India’s Air Force threatens the Pakistani nuclear horn: Daniel 8

IAF`s lethal flying machines that give India an `edge` over Pakistan, China

Ritesh K Srivastava Sep 22, 2020, 16:27 PM IST

Amid heightened tensions between Indian and China since the Galwan Valley clashes in eastern Ladakh, the armed forces of the two nuclear-powered countries are in the highest alert mode. While the Indian Army has increased deployment of its troops near the Line of Actual Control, the Indian Air Force has also increased surveillance and patrolling in the high-altitude regions in Ladakh.

The IAF has seven commands including Western, Eastern, Central, South Western, Southern, Training, and Maintenance. The active-duty force of the IAF is approximately 140,000. The IAF which operates more than 1,700 aircraft, including approximately 900 combat aircraft, has recently inducted several lethal flying machines, which give an edge to India over Pakistan and China in case of a war. Let’s have a look at them –

Apache: The recently inducted Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters enable the IAF to perform day/night, all-weather attack missions especially in rugged mountain regions of Indo-China borders. They are stealthy, versatile machines, designed for all kinds of missions.

It comes equipped with laser and infrared systems for day-night operations and armed with air-to-surface Hellfire missiles, 70 mm rockets and an automatic cannon. The Apache will replace the Russian Mi 35 that IAF has been operating for years and are due to retire. AH-64 Apache has a twin turbo-shaft engine with a tail wheel-type landing gear and a tandem two-crew cockpit. It has a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.

The Winds of God’s Wrath Floods Houston Area Jeremiah 23

Tropical Storm Beta Floods Houston Area; Standing Water Closes Interstate, Highways

At a Glance

Parts of Interstate 69 and State Highway 288 were closed by flooding.

High water rescue teams responded to dozens of calls for help.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued disaster declarations for 29 counties.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency.

Tropical Storm Beta, which made landfall late Monday, is causing major flooding throughout the Houston area.

Officials urged residents to stay home and avoid driving if possible. Dozens of streets were closed by fast-rising water, including parts of Interstate 69 and Interstate 45 and State Highways 288 and 290.

Beta, which weakened to a tropical depression, was expected to drag along near the Texas Gulf Coast through Wednesday and then over Louisiana and Mississippi on Wednesday night through Friday. Over the past 48 hours, more than a foot of rain has fallen in some areas and more is expected.

Drivers began abandoning cars that stalled in the high water on 288, according to KTRK.

Video from the area showed about a half dozen pickup trucks submerged in water with their doors open.

The heavy rain began falling Monday night and quickly swamped parts of southwest Houston. Diners at one restaurant came out to find their cars underwater, KTRK reported. Employees of businesses in the area waded to an elevated freeway to call for rides home.

By 11 p.m., the Houston Fire Department had completed 20 evacuations from flooded vehicles, Chief Samuel Peña tweeted. The High Water Rescue team worked through the night.

School districts across southeast Texas closed schools and pushed classes online or canceled them altogether.

The storm made landfall about 10 p.m. CDT Monday just north of Port O’Connor, Texas, on the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula, about 110 miles southwest of Houston.

As the storm headed toward shore, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man onboard a disabled 20-foot vessel two miles south of the Port Aransas Jetties, east of Corpus Christi. The man was taken to the Mustang Beach Airport in Port Aransas.

Streets, cars and buildings were flooded in parts of coastal Texas, including Rockport, Corpus Christi, Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula.

Some subdivisions in Surfside Beach that flooded Sunday night were still under water Tuesday.

“We fared well, better than the night before,” Police Chief Gary Phillips told the Houston Chronicle. “The water is going down and we will be assessing the damage as soon as possible.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued disaster declarations for 29 counties Monday. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards also declared a state of emergency, saying those impacted last month by Hurricane Laura should remain especially vigilant.

The nuclear triangle of China Russia and America: Daniel 7

Triangularity of Nuclear Arms Control

By Alexander Savelyev

September 22, 2020

In December 2019, the United States officially invited China to enter intoa strategic security dialogue. The White House said it hoped Beijing’s consent to this proposal might become the first step towards an international agreement encompassing all nuclear weapons of the United States, Russia, and China.As expected, this proposal was rejected. China said its nuclear arsenal was much smaller than those of the United States and Russia, and it would be able to participate in such talks only when their nuclear potentials were brought to parity with its own.

In March 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump once again declared his intention to ask Russia and China to hold such talks with the aim of avoiding a costly arms race (Reuters.com, 2020).The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s response followed virtually in no time. Its spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China had no intention of taking part in the so-called China-U.S.-Russia trilateral arms control negotiations, and that its position on this issue was very clear (ECNC.cn., 2020). He called upon the United States to extend the New START and to go ahead with the policy of U.S-Russian nuclear arms reduction, thus creating prerequisites for other countries to join the nuclear disarmament process. There is nothing new about China’s stance. A year earlier Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng  Shuang, while speaking at a news conference in May 2019, made a similar statement. China refused to participate in a trilateral arms control agreement (Fmprc.gov.2019).

It is noteworthy that while advising the United States and Russia to downgrade their nuclear potentials to its level, China does not say what exactly this level is. One of the rare official statements (if not the sole one) on that score was the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement, published on April 27, 2004,that China’s nuclear arsenal was the smallest of all (Fact Sheet China, 2004). Even in that case the Chinese Foreign Ministry did not specify if it was referring to the quintet of the UN Security Council’s permanent members. If so, China’s nuclear arsenal, according to official statistics, consisted of no more than 190 warheads (Britain’s level that year). Such(understated according to most analysts)estimates, have also been mentioned by a number of experts. For example, Harvard researcher Hui Zhang says China in 2011 had 166 nuclear warheads. There are other, higher estimates. For instance, Professor Phillip Karber of Georgetown University believes that China has 3,000 warheads at its disposal (Karber, 2011), while many other researchers call this in question.

