US Insists on a New Cold War

US rejected key talks on extending soon-to-expire treaty that limits strategic nuclear arms – Russia

27 Feb, 2020 10:07


FILE PHOTO A nuclear-capable B-2 Stealth Bomber at the Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in Palmdale, California. July 2014. © AFP / Frederic J. Brown

The US has declined an invitation to hold a formal meeting to discuss the legal details of extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which is due to expire in a year, a senior Russian diplomat has said.

Washington has decided to ditch important talks on the bilateral treaty’s fate, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, Vladimir Leontyev, told a strategic arms-themed event in the Russian parliament on Thursday.

We offered a meeting between our legal experts to make sure that we’re on the same page and to negotiate a common understanding of the technical side of the extension [of the treaty], but a few days ago the Americans officially declined that offer.

The START pact limits the number of nuclear warheads and the means of their delivery. The current iteration of the agreement – called New START – was signed by then-US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. It is set to expire in February next year.

Also on US openly paves way for INF-banned missiles to be placed in Europe & Asia – Lavrov
Moscow has argued that the treaty should be extended without preconditions. The US, meanwhile, hinted that it wants China to join the agreement, an idea Beijing has rejected.

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized the US for its reluctance to extend the treaty, saying that “the lack of clarity with regards to the fate of START is concerning.”

Last year, the US left the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) with Russia, after accusing Moscow of having secretly violated it. Russia, which denied these allegations, abandoned the agreement after the US did.

Babylon the Great is Provoking World War 3

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper played himself in the simulation (Image: GETTY)

World War 3 news: US warned over simulation of nuclear attack on Russia | World | News |

He said: “The United States continues a series of command-staff exercises and other drills involving the simulation of limited nuclear strikes, particularly – as it became known recently – on targets in Russia.”

In remarks attributed to him by official Russian news agency Tass, he added: “We condemn such actions because they clearly show that Washington is determined to pursue the path of confrontation and keep lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons.

“The US is embarking on a highly dangerous game instead of focusing on efforts to strengthen the arms control system that would also cover nuclear weapons.”

He added: “As we have stressed on numerous occasions, we would use nuclear weapons only in two exceptional cases – if Russia faces an attack with weapons of mass destruction or an aggression involving the large-scale use of conventional arms that puts the country’s existence at risk.”

Mr Ryabkov stressed: “Allegations saying that we could act based on the ‘escalation for the sake of de-escalation’ principle are just idle talk that has nothing to do with reality.

“This is why we would like to once again draw the attention of our American colleagues to the need to dot all the I’s in their defence planning and once again confirm the well-known formula that has been there since the Soviet era, which says that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed.

The exercise simulated a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia (Image: GETTY)

“The United States’ reluctance to confirm the formula gives us more reason to believe that Washington continues drawing up scenarios involving the use of nuclear weapons.”

Discussing the simulation, a US defence official explained: “They attacked us with a low-yield nuclear warhead, and in the course of the exercise we simulated responding with a nuclear weapon.”

The exercise assumed a Russian attack against a NATO target in Europe.

No details were provided about the type of target selected by the US military in retaliation.

In November, a simulation run by US-based think tank RAND considering the outcome of a war with Russia and China offered a gloomy prognosis for Mr Trump, suggesting the US “gets its ass handed to it” in virtually every scenario.

Researcher David Ochmanek said: “We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment.

“We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary.”

A separate simulation run by researchers at Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security in September suggested 34 million people would likely die within five hours in the event of the use of one so-called tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon.

A blog post carried on Princeton’s website said: “This project is motivated by the need to highlight the potentially catastrophic consequences of current US and Russian nuclear war plans.

The risk of nuclear war has increased dramatically in the past two years as the United States and Russia have abandoned long-standing nuclear arms control treaties, started to develop new kinds of nuclear weapons and expanded the circumstances in which they might use nuclear weapons.

“This four-minute audio-visual piece is based on independent assessments of current US and Russian force postures, nuclear war plans, and nuclear weapons targets.

“It uses extensive data sets of the nuclear weapons currently deployed, weapon yields, and possible targets for particular weapons, as well as the order of battle estimating which weapons go to which targets in which order in which phase of the war to show the evolution of the nuclear conflict from tactical, to strategic to city-targeting phases.”

What Nuclear War Against Russia Looks Like

BREAKING: U.S. Nukes Russia in Simulation Exercise


Secretary of Defense Mark Esper earlier this week participated in a “mini exercise” in which the United States launched a simulated nuclear strike against Russia, a senior Pentagon official announced Feb. 21.

While the U.S. military frequently conducts exercises to practice the mechanics of nuclear warfare and plays tabletop games to simulate crises, it is unusual for senior Pentagon officials to describe the results and for the secretary of defense to take part.

During the exercise that took place this week at Strategic Command in Nebraska, Esper played himself in a simulated showdown in Europe between Russia and NATO, a senior defense official told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon under condition of anonymity.

