Nuclear War is Eminent (Revelation 15)

Updated: JANUARY 15, 2016 — 12:34 PM EST
U.S. efforts to keep nuclear explosive materials out of the hands of terrorists are losing steam and will be undermined without a concerted new diplomatic push, an independent nonprofit group in Washington, D.C., warned on Jan. 14.
The chill in U.S.-Russian relations and a range of problems elsewhere — bureaucratic inertia, inadequate funding, public distraction, and a weak grasp of the peril in some nations — have combined to slow international progress towards locking down all the building blocks of a potential terrorist bomb, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a nonprofit organization, said in a new report.
“We are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe, and the world’s leaders must run faster,” said former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), who helped found NTI and played a leading role in organizing U.S. assistance for nuclear security efforts in Russia after the Cold War, In an introduction to the report.
Nunn, speaking at a cavernous Washington building where the Obama administration is scheduled to convene its fourth and final international summit to promote nuclear security measures in late March, sounded an unusually dour note as he surveyed the status of those efforts.
He said nations with lower nuclear profiles look to Russia and the United States for cues, and both nations are now updating their nuclear arsenals while curtailing their diplomatic contacts. At the same time, “brutal attacks and incidents by ISIL, al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other organizations are on the rise, raising the specter of catastrophic nuclear terrorism if they or other terrorists get control of dangerous nuclear material,” Nunn said. “And of course, that’s what the world must prevent.”
Reports like The Center for Public Integrity’s article in November that disclosed worries about exposing a missing trove of Soviet-era highly enriched uranium (a nuclear bomb fuel) “should provide all the impetus needed to act swiftly,” Nunn said.
NTI’s new study is the third such analysis by the group since 2011, and it again ranked key nations based on detailed assessments of their safeguards for keeping nuclear explosive materials — plutonium and highly-enriched uranium — out of the wrong hands. Among the 24 nations with enough material for bomb, Australia again got the top mark, while North Korea came in last.
India’s overall rank was 21st in that group, and South Africa was 16th. Worrisome activities by both countries were detailed in articles published this year by the Center. Japan, which was separately profiled by the Center last year, improved its ranking somewhat (to 12th place) by publishing nuclear security laws and regulations and hosting a review of its precautions by experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN group. Seven of the 24 nations have never had such a peer review, the report noted.
The report further noted that more than 80 percent of all nuclear explosive materials are held by militaries, whose practices and safeguards are not covered by international agreements on the security of such materials. It urged all the nuclear weapons-states to agree on a set of security precautions they would each implement.
For the first time, the report also included a detailed and alarming analysis of the susceptibility of nuclear sites around the globe — including reactors, storage facilities, and factories — to cyberattack and sabotage.
Among 47 nations with the most nuclear materials or power plants, the report said, twenty don’t require even the most basic cybersecurity measures, it said. Terrorists, it warned, could exploit computer vulnerabilities either to overcome security precautions and gain direct access to nuclear materials, or they could deliberately disable a reactor’s cooling systems, provoking a disaster on par with the Fukushima plant meltdown in March 2011.
Nations with new or developing nuclear energy programs, such as Chile, Egypt and Indonesia, are particularly susceptible to sabotage because their legal and regulatory structures are immature, undermining oversight and enforcement of sound safeguards.
The NTI gave the United States a fairly high rating for cybersecurity — a 6thplace ranking — but internal government audits have been more critical. The Energy Department’s inspector general, for example, reported in a Novemberaudit that officials had failed to properly report about contractors’ computer systems, impeding oversight.
A separate audit in June 2015 faulted the nuclear weapons laboratories for weak cybersecurity practices, including a failure to test systems for vulnerabilities and to protect against insider threats by ordering frequent password changes.
An audit released this week by Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspector general of cybersecurity at its Secure Operations Center, which contains sensitive details about nuclear power plants and generators in the U.S., showed attempts to gain unauthorized access or to insert malicious computer code had increased by 18 percent from fiscal years 2013 to 2014. Over the same period, cyberattacks throughout the U.S. government grew by 9.7 percent.
North Korea’s ranking at the bottom of the cybersecurity list as well as the nuclear security list was not surprising, according to Leo Abruzzese, director of global forecasting at public policy at the Economist Intelligence Unit, an offshoot of The Economist magazine that gathered and analyzed data for the report. North Korea is averse to the type of international cooperation and transparency that provides security assurances that the index rating system rewards, he noted, calling the country “dead last by a wide margin.”
Samantha Pitts-Kiefer, senior program officer for scientific and technical affairs at NTI, said the three summit meetings convened by the Obama administration so far have been helpful. A dozen nations have eliminated all nuclear explosives from their territories since the first summit, although only one acted in the past two years.
She and her colleagues said they worry that global leaders will be less attentive to the risks after the final summit this year.
“The results of this report should sound a warning not only that the work of securing all weapons-usable nuclear materials is unfinished,” the report said, “but also that attention and commitment to preventing a terrorist from building and using a nuclear weapon must intensify.”
The Center for Public Integrity is a non-profit, independent investigative news outlet. A list of its funders can be found here. For more of its stories on this topic go to