The estimate offered by H. Kristensen and M. Korda of the Federation of American Scientists, who issue annual world surveys of nuclear arms potentials, is shared by most researchers and draws no objections from political circles in various countries, including the United States. According to their calculations as for April 2020,the United States had 3,800 deployed and non-deployed nuclear warheads, and Russia, 4,312 warheads. As for China, the same survey says it has 320 non-deployed nuclear warheads (Kristensen and Korda, 2020).

While underscoring the importance of nuclear arms cuts by the United States and Russia to China’s level, Beijing does not specify if this idea applies only to strategic or all nuclear weapons. In the former case, if China’s approach is to be accepted, Russia and the United States would have to slash their nuclear arsenals by 65%-75% (from 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads in compliance with the rules of the still effective New START). But if the total number of nuclear warheads on either side is to be counted, each country’s nuclear potential would shrink by no less than 90%. Only after this will China be prepared to consider in earnest its participation in nuclear arms control talks.

The United States and Russia can hardly find this suitable. At the same time, these countries have not yet officially formulated their specific approaches to and basic provisions of hypothetical trilateral talks and a future agreement on this issue. For the time being, these issues are in the focus of experts’ attention in a number of countries, and theyhave over the past few years offered a variety of possible formats and parameters of a future “multilateral” treaty. In most cases, experts delve into certain aspects of a future agreement that might be attractive to China. Very few think of what China might lose the moment it enters into nuclear arms control talks or what military-political consequences might follow if China eventually changed its mind regarding participation in such negotiations.

In my opinion, China’s demand for achieving the “comparability” of nuclear potentials as a precondition for beginning a trilateral dialogue stems precisely from its evaluation of the consequences of its participation in the negotiations. This stance is neither far-fetched nor propagandistic, contrary to what some experts and politicians claim, but rests upon major political, military and strategic cornerstones. Disregard for China’s arguments actually reduces to nothing all efforts, above all those taken by Washington, to engage Beijing in nuclear arms talks.

As far as the United States is concerned, the motives behind its attempts to persuade China to join nuclear arms talks are not quite clear. There may be several possible considerations that the United States is guided by in its policy on the issue. One is that Washington may be looking for a way to obtain necessary information about the current state of China’s nuclear potential and plans for its development in the future in order to be able to adjust its own modernization programs accordingly. Another explanation is that the United States may be reluctant to go ahead with the nuclear disarmament policy and hopes to use China’s unequivocal refusal to participate in negotiations as a chance to blame it for the disruption of this process and for dismantling the nuclear arms control system as such. I believe both explanations may be true, but their analysis lies beyond the scope of this article.

Options Of Engaging China In Nuclear Arms Control Talks

“Americans performed three very different policies on the People’s Republic: From a total negation (and the Mao-time mutual annihilation assurances), to Nixon’s sudden cohabitation. Finally, a Copernican-turn: the US spotted no real ideological differences between them and the post-Deng China. This signalled a ‘new opening’: West imagined China’s coastal areas as its own industrial suburbia. Soon after, both countries easily agreed on interdependence (in this marriage of convenience): Americans pleased their corporate (machine and tech) sector and unrestrained its greed, while Chinese in return offered a cheap labour, no environmental considerations and submissiveness in imitation.

However, for both countries this was far more than economy, it was a policy – Washington read it as interdependence for transformative containment and Beijing sow it as interdependence for a (global) penetration. In the meantime, Chinese acquired more sophisticated technology, and the American Big tech sophisticated itself in digital authoritarianism – ‘technological monoculture’ met the political one.

But now with a tidal wave of Covid-19, the honeymoon is over” – recently wrote professor Anis H. Bajrektarevic on a strategic decoupling between the biggest manufacturer of American goods, China and its consumer, the US.

Indeed, Washington has not formulated in detail its official stance on engaging China in negotiations yet. Disarmament experts consider a number of options that may be proposed in principle. These options may be grouped into three main categories. The first one is putting pressure on China with the aim of making it change its mind regarding arms control. The second one is the search for proposals China may find lucrative enough, which the Chinese leadership might agree to study in earnest. And the third one is a combination of these two approaches.

As far as pressure on China is concerned, the United States is already exerting it along several lines. For one, China is criticized for the condition and development prospects of its nuclear arsenal. Specifically, it is blamed on being the only nuclear power in the Permanent Big Five that has not reduced its nuclear potential. Moreover, as follows from a statement made in May 2019 byRobert Ashley, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, “over the next decade, China is likely to at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile in the course of implementing the most rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal in China’s history”(Adamczyk,2019). Both officials and many experts have been quoting this postulate asan established fact requiring no proof.

China is also accused of the lack of transparency, that is, refusal to disclose the size and structure of its nuclear forces, programs for their upgrade, and other nuclear policy aspects. The U.S. leadership argues that this state of affairs by no means promotes strategic stability and international security. Some experts believe that China’s involvement in negotiations would help avoid some adverse effects, for example, another nuclear arms race under a Cold War scenario (Zhao, 2020). Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security in the Barack Obama administration, believes it may be possible to “make a case for the Chinese to come to the table early on intermediate-range constraints of ground-launched missiles, because they are staring at the possibility of a deployment of very capable U.S. missiles of this kind” (Mehta, 2020).

