Series of small quakes shake before the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6

Series of small quakes shake near South Carolina capital

The Associated PressDec 28, 2021 / 06:10 AM ESTSouth Carolina NewsPosted: / Updated: Dec 28, 2021 / 06:10 AM EST

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A series of mild earthquakes have shaken homes and residents in central South Carolina. 

The U.S. Geological Survey says three quakes Monday in Kershaw County near Elgin registered magnitudes of 3.3, 2.5 and 2.1. 

The first earth-shaker rattled window panes and disrupted wildlife but apparently did not cause injuries or major damage. As the earthquake rumbled, with a sound similar to a heavy construction vehicle, it shook homes, caused glass doors and windows to clatter in their frames and prompted dogs to bark. 

People reported feeling tremors throughout the Columbia area and as far away as Lexington, about 40 miles southwest of the epicenter.

Antichrist apologizes after storming out of speech

Muqtada al-Sadr abruptly leaving the podium in Najaf, on June 3, 2022. Photo: Qassem al-Kaabi/AFP

Sadr apologizes after storming out of speech

A+ A-ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Influential Shiite cleric and leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr on Saturday apologized for discontinuing his speech and leaving a ceremony marking the anniversary of his father’s death on Friday, explaining that he left in order to “preserve” the safety of the attendees as well as his own life.

Crowds of Shiite followers on Thursday attended a ceremony in Najaf to mark the anniversary of the assassination of Muhamed Sadiq al-Sadr, Sadr’s father, according to the Islamic Hijri calendar.

Sadr, who was expected to give a lengthy speech honoring his father, abruptly left the podium after a few minutes, following a number of unsuccessful, repeated calls to his audience asking them to quieten down.

The leader of the Sadrist bloc on Saturday apologized for abandoning the ceremony, implying that he was worried for the safety of the audience due to the large crowd.

“I offer my apologies for withdrawing from you during the speech in order to first preserve your safety, and second in order for my life to continue serving you,” read a statement from Sadr.

Sadr’s father, an outspoken critic of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, was shot in his car alongside two of his sons, Muamal and Mustafa, by unidentified assailants on February 19, 1999, corresponding to the fourth of Dhu al-Qidah month on the Hijri calendar. Unlike his two sons, the late Shiite cleric did not immediately meet his fate after the shooting, rather he was taken to a hospital for treatment where he was shot once more, leading to his death. Sadr was 24 when his father was killed.

Before cutting his speech short, Sadr stated that the “damned” Baath party was responsible for his father’s assassination, under the direct order of Hussein.

Hussein had publicly denied any involvement in the killing.

Updated at 3:40 pm

China Horn spreads to the Middle East

China Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Meet in Beijing

With US distracted, Tehran and Beijing tighten embrace in the Middle East

The US pivot to the Pacific may be all about China, but it misses Beijing’s moves to fill a US void elsewhere, write a team from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The US appeared to have been caught flat-footed when it was revealed China had signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands, part of a broader initiative by the Asian behemoth to spread its influence in the South Pacific. But that’s not the only region in which Beijing is making moves while everyone else watches Europe. In the op-ed below, the FDD’s Bradley Bowman and his colleagues argue the US must respond to China’s tightening relationship with another US adversary: Iran.

With attention focused on the ongoing war in Ukraine, some may have missed that Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe visited Tehran recently in an effort to deepen Sino-Iranian security ties. It is the most recent, but hardly the first, public demonstration of the evolving political, economic and security partnership between China and Iran that presents genuine challenges for the United States and its partners.

The growing Chinese-Iranian embrace in the Middle East underscores the short-sighted nature of the popular sentiment in Washington that the United States should “pivot” away from the Middle East to more effectively compete with China. Instead, Washington should compete by expanding combined military exercises with Israel and Arab partners; fast-tracking regional arms sales [PDF] focused on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, interdiction, and air and missile defense capabilities; and scrutinizingthe impacts of any proposals for additional US military withdrawals from the Middle East.

Wei said his April trip to Tehran was aimed at “improving the strategic defense cooperation” between Iran and China and “push[ing] the relationship between the two militaries to a higher level.” The commander of Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff echoed those goals and announced that the two countries would hold more military drills and exchanges in the future. In January, China, Iran, and Russia conducted a trilateral naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman and northern Indian Ocean, building on a previous drill in December 2019.

