The “Church” and the Russian Nuclear Horn

Russian priests should stop blessing nukes – church

By Tim Stickings For Mailonline and Reuters and Afp 18:37 04 Feb 2020, updated 10:13 05 Feb 2020

A church document proposes that the blessing of weapons should be dropped

• Clergymen have appeared in images blessing missiles, submarines and rockets

• Vladimir Putin and his defence ministry have aligned closely with the church

Russian priests should stop blessing nuclear weapons and other destructive military hardware, the Orthodox church has said. 

Clergymen have long appeared in images sprinkling holy water on submarines, ballistic missiles and Soyuz space rockets as part of rituals to bless them.

But proposals drawn up by a church commission say the blessing of weapons that can kill an ‘indefinite number of people’ should be dropped.

The document published by the church on Monday proposes that the military blessings be ‘removed from pastoral practice’.

‘The blessing of military weapons is not reflected in the tradition of the Orthodox Church and does not correspond to the content of the Rite, the document says.

‘Any type of weapons the usage of which can inflict an indefinite number of deaths, including weapons with indiscriminate effects or weapons of mass destruction’ are set to be removed from the priestly remit.

However, it remains ‘appropriate’ to ‘bless transport used by soldiers on land, water and in the air’, to ask God to protect the men using them, it said.

The proposals will be discussed until June 1 and the public are invited to take part in the debate, the church’s Moscow branch said.

An Orthodox priest blesses Russian paratroopers during a military parade in Stavropol in 2017

Russians often ask priests to bless anything from new cars and flats to Soyuz spaceships in the belief that the gesture bestows divine protection.

President Vladimir Putin and his defence ministry have both aligned themselves closely with the Orthodox church.

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu is currently overseeing the construction of a huge cathedral for Russia’s armed forces outside Moscow.

It is to be opened on May 9, the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in what Russia calls the Great Patriotic War.

Priests have been recruited to bless troops, planes and ships, and all sorts of weapons, from Kalashnikov rifles to nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missiles.

Since 2010 the military has inducted priests into its ranks, including an airborne unit which can deploy with mobile inflatable chapels.

Modi Beating the Nuclear War Drum (Daniel 8 )

Modi beating nuclear war drum in region: Analysts

Modi Beating Nuclear War Drum In Region: Analysts


Defense analysts have said that BJP’s hegemonic agenda is posing nuclear threat to regional peace. India has become a declining state due to unwise decisions and fascist policies of BJP

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Jan, 2020 ) :Defense analysts have said that BJP’s hegemonic agenda is posing nuclear threat to regional peace. India has become a declining state due to unwise decisions and fascist policies of BJP.

Talking in a Radio Program, they said Indian government continuously threatened Pakistan to commit a misadventure but Indian leadership was well aware of the fact that any aggression would be answered with befitting response.

They said India should avoid giving such irresponsible and provocative statements against Pakistan.

A defense Analyst Lt. Gen retd Raza Muhammad Khan said Pakistan believed in peaceful coexistence adding our security forces were capable enough to give befitted response to any aggression.

He said Modi was committing blunders due to frustration and insecurities.

The whole India was demonstrating protests against Modi’s fundamental policies, he added.

He said Indian political and military leadership was under the influence of RSS and Hindutva ideology .

Lt Gen Retd Abdul Quyyum also said, Modi has tarnished the secular and democratic face of India. BJP led government had just promoted hate and polarized the Indian society on religious basis, he added.

He said Modi believed in fascism and wants to make India a Hindu state where minorities were forced to live as second class citizens.

Anti-Muslim sentiments had blinded the BJP leadership, he added.

Unfortunately, the world powers have failed to play an effective role to pressurize India to stop worst human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.While Brig retd Saed Nazeer said Indian political and military leadership was habitual of making provocative statements against Pakistan to divert attention of the world from India’s internal crises.

He said bashing Pakistan and suppressing Muslims ware the top priority agenda of BJP.

The Russian Nuclear Horn Upgrades Their Nukes (Daniel 7)

Summary:  Russia is replacing older nuclear technology with more modern, more functional options. What are the implications for the United States, Europe, and the future of arms control?


In the big strategic game, the Russians and Americans have the same reason for modernizing their nuclear forces: they want to maintain parity. If the two sides have the same number of nuclear warheads deployed, then they will not be tempted to shoot at each other. They also have a reason to avoid an arms race that would entail constantly seeking more nuclear weapons to try to achieve superiority—however temporary. As expensive as nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles are, parity has kept the costs down by holding the arms race in check.