Checkmate: the Final Game of Chess (Revelation 15)

How the United States can avoid being taken by surprise
By Daniel Gallington –
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Many of us “cold warriors” hope that someone, somewhere in our government is thinking or worrying about how a nuclear exchange could or would likely happen in the Middle East and what we would or could do in such an event.
Assuming this type of planning is not going on — primarily because it’s not pleasant to think about or not at all “politically correct” — it is the purpose here to propose some ideas so the situation wouldn’t take us totally by surprise if it actually happened.
First of all, the Russians have already broached the subject: This when Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the cruise missiles they were using in Syria were nuclear capable. Why would he say such a thing? Who would “need” to hear this? One thing for sure, the Russians are already thinking about using tactical nukes to take out defined areas of “resistance” in Syria, whether they be ISIS or other groups opposed to the regime they support, which for now is the Assad regime.
In Iraq, ISIS — the ultra radical Sunni group — is opposed to the U.S. installed post-Saddam regime, which is Shiite and aligned with Iran and the various Shiite militias that operate in Iraq with support of both governments.
This leads me to believe that the Russians could be thinking seriously about using tactical nukes in Syria and Iraq, because they could use them with the “consent” of Syrian President Bashar Assad in Syria and the Shiite regime (again, which we installed, post-Saddam) in Iraq.
What would we do? Other than complain about it, I can’t see the Obama administration doing anything. Likewise, the Israelis would not seem to have a direct equity in this situation, albeit against their longer-term interests, as they would much prefer to deal with Sunnis than Shiites.
The next scenario, while perhaps less likely, is much more troubling and involves, at a minimum, the Saudis, the Chinese, Pakistan, Iran and a few others, and is mostly dependent on the escalation of the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is essentially a long running Sunni-Shiite conflict. And, unlike the first scenario, this one would likely become strategic and involve Israel that would most probably side with Saudi Arabia against Iran, which is the largest and most capable regional strategic threat to them.
This conflict would likely develop quickly, as the Saudis simply do not have the conventional forces to expend in a conventional conflict and the “traditional” escalation that nuclear planners may assume. The bottom line is that the Saudis would probably preempt at a fairly early stage in an open conventional conflict with Iran.
But does Saudi Arabia have nuclear weapons or access to them? The traditional thinking here is that they probably have access to them because of their close relationship with Pakistan and China — and it has been openly reported for many years that the Saudis have bought nuclear capable ICBM/IRBM missiles from the Chinese and that they are probably manned by Chinese contract crews.
Likewise, it has also been reported that the Saudis have an arrangement with Pakistan to get access to nuclear warheadsif they need them. As far as interoperability between the systems is concerned, one can assume this because of the close technical and military relationship between China and Pakistan.
So, what would Iran do in a rapidly escalating conflict with the Saudis? Would they “come out of the closet” with their own covert nuclear weapons program that goes back more than 30 years? Most likely they would, unless they could count on the Russians to step in on their behalf and threaten the Saudis with a massive retaliation.
If any of this actually happened, we would become involved in the situation whether we wanted to or not — also, the threat of a Russian intervention would drastically affect the politics in the region, especially the Arab-Israeli balance and the Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran.
What should we be doing?
First and most important, our leaders should convene a very senior group with a competent staff to examine and review these issues in detail — Congress should do the same thing, centered in the Armed Services, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees. At the Department of Defense, there should be a renewed interest in the Single Integrated Operation Plan (SIOP) to make sure it addresses the many contingencies addressed and identified by the various review groups. And, we should sit down — at a very high level — with the Russians to share our concerns and questions about these important matters.
There should be no excuse for these dynamics to catch us by surprise, when, for example there is a tactical nuclear lay-down by the Russians against Mr. Assad’s opponents in Syria.
• Daniel Gallington served through 11 rounds of bilateral negotiations in Geneva as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Nuclear and Space Talks with the former Soviet Union.