They attacked us with a low-yield nuclear [warhead], and in the course of the exercise we simulated responding with a nuclear weapon,” the official said, adding that it was a “limited” response. The official did not say what type of platform launched the attack in the simulation.

The pretend Russian attack was against a NATO target in Europe. The official did not say what type of target the U.S. military simulated attacking in retaliation.

During the briefing with reporters, senior Pentagon officials made the case for beefing up investments in the nation’s nuclear forces. The Trump administration is continuing plans drawn up by the Obama administration to modernize the military’s inventory of intercontinental ballistic missiles, bombers, submarines and air-launched cruise missiles. The plan is to bring online a new Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, B-21 bomber, Columbia-class submarine and Long-Range Stand-Off weapon in the next decade or so.

The Trump administration has additional initiatives for the sea-based leg of the triad that were not part of the Obama administration’s plans. They include a low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead and a sea-launched cruise missile. Earlier this month, the Defense Department announced that the low-yield SLBM warhead, the W76-2, had been deployed. Pentagon officials are currently conducting an analysis of alternatives for a new sea-launched cruise missile, with the aim of fielding it in the next seven to 10 years.

Plans also call for modernizing the nuclear stockpile, which is managed by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. The Trump administration will start a program of record for a new warhead, the W93, to replace aging warheads such as the W88, the official said.

The official noted that the United States is an era of great power competition with Russia and China, as outlined in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. “The other side is building their nuclear weapons up, modernizing their stockpiles, and so this [U.S. modernization effort] is just a sensible response to that.”

During his visit to Stratcom, Esper was briefed on Russian, Chinese and North Korean nuclear threats, and discussed the challenges of replacing legacy systems with next-generation capabilities.

“We spoke a little bit about the transition risks involved with maintaining the old systems — the ICBMs, subs, bombers, cruise missiles — and making sure that the new systems come online before the old systems expire,” the official said. “The secretary is very much captured with … managing this so-called transition risk.

“We’ve had a couple of deep dives with the secretary so he understands that that period is going to be very risky,” the official added. “You’ve been tracking acquisition programs at the Pentagon for a long time, and there’s always a risk that the systems won’t be delivered on time. And so how do you manage that risk? We spent a lot of time on that — not just the weapon systems themselves but also the nuclear command-and-control that supports that.”

Plans to modernize the U.S. strategic arsenal are expected to come with a hefty price tag. The Congressional Budget Office, among others, has estimated that it will be north of $1 trillion.

The senior defense official pushed back on the notion that the modernization effort will break the bank as the military simultaneously pursues a new generation of conventional weapon systems.

“It’s affordable,” the official said. “You’ve heard a lot about a $1.3 trillion triad … [but] that’s over 30 years.”

Today about 4 percent of the defense budget goes toward the nuclear arsenal, including operation and sustainment costs, he noted. That will rise to about 6.4 percent during the peak of the recapitalization effort at the end of this decade, where it will remain for about 10 years. After that it will decrease to a “steady state” of about 3 percent of the budget pie, he added.

For fiscal year 2021, President Donald Trump has requested $28.9 billion for the nuclear enterprise, including $12 billion for modernization. He requested an additional $15.6 billion for NNSA efforts, according to the senior defense official.

Another senior defense official who briefed reporters was asked which modernization programs pose the greatest transition risk.

“I won’t say that any particular program either on the Department of Defense or the Department of Energy side … is more risky than others. But we know, looking at large capital acquisition and recapitalization programs in the past, that it is difficult to keep them on track and on budget and deliver on time,” the official said.

Legacy systems are well past their planned service lives, the official noted. That is one reason why nuclear modernization programs are the Pentagon’s top priority.

“The key thing is making sure they are fully funded both on the Department of Defense and on the NNSA side, and that’s what you see in the president’s budget request,” the official added.

The Real Risk of Nuclear Terrorism (Daniel 8 )

Forum draws attention to threat of nuclear terrorism

Sunday February 2 2020

Yigal Unna, Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate during the Cybertech Global Conference in Tel Aviv. PHOTO | FAUSTINE NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The seventh annual Cybertech Global Conference has drawn critical attention to the shock waves of cyberthreats on energy, as attackers devise more advanced tools to control social life even as hyperconnectivity in a rapidly changing technology space becomes inevitable.

Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the forum, Israel’s Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz stressed the need for governments to use artificial intelligence (AI) to proactively prevent nuclear terrorism.

The near future of cyberdefence must use AI because the field is already very complicated,” he said, adding that more emphasis is needed in protecting nuclear power stations all over the world.

“This is because the calamities that can be caused by attacks on nuclear reactors are beyond imagination. Countries like Iraq can create a lot of havoc to other crucial systems like communication and transportation,” he highlighted.

Accentuating the sensitivity of the energy sector in Israel and the world, he expounded that if cybercriminals manage to paralyse the systems in the energy sector such as solar power stations, electricity transmission and water supply chains, it could be a total disaster.

