The Chinese nuclear horn commands space: Daniel 7

China intends to militarize space, displace US power: intel report

By Mark Moore

April 13, 2021 | 1:10pm

China is working on militarizing space and matching or exceeding US technology in the coming years, the US intelligence community said in its Global Risk Assessment report.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s report says that China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, is poised to become the US’ greatest rival in space, setting far-reaching and ambitious goals “to gain the military, economic, and prestige benefits that Washington has accrued from space leadership.”

The report, released last Friday, said Beijing “has counterspaceweapons capabilities” enabling it to target satellites belonging to the US and its allies.

“Beijing continues to train its military space elements and field new destructive and nondestructive ground- and space-based anti – satellite weapons ,” the report said, adding that China already has ground-based anti-satellite missiles and lasers “probably intended to blind or damage sensitive space-based optical sensors ” on US spacecraft.

It predicted that China will have an operational space station in low Earth orbit between 2022 and 2024, and will continue to conduct exploratory missions to the moon with the aim to establish a robotic research station on the lunar surface as a precursor to an “intermittently crewed” base.

China aims to establish a crewed base on the surface of the moon in the future.

AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese Communist Party “ will continue its whole-of-government efforts to spread China’s influence, undercut that of the United States, drive wedges between Washington and its allies and partners, and foster new international norms that favor the authoritarian Chinese system.”

Chinese leaders probably will, however, seek tactical opportunities to reduce tensions with Washington when such opportunities suit their interests ,” the intelligence report said.

While working on the space-based initiatives, China will maintain its “major innovation and industrial policies” to reduce reliance on foreign technologies, to develop military upgrades, to continue economic growth, with the goal of ensuring the country’s survival.

China’s military is poised to become the US’ greatest rival in space.

China National Space Administration

“Beijing sees increasingly competitive US-China relations as part of an epochal geopolitical shift and views Washington’s economic measures against Beijing since 2018 as part of a broader US effort to contain China’s rise ,” the ODNI report said, referring to the tariffs former President Donald Trump placed on Chinese goods being sold in the US.

As part of its long-term goals, China is consolidating its military power with its economic, technological and diplomatic strengths to “secure what it views as its territory and regional preeminence, and pursue international cooperation at Washington’s expense .”

China’s goal is to “foster new international norms” by undercutting the prominence and power of the US.

AP

Beijing will tout its success responding to the coronavirus pandemic as “evidence of the superiority of its system” and will use “vaccine diplomacy” to its advantage.

China will also extend its influence in the region, including its claims of sovereignty over Taiwan and the bolstering of its naval presence in the South China Sea “to signal to Southeast Asian countries that China has effective control over contested areas.”

O n nuclear weapons, the report said China is not interested in abiding by any arms control agreements that will hamper its future plans and will not engage in negotiations with Russia or the US that preserve their nuclear advantages.

Beijing intends to “at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile” in the next decade.

“China is building a larger and increasingly capable nuclear missile force that is more survivable, more diverse, and on higher alert than in the past, including nuclear missile systems designed to manage regional escalation and ensure an intercontinentalc second-strike capability ,” the report said. 

The Russian nuclear horn prepares for war: Revelation 16

Nuclear missiles moved out of storage by Putin ‘Possible launch against the West’

RUSSIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS have been moved out of storage by Putin to be aimed at the West, according to a military analyst.

By TOM HUSSEY

PUBLISHED: 13:15, Wed, Apr 14, 2021

Speaking to France24, military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles into the field “for possible launch at America and its allies.” The military analyst stressed the situation has now got serious and highlighted this has been a “very vivid build up.” The terrifying news comes as Russia ramps up its presence on the Ukrainian border amid the threat of a full-blown war between the two nations. 

Pavel Felgenhauer said: “There also been an official announcement that Russian nuclear deterrent has been put on heightened capability.

“And Russian mobile ICBM’s have been moved out of permanent storage into the field.”

Ukrainian forces have also dug trenches in preparation for war as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy are ready to fight.

And in a terrifying suggestion, he warned that the move was for “possible launch against America and its allies.”

He added: “This has been a very vivid build up.”

The military analyst went on to acknowledge the growing concern of the international community as western nations decide what to do about the looming threat of all-out war.

Mr Felgenhauer also added how Russia’s military intimidations have achieved the desired aim of provoking western countries including the USA.

He said: “Today Biden phoned Putin and this has been interpreted in Moscow as a victory for Russia, that Russian blackmail is working.”

Mr Felgenhauer concluded: “That means most likely there’s going to be more of that.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia could invade Ukraine “at any day” in a terrifying admission to CNN during a recent visit to see Ukrainian troops dug into trenches in the Donbas region where the threat of invasion is expected.

Mr Zelenskiy said: “Of course. We know it, from 2014 we know it can be each day.

