Preparing for World War 3 (Revelation 17)

Biggest Mistake Trump Can Make? Invade Iran.

Key Point: The only military action that can truly prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is for the United States to invade and occupy the country, potentially turning it over to a U.S.-friendly regime that would uphold Iran’s non-nuclear status. Despite the widespread support in the United States for preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon, this option is almost never proposed by any serious observer.

Part of this undoubtedly reflects America’s fatigue following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, it goes much deeper than that—namely, while Iran’s military is greatly inferior to the U.S. armed forces, the U.S. military would not be able to conquer Iran swiftly and cheaply like it did in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Tehran would be able to impose prohibitive costs against the U.S. military, even before the difficult occupation began.

Iran’s ability to defend itself against a U.S. invasion begins with its formidable geography. As Stratfor, a private intelligence firm, has explained, “Iran is a fortress. Surrounded on three sides by mountains and on the fourth by the ocean, with a wasteland at its center, Iran is extremely difficult to conquer.”

While the “stopping power of water” has always made land invasions far more preferable for the invading party, the age of precision-guided munitions has made amphibious invasions particularly challenging. As such, the United States would strongly prefer to invade Iran through one of its land borders, just as it did when it invading Iraq in 2003.

Unfortunately, there are few options in this regard. On first glance, commencing an invasion from western Afghanistan would seem the most plausible route, given that the U.S. military already has troops stationed in that country. Alas, that would not be much of an option at all.

To begin with, from a logistical standpoint, building up a large invasion force in western Afghanistan would be a nightmare, especially now that America’s relationship with Russia has deteriorated so greatly.

More importantly, however, is the geography of the border region. First, there are some fairly small mountain ranges along the border region. More formidable, going from the Afghan border to most of Iran’s major cities would require traversing two large desert regions: Dasht-e Lut and Dasht-e Kavir.

Dasht-e Kavir is particularly fearsome, as its kavirs are similar to quicksand. As Stratfor notes, “The Dasht-e Kavir consists of a layer of salt covering thick mud, and it is easy to break through the salt layer and drown in the mud. It is one of the most miserable places on earth.” This would severely constrain America’s ability to use any mechanized and possibly motorized infantry in mounting the invasion.

Iran’s western borders are not any more inviting. While northwestern Iran borders Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, Ankara refused the United States permission to use its territory for the invasion of Iraq. Regardless, the Zagros Mountains that define Iran’s borders with Turkey, and most of Iraq, would make a large invasion through this route extremely difficult.

The one exception on Iran’s western borders is in the very south, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers collide to form the Shatt al-Arab waterway. This was the invasion route Saddam Hussein used in the 1980s. Unfortunately, as Saddam discovered, this territory is swampy and easy to defend. Furthermore, not long after crossing into Iranian territory, any invading force would run into the Zagros Mountains. Still, this area has long been a vulnerability of Iran’s, which is one of the reasons why Tehran has put so much effort into dominating Shia Iraq and the Iraqi government. Unfortunately for any U.S. president looking to invade Iran, Tehran has largely succeeded in this effort, closing it off as a potential base from which America could attack Iran.

Thus, the United States would have to invade Iran from its southern coastline, which stretches roughly 800 miles and is divided between waterfront adjoining the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Iran has been preparing for just such a contingency for the better part of a quarter of a century. Specifically, it has focused on acquiring the capabilities to execute an antiaccess/area denial strategy against the United States, utilizing a vast number of precision-guided and nonsmart missiles, swarm boats, drones, submarines and mines.

As always, Iran benefits in any A2/AD campaign from the geography of the Iranian coastline; in The Revenge of Geography, Robert Kaplan observed of Iran’s coastline, “its bays, inlets, coves, and islands [make] excellent places for hiding suicide, tanker-ramming speed-boats.” He might have added hiding ground-launched missile systems.

Michael Connell, director of the Iranian Studies Program at CNA, further reflected: “Geography is a key element in Iranian naval planning. The Gulf’s confined space, which is less than 100 nautical miles wide in many places, limits the maneuverability of large surface assets, such as aircraft carriers. But it plays to the strengths of Iran’s naval forces, especially the IRGCN. The Gulf’s northern coast is dotted with rocky coves ideally suited for terrain masking and small boat operations. The Iranians have also fortified numerous islands in the Gulf that sit astride major shipping lanes.”

All of this plays into an Iranian A2/AD strategy. Back in 2012, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) studied how Iran would use A2/AD against the United States, stating:

Iran… is developing an asymmetric strategy to counter U.S. operations in the Persian Gulf. This strategy may blend irregular tactics and improvised weapons with technologically advanced capabilities to deny or limit the U.S. military’s access to close-in bases and restrict its freedom of maneuver through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran’s ‘hybrid’ A2/AD strategy could exploit the geographic and political features of the Persian Gulf region to reduce the effectiveness of U.S. military operations. Such an approach may not, in itself, be a war-winning strategy for Iran. Significantly raising the costs or extending the timelines of a U.S. military intervention may, however, create a window of opportunity for Iran to conduct acts of aggression or coercion.”

As this implies, the United States would sustain significant damage and casualties trying to establish a beachhead in southern Iran. America’s challenges would not end with establishing this beachhead, however, as it would still have to conquer the rest of Iran.

Once again, geography would work to Iran’s advantage, as almost all of Iran’s major cities are located in the north of the country, and reaching them would be a herculean challenge under the best of circumstances. For starters, the terrain—as always—would be challenging to transverse with a large invading force. More importantly, Iran is enormous. As Stratfor notes, “Iran is the 17th largest country in world. It measures 1,684,000 square kilometers. That means that its territory is larger than the combined territories of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal—Western Europe.”

Of course, U.S. forces would not be operating under the best of circumstances. In fact, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has long planned on mounting an insurgent and guerrilla campaign against an invading force trying to reach Iran’s northern cities from its coastlines. Referred to by the IRGC as a “mosaic defense,” the plan would incorporate the joint efforts of the IRGC, Basij and regular armed forces. Connell describes it as follows:

The mosaic defense plan allows Iran to take advantage of its strategic depth and formidable geography to mount an insurgency against invading forces…. As enemy supply lines stretched into Iran’s interior, they would be vulnerable to interdiction by special stay-behind cells, which the IRGC has formed to harass enemy rear operations.