In the past few years, President Vladimir Putin does seem to be after nuclear weapons for another reason—to show that Russia is still a great power to be reckoned with. He has been trumpeting new and exotic systems that are unique, like the nuclear weapon delivery system known as the Burevestnik nuclear-propelled cruise missile.

These exotic systems have more of a political function than a strategic or security one. Their role is to signal Russia’s continuing scientific and military prowess at a time when the country does not otherwise have much on offer. Devilishly expensive and sometimes dangerous to operate, they are unlikely to be deployed in big numbers, as a 2019 fatal testing accident of the Burevestnik shows. If U.S.-Russian arms control remains in place, such systems definitely will not be deployed in big numbers, because they would displace proven and highly reliable intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Russian force structure. These ballistic missiles are the backbone of nuclear deterrence for Russia. The exotics don’t add to that deterrent. They have some show-off value, but they will do no more than make the rubble bounce.


The Europeans, most prominently the NATO allies, are very concerned about Russia’s nuclear modernization programs. Their concerns revolve more around new nuclear missiles to be deployed on European soil than the intercontinental systems that threaten the United States. Poland and Lithuania, for example, are NATO countries bordering Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave in the heart of NATO territory. Russia has put increasingly capable missiles there, including the Iskander, a highly accurate modern missile that is capable of launching either nuclear or conventional warheads.

Likewise, the Europeans are of one mind about the threat posed by a missile known as the 9M729 (SSC-8 in NATO parlance), which is an intermediate-range ground-launched cruise missile that the Russians developed and deployed in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The allies all agree that this missile poses a threat to NATO. Although it has not been deployed forward in Kaliningrad, its range is sufficient to threaten all of NATO Europe when deployed in European Russia. It too is said to support both nuclear and conventional weapons.

Since Russia seized Crimea in 2014, the Russians have begun to build up basing sites for their advanced systems there too, including the Iskanders. If Russia brings nuclear weapons into Crimea, it will spark complex political, legal, and moral problems. The world community has largely held firm in condemning Russia’s seizure of Crimea and considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory. Should Russia bring nuclear weapons to Crimea, it will be violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in a fundamental manner, for Ukraine is a non-nuclear weapon state under the NPT. Russia in this case would be behaving in a manner no better than North Korea.


The most basic role of arms control regimes is to create mutual predictability, ensuring that no country participating is uncertain about its security both now and into the future. In this way, arms control helps to keep defense spending in check, but it also allows countries to build up mutual confidence and stability, which can translate into broader security and economic ties. This assumes, of course, that the deal is properly implemented by all parties, which is why former U.S. president Ronald Reagan’s old adage “trust but verify” is so important. If participants are allowed to cheat on an arms control regime, then it becomes hollowed out, detrimental to the security of all.

The fundamental benefits of arms control, however, can be helpful in times of trouble. I like to think that all the work Russia, the United States, and Europe did together in the 1990s was enabled by the then thirty-year legacy of arms control cooperation. We worked together to protect nuclear weapons and materials from the former Soviet arsenal from being stolen or misused. The same goes for the safety of nuclear power plants. When Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and the United States began to work together in the early 1990s to mitigate the effects of the 1987 Chernobyl disaster, existing relationships in the nuclear realm helped the cleanup project run smoother. Nuclear energy is clearly a different world from the nuclear weapons establishment, but the scientific underpinnings and the scientists and engineers working the issues are the same.

Nowadays, I think that we must contemplate what it will mean if no nuclear arms control regimes remain in force. For the generation that worked these issues in Russia, the United States, and Europe, enough of a residual relationship exists that experts can grasp at opportunities for cooperation when they present themselves. Some mechanisms such as scientist-to-scientist dialogues are likely to remain, such as the Pugwash and Dartmouth dialogues and the National Academy of Sciences exchanges with the Russian Academy of Sciences. These were the first places where Soviet and Western scientists gathered together to confront the problems of nuclear war and to look together for solutions.

We should be concerned, however, that they may revert to the talk shops of the Cold War, with few opportunities to work together on practical projects. Meanwhile, pragmatic and persistent tools, such as the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers (NRRCs) that operate in the U.S. Department of State and the Russian Ministry of Defense, may find their missions sharply curtailed as they cease to serve any treaty purpose. The United States, Russia, and Europe may thus be heading to a time when their means of communications in a nuclear crisis is no better than they had during the Cold War.