Apparently, the United States had counted on Russia’s support in such matters, especially as the Russian leadership said more than once that the New START, signed in 2010,was to become the last bilateral nuclear arms reduction treaty and time was ripe for other nuclear states to join the nuclear disarmament process. However, in late 2019 Russia made a U-turn in its stance on China’s participation in negotiations. Speaking at a conference entitled “Foreign Policy Priorities of the Russian Federation in Arms Control and Nonproliferation in the Context of Changes in the Global Security Architecture,” held on November 8, 2019 in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia respected China’s position concerning its refusal to participate in the talks. Moreover, he stated that declaring China’s consent to participate in the negotiating process as a precondition looked “openly provocative.”Thus Russia made it clear that it had no intention of putting pressure on China regarding the issue, but at the same time it would have nothing against the Chinese leadership eventually making a decision to join the United States and Russia in nuclear disarmament talks. Russia is unlikely to alter its position even under pressure from the United States, which has long harbored plans for using the prolongation of the New START as a factor for getting China involved in the talks in some way, or even securing its consent to become a signatory to the treaty. Specifically, the U.S. president’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brian made an unequivocal statement on that score (Riechmann, 2020). Also, in May 2020, the United States came up with an ultimatum that it would not extend the New START until China agreed to participate in it. Moreover, the newly appointed special U.S. presidential representative for arms control, Marshall Billingslea, actually demanded that Russia “bring the Chinese to the negotiating table.”

The United States may exert (or is already exerting) pressure on China “indirectly, ”for example by using such levers as the U.S.-Chinese trade war and China’s alleged “responsibility” for the spread of the coronavirus (which the United States regards as proven). Such pressures may be largely exerted covertly.

Some military and political experts believe that it is worth exploring compromise options of China’s participation in nuclear arms control. Such optionsmay accommodate the interests of all partakers and match the specific structure and quantitative parameters of weapons subject to control. Establishing transparency in the given sphere would be one of the “simple” ways of involving China in the strategic dialogue. In other words, such transparency would imply mutual disclosure of information about the number of missiles and deployed warheads, their basic parameters, including range, and also specific locations and deployment sites (Tosaki, 2019). It must be noted that this seemingly “least painful” and easy-to-accomplish solution for making China join the international arms control dialogue is in fact least acceptable to it.

The long list of other proposals includes various options of a “mixed” approach to the control of missile systems. For instance, reaching an agreement on a common ceilingfor intermediate-range ground-based and air-launched missiles or a similar restriction on any strategic missiles regardless of the type of deployment (ground, sea, or air launched), as well as the intermediate-range missiles of three nuclear powers―China, the United States, and Russia. The proponents of this approach believe that this may provide an approximately equitable basis for talks among the aforesaid states (Zhao, 2020).

All of the aforementioned recommendations―and a number of other ideas―for plugging China into bilateral or multilateral nuclear arms control talks are based on the past experience of negotiations on the issue. In the meantime, the specifics of China’s nuclear policy are left unnoticed or intentionally ignored. It is generally believed that inviting China to participate in negotiations is tantamount to official recognition of its status as a great power responsible, like the United States and Russia, not only for its own security but also for global security. This recognition is often considered a reason enough to expect China to consent to participate in such negotiations and the main problem is seen in the formulation of concrete proposals for discussion. In the meantime, such an approach looks erroneous.

The Fundamental Principles Of China’s Nuclear Policy

China’s policy concerning nuclear arms and their role in maintaining national security has remained unchanged for more than 55 years, starting from its accession to the “nuclear club” in 1964. Central to that policy is China’s pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons or threaten to use them against non-nuclear countries and countries in nuclear free zones. It is believed that Mao Zedong made that decision personally in 1964 (Fravel, 2019).

In accordance with this pledge, China, as it reiterates, maintains its nuclear deterrence weapons at a required minimum by declaring its readiness for retaliation against an aggressor in the event of a hypothetical nuclear attack. China vows it does not participate in a nuclear arms race against any country. These provisions have remained unchanged for many years and can be found in many Chinese fundamental military and strategic planning documents, available from open sources (The State Council, 2019), and are repeatedly quoted by the Chinese mass media (Xinhuaneet.com., 2019).

In contrast to the classical nuclear deterrence formula China does not demonstrate its retaliatory strike capabilities; on the contrary, it conceals them for various reasons. Enhancing the survivability of retaliatory strike systems is one. Such “existential” means of deterrence enables the country possessing a relatively small nuclear potential to keep a potential aggressor in a state of strategic uncertainty as it cannot be certain that its first strike would “disarm” the defending opponent by eliminating all of its nuclear weapons with a surprise counterforce strike.

To confirm its adherence to the no-fist use principle, China declares that it limits its nuclear potential to the “minimum” defense requirements, while all upgrade programs are geared mostly to ensuring the survivability and reliability of retaliatory strike systems. China’s nuclear forces have become more survivable due to the creation and deployment of mobile ICBMs, and measures to shelter a considerable part of its nuclear potential, including mobile ICBMs and shorter-range missiles in a network of underground tunnels―the Underground Great Wall of China. Also, other means of hiding nuclear weapons are used, such as mock ICBM silos and shelters for nuclear submarines inside coastal rocks.

As the information about the condition, development prospects and size of China’s nuclear potential remains scarce, its nuclear policy issues are in the focus of attention of many specialists and think tanks in the United States and other countries. Most of them (but far from all) believe that China’s declared policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons and estimates of its nuclear potential (around 300 warheads) agree with reality (Pifer, 2019). But other researchers maintain that under certain circumstances China may revise its attitude to the no-first-use principle and abandon the minimum deterrence concept in favor of gaining opportunities for conducting limited nuclear war. Such conclusions are made on the basis of data showing the growth of qualitative parameters of China’s nuclear forces―greater accuracy of nuclear warheads, the deployment of MIRVs on ICBMs, forecasts for a considerable increase in the overall number of nuclear weapons at the country’s disposal, etc. (Giacomdetti, 2014; Yoshihara and Bianchi, 2019; Schneider, 2019).