The Artesh, a mix of armored, infantry and mechanized units, would constitute Iran’s initial line of defense against invading forces. IRGC troops would support this effort, but they would also form the core of popular resistance, the bulk of which would be supplied by the Basij, the IRGC’s paramilitary volunteer force. The IRGC has developed a wartime mobilization plan for the Basij, called the Mo’in Plan, according to which Basij personnel would augment regular IRGC units in an invasion scenario.

IRGC and Basij exercises have featured simulated ambushes on enemy armored columns and helicopters. Much of this training has been conducted in an urban environment, suggesting that Iran intends to lure enemy forces into cities where they would be deprived of mobility and close air support. Iran has emphasized passive defense measures—techniques used to enhance the battlefield survivability —including camouflage, concealment and deception.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States found that conquering a country is the easy part. It’s the occupation that proves costly. While occupying Iran would be at least as difficult as the Iraqi and Afghan occupations, even invading Iran would prove enormously challenging. Consequently, while conquering Iran is the most sustainable way to prevent it from building a nuclear weapon, Washington is unlikely to attempt to do so anytime soon.

This first appeared in 2015 and is being reposted due to breaking news.

The Destruction of Babylon the Great (Revelation 17)

Russia’s New Nuclear Weapon Could Make America Uninhabitable

Key point: This is a weapon of last resort. Total overkill.

On May 22, 2018, the Russian submarine Yuri Dolgoruky slipped beneath the waves of the Arctic White Sea. Hatches along the submerged boat’s spine opened, flooding the capacious tubes beneath. Moments later, an undersea volcano seemingly erupted from the depths.

Amidst roiling smoke, four stubby-looking missiles measuring twelve-meters in length emerged one by one. Momentarily, they seemed on the verge of faltering backward into the sea before their solid-fuel rockets ignited, propelling them high into the stratosphere. The four missiles soared across Russia to land in a missile test range on the Kamchatka peninsula, roughly 3,500 miles away.

Like the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) operated by United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, and India, the primary purpose of Borei-class submarines is almost unimaginably grim: to bring ruin to an adversary’s cities, even should other nuclear forces be wiped out in a first strike. 

Each of the submarine’s sixteen R-30 Bulava (“Mace”) missiles typically carries six 150-kiloton nuclear warheads designed to split apart to hit separate targets. This means one Borei can rain seventy-two nuclear warheads ten times more destructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on cities and military bases over 5,800 miles away.

The Borei is the most advanced SSBN in the Russian Navy, and is designed to replace its seven Soviet-era Delta-class SSBNs. Throughout most of the Cold War, Soviets submarines were noisier than their Western counterparts, and thus vulnerable to detection and attack by Western attack submarines.

This problem was finally appreciated by the 1980s, when the Soviets managed to import technologies from Japan and Norway to create the Akula-class attack submarine, which finally matched the U.S. Navy’s workhorse Los Angeles-class attack submarines in acoustic stealth.

Concept work on the Project 955 Borei began during the 1980s. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1996 cash-strapped Russia decided to lower costs by taking three incomplete Akula hulls and convert them into a revised Borei design.

Construction proceeded at Severodvinsk, and lead ship Yury Dolgoruky (named after the Russian prince who founded the city of Moscow) launched in 2008 and was commissioned five years later in January 2013.

An SSBN’s primary purpose is to remain undetected long enough to unleash its terrifying firepower—a strategy made easier thanks to their nuclear reactors allowing them remain submerged for months at a time. Towards that end, the Borei is designed to higher standards of acoustic stealth than Soviet-era designs, and is more capable of evading enemies that do get an inkling of its position.

The Borei’s sleek 170-meter-long hull is considered more typical of Western-style submarine engineering, than the boxier Delta-class. Both the hull and the machinery inside the gargantuan 24,000-ton (submerged) submarine are coated in sound-dampening rubber.

The Borei’s OKF-650B 190-megawatt reactor powers a pump-jet propulsion system that allows it to remain unusually quiet while cruising near its maximum underwater speed of thirty knots. This probably makes the Borei quieter, and able to remain discrete at higher speeds, than the propeller-driven Ohio-class submarine. Russian media claims its acoustic signature is one-fifth that of the Typhoon and Delta-IV class SSBN and that the Borei was also uniquely suited to perform nuclear deterrence patrols in the southern hemisphere, though Russian SSBNs have historically remained close to friendly waters for protection.

For defense against enemy ships and submarines, the Borei also has eight 533-millimeter torpedo tubes and six countermeasure launchers atop its bow. Should things go terribly wrong for the relatively small crew of 107, the Russian SSBN has a pop-out escape pod on its back.

Troubled Missiles

The Borei was originally intended to carry twelve larger and more advanced R-39 “Bark” submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). But the R-39 was canceled in 1998 after failing in three test launches.

Thus, the Borei had to be redesigned to carry sixteen smaller Bulava missiles derived from the land-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile. The Bulava also proved very troubled, however, failing in ten out of twenty-seven test launches due to manufacturing defects. Two failures occurred after the Bulava was operationally deployed on the Borei in 2013.

The Bulava has an unusually shallow flight trajectory, making it harder to intercept, and can be fired while the Borei is moving. The 40-ton missiles can deploy up to forty decoys to try to divert defensive missiles fire by anti-ballistic missiles systems like the Alaska-based Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

However, publicized specifications imply the R-30 may be nearly four times less accurate than the Trident D5 SLBMs on U.S. and British submarines, with only half of shots landing within 350 meters of a target. This implies the R-30 is a purely strategic weapon lacking the precision to reliably take out hardened military targets like nuclear silos in a first-strike scenario.

