1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

January 20, 2010New York City isn’t immune to earthquakes; a couple of small tremors measuring about 2.5 on the Richter scale even struck back in 2001 and 2002.But on August 10, 1884, a more powerful earthquake hit. Estimated from 4.9 to 5.5 in magnitude, the tremor made houses shake, chimneys fall, and residents wonder what the heck was going on, according to a New York Timesarticle two days later.The quake was subsequently thought to have been centered off Far Rockaway or Coney Island.It wasn’t the first moderate quake, and it won’t be the last. In a 2008 Columbia University study, seismologists reported that the city is crisscrossed with several fault lines, one along 125th Street. With that in mind, New Yorkers should expect a 5.0 or higher earthquake centered here every 100 years, the seismologists say.Translation: We’re about 30 years overdue. Lucky for us the city adopted earthquake-resistant building codes in 1995.1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

So Close to the First Nuclear War: Revelation 8

Pakistan PM says leaked DMs show Indian media ‘pushing nuclearised region to brink of conflict’

Mr Khan posted a thread on Twitter about the events of early 2019, in which the two countries’ air forces engaged in some of the worst clashes on the border in decades, with India bombing a target within Pakistani territory and Pakistan shooting down and capturing an Indian pilot.

The airstrikes at Balakot have been back in the news in India after a leaked WhatsApp conversation purporting to involve the firebrand right wing anchor Arnab Goswami appeared to show he had prior information about the attack, three days before it took place.

Pakistan’s prime minister said that the combination of India’s “dangerous military adventurism” and warmongering by the media risked pushing the two nuclear-armed neighbours to the “brink of conflict”.

Mr Khan said the Goswami chats were proof that Delhi had intended to use the Balakot strikes for political gain. Mr Modi went on to win a landslide second election victory in May 2019.

“In 2019, I spoke at UNGA (the UN General Assembly) on how India’s fascist Modi govt used the Balakot crisis for domestic electoral gains. Latest revelations from communication of an Indian journalist, known for his warmongering, reveal the unholy nexus between the Modi govt & Indian media,” Mr Khan tweeted.

India claimed at the time that its airstrikes on Pakistan-administered Kashmir’s Balakot region targeted a militant training camp in February 2019. The military operation was India’s retaliation to a separatist militant’s car bomb attack in its own region of Kashmir, the Pulwama bombing, that killed 40 paramilitary officers.

In the leaked WhatsApp chats, Goswami allegedly told a friend and chief executive of the TV ratings agency, Partho Dasgupta, that “something big will happen”.

When asked what it was related to, Goswami is reported to have said: “Pakistan. Something major will be done this time…” adding that it would be a “bigger than a normal strike”.

Mr Khan accused Mr Modi of doing anything to win the 2019 election – in this case whipping up anti-Pakistan sentiment – “in utter disregard for the consequences of destabilising the entire region”.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry echoed Mr Khan’s sentiments and said the chats vindicate their claims that the Modi government is staging “false flag operations”. It accused India of maligning Pakistan with allegations of terrorism and urged the international community to hold Delhi accountable for “endangering peace and security in South Asia”.

While Goswami has neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of the leaked WhatsApp chats, he did issue a statement in response to Mr Khan and the foreign ministry’s comments.

“India’s intention to hit back at Pakistan after the Pulwama attack was an officially stated position,” Goswami said. “There was no doubt in any nationalist Indian’s mind that we would hit back. Which we did.”

The WhatsApp conversations appear to have been made public as they form part of the Mumbai police’s investigations into alleged TV ratings rigging by Goswami’s Republic TV and others, and the anchor suggested that Pakistan and Mr Khan had “a hand in the conspiracy against” his channel.

“If the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Pakistan have come out in support of the malicious police action against the Republic (TV), then nothing much is left to be said,” he added.