“They are ready, but we are also ready because we are on our land and our territory.”

The Ukrainian leader added: “But what now is going on? What we do here? What do our people do here? They fight.”

The Russian nuclear horn extends into Crimea: Daniel 7

Ukraine: Russia may store nuclear weapons in Crimea

By REUTERS   APRIL 14, 2021 16:44

Ukraine’s defense minister said on Wednesday that Russia is preparing Crimea for potentially storing nuclear weapons and warned that Moscow could attack Ukraine to ensure water supplies for the annexed peninsula.

Andrii Taran, speaking to the European Parliament’s defense sub-committee in Brussels, also said he could not rule out that Russia forces in Crimea could “undertake substantive military provocations” in 2021.

He did not immediately provide evidence for his assertions.

Canadian nuclear horn rises: Daniel 7

Uranium production to resume in Canada

13 April 2021

Canada’s Cameco and Orano Canada on 9 April both announced plans to resume uranium production. Cameco said that it plans to restart production at its Cigar Lake uranium mine located in northern Saskatchewan. Production at Cigar Lake was temporarily suspended in December 2020 due to increasing risks posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At that time, the availability of workers in critical areas was shrinking due to the pandemic, with more individuals screening out or residing in communities with pandemic-related travel restrictions.

“The safety of our workers, their families and communities is always our top priority,” said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel. “In recent months we have implemented several enhanced safety protocols for Cigar Lake, including increased distancing between passengers on flights, mandatory medical-grade masks for all workers and increased sanitisation and physical barriers in our eating areas. We also worked with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and have established a licensed COVID-19 testing facility at the mine site. These further safety measures, along with the provincial vaccine rollout programme and increased confidence around our ability to manage our critical workforce, have given us greater certainty that Cigar Lake will be able to operate safely and sustainably.”

Cameco said the timing of production restart and the production rate at Cigar Lake will depend on how quickly it is possible to remobilise the workforce. “Cameco will not be in a position to provide updates to our outlook for 2021 until production has resumed and we understand the rate at which we will be able to sustainably operate the mine, it said.

Gitzel said Cameco always intended to resume production. “There are significant costs associated with having the mine in temporary care and maintenance, and we have a home in our contract portfolio for these low-cost pounds. We will also continue to purchase material, as needed, to meet our committed deliveries. Having said that, worker health and safety is our top priority, and we will not hesitate to take further action if we feel our ability to operate safely is compromised due to the pandemic.”

Cameco said its strong balance sheet has provided the company with the financial capacity to successfully manage the production disruption at Cigar Lake. As of 31 December 2020, Cameco had $943 million in cash and short-term investments and a $1 billion undrawn credit facility. The Cigar Lake operation is owned by Cameco (50.025%), Orano Canada (37.1%), Idemitsu Canada Resources Ltd (7.875%) and Tepco Resources (5.0%). It is operated by Cameco.

Orano Canada said it will resume production at its McClean Lake uranium mill over the coming weeks in tandem with the announced restart of production at the Cigar Lake uranium mine. Production has been paused at McClean Lake since late December, “but the operation has maintained its staffing levels to minimise disruption to our employees while performing maintenance, training and preparations to enable a smooth restart of the mill”, Orano said.

“I am pleased with the restart of production at the Cigar Lake mine and McClean Lake mill,” said Orano Canada President and CEO Jim Corman. “We are encouraged to see that the vaccine roll out in northern Saskatchewan specifically is having a real impact and that the pace of vaccinations throughout the Province is accelerating.

“Safety remains our utmost priority and we have been proud to continue to offer a safe workplace over this difficult year.”

Orano Canada accounted for the processing of 10 million pounds of uranium concentrate produced in Canada in 2020. Orano Canada has been exploring for uranium, mining and milling in Canada for more than 55 years. It is the operator of the McClean Lake uranium mill and a major partner in the Cigar Lake, McArthur River and Key Lake operations. The company employs over 450 people in Saskatchewan, including about 320 at the McClean Lake operation where over 46% of employees are self-declared Indigenous. Orano Canada is a subsidiary of the multinational Orano group.

The Mighty Russian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

Russia To Remain ‘Largest, Most Capable’ WMD Rival To US – National Intelligence Director

Faizan Hashmi 1 minute ago Tue 13th April 2021 | 09:10 PM

The United States has concluded that Russia will remain the largest and most capable rival to the United States with respect to weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community issued by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) said on Tuesday

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 13th April, 2021) The United States has concluded that Russia will remain the largest and most capable rival to the United Stateswith respect to weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community issued by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) said on Tuesday.

We assess that Russia will remain the largest and most capable WMD rival to the United States for the foreseeable future as it expands and modernizes its nuclearweapons capabilities and increases the capabilities of its strategic and nonstrategic weapons,” the report said.