The New Generation Borei-A

Of the three active Boreis, the Yuri Dologoruky is based at Ghadzhievo (near Murmansk) assigned to the Northern Fleet, while the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh are part of the Pacific Fleet, based at Vilyuchinsk on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Between 2012 and 2016, the Severomash shipyard laid down five new generation Project 955A Borei-II/Borei-A submarines. Lead boat Knyaz Vladimir (Prince Vladimir) launched in 2017 and is due to be commissioned in 2019.

While retaining the same basic tear-drop profile, Knyaz Vladimir appears to be six meters longer based on satellite photos. The 955’s distinctive forward-slanted sail (conning tower) has been replaced with a more conventional tapered design in the 955A. As you can see in this diagram, 955A’s tail has a larger pump jet, an all-moving rudder and new end plates to its horizontal fins for improved maneuverability. A new long blister on the lower hull may house an improved flank-array sonar, or serve as a stowage hangar. You can see detailed imagery, deck plans and analysis of the Borei-A at the website Covert Shores.

Other upgrades include modernized combat, sensor and communications systems, improved acoustic stealth and crew habitability. One Russian source claims the new model is optimized “to decrease launch time to the minimum.”

All five Boreis-A are due to be commissioned by 2021, though Russian shipbuilding frequently falls behind schedule. Nonetheless, given the Russian Navy has had to cancel, downsize or downgrade numerous projects in the last few years, the money invested in completing the subs testifies to the importance Moscow places on submarine nuclear deterrence. The boats cost slightly less than half the cost of their American Ohio-class counterparts at $890 million, but Moscow’s defense budget is only one-twelfth that of the United States.

The eight Boreis would maintain, but not expand, on a standing force of eight Russian SSBNs evenly split between the Pacific and Northern fleets—enough for multiple submarines to perform deterrence patrols at the same time.

Russian media has variously indicated two or six more Boreis could be built in the mid to late 2020s, for a total of ten to fourteen Boreis of both types. Two of these could potentially be a cruise-missile-carrying Borei-K variant that would parallel the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class SSGN cruise missile submarines.

However, the Borei represents only half of the Russian Navy’s future sea-based nuclear deterrence force. The other half will come from a unique fleet of four Khaborovsk-class submarines each carrying six nuclear-powered Poseidon drone-torpedoes designed to swim across oceanic distances to blast coastal cities and naval bases with megaton-yield warheads. Moscow, it seems, would like a little more redundancy in its ability to end civilization as we know it in the event of a nuclear conflict.

Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring. This first appeared in June 2019 and is being republished due to reader interest..

The Destruction of the Human Race (Revelation 16)

More than 90 million people would be killed or injured in a nuclear war between the US and Russia if a conventional conflict went too far, according to a new simulation created by researchers.

Such a scenario has become “dramatically” more plausible in the last two years because the two countries have dropped support for arms-control measures, according to a team from Princeton University.

The simulation, the result of a study at Princeton‘s Science and Global Security programme (SGS), suggests 34 million people would be killed and 57 million injured in the first hours of an all-out nuclear conflagration – not counting those left ill by fallout and other long-term problems.

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In the animation, electronic trails of ballistic missiles arc across the screen, before blossoming into a carpet of white discs.

Worldwide destruction would include the nuclear incineration of Europe, which the Princeton scientists claimed could be brought about by the escalation of a conventional war between Russia and Nato.

 

They say: “In hopes of halting a US-Nato advance, Russia launches a nuclear warning shot from a base near the city of Kaliningrad. Nato retaliates with a single tactical nuclear air strike.

“As the nuclear threshold is crossed, fighting escalates to a tactical nuclear war in Europe. Russia sends 300 nuclear warheads via aircraft and short-range missiles to hit Nato bases and advancing troops. Nato responds with approximately 180 nuclear warheads via aircraft.”

After that, hundreds of further strikes are made on both sides against military nuclear forces. In the video, Russia’s red streaks lift away from the ground moments before America’s rain of blue obliterates swathes of the country; then, Moscow’s bombs crash into the US from coast to coast.

Later, Washington and Moscow would both target population centres, with up to 10 missiles per city from their remaining submarine arsenals.

SGS claims the video is “based on real force postures, targets and fatality estimates”. The first simulated nuclear blast appears to occur just inside Poland, near Wroclaw and the borders with Germany and the Czech Republic.

The Independent asked Princeton if there were any other scenarios modelled, such as one in which Nato launches the first nuclear weapon, and what if anything the researchers suggest may trigger the conventional war in the first place.

Zia Mian, a physicist from the SGS programme, said: “This scenario was developed on the basis of a conventional US/Nato-Russia conflict, with Russia launching a ‘de-escalatory’ nuclear weapon strike in accordance with its current policy.

“It was mapped out before the Trump administration announced as part of the Nuclear Posture Review US plans for development of a low-yield nuclear weapon and expanded the conditions under which the US might use nuclear weapons.”

Both the US Department of Defence and Russia’s UK embassy have been contacted for comment.

Sam Dudin, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told The Independent that the mutually-assured destruction scenario envisaged by SGS would be unlikely to take place because US policy since 1950 has been to avoid direct conventional war with Russia. Moscow also does not want a war with Nato, he said.

Mr Dudin added: “From an operational perspective, it also seems that integrated air defence systems have disappeared from Europe. These systems would have a major impact on nuclear strikes launched from aircraft. The casualty estimates also seem to be low.

“Furthermore, several likely targets seem to have been missed out. Considering that France is a nuclear power, and British nuclear-armed submarines operate out of Faslane in Scotland, this seems like an oversight which demonstrates the American tendency to ignore allies.

“The terminology is quite typical of how the US thinks about Nato. Whereas the UK would talk about a Nato operation, as opposed to a UK-Nato operation, the US typically views Nato as something separate from them.”

Secret locations of US nuclear weapons in Europe accidentally leaked

SGS’ simulation comes as Princeton physicists launch a project to persuade fellow scientists of the need to reduce the threat posed by nuclear armaments.

Earlier this year Vladimir Putin signed a bill suspending Russia’s role in a key nuclear pact with the US, after Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the treaty.

The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty banned the production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 310 to 3,410 miles.