It should be acknowledged that the lack of official information about the condition and development prospects of China’s nuclear arsenal and implementation of programs in the strategic field (creation of a heavy ICBM, research and development of a missile attack warning system, deployment of a missile defense, and others)afford ground for a variety of speculations over China’s compliance with the professed principles regarding nuclear weapons.In the meantime, this by no means contradicts the fundamental principle of China’s nuclear policy―no-first-use of nuclear weapons―which will remain unchanged in the foreseeable future. Even if one assumes that China does participate in the nuclear arms race (which is also a subject of speculations), it is by no means its instigator.

Certain changes are possible, though. China may acquire real capabilities for a limited response to a limited nuclear attack. In other words, the country’s military-political leadership, empowered to make a decision to use nuclear weapons, will acquire extra opportunities and options for retaliation other than a massive nuclear strike against the enemy’s major unprotected targets, such as cities and industrial centers. At the same time there is no reason to say that the improvement of parameters of China’s strategic nuclear forces increases the risk of a first counterforce strike against a would-be aggressor just because the nuclear potentials of China and the two leading nuclear powers are incomparable. In this case size does matter.

Effects Of Arms Control On China’s Nuclear Strategy And Policy

Should China agree to participate in negotiations or draft an agreement on control of its nuclear weapons, its nuclear strategy and policy will most likely undergo the most serious changes. And these changes, in the author’s opinion, may be far from positive. They will result not from possible restrictions imposed on China’s nuclear forces or disadvantageous terms of a future treaty forced upon China, but the very fact of concluding such an international treaty.

A close look at Soviet-U.S. and Russian-U.S. nuclear arms control agreements reveals how the parties’ approaches to solving the problems of national security and strengthening strategic stability have been changing. At early stages the two sides managed to come to terms regarding the overall number of ground-based launchers of strategic ballistic missiles, SLBM capable submarines and SLBM launchers. Later, the class of strategic weapons was expanded to incorporate heavy bombers armed with long-range cruise missiles and gravity nuclear bombs. Some types of nuclear weapons, for instance, strategic air-launched ballistic missiles were banned. Next, there followed restrictions on nuclear warheads deployed on delivery vehicles and then their reductions. A total ban was applied to ground-based intermediate- and shorter-range cruise missiles. An attempt was made to outlaw ICBMs with multiple warheads. Each clause of the concluded treaties was scrutinized by the expert community and drew worldwide interest.

In addition, efforts were made to develop a mechanism to verify compliance with the assumed commitments. The first Soviet-U.S. agreements SALT-1 (1972) and SALT-2 (1979) assigned the control function to “national technical means of verification”―intelligence satellites. The contracting parties pledged to refrain from creating impediments to their operation. Also, the signatories undertook “not to use deliberate concealment measures which impede verification by national technical means of compliance.” In the next agreements―the INF Treaty (of 1987) and, particularly, START-1 (1991)―a comprehensive system of control and verification was developed and adopted. It envisaged exchanges of data (including the geographical coordinates of each ICBM silo) and various notifications and on-site inspections, which made it totally impossible to conceal even the slightest violations of these agreements. This system of verification functions within the framework of the still effective Russian-U.S. New START, concluded in 2010.

It is hard to imagine a hypothetical agreement with China not including compliance verification procedures. And it is very unlikely that the system of verification in such an agreement will be“soft,” as was the case with the one established under the earlier SALT-1 and SALT-2 treaties. On the contrary, as follows from statements by U.S. officials, the United States is determined to pay the closest attention to the verification and control of compliance with all future agreements. U.S. Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Christopher Ford has made an explicit statement on this score.

Even if such an agreement does not impose any obligations on China, requiring reduction of its nuclear potential, Beijing will be expected to provide exhaustive information about its nuclear weapons and deployment sites. Also, China will have to give up measures to conceal its nuclear forces, change the locations of mobile missile systems and allow foreign inspectors to visit classified facilities (including the Underground Great Wall of China) in order to confirm that the provided information is correct and proper action has been taken under assumed commitments. Besides, China will have to notify other signatories of the commissioning of new nuclear weapons and withdrawal from operational duty or elimination of older systems, the redeployment of weapons, etc. All these measures will make it possible to keep under full control China’s nuclear potential and nuclear arms delivery vehicles.

These measures, understandable from the standpoint of an arms control treaty, may have truly disastrous effects on China’s entire official nuclear policy. Information disclosure and control measures would make China’s nuclear arsenal totally vulnerable to a first nuclear strike and partially – to a non-nuclear strike. A potential aggressor, possessing a considerable advantage in nuclear weapons and full information about the deployment sites, will have a guaranteed capability to destroy the adversary’s entire nuclear potential. Theoretically, it would spend far more nuclear weapons than the victim of the aggression (in this particular case, China) would lose, but still retain an enormous attack potential. In a situation like this, there will be no weapons available to deliver a retaliatory strike. All this will mean that China’s declared no-first-use policy will lose credibility. In other words, it will turn into a propaganda slogan, with no real resources to rely on to implement this policy in practice.

Apparently, it is precisely these considerations that are behind China’s refusal to participate in nuclear arms control talks, and they will remain in place at least until the strategic situation in this field undergoes fundamental change. One of the most important conditions for China to enter into such negotiations (it says so openly) is further reduction of nuclear arsenals by Russia and the United States to levels comparable with China’s potential. As it has been already stated, this condition, described as a political one, has fundamental strategic, military and technical grounds.

Likely Consequences Of China’s Participation In A Nuclear Arms Control Treaty

As has been said above, China’s consent to enter into nuclear arms control negotiations and conclusion of a corresponding agreement will be unlikely in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, it is worth pondering on what decisions in the military and political field the Chinese leadership may adopt if it has to give in to U.S. pressure. One of the most important decisions is, to my mind, the possibility of China remaining committed to the no-first-use principle.

