 2020.”
In addition, US researchers, using satellite imagery, saw 300 missile silos under construction in various remote areas of China.
That includes 120 silos in Yumen, Gansu Province; 110 silos at Hami in Xinjiang Province; and 80 silos in the Ordos, Inner Mongolia, a region of China, the think tank said.
The Bulletin warns that the US Department of Defense forecast appears to be based on building Chinese silos. The Bulletin warns that some silos may remain empty, forcing US nuclear strategists to waste counter-force missiles in a “grenade game” tactic.
Another question is, does China have a radioactive chemical element, plutonium, for building nuclear missiles?
The US-based think tank said China halted military plutonium production in the mid-1980s, but has enough material to double its force, according to the Bulletin — “but for a tripling — and certainly a quadrupling — would probably increase the production of additional material.” .”
These could produce enough material for 990-1550warheads, according to the Bulletin, which “could exceed” [the intercontinental ballistic missile force] from both Russia and the United States.”
On the other hand, Russia and the US maintain a Launch-on-Warning (Low) attitude, with land-based nuclear missiles on high alert 24 hours a day. These missiles are ready to counterattack as soon as an incoming attack is detected.
The Defense Ministry report claims that China is also taking “an attitude called an early warning counter strike, which is broadly similar to the attitude of the US and Russia in the Low Countries,” the think tank said.
The Pentagon’s report clearly indicates that China is on track to significantly expand its nuclear weapons and raises concerns about Beijing’s increasingly aggressive stance. (ANI)

A new nuclear age before the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

nuclear, South Asia, nuclear weapons, US–Russia, US–China, missile defences, strategic non-nuclear weapons, SNNW, Belt and Road Initiative, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, US–Pakistan, US–India, counterterrorism, Third Nuclear Age

A new nuclear age in South Asia?

7 January 2022

South Asia is deeply impacted by the disruption in the balance of the current global nuclear order due to the growing power rivalry and advancement in military technologies

There is a feeling amongst academics, professionals, and some policymakers that the global nuclear order is in a period of flux and perhaps transformation. This shift is being driven by the development and deployment of a range of different military technologies with possible strategic effects and by a concurrent shift in the context and environment within which nuclear weapons issues are thought about and nuclear peace is maintained.

However, with a few notable exceptions, this discussion has focused primarily on the US–Russia and US–China relationship. The strategic balance between these three major nuclear powers is undoubtedly important, but far less attention has been given to the impact—both directly and indirectly—of these developments in South Asia. While the potentially transformative impact of disruptive, often non-nuclear weapons technologies and associated systems may be at an early stage in South Asia, we can already see how such developments could lead to new types of nuclear risks, the undermining of stability, and perhaps an increased chance of nuclear use.

This combination creates new problems across the global nuclear order, but perhaps is nowhere more acute than in Southern Asia.

The global challenge appears on the surface to be principally technological: The development and deployment of increasingly sophisticated missile defences; the emergence of non-nuclear long-range precision strike capabilities (including hypersonic weapons), as well as renewed interest in exotic means of nuclear delivery; new and more conspicuous methods of counter-space, anti-submarine, and cyber warfare, all of which are unfolding in a real-time and porous nuclear information space. These challenges are playing out at the same time as a return to great power competition between the US, Russia, India, and China in a more competitive geopolitical landscape. This combination creates new problems across the global nuclear order, but perhaps is nowhere more acute than in Southern Asia. Indeed, these developments could alter regional nuclear deterrence dynamics, trigger an already simmering arms race between India and Pakistan, and increase the risk of unintended escalation.

Both India and Pakistan have demonstrated a growing appetite for new types of strategic weaponry, and while not always in public, they are clearly beginning to factor in the possible impact of new types of capabilities by each other for deterrence and security. One author has already warned of a possible move towards an “Indian counterforce” doctrine, possibly involving strategic non-nuclear as well as, or even instead of, nuclear weapons, and the possible impact of a multi-layered Indian BMD—and its link with new Pakistani nuclear delivery systems—has been part of this debate for over a decade. The worry, of course, is that the introduction of more sophisticated and destructive technologies in South Asia is going to lock India and Pakistan in a security dilemma and create a vicious cycle that will become increasingly difficult to break.

South Asia is currently lagging behind the US, China, and Russia in the development of SNNW capabilities and doctrine, and the role that these technologies will play in the region will largely depend on the geostrategic and political interests and the evolution of the strategic dynamics. 