Babylon the Great Nearly Starts a War with Iran

US Nuclear Submarine Comes Dangerously Close To Iranian Military Exercise In The North Arabian Sea

EurAsian Times DeskJanuary 16, 2021

In a highly unusual development, a US Navy submarine sailed at periscope-depth somewhere in the North Arabian Sea, close to an ongoing Iranian military exercise, amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

There have been fears of military escalation in the region during the death anniversary of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike on January 3 last year.

The submarine wasn’t just another boat. It was America’s largest-ever, currently operational cruise missile submarine, identified by experts as USS Georgia (SSGN 729), an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine.

The US Navy has a total of 18 Ohio-class boats which consist of 14 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and four cruise missile submarines (SSGNs). The SSBN submarines provide the sea-based leg of the US nuclear triad, armed with up to 24 Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).

Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, along with Harpoon missiles, to be fired through their torpedo tubes. The Iranian military did not identify the submarine type but was analyzed by experts worldwide.

The submarine was filmed by the Iranian Navy’s Sea King helicopter when it was detected near an ongoing Naval exercise named ‘Eqtedar’. The two-day exercise commenced on January 13 and involved some of Tehran’s newest naval hardware including its Fateh-class submarine firing a torpedo for the first time from the recently-commissioned Markran ship, and the latest Sina-class fast-attack craft.

According to Joseph Trevithick writing for TheDrive, it’s extremely rare to see US Navy submarines sailing so close to the surface like this anywhere in the world, let alone in any sort of proximity to potential hostile forces. The boat left the area after being cautioned to go back.

The presence of USS Georgia in the region, however, does not come as a surprise. The submarine was sent into the region allegedly as a show of strength, as it made a transit through the Strait of Hormuz in December 2020. It was the first time this type of submarine had sailed into the area in eight years.

It was escorted by two Ticonderoga class cruisers, USS Port Royal and USS Philippine sea. This trio traveled into the Persian Gulf following the movement of the supercarrier USS Nimitz, and elements of its carrier strike group, further south in the Arabian Sea to support Operation Octave Quartz, the repositioning of the bulk of US forces out of Somalia.

Tom Cruise To Engage In Dogfights With Russian Su-57 Fighter Jets In ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Experts believe that the submarine could be eyeing the Eqtedar drill, and made its public appearance as a warning to the Iranian military brass. The Ohio-class boats can carry more than 150 BGM-109 tomahawk long-range subsonic cruise missiles, and special operations personnel.

“The boats are otherwise outfitted to operate as discreet underwater intelligence fusion nodes and command centers. This all makes them some of the best intelligence-gathering platforms available to the US Navy,” Trevithick added.

Iran lashes back at the French nuclear horn

Iran’s Zarif lashes out at French counterpart over “nuclear weapons” comments

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on January 17 lashed out at claims from French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian made in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche that Iran is building up its potential capacity to develop nuclear weapons.

“Dear colleague: You kick-started your cabinet career with arms sales to Saudi war criminals. Avoid absurd nonsense about Iran,” Zarif said in a Twitter post, in which he tagged his French counterpart @JY_LeDrian.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government has come under fire from some nations and rights groups for supporting Saudi Arabia’s regional actions partly by permitting weapons sold to Riyadh to be potentially used in its Yemen conflict operations.

“Reality check: YOU are destabilising OUR region. Stop protecting criminals who chainsaw their critics and use YOUR arms to slaughter children in Yemen,” Zarif tweeted, referring to Le Drian’s previous post as French defence minister.

Tehran, which has always denied having any intention to make a nuclear bomb despite the belief of UN officials that it did once have a programme to develop the capability to do so, has also rejected a January 16 statement from France, Germany and Britain that warned the Islamic Republic against commencing work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor. Such a move would violate the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major nations and would have serious military implications, they said.

Zarif criticised France, Germany and Britain—which remain in the deal with China and Russia—for failing to enforce the accord since May 2018, when US President Donald Trump abandoned the agreement, designed to limit the Iranians’ nuclear development programme in return for a shield against major sanctions, and introduced sanctions on Iran unprecedented in their scope and impact.