India’s Growing Nuclear Arsenal (Revelation 8 )

Big leap for India’s nuclear forces? New Delhi to develop 5,000km-range K-5 missile following successful test of sub-launched K-4
With a successful testing of its K-4 nuclear-capable, submarine-launched ballistic missile under its belt, India is seeking to develop the K-5, a long-range ballistic weapon that could reach well beyond its Asian neighborhood.

The state-of-the-art K-4 missile reportedly flew 2,200km (1,367 miles) after its launch from a submerged pontoon in the Bay of Bengal on Sunday. The pontoon blast-off was designed to simulate a launch from a submarine without putting an actual submarine at risk in the event of the missile suffering a catastrophic failure.

While the K-4 had been tested before, this was the first long-range test, and, according to sources who spoke to local media, it “met all desired parameters.”

Beyond the K-4

The next-in-series K-5 missile is expected to have a strike range of between 5,000-6,000 kilometres (3,107-3,728 miles), which will match the Agni V, India’s current land-based intercontinental nuclear-tipped missile. The K-5 will reportedly be capable of carrying four MIRV warheads of 500kgs each.

K5-equipped subs will see India join an expensive club that so far only includes the United States, Russia, and China. Indeed, by successfully adding the K-5 missiles to its arsenal, India will show that it is armed with the ultimate nuclear triad, the capability of striking an enemy by air, land, or sea.

India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which is responsible for the operation of the country’s nuclear forces – developed with tacit support from Russia – currently has two ballistic missile nuclears subs (SSBNs); the Arihant and Arighat.

The first domestically-built nuclear-powered submarine, the Arihant (‘Slayer of Enemies’ in Sanskrit) completed its first deterrence patrol in 2018, a Cold War era practice whereby a nuclear-armed submarine is deployed in peacetime to a position from which it could attack an enemy country. The SFC also has a Chakra (Akula II Class) nuclear attack submarine (SSN) on a 10-year lease from Russia.

The K-series missiles, named after former Indian president and rocket scientist Abdul Kalam, were developed to be carried on board the Arihant class subs. Each submarine is designed to carry either four K-4 missile, or 12 shorter range K-15 missiles.

Nuclear triad… with some gaps

While the recent developments clearly demonstrate New Delhi’s ability to put a functional nuclear triad deterrent in place – a necessity given India’s ‘no-first-use’ nuclear policy – some gaps in capability still remain.

The K-4 missiles offer India the ability to strike major cities in its two nuclear-armed neighbors – Pakistan and China – from sea, but there are still parts of China in particular, where nuclear forces are located deep inland and beyond the K-4’s range. Here, India will need to rely on the successful integration of the K-5s.

The ability to launch long-range weapons from a submarine is perhaps the most important element in the nuclear triad, because it guarantees a second-strike capability in the event of a devastating and disarming nuclear strike on land. Unlike bombers and ground-based missile systems, it is not so easy to locate a submarine hiding somewhere deep beneath the vast ocean.

With the K-5 missiles launched from sea, India could potentially target not just all of Asia, but locations in Africa, Europe and parts of the Indo-Pacific region, including the South China Sea, where numerous regional territorial disputes are still simmering.

India’s recent flurry of development in its nuclear forces also comes at a time when the Chinese Navy is increasingly active in the Indian Ocean region. While New Delhi’s sub fleet is twice the size of that of its arch-enemy and neighbor Pakistan, it lags well behind rapidly-advancing Beijing. Developing its capacity to retaliate successfully against China could therefore significantly reduce the risk of all-out conflict.

As for anything beyond the K-5, however, a senior official told the Hindustan Times that while the country does have the capacity to build an even longer-range nuclear missile of intercontinental range, that decision “lies with the government” and no such decision has been made.

For now, it looks like India’s national strategic ambitions are focused on fielding a credible deterrent primarily against its potential adversaries in Asia.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

India Tests Her Nuclear Triad (Revelation 8 )

Credit: Twitter/ Narendra Modi

India Conducts Second January 2020 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Test

Another K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile was successfully tested.

Ankit Panda

For the second time in six days, India conducted a test-launch of its longest-range submarine-launched ballistic missile, the K-4, from an underwater pontoon. The test was the second this month, with another taking place on January 19.

Like the first test, the second K-4 launch was reported to have been successful. “The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,”  said an official source cited by the Times of India.

The test took place in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, near Vizag, and was overseen by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the Indian government’s agency for the development of indigenous weapons systems.