The existing academic literature on technological change in military capabilities, and especially the advent of strategic non-nuclear weapons (SNNW) and South Asia tends to focus on the capabilities of these technologies and to emphasise the risks inherent in their use, but limited attention is paid to the political discourse and perceptions on how India and Pakistan intend to use these technologies in the future, and how this is going to affect their doctrines. For sure, South Asia is currently lagging behind the US, China, and Russia in the development of SNNW capabilities and doctrine, and the role that these technologies will play in the region will largely depend on the geostrategic and political interests and the evolution of the strategic dynamics.  That said, the impact of these technologies in South Asia could be more acute given the past history of confrontation, unsettled strategic balance, incendiary political flashpoints, and the short decision-making times resulting from geography and a contiguous border. To understand the impact that SNNW, in particular, will have on South Asia, we need to look at the broader picture. The increasing interdependence between the international and regional levels has contributed to creating a domino effect, linking the United States, China, India, and Pakistan. These dynamics will not only shape security relations between the great powers, but will also have dangerous spillover effects in South Asia and in other regions too.  In the last few years, the US’ nuclear and military modernisation and growing reliance on non-nuclear technologies with strategic impact have pushed China to develop more sophisticated technologies of their own. Growing concerns about China’s intentions and capabilities —especially the fear of a rapid increase in nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles—have triggered a cascade effect whereby India will respond by expanding its nuclear programme and seeking to develop SNNW, while Pakistan will follow to catch up with India.

The intensification of the competition between the United States and China, together with the efforts of Washington and Beijing to establish stronger ties with India and Pakistan respectively, are also transforming South Asia’s strategic landscape. In the last few years, the US–India civil nuclear deal culminated in the establishment of a strategic partnership,  exacerbated a marked deterioration of US–Pakistani relations, and has led to the strengthening of China-Pakistan cooperation through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Belt and Road Initiative. At first glance, it this may appear to have created two distinct blocs (US-India vs China-Pakistan), but the reality is more nuanced and complex.

Nuclear developments in and by India and Pakistan have never quite fitted with the predominantly western notion of splitting nuclear history into distinct “ages” either side of the end of the Cold War.

At the moment, relations between the US and Pakistan are at a low point, but the Biden administration wants to continue to cooperate with Pakistan because of its support for US counterterrorism initiatives, to monitor its nuclear capabilities, and to keep the lines of communication open to the Pakistani military. Pakistan, in turn, wants to keep a stable relationship with both the US and China. This is because Pakistan has a long history of cooperation with the US that dates back to the Cold War, and it has been one of the main recipients of US foreign aid, while China remains a crucial economic and military partner.  Finally, India shares US concerns about China and how to manage its rise in the Indo-Pacific region, but the Indian government does not want to be embroiled in a formal alliance with the US because it wants to preserve its strategic autonomy and does not want to be caught in a conflict that could hamper its economic growth.

Whether it is right to conceive of South Asia as entering into a “Third Nuclear Age”; whether it is in the same way as other nuclear-armed actors is a matter of debate: Each region and each state may experience this shift in global nuclear order differently. Nuclear developments in and by India and Pakistan have never quite fitted with the predominantly western notion of splitting nuclear history into distinct “ages” either side of the end of the Cold War. But irrespective of the terminology, Third Nuclear Age dynamics: Disruptive, often non-nuclear-technologies with strategic effect, geopolitical competition, and a complex and fluid nuclear information environment, will impact the future of the region, and particularly the nature and shape of nuclear risks. There is still time to, in effect, get ahead of these developments and perhaps even mitigate some of the worst possible implications before they fully materialise in the region, but this will require a genuine interest in dialogue, risk reduction, and restraint that has been conspicuously absent in recent times.


This article is based on research funded under a European Research Council grant.  More information about the project is available here.The views expressed above belong to the author(s).

ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.

Iran displays her Nuclear Horn amid nuclear talks

Iran displays missiles amid nuclear talks with world powers

Iran is displaying three ballistic missiles at an outdoor prayer esplanade in central Tehran as talks in Vienna aimed at reviving Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers flounder

ByThe Associated Press

January 7, 2022, 5:29 AM

On Location: January 7, 2022

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran displayed three ballistic missiles at an outdoor prayer esplanade in central Tehran on Friday as talks in Vienna aimed at reviving Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers flounder.

The missiles — known as Dezful, Qiam and Zolfaghar — have official ranges of up to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and are already-known models, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said.

Diplomats from countries that remain in the 2015 nuclear deal — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — are working with Tehran to revive the accord, which had sought to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for lifting of economic sanctions.

American diplomats are present at the nuclear talks in Vienna but they are not in direct talks with Iranians. The accord collapsed in 2018 when then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal and re-imposed sanctions on Iran.

A report by Iranian state television said the missiles on display were the same types as those used to strike U.S. bases in Iraq.

The display came on the second anniversary of a ballistic missile attack on bases housing American troops in Iraq in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in 2020.

The Iranian military mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 with two surface-to-air missiles after the attacks, killing all 176 people on board. After days of denial, the Guard publicly apologized, blaming an air defense operator who authorities said mistook the Boeing 737-800 for an American cruise missile.

An Iranian military court in November held a hearing for 10 people suspected of having role in downing the Ukrainian airliner.

State TV said a commemoration ceremony for the victims was held in Tehran’s main cemetery with the presence of their families as well as officials.