“E3 leaders—who rely on [the] signature of OFAC [US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control] functionaries to carry out their obligations under JCPOA [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the formal name of the nuclear deal]—have done ZILCH to maintain JCPOA. Remember @EmmanuelMacron’s stillborn initiative or UK non-payment of court-ordered debt? JCPOA is alive because of Iran and not E3 [France, Germany and Britain],” Zarif tweeted.

US President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on January 20, has said he will return the US to the nuclear deal “if Iran resumes strict compliance” with the agreement. In reaction to Trump’s “maximum pressure” sanctions policy, Iran has gradually breached many of the deal’s restrictions, arguing that because of Europe’s inaction it was not receiving any of the JCPOA benefits it was promised. Tehran has said it could quickly reverse those breaches if Washington first lifts its sanctions.

Iranians Prepare for War Against Babylon the Great

Iranians fire missiles during drill

Guard launches strike on simulated target in Indian Ocean

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

Footage showed two missiles smash into a target that Iranian state television described as “hypothetical hostile enemy ships” at a distance of 1,120 miles. The report did not specify the type of missiles used.

In the first phase of the drill Friday, the Guard’s aerospace division launched surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and drones against “hypothetical enemy bases.” Iranian state television described the drill as taking place in the country’s vast central desert, the latest in a series of snap exercises. Footage also showed four unmanned, triangle-shaped drones flying in a tight formation, smashing into targets and exploding.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased amid a series of incidents stemming from President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Amid Trump’s final days as president, Tehran has seized a South Korean oil tanker and begun enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels, while the U.S. has sent B-52 bombers, the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine into the region.

In recent weeks, Iran has increased its military drills as the country tries to pressure President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear accord, which he has said America could reenter. Biden was vice president when the deal was signed during the Obama administration.

Iran fired cruise missiles Thursday as part of a naval drill in the Gulf of Oman, state media reported, under surveillance of what appeared to be a U.S. nuclear submarine. Iran’s navy did not identify the submarine at the time, but on Saturday a news website affiliated with state television said the vessel was American. Helicopter footage of the exercise released Thursday by Iran’s navy showed what resembled an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine, the USS Georgia, which the U.S. Navy last month said had been sent to the Persian Gulf.

Iran has missile capability of up to 1,250 miles, far enough to reach its enemy Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.

URANIUM METAL

Meanwhile on Saturday, Germany, France and Britain pressed Iran to back off the latest planned violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, saying that Tehran has “no credible civilian use” for uranium metal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Thursday that Iran had informed it that it had begun installing equipment for the production of uranium metal. It said Tehran maintains its plans to conduct research and development on uranium metal production are part of its “declared aim to design an improved type of fuel.”

Uranium metal can also be used for a nuclear bomb, however, and research on its production is specifically prohibited under the nuclear deal — the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — that Tehran signed with Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia and the United States in 2015.

Since the U.S. withdrawal from the accord in 2018, the other members have been working to preserve it. Iran has been using violations of the deal to put pressure on the other signatories to provide more incentives to Iran to offset crippling American sanctions.

A statement from the German, French and British foreign ministries said they are “deeply concerned” by the latest Iranian announcement.

“Iran has no credible civilian use for uranium metal,” it said. “The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications.”

“We strongly urge Iran to halt this activity, and return to compliance with its … commitments without further delay if it is serious about preserving the deal,” the statement added.

Information for this article was contributed by staff members of The Associated Press.

In this photo released on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are launched in a drill in Iran. Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic. (Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Sepahnews via AP)

In this photo released on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are launched in a drill in Iran. Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic. (Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Sepahnews via AP)

In this photo released on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a missile is launched in a drill in Iran. Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic. (Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Sepahnews via AP)

The Sixth Seal: More Than Just Manhattan (Revelation 6:12)

