Russia Continues To Confront Babylon’s Military (Daniel 7)

A Russian fighter jet conducted an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept of US recon plane

Russian Su-27 Flanker
Screenshot/ Russian Su-27 Flanker.
A Russian Su-27 jet fighter came within 20 feet of a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea on Monday in Moscow’s latest military provocation involving dangerous aerial encounters.
“On Jan. 25 an RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” Navy Capt. Daniel Hernandez, chief spokesman for the US European Command, told the Washington Free Beacon. “We are looking into the issue.”
Defense officials said the Su-27 flew alongside the RC-135, an electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft, and then performed what they said was an aggressive banking turn away from the intelligence jet.
The thrust from the Su-27 “disturbed the controllability” of the RC-135, said one official familiar with details of the incident.
A second official said the reconnaissance aircraft was flying 30 miles from the coast—well within international airspace and far away from any Russian territory—at the time of the encounter.
The Pentagon announced Thursday that it has concluded a flight safety memorandum with Russia after holding a video conference with Russian Defense Ministry officials.
The areas of discussion included air safety over the skies in Syria as well as “the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.
Russia planes syria
CBSA map showing just how close Russian and US war planes are in near Syria.
The statement made no mention of Monday’s dangerous aerial encounter.
The Black Sea encounter was the latest in a series of aggressive Russian military activities aimed coercing or harassing US military aircraft and ships in both Europe and Asia.
The provocations are not limited to US forces. On Tuesday, Japan’s Defense Ministry revealed that Japanese interceptor jets were scrambled to chase two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers that approached the northern end of Japan and flew just outside that country’s airspace in maneuvers described by analysts as unusually close.
Other incidents included a similar near-collision between a Russian fighter and RC-135, a militarized Boeing 707, over the Black Sea on May 30. Around the same time, a Russian Su-24 jet buzzed the destroyer USS Ross in the Black Sea near occupied Crimea.
Earlier, on April 7, another Su-27 flew within 20 feet of an RC-135, this time over the Baltic Sea.
russia jet intercept
Google Maps
The RC-135 intercept over the Black Sea took place around the same time as a Russian Su-24 jet interceptor buzzed the destroyer USS Ross in the Black Sea, near occupied Crimea.
Navy footage showed the jet made several low-level passes over the Ross.
In October, two Russian Tu-142 bombers made low passes near the aircraft carrier USS Reagan as it sailed in the Sea of Japan near the Korean peninsula.
Navy F-18 jets were scrambled to intercept the bombers during that incident.
RC 135 takeoff
The AviationistThe RC-135 spy plane.
And last July 4, two Tu-95 nuclear-capable bombers flew within 40 miles of the California coast and communicated a “happy birthday” message to intercepting US pilots. That incident took place the same day President Obama held a telephone conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Russian Tu-95 bombers also circumnavigated Guam in December, for the second time in two months. Guam is the US military’s major hub and a key facility in the American military rebalance to Asia.
Much of what Russia is doing today is aimed at generating fear of Russian military power and the possibility of war,” said former Pentagon Russia expert Mark Schneider.
“That is broadcast on a daily basis in the state media and through Russian military actions,” Schneider added. “Provocations involving aircraft are now common place. Russia also tends to be paranoid concerning foreign espionage and the protection of state secrets.”
Su-27 Afterburner
AirlinersRussia likes to use their air force to intimidate other nations.
Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the US Strategic Command said Russian military activities, including aircraft flights, are an increasing concern as Moscow seeks to reemerge as a world power.
Haney voiced concerns about Russian nuclear-capable bomber flights around the world, and large-scale ground forces nuclear exercises, along with vocal statements threatening the use of nuclear weapons.
Russian military aircraft have been conducting flights in Europe without the use of air-traffic control tracking transponders, a practice Haney called “reckless.”
Russia has stepped up aggressive military activities in response to NATO’s deployment of forces closer to Russian borders following Moscow’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and continuing covert military destabilization of eastern Ukraine.
NATO has increased its force posture with additional military exercises, troop deployments and increased intelligence-gathering to support NATO allies that are threatened by Russian military revanchism.
nato training exercise war games
Agencja Gazeta/ReutersNATO has increased joint training exercises in response to Russian aggression.
Russia announced a new military strategy in December that increases the country’s reliance on nuclear forces over conventional troops and weapons.
Russia also is expected to announce a new military doctrine, a senior Russian commander announced on Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Sergey Chvarkov, deputy chief of the general staff academy said the United States is seeking to weaken Russia and is creating new national security threats to Moscow.
“At the foundation of the negative development of the international situation lie the USA’s actions, which in striving for global hegemony intentionally forms global instability to weaken strategic opponents, primarily Russia, creating national security threats to our country,” Chvarkov said, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
Western policies are fomenting global and internal conflicts that have produced the flood of refugees in Europe, Chvarkov said. He added that the West is waging “information war” on Russia.