A nuclear-capable missile, the K-4 will eventually arm India’s fleet of nuclear-propelled ballistic missile submarines. Currently, a single Indian ballistic missile submarine, INS Arihant, is operational. The K-4 is reported to have a range capability of around 3,500 kilometers.

Aside from the K-4, India has also developed the K-15 Sagarika short-range submarine-launched ballistic missile. Also nuclear-capable, the Sagarika has an estimated range capability of 700 kilometers. The Sagarika is primarily positioned to hold targets in southern Pakistan, including Karachi, at risk from the Sea.

As I explained last week, India is not the only Asian nuclear power investing in its undersea nuclear deterrent:

Alongside India, both China and Pakistan are investing in sea-based nuclear forces. China is currently on its second generation of ballistic missile submarines, which are equipped with the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile. Beijing is developing the JL-3, a longer-range submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Pakistan, meanwhile, has been developing the Babur-3 submarine-launched cruise missile, which will eventually arm its three Agosta 90B attack submarines. The Babur-3, when deployed, will be Pakistan’s first sea-based nuclear capability.

INS Arihant completed its first deterrent patrol in 2018. In November 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a national announcement confirming the ballistic missile submarine’s completion of a first deterrent patrol.

India has launched and is developing a second ballistic missile submarine, INS Arighat, which may see commissioning into the Indian Navy later this year. The Indian Navy envisages a ballistic missile force comprising four vessels eventually. Follow-on vessels in the Arihant class—codenamed the S4 and S4*—are under development as well.

Most of India’s nuclear forces are land-based. India is a triad power, with a sea-, land-, and air-based nuclear delivery capability.

Ankit Panda is a senior editor at The Diplomat and director of research for Diplomat Risk Intelligence. Follow him on Twitter.

Fear of the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

WW3 fears as Pakistan launches nuclear-capable missile amid ‘threat of imminent conflict’

PAKISTAN has once again tested a nuclear warhead-capable missile as tensions continue to escalate between the nation and India after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan warned of the “threat of imminent conflict” between the nuclear-armed nations.

By Gerrard Kaonga 08:37, Fri, Jan 24, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:41, Fri, Jan 24, 2020

Pakistan has tested its Ghaznavi surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of different warheads, including nuclear ones. The test marks the nation’s second successful launch of the missile which has an operating range 290km. The test was part of a larger field training exercise used to test the country’s day and night combat readiness. It comes just hours after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan warned in an interview with the BBC of the “big threat” of “imminent conflict” in Kashmir.

Pakistan’s state media commented on the launch and explained it was witnessed by top military officials.

The operation was considered a success as the state media said the test was “a very high standard of proficiency in handling and operating the weapon system”.

Both Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi hailed the launch as a “landmark achievement.”

The Ghaznavi ballistic missile is also known as Hatf-3.

Both Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi hailed the launch as a “landmark achievement.” (Image: Getty)

It is a Pakistani made nuclear-capable missile which can be launched from land-based vehicles making for a convenient option at short notice.

This exercise follows after an escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir’s autonomy being revoked by New Delhi.

Pakistan has claimed that India’s move is a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

India countered by arguing that changes to the Indian Constitution are an internal matter and this change will improve stability while also ending militancy in Kashmir.

India has argued the Kashmir issue that sparked tension between the nation and Pakistan is an internal matter (Image: getty)

India Pakistan: Imran Khan issues warning about Kashmir

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has warned of “imminent conflict” between the two nations if the Kashmir issue is not resolved.

He said any other conflict in the world would not compare to that between the “two nuclear-armed countries” over Kashmir.

It comes as Mr Khan called for the UN to help mediate bilateral discussions between the two countries.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Khan said: “Our major concern is what is happening to Pakistani disputed territory.

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The Ghaznai ballistic missile is also know as Hatf-3. (Image: RT)

“This is a huge problem. Whatever is happening anywhere else in the world, there’s not a chance of conflict like one between two nuclear-armed countries over Kashmir. This is a big threat.

“This will have consequences far beyond the Indian subcontinent if this goes wrong.

“As someone who sees India is heading in the wrong direction hence it is my duty to tell the world to prevent these sort of conflicts.

“There’s no imminent conflict anywhere else. There is in Kashmir.”

Pakistan conducts another successful nuclear test (Daniel 8 )

Pakistan conducts successful training launch of nuclear-capable ballistic missile

Jan 23, 2020, 04.34 PM IST


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday conducted a successful training launch of nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Ghaznavi’, which can strike targets up to 290 kilometers.