The Chinese and Russian Nuclear Horns Respond to Babylon the Great: Daniel 7

Russia and China’s coordinated approach to the US moves!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Telegraphnepal

N. P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: Needless to say, American loss is China’s gains and vice versa.

As the luck would have it, China’s advances are immense these days.

The month of March this year has tentatively favored China speaking on political terms.

It was this month which brought China and the US almost to a violent verbal confrontation in Alaska wherein US Secretary of State Antony Blinken exploded on China on the matters related to Xinxiang and Hong Kong affairs which China claims that these were its internal dealings.

The US also, as usual, complained against China on issues related with Taiwan and Chinese pressure on Australia in the recent months.

US top diplomat Antony Blinken confronted with China’s diplomatic team led by Communist Party Secretary on Foreign Undertakings, Yang Jiechi and the sitting Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The two top Chinese diplomats told the US in no uncertain terms that it in no way is the “spokesman for international public opinion and it should resolve its own domestic problems instead of trying to create new copies of American democracy abroad”.

It was almost some sort of verbal challenge to the US from China.

Writes Robert Ford in his fresh article on “Chinese Diplomatic Gains against America” dated March 31, 2021 quoting Yang Jiechi as saying that “Washington should stop its interventions to change regimes, and fix its own human rights failures, for example the problems with America’s black communities”.

Perhaps he was referring to some incidents in the US that have gone against the Black Americans in the recent years and decades.

Even in the recent days and weeks, the Asian-Americans have become the targets of some in the US. This is scary indeed.

Notably, Robert Ford is a former US ambassador to Syria and Algeria and a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute for Near East Policy in Washington.

If one were to believe Robert Ford then the Alaska meet was a catastrophe for the US wherein the confronting side China almost prevailed over its arch enemy.

Should this mean that Trumpian administration was more aggressive on China than the incumbent Biden’s management?

In addition, the Chinese diplomatic team at Alaska also suggested the US to repose trust on the UN system and allow the UN body to speak on international issues.

Quite interestingly, almost the same sentiments were put on record by the Foreign Minister of Russian federation, Sergei Lavrov, in Guilin City in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region during his fresh visit.

FM Lavrov was in Guilin City from March 22-23 last month.

This meet of Wang and Lavrov-the two veteran diplomats from China and Russia is significant in that the two countries appear on the same page on prevailing international issues after the US-China Alaska meet held on March 18.

The stance taken by the Chinese and the Russian side goes against the position taken by the US on global concerns.

The Russian-China coming together may bring in political complications for the new US administration, say South Asian political commentators.

This meet amply demonstrated that both China and the Russian federation have decided to take a coordinated approach to the US moves on international matters.

Much to the surprise of the US administration, FM Lavrov through a Russian Foreign Ministry statement criticized the “Western attempts to promote its concept of a rules-based international order.”

Sergei Lavrov stressed that China and Russia both reject the “illegal unilateral sanctions” leveled by the West and discussed the two countries’ efforts to reduce the influence of the U.S. dollar.

Writes the MEMRI ( Russia, China | Special Dispatch No. 9252 dated March 24, 2021) that according to Chinese senior analysts, the joint statement is a significant setback for the U.S. “rules-based international order,” as it stresses that all countries must resolutely safeguard the international structure, which includes the United Nations, and the international order, which is based on international law.

The Chinese position on democracy after Wang Yi and Sergei Lavrov meet says that, “There is no uniform standard for the model of democracy. The legitimate right of sovereign states to choose their own path of development should be respected. Interfering in sovereign states’ internal affairs under the guise of ‘promoting democracy’ is unacceptable”.

This is strong word for the US.

This statement makes clear the Chinese concept of democracy which sharply differs from the notion of the US on democracy and its inherent values.

It would be apposite to present the “model of democracy” in Nepal which has been run by India bend-RAW trained thug aristocratic communists who are perhaps excessively loved by the US also or else these ruffian Nepali communists would have been unseated by the US which, as far as we understand, hates Communists and its spread across the globe.

If the US hated baby Kim of North Korea then Nepali communists are more scoundrel sort of Communists than what baby Kim Jung-un is.

Or some even say that since the Nepali communists are not communists worth the name so the US takes them as “aristocratic democrats” and does not fear of their spread or for that matter their corrupt practices.

To recall, long time back the US Ambassador Michael E. Malinowaski expressed his eagerness to visit the UML headquarters in Balkhu.

The hooligans who occupied Balkhu palace replaced the photos of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao with that of Abraham Lincoln.

The US envoy was quick enough to notice the Communists thuggery. He then must have “informed” Washington of the Communist tricksters of Nepal.

Or some even say that the US likes the Nepali communists as they tentatively work for the RAW-Indian spy agency.

This way, the Communists serve the Indo-Pacific strategy and serve the US in a broader sense.

