Obama No Longer Trusts Erdogan After The Ratline


Report: U.S. Transferring Nuclear Weapons From Turkey to Romania

BY: Natalie Johnson  
August 19, 2016 11:48 am

Turkish soldiers secure the area as supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan protest in Istanbul’s Taksim square / AP
BY: Natalie Johnson Follow @nataliejohnsonn
August 19, 2016 11:48 am

The United States has reportedly begun relocating nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey to Romania amid heightened tensions between Washington and Ankara.

An unnamed source told EurActiv that the U.S. no longer trusted Turkey, a NATO ally, to host the weapons following last month’s failed military coup. The weapons are reportedly being transferred to Romania’s Deveselu air base.

It’s not easy to move 20-plus nukes,” another anonymous source told Euractiv, emphasizing technical and political barriers.

The Romanian foreign ministry “firmly” denied that U.S. nuclear weapons were being relocated to the country.

The possible transfer underscores ongoing strain between the Obama administration and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the wake of the attempted coup.

The U.S. has roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons based at the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, some 60 miles from the Syrian border, which have been there since the Cold War, according to a report from the Stimson Center.

The Stimson report says it remains unclear whether the U.S. could have maintained control of its weapons if the coup had ignited a prolonged civil conflict in Turkey, Euractiv noted.

During the July 15 coup attempt, the power at the Incirlik base was shutoff and Erdogan’s government barred U.S. aircraft from taking off. Turkish officials two days later arrested the base commander, as well as 11 other service members from Incirlik, on accusations of complying with the coup.

Update: Several experts have come out since the publication of the EurActiv article to question its sources and reporting, the American Interest noted Friday. Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis, for example, took to Twitter to challenge the story.

The story everyone is citing on US B61s being moved to Romania was written by a guy who doesn’t know what a B61 is. https://t.co/y3GW1mVPeX

— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) August 19, 2016
They consulted one person, a generalist who said it was bunk, and Romania, which denied it. Then published anyway. https://t.co/UIrgzm5mtv
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) August 19, 2016
Other experts questioned the prospect of the U.S. transferring its nuclear weapons from Turkey to Romania in a BalkanInsight report.

Do We Trust Our Nukes With Erdogan?

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US nuclear bombs at Turkey base at risk of seizure: Report

WASHINGTON – Agence France-Presse
DHA photo

DHA photo

Dozens of U.S. nuclear weapons stored at a Turkish air base near Syria are at risk of being captured by “terrorists or other hostile forces,” a Washington think tank claimed on Aug. 15.

Critics have long been alarmed by the United States’ estimated stockpile of about 50 nuclear bombs at İncirlik in the southern province of Adana, just 110 kilometers from the border with war-torn Syria.The issue took on fresh urgency last month following the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, in which the base’s Turkish commander was arrested on suspicion of being a member of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to have masterminded the failed takeover.

“Whether the U.S. could have maintained control of the weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey is an unanswerable question,” said the report from the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan think tank working to promote peace.

İncirlik is a vital base for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, with the strategically located facility affording drones and warplanes fast access to ISIL targets.

But the Pentagon in March ordered families of U.S. troops and civilian personnel stationed in southern Turkey to quit the region due to security fears.

“From a security point of view, it’s a roll of the dice to continue to have approximately 50 of America’s nuclear weapons stationed at İncirlik Air Base in Turkey,” report co-author Laicie Heeley said.

“There are significant safeguards in place. … But safeguards are just that, they don’t eliminate risk. In the event of a coup, we can’t say for certain that we would have been able to maintain control,” she told AFP.

While the Pentagon does not discuss where it stores nuclear assets, the bombs are believed to be kept at İncirlik as a deterrent to Russia and to demonstrate the U.S.’ commitment to NATO, the 28-member military alliance that includes Turkey.

The İncirlik nuclear issue has been the subject of renewed debate in the U.S. since the failed putsch attempt.

“While we’ve avoided disaster so far, we have ample evidence that the security of U.S. nuclear weapons stored in Turkey can change literally overnight,” Steve Andreasen, who was director for defense policy and arms control on the White House National Security Council staff from 1993 to 2001, wrote in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times last week.

Kori Schake, a fellow at the California-based Hoover Institution, noted in a written debate in the New York Times that “American nuclear forces cannot be used without codes, making the weapons impossible to set off without authorization.”

“The fact that nuclear weapons are stationed in Turkey does not make them vulnerable to capture and use, even if the country were to turn hostile to the U.S.,” she said.