Don’t Forget About the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Don’t forget about earthquakes, feds tell city

Although New York’s modern skyscrapers are less likely to be damaged in an earthquake than shorter structures, a new study suggests the East Coast is more vulnerable than previously thought. The new findings will help alter building codes.
By Mark Fahey
July 18, 2014 10:03 a.m.
New York Earthquake Hazard

New York Earthquake Hazard

The U.S. Geological Survey had good and bad news for New Yorkers on Thursday. In releasing its latest set of seismic maps the agency said earthquakes are a slightly lower hazard for New York City’s skyscrapers than previously thought, but on the other hand noted that the East Coast may be able to produce larger, more dangerous earthquakes than previous assessments have indicated.

The 2014 maps were created with input from hundreds of experts from across the country and are based on much stronger data than the 2008 maps, said Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project. The bottom line for the nation’s largest city is that the area is at a slightly lower risk for the types of slow-shaking earthquakes that are especially damaging to tall spires of which New York has more than most places, but the city is still at high risk due to its population density and aging structures, said Mr. Petersen.
“Many of the overall patterns are the same in this map as in previous maps,” said Mr. Petersen. “There are large uncertainties in seismic hazards in the eastern United States. [New York City] has a lot of exposure and some vulnerability, but people forget about earthquakes because you don’t see damage from ground shaking happening very often.”
Just because they’re infrequent doesn’t mean that large and potentially disastrous earthquakes can’t occur in the area. The new maps put the largest expected magnitude at 8, significantly higher than the 2008 peak of 7.7 on a logarithmic scale. The scientific understanding of East Coast earthquakes has expanded in recent years thanks to a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia in 2011 that was felt by tens of millions of people across the eastern U.S. New data compiled by the nuclear power industry has also helped experts understand quakes.
Oddly enough, it’s not the modern tall towers that are most at risk. Those buildings become like inverted pendulums in the high frequency shakes that are more common on the East Coast than in the West. But the city’s old eight- and 10-story masonry structures could suffer in a large quake, said Mr. Lerner-Lam. Engineers use maps like those released on Thursday to evaluate the minimum structural requirements at building sites, he said. The risk of an earthquake has to be determined over the building’s life span, not year-to-year.
“If a structure is going to exist for 100 years, frankly, it’s more than likely it’s going to see an earthquake over that time,” said Mr. Lerner-Lam. “You have to design for that event.”
The new USGS maps will feed into the city’s building-code review process, said a spokesman for the New York City Department of Buildings. Design provisions based on the maps are incorporated into a standard by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which is then adopted by the International Building Code and local jurisdictions like New York City. New York’s current provisions are based on the 2010 standards, but a new edition based on the just-released 2014 maps is due around 2016, he said.
“The standards for seismic safety in building codes are directly based upon USGS assessments of potential ground shaking from earthquakes, and have been for years,” said Jim Harris, a member and former chair of the Provisions Update Committee of the Building Seismic Safety Council, in a statement.
The seismic hazard model also feeds into risk assessment and insurance policies, according to Nilesh Shome, senior director of Risk Management Solutions, the largest insurance modeler in the industry. The new maps will help the insurance industry as a whole price earthquake insurance and manage catastrophic risk, said Mr. Shome. The industry collects more than $2.5 billion in premiums for earthquake insurance each year and underwrites more than $10 trillion in building risk, he said.