Back to the point:

Apart from the Chinese and the Russian views on democracy mentioned in the joint statement, the two powerful countries also talk on Iran, and peace in Afghanistan and many more.

On UN, the two foreign ministers from Russia and China stressed the need to follow the UN Charter and uphold true multilateralism and make international relations even more democratic than what it is today and accept and promote peaceful existence even with the countries that have differing political system(s) of their choice and have chosen their own development models.

As regards Iran, both China and Russia have asked the US to lift sanctions on Iran and settle the nuclear dispute with the Islamic State through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US’s overly stretched sanctions on Iran, notably, has only benefited Beijing to expand its influence in Tehran and ink a deal worth 400 billion.

This massive 400 billion Beijing-Tehran deal signed March 27, 2021, is talked to be far bigger than the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (With 60 billion investment).

Iran is now tentatively in China’s orbit.

All that China wants from Iran is the uninterrupted and “discounted” supply of Oli for long time to come which is expected to fulfil China’s increasing/swelling energy demands.

Had the US not imposed sanctions on Iran, India would have entered and exploited the Iranian energy for its development and that too at a dirt cheap price.

Iran is saved from Indian thuggery because of the latter’s strong ties with the US.

Political analysts now expect that the 400 billion Chinese investment in Iran will in all likelihood benefit Imran Khan’s Pakistan through the spillover effect.

South Asian analysts opine that the role of Pakistan due to its geo-strategic position is very essential in connecting China and Iran.

Pakistan’s political connections with these countries is in excellent form that bodes well for Pakistan specially and the region at large.

A Moscow based American analyst Andrew Korybko in an article published in the Express Tribune dated April 01, 2021 describes the China-Iran fresh deal as a “lifeline that would enhance the West Asian country’s long term stability in the face of US sanctions and increased US led regional military pressure.

Korybko adds saying that “it is in Pakistan’s interest not only to see to it that the larger neighborhood remains stable but also to enhance its regional connectivity with all interested countries in the vicinity.

Writes Korybko, “considering the fact that Pakistan hosts the Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRI) flagship of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC, it’s only natural that this megaproject expands westward into Iran as a result of China’s reportedly promised investments there”.

Chances thus remain high that the China aided Pakistan’s CPEC touches the proposed China’s investment in Iran.

This is logical in that Pakistan being darling to both China and Iran which may prompt both the countries in “consensus” to devise some mechanisms that benefits a nuclear Pakistan.

Pakistan having the expertise gained from the CPEC mega projects may assist both Iran and China in a way the countries prefer.

Moreover, Imran Khan being very close to the top Iranian and Chinese leadership will have no problems in approaching the two countries appealing them to explore some projects of commercial benefits for Pakistan.

Not only this, PM Khan by the same token is also not that far from the US who can use his good offices, if need be, to mediate between the US and China and the US with Iran.

It is up to the countries to seek if they wish to bring in Pakistan for mediation efforts.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said, March 18 last month that Iran, as a rich source of energy, has the capacity to meet Pakistan’s energy needs.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is our neighbor and a rich source of energy through which Pakistan’s energy needs can be met,” Khan said at the inaugural session of the two-day Islamabad Security Dialogue held March 17, 2021 in Islamabad.

This means that PM Khan was in advance knowledge that in a couple of days hence, China and Iran will enter into a mega deal.

To recall, the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan, Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, last December while talking to a TV channel RozeNews, had said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the countries that is a rich source of energy, especially oil and gas and it is ready to help its neighbors meet their energy demands.

And Pakistan is one of the nearest neighbor of Iran.

Writes Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani in his fresh article “The Deal of Cooperation” dated April 02, 2021, that “the focus of Pakistan’s foreign policy is the promotion of cordial relations with the international community, but it is a matter of grave concern that our two neighbors, China and Iran, have been under US pressure for a long time. Both countries are also facing many hurdles in order to carry on international trade and foreign business activities”.

Dr. Ramesh is a member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

His article infers that since both China and Iran are currently the US target so the two aggrieved countries have had necessarily to come closer for their individual benefits and also to keep the region stable.

In addition, there are strong political rumors that India is being asked by the Gulf countries to adopt the route of Pakistan, instead of Iran, for access to the Middle East.

India and the Gulf countries enjoy cordial relations but yet why the Gulf nations now press India to adopt the route of Pakistan to get linked with the Central Asian countries is a point that needs serious debates.

And here again, Pakistan also enjoys cordial ties with the entire Gulf nations- more so with Saudi Arabia, the Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.

For the Saudis in the recent days and weeks, Pakistan’s PM Khan has become already a role model in so far as green environment revolution is concerned.

The Saudi Prince MBS is learnt to have already invited PM Khan to boost the afforestation drive in his country the way Khan has planted several billion trees in Pakistan that is being taken as an exemplary initiative for others.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman duly announced the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative last week which aims to reduce carbon emissions in the region by 60 percent and tackle deforestation, among other plans.

