Why a U.S.-Russian War is NOT in Prophecy


PUTIN WARNS U.S.-RUSSIA NUCLEAR WAR WOULD LEAVE NO SURVIVORS

Damian Sharkov
Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the idea that the U.S. would claim victory in a conflict with Russia, noting that “nobody would survive” such a clash.
Speaking to U.S. movie director Oliver Stone for The Putin Interviews, a four-part series on Showtime, Putin shared a negative view of U.S. military action and its NATO alliance.
“NATO is a mere instrument of U.S. foreign policy,” Putin says in a clip of the interview, aired by the Showtime channel. “It has no allies, it has only vassals. Once a country becomes a NATO member, it is hard to resist the pressures of the United States.”
Russian officials frequently claim that the U.S. commands European allegiance through NATO, despite the alliance arguing that participation in the alliance is voluntary and that allies merely agree to broad military cooperation upon entry, rather than to specific deployment or combat obligations.
Troubled by Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO has reoriented resources to defend allies near Russia. The Kremlin has vowed to respond with its own deployments and argued the move is aggressive.
Poland and Romania have claimed they volunteered to host elements of a U.S. missile shield—but speaking to Stone, Putin says this is just another example of U.S. dictated policy.
“In this case we have to take countermeasures,” Putin tells Stone. “We have to aim our missile systems at the facilities that are threatening us. The situation becomes more tense.”
In 2015, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council Yevgeny Lukyanov warned that countries that accept the U.S. missile shield system “ automatically become targets ” for Russia.
“Romania cannot be intimidated by threats! The Missile Defense System is fundamental for the national and regional security,” Romania’s then Prime Minister Victor Ponta said in response.
Meanwhile, the Polish Ministry of National Defence refused to refer to Lukyanov’s hypothetical conflict scenario—concluding that “the Ministry of National Defense refers to the facts.”

Islam and Judaism In Israel

The terrorist who killed four Israelis in Jerusalem Jan. 8 by mowing them over with his truck expressed agitation after hearing a sermon at a local mosque criticizing Trump’s embassy relocation promise.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership reportedly instructed the mosques it controls to focus their religious sermons on the embassy relocation. Worse still, the PA promised the terrorist’s widow a lifetime, $760-per-month stipend for her husband’s “martyrdom for Allah.”
Arab reactions to Trump’s embassy plans are more heated than they were to those of candidates Bush and Clinton perhaps because of Trump’s pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the embassy there from Tel Aviv, not only as a candidate (including during his address at last year’s AIPAC Policy Conference) but also as president-elect, issuing public reassurances on the issue. Trump even planned to visit the Temple Mount as a candidate, although the visit never materialized and – as president – he said last Thursday that it was “too early” to discuss moving the U.S. Embassy.
Nevertheless, Palestinian and Arab leaders have warned that moving the embassy could lead to unrest and violence. Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called the idea “a declaration of war against Islam.” PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he could revoke the PLO’s recognition of Israel, while his Fatah party warned the move “would open the gates of hell.”
Such declarations by political and religious leaders give a green light to Palestinians to react violently, as the Jerusalem terrorist truck attack shows.
Palestinian leaders, including the “more moderate” Palestinian Authority, regularly deny that Jews have any historical or religious connection to the Temple Mount.
PA Jerusalem Affairs Minister Adnan al-Husseini demanded an apology Sunday after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was “completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.” The statement “violated all legal, diplomatic and humanitarian customs and overstepped his role as secretary general,” al-Husseini said.
This is not the first time that the Palestinians, including the “more moderate” Palestinian Authority, manipulated Jerusalem into an incendiary trigger for terror.
As Palestinian Media Watch reported, Abbas led calls in 2015 for Palestinians to act violently to “defend” Muslim holy sites. He blessed “every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem” and presented violence in “defense” of holy sites and against the Jews’ “filthy feet” as a religious imperative.
Indeed, the “stabbing intifidah” was launched in 2015 by false rumors that Israel was trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.
“Arabs are convinced that Israel is set on destroying, desecrating or ‘Judaizing’ Haram al-Sharif, the Jerusalem compound that includes al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site,” Benny Avni wrote in the New York Post. Such incitement persists, Avni noted, even though “Israel points out that the arrangements that have existed since 1967, when it seized control of the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, are intact, and will remain so: A Jordanian trust, the Waqf, maintains the Mount. Jews can visit, but not pray there.”
Even worse, President Obama’s State Department reinforced the dangerously false incitement about Jerusalem promoted by Palestinians.
Writing about the 2015 “Stabbing Intifida,” journalist Jeffrey Goldberg rightly pointed out that it was “prompted in good part by the same set of manipulated emotions that sparked the anti-Jewish riots of the 1920s: a deeply felt desire on the part of Palestinians to ‘protect’ the Temple Mount from Jews.”
In the 1929 Arab riots, Arabs killed more than 130 Jews, and nearly as many Arabs died when British police responded. Among the findings of a subsequent investigation by the Shaw Commission was that “the Mufti was influenced by the twofold desire to confront the Jews and to mobilise Moslem opinion on the issue of the Wailing Wall” (in Jerusalem) and that one of the chief causes of the riots was “Propaganda among the less-educated Arab people of a character calculated to incite them.”
Arab incitement against Jews happens regularly, often without the explosive element of Jerusalem. In a sermon broadcast on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV in early January, a Hamas leader name Marwan Abu Ras, accused Jews of sending “AIDS-infected girls to fornicate with Muslim youths.” He also claimed that Israel was allowing drugs to be smuggled through tunnels into Gaza, while blocking the entry of essential goods. “Their state is about to disappear,” Abu Ras said. “…My brothers, know that people, stones, and trees all hate [the Jews]. Everyone on Earth hates this filthy nation, a nation extrinsic to Mankind. This fact was elucidated by the Quran and the Sunna.”
But adding Jerusalem to Arab incitement against Israelis can make the resulting violence even more explosive.
Qanta Ahmed, a pro-Israel Muslim reformer who visited both the Jewish and Muslim holy sites at the Temple Mount, eloquently noted the Islamist thinking that enables the weaponization of Jerusalem: “Forbidding worshippers from entering holy sites in Islam, including non-conforming or pluralist Muslims who reject both the ideology and accouterments of Islamism is an impassioned pastime of fervent Islamists who foolishly believe only they are the keepers of our Maker…”
Unfortunately, Jerusalem has a long and bloody history of being manipulated by Muslim leaders into an explosive tool of incitement. But if Islam truly is a religion of peace, its leading practitioners should stop turning religious holy sites into weapons of war, and instead embrace Doctor Ahmed’s tolerance.
Reprinted with author’s permission from The Investigative Project on Terrorism