America’s Subs Prepare for Conventional Nuclear War

America’s Nuclear Missile Submarines May Get Smaller Tactical Nukes

Key point: Low-yield nukes would give Washington more ways to deter its rivals, but also might raise the chance of a nuclear device being used.

Just last month, in light of the upcoming House-Senate debate on U.S. nuclear modernization, Sen. Elizabeth Warren along with seventeen Democratic Senators wrote to the Senate Armed Services Committee urging support for three nuclear initiatives that were adopted in the House defense bill.  Specifically, the initiatives (1) express the sense of Congress that the United States seeks to extend the New START Treaty with Russia, (2) deny funding for new INF-type missiles “until diplomatic and strategic planning steps are taken”, and (3) prohibit deployment of a lower-yield warhead for the Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

We too disagree on the first initiative, and we find the second vague.  Neither of us, however, can support the third. A lower-yield warhead for Trident is one of two modest changes to longstanding U.S. nuclear posture reflected in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review.  By lower-yield is meant explosive force in the range of a few kilotons, not insignificant by any means but a factor of twenty and more below that of today’s SLBM warheads. This warhead could be fielded relatively quickly, with a small, very low-cost modification to an existing warhead (i.e., the current W76 SLBM warhead) and do so without requiring underground nuclear tests or adding to the size of our stockpile.

The Warren letter argues that the launch of a single, low-yield warhead, presumably in response to Russia’s limited first use in regional conflict, would enable Russia to locate and destroy the submarine and its remaining missiles, which are a critical part of assured, survivable, forces able to retaliate against a much more massive attack.  This argument ignores the facts. For decades, the U.S. has had pre-planned limited strike options including the possibility of a so-called split launch, that is, a few now with the threat of more later from a single submarine. The U.S. Navy practices this tactic—shoot-evade-shoot again—as a matter of course. We can safely assume that it has evaluated this risk and deemed it manageable in light of the demanding capabilities required for Russia to achieve a prompt destruct capability against U.S. submarines.

The Warren letter also argues that a low-yield Trident warhead is dangerous in that it will lower the U.S. nuclear use threshold making nuclear war somehow less terrible, and hence nuclear war more likely.  This assertion has no empirical basis. Since the 1950s, the U.S. stockpile has had thousands more of the so-called tactical warheads than we have today, many with much lower yields. Such warheads were deployed at the height of the Cold War but never used in any conflict.  There is no evidence that the simple possession of these weapons made nuclear use by the United States more likely. As former Secretary of Defense Mattis has stated:

“Let me be clear; any decision to employ nuclear weapons would be the most difficult decision a President has to make.  This Administration, like the ones before it, has said that nuclear weapons would be employed only in extreme circumstances to protect our vital interests and those of our allies and partners.”

The U.S. nuclear use threshold thus remains high.

Why do we support the decision to field a lower-yield Trident warhead?  Most significantly, it results from substantial changes in Russia’s behavior since the 2010 nuclear review carried out by President Obama and his team.  These changes include, most notably, Russia’s open contempt for the post-Cold War security order, its illegal occupation of Crimea and ongoing war with Ukraine, its nuclear threats to U.S. allies, its deployment of a land-based cruise missile in abject violation of the INF Treaty, the surging role of nuclear weapons in Russia’s security posture, their increased prominence in military operations, and the concern that a limited-first use, “escalate to win” nuclear employment strategy has gained prominence in Russia’s nuclear doctrine.

On this last point, consider the following scenario.  Mr. Putin launches a conventional strike against NATO to occupy the Baltic States and return them to Russian rule.  Because of an initial conventional mismatch, Russian forces establish a significant Baltic presence in the first week.  Meanwhile, NATO is mobilizing to reverse this “fait accompli” with U.S. conventional air, sea and ground forces on their way to reinforce the continent.  Putin orders use of one or two low yield weapons in Europe to coerce allies (and allied publics) to cease mobilization and thus preserve the status quo. In taking this step, Putin may well believe that the United States would not respond with strategic warheads that could cause significant collateral damage

If, as reflected in recent doctrine, military exercises, and aggressive modernization programs for tactical nuclear weapons, Russia’s leaders believe that Moscow could conceivably engage in limited nuclear first-use without undue risk, then the U.S. must work to dispel such dangerous and destabilizing notions.  Yes, the U.S. has low-yield warheads that could be delivered by aircraft, but not with the assured level of penetration to defenses provided by ballistic missiles. We believe that an SLBM-delivered low-yield warhead option should be available to national leadership specifically to bolster deterrence of Russian limited first-use.

The rationale for a lower-yield Trident option is to raise Russia’s nuclear use threshold, not lower ours.  It is not to more readily fight a nuclear war but to deter one. It does so by helping to convey a credible message that no security benefit at all, only complete and unacceptable downside consequences, would result from any use of nuclear weapons.  That is the essence of deterrence.

John R. Harvey and Franklin C. Miller have among them decades of experience serving in senior posts in the U.S. government overseeing nuclear weapons policies and programs, Harvey in the Departments of Defense and Energy and Miller in the Department of Defense and the National Security Council Staff.

This article by John R. Harvey and Franklin C. Miller originally appeared at Real Clear Defense. This article first appeared in 2019.

Image: Reuters

A ’Tactical’ Simulation of the Tribulation and Fire

A terrifying new animation shows how 1 ‘tactical’ nuclear weapon could trigger a US-Russia war that kills 34 million people in 5 hours

Ellen Ioanes Dave Mosher Sep 14, 2019, 9:00 AM

“Plan A” is an audio-visual simulation that shows how so-called “tactical” nuclear weapons could lead to a highly fatal global conflict between the Russia, the US, and allies.Princeton University/Nuclear Futures Lab

• A new simulation called “Plan A,” by researchers at Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security, shows how the use of one so-called tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon could lead to a terrifying worldwide conflict.

• In the roughly four-minute video, a Russian “nuclear warning shot” at a US-NATO coalition leads to a global nuclear war that leads to 91.5 million deaths and injuries.

• Under President Trump, the US is ramping up production of tactical nuclear weapons, ostensibly to target troops and munitions supplies. While advocates say these weapons would keep wars from escalating, the simulation finds the opposite outcome.