Northern Europe Prepares For World War 3 (Revelation 15)

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Sweden was politically neutral during the World War II — even as its bordering countries were invaded, fell under, or accepted the Third Reich or Soviet Russia.
The reason that the relatively peaceful nation will soon get involved with a potentially crippling world war is based on a statement given by Swedish General Anders Brännström. Breitbart reports that the general informed his troops “to expect to be fighting a war in Europe against skilled opponents within a few years,” via an internal army document.
Furthermore, Brännström’s documents were also given to civilians and politicians in case World War 3 does indeed break loose. And regarding Sweden’s military budget projected for 2016 to 2020, he noted that more money should be spent on military expenditures.
He also seemed to be adamant about his military performing well.
“The requirement of our ability to perform armed combat against a skilled opponent was clear, and this in context of the objective to create a front line against military attack and defend Sweden. The global environment we are experiencing which is also demonstrated by strategic decisions [taken by politicians] leads us to the conclusion we could be at war within a few years”
Aftonbladet (best-selling tabloid in Sweden) reports that Brännström’s warnings are stemmed from fears of ISIS capitalizing off of Europe’s deteriorating security as a whole. The spreading instability from Ukraine could lead to conflict as well.
“One can draw parallels with the 1930s. A great uncertainty and [political] dynamics which then led to a great war. That time we managed to keep out. But it is not at all certain we could succeed this time,” he said.
Breitbart also reports that the Swedish general is not alone in his fears as he noted that his senior colleagues all think that World War 3 is imminent. “This is a serious position shared by most. This is a completely different situation to the one we had ten years ago,” he added.
Breitbart London interviewed Rear Admiral Chris Parry of the United Kingdom and he also disclosed his fears of an ISIS campaign being launched on much of Europe in the near future. He told Breitbart London, “We will soon be experiencing minor hit and run attacks on remote parts of Europe, like Malta and the Greek Islands.”
And the U.S. Air Force even gave support by sending B-52 bombers to Sweden — the very country making the World War 3 claims now. The gesture was precautionary, which is evident now, but nevertheless the northern countries have been cautious of such threat for a while now. Do you think that Sweden and the rest of the world will soon be faced with World War 3? How do you think the U.S. will get involved if they do?

Is North Korea Holding Iran’s Nukes? (Daniel 8)