New York, NY – In a Quake, Brooklyn Would Shake More Than Manhattan
By Brooklyn Eagle
New York, NY – The last big earthquake in the New York City area, centered in New York Harbor just south of Rockaway, took place in 1884 and registered 5.2 on the Richter Scale.Another earthquake of this size can be expected and could be quite damaging, says Dr. Won-Young Kim, senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
And Brooklyn, resting on sediment, would shake more than Manhattan, built on solid rock. “There would be more shaking and more damage,” Dr. Kim told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday.
If an earthquake of a similar magnitude were to happen today near Brooklyn, “Many chimneys would topple. Poorly maintained buildings would fall down – some buildings are falling down now even without any shaking. People would not be hit by collapsing buildings, but they would be hit by falling debris. We need to get some of these buildings fixed,” he said.
But a 5.2 is “not comparable to Haiti,” he said. “That was huge.” Haiti’s devastating earthquake measured 7.0.
Brooklyn has a different environment than Haiti, and that makes all the difference, he said. Haiti is situated near tectonic plate.
“The Caribbean plate is moving to the east, while the North American plate is moving towards the west. They move about 20 mm – slightly less than an inch – every year.” The plates are sliding past each other, and the movement is not smooth, leading to jolts, he said.
While we don’t have the opportunity for a large jolt in Brooklyn, we do have small, frequent quakes of a magnitude of 2 or 3 on the Richter Scale. In 2001 alone the city experienced two quakes: one in January, measuring 2.4, and one in October, measuring 2.6. The October quake, occurring soon after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “caused a lot of panic,” Dr. Kim said.
“People ask me, ‘Should I get earthquake insurance?’ I tell them no, earthquake insurance is expensive. Instead, use that money to fix chimneys and other things. Rather than panicky preparations, use common sense to make things better.”
Secure bookcases to the wall and make sure hanging furniture does not fall down, Dr. Kim said. “If you have antique porcelains or dishes, make sure they’re safely stored. In California, everything is anchored to the ground.”
While a small earthquake in Brooklyn may cause panic, “In California, a quake of magnitude 2 is called a micro-quake,” he added.

The Iranian Nuclear Horn Responds With More Lies

France, Germany and Britain say Iran’s plans to produce uranium metal has ‘potentially grave military implications’ [File: Reuters]

Iran responds to European alarm over uranium metal

Iran says it is advancing research on uranium metal production with the aim of feeding a research reactor in Tehran.

Maziar Motamedi17 Jan 2021

Tehran, Iran – Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation has called on a global nuclear watchdog to prevent “misunderstandings” after three European powers issued a warning over the country’s advancing nuclear programme.

As required by a law passed by Iran’s parliament in early December, the country’s nuclear organisation has five months to prepare for producing uranium metal – an element that provides the nuclear fuel used to generate electricity in nuclear power stations.

In a statement on Saturday, France, Germany and the United Kingdom – the three European signatories of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers – said Tehran’s plans to produce uranium metal has “potentially grave military implications” and the country has “no credible civilian use” for the product.

“We strongly urge Iran to halt its activity and return to compliance with its JCPOA commitments without further delay if it is serious about preserving the deal,” they said in reference to the formal name of the accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

‘Unnecessary details’

Their statement came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported Iran had said it is advancing research on uranium metal production with the aim of feeding a research reactor in Tehran.

“We hope that the IAEA will prevent creating misunderstandings by mentioning unnecessary details in its reports,” the organisation said.

As part of the 2015 accord, which was also signed by the United States, China and Russia, Iran agreed to a 15-year ban on producing or acquiring uranium metals, among other things. It received sanctions relief in return.

But one year after outgoing US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned that deal in May 2018 and imposed harsh sanctions, Iran gradually scaled back its commitments under the deal.

In November last year, top Iranian nuclear and military scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated, escalating tensions and prompting the Iranian parliament to pass the law calling for further rollbacks of commitments under the accord until sanctions are lifted.

US President-elect Joe Biden, who has vowed to revitalise the nuclear deal he helped seal under former president Barack Obama, has until February 21 to return to the accord before Iran further increases nuclear activity and asks IAEA inspectors to leave the country.