Why China Is One of Ten Nuclear Horns

by EDWIN MORA
8 Dec 2016
Armed Chinese paramilitary policemen stand guard on a road in Kashgar, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 2 September 2015.(Imaginechina via AP Images)
The increasing Islamic terrorism threat facing China is prompting the communist country to question its military support to its ally Pakistan given the South Asian country’s “complicated relationship” with jihadi groups, reports the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
In its latest annual report to Congress, the commission notes:
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China’s security concerns in South Asia historically have centered on its desire to enable Pakistan to thwart India’s rise as a challenger to China’s dominance in broader Asia. While this remains the most important determinant of Chinese security support to Pakistan, the rise of terrorism as a major perceived threat to China’s security may be prompting a shift in this calculus as Beijing grows more concerned about Pakistan’s complicated relationship with terrorist groups.
Terrorist activities, primarily stemming from Pakistan and to a lesser extent Afghanistan, “have become more frequent and high profile,” adds the report.
Citing Andrew Small, senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the commission warns of the creeping “Islamization” of Pakistan’s military.
“According to one expert, the inability or unwillingness of Islamabad to eradicate Pakistan-linked terror threats against Chinese targets is leading some Chinese analysts to conclude that the creeping ‘Islamization’ of the Pakistani armed forces (particularly ISI) it has long supported is beginning to undermine China’s strategic interests,” it reports.
The ISI refers to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, which has been linked to various terrorist groups, including the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan has been accused of serving as a sanctuary for various terrorist groups by the United States, Afghanistan, India, and now China.
China, the world’s third-largest arms supplier, provides more weapons to Pakistan than any other country and builds the Muslim-majority country’s nuclear reactors. The communist country enabled Pakistan’s indigenous ballistic missile capability and also assisted the South Asian nation in building its first nuclear bomb.
Moreover, the U.S. commission notes that “although China’s relationship with Pakistan continues to be primarily based on shared security concerns, it has recently expanded to encompass economic and diplomatic components.”
Meanwhile, the Islamic terrorism threat facing China, primarily rooted in Pakistan, is reportedly intensifying.
China’s autonomous province of Xinjiang, home to the country’s largest concentration of the Muslim Uighur minority, borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and neighboring Afghanistan.
According to the U.S. military, the Afghanistan-Pakistan region is home to the largest concentration of Islamic terrorist groups — 20 of the 98 U.S. or UN-designated terrorists organizations.
The U.S. commission notes:
As the threat of extremism and terrorism facing China grows, counterterrorism has become an increasingly important facet of Beijing’s engagement with South Asia. Chinese leaders have for decades been concerned about Islamic extremism and terrorism in Xinjiang, China’s westernmost region and home to the majority of China’s Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic group.
The extent and nature of this threat is difficult to assess given the Chinese government’s tendency to conflate and crack down on religious expression, political dissent, extremism, separatism, and terrorism. Nevertheless, open source reporting clearly demonstrates a rise in terrorist attacks in China in recent years
News outlets from India, considered a regional rival by both China and Pakistan, have accused the communist country’s military of conducting regular patrols inside war-ravaged Afghanistan. China has denied the claims.
Nevertheless, the U.S. commission reports:
China has slowly expanded its diplomatic and security engagement with Afghanistan in recent years. China’s recognition that it must shoulder greater responsibility in shaping Afghanistan’s future is driven by the following factors: First, China seeks to ensure Afghanistan does not provide a safe haven for extremists who might target China.
As of early 2016, the Asian giant has reportedly pledged $70 million in military aid to Afghanistan.