• The dissolution of the INF treaty in August raised the stakes for nuclear war, as both the US and Russia were free to develop weapons previously banned under the treaty.

• “The risk of nuclear war has increased dramatically in the past two years,” the project states. Nuclear strikes are an extremely remote possibility, but their chances are rising experts warn.

More than 91 million people in Russia, the US, and NATO-allied countries might be killed or injured within three hours following a single “nuclear warning shot,” according to a terrifying new simulation.

The simulation is called “Plan A,” and it’s an audio-visual piece that was first posted to to YouTube on September 6. (You can watch the full video at the end of this story.) Researchers at the Science and Global Security lab at Princeton University created the animation, which shows how a battle between Russia and NATO allies that uses so-called low-yield or “tactical” nuclear weapons – which can pack a blast equivalent to those the US used to destroy Hiroshima or Nagasaki in World War II – might feasibly and quickly snowball into a global nuclear war.

“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,” the project states on its website.

The video has an ominous, droning soundtrack and a digital map design straight out of the 1983 movie “WarGames.” The Cold War-era movie, in which a young Matthew Broderick accidentally triggers a nuclear war, “was exactly the reference point,” simulation designer Alex Wellerstein told Insider.

But while simulations can be frightening, they can also be incredibly helpful: governments can use them to develop contingency plans to respond to nuclear disasters and attacks in the least escalatory way, and they can also help ordinary citizens learn how to survive a nuclear attack.

“Plan A” comes as tensions between Russia and NATO allies ratchet up. Both Russia and the US are testing weapons previously banned under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, often called INF. Russian bombers have also cruised into US airspace repeatedly, and the US recently sent its B-2 Spirit stealth bomber on a mission in the Arctic – right in Russia’s backyard.

This is how a NATO-Russian confrontation could quickly escalate into nuclear war.

The simulation starts with a conventional war between NATO and Russian troops.

Science and Global Security, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy

Conventional warfare – namely all conflict short of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons – escalates into nuclear warfare when Russia launches a nuclear “warning shot” from a base near Kaliningrad to stop NATO advancement. Russia doesn’t have a “no first use” policy – it dropped it in 1993. NATO forces respond by launching a tactical nuclear strike.

The US already has tactical nuclear weapons, such as B61-12 gravity bombs, and more planned under US President Donald Trump’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. Included in the plan is a low-yield warhead intended for use in a submarine-launched ballistic missile, as well as a sea-launched cruise missile.

These kinds of weapons are designed for targets on the battlefield, like troops or munitions supplies, as opposed to long- or intermediate-range nuclear missiles that are fired from one country to another, for example, targeting an enemy’s bombers and ICBM silos – or even cities.

Tactical nuclear strikes up the ante.

Princeton Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

If the nuclear threshold is crossed, the simulation finds, then both the US and Russia would respond with tactical nuclear weapons. Russia would send 300 warheads to NATO targets, including advancing troops, in both aircraft and short-range missiles – overwhelming force that would obliterate tanks, fortified positions and soldiers unlike anything ever seen in battle before. Supporting forces and civilians not immediately killed would be susceptible to painful and even fatal radiation exposure.

NATO would respond by sending about 180 tactical nuclear weapons to Russia via aircraft in equally devastating retaliation.

The simulation was constructed using independent analysis of nuclear force postures in NATO countries and Russia, including the availability of nuclear weapons, their yields, and possible targets, according to the Science and Global Security lab.

The tactical phase of the simulation shows about 2.6 million casualties over three hours.

Instead of the tactical weapons de-escalating the conflict, as proponents claim they would, the simulation shows conflict spiraling out of control after the use of tactical weapons.

Princeton Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs

Russia’s tactical weapons would destroy much of Europe, the simulation posits. In response, NATO would launch submarine- and US-based strategic nuclear weapons toward Russia’s nuclear arsenals – 600 warheads in total.

Strategic nuclear weapons have a longer range, so Russia, knowing that NATO nukes are headed for its weapons cache, would throw all its weight behind missiles launched from silos, mobile launchers, and submarines.

The casualties during this phase would be 3.4 million in 45 minutes.

This leads to 85.3 million additional casualties in the final phase of the nuclear war simulation.

Princeton University Science and Global Security, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

In the wake of previous attacks, both Russia and NATO would launch warheads toward each other’s 30 most populous cities in the final stage of of the scenario, using five to 10 warheads for each city depending on its size.

This phase would cause 85.3 million casualties – both deaths and injuries. But the total casualty count from the entire battle (of less than 5 hours) would be 34.1 million deaths and 57.4 million injuries, or a combined 91.3 million casualties overall.

But that’s just the immediate conflict: The entire world would be affected by nuclear disaster in the months, years, and decades to come.

The radioactive fallout from the nuclear disaster would cause additional deaths and injuries. Studies also suggest that, even with a limited nuclear engagement, Earth’s atmosphere would cool dramatically, driving famine, refugee crises, additional conflicts, and more deaths.

 

The Truth About the Tribulation (Revelation)

Nuclear war between India and Pakistan can destroy world

New Delhi: After India and Pakistan became nuclear powers, many experts have expressed concerns that if any nuclear war takes between two countries, world will come to an end.

In an public address, an expert claimed that if two neighboring countries go for nuclear war, the smoke will cover entire earth within two weeks. It will rise to altitude between 20 and 50 miles above the earth surface, he added.

Crops which is located many miles away from two countries will die due to lack of light and cool temperature.

As per the estimate, 1-2 billion people will die after the war. The temperature will fall to the level below ice age.

He said that even countries that do not have nuclear weapons will not be save.

The Nuclear Cage (Revelation 16)

Photograph Source: Leslie Groves, Manhattan Project director, with a map of Japan – Public Domain

Rattling the Nuclear Cage: India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran and the US

We like our anniversaries in blocks of 50 or 100 – at a push we’ll tolerate a 25. The 100th anniversary of the Somme (2016), the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (2015). Next year, we’ll remember the end of the Second World War, the first – and so far the only – nuclear war in history.