Having detected a very sophisticated potential attack on power stations that aimed at controlling and vandalising Israel’s energy systems a few months ago, the energy ministry embarked on building an energy cyber-laboratory in Beer Sheva, the cyber-capital in the southern region of the “Start-up Nation”.

Yiftah Ron-Tal, chairperson of the Israel Electric Corporation board, said the future of the energy sector lies within decentralised smart power networks for better cybersecurity.

Predicting that 80 per cent of power consumption and retailing will be on a blockchain by 2040, he underscored that any surface exposed to the sun will be able to generate energy.

“Through a decentralised system, every family will generate power for its needs and sell the surplus in digital tokens to the electric corporation. They will both power consumers, producers and retailers. Every home will own the grid system,” he remarked.

Maj-Gen Ron-Tal also painted the picture of a future of energy where a multidimensional and sectoral power system will connect all devices, and termed it the Internet of Electricity (IoE).

“Through an international peer-to-peer blockchain platform, every power consumer will be connected and payments will be made as tokens of the Wattcoin cryptocurrency to give affordable power to one billion humans who live without power in all five continents,” he exemplified.

Blockchain technology has garnered global popularity due its immutability, decentralised, enhanced security, traceable and data protection features.

However, he warned world governments that technology alone is not enough, since the modern cyber-environment comes with existential threats, where 11,000 attacks per second are launched against power systems.

“The attack surface is endless. The border between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) is not clear anymore. Older systems are no longer unique. The world needs real-time collaboration in threat intelligence,” he told delegates of the second largest cyber-forum outside the United States.

The director-general of the Israeli National Cyber Directorate, Mr Yigal Unna, revealed that cyber-insecurity is sixth on the index of the most potential risks to human life.

“The ecosystem has never been as complex and dangerous, but we have national initiatives to guarantee cybersecurity such as the hotline number 119 which citizens can call whenever they feel insecure. We respond immediately and keep monitoring cyber-risk scores of attacks all over the world,” he said.

While no cyberdefence mechanism can guarantee 100 per cent safety on the internet, Israel tops the world with 95 per cent of live cybersecurity, according to Gartner.

More than 540 Israeli IT companies specialise in cybersecurity, contributing to 46 per cent of GDP in exports, according to Bloomberg.

The industry was born in the late 80s and has grown to be the world’s destination for security on the web, cloud, IoT, air and sea.

The forum, founded seven years ago by veteran military correspondent Amir Rapaport, who doubles as the editor-in-chief of Cybertech and Israel Defense, attracts over 2.5 million visitors ever year from around the world. Mr Rapaport was a journalist for Israeli publications Maariv and Yediot Achronot.

Millennials Are Correct: A Nuclear War Will Occur in the Next Decade

54 Percent of Millennials Believe a Nuclear War Will Occur in the Next Decade

January 29, 2020 Topic: Security Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Nuclear WarMilitaryTechnology

The International Committee of the Red Cross surveyed 16,000 millennials between the ages of 20 and 35 in 16 countries.

by David Axe

A majority of the world’s millennials believe it’s more likely than not that a nuclear attack will occur in the next 10 years.

They’re not alone in their fear. The non-profit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently moved its infamous Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight, signalling experts’ growing concern over Earth’s future.

The International Committee of the Red Cross surveyed 16,000 millennials between the ages of 20 and 35 in 16 countries.

“More than half of millennials — 54 percent — believe it is likely that a nuclear attack will occur in the next decade,” the Red Cross reported.

“The fear of a nuclear attack seems to be a trend,” Alex Ward noted at Vox. “The worldwide shudder is understandable. The chance of a nuclear conflict between the U.S. and North Korea isn’t entirely gone. India and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed enemies, could rekindle their decades-long squabble at any time. And the U.S. and Russia — the world’s foremost nuclear powers — have had warheads pointed at each other since the earliest days of the Cold War.”

Plus there’s the increasing likelihood thatIran soon will develop its first atomic weapon. Iran in Jan. 5, 2020 announced it would no longer honor international restrictions on its enrichment of uranium, a key process in the production of nuclear weapons.

The announcement came three days after U.S. president Donald Trump ordered the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps militia and one of the country’s top military leaders.

Iran’s announcement regarding uranium enrichment “essentially sounded the death knell” of the 2015 nuclear agreement that then-U.S. president Barack Obama negotiated in order to keep Tehran from obtaining its first nuclear weapon, according to The New York Times.

Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal, weakening it without totally destroying it. Iran, Russia. China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union remained parties to the accord.

Lifting limits on enrichment leaves very little of the nuclear deal in effect. “And it largely re-creates conditions that led Israel and the United States to consider destroying Iran’s facilities a decade ago, again bringing them closer to the potential of open conflict with Tehran that was avoided by the accord,” the Times noted.

Prior to Iran lifting limits on enrichment, experts estimated it would take the country a year to produce enough material for an atomic warhead. If Iran takes the next logical step and builds up its stockpile of enriched uranium, the timeline for producing a nuke could shrink from a year to mere months. At that point, war with Iran could escalate into a nuclear war.