The Pentagon declined to comment on questions arising from the Stimson study.
“We do not discuss the location of strategic assets. The [Department of Defense] has taken appropriate steps to maintain the safety and security of our personnel, their families, and our facilities, and we will continue to do so,” it said in a statement.

The İncirlik concerns were highlighted as part of a broader paper into the Pentagon’s nuclear modernization program, through which the U.S. would spend hundreds of billions of dollars to update its atomic arsenal.

The authors argue that a particular type of bomb – the B61 gravity bomb – should be immediately removed from Europe, where 180 of the weapons are kept in Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey.

GOP Is Correct: Pakistan Will Be Our Enemy


Republican Party for securing Pakistan nuclear arsenal; calls India its ally

PTI | 1 mins ago

CLEVELAND (US): Describing India as a “geopolitical ally” of the US, the Republican platform has urged New Delhi to protect all its religious communities from violence and discrimination and also called for securing nuclear arsenal of Pakistan.

India is our geopolitical ally and a strategic trading partner. The dynamism of its people and the endurance of their democratic institutions are earning their country a position of leadership not only in Asia but throughout the world,” the Republican platform released by the party after its formal approval stated.

“For all of India’s religious communities, we urge protection against violence and discrimination,” it said while noting the contributions made by the citizens of Indian ancestry to the US.
The Republican platform or the party election manifesto said conflicts in the Middle East have created special political and military challenges for the people of Pakistan.

“Our working relationship is necessary, though sometimes difficult, beneficial to both, and we look towards the strengthening of historic ties that have frayed under the weight of international conflict,” it said.

“This process cannot progress as long as any citizen of Pakistan can be punished for helping the war on terror. Pakistanis, Afghans, and Americans have a common interest in ridding the region of the Taliban and securing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal,” said the document.

Calling for mutual trust for progress of the region, it said,” A Republican president will work with all regional leaders to restore mutual trust while insisting upon progress against corruption and the narcotic trade that fuels insurgency”.

The 2012 Republican platform had welcomed a stronger relationship with the world’s largest democracy both economically and culturally, as well as in matters of national security.
“We hereby affirm and declare that India is our geopolitical ally and a strategic trading partner. We encourage India to permit greater foreign investment and trade. We urge protection for adherents of all India’s religions,” it said.

In 2012, the Republican platform had also said that it expects the Pakistan government to sever any connection between its security and intelligence forces and the insurgents.

Pentagon Helped Pakistan Become a Nuclear Horn

Khan the Father of Islamic Nukes

Khan the Father of Islamic Nukes

Pentagon blamed for Pakistan nuclear bomb
Updated: July 4, 2016 01:35 IST | Kallol Bhattacherjee

The U.S. Department of Defense resisted moves by the Congress to curtail Gen. Zia’s nuclear programme, a key U.S. policy maker of the time says in a new book.

The book titled Senator Pressler: An Independent Mission to Save Our Democracy sheds new light on U.S. attempts to deal with the Pakistan nuclear programme which under the Presidency of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq thrived due to an elaborate international smuggling network led by Dr. A.Q. Khan.
The book which is dedicated to Larry Pressler’s political life as a Senator from South Dakota recounts that the Pentagon backed by a section of the academia, media, think tanks and military-industrial complex did not support the Pressler Amendment which aimed to impose a trade embargo on Pakistan in the late 1980s for lying to the American government regarding its nuclear programme.
“The Pentagon strongly opposed it at the time,” he says in his autobiography, revealing that it was President Ronald Reagan who found his expertise on India-Pakistan ties of interest and encouraged him to come up with an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act 1961 which became known as the “Pressler Amendment”.

The Pressler Amendment was used by President George H.W. Bush to force Pakistan to go slow on the nuclear programme during the four years, 1989 to 1993. Mr. Pressler blames the military-industrial complex of the U.S. for stalling the campaign to stop the Pakistani nuclear programme which went overt with a series of nuclear tests in the Chagai mountain range of Balochistan in May 1998. Many believe that Pakistan could have been prevented from going nuclear had the U.S. acted on time and acted tough with Gen. Zia.

Mr. Pressler reportedly is trying to stage a comeback as an advocate of India in Washington DC and sent his autobiography to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Shivraj Singh, a politician of NDA coalition partner Rashtriya Lok Shakti Party (RLSP) who was in the U.S. for supporting the visit of Mr. Modi to the White House. Mr. Pressler’s comments are significant as the U.S. at present is pushing for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, while being silent on Pakistan’s claims for a similar membership.