MBS is learnt to have been impressed by Khan’s tree plantation drive in Pakistan.

Moreover, in the recent days the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have held telephonic conversations with each other and have vowed to work for peace and stability in the region and beyond.

It could thus be stated that the Saudis have once again inched closer to Pakistan.

Pakistan is close to Iran-the enemy nation for the entire Arab world and Israel.

But Pakistan is close to both-Iran and the Arab world. This has some meaning underneath.

President Biden has left Pakistan and Nepal this time from attending the Climate Conference. This is mysterious indeed.

Now on Afghanistan:

The Russia-China joint statement also talks on peace in Afghanistan.

On Afghanistan matters, the two sides attach importance to various international efforts together with the Moscow process and hope that all dialogue mechanisms pertaining to Afghanistan will complement with each other.

They also opined that peace and stability in Afghanistan should be “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led,” as stressed many a times by PM Imran Khan.

Khan has reasons to see peace and stability in Afghanistan as it borders the war torn country.

Washington is on record to have offered credits to Islamabad for encouraging Afghan Taliban leaders to the talks with the U.S. that brought the historic February 2020, Doha, deal to set the stage for closing what has been the longest war in American history.

In the meanwhile, Moscow had hosted the international conference on Afghanistan March last month, at which Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan released a joint statement calling on the Afghan sides to reach a peace deal and curb violence, and on the Taliban not to launch any offensives in the spring and summer.

Speaking on political terms, Pakistan is the single country in South Asia which enjoys cordial ties with China, the US, The Russian federation and the countries in the Gulf plus Iran.

Pakistan needs now to exhibit its diplomatic acumen for establishing peace and stability in the region and beyond. That’s all.

Babylon the Great Leaves Iraq

US agrees to redeploy remaining combat forces from Iraq

Updated 08 April 2021 Arab News April 07, 2021 20:00

LONDON: The US has agreed to redeploy remaining combat forces from Iraq after talks in Washington on Wednesday.

Any American troops left in the country will focus on training and advisory tasks, a joint statement from Iraq and the US said, adding the Iraqi military had made substantial progress.

The two countries “reaffirmed their mutual intention to continue bilateral security coordination and cooperation,” the statement said.

The announcement came after a US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue held on Wednesday chaired by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterpart Fuad Hussein.

The timing of the withdrawal would be decided in upcoming technical talks, the statement said.

“The transition of US and other international forces away from combat operations to training, equipping, and assisting the ISF reflects the success of their strategic partnership and ensures support to the ISF’s continued efforts to ensure Daesh (Daesh) can never again threaten Iraq’s stability,” it said.

The announcement comes as Shiite paramilitary factions linked to Iran continue to launch attacks on US forces stationed in the country almost on a daily basis. 

During the talks, Iraq reaffirmed its commitment to protect the personnel, convoys, and diplomatic facilities belonging to members of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh.

The discussions also covered security, counterterrorism, economics, energy and the environment.

Washington expressed its support for Iraq’s efforts to reform its power sector and “both countries affirmed their support for Iraq diversifying its sources of energy by building greater ties to its neighbors in Jordan and in the GCC, including by moving forward with electric grid interconnection projects.”

The two sides pledged to work closely together as Iraq commits to implementing reforms to diversify its economy, improve the business climate, and help create a more vibrant private sector, the statement added.

The two countries also discussed greater cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and the management of water resources.

The Threat of the Russian and Chinese Nuclear Horns: Daniel 7

Russian and Chinese Nuclear Threats Pose Problem for U.S. Deterrence, Experts Say

John GradyApril 8, 2021 11:44 AM

Borei-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine Vladimir Monomakh (SSBN). Russian Navy Photo

Russian and Chinese threats to use nuclear weapons in Europe or across the Taiwan Strait pose “stark real-world problems” in defining deterrence as the United States modernizes its strategic forces, security experts agreed Wednesday.

While the three panelists and keynoter speaker former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said modernizing all legs of the triad and the weapons systems was essential, Keith Payne, the chief executive officer of the National Institute for Public Policy, said “deterrence requirements can change, can change very quickly.” He added, “the outside world has a vote” on what’s needed for deterrence and “the outside world has changed dramatically” since 2010, when the Obama administration reevaluated the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty [START] with Russia.

During a virtual Heritage Foundation and Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute event, Payne and the others noted the administration at the time committed itself to modernizing its land-based ballistic missile systems, strategic bomber force and the nation’s ballistic missile submarine fleet and the weapons themselves.

Rebeccah Heinrichs of the Hudson Institute said “baked in” to American military planning is the belief that “our nuclear deterrence will hold.” The “nuclear umbrella” also is key to holding the nation’s alliances together, panelists said.