The Risk Of Nuclear Terrorism


‚); min-height: 95px; min-width: 60px; outline: transparent solid 0px; position: absolute; top: 50%; width: 384px; z-index: 100;“>EditPakistan-Nuclear-TerrorismNuclear Weapons and Terrorism: A Dangerous Mix
By Jean-Bernard Latortue
Contributing Writer
Setember 30th, 2016
When video footage of a Belgian nuclear official was discovered in the apartment of a terrorist behind the Paris attacks of November 13, 2015, it heightened the concerns of national security experts in the United States and abroad about nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorist groups. As strange as it may sound, though, catastrophe is opportunity. The United States and the other nuclear powers must seize this opportunity to work together to broaden their nuclear security policy to mitigate the growing threat of a nuclear-armed terrorist group. Stronger physical protection of nuclear facilities, tigher border controls around nuclear power states, and increased transparency among civilian and military nuclear programs will undeniably lower the risk of this threat.
Since an improvised nuclear bomb can be made from highly enriched uranium or plutonium, a terrorist group would not need to take over a nuclear-armed state to posses such a weapon. A thriving black market exists for just the materials a terrorist would need to create a bomb on his or her own. As of December 2015, the Internal Atomic Energy Agency Incident and Trafficking Database system has recorded a total of 2889 incidents involving thefts, losses, and attempts to illegally sell or traffic fissile materials across international borders. Therefore, a terrorist attack involving an improvised nuclear device is not inconceivable nor impossible, although it may be improbable.
Currently, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does not inspect every nuclear facility globally, thus some countries may not be in accordance with the agency’s safeguards and nuclear security measures. Even more striking is that states sometimes fail to account for the totality of the nuclear material at their various facilities. For instance, in Pakistan, missing weapons-usable materials are rarely reported by the facility and subsequently turn up on the black market. Another shortcoming of the status quo is that some states with nuclear programs do not have the proper resources to require all employees undergo an extensive security clearance process before being hired. Without a thorough background check, employees at nuclear facilities could act as double agents, working for the facility while simutaneously passing information to terrorist groups.
Much of U.S.’ nuclear security and non-proliferation endeavors over the past half-century have been rightly focused on arms control treaties and agreements such as the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, which deters states from acquiring nuclear capabilities. However, nuclear security today requires a more proactive approach that must work towards or achieve:
• Safer nuclear facilities. Collaborating with countries like Pakistan, where terrorists are more likely to train. Physically strengthening the security of research reactors and other affiliated facilities would reduce the likelihood of non-state actors reaching those facilities;
• Tighter border controls. Reduce the smuggling of nuclear materials and make it extremely difficult for non-state actors to get the necessary components needed to build nuclear devices. This would entail border police and other law enforcement bodies playing a greater role in the prevention of trafficking of radioactive materials; and
• Better understanding of the threat. Greater transparency among states would develop a common understanding of the threat and help establish broad political agreements on more effective ways to secure nuclear sites.
The aforementioned efforts require abundant resources and strong domestic political support. While these policy steps may not completely eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of radical groups, they would certainly demonstrate a commitment from the international community to confront threats from terrorist groups and signal a step in the right direction.
The United States has shown extraordinary and effective leadership in the past in its non-proliferation policy aiming to avoid the acquisition of nuclear weapons among state actors. The United States surely can rise to the occasion again to ensure global peace and security.
Jean-Bernard is a second-year graduate student in the International Affairs master’s program at the Elliott School of International Affairs. He received a B.A. in History and Political Science from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida in 2013. Before enrolling in the MA program, he interned on Capitol Hill and worked for a lobby group in Washington, DC. Jean-Bernard can be reached at Jlatortue@gwmail.gwu.edu.

The Russian And American Horns Shall Fight Together


Doomed To Cooperate — Russia, The U.S. And Nuclear Weapons After The End Of The Soviet Union – Forbes

In the 20th century almost everyone worried about the destruction of the world as we knew it from a full-scale nuclear war between the United Stated and Russia, or even a nuclear attack by a rogue nation who obtained a nuke by clandestine means. It was not far-fetched and was averted only by the steadfast and unwavering commitment of scientists and politicians who understood that diplomacy and science together would achieve what saber-rattling never could.

So writes our preeminent nuclear scientist, Siegfried Hecker, in his new 2-volume set, Doomed to Cooperate, that includes contributions from over 100 Russian and American scientists and diplomats. The book tells the story of the American nuclear scientists, and their Russian counterparts, who worked over 25 years to secure nuclear weapons and nuclear materials in the waning days of the old Soviet Union and the tumultuous aftermath of its dissolution in 1991.

The Threshold Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which banned the testing of nuclear weapons with yields over 150 kilotons, had been signed in 1974 but it was never ratified because it was difficult to envision just how joint verification could be achieved. While each side was eager to share the other’s scientific knowledge, it was critical to develop the personal communication and respect among the various players that would grow the trust needed for true verification.

Following the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavik in 1986, the idea of such collaboration took root in the minds of scientists and military leaders on both sides, becoming known as the lab-to-lab collaboration, i.e., the collaboration between the American weapons laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories and the Russian nuclear weapons institutes, VNIIEF in Sarov, VNIITF in Snezhinsk and VNIIA in Moscow.