Ban Ki-moon, the South Korean former secretary-general of the United Nations, stressed the need for better relations between the world’s two biggest nuclear powers, the United States and Russia. “Their relationship is not a good one,” Ban told Ploughshares Fund, an arms-control advocacy group in Washington, D.C. . “They are not talking to each other about how to deal with a lack of nuclear-disarmament architecture.”

“Their relationship has been shrouded in mistrust, denial and counter-argument,” Ban continued. “I’m very concerned about a situation where nuclear wars and conflict can happen.”

Trump, who is running for reelection in 2020, has loosened the rules governing America’s use of atomic weapons and unilaterally has withdrawn the United States from several nuclear treaties.

Trump’s administration currently is negotiating with the Russian government over the fate of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

New START, which caps the American and Russian nuclear arsenals each at 1,550 deployed atomic warheads, expires in February 2021.

Some experts worry that Trump intends to abandon New START, thus potentially walking away from parity as a guiding principle. Trump has called for the United States to greatly grow its atomic arsenal.

“We are in a stage of total denial,” Mary Robinson, the president of Ireland, told Ploughshares. “The [Doomsday] Clock has moved nearer than ever — nearer than at the height of the Cold War.”

Robinson mentioned nuclear war and climate change as the top risks. “We have two existential threats — threats to our very existence,” she said. “And we have a very fragile multilateral system that has become weaker because of a lack of leadership.”

David Axe serves as Defense Editor of the National Interest. He is the author of the graphic novels  War Fix, War Is Boring and Machete Squad.

The President WILL Destroy the World

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images and Lambert/Fototrove/Getty Images Plus.

This piece is adapted from Fred Kaplan’s new book, The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War.

As senators try President Donald Trump for impeachment and some of them call for placing limits on his ability to wage war against Iran, it is worth recalling that, early on in his term, lawmakers of both parties raised fearful concerns about Trump’s war powers more broadly—specifically whether he should have the power to start a nuclear war all on his own.

On Oct. 30, 2017, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on whether the president needed new congressional authorization to use military force against terrorists around the world. When his turn came to ask questions, Democratic Sen. Edward Markey asked the witnesses whether Trump could launch a nuclear first strike without consulting anyone from Congress.

At first, the witnesses, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, hesitated, calling the question “hypothetical,” but Markey wouldn’t relent, and finally, Mattis allowed that the president could order a first strike if an adversary was seen “preparing” to launch an attack.

Markey, a longtime advocate of nuclear arms treaties, knew the answer before asking the question, but some of the senators were surprised. Among them was the Republican chairman, Bob Corker. A businessman from Tennessee, Corker was deeply conservative, but he was also agitated by stories he’d been hearing about Trump’s mental state. Recently Corker had made a stir by likening the White House to an “adult day center” and warning that Trump’s reckless threats toward other countries could pave a “path to World War III.”

After the hearing, Corker told his staff that he was “riled up” by Markey’s exchange with the two secretaries and that he wanted to hold a separate hearing on the subject as soon as possible—“something real sober,” as he put it, “pointing out that the president has the power to basically destroy the world.”

The hearing was held just two weeks later, on Nov. 14, the first such hearing on the subject in 41 years. The staff assembled three witnesses—one Democrat, one Republican and one retired four-star general. The general was C. Robert Kehler, former head of U.S. Strategic Command, which is in charge of plans and policies on nuclear weapons.

Kehler testified that the president did not have a completely free hand. “The United States military does not blindly follow orders,” he said. “A presidential order to employ U.S. nuclear weapons must be legal. The basic legal principles of military necessity, distinction, and proportionality apply to nuclear weapons, just as they do to every other nuclear weapon.”

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the panel, asked who would decide whether the order was illegal.

“Well,” Kehler replied, “that is one of the things that would be on the plate of the commander of Strategic Command.” If he thought the order was illegal, he would be “obligated to refuse to follow it.”

But on further questioning, Kehler’s bold assurance turned wobbly. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson asked him how, as Stratcom commander, he would have gone about refusing to follow an illegal order.

Kehler replied, “I would have said, ‘I have a question about this,’ and I would have said, ‘I’m not ready to proceed.’ ”

“And then what happens?” Johnson asked.

“Well,” Kehler said. He paused, and nervous laughter flitted through the hearing room. “As I say,” he went on, with a slight grin, “I don’t know exactly. Fortunately, we’ve never—these are all hypothetical scenarios. I mean, they’re real, in terms of—”

Johnson interrupted: “We are holding a hearing on this, so—”

“Exactly,” Kehler replied. “This is the human factor in our system. The human factor kicks in.”

And that opened the door to the question of what happens to the legal principles of war when the human is Donald Trump.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy made the point in the starkest terms. “Let me just pull back the cover for a minute from this hearing,” he began. “We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear-weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests. Let’s just recognize the exceptional nature of this moment in the discussion that we are having today.”