This week marks only the 74th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It doesn’t fit in to our journalistic scorecards and “timelines”. Over the past few days, I’ve had to look hard to find a headline about the two Japanese cities.

But, especially in the Middle East and what we like to call southeast Asia, we should be remembering these gruesome anniversaries every month. Hiroshima was atomic-bombed 74 years ago on Tuesday, Nagasaki 74 years ago on Friday. Given the extent of the casualty figures, you’d think they’d be unforgettable. But we don’t quite know (nor ever will) what they were.

The bombing of the two cities, we are told, left between 129,000 and 226,000 dead. The first US statistics suggested only 66,000 dead in Hiroshima, 39,000 in Nagasaki. But in later years, the Hiroshima authorities estimated their dead alone at 202,118 – taking account of those who later died of radiation sickness, rather than just the incinerated corpses and human shadows left in the immediate aftermath of the explosion.

In the Middle East, where Aleppo and Mosul and Raqqa count the dead from conventional bombs – American, Russian, Syrian – in the tens of thousands, you might think the 1945 statistics would leave the folk who live there pretty cold. But the book of crises unfolding in the region – by the chapter, almost every month – is of critical importance to every soul who lives between the Mediterranean and India.

For India itself is a nuclear power. So is Pakistan. And so, of course, is Israel. None of them have signed the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT). All are threatening war, over Kashmir, or over Iran, the only nation under threat which has not (yet) got nuclear weapons.

Ayatollah Khomeini originally seized on America’s refusal to express its remorse at the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings: “They’ve killed hundreds of thousands of people … many years have passed and they can’t even bring themselves to apologise,” he said, and the current Iranian leadership has continued Khomeini’s theme. The “only nuclear criminal in the world”, according to the “supreme leader’s” successor, Ali Khamanei, “is falsely claiming to fight the proliferation of nuclear weapons”.

Iran, it should be added, did sign the NPT, but was later found in non-compliance of the safeguard agreement. And Iran, of course, is the non-nuclear power now being constantly threatened with war by two nuclear powers – America and Israel – the first of which, under Donald Trump, tore up his country’s commitment to the only international agreement that ever existed to limit Iran’s nuclear programme.

As the US applies new sanctions to Iran – miserably supported by the ever-compliant banks and big businesses of Europe – Iran marginally breaks its side of the nuclear control agreement. And thus becomes the recipient of even more ferocious threats from Washington and Israel.

The word “nuclear” is not just a harmless adjective. Look at the old photographs of the blisters on the dying Japanese of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Iran itself suffered the horrors of gas warfare when Iraq – supported at the time by the US – used chemicals on Iranian soldiers and civilians. I saw their gas-gangrene wounds with my own eyes in the late 1980s and they reminded me of the Hiroshima snapshots. The Iranians really do know the effects of “weapons of mass destruction”.

Yet they, we are supposed to believe, are the nuclear “threat” in the Middle East. The Islamic republic is no saints’ paradise. Its corruption (within the government), its cruelty towards its own dissenters, its hangman’s noose justice against its own people and its prim disgust at even the most innocent demand for freedom scarcely qualify the immensely wealthy Revolutionary Guards Corps – “heroes” of a new “tanker war” and masters of Houthi drone technology – to give lectures on morality. And if we thought that the Iranians held in reserve – let us say – 200 nuclear warheads, we should be trembling in our boots. But they don’t. It’s Israel that conceals – but will not say so – perhaps 200 nuclear warheads.

Not only do we not complain about this. We regard any suggestion of their existence as akin to interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. Israel has never confirmed that their nuclear weapons exist: therefore we must not say that they do. Enquire about their exact number and you are treated by Israel’s supporters with deep suspicion. It’s a private matter, we are led to understand. Anyway the Israelis can be trusted with such vile weapons. Can’t they?

Which brings us to Saudi Arabia. Every nation in the Middle East which seeks nuclear power – and the list includes Egypt, by the way – insists, like Iran, that the technology is needed to build power plants.

Yet when Reuters – whose investigations of human rights and secret criminal activities in the region are first-class in both courage and detail – reports on the accurate leaks that US energy secretary Rick Perry approved six secret authorisations to give nuclear assistance to Saudi Arabia, few outside congress issued a murmur of concern. Not even Israel – which always rages when America’s arms manufacturers hoover up billions of dollars from Arab arms buyers, especially from Saudi Arabia.

South Koreans – those endangered people always under nuclear threat from the Rocket Man turned good guy further north – are also bidding for the Saudi nuclear deal. So are the Russians. So how come, now that the Saudi regime has talked of “cutting off the head of the snake” in Iran, we don’t regard Riyadh as a potential nuclear threat?

How soon will it be before we wonder if the Saudis aren’t going a bit too far down the nuclear path and we suggest a nuclear control agreement along the lines of Obama’s Iran deal? After all, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – and let’s not bring up the little matter of the Saudi evisceration and chopping up of poor Jamal Khashoggi at this point – told CBS last year that his kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if Iran did.

And as we digest all this – although we really are not talking about it at all, are we? – India decides to tear up its own legal arrangements in Jammu and Kashmir. As the only Muslim-majority state in India, it is now to be split into two union territories, diminishing Muslim power and allowing non-Muslim Indians from other regions to move into this dangerous remnant of the old Raj. The Hindu-led government used a presidential order to revoke the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan, which holds the other bit of Kashmir – both claim the whole area as their own – is understandably infuriated by this change in the status quo.

And both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers. Indeed, there was nothing more pathetic, after Pakistan’s first nuclear tests in 1998, than to travel around this other “Islamic republic” and, amid the abject poverty of its villages, gaze at the awful commemorative papier-mache recreations of the granite mountains in which the explosions took place. There is, I suppose, no point in adding that there are more armed extremist Islamists on Islamabad’s payroll in both Pakistan and Afghanistan – coddled by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency – than there are in the whole of Iran.

So this is a very good week, as we typically ignore the commemoration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for us to remember the nuclear threat in the Middle East. At least one nation in every potential conflict in the region is a nuclear power or a prospective one. India against Pakistan and vice versa, the US with Iran, the Israelis with Iran – or just about any other Levantine power – and the Saudis versus Iran, and Iran against almost anyone else except Syria.