Mr. Pressler confirmed in an email to The Hindu that he is working on a new book on India-U.S. diplomacy which will shed light on nuclear issues and his ties with Indian political leaders like the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Mr. Pressler has enjoyed good ties with Indian IT giant Infosys where he served on the board of directors for several years.

The upcoming book is being published by Penguin Random House and will be out in 2017, Mr. Pressler said.

Russia Continues To Test More Nukes (Daniel 7)

By Ryan Faith
January 14, 2016 | 9:11 am
Russian media outlets are running stories saying that the Russian Strategic Missile Force is going to keep itself busy in 2016, carrying out a total of 16 intercontinental ballistic missile tests. This poses a few obvious questions: Is that a lot of tests? Are we all going to die? Do I need to start digging a bomb shelter in my backyard right this instant?
The answers are, respectively, yes, no, and it’s complicated.
First off, 16 tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, is a lot. Last year, Russia conducted eight, and doubling a nuclear missile test program is kind of a big deal. Of the planned 16 tests, 14 will be for new systems, while the remaining two launches are meant to test extending the life of existing missiles.
What, then, are the Russians testing? Well, they’re testing road-mobile missiles, submarine-launched missiles, and beginning the test program of their new heavy ICBM, which NATO calls the SS-X-30 Sarmat. “The missile is in early phases of development and engineering,” said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.
There’s a lot of really weird psychology and game theory at work when you start talking nuclear deterrence, but one thing that creates huge amounts of angst among people in charge of nuclear armaments is, basically, performance anxiety. Nuclear deterrence is built on the idea that even if you get a jump on me and take me down, you’re still going to get taken out by that vicious response I’ve kept in storage just for that occasion.
The sweet spot for avoiding nuclear apocalypse is when both sides have enough nuclear capability to ensure their retaliation will have full effect — but without having so much strike capability that it creates a fear in your opponent that the other guy can get enough of a jump on you to take both you and your retaliatory ability out in one fell swoop. If both sides think they have a strong second-strike ability, but know that their first strike would not totally obliterate the opponent, then everybody is going to just chill.
According to Jeffrey Lewis, a big nuke wonk at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, of all the kinds of nuclear sneak attacks, Russian leaders live in perpetual fear of a decapitation strike. Kinda like it sounds, a decapitation strike kills all the top bosses, so that there’s nobody around to send the signals or release the launch codes for the retaliatory attack.
Of all the tools a country keeps on hand to ensure that a delayed-action strike hits the target even if they’ve been taken out, submarine-launched nuclear missiles are among the most potent. With max loadout, a US missile sub carries something like 288 warheads on 24 missiles; each warhead has about 25 times as much destructive power as the Hiroshima bomb. And really, anyone with a nuclear missile sub worth its salt (and the Russians have some very good ones) can effectively annihilate a country if they put their mind to it. Thus, missing just one submarine in your surprise sneak attack means you’re still in for an incredibly awful retaliation.
Enter US missile defense. According to the US, missile defense is important because a state that has nuclear weapons (say North Korea) and one that might one day (say Iran) might just be crazy enough to try nuking the US anyway, deterrence or not. Furthermore, the US says, the systems aren’t aimed at Russia or China; there wouldn’t be enough interceptors to make a noticeable dent in the cloud of incoming Russian or Chinese missiles to really help much anyway.
But some Russians nuclear experts say those US claims are disingenuous, and that neither Iran nor North Korea are anywhere competent enough to launch a nuclear strike against America. But the Russians also note that the US missile defenses could, for instance, shoot down missiles launched from Russia’s naval bastion, the one safe place where it could launch missiles from. So Russian fear boils down to the notion that the US could conceivably take out Moscow and top leadership in a surprise first-strike decapitation, and then rely on missile defenses to mop up the few missiles that did get launched in a counterattack.
Thus, with these new ICBM tests, we can expect to see a lot of measures intended to give Russian warheads an edge against US defenses. But that has the effect of making the Russians less paranoid that a massive nuclear sneak attack form the Americans would work, and when people with the nukes are more chill, we’re all more chill.
Now, one of those new-fangled nukes is a big beast of a missile, the SS-X-30 Sarmat. Kristensen explained that the decision to pursue the Sarmat is “partially motivated by desire for a design that can deploy missile defense-evading payloads.” And being a very heavy ICBM, the Sarmat could theoretically pack a whole lot of that.
One of the cooler bits is the speculation that the Russians are going way, way back to their grandad’s playbook for some vintage nuke tech and re-introducing the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, or FOBS. Many decades ago, even the US and Soviet Union could see that putting nukes in orbit was an absolutely destabilizing thing, because if you have nukes flying over your enemy’s head, you could detonate one in space at any moment, frying electronics courtesy of the blast’s electromagnetic pulse, and have free rein to nuke at will. So, in a rare bout of accord, both countries agreed that allowing any sort of weapon of mass destruction in space was just crazy talk, and they banned it.
Sometime later, the Soviets took a hard look at the treaty language and noted that it only banned orbital weapons Weapons that went around the Earth in a complete orbit. But, they reasoned, if the weapons only went part of the way around before coming back to Earth, then they wouldn’t be considered Nukes in Space, but merely Nukes with a Strange Deployment Method. The theory was nukes launched that way could come around the South Pole and hit the US without lighting up all the early warning radars strewn across Alaska and the Canadian Arctic.
Eventually, the US got to putting up satellites to detect launches so the Soviets couldn’t get away with any of this sneaky FOBS business, and the whole toolkit was put on ice in 1979.
Anyhow, along comes missile defense. Missile defense systems are pretty limited in the area they can cover, so a missile coming out of central Russia is going to be way, way, way beyond the reach of interceptors based in Alaska. But, just to be on the safe side, perhaps hedging against potential sea- or air-based anti-missile systems, the Russians dusted off the FOBS idea. Or at least according to Major General Vladimir Vasilenko, former head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Fourth Central Scientific Research Institute.
Now, Russia is a huge-ass country. There’s no way that the US can possibly afford to cover the entire Russian perimeter with kit to shoot down missiles, so if Russian missiles can leave in any one of a number of directions, they’ll be able to bypass US missile defenses, and the Russians will be confident in their retaliatory capability. That means they will probably chill out, according to that deterrence theory, and we can all die of something other than being nuked to death.
But here’s the thing: It’s not entirely certain if the Russians are going through all this hubbub because they’re on to some sneaky US nefariousness or because they’re downright paranoid. Which leads us to our third main question: Do I need to start digging a bomb shelter in my backyard right this instant?
It’s not certain that Russian concerns about missile defense are legit, but the Russian ICBM modernization is going along anyway as if they were. (Those efforts began in earnest in 1997, Kristensen said, so this isn’t exactly a “new” move for Russia.) And as this Russian development program begins wrapping up, it so happens that the US nuclear modernization program will be kicking off in earnest. And based on concerns about all these new badass Russian missiles, it will probably be upgraded pretty substantially.
What we have at the end of it all is a long series of back-and-forth, tit-for-tat moves that are actually only sort of related to each other, but, to the casual observer, look like a straight-up nuclear arms race. Which at this point it isn’t, but it might take a life if its of its own and turn into a real arms race even if none of the participants wanted to race at all.
So, if this were a sane, logical, and just world, there’d be no reason to start digging your fallout shelter right this instant. And all things considered, it doesn’t look like you should. But looking into a side gig selling Geiger counters around the neighborhood might be a good idea.