When meeting with Wei, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi left little doubt regarding the primary target of Sino-Iranian cooperation, stressing the need to confront “unilateralism,” a phrase China and Iran both employ when referring to the United States.

But the growing Sino-Iranian relationship is not only a problem for the United States. It also creates an array of security problems for Arab states in the Persian Gulf, Israel, and Europe. The increasing economic partnership between China and Iran will provide the Islamic Republic with more resources to proliferate weapons to its terrorist proxies and partners, expand its missile and dronearsenals, threaten shipping, undermine international sanctions, and advance its nuclear program. From the Chinese Communist Party’s perspective, the growing security partnership undercuts US interests in the Middle East and helps secure Beijing’s access to much-needed Middle Eastern oil.

With these motives in mind, following implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Tehran and Beijing signed a military cooperation agreement in 2016 to boost defense ties between the countries. In March 2021, as it was clear Washington was anglingto resurrect the nuclear deal, China and Iran signed a 25-year strategic partnership. The agreement reportedly calls for expanded Sino-Iranian military and intelligence cooperation and will see Beijing invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Iranian energy development and infrastructure. Then, in September 2021, the China- and Russia-dominated Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) unanimously agreed to elevate Iran to full membership.

The United States and its partners are right to worry that Tehran may acquire advanced Chinese military capabilities. Beijing was a significant source of Tehran’s anti-ship missile capabilities during and after the Iran-Iraq War, as well as an early supporter of its solid-propellant missile program through transfers. China remains a key jurisdiction for procurement of goods for Tehran’s ballistic missile arsenal, which US intelligence assesses [PDF] to be the largest in the region. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission recently found [PDF] that at least one of the ballistic missiles that Iran claimed it used to attack US forces in Iraq was “very likely to have been developed with Chinese ballistic missile technology.”

With a UN arms embargo on Iran already in the rearview mirror and UN prohibitions on Iranian missile tests and transfers slated to lapse next year, the Islamic Republic may look to China to provide anti-access/area-denial capabilities that could threaten US and partner forces and embolden Tehran. That should cause particular concern in Israel, knowing that advanced weapons from China could make a strike against Iran’s nuclear program even more difficult.

Some might argue that Beijing’s desire to not ruffle feathers in Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates might prevent the transfer of such weapons. But such concerns have not prevented China from conducting military exercises with Iran, nor have they dissuaded top Chinese defense officials from visiting Iran. Plus, Beijing has already signaled its willingness jointly develop weapons with the Islamic Republic. In response to any concerns, Beijing might remind Riyadh and Abu Dhabi that they are also recipients of Chinese weapons.

Unlike many in Washington, Beijing understands the strategic significance of the wider Middle East and clearly plans to compete there. Afterall, China established its first overseas military base in Djibouti, just across the Bab al-Mandab Strait from Yemen. Beijing knows the Bab al-Mandab is one of the world’s most important commercial and military maritime routes, enabling vessels to travel from the Mediterranean via the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean and beyond.

Growing Chinese activity in the Middle East stands in stark contrast to the calls of many in Washington who view the Middle East as a wasteful distraction to be jettisoned as quickly as possible. It is true that the United States must scrutinize Middle East deployments and urgently strengthen its military posture in the Indo-Pacific. But before further reducing US posture in the Middle East, leaders should consider the persistent threats in the region. They should also appreciate that the US military posture in the Middle East stands at roughly 45,000 troops, down drastically from 2008, when nearly 300,000 troops were in the region supporting the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan alone [PDF].

Those inclined to brush aside such arguments should consider the fact that problems in the Middle East tend not to stay there, and that those problems often get worse when Americans leave or lose interest. The US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, which ignored conditions on the ground, catalyzed a series of events that resulted in the rise of ISIS and forced the return of US forces at greater cost in 2014.

Indeed, when America leaves, its worst enemies usually fill the vacuum and gather strength. That’s exactly why Tehran is eager to evict US forces from the region. With the stabilizing American presence gone, Tehran would enjoy a freer hand to export terrorism and dominate its neighbors. An empowered Iran, in turn, would stoke Sunni Islamist radicalization and terrorist group recruitment.

Meanwhile, Arab states see the United States as an increasingly unreliable security partner, one they perceive as simultaneously withdrawing its forces and refusing even to sell weapons that address genuine security threats. Arab partners may come to believe they have little choice but to strengthen ties with Beijing, a dynamic which has already started to happen and could further increase China’s influence and footprint in the region.