The New Cold War (Daniel 7)

PUBLISHED: 3:57 PM, JAN 14, 2016 UPDATED: 3:57 PM, JAN 14, 2016
Russia is amplifying its nuclear bases, nuclear submarines, and long-range nuclear bombers on NATO, Europe borders. Five missile regiments of the Strategic Missile Forces will be put on alert, armed with modern missile systems in 2016. Its nuclear rocket from the Cold war era, the “Satan,” will be retired as the next-generation RS-28 Sarmat rocket will be heavily tested for deployment this year.
As NATO continues to push ever more eastward, Russia had its nuclear Strategic Missile Forces on high alert. This means that it could launch an attack anytime that it received orders from President Vladimir Putin. As part of this initiative, two strategic nuclear-powered submarines of the Borei class – the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh – went operational. To ensure that soldiers are ready for immediate orders, the Russian Defence Ministry will continue conducting unannounced combat readiness inspections. Additional nuclear facilities will be built in the island part of the Arctic and on the Kuril Islands.
General of the Russian Army Sergei Shoigu said that Russia’s intensification of its nuclear regiments was decided upon after monitoring and analysis of the military and political situation in the world. Russia wants to ensure that it has the timely reaction to the changes of both political and military changes. Russia’s military readiness extends in space, Shoigu said. “The emphasis should be made on strengthening the potential of strategic nuclear forces and implementing defense and space programs,” he said as reported by TASS. “On the basis of the Air Force and the Air and Space Defense a new arm has been created – Russia’s Aerospace Force. Six strategic missile regiments armed with mobile and silo-based Yars missiles entered duty,” he added.
There had been words about the looming World War 3 to be fought by the United States and NATO versus Russia. Russia had been an old time foe to the Alliance, since the Cold war era. And although there were attempts to smoothen the relations in the past years, it got worst again in March 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. It then escalated to its vilest level when Turkey downed a Russian bomber over the Syrian space.
As the war between these three great players continues to shape up in the horizon, experts were expressing anxiety that Russia’s military might have grown immensely in the past 25 years. It has come to a point where it could undermine the strength of US. Word around town is that a proxy WW3 is actually taking place in Syria.
A comprehensive article published by Military Times discussed how Russia is now showing the great potential of its superior forces. General Phillip Breedlove, chief of the U.S. European Command and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, has particularly noted of Russia’s military advancement in its participation in Syria. “We see some very sophisticated air defense going into those airfields, we see some very sophisticated air-to-air aircraft going into these airfields,” he said as quoted by the Military Times. “These very sophisticated air defense capabilities are not about [ISIS]… they’re about something else,” he added.