 – The Washington Times – Thursday, January 28, 2016
The report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank, was released just weeks after Pyongyang claimed to have carried out a successful test of a hydrogen bomb and international sanctions on Iran are being lifted under the Obama administration-backed nuclear accord with Tehran.
While the foundation’s report notes there is “no proof” of explicit Tehran-Pyongyang nuclear cooperation, there remain a host of unanswered questions and fears among some analysts that Iran is “outsourcing aspects of its nuclear weapons program” to North Korea.
Debate over the extent of collusion between the two is heated, although evidence of collaboration has piled up for years.
One of the more significant developments came in November 2010 with the leaking of a classified U.S. government cable written 10 months earlier that revealed that American intelligence officials believed Iran had obtained 19 advanced missiles from North Korea.
The cable was among several that WikiLeaks had made public. The New York Times reported that the missile intelligence suggested “far deeper military — and perhaps nuclear — cooperation between North Korea andIran than was previously known.”
CIA Director John O. Brennan last fall acknowledged that his agency was watching to see if Tehran would attempt to continue its clandestine nuclear program through a third nation — even as Iranian officials were pledging to disclose their own activities to U.N. inspectors as part of the agreement.
“We have to make sure that we’re doing whatever we can to uncover anything,” Mr. Brennan told a group of reporters in Austin, Texas, in September. “I’m not saying that something is afoot at all. What I’m saying is that we need to be attuned to all of the potential pathways to acquiring different types of [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities.”
Intelligence officials asserted afterward that Mr. Brennan was speaking only generally, not specifically, about a potential Iranian-North Korean connection. But his comments coincided with claims by some outside the government that the Iran nuclear deal failed to address such issues.
Michael Rubin, an analyst with the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, told The Washington Times at the time that the Obama administration had “left a loophole a mile wide when they effectively allowed Iran to conduct all the illicit work it wants outside ofIran, in countries like North Korea or perhaps Sudan.”
Unease in Congress
It’s the prospect of collaboration with North Korea that has triggered the most unease on Capitol Hill.
At a July hearing, Rep. Ted Poe, the Texas Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee dealing with terrorism and proliferation, cited South Korean news reports from 2011 that said “hundreds of North Korean nuclear and missile experts were working in Iran.
Not everyone involved in the hearing agreed with the report. Jim Walsh, an associate with the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, lamented that “people who believe there has been nuclear cooperation rely almost exclusively on media accounts.”
“I reviewed some 76 media reports covering a span of 11 years. None of the 76 reports has been confirmed — none,” Mr. Walsh testified at the time. “On the other side of the ledger, the DNI, the IAEA, the U.N. Panel of Experts for Iran, and the U.N. Panel of Experts for North Korea, despite numerous opportunities to do so, has never claimed Iranian-North Korean nuclear coordination.”
But fears of such coordination have surged anew in the wake of two ballistic missile tests carried out by Iran this fall andPyongyang’s more recent claim to have test-detonated a miniaturized hydrogen bomb.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday passed a bill, already cleared by the House, that would expand the president’s power to level sanctions against anyone found to be facilitating North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Thursday’s report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies challenges the administration’s hope that the Iran nuclear deal would moderate Tehran’s foreign policy and hostility to U.S. interests.
The report’s authors, fellow Ali Alfoneh and former CIA officer Scott Modell, argue that Washington “needs a better understanding of Iranian and North Korean proliferation networks and the impact of U.S. government demarcates, designations, sanctions, and arrests in order to improve the possibility of interdicting illicit materials.”
At the same time, the authors acknowledge that assertions of nuclear collaboration between Pyongyang and Tehran are based mainly on evidence of ballistic missile technology transfers between the two over the past three decades.
“Hard evidence of active nuclear weapons development and production is lacking,” the report states. “However, the activities of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), for example, suggest a certain depth to [North Korean-Iranian] ballistic missile collaboration.
“SHIG is similar to most Iranian government entities involved in nuclear- and ballistic missile-related proliferation in that it is constantly adding new front companies,” the authors write, adding that “many of the entities reported to have been involved in procurement for SHIG rely on North Korean firms and China-based brokers and intermediaries.”
The report also points to companies already sanctioned by the U.S. and the European Union.
“These include the Saeng Pil Trading Corporation (SPTC), which appears to have been involved in brokering the sale of the Chinese-origin precision-guided munitions known as Lei Shi,” the authors write. “SPTC’s illicit trade has reportedly included key components for the munitions, including guidance systems.”
The document says such factors raise a host of questions for U.S. officials to consider:
“Is the United States monitoring the better-known North Korean trading companies that could be involved with Iranian transactions, such as SPTC? Is Washington tracking the representatives of these companies in countries of the former Soviet Union, where the firms reportedly purchase export-controlled items such as Scud missile components?”