Remarkably, no one—not even any of the committee’s Republican senators—challenged this charge.

Murphy then asked the Republican witness, Peter Feaver, who had been a special adviser to President George W. Bush, whether an adversary’s mere possession of a nuclear weapon, with the range to reach the United States, would constitute an “imminent attack” and thus put the president on solid legal grounds in ordering a first strike.

Feaver, while noting that he wasn’t a lawyer, replied that it probably did pass the legal test, saying, “I think it would, in most people’s minds, constitute a grave threat to U.S. national security, particularly if it was a North Korean nuclear warhead atop a North Korean missile that was capable of reaching the United States.”

Brian McKeon, the Democratic witness, who had worked in the National Security Council and the Pentagon under President Barack Obama, disagreed. “Senator,” he said, “the mere possession of a nuclear weapon, I do not think would meet that test.” After all, the North Koreans “have a nuclear weapon today, we know that much.” If the president considered that fact sufficiently threatening to warrant a U.S. first strike, there would be plenty of time to seek congressional authorization.

As the hearing went on, it became clear that the debate was ultimately beside the point. Kehler noted that, in deciding whether to launch nuclear weapons, the president would consult with many officials—the secretary of defense, head of Strategic Command, and others, any one of whom could say, “Wait, stop, we need to resolve these issues.” But, he finally acknowledged, the “decision authority”—the legal power to launch nuclear weapons—“resides with the president.”

Markey, who had first raised the issue, made what he considered the central point:

Absent a nuclear attack upon the United States or our allies, no one human being should have the power to unilaterally unleash the most destructive forces ever devised by humankind. Yet under existing law, the President of the United States can start a nuclear war without provocation, without consultation, and without warning. It boggles the rational mind. I fear that, in the age of Trump, the cooler heads and strategic doctrine that we once relied upon as our last best hope against the unthinkable seem less reassuring than ever.

The hearing came to a close after a few hours—by contrast, 1976 House hearings on the same subject lasted four days—with no conclusions or consequences. A bill introduced by Markey, to give Congress a say on approving an unprovoked first strike, had no more chance of passing than similar bills put forth in the past. (In 1972, Sen. William Proxmire proposed an amendment to the War Powers Act, barring the president from launching a nuclear first strike without congressional approval. It was voted down, 10–68.) Few in Congress have ever wanted the responsibility of making weighty decisions on war and peace. Few Republicans at the 2017 hearing even took much interest in exploring the dilemmas. Most of them used their time not to ask probing questions but to warn against the dangers of letting—as Sen. Marco Rubio put it—“a bunch of bunker lawyers decide that they are going to disobey any order that they disagree with.”

Kehler was flustered by the whole proceeding. To his mind, it was up to Congress to set the rules on the procedures and safeguards for the use of nuclear weapons. If the members of Congress thought the president was unfit to command, then they needed to take responsibility and change the procedures. They couldn’t just toss it in the laps of the military. Worse still would be if they raised provocative questions about the president’s fitness then did nothing, leaving the generals with a chain of command that no one trusted. But this, he thought to himself, was exactly what this committee was doing.

There was a history of senior officials and underlings maneuvering around an untrustworthy chain of command. Back in the summer of 1974, amid reports of President Richard Nixon’s frequent drunkenness under the pressures of Watergate and his imminent impeachment, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger quietly asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call him if they received any “unusual orders” from the president. (Neither Schlesinger nor the chiefs, then or now, were in the chain of command for nuclear orders, so this would have technically been an act of insubordination.)

In late 1973, Maj. Harold Hering, a Minuteman missile launch officer in training, asked his instructors, “How can I know that an order I receive to launch my missiles came from a sane president?” And, more broadly, “What checks and balances exist to verify that an unlawful order does not get in to the missile men?” Hering, a proud Air Force officer, had served multiple tours as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He simply wanted assurances that, if he ever got the signal to launch nuclear missiles against a foreign country, he would be following legal orders as military law required. For his devotion to the law, he was instantly yanked out of missile crewman class, given a desk job, and, after a review board meeting, drummed out of the military.

Nobody wanted to answer Hering’s questions, in part because they couldn’t be answered without raising doubts about the whole system of command and control over nuclear weapons. They aroused suspicions that the elaborate process of consultation over the decision to launch nuclear weapons might be fragile. “The human factor kicks in,” as Kehler testified. There was no safety switch in place, no circuit breaker that someone could throw, if the human in charge turned out to be crazy.

The Apocalypse Watch! (Revelation 8 )

Apocalypse watch has indicated! World simply 100 seconds behind nuclear struggle and local weather disaster

Written By Jeremy Spirogis


The Doomsday Clock, dubbed the doom, has indicated that the world is simply 100 seconds behind nuclear struggle and local weather disaster. In view of this, scientists have reversed the needle of doom ie Doomsday Clock, 100 seconds previous midnight at 12 o’clock, indicating the hazard of nuclear struggle and local weather disaster. According to the Doomsday Clock, the much less time it takes to grow to be midnight, the nearer the world is to the hazard of nuclear and local weather disaster. This watch has been in operation since 1947. It tells how a lot the potential of nuclear assault on the world. This time the needle fork is alleged to be probably the most irritating place within the historical past of 73 years.