Many Americans may be done with the Middle East, but the region is not done with us. US-China competition is playing out in the Middle East and if the United States fails to recognize that and retain sufficient forces in the region, Chinese diplomats and troops will be among the adversaries happily waving goodbye as Americans depart.

Bradley Bowman is senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), where Zane Zovak and Ryan Brobst are research analysts and Behnam Ben Taleblu is a senior fellow.

Iran Can Nuke Up: Daniel 8

UN report says Iran has enough uranium to produce nuclear weapons

June 4, 20228:06 AM ET

Foreign policy journalist Laura Rozen gives NPR’s Scott Simon her assessment of the state of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: 

The headlines like this one from The Wall Street Journal are ominous – U.N. Says Iran Has Enough Uranium to Produce Nuclear Weapon – and it comes as negotiators continue to struggle to restart the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear deal that was struck with Iran in 2015 the Trump administration pulled out of three years later. Laura Rozen joins us. She covered the negotiations and now sits on the editorial board of Just Security. Laura, thanks so much for being with us.

LAURA ROZEN: Thank you for having me.

SIMON: You’re in possession of the U.N. reports as well. How do you feel about their assessment? Because material for and weapon can be different things.

ROZEN: Correct. And we knew this was coming because the IAEA – the U.N. atomic watchdog – had reported to the Europeans earlier in May that Iran had amassed a stockpile of over 40 kilograms of this 60% enriched uranium, which is not weapons-grade, but which is close. And what that means is, if it chose to, Iran could higher enrich that stockpile to weapons-grade in under two weeks, which, in theory, would produce enough fissile material for one nuclear weapon. The problem with that short breakout time is, in theory, it could occur between inspections by the IAEA inspectors, so that the concern would be that Iran could breakout to have enough fissile material for a weapon before the IAEA would detect it.

SIMON: The Biden administration wants to restart the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiations. What are the sticking points, and does Iran possessing enough material for a weapon change the nature of the stalemate?

ROZEN: You’re exactly right. You know, the Biden administration and the other parties have spent the past year in Vienna trying to get a deal where the U.S. and Iran would return to full implementation. In early March, they basically had a draft deal that would roll Iran’s nuclear program back to 6 to 9 months, so the breakout would take nine months instead of two weeks – where we are today. And it got stuck in early March in part by Russia’s war on Ukraine – Russia is one of the negotiators here – and in part over a non-nuclear request that the U.S. and Iran have been stuck on. You know, I email negotiators in Vienna, and they’re working on Ukraine, they’re working on other issues, so it’s really a very frustrating and dangerous moment – that they can’t take it over the finish line.

SIMON: You mention, of course, the effect of the war in Ukraine. Does Iran look at Ukraine today and think, you know, if they’d kept their nuclear weapons, Russia never would have invaded, so we should develop ours?

ROZEN: It’s hard to know. You know, the Iran policymakers have – are divided and have a lot of internal politics. It does seem to be maybe more of an internal politics issue in Iran. They’re very concerned, when they negotiate, not to be looking like they’re negotiating from a position of weakness. And, you know, you can imagine that there’s a lot of resentment on the Iranian side about them having been implementing a deal and the U.S. pulling out of it. So there’s huge mistrust, and that’s one of the factors, I think, that have made closing this deal very hard.

SIMON: Laura, from the viewpoint of global security, how necessary is it to constrain Iran’s nuclear program? I mean, they have pointed out in the past a number of nations do have nuclear weapons, and the United States is the only one who’s ever used one.

ROZEN: Well, first of all, Iran says that it does not seek a nuclear weapon. And, you know, it seems to be having a kind of nuclear threshold capacity. I think it makes a lot of the other countries in the region concerned they’re already dealing with Iranian-backed proxy forces that have sophisticated weaponry that they’re using in attacks against them. And so I think that it would be destabilizing for the world if Iran got a nuclear weapon, and there will be the potential for a conflict if Iran tries to cross that threshold.

SIMON: Laura Rozen writes about national security and foreign policy on Substack at Diplomatic and sits on the board of the forum Just Security. Thanks so much for being with us.

ROZEN: Thank you.

Copyright © 2022 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissionspages at www.npr.org for further information.