Oh yes, and Donald Trump has just pulled out of the Cold War Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia – blaming Russia for violating the ban on missiles ranging up to 3,400 miles. All Russia’s fault, says Mike Pompeo. The treaty is now “dead”, the Russian foreign ministry confirms. So it’s time, perhaps, to rewatch those old documentaries of the the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay and the bomb codenamed “Little Boy” and the brilliant mushroom cloud and all those scorched corpses at Hiroshima.

The Agony of the Australian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

The agonies and arguments of Australian nuclear weapons | The Strategist

Graeme Dobell

‘Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.’ — Saint Augustine of Hippo

Pondering nuclear weapons, Hugh White offers Australia a reverse Augustine: Give me nuclear chastity, until there’s no alternative.

The White version of the Australian nuke prayer is a bruising preview of the nuclear-weapons debate the country will face if things go badly in Asia.

White’s How to defend Australia set off a lot of different explosions, but the public response to his chapter on nuclear weapons was a mushroom cloud. The agonies of the arguments aroused mean this is about heart as well as head.

The explosion about nukes was as loud as responses to White on the end of the US alliance, war with China and the need to completely remake Oz strategy and the Australian Defence Force.

White dragged into the centre of the public square a nuclear-weapons discussion that’s been simmering in the quiet corner where strategists mutter strange spells.

The public square is where the stoning happens, and the rocks tossed on the potential for Australian nuclear weapons range from ‘Oh, for God’s sake!’ to dubious operational utility plus the stench of hypocrisy, and the take that acquiring such weapons would be beyond Australia’s technical capabilities and perhaps its political will.

Truly, as White observes in the first paragraph of his nuclear chapter, this is not a comfortable subject. ‘But the question is one we will not be able to avoid over the decades to come.’

White ladles on the caveats, noting that it’s obvious that Australia has been much more secure without the bomb. The changes rumbling Asia, however, mean nuclear weapons might make sense for Australia in the future: ‘The strategic, financial and moral costs of going nuclear will always remain very high, but the strategic costs of forgoing nuclear weapons in the new Asia could be much greater than they have been until now.’

In Asia’s uncertain future, White writes, an Australia deciding not to develop nuclear forces would be accepting substantially greater strategic risks.

White’s reverse-Augustine judgement reads:

[M]y own preliminary conclusion is that there are circumstances in which the development of nuclear forces could be justified, but only where the need was very clear, and where there were no alternatives. I am not at all sure that our circumstances will meet those tests, which is why I neither predict, and I certainly do not advocate, that we should acquire nuclear forces.

The big change in circumstances White posits is an Australia that no longer feels secure under the US nuclear umbrella. If Australia starts to question US extended nuclear deterrence, issues of credibility and belief will shift strategic thinking.

White quotes the deterrence equation put by Denis Healey, the UK defence secretary from 1964 to 1970, who said the Soviet Union would be deterred if it believed there was a 10% chance the US would accept the risk of massive nuclear attacks to prevent the Soviets from taking over Western Europe. West Germany was much harder to convince, though. Healey said that ‘the Germans would only feel secure if they were 90 per cent sure’.

Australia has never had to ponder too deeply whether it needs only 10% confidence in the US nuclear umbrella, or much more.

White predicts the US will have a hard time deterring China because of questions of resolve as much as power. He says that ‘no US leader wants to try convincing American voters that defending a US ally in Asia is worth risking a devastating nuclear strike on Los Angeles’.

In this bleaker future, much will depend on how Japan and South Korea react—and, for Australia, what Indonesia thinks and does. Southeast Asia’s rejection of nuclear weapons has been a huge and continuing strategic blessing for Australia.

The loss of confidence in the US—the ‘home alone’ scenario, as Rod Lyon calls it, would apply to many other powers in Asia. And, as Rod says in another of his posts (a typical example of the iron laws of Lyon logic), we’d all have to ponder an Asian nuclear cascade:

That would be a world where Japan, South Korea and Australia had shared incentives to proliferate, and perhaps Indonesia and Vietnam too; where we probably wouldn’t be the first horse out of the gate; and where we might reasonably hope to ‘share’ the challenges of proliferation with others.

Let me say that such a future world is less attractive than the one we live in now. Asia typically hasn’t put a high priority on nuclear weapons, which tend to sit in the strategic background rather than the foreground. A sudden cascade of nuclear proliferation would make for a more fraught and difficult region—which is one good reason we ought to be working harder to keep the US engaged in Asia and its umbrella business healthy.

For the agonies and the arguments of Australian nuclear weapons, here’s the fourth of Hugh White’s ASPI interviews.

Graeme Dobell is ASPI’s journalist fellow. Image: Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

The Coming Nuclear Winter (Revelation 16)

This Is How Nuclear Winter Would Affect Every Single One of Us Across The Planet

With the Cold War over and our future on fire, few of us devote much thought to nuclear winter in today’s world. Rutgers University climatologist Alan Robock is an exception. He still thinks about it. Quite a lot, in fact.

Robock worked with a small team of fellow environmental and atmospheric scientists to double check previous sums on just how bad a hypothetical nuclear winter could get. The result? Pretty terrible for all of us, no matter where you are.

According to his calculations, if all of Russia and the US’s nuclear weapons were used in a conflict today, we could expect a shocking drop in global temperatures, less precipitation, and a lot less food to go around.

In this hypothetical mother of all wars, nuclear particles would be transported between the hemispheres within two weeks. Global temperatures would then plunge by around 9 degrees Celsius over the next 12 months. Depending on the modelling, this decline could continue another 1.5 degrees Celsius.

This is an average, don’t forget. In many places across Europe and North America, even summer will be a frozen hellscape some 20 degrees Celsius colder than it is now, at least for a few seasons.

Those who survive by bunking down and rugging up for five or six years will then need to worry about starvation.

Not only would a rolling winter limit plant growth, aerosols in the atmosphere could cause an average 30 percent drop in precipitation around the planet within the first few months. Within several years it could drop even further, by between 47 and 58 percent.