‘Avoid absurd nonsense’

In an interview published on Saturday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Eves Le Drian said Iran is building up its nuclear weapons capacity and Tehran and Washington must return to the nuclear deal quickly.

He also called for negotiations over Iran’s “ballistic proliferation” and its “destabilisation of its neighbours in the region”, issues that Iran has said are off the table.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivered a harsh rebuke of his French counterpart on Sunday, saying European leaders have been following Washington’s lead and have done nothing to maintain the JCPOA.

“Remember Emmanuel Macron’s stillborn initiative or UK non-payment of court-ordered debt?” he said on Twitter.

“JCPOA is alive because of Iran and not E3,” he said, addressing Le Drian.

Macron had pushed for a $15bn credit line for Iran in September 2019 to bring Iran back to full compliance with the JCPOA, a plan among several European schemes that was blocked by Washington.

The UK owes Iran 400 million pounds ($543m) over a purchase of chieftain tanks by the country’s late shah more than four decades ago that was never delivered.

Zarif also addressed Le Drian’s comment about Iran’s regional influence, saying, “You kick-started your cabinet career with arms sales to Saudi war criminals. Avoid absurd nonsense about Iran”.

South Korea’s ‘last-ditch’ effort before going nuclear

South Korea’s Moon says will make ‘last-ditch’ effort for North Korea breakthrough

Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday he remains committed to engaging with North Korea, and that cooperation on issues such as anti-epidemic work could help lead to a breakthrough in stalled talks in the last years of his term.

Seoul will make efforts to jumpstart talks between the United States and North Korea as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, Moon said during his annual New Year’s speech.

“Dialogue and co-prosperity are key drivers of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “Our will to meet anytime, anywhere, and willingness to talk…remains unchanged.”

Moon, whose term ends in 2022, has made engagement with North Korea one of his signature goals, and he said he would liaise closely with Biden’s administration.

Talks aimed at convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and improve relations with the United States and South Korea have been stalled, with Pyongyang accusing Seoul and Washington of maintaining hostile policies.

“We will strengthen the alliance with the United States in line with the inauguration of the Biden administration, while making last-ditch efforts for a grand breakthrough in stalemated North Korea-U.S. and inter-Korean talks,” Moon said.

North Korea has been holding an ongoing party congress, where leader Kim Jong Un discussed called for developing more advanced nuclear weapons and revitalising the country’s economy.

Over the weekend Kim blasted South Korea for offering cooperation on “inessential issues” such as the coronavirus, humanitarian aid, and tourism.

Kim said inter-Korean relations could be restored if the South changes its attitudes and stops actions such as buying new weapons and conducting military drills with the United States.

In October, however, Kim said that he hoped the two Koreas could reconcile after the end of the pandemic.

Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Tom Hogue and Raju Gopalakrishnan