In the next decade, “the Russians have lowered the threshold in which they might employ a nuclear weapon” in a dispute with another nation, Heinrichs said.

Adding in China, which is expected to at least double its nuclear weapons stockpile in a decade, as well as North Korea and possibly Iran, Payne said,”the threat context is becoming more and more challenging.” The threat includes mobile intermediate-range cruise missiles to sophisticated air defense systems and dual-use, supposedly simple weapons like mines.

Heinrichs put the Russian advantage over the United States in tactical nuclear weapons at 10 to 1. Kyl said the Russians have achieved more than 85 percent of the nuclear platform and weapons system modernization, and China could be aiming to triple its nuclear stockpile to 600 weapons in the next few years.

Moscow and Beijing are ignoring the Cold War “balance of terror” argument – that any nuclear exchange would be suicidal – when they ratchet up the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons. Russia calls the policy “escalate to de-escalate.”

“The way the conflict is de-escalated is because the West stood down,” Kyl added.

Payne said the question now and into the foreseeable future is “what nuclear risks are they willing to accept” in those regional crises.

Matthew Kroenig, of the Scowcroft Center at the Atlantic Council, said “China arguably has a [nuclear] threat advantage over the U.S.” in the Indo-Pacific.

Since Beijing is not constrained by the START Treaty or by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces [INF] treaty, China “may be in a sprint to nuclear parity” with the U.S. in the region. He added he could envision a scenario in which a Chinese attempt to take over Taiwan goes badly and Beijing then threatens to use tactical nuclear weapons against the island.

Russia has done ‘escalate to de-escalate,’ China could do that,” despite its avowed “no first-used policy” regarding nuclear weapons.

Kroenig said the Trump administration adjusted to some of the new challenges by pulling out of the INF, beginning work on missiles with intermediate range and also proposing the development of nuclear-capable sea-launched cruise missiles.

In his opening remarks, Kyl said, “we brought the problem on ourselves” of having to pay for modernized platforms and weapons systems at the same time. By not investing continuously after 2010 in the platforms, Washington now finds “both bills are coming due at the same time.”

With questions being raised about the value of modernizing land-based ballistic missiles, “we do not have the consensus we had back in 2010,” he said.

China and Russia are both relying on a triad” in their strategic planning. Kyl said the spending commitment of two to three percent above the rate of inflation would need to run for 10 to 15 years. Reports this week predict that the U.S. defense budget will be flat at $704 to 708 billion.

Service officials have forecast flat or declining budgets in the coming years and emphasized a need to prioritize modernization over legacy platforms. Politico and Bloomberg reported that the topline for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget – which has yet to be released – will be between $704 and $708 billion.

The Nuclear Horns Grow in Asia: Daniel

Asia’s growing missile arsenals demand a response

Brad Glosserman

Apr 6, 2021

CARTOONARTS INTERNATIONAL

Missiles are everywhere. Increasingly accurate technology combined with a plummeting cost curve have made missiles the weapon of choice for defense ministries around the world. Historically, however, missiles have been an afterthought when governments weigh arms control options. That indifference must end: It is time for a real push to rein in the spread of such weapons, especially in Asia.

In a 2020 report, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee bluntly explained the logic behind missile proliferation: They’re viewed “as cost-effective weapons and symbols of national power.” The technology has become so cheap that it’s hard to find a defense establishment that doesn’t have its own inventory and the number of countries building indigenous production capabilities is expanding as well. Ominously, arsenals aren’t just growing but missiles themselves are becoming more capable — faster, more mobile, survivable, reliable, and accurate while traveling ever longer distances.

Considerable attention is paid to North Korea’s growing arsenal and its modernization efforts –Japan is threatened by a widening array of missiles and the U.S. homeland can now be hit, too — as well as that of China. The CSIS Missile Defense Project credits China with “the most active and diverse missile development program in the world.” Worryingly, its researchers conclude that Beijing’s missile modernization efforts “degrade the survivability of foundational elements of American power projection like the aircraft carrier and forward air bases.”

India and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed neighbors and adversaries, continue to update their missile inventories, and while Southeast Asian nations have abjured the nuclear capability of those two rivals, they are expanding their missile arsenals as well. The Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam have expressed interest in acquiring a supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by India and Russia. And Hanoi last year unveiled a locally produced cruise missile (made under license from Russia).

Australia announced last year that it planned to acquire long-range missiles, a decision that Japan continues to debate. South Korea has increased the range and payload size of its missile systems (with U.S. agreement), and Taiwan, after getting Trump administration approval to buy new U.S. missiles, endorsed the acquisition of strike capabilities in its newest Quadrennial Defense Review, released just last month. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mike Esper described the situation well in 2019 when he said that missile threats are “growing disproportionately to other capabilities” and “writ large, the rest of the world is not developing new fighter and bomber aircraft; they are developing missiles.” Nothing has changed since then.