In the few years following Reykjavik, American nuclear scientists were invited to the Soviet secret cities. Cities so secret, says Hecker, that they didn’t even appear on Soviet maps.

Then the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The resulting economic crisis in the new Russian
Federation was worse than the Great Depression. Fears emerged that some nuclear materials were no longer secure. Would loose nukes fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue states and plunge the world into a nuclear nightmare? The nature of the nuclear threat changed from one of “mutual annihilation” to “what would happen if nuclear weapons were lost, stolen or somehow slipped out of control of the Russian government.”

Most importantly, Hecker and the rest of the Americans were concerned about the million Russian nuclear scientists and workers, many of whom were now out of work or underemployed and whose new poverty constituted a real security risk.

So the lab-to-lab collaboration took on a more urgent quality.

In early 1992, Russian Laboratory Directors Vladimir Belugin of VNIIEF and Vladimir Nechai of VNIITF came to Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos, and two weeks later LANL Director Siegfried Hecker and LLNL Director John Nuckolls went to VNIIEF and VNIITF. Thus began not only the scientific endeavors but also the intensity, emotion, friendships, and humor that accompanied them, and that seem to have been equally important for their ultimate success.

The Russians were proud of their scientific accomplishments and demonstrated them to the Americans scientists as they toured the Russian nuclear complex. While the United States had about 25,000 nuclear weapons at that time, there were almost 40,000 nuclear weapons in Russia and the old Soviet states in Eastern Europe. Russia had about 3 million pounds of plutonium and highly enriched uranium ready to be made into nuclear weapons. Compared to the 13 pounds of plutonium that made up the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945, this was a lot of nuclear material that needed to be secured.

Hecker pointed out that the Russian scientists realized the awful destruction that even a single nuclear bomb could wreak and were motivated to act responsibly. In the words of one of the Russian leaders,, “Therefore, you know, we were doomed to work together, to cooperate.”

The Bush 41 administration put in place nuclear initiatives to calm the nervous Russian government, providing funding, taking nuclear weapons off of American Navy surface ships and taking nuclear weapons off of alert so that the Russians could do the same. The U.S. Congress passed the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction legislation, which helped fund some of these loose nuke containment efforts.

And while those were positive results, Hecker noted that it was ultimately the cooperation among scientists, the lab-to-lab-cooperation, that allowed the two nuclear adversaries to make “the world a safer place.”

The results have been impressive. No nuclear event has occurred since the dissolution of the Soviet nuclear complex despite persistent fears, and the combined U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons arsenals now number less than 15,000.

For Hecker, this is not just an American story, it is a selfless reconciliation with a longtime enemy for the greater good, a “relationship not corrupted by ideological or nationalistic differences, but one reflective of mutual interests of the highest order.”

As Hecker puts it, “We discovered that we not only shared common scientific bonds, but also the enormous sense of responsibility we had for nuclear weapons. The scientists and engineers of the weapons laboratories on both sides considered ourselves the stewards of the nuclear weapons. We conceived them, we designed them, we helped build them, we gave custody to the military, and finally we took them back for disassembly. We had cradle-to-grave responsibility for the weapons and could not rest until they were dismantled.”

According to Hecker, “The primary reason why we didn’t have a nuclear catastrophe was the Russian nuclear workers and the Russian nuclear officials. Their dedication, their professionalism, their patriotism for their country was so strong that it carried them through these times in the 1990s when they often didn’t get paid for six months at a time.”

The sentiment from laboratories in both the United States and Russia is that this lab-to-lab cooperation was not only productive in its time but should continue into the future. However, many of the cooperative programs between our two countries have ended, including the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), the nuclear warhead safety program (WSSX) and the safety and security of fissile materials program (MPC&A). The challenge now is how to renew the support for such endeavors in Moscow and in Washington when relations between our countries are at a particularly low point.

We would be wise to learn from this recent past, especially when some of our politicians call for tearing up the Iran Nuclear Deal, or generally getting tougher with the world, thinking our nuclear weapons make us invincible.

What makes us invincible is knowledge, understanding and caring about the future.

Dr. James Conca is a geochemist, an energy expert, an authority on dirty bombs, a planetary geologist and professional speaker. Follow him on Twitter @jimconca and see his book at Amazon.com

The Nightmare Soon To Become A Reality (Rev 15)


IF TERRORISTS GOT HOLD OF A NUCLEAR WEAPON THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES

THE ECONOMIST

Jul 4th 2016, 11:00

TO SEE a nuclear horror story unfold, look no further than YouTube. In “My Nuclear Nightmare”, a five-minute graphic film, Bill Perry, a former American defence secretary, describes how a breakaway faction of a rogue state’s security forces enriches 40 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium in a secret facility and then constructs what appears to be a crude bomb, similar in design and yield to the kind that obliterated Hiroshima. It then transports the bomb in a box labelled “agricultural equipment” by civilian cargo aircraft to Dubai and on to Washington, DC. It is soon loaded onto a delivery truck and driven to Pennsylvania Avenue, where it is detonated at the halfway point between the White House and the Capitol building.