Even throughout the Cold War of the US and Russia, its fork was stored 120 seconds away from midnight, however for the primary time the clock fork has gone inside 120 seconds. The nuclear scientists who flip this fork ahead or backward additionally embody 13 Nobel Prize successful scientists. Derek Johnson, government director of Global Zero, a corporation that works to eradicate nuclear weapons, stated that the rising temperature of the earth and the ocean and the distinction of solely 100 seconds within the clock reveals that we’ve got reached the mouth of hazard Huh.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) scientist Robert Rosner has stated that in 1949, when Russia first examined the atomic bomb RDS-1 and the world nuclear arms race started, the gap from midnight to 180 seconds Was. Four years later in 1953, this distinction was decreased to 120 seconds. This was the interval when the US first examined thermonuclear system in 1952 and the Cold War was at its peak.

George Washington University professor Sharon Squasoni has stated that the specter of nuclear weapons is at its peak. Iran isn’t prepared for a nuclear deal, whereas North Korea is continually rising nuclear capability. The US, China and Russia are consistently making nuclear weapons. Without naming India-Pakistan, they’ve outlined South Asia as a ‘nuclear tinderbox’ the place there may be little scope for arbitration.

BAS first set the fork of ‘Doomsday Clock’ 420 seconds earlier than 12 o’clock within the evening. This clock makes use of imagery of a nuclear explosion (midnight) and a countdown to zero (countdown). The Science and Security Committee of BAS updates it yearly within the wake of local weather change and the specter of nuclear weapons. Till now, this watch has been modified 19 occasions.

The First and Last Nuclear Wars (Revelation 8 & 16)

The road to Armageddon — our two existential threats and the 2020 presidential race

By Robert Dodge, opinion contributor

January 24, 2020 – 03:30 PM EST

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

As we begin this new decade, our world faces great peril from two intertwined existential threats: climate change and nuclear war. Failing to solve these two issues may lead to the end of life as we know it.

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) advises that we must take definitive action to stop climate change this decade or face catastrophic climate events in the future, fueling social unrest and conflict not seen in the past. The current humanitarian crisis in Syria is playing out as the first climate war in history, bringing the nuclear armed nations of the United States and Russia into direct conflict. Similarly, the ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir territory is further heightened over water access from the shared Indus River and its tributaries flowing between the two nuclear armed states. This is a potential flashpoint for the world as agriculture is threatened either by water scarcity from drought, potential damming, or severe flooding during the monsoon seasons with potential crop loss and starvation.

We now know that even a limited nuclear war between these two nations using less than half of 1 percent of the global nuclear arsenals would result in catastrophic global climate disruption and international crop loss putting more than 2 billion people at risk of starvation, a nuclear famine. The latest scientific studies demonstrate an ever-increasing risk as the populations and arsenals of these two countries grow.

Failing to recognize these threats and continuing in our trance-like state of rebuilding our arsenals, threatening to use nuclear weapons while building more “usable“ smaller nuclear weapons — coupled with new technological threats from hypersonic delivery systems to space forces to cyber terrorism — only increases the likelihood of use either by accident, miscalculation or intent.

These facts have led the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Thursday to move their globally recognized indicator Doomsday Clock hand forward to 100 seconds to midnight, the most dangerous level ever. We are in the final 2-minute countdown.

Recognizing the current global threats, Rachel Bronson, president and CEO, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said, “It is 100 seconds to midnight. We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds — not hours, or even minutes. It is the closest to Doomsday we have ever been in the history of the Doomsday Clock. We now face a true emergency — an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay.”

Former California Governor Jerry Brown, executive chair, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said, “Dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder. Climate change just compounds the crisis. If there’s ever a time to wake up, it’s now.”

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, chair, The Elders, and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, “We ask world leaders to join us in 2020 as we work to pull humanity back from the brink. The Doomsday Clock now stands at 100 seconds to midnight, the most dangerous situation that humanity has ever faced. Now is the time to come together — to unite and to act.”

Understanding and eliminating the risks posed by these existential threats is critical to our future survival.

We have at once great challenges and opportunities before us.

This year’s presidential campaign has had no significant questioning or dialogue on the risk of nuclear war. We must demand responses from presidential candidates as to their understanding of the threat posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons. We must know whether they will continue the new arms race, rebuilding of our arsenal, or if they will provide leadership in moving the U.S. forward in concert with increasing international norms striving to abolish nuclear weapons and support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Failing to articulate a plan to eliminate the clear and present danger from the combined threats of nuclear weapons and climate change is tantamount to high crimes and misdemeanors and can no longer be tolerated.

We must move back from the brink of nuclear war.