Currently, this principle is ensured not so much by the quantitative parameters of China’s nuclear arsenal, but as its stealthy deployment, concealment measures, and refusal to provide relevant information. In order to retain a retaliatory strike potential in a situation where the information about the deployment sites of China’s nuclear forces has been disclosed while the amount of nuclear arms available remains considerably inferior to those of the “partner” or “partners,” China will have to exert major efforts to ensure the invulnerability of at least some of them. Doing this will be impossible without a major buildup of the nuclear potential, above all, of the least vulnerable strategic systems (mobile ICBMs and SLBMs). All of this will require considerable expenses and time. Even if the work on a new treaty takes two or three, or even five years, one can hardly expect any considerable changes in the quantitative and qualitative structure of China’s nuclear forces by the moment this work is finalized.

The problem of strategic nuclear forces’ vulnerability may theoretically be resolved (at least to a certain extent) by developing and deploying missile defenses around deployment sites. But this would entail heavy spending, too. Also, such a program can hardly be implemented within tight deadlines. The problem of greater vulnerability of China’s strategic nuclear forces can also be resolved by adopting the “launch-under-attack” concept or “launch on warning” concept. Their adoption might be considered, although with great reservations, to conform to the no-first-use principle, but in this case it will be essential to build a warning system based on early warning satellites and radars. However, still there will be no guarantees that such a system will be able to issue a timely notification to the military and political leadership of a missile attack against China, if such a strike is carried out with U.S.S LBM shaving short flight-in time and counterforce capability. Under such a scenario China’s strategic forces will have to remain on high alert all the time. This means that China will be forced to give up keeping missile warheads in store separately and to deploy them on strategic delivery vehicles, thus demonstrating its readiness for instant retaliation in case of an attack warning.

The above arguments prompt the conclusion that China, if it agrees to the drafting and signing a nuclear arms control treaty, will certainly have to depart from the principle of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, with all the ensuing negative consequences. This may also trigger an enhanced arms race and induce China to adopt more aggressive nuclear arms concepts.

It is nakedly clear that China finds it far easier to refuse to hold nuclear arms control talks than address the adverse military and strategic effects its participation in such an international agreement is bound to entail. In this situation the United States should give more thought to its policy of engaging China in nuclear arms control talks and focus on Russian-U.S. strategic relations, including the prolongation of the New START without any linkages and preconditions.

As far as Russia is concerned, its current policy of avoiding pressure on China to make it engage in nuclear arms talks looks reasonable. From the political standpoint―alongside with other considerations―a trilateral agreement would mean that Russia officially regards China, albeit formally, as a “partner” (if not a “potential adversary”), just as the United States, and that strategic relations among such parties are based on the concept of nuclear deterrence, the balance of nuclear forces, and their capabilities to deliver first and retaliatory strikes. Incidentally, China’s participation would have the same implications for Russia. Lending this dimension to bilateral relations hardly meets the interests of the two countries.

The China nuclear horn shows its military might: Daniel 7

China air force video appears to show simulated attack on island resembling Guam

By Richard Wood • Senior Journalist

11:11am Sep 22, 2020

China’s air force has released a video showing a simulated attack by nuclear bombers on an island that appears to resemble the US Pacific base on Guam amid rising tensions.

The video, released on the People’s Liberation Army Air Force Weibo account, came as Chinese military exercises near Taiwan continued as a senior US official visited the island.

The Pacific island of Guam is home to key US military facilities and would prove vital in any regional conflict.

Titled ‘The god of war H-6K goes on the attack’, the video showed H-6 bombers, which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, taking off from a desert base.

Halfway through, a Chinese pilot hits a button and releases a missile at an unnamed coastal runway.

The weapon streaks towards a runway that commentators believe resembles the US Air Force’s Andersen base on Guam.

Shots from the footage appear to have been lifted from Hollywood action movies. Explosive missile scenes resemble those seen in Transformers and The Hurt Locker.

Iran threatens nuclear payback: Daniel 8

Uranium Week: Iran Threatens Retaliation

Weekly Reports | Sep 22 2020

As the uranium price continues its incremental slide, Iran threatens a reaction to nuclear program restrictions.

Iran to give a “crushing response to America’s bullying”
-Amendments to the Russian Suspension Agreement
-Weekly spot prices have fallen around -0.8% per week since May

By Mark Woodruff

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said the US “faces defeat” in its move to reimpose UN sanctions on the country as European allies called the unilateral declaration legally void, reports the BBC website.

Under the nuclear deal, Iran is allowed to enrich uranium only up to a 3.67% concentration, to stockpile no more than 300kg (660lbs) of the material, to operate no more than 5,060 of its oldest and least efficient centrifuges and to cease enrichment at the underground Fordo facility.

Another part of the deal instructs Iran not to accumulate more than 130 tonnes of heavy water, which contains more hydrogen than ordinary water, and to redesign its heavy-water nuclear reactor at Arak. Spent fuel from a heavy-water reactor contains plutonium, which can be used in a nuclear bomb.

In a televised speech, Mr Rouhani said Iran would “give a crushing response to America’s bullying”.

The Trump administration is reimposing measures under the mechanism of a deal the US has quit. However, the UK, France and Germany insist the US had no power to carry out such a move.

The three countries – alongside China, Russia and the US – were parties to a landmark deal signed with Iran in 2015 to curb its nuclear program.

International Atomic Energy Agency Report

New nuclear power projections released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) this week finds nuclear generation trends largely unchanged from last year’s projections.

Under the high case scenario, IAEA analysts expect an increase of global nuclear electrical generating capacity to 715 GW (82%), while the low case scenario forecasts a decline to 363 GW (7%), reports industry consultant TradeTech.