“The training launch was part of Field Training Exercise of Army Strategic Forces Command aimed at rehearsing operational readiness procedures during day and night,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the army, said in a statement.

The ‘Ghaznavi’ missile is capable of delivering multiple types of warheads upto a range of 290 kilometers, the statement said.

The launch was witnessed by Lt Gen Nadeem Zaki Manj, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command, senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Army Strategic Forces Command, Scientists and Engineers of the strategic organisations, according to the state-run Radio Pakistan.

“Director General Strategic Plans Division appreciated the operational preparedness of Army Strategic Forces Command for displaying a very high standard of proficiency in handling and operating the weapon system,” the statement said.

He also “expressed full confidence in the robust Strategic Command and Control System and the capability of Strategic Forces”, it added.

Pakistan test-fired ‘Ghaznavi’ on August 29, 2019 also, days after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.

India and Pakistan have been at odds after New Delhi abrogated the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two union territories.

Pakistan reacted strongly to India’s decision and downgraded bilateral ties and expelled the Indian envoy.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter. It has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.

Americans Know What’s Coming (Revelation 16)

Americans perceive likelihood of nuclear weapons risk as 50/50 tossup

January 22, 2020 , Stevens Institute of Technology

It has been 30 years since the end of the Cold War, yet, on average, Americans still perceive that the odds of a nuclear weapon detonating on U.S. soil is as likely as a coin toss, according to new research from Stevens Institute of Technology.

“That’s exceptionally high,” said Kristyn Karl, a political scientist at Stevens who co-led the work with psychologist Ashley Lytle. “People don’t generally believe that highly rare events are slightly less likely than a 50/50 tossup.”

The finding, reported in the January 2020 issue of International Journal of Communication, represents the end of a decades long gap in the research literature on Americans’ perceptions on nuclear weapons threat. It also provides an initial look at how younger generations, namely Millennials and Gen Z (18-37 years old), think about the topic and what influences their behavior in an era of evolving nuclear threat.

Using their combined expertise in political science and psychology, Karl and Lytle fielded two nationally diverse online surveys totaling more than 3,500 Americans to measure individual characteristics and attitudes, such as perceptions of nuclear risk, apathy toward nuclear topics, media use, and interest in following current events.

They also analyzed how these characteristics and attitudes such as perceptions of nuclear risk influence behaviors, including the likelihood of seeking information and initiating conversations about nuclear topics, as well as preparing emergency kits in the event that the worst were to happen.

The ultimate goal of the work, which is part of the larger Reinventing Civil Defense project supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is to learn more about how to best develop new communication tools to increase awareness among Americans about topics related to nuclear weapons, particularly what to do in the event of a nuclear detonation.

“The overarching narrative from the Reinventing Civil Defense project is that younger Americans just don’t hear anything about nuclear weapons risk,” said Karl. “Unlike older Americans, Millennials and Gen Z didn’t grow up during the Cold War, so what they know about nuclear risk is what’s in the media, and what’s in the media isn’t necessarily reflective of the true state of affairs.”

And media use matters.

Karl and Lytle find that consuming media has a striking effect on how younger and older adults think about topics related to nuclear weapons, especially as it relates to apathy. Specifically, as younger generations report using more media, they are increasingly likely to report being apathetic about nuclear topics.

But this pattern is different for older adults, as there is no association between their media use and their willingness to think about nuclear threats or how to survive them. In terms of behavior, apathy about nuclear topics is associated with a decrease in seeking information on the issue.

Interestingly, as Americans age, the lower they estimate the likelihood of a nuclear detonation in their lifetime. “Among lots of possibilities, they may be thinking if it didn’t happen during the Cold War, it won’t happen now; or perhaps I have fewer years to live, so it probably won’t happen in my lifetime,” said Lytle. However, older adults and those who tend to more closely follow the news tend to seek more information about nuclear topics.

Broadly, perceptions of nuclear weapons risk prove powerful as they lead Americans and take various actions to prepare in the event of a nuclear attack. On average, city dwellers estimate the risk as 5-7% higher than their rural or suburban peers whereas women estimate nuclear risk as 3-5% higher than men. Since men report significantly higher levels of media use and more closely following current events, this research presents several opportunities for targeting messages based on these varying perceptions.

One pattern is clear: as perception of nuclear weapons risk increases, so too does Americans’ intent to take action and that’s true across multiple measures, whether it putting forward effort to think and plan for it, seeking information about it, communicating with others on the topic, or taking steps to prepare for an attack.