What follows is excruciating. More than 80,000 people are instantly killed, including the president, the vice-president and every member of Congress present. Another 100,000 are severely injured. Phones are down. A little later, it gets even worse: TV news stations have received a message that there are five more such bombs hidden in five more American cities. One bomb will be triggered each week unless all American troops serving abroad are immediately sent home. Panic ensues as people stream out of cities, and with the administration wiped out by the blast there is a constitutional crisis. Martial law is declared as looting and rioting spread; military detention centres spring up across the country.

How plausible is Mr Perry’s gut-churning scenario? Even pariah regimes care a lot about nuclear security. The idea that a breakaway group would manage to set up a clandestine enrichment facility in a place like Iran or even North Korea thankfully stretches credulity. Regimes that invest in a nuclear-weapons capability, despite all the political and economic costs associated with such programmes, do so for one reason only: their own survival. They do not do it to empower terrorist groups, even those they might sympathise with. Attribution would be inevitable, as would retribution once it had been established.

But concern about rogue nukes is serious enough for Barack Obama to have made a major effort during his presidency to stop terrorists from getting hold of either a nuclear weapon or fissile material that could be turned into one. He organised four nuclear-security summits aimed at creating better global safeguards to prevent highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium falling into the wrong hands. Progress has been made: HEU has been removed from 30 countries; many research reactors and isotope-production facilities have been closed or converted to use low-enriched uranium; security has been tightened at dozens of storage sites.

Despite those efforts, 24 states still have 1kg or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials, and nearly 2,000 tonnes of weapons-usable nuclear materials (1,400 of HEU, 500 of plutonium) remain stored around the world, much of it still vulnerable to theft, in the view of Sam Nunn, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an advocacy organisation. A terrorist group would not need much fissile material to make a nuclear bomb–about enough HEU to fill a 2kg bag of sugar or a quantity of plutonium the size of a grapefruit. Moreover, the world has about 17,000 assembled nuclear weapons (although all but 1,000 of them are in either America or Russia). Harvard’s Belfer Centre calculates that it would require the theft of only 0.01% of the stockpile to “cause a global catastrophe”.
Beware of dirty tricks

Al-Qaeda has long had the ambition to acquire a nuclear device and there is little doubt that Islamic State (IS), in Mr Obama’s words, is “seeking nuclear material to kill as many people as possible”. Thanks to its control of territory, oil revenues and ability to recruit qualified engineers, a nuclear-capable IS seems all too plausible one day if it survives long enough. In a scenario envisaged at the most recent of Mr Obama’s nuclear-security summits, held in Washington, DC, in April, IS buys nuclear material from a medical facility sold to it by “insiders” through the dark web, constructs several “dirty bombs” and then detonates them from commercially available drones flying over a city.
Not a huge amount of engineering sophistication is required to build a “dirty bomb” or, to give it its more technical name, a radiological dispersal device (RDD). It consists of radiological waste wrapped in conventional explosives, which when detonated throw radioactive particles into the surrounding area. In 1995 Chechen rebels actually planted such a device in a Moscow park but did not detonate it.

A terrorist group would not need much fissile material to make a nuclear bomb
The lethality of an RDD is limited and in no way stands comparison with the destructive power of even the smallest fission device. More people would be killed by the initial explosion than by the radioactive materials. The psychological impact would nonetheless be big and an area of a city that would require expensive and painstaking clean-up before it could be reinhabited could extend to several blocks. In short, it would be an effective terror weapon, but hardly an existential threat.
…and a battlefield bazaar

A scenario of a different kind may have been among the dangers depicted in a video shown to world leaders at Mr Obama’s nuclear-security summit in April. Pakistan has long been a concern because it has at least 100 nuclear warheads (and is producing more at a fair clip) while at the same time being a crucible of jihadist terrorism. Mark Fitzpatrick, a nuclear-proliferation expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies who has spent time with the Pakistani nuclear authorities, notes that there have been no thefts, seizures or accidents involving Pakistan’s fissile material. But there is still good reason to be fearful. IS has boasted in its online magazine, Dabiq, that it could purchase a weapon from corrupt officials in Pakistan.

In the past few years Pakistan has developed a number of short-range battlefield nuclear weapons as a counter to India’s growing conventional military superiority. These weapons are destabilising at best because of their proximity to the frontline of any conflict and the pressure to “use them or lose them”. But they suffer from another defect: at times of crisis they would be dispersed and put under the command of relatively junior officers.

There are intelligence reports of “mated” nuclear weapons (devices with all their component parts) being driven around Islamabad in unprotected civilian vans. According to some estimates, up to 40% of Pakistan’s middle-ranking army officers are to some extent radicalised. The possibility of rogue elements, with knowledge of where small nukes were to be deployed, working with a terrorist group is real enough, as is a jihadist attack on a base where such weapons are kept. Supposedly the enabling and authenticating codes that arm the weapons are in the hands of the civilian-led National Command Authority, but in reality it is the army that keeps them.