Despite this proliferation — or perhaps because of it — missiles have not been a focus of arms control efforts. Negotiations have addressed payloads — not delivery systems -— most notably whether warheads carried nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.

One of the few exceptions is the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), established in the 1980s by Western governments to try to halt the proliferation of nuclear-capable delivery systems; it was supplemented by the 2002 Hague Code of Conduct, which provided a set of confidence-building measures. The proliferation of missiles is proof of the limits of the MTCR.

The only successful missile arms control effort was the 1987 U.S.–Soviet Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which banned cruise missiles, land-based ballistic missiles and missile launchers with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km. That deal collapsed in 2019 under the weight of charges that Russia was cheating and that it did not include China, whose vast missile inventories — 95% of which were asserted to fall under the terms of the treaty had it been a signatory — undermined the Asian military balance.

Trump administration officials insisted that new INF nuclear discussions would have to include China, a position that Beijing flatly rejected. In that case, those same U.S. officials reasoned, the U.S. should deploy its missiles among allies in the region. Those allies have been reluctant to do so, although debates about strike options in Tokyo, Canberra and Taipei indicate that the problem is not a divergence in threat perceptions.

Defense officials argue that missiles are needed to deter. But missile proliferation is dangerous, especially as those weapons become more capable. Greater accuracy will reduce collateral damage, lowering restraints on use. Higher speeds and the prospect of “use it or lose it” dilemmas will put a premium on quick decision-making. Increasing mobility and a need for dispersion (because of the above factors) will require ever-more robust command and control capabilities. All make escalation more likely.

Proliferation and the resulting rising dangers should put missiles high on the agenda of regional security conferences. That hasn’t happened. Notably, however, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, with support from the German government, launched in 2019 the Missile Dialogue Initiative (MDI) to focus attention on this issue. It has held two international conferences and published a series of papers that address elements of the missile proliferation problem.

David Santoro, a colleague who directs the nuclear policy program at Pacific Forum, my old home, and I last month authored a paper for the MDI, which, after providing considerably more depth and detail than is here, calls for an Asian missile initiative in which regional governments would discuss this problem, share perspectives and try to reach consensus on a set of norms and principles about missile developments and deployments.

While an arms control agreement would be ideal, it is too much to expect now. Confidence building measures are possible, however, although it will take considerable time to reach what many might consider common sense measures. Any agreement will likely be facilitated by the fact that we are proposing regional discussions — rather than a global conversation — in which participants will have more similar assumptions and outlooks (although differences even among them can be profound).

Our proposal is easy to criticize. Defining a ballistic missile is increasingly difficult. Identifying who belongs at even this smaller table will be a challenge. Some countries straddle regions — China, Russia, the United States — and even a subregional dialogue, which Santoro endorses, will be problematic.

North Korea must be invited, even if its refusal to participate is virtually ordained. A smart leadership in Pyongyang would take the chance to engage, however, both for the status benefits (a seat at the table) and the chance to get its views heard.

Getting China to the table will be a big challenge. Beijing resists all arms control proposals, wary of any obligation to provide transparency about its military. A dialogue about missiles sidesteps China’s loudest objection to nuclear arms talks: the claim that its nuclear arsenal is a fraction the size of that of the U.S. and Russia and those two superpowers must first come down to China’s level before it will join any negotiations. Missiles are one area in which it enjoys an advantage over regional adversaries so by its own logic China should be willing to talk, if not make cuts, but it’s far more likely that Beijing will be loath to discuss them, much less put them on the table.

Obstinacy makes sense when facing a limited missile threat. In a world of growing missile arsenals, however, one in which a good number of those proliferators might be targeting China, Beijing’s calculus may change. It’s a long shot, but one well worth trying.

Brad Glosserman is deputy director of and visiting professor at the Center for Rule-Making Strategies at Tama University as well as senior adviser (nonresident) at Pacific Forum. He is author of “Peak Japan: The End of Great Ambitions” (Georgetown University Press, 2019). His paper, with David Santoro, “Time for a reckoning: Missiles have flown under the radar for too long in Asia,” can be found here.

The Flashpoint for the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

South Asia as nuclear flashpoint

Arun Joshi Srinagar, April 6, 2021, 3:16 AM UPDATED: April 6, 2021, 11:39 AM

The SIPRI report, if analysed critically, makes it imperative for India and Pakistan to correct their image to de-escalate the situation.

The world has not taken off its eyes of India and Pakistan and their hostilities leading to a possible nuclear clash. This is a worrying scenario as the two neighbouring countries  united by geography  could  have played a big role in stabilising the situation in the region are profiled in a drastically  opposite frame. More worrying is that the land border between the two countries, and the Kashmir issue, are seen as the major contributing factors for the nuclear trigger in the region. After going through the report, there is only one conclusion that India and Pakistan have no option but to work in lockstep not only to dispel this unpalatable impression but also change the landscape from that of hostility to happiness.