The Korean Horn Prepares For Next Nuke (Daniel 7)


North Korea building new tunnel at nuclear test site, satellites show
 

Further evidence of a new portal at North Korea’s nuclear test site. (Courtesy of 38 North/Airbus Defense & Space/Spot Image)
 
By Anna Fifield December 2 at 8:26 PM

TOKYO – North Korea appears to be building a new tunnel at its nuclear test site, new satellite pictures show, raising fears that the Pyongyang regime might be preparing to conduct a fourth atomic test.

Although there are no signs that a test is imminent, the construction does lead to one unpalatable conclusion, said Jeffrey Lewis, a respected nonproliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

“Well, they’re not giving up their nuclear weapons,” said Lewis, who analyzed commercial satellite imagery in a new report for 38 North, a website dedicated to North Korea run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

The new tunnel makes it “more likely that they will conduct a test in the coming year,” Lewis said, although this also depended on factors such as stocks of fissile material and the political situation.
Since 2006, North Korea has conducted three nuclear detonations at its Punggye-ri test site, in a mountainous area in the north of the country. The most recent was in February 2013, just over a year into Kim Jong Un’s reign and a month before Xi Jinping became China’s president, putting a bitter chill on relations with North Korea’s neighbor and reluctant patron.

Kim has repeatedly asserted North Korea’s status as a nuclear-armed country and has resolutely refused to return to multilateral talks aimed at persuading it to abandon its nuclear weapons program. But, to the surprise of many analysts, there has been no fourth test.