Nuclear War Is Now Much More Likely (Revelation 15:2)

The Frightening Prospect of a Nuclear War Is About to Become a Lot More Likely 

 Thursday, 21 January 2016 11:00By Lawrence S. WittnerHistory News Network | News Analysis
Supporters of this revamped weapon of mass destruction argue that, by ensuring greater precision in bombing “enemy” targets, reducing the yield of a nuclear blast, and making a nuclear attack more “thinkable,” the B61 Model 12 is actually a more humanitarian and credible weapon than older, bigger versions. Arguing that this device would reduce risks for civilians near foreign military targets, James Miller, who developed the nuclear weapons modernization plan while undersecretary of defense, stated in a recent interview that “minimizing civilian casualties if deterrence fails is both a more credible and a more ethical approach.”
Other specialists were far more critical. The Federation of Atomic Scientists pointed out that the high accuracy of the weapon and its lower settings for destructiveness might tempt military commanders to call for its use in a future conflict.
Another weapon undergoing US government “modernization” is the cruise missile. Designed for launching by US bombers, the weapon – charged William Perry, a former secretary of defense – raised the possibilities of a “limited nuclear war.” Furthermore, because cruise missiles can be produced in nuclear and non-nuclear versions, an enemy under attack, uncertain which was being used, might choose to retaliate with nuclear weapons.
Overall, the Obama administration’s nuclear “modernization” program – including not only redesigned nuclear weapons, but new nuclear bombers, submarines, land-based missiles, weapons labs, and production plants – is estimated to cost as much as$1 trillion over the next thirty years. Andrew C. Weber, a former assistant secretary of defense and former director of the interagency body that oversees America’s nuclear arsenal, has criticized it as “unaffordable and unneeded.” After all, the US government already has an estimated 7,200 nuclear weapons.
The nuclear weapons modernization program is particularly startling when set against President Obama’s April 2009 pledge to build a nuclear weapons-free world. Although this public commitment played a large part in his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize that year, in succeeding years the administration’s action on this front declined precipitously. It did manage to secure a strategic arms reduction treaty(New START) with Russia in 2010 and issue a pledge that same year that the US government would “not develop new nuclear warheads.” But, despite promises to bring the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to the Senate for ratification and to secure further nuclear arms agreements with Russia, nuclear disarmament efforts ground to a halt. Instead, plans for “nuclear modernization” began. The president’s 2016 State of the Union address contained not a word about nuclear disarmament, much less a nuclear weapons-free world.
What happened?
Two formidable obstacles derailed the administration’s nuclear disarmament policy. At home, powerful forces moved decisively to perpetuate the US nuclear weapons program: military contractors, the weapons labs, top military officers, and, especially, the Republican Party. Republican support for disarmament treaties was crucial, for a two-thirds vote of the US Senate was required to ratify them. Thus, when the Republicans abandoned the nuclear arms control and disarmamentapproach of past GOP presidents and ferociously attacked the Obama administration for “weakness” or worse, the administration beat an ignominious retreat. To attract the backing of Republicans for the New START Treaty, it promised an upgraded US nuclear weapons program.
Russia’s lack of interest in further nuclear disarmament agreements with the United States provided another key obstacle. With 93 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons in the arsenals of these two nations, a significant reduction in nuclear weapons hinged on Russia’s support for it. But, angered by the sharp decline of its power in world affairs, including NATO’s advance to its borders, the Russian government engaged in its own nuclear buildup and spurned US disarmament proposals.
Despite these roadblocks, the Obama administration could renew the nuclear disarmament process. Developing better relations with Russia, for example by scrapping NATO’s provocative expansion plan, could smooth the path toward a Russian-American nuclear disarmament agreement. And this, in turn, would soften the objections of the lesser nuclear powers to reducing their own nuclear arsenals. If Republican opposition threatened ratification of a disarmament treaty, it could be bypassed through an informal US-Russian agreement for parallel weapons reductions. Moreover, even without a bilateral agreement, the US government could simply scrap large portions of its nuclear arsenal, as well as plans for modernization. Does a country really need thousands of nuclear weapons to deter a nuclear attack? Britain possesses only 215. And the vast majority of the world’s nations don’t possess any.
Given the terrible dangers and costs posed by nuclear weapons, isn’t it time to get back on the disarmament track?