“The latest IAEA annual projections show that nuclear power will continue to play a key role in the world’s low-carbon energy mix, with global nuclear electrical capacity seen nearly doubling by 2050 in our high case scenario. Climate change mitigation remains a key potential driver for maintaining and expanding the use of nuclear power,” IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi said this week.

However, according to the report, immediate and concerted action is required for nuclear power to reach a share of 11% of electricity generation by 2050, as seen in the high case scenario. In the low case scenario, the share of nuclear energy relative to global electricity production could decline to approximately 7%.

The report outlines that about two-thirds of commercial power reactors have been in operation for more than 30 years, which emphasizes the need for significant new nuclear capacity to offset retirements. However, uncertainty remains regarding the replacement of the large number of reactors scheduled to be retired around 2030 and beyond, particularly in North America and Europe.

Legislative News

A draft amendment to the Russian Suspension Agreement (RSA) was released by the US Department of Commerce (DoC) on September 11.

A notable change, noted TradeTech, was the revised general export limit includes a decreasing volume of allowed Russian uranium exports to the US equal to an average of 17% of US enrichment demand over the next 20 years. By comparison, the current agreement averages 20% of US enrichment demand.

Gaza factions respond with rockets outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Gaza factions respond with rockets to UAE, Bahrain normalization with Israel

Israel retaliates with airstrikes as Palestinian armed groups in Gaza reject normalization and weigh their next moves.

Adnan Abu Amer

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem, speaking to Al-Monitor, chose his words carefully in supporting the action without claiming Hamas’ potential responsibility, saying, “The Palestinian resistance is capable of keeping the Palestinian issue at the forefront of events [in the region] at all times, despite some regional attempts to undermine it. The rocket fire came as a response to the Israeli air bombing of resistance sites. Our response was swift and accurate to deter the Israeli aggression on Gaza. We will not change the rules of battle or impose new equations. The resistance factions, namely Hamas, will continue to face the deal of the century (the US Middle East peace plan) and its repercussions, and the [Israeli] annexation plan, with all means possible.”

Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh said in an interview with Al-Mayadeen TV on Sept. 16 that the “resistance fired rockets in response to the humiliating scene in Washington,” referring to the UAE and Bahrain’s signing of normalization deals with Israel.

The fact that no faction claimed responsibility for the firing of rockets into southern Israel is an unusual occurrence. It seems that at least the Palestinian factions seem to be united in sending one message to the signatories in Washington: that the real decision about Palestine comes from within the Palestinian territories, that these agreements do not mean that Israel’s occupation will not come to an end, and that Gaza will eventually be free of the blockade. The Palestinian Authority, also in an unusual move, did not condemn the rocket firing, which suggests that it tacitly approved them.

Saeed Bisharat, editor-in-chief of the Hodhod news network for Israeli Affairs, told Al-Monitor, “The escalation ended with an Israeli response to the Gaza rockets. I do not think Israel wants to further escalate the situation. The threats made by the Israeli defense minister and some army leaders are merely for propaganda at home.”

“Israel, however, could ride the wave of normalizing ties to start an aggression on Gaza, but the regional powers supporting the Palestinian resistance, i.e., Iran and Turkey, would not allow it. Should an escalation happen in the future between Hamas and Israel, I don’t think it will turn into a full-fledged open war. Israel would respond to Hamas’ strikes with targeted attacks,” Bisharat said.

Wissam Afifa, director of Al-Aqsa TV, which is close to Hamas, told Al-Monitor, “The last escalation round in Gaza has pushed the Palestinian factions to be wary of the imminent danger from the emerging alliances and partnerships in the region following the Washington agreements. The armed factions believe that they would be the first victims to such agreements, as they include military and security items targeting them. The upcoming period could also witness intelligence cooperation between these countries against the resistance.”

“The coming period will also witness increased media synchronization between Israel and its Gulf partners in such a way to condone any Israeli aggression on the Palestinians, who would be blamed for it, under the pretext of the need to dry up the sources of arms and funding for the military resistance,” he added.

The Gaza rocket-firing came as a surprise for several reasons, mainly because it targeted an area outside the Gaza envelope and reached the coastal cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, as rockets have been previously fired at open agricultural lands.

Rockets were also fired a few days after the latest escalation ended Sept. 1 through Qatari mediation. Israel was careful not to violently respond but to merely hit targets inside Gaza, seemingly because it did not want to disrupt the peace celebrations with the UAE and Bahrain.

Mohammed al-Brim Abu Mujahid, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, told Al-Monitor, “Firing the rockets at Israel was a crucial message and a significant response to the Arab normalization of ties with Israel. We also sent a message that we will keep responding in kind. We will respond to bombing with bombing. This will not change.”

“We, however, fear that the UAE-Bahrain-US alliance would carry security implications affecting the Palestinian resistance. But we are ready for the worst-case scenario. Should we need to send other messages, we will. The resistance is ready for all plausible scenarios, including any foolish Israeli military venture in Gaza,” Abu Mujahid said.

The antichrist says Israel will mark own ending if it opens embassy in Baghdad

Israel will mark own ending if it opens embassy in Baghdad: Muqtada al-Sadr

News Code : 1072002

Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says Israel will mark its own ending by opening its embassy in Iraq amid some reports about Tel Aviv considering opening its virtual diplomatic mission in the Arab country.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says Israel will mark its own ending by opening its embassy in Iraq amid some reports about Tel Aviv considering opening its virtual diplomatic mission in the Arab country.

The prominent Shia cleric made the comment during a sermon at the Friday prayers, warning the “enemy of God [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu,” who has “evil intentions” toward Iraq, about possible “coming” to the Arab country or even “thinking about establishing an embassy” there.