Recent satellite photos show that North Korea is excavating a new tunnel at the test site.

Significant construction, including of new covered buildings, began in April, Lewis wrote. By October and November, the satellites were showing an additional structure and what appear to be significant tailings, indicating excavation of a new tunnel is underway.

South Korean officials have also reached the same conclusion. “North Korea appears to be in the process of digging another tunnel,” an unnamed official told the Yonhap News Agency in late October, citing increased movement of people and cars in the area.

But Joel Wit, a former American diplomat who is now a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute, warned against concluding a test was coming anytime soon, noting the construction had been going on for months.

“There’s no evidence that they have decided to conduct a test,” Wit said, “but it adds to their ability to do so.”

There are already three tunnels at the Punggye-ri site: the east portal, where North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and which does not appear to be maintained; the north portal that was used for the 2009 and 2013 tests; and the south portal, which has been under construction for six years and has not been used.

If the new tunnel, which Lewis called the west portal, connects to the same main tunnel, Pyongyang would be able to conduct additional tests in the future, he said.

Analysts must couch their assessments with “coulds” and “mays” because so little is known about North Korea’s nuclear program. Almost all information comes from satellites in orbit overhead, earthquake detectors that register the seismic activity caused by the detonations and spreadsheets.
The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security estimates the North Korean regime could have enriched enough plutonium and uranium for 22 nuclear weapons.

In this case, Lewis said that a constraint on testing could be the mountain itself: whether it’s big enough to contain repeated explosions or whether it is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome” as the rock weakens.

Khan and Iran: The Nuclear Horns (Daniel 8:8)


Iran’s nuke ambitions confirmed: Former president reveals meetings with Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan

Special to WorldTribune.com

Iran has long intended to attain nuclear weapons capability, going so far as to enlist the help of rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said.
In an interview with state-run IRNA news agency, Rafsanjani said Iran’s nuclear ambitions became clear amid the Iran-Iraq War that began in 1980 and ended in 1988.

“At the time that we started, we were at war and we were looking to have this capability [the nuclear bomb] for the day that our enemy would want to resort to the nuclear bomb,” Rafsanjani said.
The Persian-language interview was translated by Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Rafsanjani, Iran’s president from 1989-1997, said in the interview that Iran’s “basic doctrine was peaceful usage of the nuclear technology,” but added “we never abandoned the idea that if one day we are threatened and it is imperative, we would have the capability for going the other path [to nuclear weapon] as well.”

Rafsanjani also admitted that Teheran had sought the assistance of Khan. The former president said that he, along with current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, then a senior official in Ayatollah Khomenei’s regime, traveled to Pakistan to meet with Khan, who is believed to have sold nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

“There were some talks with the Pakistanis. There was a nuclear scientist called Abdul Qadeer Khan in Pakistan… In a trip to Pakistan, I asked to see him. They did not show him to me,” he said.
Though he did not meet with Khan, Rafsanjani said that “it seemed that Mr. Abdul Qadeer Khan himself believed that the Islamic World should have the nuclear bomb. He believed in this and it was he who built Pakistan’s nuclear bomb although it took time to build the bomb. In any case, they agreed to help us a bit.

“We implemented part of our nuclear activity when we were still at war and Iraq was close to securing enrichment when Israel destroyed all of it,” he said, referring to Israel’s daring raid on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility which destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program.

“Those years, we were all thinking that we should arm ourselves with deterrent elements since the war was not about to end and in our defensive policies we had the word of Imam [Khomeini] in mind that the war may last 20 years,” Rafsanjani said in what the NCRI believes is an admission of the “regime’s intentions to acquire (a) nuclear weapon.”

China Can Soon Nuke Babylon (Daniel 7)


Pentagon Says Chinese Sub That Can Hit U.S. to Go on Patrol Soon

Anthony Capaccio David Tweed

First Jin-class sub to deploy by year’s end, U.S. Says

JL-2 missile could hit all 50 U.S. states from east of Hawaii

A new Chinese nuclear submarine designed to carry missiles that can hit the U.S. will likely deploy before year’s end, the Pentagon said, adding to Obama administration concerns over China’s muscle-flexing in Asia.

China’s navy is expected this year to conduct the first patrol of its Jin-class nuclear-powered submarine armed with JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency said in a statement. It declined to give its level of confidence on when the new boat will be deployed or the status of the missile.

“The capability to maintain continuous deterrent patrols is a big milestone for a nuclear power,” Larry Wortzel, a member of the congressionally created U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, said in an e-mail. “I think the Chinese would announce this capability as a show of strength and for prestige.”