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How the Babylon the Great Should Respond if Russia Uses a Nuke

Military trucks loaded with warheads capable of carrying a nuclear charge during a parade on Red Square in Moscow
 Military trucks loaded with warheads capable of carrying a nuclear charge during a parade on Red Square in Moscow. Photo: AFP

We cannot succumb to Putin’s nuclear blackmail. If he gets away with it, where does he stop?

DELL DAILEY AND JAMES FARWELL  JUNE 3, 2022

The US policy supporting Ukraine is tough-minded while avoiding escalation that brings the US into direct confrontation with Russia.

President Joe Biden rightly wants to avoid direct war with Moscow. But we cannot succumb to Vladimir Putin’s nuclear blackmail. If he gets away with it, where does he stop? What if he threatens to nuke Estonia or Poland unless all NATO troops withdraw from those areas? Or they refuse to exit NATO? Are we supposed to back down?

Deterrence failed to prevent Putin from launching a war. We should try to deter his first use of a nuclear weapon. But what if Putin uses one?

Fortunately, asymmetric options exist to send the right message to Putin and punish him within the boundaries of the Law of Armed Conflict without us using nuclear weapons.

This applies to any use by Putin of a weapon of mass destruction such as a chemical weapon. One war crime does not justify a second. We need a proportional response that seeks to avoid civilian casualties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to watch the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in central Moscow on May 9, 2022. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP

First, we have non-kinetic options. Aggressive information warfare can undermine Putin’s domestic base, as it undermined the Warsaw Pact regimes in the 1980s. That prospect terrifies Putin.

Technological warfare can disrupt Russian internal financial and SKADA systems. Remember how the Stuxnet virus crippled Iranian centrifuges in 2010? While a “use of force” within the meaning of UN Charter Article 2(4), the attack did not kill or injure anyone.

Diplomatic warfare in Central Asia, supplemented by economic incentives, can detach Central Asia’s regimes and economies from Russia.

Collective Warning

Second, the West should collectively warn that we would retaliate. We have to mean it.

President Barack Obama’s failure to enforce the red line against Syria’s use of chemical weapons in 2013 convinced Putin that the West would fold when the chips are down.

Our warning could publicly identify pre-selected targets. The criteria should be to minimize civilian casualties while striking Russian troops, especially its battlefield leadership. The Ukrainians have proven adept at eliminating Russian generals, but more generals are on the way.

Existential Threat

Third, If Putin sees an existential threat to Russia, he may resort to the nuclear option. What qualifies as such a threat is unclear.

Matters may come to that if our supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine, combined with Ukraine’s skill and determination, destroy the invading force riles Putin enough.

HIMARS
The US is sending Himars advanced multiple rocket systems to Ukraine, a US official said on May 30. Photo: Lockheed Martin

We cannot dance around the challenge. What are our options should Putin use a nuke against Ukraine? Nuclear retaliation seems intolerably risky, and Russia committing a war crime does not justify the West doing so.

It’s not clear that he would necessarily detonate a nuke inside Ukraine. General Mark Kimmitt has suggested that Putin might set one off outside Ukraine for demonstrative effect.

Yet allowing a Russian first use inside Ukraine is unacceptable. Still, depending on the facts, we should avoid using nuclear weapons.

Asymmetric Options

What asymmetric options make sense? We could enable Ukraine to sink Russia’s entire Black Sea fleet, which contains troop carriers bearing Russian marines. These would have no civilian casualties. That may be the most forcible response.

Russia is massing forces near Izyum. We could destroy those formations. These seem sound, actionable options.

Should the US carry out the retaliation? Enabling Ukraine to do so keeps NATO from directly fighting Russia. That seems prudent. Still, since using a nuke changes the dynamics, the US or – if it could secure NATO support, which is unclear – might do it directly.

Either way, Putin must understand that there’s zero toleration for his using nukes. Any Western response should be confined to within Ukraine or against the Black Sea fleet.

Western Diplomatic Power

We should also apply our collective diplomatic power to force a vote at the UN Security Council, the General Assembly, the EU, and other organizations capable of reputable legal actions to condemn a Russian first use of a nuclear weapon.

Even though Russia would veto a Security Council resolution, contemporary conflict is about information warfare as well as kinetic operations.