What if a jihadist group obtained an armed battlefield missile with the intention of triggering a nuclear exchange with India?What if a jihadist group obtained an armed battlefield missile with the intention of triggering a nuclear exchange with India? About 20m people would be killed directly, but the massive firestorms would send up to 5m tonnes of smoke into the stratosphere, leading to a “nuclear winter” in which crops around the world failed and hundreds of millions died of starvation. The thing about nuclear nightmares is that they come in all shapes and sizes.

Obama And The False Prophet (Revelation 20)


Obama’s 40 alarming quotes about Islam and Christianity

Over the past week, we’ve shared the blessings and remembrances of Passover and Easter. Of course this is a very special time of reflection for Jews and Christians. And in America, there cannot be any debate that this nation was founded upon a Judeo-Christian faith heritage — notice I did not say religion.

And so it was yesterday afternoon that I came across a very interesting piece written on April 17th by Thomas Lifson in the American Thinker that I’d like to share. It’s a comparative listing of 40 quotes from President Barack Hussein Obama, 20 each on Islam and Christianity from a blog called Now the End Begins.

As Lifson states, “Collectively, (the quotes) create quite an interesting picture. I admit that there may be instances of the president speaking as favorably of Christianity as he does of Islam, but I am not aware of them. I do remember in the 2008 campaign that he said he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and that was in response to public awareness of his attendance at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church, Trinity United. What the president left unsaid is the nature of Jesus as understood in Black Liberation Theology.”

Here are the first five about Islam:

#1 “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”
#2 “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”
#3 “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”
#4 “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”
#5 “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”
#6 “Islam has always been part of America”

You can read the full list here.

I am offering no commentary other than this: I don’t recall anywhere in my Sunday school studies or Biblical teachings any story of Isra where Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed joined in heaven in prayer. But this is how we can be easily co-opted into believing something if we fail to understand our own faith and actual history. I read all the quotes several times and remember when many of them were spoken.

In my assessment, there is a very clear and evident bias, and when combined with certain actions — as in Libya, Egypt, and towards Israel — well, you assess for yourself. Be an American Thinker. And then be a Guardian of the Republic.

On The Brink Of Nuclear War (Revelation 15)

Harvard researcher warns ISIS may be on the brink of using nuclear weapons: Chilling report highlights risk of dirty bombs, power station sabotage and device detonation

The possibility of a nuclear-armed ISIS may not be as far-off as many experts suggest, a Harvard researcher has warned. In a recent report for Project on Managing the Atom from Harvard’s Belfer Center, Matthew Bunn explains how the threat of nuclear terrorism is rising as extremist groups continue to evolve

  • Recent report explains that nuclear threat rises as terror groups evolve
  • The authors point to three types of nuclear or radiological terrorism
  • Includes detonation of bomb, use of ‘dirty bomb,’ or sabotage of facility
  • No firm indication of intentions yet, but report warns better security needed
  • For the latest Islamic State news updates visit www.dailymail.co.uk/isis
In a recent report for Project on Managing the Atom from Harvard’s Belfer Center, Matthew Bunn explains how the threat of nuclear terrorism is rising as extremist groups continue to evolve.
While there has not been any concrete indication that ISIS is pursuing nuclear materials, the researcher says that the actions and rhetoric of the group suggest its need for such powerful weapons.
The possibility of a nuclear-armed ISIS may not be as far-off as many experts suggest, a Harvard researcher has warned. In a recent report for Project on Managing the Atom from Harvard’s Belfer Center, Matthew Bunn explains how the threat of nuclear terrorism is rising as extremist groups continue to evolve

THREAT OF NUCLEAR TERRORISM

Each of these comes at a different level of risk, and the authors focus for the most part on the potential danger from the use of an actual nuclear bomb, as these results would be ‘most catastrophic.’
Nuclear sites may see tightened security, but there are also numerous other locations where radioactive materials can be acquired, and are less protected.
Hospitals and industrial sites, for instance, also contain such materials in a more easily accessible location,’ the researcher explains.
In recent years, there have been numerous occasions of suspicious events relating to nuclear facilities in Belgium, Defense One points out.
While it would be difficult to ISIS or other terror groups to obtain the knowledge of security features and access nuclear materials, Bunn explains that the evidence of such intentions are growing.
The report precedes the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, which will take place between March 31 and April 1.
According to the authors, the summit will help to determine the feasibility of terrorist groups getting their hands on nuclear materials.
The threats come from the possibility of three types of nuclear or radiological terrorism, the authors write: detonation of an actual nuclear bomb, sabotage of a nuclear facility, or use of a ‘dirty bomb’ to spread radioactive material.
Still, the other types of threats do not come without consequences.
‘The radiation from a dirty bomb, by contrast, might not kill anyone—at least in the near term—but could impose billions of dollars in economic disruption and cleanup costs,’ the authors write.
‘The effects of sabotage of a nuclear facility would depend heavily on the specific nature of the attack, but would likely range between the other two types of attack in severity.
‘The difficulty of achieving a successful sabotage is also intermediate between the other two.’
Nuclear sites may see tightened security, but there are also numerous other locations where radioactive materials can be acquired, and are less protected. Hospitals and industrial sites, for instance, also contain such materials in a more easily accessible location,’ the researcher explains
Nuclear sites may see tightened security, but there are also numerous other locations where radioactive materials can be acquired, and are less protected. Hospitals and industrial sites, for instance, also contain such materials in a more easily accessible location,’ the researcher explains
In order to reduce the chance of these attacks, the report explains that effective and sustainable nuclear security will be necessary.
But, while progress has been made in recent years, the researchers say the work is not done.
Nuclear sites may see tightened security, but there are also numerous other locations where radioactive materials can be acquired, and are less protected.
Hospitals and industrial sites, for instance, also contain such materials in a more easily accessible location, the researcher explains.
Though the probability of such an event may not be high as of yet, the potential consequences would be catastrophic, the researchers say, and this should act as a motivator for improved nuclear security measures worldwide.