The submarines are part of an effort to modernize China’s military under President Xi Jinping, who will be in Washington Thursday and Friday for a state visit with U.S. President Barack Obama. U.S.-China defense cooperation and competition will be among the topics discussed by the two leaders. The Pentagon and DIA had previously predicted the patrols would start last year.


‘Threat Inflation’

“Don’t discount the likelihood of threat inflation by the Pentagon because of the shift toward the Asia-Pacific in the revised maritime strategy,” said Collin Koh Swee Lean, an associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

China set out its ambitions for a bigger naval presence far from its coasts in its 2015 defense white paper released in May this year, saying it would add “open seas protection” to “offshore waters defense” to a list of core naval missions.

Wortzel said his commission’s 2015 report probably will include a comment from PLA Navy Commander Admiral Wu Shengli, who said the submarine-missile combination is “a tru
mp card that makes our motherland proud and our adversaries terrified.”

China’s increased naval might, as well as its assertion to territory in the contested South China Sea and East China Sea, has helped spur the region’s largest military buildup in decades and caused disquiet in the U.S. about its role as the region’s peace keeper.

Missile Range

“The United States is a Pacific power,” U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a speech on Sept. 21. “We’ve been the guarantor of stability in the region for the past 70 years. President Obama has made it clear that we have vital interests in Asia and the Pacific, and a good part of our foreign policy has been focused on our rebalance to Asia.”

China currently has at least four Jin-class submarines. Fifty-one years after the country carried out its first nuclear test, patrols by the new submarines will give Xi greater agility to respond to a nuclear attack, according to analysts.

“Of all the PLA strategic deterrence capabilities, the sea-based link is the most closely guarded secret because it is meant to be the most secure of the deterrents for China,” said Koh, who studies China’s naval modernization.
Sending the submarines on patrol is a significant step because JL-2 missiles have a range of about 4,598 miles (7,398 kilometers.) The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has said the missiles could reach Alaska if launched from waters near Japan and all 50 U.S. states from waters east of Hawaii.

Troop Cuts

“The chances of getting a submarine east of Hawaii at a time when tensions are high, would be relatively low,” said Felix Chang, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. “But it’s not a possibility you can completely discount.”

Xi earlier this month announced plans to cut 300,000 troops and vowed never to seek “hegemony or expansion.” While the move represents the largest cut to the People’s Liberation Army in almost two decades, it may only accelerate the arms buildup in the Asia-Pacific region.

The move will speed the PLA’s transition from a large, land-based army built over decades of invasions, civil war and border conflicts to a modern, mechanized force able to defend China’s territorial integrity and growing interests abroad.

“The more modern their weapons, the fewer personnel needed,” said June Teufel Dreyer, a University of Miami political science professor, who served as a commissioner on the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “Less money spent on personnel means more money for airplanes, submarines, frigates, missiles.”

Still Testing

The JL-2 “has nearly three times the range” of China’s current sea-launched ballistic missile “which was only able to range targets in the immediate vicinity of China,” the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence said in an April report on China’s Navy. The JL-2 “underwent successful testing in 2012 and is likely ready to enter the force,” it said. “Once deployed it will provide China with a capability to strike targets” in the continental U.S., it said.

Koh said reports indicate the PLA may still be conducting JL-2 tests. “If the missiles aren’t operational yet, there is no reason to send them out on patrol,” he said.

There is speculation that China is developing a new 096 Tang class nuclear-powered submarine that may be able to carry as many as 24 ballistic missiles, twice as many as the Jin-class 094 submarines, Koh said.

“So the most likely scenario is that the JL-2 is likely to be in the final stages of testing, and has been deemed successful, otherwise they wouldn’t be going ahead with the development of the 096,” said Koh.

Russia Closing In On Nuclear War (Revelation 15)


How close we came to Armageddon: Russian bombers began to arm NUKE near UK airspace

PILOTS in one of the two Russian supersonic bombers intercepted near UK skies last week had started the countdown to arm a nuclear bomb, sources revealed last night.

By MARCO GIANNANGELI, EXCLUSIVE

06:01, Mon, Sep 21, 2015 | UPDATED: 07:45, Mon, Sep 21, 2015

The discovery was made after RAF specialists analyzed a four-second signal transmitted from one of the Tupolev Tu-160 bombers, known by Nato as “Blackjacks”, in the days following Thursday’s incursion.