Let’s remember: China is watching. We suspect that, like Putin, the united Western response and its ferocity have surprised Chinese President Xi Jinping. China seems fond of pronouncing the West as yesterday’s history. The Ukraine conflict has been a wake-up call.

The use of any weapon of mass destruction by any side in Ukraine would set back the prospects for global stability. But Russian use of a nuke would leave us with no choice. Unless we make it hurt, he’ll be back.


Headshot Dell Daily

Lt. Gen. Dell Dailey (ret.) was commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, among other commands, and headed the State Department’s counterterrorism office.

He is currently the president of a family-owned consultant company. This enterprise is the culmination of four decades of government service. Dailey and his family support the US Special Operations Command through several companies and by continuous contact with the leadership.

Headshot James Farwell

James Farwell (@JamespFarwell) is an Associate Fellow in the Dept of War Studies, King’s College, Univeristy of London; non-resident Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute; Senior Fellow at the Institute for BioDefense Research; Board of Editors, Defence Strategic Communications (the NATO peer-reviewed publication).

Has advised the Department of Defense, USSOCOM, USSTRATCOM, and other USG entities.

Author of Persuasion and Power: The Art of Strategic Communication (Washington: Georgetown U. Press, 2012); The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability (Washington: Potomac Books, 2011); Information Warfare: Forging Communication Strategies for Twenty-First Century Operational Environments (Quantico: Marine Corps University Press, 2020); The Corporate Warrior: Successful Strategies from Military Leaders to Win Your Business Battles (Rothstein Publishing, 2022); and numerous articles and commentaries in Parameters, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Survival, National Interest, and Defense One, among others.


The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Defense Post.

The Defense Post aims to publish a wide range of high-quality opinion and analysis from a

A look at Jewish extremism outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

A look at Jewish extremism in Israel

June 2, 20224:33 PM ET

LISTEN· 4:35

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Events over the weekend have prompted a new look in Israel at how it should handle Jewish extremists.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting in non-English language).

KELLY: That is from Sunday. The chant there, death to Arabs, rang out from nationalists marching through the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. They went on to harass and assault Palestinians who live there. NPR’s Daniel Estrin witnessed this. He is in Jerusalem and joins us now to talk about whether Israel might take new steps to control these extremists. Hey, Daniel.

DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

KELLY: I want to hear a little more. I want to understand more what exactly you saw on Sunday.

ESTRIN: I saw groups of Israeli teens roaming the Muslim quarter of the old city of Jerusalem. They assaulted Palestinians. They taunted them. I also saw some Palestinians curse at Israelis, too. And that was for hours even before the flag parade began. I then saw tens of thousands of Israelis marching through an area that’s usually a bustling gathering place for Palestinians. There were all kinds of people, mainly fairly mainstream orthodox Jewish groups, chanting religious songs. But then the most common chants that I heard were, death to Arabs, may your village burn and insults of the Prophet Muhammad.

I saw a lot of T-shirts with rifles inside stars of David. I watched a mob lurch at a Palestinian video journalist, try to grab his equipment. Reporters from the BBC were also assaulted, too. And these are the kinds of scenes we see every single year when this march takes place. Last year there was so much consternation and threats of violence from Hamas that the march was actually canceled, but it was too late. Hamas launched rockets, and the Gaza war began.

KELLY: Well, so that prompts a question. If, last year, a war began and I know, in years past, this march has sparked violence, why did Israel allow it to go ahead this year?

ESTRIN: The Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, says he did not want to give in to threats from Hamas this year. He said it was important to demonstrate Israel’s control over East Jerusalem, which is predominantly Palestinian. He considers the parade on Sunday a success – no deaths. And he said that the ugly scenes were the work of a small minority. He ordered police to prosecute people. In reality, police only arrested two Israelis that day. Israel is now singling out two far-right groups as being responsible for the extremism.

KELLY: Yeah, I was going to ask how organized this is. Who are these two far-right groups?

ESTRIN: Well, they’re both anti-Arab groups. And the most prominent one is called Lehava. It’s a group that’s against romantic relationships between Arabs and Jews – a lot of teens in this group. The defense minister is saying that these groups should be outlawed. But there have been calls to outlaw these groups for years, and Israel has not. So, you know, Palestinians and Israeli liberal groups say that the government does not take Jewish extremists seriously. Israel, of course, points to Palestinian extremist groups – Hamas, Islamic Jihad – which have committed deadly attacks on Israelis. And Israel, says Palestinian officials, have not done enough to rein them in. But, you know, Palestinian property is vandalized. Israeli settlers in the West Bank attack Palestinians – very few prosecutions against Israelis.