Sadr’s warning was an apparent reaction to some unconfirmed reports that Tel Aviv is seeking to establish its virtual embassy in Baghdad, which, in turn, allegedly wants to open its own in Israel.

Addressing the Israeli premier, Sadr further warned him that if he took such actions, he would “mark the end” of the occupying entity, “according to the Holy Quran.”

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), two Persian Gulf Arab states, have signed controversial and US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel. It took place during a ceremony in Washington on September 15.

The event was condemned by many Arab and Muslim figures as a flagrant betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

“Addressing the oppressed in the East and the West of the world, I say that normalizing ties with the Zionist regime will only bring humiliation,” further said Sadr. “Palestine is alive in our conscience.”

Earlier, the Iraqi cabinet’s spokesman Ahmed Mulla Talal had stressed that any normalization of relations with the Israeli regime is strictly forbidden under the Iraqi constitution.

The Sixth Seal Is Long Overdue (Revelation 6:12)

ON THE MAP; Exploring the Fault Where the Next Big One May Be WaitingBy MARGO NASHPublished: March 25, 2001Alexander Gates, a geology professor at Rutgers-Newark, is co-author of ”The Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes,” which will be published by Facts on File in July. He has been leading a four-year effort to remap an area known as the Sloatsburg Quadrangle, a 5-by-7-mile tract near Mahwah that crosses into New York State. The Ramapo Fault, which runs through it, was responsible for a big earthquake in 1884, and Dr. Gates warns that a recurrence is overdue. He recently talked about his findings.Q. What have you found?A. We’re basically looking at a lot more rock, and we’re looking at the fracturing and jointing in the bedrock and putting it on the maps. Any break in the rock is a fracture. If it has movement, then it’s a fault. There are a lot of faults that are offshoots of the Ramapo. Basically when there are faults, it means you had an earthquake that made it. So there was a lot of earthquake activity to produce these features. We are basically not in a period of earthquake activity along the Ramapo Fault now, but we can see that about six or seven times in history, about 250 million years ago, it had major earthquake activity. And because it’s such a fundamental zone of weakness, anytime anything happens, the Ramapo Fault goes.Q. Where is the Ramapo Fault? A. The fault line is in western New Jersey and goes through a good chunk of the state, all the way down to Flemington. It goes right along where they put in the new 287. It continues northeast across the Hudson River right under the Indian Point power plant up into Westchester County. There are a lot of earthquakes rumbling around it every year, but not a big one for a while.Q. Did you find anything that surprised you?A. I found a lot of faults, splays that offshoot from the Ramapo that go 5 to 10 miles away from the fault. I have looked at the Ramapo Fault in other places too. I have seen splays 5 to 10 miles up into the Hudson Highlands. And you can see them right along the roadsides on 287. There’s been a lot of damage to those rocks, and obviously it was produced by fault activities. All of these faults have earthquake potential.Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.A. It was in the northern part of the state near the Sloatsburg area. They didn’t have precise ways of describing the location then. There was lots of damage. Chimneys toppled over. But in 1884, it was a farming community, and there were not many people to be injured. Nobody appears to have written an account of the numbers who were injured.Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?A. In 1960, the city of Agadir in Morocco had a 6.2 earthquake that killed 12,000 people, a third of the population, and injured a third more. I think it was because the city was unprepared.There had been an earthquake in the area 200 years before. But people discounted the possibility of a recurrence. Here in New Jersey, we should not make the same mistake. We should not forget that we had a 5.4 earthquake 117 years ago. The recurrence interval for an earthquake of that magnitude is every 50 years, and we are overdue. The Agadir was a 6.2, and a 5.4 to a 6.2 isn’t that big a jump.Q. What are the dangers of a quake that size?A. When you’re in a flat area in a wooden house it’s obviously not as dangerous, although it could cut off a gas line that could explode. There’s a real problem with infrastructure that is crumbling, like the bridges with crumbling cement.There’s a real danger we could wind up with our water supplies and electricity cut off if a sizable earthquake goes off. The best thing is to have regular upkeep and keep up new building codes. The new buildings will be O.K. But there is a sense of complacency.MARGO NASH

The winds of God’s wrath bringing ‘life-threatening’ rip currents to East Coast: Jeremiah 23

Hurricane Teddy bringing ‘life-threatening’ rip currents to East Coast, fall set to arrive

Storm’s size is generating dangerous ocean conditions that are reaching the U.S.

By Janice Dean, Travis Fedschun, Brandon Noriega | Fox News

Teddy will then lose its tropical characteristics as it transitions into a very strong post-tropical system as it races toward Atlantic Canada.

Hurricane Teddy can be seen passing near Bermuda on Sept. 21, 2020. (NOAA/GOES-East)

The storm will then pass over the Canadian Maritimes from Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Teddy is a large hurricane, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 70 miles of the storm while tropical storm-force winds stretch up to 230 miles.

The forecast track of Hurricane Teddy (Fox News)

The storm’s large size is generating dangerous ocean conditions that are reaching the U.S.

“We are going to see the potential for dangerous life-threatening surf and rip currents all along the East Coast,” Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said on “Fox & Friends.”

LOUISIANA RESIDENTS FACE TOUGH ROAD TO RECOVERY WITH CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS AFTER HURRICANE LAURA

Life-threatening high surf and rip currents will be very dangerous along the East Coast throughout this week.

The national forecast for Sept. 21, 2020 (Fox News)

Gusty winds with some rainfall will also impact eastern Maine as Teddy moves into Canada.

In other weather news, below-average temperatures have once again arrived in parts of the Northeast.

A brisk air mass has resulted in frost and freeze advisories across the Northeast. (Fox News)

Freeze and frost advisories are up Monday morning due to this brisk airmass. 