Some of the observations made by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in its April 2021 report,” South Asia’s Nuclear Challenges, Interlocking views from India, Pakistan, China, Russia and the United States “based on interviews of 119 experts drawn from political, regional and military lines are worrying. It has a special importance in the given situation and time in the region. It has narrowed the definition of the nuclear weapons and their impact in South Asia to tensions between India and Pakistan. That means that despite 1998 and Kargil conflict of 1999 behind us for decades now, the world is still looking at the tensions between the two countries. This is a sad commentary on the relationship between two neighbouring countries.

It is  particularly so, when seen against the backdrop of the February 24-25, 2021,  reaffirmation of the November 2003 ceasefire between the two nations. As a result, a hope appeared on the horizon. The pursuit of turning hope into real-time peace could have made the world to change its view about these two nations, but Islamabad has pressed the pause button on resumption of trade with India.

It has overruled the decision of its own Economic Coordination Committee to start import of sugar, cotton and cotton yarn from India. It has used the euphemism of stalling the process of resumption of bilateral ties by claiming that it has deferred the decision on import from India till Delhi reverses its decision of August 5, 2019 of doing away with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories.

Agreed that Pakistan has always insisted on discussing Kashmir with India, but  this is not the way. It has stunned the people on both sides of border. It is wrong messaging to the world. In short, Pakistan has portrayed itself having as having unanticipated reserves to overturn its own decisions.

Dawn newspaper in its editorial on Saturday ( April 3), 2021), noted, “The episode raises several questions, and cannot be shrugged off by ministers. It has created embarrassment. It points to a faulty system and also creates the impression that the key job of decision-making is conducted in a juvenile manner.” There was yet another significant point made in the editorial, “the reversal of the decision on imports from India is a bizarre development – one that falls squarely under the unfortunate category of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. It not only betrays a lack of coordination within the government, it also points to poor decision-making on a serious matter that requires a sensible and level headed approach.”

This is how Pakistan dealt with the matter of trade with India, it sends shivers down the spine as to what it could do when it comes to the use of nuclear option. The SIPRI report authored by two highly respected scholars  Lora Saalman and Petr Topychkanov gains extra relevance in these times.

Of particular importance is the view of the experts from India and Pakistan on the issue. “On India and Pakistan, while experts from both countries focused on how the other has engaged in lowering the nuclear threshold, there was a mutual interest in how Chinese-US competition emerging technologies may have cascade effects that shape South Asia’s deterrence landscape,” after having observed this, the report said that the experts from both the countries expressed “concerns over how such technologies as hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence ( AI) and autonomy may change the deterrence landscape, particularly in terms of surveillance, command and control and even shorter reaction times.”

These point out to the pitfalls of two alliances – US-India, Pakistan-China in the region. The report more than once highlights that how the mutual distrust could invite unpalatable scenarios – of course, I am using soft words to avoid the alarming terms to deliberately avert raising of temperatures in the current situation in which Delhi and Islamabad are locked today. I hope that the things move forward in the direction of peace and progress.

The report has referred to Kargil conflict of  the summer of 1999 when the two countries fought a mini-war in the trans-Himalayas in Ladakh, that time part of Jammu and Kashmir state – now Kargil is part of Ladakh union territory but it cannot be separated from the overall security spectrum of India and Pakistan in the region. That time the possibility of the use of the nuclear weapons had arisen. The US diplomacy and wise counselling by China advising India and Pakistan to maintain the sanctity of the Line of Control had worked to de-escalate the situation. India had regained all the heights before war was over. India had written a new script in mountain warfare that came handy in 2020 standoff with China in eastern Ladakh .

While the report has made a reference to Kargil in the context of possibilities of nuclear clash, it has not mentioned all other details about the conflict that drew the global attention. It, however has made mention of the other terror assaults on India – the December  2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, 26/11 Mumbai attacks and also that of Uri and Pulwama terror attacks in September 2016 and February 2019. The researchers have left the whole thing to the experts, some of whom cited “the longstanding dispute over Kashmir as the central issue and most likely impetus for nuclear escalation .”

Since the  research was done in 2020, the report has not reflected  upon the developments of early part of 2021 between India and Pakistan. But, even before that, there always was a fear that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of groups like Al-Qaeda.

Former US President Barack Obama in his book A Promised Land noted that how Pakistan was helping Al-Qaeda, the global terror network being run by Osama bin Laden, who was eliminated in Pakistan’s garrison town Abbottabad by American elite Marines.

The SPRI report, if analysed critically, makes it imperative for India and Pakistan to correct their image to de-escalate the situation. Few experts have based their comments on scenarios and they have not reflected pleasantly about India and Pakistan. Delhi and Islamabad must work together to dispel this perception. It is good for both.