The Threat of Nuclear War in South Asia

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch (Retd.)
That Pakistan has been using the nuclear bogey to continue its proxy war on India is no secret. The United States has for long ignored blatant Chinese nuclear proliferation to Pakistan, as well as nuclear proliferation engineered by Musharraf through Abdul Qadeer Khan, digesting Musharraf’s lie that it was unaware of these happenings.
AQ Khan was not even interrogated by Americans. The rapidly multiplying tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) stockpile of Pakistan too is largely ignored by the US save for the perfunctory noises that are occasionally made, like the safety of sea-based systems. It seems that the States is apparently content with Pakistani explanation these are to counter India’s ‘Cold Start’ doctrine, even as Khalid Kidwai, former Adviser to Pakistan’s National Command Authority, says India has already been forced to rethink the said doctrine.
Significantly, Pakistan’s Shaheen-III has a range of 2,750 kms, giving it the reach to strike Middle East including Israel. Pakistan’s assertion that Shaheen-III would deter India’s second strike is actually laughable. More significantly, the US administration continues to support and equip Pakistani military even despite the fact that majority of the US-NATO casualties in Afghanistan is due to Pakistani proxies.
Paul Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, once said: “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be moulded until they clothe the ideas and disguise.” So, as witnessed in the past few years, the western think tanks have been ranting about India-Pakistan nuclear war or rather conventional war mushrooming into nuclear exchange, with all these alarmist discussions happening despite knowing that nuclear weapons are meant or deterrence; used for political leverage.
US and British think-tanks creating the hyperbole understand it best, both being part of Permanent 5 cohort. Yet, the repetition continues tirelessly with the scenario bragging about a potential major terrorist attack in India resulting in a conventional military response, and which would eventually result in nuclear exchange albeit first initiated by Pakistan.
In fact, the Goebbels’ theory succeeds every time when our media and scholars even with army background, air their views on how the nuclear exchange will play out, and that too on day-to-day basis. Similar views are being aired post the terrorist strike at the Pathankot Indian Air Force (IAF) base. That such perception-building facilitates the west to continue molly-coddling Pakistan despite all the extremism it generated is pretty obvious, though much more is involved.
Let us go into the realm of hypothetical that most of those on the media engage in. Let us for instance imagine the initiation of a nuclear weapon by Pakistan against Indian forces. When crossing the nuclear threshold it is immaterial whether a tactical or a strategic nuke is used. Pakistan knows what India’s response would be in case it initiates a nuclear strike. The Pakistani military is not naïve to do so and trigger a nuclear war of mutual destruction especially considering Pakistan’s geography which has placed it adjacent to India.
The fact is that military on both the sides of the border would hardly exercise the nuclear option for this very reason. Sure the window for conventional war in nuclear backdrop remains, but that does not imply nukes would be used. To quote Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, former Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS), “they (nuclear weapons) are not weapons for use. Those who think that nuclear weapons are merely many times more destructive weapons are wrong; they are on a different plane altogether”.
At the same time nuclear saber-rattling by Pakistan will continue. It is now known that Musharraf wanted to deploy the Ghauri nuclear missiles to reinforce the massive Kargil intrusions in 1999 but “air went out of his balloon when the top general in-charge of the missile program told him the missile had a faulty guidance system”. According to Bruce Riedel, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) warned President Clinton “that Pakistan was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment and possible use.” But that being the height of saber-rattling, Musharraf surely knew there was no hole to hide from the inevitable Indian riposte.
For that matter, conventional war does not resolve the issue of terrorism, which US-NATO should know best. Interestingly in their book ‘Nuclear Express’, Thomas C. Reed and Danny B Stillman (former was secretary of United States Air Force and latter Director, Los Alamos Technical Intelligence Division) bring out that during the regime of Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese were of the view that use nuclear weapons against the west by radical and rogue countries would be good for China provided the trail is not traced back to it. And hence, the covert nuclearization of Pakistan and North Korea was pursued.