Above-normal temperatures will return for the Western U.S. on Monday, with gusty winds bringing fire concerns for parts of the Great Basin.

Fall officially begins Tuesday morning, with the autumnal equinox at 9:30 a.m. EDT

It will be a warm start to fall across the Central and Northern Plains, with afternoon highs on Tuesday afternoon well into the 80s. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic will be in the 60s and 70s, while Phoenix will be near 102 degrees.

Babylon the Great to Resume Nuclear Testing

With Russia and China violating the CTBT, U.S. must resume nuclear testing

Countries are decades ahead in developing advanced nuclear weapons

Sept. 23, 1992 — date of the last U.S. nuclear test — 28 years ago.  

Nuclear weapon scientists and strategists are increasingly concerned about the safety and reliability of U.S. nuclear weapons, none tested in nearly three decades, obeying the unratified Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).  

The CTBT was the bright idea of President Clinton and anti-nuclear ideologues, increasingly dominant in a radicalized Democratic Party that would have the U.S. lead the way toward President Obama’s “world without nuclear weapons” even though Russia, China, North Korea and Iran are not following.

Decades late, the State Department finally admits Russia and China are violating the CTBT, conducting low-yield nuclear tests (“Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments” April 2020).  

Defense Intelligence Agency Director and Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, on May 29, 2019, warned: “Our understanding of nuclear weapon development leads us to believe Russia’s testing activities would help it to improve its nuclear weapon capabilities. The United States, by contrast, has forgone such benefits by upholding a ‘zero-yield’ standard.”

Consequently, Russia and China are probably decades ahead in developing advanced nuclear weapons. Accordingly, President Trump and Senate Republicans wisely include funding in the new defense bill to de-mothball U.S. capabilities to perform nuclear testing.

Yet, despite nuclear testing by Russia, China and North Korea, House Democrats oppose funding even preparations to resume U.S. nuclear testing in an emergency. They would bind the U.S. to the CTBT and an obsolescing nuclear deterrent forever.

Democrats and their anti-nuclear allies in the Department of Energy (DOE) argue so-called science-based nuclear stockpile stewardship relying on computer models and engineering judgment is adequate to sustain the safety and reliability of U.S. nuclear weapons — without testing.

Democrats and the press trumpet recent testimony, supposedly supporting their “no testing” policy, before the Senate Armed Services Committee by chief of U.S. Strategic Command and Adm. Charles Richard: “At this time, there is no condition … where I would recommend the need for nuclear testing.”

However, Adm. Richard also testified: “But I would say though that it is important for the nation to maintain an ability to do a nuclear test should an issue arise in the future.”

Adm. Richard surely knows that a recommendation to immediately resume nuclear testing would guarantee rabid opposition and no funding from congressional Democrats. 

Left-stream media mischaracterize President Trump’s support for nuclear testing as merely a negotiating ploy. They often belittle the president for exaggerating U.S. nuclear capabilities and asserting the existence of secret nuclear superweapons superior to those of Russia and China.

Public admission by Mr. Trump and the U.S. Strategic Command that America’s nuclear deterrent is obsolete and outclassed could invite World War III. 

U.S. nuclear capabilities must deter, not Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, but Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un — whose nuclear arsenals are proven by testing.

Twenty-four years ago, the late great Floyd Spence, then-chairman of the House National Security Committee, warned cessation of nuclear testing could eventually result in U.S. unilateral nuclear disarmament in “The Clinton Administration and Nuclear Stockpile Stewardship: Erosion By Design” (HNSC Oct. 30, 1996).

Time has proven Spence was right.

John Hopkins and David Sharp, former senior scientists in the Los Alamos stockpile stewardship program, call for resumption of nuclear testing. See “The Scientific Foundation for Assessing the Nuclear Performance of Weapons in the U.S. Stockpile Is Eroding” Issues in Science and Technology (Winter 2019):

• “Nuclear tests gave decisive, direct evidence about the behavior of new weapons destined for the stockpile … Virtually no comparable data exist on the nuclear performance of stockpiled weapons in their current state.”

• “Nuclear testing provided a solid foundation for the development and evaluation of scientific judgment because it unequivocally tested performance predictions.”

• ”Confidence that today’s nuclear weapons will perform properly is predicated on the assumption that there will be no surprises … The history of testing complex systems, nuclear and nonnuclear, is punctuated by unpleasant surprises.”

• “The above arguments are not ones that proponents of a continuing test moratorium or a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty wish to hear.”

DOE is trying to crush such “politically incorrect” thinking and hamstring the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Nuclear Weapons Council (NWC), according to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Imhofe:

“Recently, I’ve learned that individuals from the Department of Energy have worked behind the scenes with House Democrats on ill-advised legislation that would bury the Nuclear Weapons Council in unneeded bureaucracy and bring its decision-making process to a grinding halt; prohibit all cooperation between NNSA and the NWC for maintaining the safety and security of our nuclear weapons; destroy the NNSA’s congressionally-mandated independence and drag us back to the dysfunction of the Clinton years; and do lasting and possibly irreversible harm to the President’s efforts to preserve and improve our deterrent …”

Mark Schneider, former senior Pentagon nuclear strategist, observes: “Today, we do not have ‘science-based stockpile stewardship,’ but more like ‘political science-based stockpile stewardship’ while, conversely, Russia has science-based development of new and improved nuclear weapons” (“Yes, the Russians Are Testing Nuclear Weapons and it is Very Important,” RealClearDefense.com Aug. 14, 2019).

The U.S. must resume nuclear testing.    

• Peter Vincent Pry, director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, served as chief of staff on the Congressional EMP Commission, and on the staffs of the House Armed Service Committee and the CIA. He is author most recently of “The Power And The Light” (Amazon.com).