There is a growing U.S. movement — “Back from the Brink” — that lays out the common sense steps to reduce the risk of nuclear war, while working together with the other nuclear nations toward a verifiable, negotiated, enforceable effort to abolish nuclear weapons and support the international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This Treaty is currently ratified by 35 nations and is expected to receive the endorsement of 50 nations by the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in August, allowing it to enter into force 90 days later.

The Back from the Brink campaign has five points:

1 Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first

2 Ending the sole, unchecked authority of any president to launch a nuclear a nuclear attack

3 Taking U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert

4 Cancelling the $1.2 trillion plan to replace the entire U.S. arsenal with enhanced weapons

5 Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals

This initiative can be endorsed by any and all individuals, cities, counties, states and organizations. Currently 42 municipalities, 4 states and over 350 faith, health, environmental, peace and policy organizations have endorsed the initiative.

Failing to address this “new abnormal” of fires and floods raging across our planet coupled with the increasing risk of nuclear war moves us closer to realizing Einstein’s famous admonition: “With the unleashed power of the atom, we thus move toward unparalleled catastrophe unless we change our mode of thinking.”

The choice is ours. It is 100 seconds to midnight.

Robert Dodge, M.D., is a family physician practicing in Ventura, Calif. He is the President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles (, and sits on the National Board serving as the Co-Chair of the Committee to Abolish Nuclear Weapons of National Physicians for Social Responsibility ( Physicians for Social Responsibility received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize and is a partner organization of ICAN, recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Price.

Why World War 3 Will Begin

WORLD WAR 3 fears were triggered after the US ordered the death of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani earlier this month – and Iran’s main policy is one of “revenge”, according to an Iranian expert.

In the immediate aftermath Soleimani’s death, Iranian officials called for “severe revenge” upon the “criminals” who approved of the fatal drone strike – a threat aimed at the US President, Donald Trump. A few days later, Iranian forces ordered a missile attack on two Iraq air bases, which host US troops, and representatives both on the street and in Parliament have been seen chanting “death to America”. Yet one body of critics has pointed out that this does not necessarily mean an escalation into World War 3 – Iran’s military is weaker than the US’s, and a win for the Middle East against the West would, therefore, be unlikely.

However, Supreme leader Khamenei indicated Iran was not likely to withdraw after just that attack. He tweeted just after the attacks on the US air bases in Al Assad: “They were slapped last night, but such military actions are not enough #AlAssadBase.”

Even before Iran launched missiles at the US base, an Iranian expert told the BBC that “revenge” is the priority for the country.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Beyond Today’ programme the day before the Iran missile strike, BBC’s Rana Rahimpour said: “More money is going to be on this ‘revenge policy’ that the Iranian have been talking about ever since Qassem Soleimani was killed.”

BBC presenter Matthew Price asked: “So the policy – if this is a government policy – is what?”

Ms Rahimpour, who covers Iran for the Persian Service, said: “Revenge.”

Mr Price asked: “So to carry out attacks?”

Ms Rahimpour replied: “Yes – and internally to crack down on any activists or anyone who criticises the regime will get much worse. Only yesterday, we heard that three people were arrested because they disrespected Qassem Soleimani.”

The Iranian journalist also pointed out how the Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was openly weeping at Solemani’s funeral in an unprecedented display of emotion early in January.

Ms Rahimpour continued: “To me, that was an important image. I’ve never seen him so sad. Qassem Soleimani was one of the closest people to him.

“Khamenei is not a forgiving person, and has explained that there won’t be any negotiations.”

She pointed out how two days before Soleimani’s death, he had said there would not be a war between the two countries – yet declared revenge so soon after the death of the leader of the Quds force.

Ms Rahimpour said she was wondering if Khamenei “had had enough”, and realised “Iran is not going to be quiet”.

However, the journalist suggested not everyone in Iran supported Soleimani.

She said: “I don’t think everybody who joined the funeral is a regime supporter. That’s why I’m personally surprised because we had opposition figures who took part in the funeral yesterday, people who have criticised Iran’s expansionist policies over the years, and they also joined it.

“And the reformists joined it. And many ordinary people joined it.”

She relayed how many members of the public felt united after the US attack. Reportedly they told her: “‘Whatever we say [against the Iranian regime], it’s an internal problem, it’s an internal criticism – this was against a foreign enemy.

“‘How dare the Americans kill our commanders, and this was to show them that we are all together in this.’”

Mr Price asked: “Has it become a moment of patriotism then?”

She replied: “Oh gosh yes. Big time. And not just patriotism – to me, it’s nationalism, it’s extreme nationalism.

“To be able to just turn a blind eye on all the atrocities the Revolutionary Guard have committed, inside the country and outside the country, and to say this was just an internal problem, it has nothing to do with the West.”

However, over the weekend there were mass protests across Iran against the Supreme Leader. Protesters chanted: “They are lying that our enemy is America; our enemy is right here.”

Ms Rahimpour said the regime has decided to give 200 million Euros to the Resistance movement, otherwise many known as Shia militias, in the region.