The western propaganda of India-Pakistan nuclear war was given fresh fillip during 2015. George Perkovich and Ashley Tellis, both from Carnegie Endowment presented the doom’s day scenario to a US Senate panel in February 2015, arguing that Pakistan might use nuclear weapons against India if the latter launched a large-scale military assault in retaliation for a major terror attack from across the border. Yes, Ashley Tellis also urged the US to use its influence in preventing a terrorist attack, but there is little evidence that the US is taking such advice seriously.
Next came an article titled ‘Fast, Radioactive, and Out of Control’ by Adrian Levy, R and Jeffrey Smith written for the Washington based Centre for Public Integrity, alleging that India was building a secret nuclear city 160 miles to the south of Challakere, near Mysore – an allegation denied by India. Obviously this was a subtle move to sow a fresh idea through third party when CIA has the wherewithal to ascertain the ground truth. US think-tanks have stepped up efforts with categorical assessments that the next India-Pakistan war will be the last war in South Asia.
The west knows very well that India has nuclear China and Pakistan as its neighbours and while China is racing along the thermonuclear path, Pakistan is increasingly getting radicalized, waging proxy wars in India and Afghanistan and rapidly increasing her nuclear arsenal. Yet, the west appears to be hyphenating Indian nuclear capability only with Pakistan, discounting the China threat. In August 2011 Pervez Hoodbhoy, Professor of Nuclear and High Energy Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad said, “an extremist takeover of Pakistan is probably no further than five to ten years away….. The common belief in Pakistan is that Islamic radicalism is a problem only in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and that madrassas are the only institutions serving as jihad factories. This is a serious misconception. Extremism is breeding at a ferocious rate in public and private schools within Pakistan’s towns and cities. …… The mindset it creates may eventually lead to Pakistan’s demise as a nation state.”
Whatever be the case, that the US that could make Pakistan join the Global War on Terror (GWOT) under the threat of being “bombed into stone age” is not putting any pressure on Pakistan to stop terrorism anymore. As Pakistan is an important element to America’s ‘great game’ in South Asia to counter Chinese and Russian influence, the US sees itself benefitting more by doing precious little in the context of a nation-state that has the potential of going rogue.
The West has never ever appreciated the manner in which India assisted East Pakistan, liberated Bangladesh and how soon Indian forces vacated the territory of the newly formed Bangladesh. But much more importantly, the western thinktanks are not even discussing the most probable use of nuclear weapons by Pakistan – through its proxies. Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) terrorism is a reality – a fact that got demonstrated with the 1995 Sarin Gas attacks on Tokyo Subway, Anthrax attacks in the US in 2001, prolific use in Syria and the like. So why not low-yield nukes? Should that be orchestrated inside India, the West would solemnly sermonize India to show restraint. A Russian view is that nuclear war may occur in South Asia if the US so wants. There is merit in that too because the holocaust would reverse Beijing’s push to the Persian Gulf by a couple of years.
*Lt. Gen. Prakash Katoch (Retd) is a Council Member of United Services Institution of India, New Delhi. He can be reached at:

New Jersey #1 Disaster State: The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

States of danger

 Kiplinger News
New York Quake

The Sixth Seal: New York Quake
Disasters can happen anywhere and at any time. But some places experience more than their fair share of floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms and severe weather — so much so that certain locales earn frightening nicknames, such as Tornado Alley. No matter where you live, make sure you have the right kinds and necessary amounts of insurance coverage to protect your finances.
  • Estimated property damage (2006-2013): $26.4 billion
  • Most frequent disasters: damaging wind, winter storms, floods and flash floods
  • Weather-related fatalities (2006-2013): 87
New Jersey earns the top spot on this list, in large part due to damage wrought by Sandy — which had weakened from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone by the time it the Jersey Shore — in October 2012. The state was among the hardest hit by Sandy, which was the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, after Hurricane Katrina. Many homes and businesses were destroyed along the Jersey Shore, and a portion of the Atlantic City Boardwalk washed away. Shortly after Sandy hit, another storm brought wet snow that caused more power outages and damage.
Homeowners who live along the coast or in areas where there are frequent storms should take steps before hurricane season begins to protect their homes and finances from damage.