Creating The Islamic Horns (Daniel 7)

Schisms in Islamic World Guide Pak’s Foreign Policy
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By G Parthasarathy Published: 12th March 2016 10:00 PM Last Updated: 10th March 2016 10:59 PM

The 20th century saw two developments that shook the Islamic world. The first was World War I, which triggered the collapse of global Islamist ambitions, with the dismantling of the Ottoman empire and end of the Caliphate. The creation of Israel and the dispossession of Palestinians in 1948 brought Muslims worldwide together to destroy the Jewish state determined to end the injustice done to fellow Muslim Palestinians. The 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict proved disastrous for such ambitions, as the Arab armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan were routed, with Israel capturing large tracts of their territory and, most importantly, taking control of the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in Jerusalem. The defeated Arabs responded in 1969 by establishing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in a summit meeting of Islamic countries in Morocco, with the aim of uniting the Muslim “Ummah” against Israel.

Not surprisingly, Pakistan had its own aims in participating in the OIC, which now has 57 members, with headquarters in Saudi Arabia. Its ambition was to mobilise the Islamic world against India and secure support for its claims in Jammu and Kashmir, while pledging allegiance for the Arab cause, on ending Israeli occupation of Muslim lands. This was accompanied by a worldwide effort to persuade Muslims and Islamic countries to unite against alleged atrocities targeting Muslims in India, particularly in J&K. Pakistan also used its nuclear ambitions to persuade Saudi Arabia, Iran and others that it would transfer nuclear capabilities to enable them to counter Israel’s formidable stockpile. What followed was massive flow of money to Pakistan from oil-rich Islamic states, together with diplomatic support, with OIC recognising and backing the Hurriyat as the sole and legitimate representatives of Muslims in Kashmir.

Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts are now coming apart, as the mirage of religion-based unity among Islamic countries is being torn apart by sectarian strife between Shias and Sunnis, and civilisational fault lines between Iran and its Sunni Arab neighbours. The carnage in Yemen and Syria reflect these fault lines. The conflict in Syria is pitting Shias backed by Iran, Iraq and the Hezbollah, against Sunnis backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. It has led to 0.25 million Syrians losing their lives and 11 million fleeing homes. In Yemen, Saudi Arabia is determined not to allow an Iranian-backed regime dominated by Shia Houthis to take charge of the country. Saudi Arabia has put together a coalition of 34 Sunni Islamic countries to take on the ISIS, which is seen as a threat to its conservative monarchy. More importantly, the Saudi effort is geared to containing Iranian influence in Syria and elsewhere in its neighbourhood.

Pakistan is now faced with a dilemma on how to respond to Saudi entreaties for active military support. The Gulf Arabs, who have invested billions in economic and military assistance to Pakistan, are recognising that Islamabad will not come to their assistance, as they had expected. Pakistan has been severely criticised by the leaders of UAE for its alleged duplicity, even as the Emirates seek closer relations with India. The OIC, torn apart by sectarian differences, may periodically issue bombastic statements on J&K against India at Pakistani behest, but it has lost its credibility and relevance, as influential members like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and others, overtly and covertly, seek Israeli support against Iran and have little time or energy to fight for the rights of Palestinians, amid internal conflicts. The country that has benefited most from Pakistan’s membership of the OIC has been its ‘all-weather friend’ China. Despite severe persecution of its Muslim population who are not allowed to fast publicly during Ramzan, or wear Burqas in Xinjiang Province, China has avoided being condemned by the OIC, thanks largely to Pakistan’s backing.