She explained: “At a time that the country is under sanctions, people are hand to mouth.

“Now more money is going to be spent on this revenge policy that they have been talking about since Qassem Soleimani was killed.”

The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen also explained how this revenge means this could escalate very quickly.

He said: “Succession of incremental steps, between America and their allies, Iran and their allies, is so great, that is just takes a small miscalculation, because I don’t think trump or any of the Iranians think that would benefit anybody.

“The risk is, because of this heightened atmosphere […] things might suddenly very quickly go over the edge.”

Indeed, only last week, Iran admitted to “unintentionally” shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane heading to Canada, which killed all 176 people on board.

Apparently, the Revolutionary Guard General admitted they had mistaken the aircraft for a “hostile target”.

Doomsday Clock Closer Than Ever (Revelation 16)

‘Doomsday Clock’ creeps closer to midnight than it ever has in history

By Angie Leventis Lourgos Chicago Tribune (TNS) 5 hrs ago

CHICAGO — Calling world affairs “profoundly unstable,” scientists on Thursday moved the fateful minute hand of the Doomsday Clock another 20 seconds closer to midnight, signifying that humanity is more perilously near global catastrophe than any other time in recent history.

The metaphorical clock is now set to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has come to hitting the final hour — a symbol of world annihilation — since its inception by the University of Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947.

At a news conference in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, scientists cited U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal, as well as deadlock in disarmament talks, as some of their reasons for the dire forecast. The recent rise in tensions between the United States and Iran helped confirm their decision, they said.

“We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds — not hours, or even minutes,” said Rachel Bronson of the University of Chicago, who serves as president and CEO of the Bulletin. “It is the closest to doomsday we have ever been in the history of the Doomsday Clock.We now face a true emergency — an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay.”

The foreboding timepiece was designed by Bulletin scientists as a harbinger of the state of international affairs, with the minute hand shifting toward or away from “doomsday” based on man-made threats to safety and security.

For the first few decades, the time was based solely on nuclear threats, but in recent years climate change and technological threats weighed heavily in the decision. The latest reset of 20 seconds was the smallest incremental time change in the clock’s history; other time changes have been in increments of 30 seconds or more.

Even at the height of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, the minute hand was set at two minutes to midnight; the clock has never come this close to approaching the end.

The Bulletin was established in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who were part of the Manhattan Project, which produced the atomic bombs the United States used against Japan, weaponry that would later ignite the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

“It’s very much a Chicago story,” Robert Rosner, University of Chicago professor and chair of the science and security board of the Bulletin, said in a telephone interview. “It’s one of the earliest examples of when scientists have come to terms with what they created. I would say the Bulletin was the very first organized attempt to come to terms with the consequences of scientific invention.”

While the visual image of a clock might be simple, Rosner said the experts determining each shift of the minute hand take the decision very seriously, critically evaluating the state of international events, climate threats and how technology impacts safety and security. The Bulletin’s science and security board — which includes scientists and other experts on climate change, military affairs and technology — meets twice a year to discuss international events, and resets the minute hand accordingly.

The iconic clock is kept at the Bulletin’s headquarters at the University of Chicago.

“Most people don’t have the time to think through the consequences of actions taken by governments,” Rosner said. “This is a synthesis, a look at the big picture: Are we safe? Are we safer than before? Or not?”

He added that these experts are nonpartisan and the choice to move the hand of the clock is never politically motivated.

The minute hand has been reset about two dozen times since the clock’s inception, marking moments of calamity as well as indicators of peace and prosperity: In 1991 following the Cold War’s end, the minute hand was rewound to 17 minutes, the furthest it’s ever been from the fatal hour.

The last time change was in 2018, when the minute hand crept 30 seconds toward midnight, resting just two minutes shy of the end of the world.

Tick tock.



1947: Seven minutes to midnight — The Doomsday Clock is created. Chicago-area artist Martyl Langsdorf, who married a nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, designed the original image for the first cover of the Bulletin.

1949: Three minutes to midnight — The Soviet Union successfully tests its atomic bomb.

1953: Two minutes to midnight — the United States and the Soviet Union test their first thermonuclear weapons. “The hands of the clock of doom move again,” wrote Bulletin editor Eugene Rabinowitch, a University of Illinois professor. “Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western Civilization.”

1998: Nine minutes to midnight — India and Pakistan stage nuclear weapons tests three weeks apart. The United States and Russia “maintain 7,000 warheads ready to fire at each other within 15 minutes.”

2007: Five minutes to midnight — For the first time, climate change is taken into account; previous decisions were based solely on nuclear threats.

2015: Three minutes to midnight — The scientists urge actions to cap greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear disarmament, as well as safe and secure nuclear waste storage.

2018: Two minutes to midnight — U.S. and Russia continue military exercises along NATO borders, tensions rise over the South China Sea and nuclear weapons arsenals stockpile in Pakistan and India. Misuse of information technology and “vulnerability of democracies to disinformation” are also taken into account.

Source: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


©2020 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.