KELLY: And this is a big question. But what is fueling this extremism?

ESTRIN: There are bigger trends in Israeli society. The far right is represented in parliament. They conflate Arab citizens, 20% of the population, frequently with terror. And I spoke to the former foreign minister in Israel, Shlomo Ben-Ami, and he said what we saw on Sunday was not just a couple of extremist groups.

SHLOMO BEN-AMI: I am ashamed. I am ashamed. Jewish supremacism – this is what it is. I think it is a direct representation of Israeli power. I have no doubt about it.

ESTRIN: Now, Mary Louise, I should let you know that there are, of course, Israeli groups trying to do the opposite and promote reconciliation. There was a group handing out flowers to Palestinians the day of the march in Jerusalem. And, you know, I heard one story recently about high schoolers that were from a Jewish Orthodox high school shouting at Arab elementary school kids in a public park, calling on them to leave the country. And you know what? The Jewish principal came to the Arab school, apologized and sent the kids on a free trip to the zoo.

KELLY: NPR’s Daniel Estrin reporting there on so much complexity in Jerusalem. Thank you, Daniel.

ESTRIN: You’re welcome.

Is Pakistan capable of a second-strike?

In great international power politics, nuclear weapons have repudiated the concept of real wars. Instead, it focuses on upgrading state capabilities to deter the adversary state from the consequences of the first strike. Second strike capacity is the capacity of a state to answer an atomic assault through an atomic counter. However, the credibility of a second strike is attained when the adversary state accepts that attacking will eventually result in massive retaliation or mutual-assured destruction.

Pakistan had attained its nuclear license in 1997 and, since, developed its atomic technology to keep its flag high in international relations.

Recently, Pakistan with Turkey is manufacturing the Babur-3rd class guided missile heavy corvette. According to the Pakistan Strategic Forum, “The class of four Babur corvettes are being built under the joint venture MILGEM project between Pakistan and Turkey, with 2 ships being built in Istanbul, Turkey and 2 in Karachi, Pakistan at a cost of around $1.5 Billion to the Pakistan Navy. The Babur Class Corvettes are 3,000-tonne multi-mission platforms, equipped for anti-ship warfare (AShW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) as well as anti-air warfare (AAW)”.

The Babur-3 guided corvette missile which Pakistan will officially announce next month holds the accurate precision power in the 9,300-kilometre range.

This is a great instant boost in Pakistan’s second-strike capability including up-gradation to continental, aerospace and maritime security dimensions.

Babur Cruise Missile is another medium-range turbojet engine Pakistani missile with a range of 900-kilometre (2021 model).

Shaheen III is Pakistan’s land-to-land highest range of 2750-kilometres ballistic missile tested on 9th March 2015.

Afterwards, the Pakistan Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with an expected range of 7000-kilometre is under-development. The manufacturing of this missile will give Pakistan a strong hold over its nuclear attainments.

However, right now, Pakistan does not have an atomic controlled submarine. Nuclear powered Ballistic Submarine (SSBN) is specially designed for long-range rockets and holds the capacity to be immersed underwater for a longer time and cannot be recognised by radars and projectors. Diesel-electric submarines, notwithstanding, are a long way from being strong, as they are not tranquil and along these lines can be recognized, undermining their endurance and thus the believability of the subsequent strike.

A state balance of power in the context of second-strike capability can be categorized in two short ways; a state’s internal capabilities in terms of military, politics and national elements and a state’s external stance in international relations. The state goodwill in using nuclear weapons depends both on internal and external stances and neglecting any element can result in fierce economic and political sanctions.

In recent years, Pakistan has been tilting toward China while trying to not worsen its relations with the USA as well. In the past decade, Pakistan had notably increased military ties with Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and China.

China is linked with Pakistan in interest to its Road and Belt Initiative Project. Gwadar Port is the main object for the successful completion of China’s project. Pakistan is effectively utilizing these opportunities to build economic and political ties with China which is going to enhance Pakistan’s second-strike capability in context to the external goodwill in international relations and more nuclear advancement, especially in nuclear SSBN submarines.

BURHAN AHMED LODHI