Establishing The Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

BY SAAG JANUARY 31, 2016
By Bhaskar Roy*
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Abdel Al-Jubeir recently gave a loaded answer to a CNN question about his country’s nuclear co-operation, raising red flags from the Middle East to South Asia. He replied (Jan. 22) “I am not going into details of the discussions we have with foreign governments, and certainly not allied governments. I’m sure you understand”, adding that Saudi Arabia does not negotiate over two things – “faith and security”. Al-Jebeir went on to say that his kingdom will do whatever it takes to protect the nation and its people from any harm. He declined to say any more, leaving the international community to decipher his statement.
Al-Jubeir’s statement came a day after US Secretary of State, John Kerry warned both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan against indulging in nuclear weapons trade, adding that there would be “all kinds of NPT consequences” if Riyadh went ahead with such a plan. Saudi Arabia is a signatory to the NPT, while Pakistan is not.
The Saudi message to the Obama administration leaves little to the imagination. By negotiating the nuclear agreement with Iran and lifting nuclear related sanctions, Riyadh’s old ally and friend – the US – has empowered its existential enemy. Even if Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure is being dismantled under IAEA supervision, the expertise will remain in the minds of Iranian scientists and engineers. Its peaceful nuclear industry will continue to function, and lifting of sanctions will release billions of dollars of Iran’s frozen assets. Iran will have the freedom to trade with Europe, and the United States can further its financial and technological strength.
Saudi Arabia has drawn a red line. It is not for nothing that it has funded the Pakistani nuclear weapons programme with billions of dollars. Pakistan is very well aware of this, and its dependence on Riyadh for many other things including Pakistan’s internal politics (Riyadh provided political refuge to Nawaz Sharif) and empowering its Sunni Islam programme.
With rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the past year, Pakistani leaders in recent months have warned Iran of serious consequences if it attacked Saudi Arabia. Riyadh-Tehran tensions became particularly acute after the Saudis executed Nimr-al-Nimr, a Shia cleric of Saudi Arabia who was perceived to be sharply critical of the royal family. The execution led to a public attack and protests against the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which the Saudis claim was instigated by the Iranian authorities. In retaliation, the Saudis expelled the Iranian diplomats and embassy officials and cut off all relations with Iran.
Iran is unlikely to forget the execution of Nimr-al-Nimr in a hurry. They will extract some cost from Riyadh, but how and when has not been determined. Iran also claims that the nuclear sanctions against Iran had left the field open for the Saudis to expand their extremist Wahabi religious influence in the region.
The stage is being set for a fierce Wahabi – Shia competition from Syria to the gulf. Pakistan, which has the relationship of an ally with Saudi Arabia, may get dragged in. While it has pledged to defend Saudi Arabia and retains a garrison there, it politely declined to join Riyadh militarily in the latter’s military intervention in Yemen. But when the Saudi’s demand that Pakistan deliver readymade nuclear weapons for which they have paid for years, the much vaunted “Islamic bomb”, what will Pakistan’s response be?
Saudi Arabia has been in the forefront for decades demanding a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) free zone in the Middle East. It has signed several conventions other than the NPT. Much of this derived from Israel’s unstated nuclear weapons status. But it also walked the nuclear path for several decades under the garb of a peaceful nuclear programme, including nuclear power. It has a fund of $ 80 billion for building nuclear power plants, yet there is no evidence that it has even earmarked locations for such plants. The only information that has filtered out is that Saudi Arabia’s nuclear establishment has started prospecting for uranium on their soil.
The late King Abdullah decided to set up an umbrella nuclear research centre, the King Abdullah Atomic Energy City. Several Saudi nuclear scientists have earned PhDs from prestigious universities in the US and the UK. But the country is still far away from setting up facilities which can produce High Enriched Uranium (HEU). This process takes a long time and will possibly include acquiring technology from abroad illegally. This path will land Riyadh squarely into international sanctions, which will hurt the Saudis severally since their oil experts will be hit. Almost 90% of the Saudi economy is oil-dependent and the plunging international oil prices are beginning to ae negative effects on oil producing gulf countries.
Over the recent past, several top officials, including Prince Turki al-Faisal said (2011) that the kingdom might consider producing nuclear weapons if it found itself caught between nuclear weapons of Israel and Iran.
The immediate option however, remains Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. China has armed Saudi Arabia with about 60 to 70 CSS-2 medium range missiles, acquired in the mid-1980. These missiles, although armed with high explosive conventional warheads are also reportedly nuclear capable. There are reports that suggest that the Saudis have imported medium range (1500 kms) nuclear capable Ghauri missiles from Pakistan. The west turned a blind eye to this missile proliferation as the US president declined to make a determination when Pakistan acquired M-11 nuclear capable missiles from China in the early 1990s. This, despite the smoking gun evidence that US intelligence services provided to their President. Saudi Arabia is not convinced by the US argument that Iran’s nuclear weapons have been effectively capped, and the IAEA is maintaining a close surveillance on it. From one angle, it appears the new Saudi leadership with the King’s young son in charge of defence but with little or no experience in international affairs, has a free hand in determining the kingdom’s military power. Pakistan on the other hand, is caught in a cleft. Can Islamabad and Riyadh declare an alliance like NATO claiming a nuclear umbrella over its constituents? If that were to happen the security and stability of the region will be severely disturbed.
Pakistan would have to declare what could determine it to use or activate this nuclear option without actually transferring nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia. The region is not so gradually slipping into a complex situation with nuclear overtones. That Saudi-Iranian competition, if not hegemony, of the region is clearly evident. Major Powers will have to step in. Two countries that have the maximum leverage here are the US and China.
If they act in an impartial manner, the situation could be retrieved. India will come under significant challenges in the midst of Saudi Arabia and Iran. It foreign policy establishment has a difficult road ahead.
The question is – Can India sit aside with arms folded? Not if it wants its stature of a stabilizing power. It will have to activate its diplomacy between two viscerally antagonistic nations for the first time since Prime Minister Nehru tried to negotiate between the US and the Soviet Union.
*The writer is a Delhi based strategic analyst. He can be reached at email grouchohartEyahoo.com