The Last Attempt to Evade Nuclear War: Revelation 16

The Great Evasion Two related events—the 75th anniversary of the January 24, 1946 UN General Assembly Resolution 1 (which established a commission to plan for the abolition of nuclear weapons) and the January 22, 2021 entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (designed to finally implement that goal)—should be a cause for worldwide celebration. In fact, however, they are a cause for shame.  The nine nuclear powers have refused to sign the treaty and, instead, today continue to engage in a nuclear arms race and to threaten nuclear war—a war capable of destroying virtually all life on earth. A similarly reckless pattern characterized the nuclear arms race that emerged out of World War II.  But an upsurge of popular protest and wise diplomacy led to nuclear arms control and disarmament treaties, as well as unilateral actions, that dramatically reduced nuclear arsenals.  It also made nuclear war increasingly unthinkable. Unfortunately, however, as the nuclear danger receded, the nuclear disarmament campaign ebbed.  As a result, government officials, no longer constrained by popular pressure, began to revert to their traditional ways, based on the assumption that nuclear weapons promoted national “strength.”  India and Pakistan became nuclear powers.  North Korea developed nuclear weapons.  In the United States, the administration of George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty and pressed hard to begin building “mini-nukes.” Ascending to the presidency, Barack Obama made a dramatic attempt to rally the planet behind the goal of building a nuclear-free world.  But neither Republican nor Russian leaders liked the idea, and the best he could deliver was the last of the major nuclear disarmament agreements, the New START Treaty.  And even that came at a heavy price—an agreement with Senate Republicans, whose support was necessary for treaty ratification, to back a major U.S. nuclear weapons “modernization” program. After Donald Trump entered the White House, nuclear arms control and disarmament were no longer on the agenda—for the United States or for the world.  Trump not only failed to generate any new international constraints on nuclear weapons, but withdrew the United States from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Iran nuclear agreement, and the Open Skies Treaty and allowed the New START Treaty to lapse without renewal.  Nor did the other nuclear powers show much interest in retaining these agreements.  Indeed, the Russian government, after a brief, perfunctory protest at Trump’s destruction of the INF Treaty, which it had long privately deplored, immediately ordered the development of the once-prohibited missiles.  The Chinese government said that, although it favored maintaining the treaty for the United States and Russia, it would not accept treaty limits on its own weapons. Meanwhile, all nine nuclear powers, instead of reducing the existential danger to the world from their possession of 13,400 nuclear weapons (91 percent of which are held by Russia and the United States), are busily “modernizing” their nuclear forces and planning to retain them into the indefinite future.  In December 2019, the Russian government announced the deployment of the world’s first hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles, which President Vladimir Putin boasted could bypass missile defense systems and hit almost any point on the planet.  Indeed, the Russian president touted several new Russian nuclear weapons systems as ahead of their time. “Our equipment must be better than the world’s best if we want to come out as the winners,” he explained. Trump, always determined to emerge a “winner,” had publicly stated in December 2016:  “Let it be an arms race.  We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”  Consequently, expanding the earlier U.S. nuclear “modernization” plan to a $2 trillion extravaganza, he set the course for the upgrading of older U.S. nuclear weapons and the development and deployment of a vast array of new ones.  These include the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (at a cost of $264 billion) and the production and deployment of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead that will make starting a nuclear war easier. The new nuclear weapons are designed to not only win the arms race, but to intimidate other nations and even “win” a nuclear war.  Early in his administration, Trump publicly threatened to obliterate both North Korea and Iran through a nuclear onslaught.  Similarly, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has repeatedly threatened a nuclear attack upon the United States.  Furthermore, the U.S. government has been engaging recently in a game of “nuclear chicken” with China and Russia, dispatching fleets of nuclear bombers and nuclear warships dangerously close to their borders.  Such provocative action is in line with the Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, which expanded possibilities for displays of nuclear “resolve” and the first use of nuclear weapons.  Subsequently, the Russian government also lowered its threshold for initiating a nuclear war. The incoming Biden administration has the opportunity and, apparently, the inclination to challenge this irresponsible behavior.  As a long-time supporter of nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements—as well as a sharp critic of the Trump administration’s nuclear policies during the 2020 presidential campaign—the new president will probably advance measures dealing with nuclear issues that differ significantly from those of his predecessor.  Although his ability to secure U.S. ratification of new treaties will be severely limited by Senate Republicans, he can (and probably will) use executive action to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement, re-sign the Open Skies Treaty, block the U.S. production and deployment of particularly destabilizing nuclear weapons, and reduce the budget for nuclear “modernization.”  He might even declare a no first use policy, unilaterally reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and show some respect for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Of course, this won’t be enough.  But it would provide a start toward terminating the nuclear powers’ disgraceful evasion of their responsibility to safeguard human survival.

Joe Biden’s Early Test From the Russian and Chinese Nuclear Horns: Daniel 7

Joe Biden’s Early Test From Moscow and Beijing

An expiring arms-control deal is a chance to address hypersonics and make China come to the table.

By John Bolton

President-elect Joe Biden’s advisers have been signaling that they will rely on arms-control agreements with Russia to reduce the Defense Department budget. This is no surprise from a new, liberal administration promising dramatically increased domestic spending. Yet a second Trump term might have been little better. Eager to indulge in Covid-19 stimulus spending and convinced of Pentagon mismanagement, even under his own appointees, Mr. Trump was easy prey for Senator Rand Paul.