Analysts at RAF Boulmer, Britain’s Control and Reporting Centre, confirmed that the Russian bombers had begun the sequence to arm nuclear weapons while carrying out the incursion.
It is not the first time they have done this and comparison with a similar signal transmitted by a TU-95 “Bear” bomber revealed Russian air crew had begun the countdown during an incursion last year, as well.

The Sunday Express revealed that the bomber involved in the February 2014 incident had been carrying a submarine-busting nuclear depth charge designed to attack Britain’s Trident-carrying Vanguard submarines.

“All I can say is that we now know it related to the first stage of arming a nuclear device,” said a senior RAF source last night.

“There are several additional arming procedures which, thankfully, were not carried out.”
Last week’s air incursion, which was intercepted by Two RAF Typhoon jets, was the seventh this year by Russian forces.

RAF Boulmer, in Longhoughton. Northmberland, is the headquarters of the Air Surveillance and Control System force and the nerve centre of UK air security operations. Once a target is tracked the information is fed into the NATO network operated by the Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany and the RAF’s Air Defence Operations Centre at Air Command, High Wycombe.
However it was only when a female analyst decoded last week’s transmission that it was realised Russia had carried out a similar exercise last year.

Aviation expert Justin Bronk, of the Royal United Services Institute think tank, said the revelation confirmed a “worrying” development in Russian strategy.

“Putin does not allow his air force to fly with cruise missiles because he is so worried about defections, but dual purpose bombs such as nuclear depth charges are a different matter. And these are designed to be a direct threat to or nuclear deterrent.

“It is entirely probable that Russian crews have been practicing arming drills. The whole process can take several minutes, and it is important to be able to carry out quickly.”
He added that the lack of Nimrod maritime surveillance patrol aircraft made the situation more worrying.

Britain’s Nimrod fleet, which was scrapped as part of the SDR in 2010, used to perform so-called “delousing” exercises, whereby it would give advanced warning of Russian aircraft when Trident-carrying Vanguard submarines set off on patrol.

Putin does not allow his air force to fly with cruise missiles because he is so worried about defections, but dual purpose bombs such as nuclear depth charges are a different matter
Aviation expert Justin Bronk “There is no doubt that, by going through even the initial stages of the nuclear arming sequence, Russia is sending Britain clear signals. This is classic Cold War operation, and it is not a game.”

Nato aircraft were “scrambled” more than 500 times over Europe in 2014, a fourfold increase over the previous year. Almost 90 per cent of those flights involved Russian incursions. The number of Russian incursions had already reached 300 by the end of last month, suggesting this year will see numbers akin to the height of the Cold War.

Most Russian aircraft fly without transponders so as not to give away their positions, making them a safety hazard to other air traffic.

“Scrambles are launched in response to Russian activity,’ said Nato spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Janzen, recently.

“The sole aim is to preserve the integrity of Nato European airspace and to safeguard Nato nations from air attacks.”

OBAMA’S NUKE DEAL WILL LEAD TO WWIII (DANIEL 8:8)


HOW OBAMA’S NUKE DEAL LEADS TO THE NEXT IRAQ WAR

Obama’s original Iraq treason led to his Iran treason today.

September 11, 2015 Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

In his sales pitch for the nuclear deal with Iran that even he admitted gives the terrorist regime a near zero breakout time to the bomb, Obama pulled out every conceivable stop. He even accused opponents of trying to get the country into a war with Iran just as they had “brought the country” into the Iraq War.

But Obama was responsible for the rise of ISIS and his deal with Iran sets the stage for the next Iraq War. His original Iraq treason led to his Iran treason today.

To understand why that is, it’s important to realize how we got here.

Obama campaigned on a rapid withdrawal from Iraq. As with so much else, he lied. But his plan for a rapid withdrawal did win an endorsement from one key ally. Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki backed Obama’s push for a swift withdrawal, stating that American soldiers should leave “as soon as possible.”

Maliki was Iran’s man in Baghdad who had been picked by Qasem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC had conducted the Shiite terror campaign against American soldiers in Iraq. Maliki’s endorsement of Obama meant an endorsement from the godfather of Iran’s terror machine whose IEDs were responsible for the murder of over 500 American soldiers.
In exchange for backing Maliki, the Iranian terror boss had demanded that the Iraqi leader get all American soldiers out of the country. Obama’s proposal for Iraq was really Iran’s proposal for Iraq.
Soleimani and Maliki both wanted Americans out so that Iran could advance the Shiite takeover of Iraq.