But let’s take a step back and talk about what kind of war might trigger such a dramatic nuclear winter in the first place.

For the purposes of this model, Robock assumed the US and Russia unleashed all their stockpile of nuclear weapons.

And that’s not something that’s totally unimaginable. In the early 1980s, towards the end of the cold war, the idea that the US and the Soviet Union might lose their cool and send a barrage of intercontinental nuclear weapons flying around the globe was not just a terrifying possibility, but an increasing likelihood.

While most people feared the devastating blasts and the radioactive fallout, an American atmospheric scientist by the name of Richard P. Turco was more concerned about the clouds of debris blown into the upper atmosphere.

Turco is the one who came up with the term nuclear winter – the cooling of the planet’s surface under a pall of fine dust, ash, and soot left by the intense bombing of multiple cities.

He and his team’s research was the first to show how smoke injected into the upper troposphere by urban fires could affect climate over a wide area. Any particles that make it as far as the stratosphere would have an express around-the-globe ticket, potentially leading to even more catastrophic climate change.

The idea was solid, but ironing out the exact details would require accurate climate models.

Over the decades, climatologists have returned regularly to Turco’s nuclear winter scenario with additional data and sharper mathematical tools to fine-tune predictions on how we’d fair under a post-apocalyptic blanket.

Back in 2007, Robock applied a NASA-formulated atmosphere-ocean circulation model for the first time to determine what might happen if 150 million tonnes of grit was sent sky-high.

Twelve years later, Robock and his team have retested their calculations, pitting their old maths against improved climate models. The good news is those sums more or less predict pretty much the same horror. If that can be called good news.

“This means that we have much more confidence in the climate response to a large-scale nuclear war,” says the study’s first author, Rutgers doctoral student Joshua Coupe.

The bad news?

There really would be a nuclear winter with catastrophic consequences,” says Coupe.

The result would be the type of scenario described above – mass temperature drops, food shortages.

The real question is, how long would it last?

All of this would depend on the details, of course. Where might the bombs fall? How many would be used? What kinds of time scales are we talking?

While there’s room for speculation, some scenarios are more likely than others.

Based on historical war strategies, we can assume far more urban devastation than rural, hitting industries and transport and sending concentrations of soot and other fine particulates into the air.

Robock’s newer model optimistically has temperature recovery beginning within five years. Under NASA’s climate model, the warming takes a little longer, picking up steam by year seven.

But it would take around a decade for the blanket of cloud that would be scattering and absorbing solar radiation to disperse.

While we all know that a two degree Celsius rise thanks to global warming is one of our most pressing problems, until the world is completely rid of its nuclear stockpile, catastrophic global cooling under dust-laden skies simply isn’t something we can rule out.

Two years ago, the UN convened a conference to negotiate a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. So far only half of the fifty nations required as signatories have agreed to its terms. The US isn’t one of them.

Winter could still be coming.

This research was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres.

China Flaunts Her Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

China to show off advanced nuclear weapons in National Day parade and ‘send message to US about capabilities’ | South China Morning Post

10:31pm, 28 Aug, 2019

China is planning to make its strategic nuclear missiles and advanced fighter jets the centrepiece of its National Day military parade in what military sources and analysts said was an attempt to show off its achievements in overhauling its armed forces over the past few years.

Military analysts said the show of nuclear strength was intended to demonstrate China’s enhanced deterrence and second strike capability, especially to the United States.

“The parade is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1,” one military insider said.

“So it should let the whole world see China’s achievement of military modernisation under the leadership of President Xi Jinping since he came to power [in 2012].”

The military insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that weapon systems such as DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles and J-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles have already been moved to Beijing. A squadron of J-20 jets, the country’s first stealth fighter, is also preparing for the event.

The DF-41 is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and its range of at least 12,000km (7,460 miles) means it can hit any target on the US mainland.

The JL-2, which has a shorter range of 7,000km (4,350 miles), is also able to hit parts of the American continent when launched from the sea.

Neither weapon was featured in the country’s biggest-ever military parade, which was held in 2017 at the Zhurihe base in Inner Mongolia to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army – though other advanced weapons were displayed.

Photographs published online suggest that reinforcement work is already underway at subway stations under Changan Avenue and Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing.

This work along the likely route of the parade suggests that it will feature launch vehicles capable of carrying DF-41s and other heavy weapons systems.

Hong Kong-based military analyst Song Zhongping said it was likely that Beijing would want to use the parade to send a “warning message” to the US in light of the continuing tensions between the two countries.

“China has invested a lot of resources into military science and technology development in a bid to enhance its nuclear deterrence capability over the past years, which Beijing believes represents a strategic measure in countering the global military hegemony [of the US],” Song, who is now a military commentator for Phoenix Television in Hong Kong, said.

He noted that the US has started making new low-yield warheads for its Trident missiles which “lowered the threshold on the use of tactical nuclear weapons”.

“It may even use nuclear weapons in future battles and that [has given legitimacy] for other countries to develop countermeasures,” Song added.

Adam Ni, a researcher at Macquarie University in Sydney, said that the coming parade would provide a good opportunity for China to show off the breadth of its strategic nuclear deterrent.

“The deployment of DF-41 is a big step for China’s nuclear deterrence because it is a more powerful ICBM with greater range and [can carry] more warheads and boasts advanced technology,” he said.

He said the weapon was highly mobile, harder to detect than silo-based systems and better able to survive a first strike.

He described it as the “ultimate symbol of the destructive potential of China’s armed forces”, on a par with those of the US and Russia.

Another military source said that other nuclear weapons like the DF-26 anti-ship missile, and hypersonic missiles such as the DF-17 and DF-20 which are capable of breaching missile shields, would also be put on display.

Chinese military specialists said that the DF-17 was one of several hypersonic glider systems developed by the PLA.

But the source said: “In order to avoid unnecessary misjudgments by the US, cutting-edge assault-type nuclear weapons like the DF-27 long-range ballistic missile, which has a longer range and greater precision, will not be displayed this time.”