But reliance on arms-control deals with Russia is a fool’s paradise. Whatever relatively small near-term fiscal savings might accrue will be outweighed in the long term by increased threats not only from Moscow, but also from Beijing and rogue states aspiring to become nuclear powers.

Mr. Biden’s first arms-control decision will be whether and for how long to extend the New Start treaty. It expires Feb. 5, but can be extended for up to five more years, in whole or in part. The threat of the treaty’s expiration should be negotiating leverage for the U.S., but Mr. Biden appears certain to extend it in some form. Vladimir Putin recently proposed a one-year extension, perhaps worried he had received no signals from the president-elect. Mr. Biden should offer six months, thus keeping the heat on, and showing that his team will be more than stenographers for Moscow’s diplomats.

The hard policy questions are still the ones Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and I discussed in August 2018, continued by Marshall Billingslea until the 2020 election rendered Mr. Trump a lame duck. Whether and how seriously Mr. Biden’s negotiators address these issues will determine whether a revised New Start agreement has any chance of being approved by the constitutionally required two-thirds Senate majority.

New Start has three broad substantive defects: It omits tactical nuclear weapons; it is technologically outdated and doesn’t address developments like hypersonic weapons; and China is not a signatory.

The existing deal doesn’t cover tactical nuclear weapons—those generally intended for battlefield use, as opposed to strategic nuclear weapons, typically more powerful and longer-range, intended for targets in the enemy’s homeland or other essential locations. During the 2010 ratification debate, this omission persuaded two-thirds of Republican senators to vote against the treaty. The global tactical-weapons threat has not eased in the intervening 10 years. Further Russian deployments, typically associated with violations of other treaty constraints on delivery vehicles, and significant increases in China’s tactical nuclear arsenals are serious and continuing.

Even Russian officials acknowledge that capabilities such as hypersonic glide-missile technology weren’t contemplated in New Start and should be addressed. Moscow and Beijing are both ahead of Washington in operational deployment of hypersonics and other advanced technologies. It would be strategic and budgetary malpractice if Mr. Biden believed he could count on Russia’s treaty compliance, let alone China’s, to prevent the U.S. from falling even further behind in this vital field.

Russia is willing to include China in negotiations about New Start’s successor, but Moscow has nonetheless so far accepted Beijing’s demurral that its current strategic nuclear arsenal is too small to warrant participating. But that is precisely the point: Is the U.S. supposed to wait until China reaches its comfort level of strategic warheads, and only then commence negotiations about reducing its capabilities? Contemporary arms control isn’t a serious effort if China is a bystander. To assuage Beijing’s concerns, the administration should invite Paris and London to join the talks. All five legitimate nuclear-weapons states would thus be involved, depriving China of ground to complain.

Mr. Biden’s advisers also seem open to Russia’s desire to revive the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which America withdrew in 2019. Whether through a new agreement or by incorporation into a revised Start framework, resurrecting the INF is dangerous. Russian overtures and promises to resolve compliance issues, worth as much as earlier Russian pledges, may appeal to those focused on Europe. But Europe is a secondary consideration. The impetus for INF withdrawal was that it didn’t bind China—the bulk of whose ballistic-missile inventory would violate the treaty—nor the likes of Iran and North Korea. Russia’s noncompliance, China’s absence, and the rogue-state proliferators meant that the U.S. was the only country in the world actually complying with INF limits. Beijing’s surging rearmament won’t stop because of resumed U.S.-Russian constraints on launchers, but that reinforces why China must be included in any follow-on New Start.

These are heavy-duty questions. This is not Mr. Biden’s first arms-control rodeo, but what he does and how he does it could define both his presidency’s ideological direction and its competence.

Mr. Bolton is author of “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” He served as the president’s national security adviser, 2018-19, and ambassador to the U.N., 2005-06.