While Obama had no say during Maliki’s first government, he made sure that Iran’s puppet would get a second government. Ayad Allawi, the former interim Prime Minister, stated that Biden told him to drop his bid. Allawi claimed that the administration wanted to keep Maliki in power so as not to upset Iran.

“They wanted to leave, and they handed the country to the Iranians,” Allawi said.
Handing over Iraq to Iran had been a key part of Obama’s plan.

In the Senate, Obama had insisted that the only answer to Iraq was a “political solution.” This “political solution” in which Iraqis and their “neighbors” would work things out could only take place after a troop withdrawal. All these were euphemisms for letting Iran and its puppets in Baghdad take over Iraq.

When asked about the danger of Iran taking over Iraq, Obama replied, “We have to send a clear message to the Iraqi government as well as to the surrounding neighbors that there is no military solution to the problems that we face in Iraq.”

Iran and Soleimani however remained unconvinced that there was no military solution to Iraq. After all they had used military means to force the United States out of Iraq by discrediting the war so badly that no one except a known anti-war activist like Obama could possibly be elected on the Democratic ticket.

Obama owed his White House win to the “military solution” that Iran’s terrorists had imposed on Iraq.

The idea of using Iran to get out of Iraq was not a new strategy. It was being pushed aggressively in ’08. But once Obama turned over Iraq to Iran’s Shiite proxies, the Sunnis began revolting against Shiite rule. ISIS, in its earlier form, began building support, but so did a variety of Sunni terrorist groups, including Baathists, and some factions that the United States had supported and worked with.
The Arab Spring turned ISIS into a terror empire, but the momentum for the civil war had been created by Obama’s Iranian “political solution” for Iraq.

Seven years later, the left has no new ideas for Iraq except turning it over to Iran. Underneath the various arguments in favor of negotiations with Iran was the suggestion that a nuclear deal would somehow lead the Iranian regime to stabilize Iraq out of the goodness of its murderous little heart.
The problem with that plan is that Iran had been the single biggest regional destabilizing force in Iraq.

When the United States was there, Iran funded the Shiite end of the civil war while the Al Qaeda terrorists passed through Syria. The combination of terror tactics made it difficult to stabilize Iraq. Once the United States left, Iran began strangling the Sunnis. By the time ISIS genocide forced Obama to demand the removal of Maliki, the Iraqi army was toast and in its place were Shiite militias.

The same Shiite terrorists we had been fighting in Iraq were now in control of Baghdad and operating under the command of Soleimani. And Obama let them use us as their air force for a war they started.
Whatever happens next, it won’t be a stable Iraq. The United States has an interest in stabilizing Iraq. Iran wants it to be as unstable as possible. A divided unstable Iraq will be dependent on Iran. Its isolated Shiite regime will need Iran’s protection. And in exchange, Iran will have free run of the place.

Obama’s “political solution” let Iran destroy the Iraqi government and its military leaving behind empty shells. The country is run by Shiite militias and clerics and Obama is defending their rule and his “political solution” in an endless war in which the Shiites oppress Sunnis and the Sunnis go on the warpath.

The next Iraq War may take place when ISIS becomes strong enough that Obama or his successor are forced to send in group troops. It may come with a resurgence of ISIS’ Baathist allies. Or it may come when Iran’s own ISIS, its bloodthirsty Shiite militias, begin engaging in blatant genocide.
The fighting will not stop and the odds are good that the United States will be drawn into it again.

Obama accused Iran deal opponents of being responsible for the Iraq War, but it’s his deal that once again ratifies Iranian authority in the region in general and in Iraq specifically. Deal supporters claim that letting Iran go nuclear will dispose it to work with us on Iraq. The State Department claimed Iran and the US had a “shared interest.” Kerry had already suggested last year that Iran could help in Iraq.
But the last thing that Iran will be doing on its victory lap is helping America.
 
Obama’s sanctions relief will help Iran increase its funding to sectarian Shiite forces in Iraq and the flow of cash to its terror militias. Meanwhile the deal sends the clear message that Iran beat America. That will further alter the balance of power in Iraq while driving more Sunni and Shiite internecine warfare.

The next Iraq War may already be here. When it drags in our soldiers, it will be because Obama’s Iraq policy continues driving a civil war by favoring Iran over Iraq’s Sunnis. The nuclear deal gave Obama the opportunity to avert that war by sending a clear message to Iran. Instead Obama sent up a white flag.

The current phase of the war in Iraq was caused by Obama’s original Iranian political solution. The next phase of the war will be caused by the fallout from his latest dirty deal with Iran.