Karl and Lytle explain that many people are fatalistic: if a nuclear weapon were to go off in New York City, then we would all be dead, ‘so why should I put any effort forward in thinking about it?’

Karl explains that the size of the weapon, the location, and even the weather, are important. In cities, for example, many nuclear weapons detonations would be funneled upward by tall buildings and modeling suggests that many people could survive. The most important thing people could do is get inside a building and stay there for three days.

“Our gut reaction is that everybody would die. But not everybody,” said Lytle. “We are trying to figure out how to educate people that this is not always true so that people feel like they have some sort of agency in a situation like this. Many people could survive the initial blast and then their subsequent behavior would determine what happens from there.”

While Lytle and Karl emphasize that they don’t wish to make claims about the actual degree of nuclear weapons risk, they maintain that perceptions of this risk are crucially important. Even if we assume the risk is low in the real world, it could be life-saving for Americans to know just a small amount about what you should do.

Provided by Stevens Institute of Technology

An Indo-Pakistan War Will Wipeout Two Billion (Revelation 8 )

Yes an Indo-Pakistan War Could Wipeout Billions of People

Kyle Mizokami

January 21, 2020, 8:06 AM MST

Key point: Both countries have large conventional forces, but also nuclear weapons. If the fighting escalated, it is very possible that each side could destroy the other- leaving no winner.

It’s distinctly possible that any future war between India and Pakistan would involve limited action on the ground and full-scale fighting at sea and in the air. India has the upper hand in both, particularly at sea where it would have the ability to blockade Pakistani ports. Pakistan imports 83% of its gasoline consumption, and without sizable reserves the economy would feel the effects of war very quickly. An economic victory, not a purely military one might be the best way to decisively end a war without the use of nuclear weapons.

With that scenario in mind, let’s look at several Indian weapons Pakistan would fear most in a war.

INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier

Commissioned in November 2013, INS Vikramaditya is the newer and more modern of India’s two aircraft carriers. In the event of war, Vikramaditya would lead an offensive at sea designed to sweep the Pakistani Navy from the field. The nightmare scenario for Pakistan would be Vikramaditya parked off the coast of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest port, enforcing a naval blockade.

Originally built for the Soviet Navy as the anti-submarine aviation cruiser Baku, Vikramaditya was mothballed in 1996 after it became clear post-Cold War Russia could not afford to operate her. The ship was purchased by India in 2004, to be upgraded by Russian shipbuilders to a true aircraft carrier complete with angled flight deck. The updated design deleted all cruiser armament, including two 100mm deck guns, 192 SA-N-9 surface to air missiles and 12 SS-N-12 Sandbox anti-ship missiles.

Nuclear Flashpoint in Kashmir Worsens

Pakistani PM warns India over civilian killings on Kashmir LoC

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA): Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan warned India on Sunday of a befitting response over the continued killing of civilians across the Line of Control (LoC), a de facto border that divides the Kashmir valley between Pakistan and India.

“I want to make clear to India and the international community that if India continues its military attacks killing civilians across the LoC, Pakistan will find it increasingly difficult to remain an inactive observer,” Khan tweeted

He added that India may resort to a “false flag” attack.

“As Indian Occupation forces continue to target & kill civilians across the LoC with increasing intensity & frequency, there is an urgent need for UN SC [United Nations Security Council] to insist India allow UNMOGIP [United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan] return to IOJK [Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir] side of LOC,” Khan said.

Khan’s statement came after the Foreign Ministry summoned Indian Charge d’affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia in Islamabad and lodged a strong protest over the cease-fire violations by Indian forces along the LoC.

“Director General South Asia and SAARC Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri underscored that such senseless Indian acts are in clear violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and in complete disregard for international human rights and international norms,” state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Due to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing by Indian forces in the Kotkotera sector of the LoC, 36-year-old Shamim Begum, a resident of Jugalpal village, sustained serious injuries.

On Dec. 12, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a letter to the UNSC claimed that since January 2019, Indian forces had committed over 3,000 ceasefire violations targeting more than 300 civilians, including women and children.

Pakistan-India tensions

Long-fraught ties between the two nuclear rivals have plummeted to new lows following India’s scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on Aug. 5 last year.

Many fear this step was an attempt to change the demography of the Muslim-majority state.

Since partition in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir, in addition to a three-week-long skirmish in Kargil in 1999.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

[Map of India/Pakistan/Kashmir by CIA. Public Domain]