The Impending Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

Nuclear war ‘imminent’ in South Asia as troops gunned down on border

A CRISIS in one of the world’s most disputed territories has threatened to escalate into nuclear war, after four soldier were gunned down.

By Jamie Micklethwaite / Published 25th December 2017

India and Pakistan’s nuclear arms race intensifies

“The possibility of nuclear war cannot be ruled out” Pakistan’s National Security Adviser

At least four Indian soldiers were killed after exchanging fire with the Pakistani Army on the border known as the “Line of Control”.

The shootout is believed to have started when Pakistani troops attacked Indian positions in the Shahpur area.

The Indian army has blasted the attack from the Pakistani soldiers, calling it an “unprovoked cease-fire violation”.

“The Pakistani army today resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control, killing three troopers and wounding one.

“The slain included an officer of the rank of Major.”

Heavy cross-border firing and shelling was reported following the incident.

Nuclear expert says danger of war is ‘frightening’

The Indian army also launched a retaliatory attack, gunning down a Pakistani soldier near the border.

Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua said nuclear war could break out in South Asia.

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He said: “The stability of the South Asian region hangs in a delicate balance, and the possibility of nuclear war cannot be ruled out.

“India has been stockpiling a range of dangerous weapons as it threatens Pakistan continuously of conventional warfare.”

Antichrist’s Men Ready to Attack the US

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Some in the Shiite-dominated Iraqi paramilitary forces who served essentially as reserves for the Iraqi army in the ISIS war are looking for their next fight: US troops.

“America should only be here for embassy, any military presence and we will target them,” Saif Ali, a 37-year-old member of the PMF’s Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba told Fox News.

Several groups and individuals are sanctioned by the United States treasury for their attacks on US and international coalition troops after the 2003 invasion of Iraq to oust the Baathist regime. Some have openly admitted plans to build a ‘Shiite crescent’ from Tehran to Beirut.

“I fought the Americans after 2003, and the British in southern Iraq, and I am happy about that. I don’t hate the American people, only hate the US military, and I have killed many of them,” added Ali.

While the PMF’s are primarily comprised of Shiite paramilitias, they have also paid Iraqis from other groups like the disenfranchised Christian and Yezidi minorities to join their ranks.

Rayan al-Kildani is the leader of the Babylon Brigades based out of Nineveh province. He told Fox that although he has relatives in the United States and has visited, he threatened to attack US intelligence personnel who he met after the Mosul liberation.

“Our stand is clear,” Mohand al-Eqqaby asserted. “America was not there at the beginning of this ISIS crisis when we needed them most. We are strong now, and as long as we are fighting, Iraq does not need Americans on our land.”

Locals, especially, Kurdish and Arab Sunni leaders have tried to warn the West of the growing influence of the Iran-backed PMFs, mainly comprised of the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitaries.

The US-led Coalition to Defeat ISIS was not able to provide air support to the Hashd during the ISIS war. Their fighters were accused of recruiting minors to fight, forced displacements, and summary executions by watchdogs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

With Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi having declared a victory over ISIS in early December while calling Hashd al-Shaabi “the pride of the nation,” the PMFs are at a crossroads in Iraq where they can disband, make a grab for power, or further integrate into the traditional Iraqi Security Forces.

They were formed from more than 60 groups who came together mid-2014 following a fatwa from Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to drive out ISIS militants who were quickly gaining control of the country.

Most of the groups began as political organizations which date back decades. It is against Iraqi law to hold political office and hold a military position. With elections upcoming in May, top Shiite clergy have spoken out about the groups.

Iraq’s firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr advocated for not allowing Hashd al-Shaabi’s name to be used in the elections and preventing its leaders from running in the elections while in still their post in a December 11 speech.

Sadr also called for the dismantling of “some unorganized forces within the Hashd al-Shaabi and … punishing some others in order to protect the position, name, and dignity of jihad, jihadists, and the blood of the martyrs.”

Top cleric Sistani has called on the Shiite forces to come under the command of the official Iraqi military, adding that the state must have exclusive authority over all armed forces.

Sistani, however, stopped short of calling for the Shiite forces to be dismantled.

“It is necessary to continue to use the service of this section [the Hashd al-Shaabi] within the legal framework that exclusively puts the arm under the command of the state,” Sistani said in a statement that was read by his representative on December 15.

Tom Hardie-Forsyth, who has extensive experience of Kurdistan and UK security interests, wrote a damning letter on December 14 to his government calling Britain  “thoroughly blindsided by Iran,” referring to the Shiite militia in Iraq.

The letter disputed foreign office assertions that Baghdad’s seizure of disputed territory caused “limited clashes and loss of life,” and also challenges the Iraqi Embassy’s assertion of totally false allegations about the presence of non-Iraqi forces or irregular militias or groups backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The United States has mostly been silent on the role of the PMFs in Iraq.

“That’s a question for the government of Iraq,” said the spokesperson for the international anti-ISIS coalition, US Army Col. Ryan Dillon on December 20 ” I mean, they are the ones who have constitutionally, you know — you know, said that, you know, the PMF are a subset of the Iraqi Security Forces.

“So it’ll be completely up to them on what happens to the PMF as they transition, whether that be, you know, blended into the other elements of the Iraqi Security Forces.  But that’s clearly a government of Iraq for them to answer.”

The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)



Updated | An earthquake is long overdue to hit New York and America isn’t prepared, author and environmental theorist Kathryn Miles told Trevor Noah on Tuesday’s Daily Show.

Miles is the author of a new book, Quakeland, which investigates how imminently an earthquake is expected in the U.S. and how well-prepared the country is to handle it. The answer to those questions: Very soon and not very well.

“We know it will, that’s inevitable, but we don’t know when,” said Miles when asked when to expect another earthquake in the U.S.

She warned that New York is in serious danger of being the site of the next one, surprising considering that the West Coast sits along the San Andreas fault line.

“New York is 40 years overdue for a significant earthquake…Memphis, Seattle, Washington D.C.—it’s a national problem,” said Miles.

Miles told Noah that though the U.S. is “really good at responding to natural disasters,” like the rapid response to the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, the country and its government is, in fact, lagging behind in its ability to safeguard citizens before an earthquake hits.

“We’re really bad at the preparedness side,” Miles responded when Noah asked how the infrastructure in the U.S. compares to Mexico’s national warning system, for example.

“Whether it’s the literal infrastructure, like our roads and bridges, or the metaphoric infrastructure, like forecasting, prediction, early warning systems. Historically, we’ve underfunded those and as a result we’re way behind even developing nations on those fronts.”

Part of the problem, Miles says, is that President Donald Trump and his White House are not concerned with warning systems that could prevent the devastation of natural disasters.

“We can invest in an early warning system. That’s one thing we can definitely do. We can invest in better infrastructures, so that when the quake happens, the damage is less,” said the author.

“The scientists, the emergency managers, they have great plans in place. We have the technology for an early warning system, we have the technology for tsunami monitoring. But we don’t have a president that is currently interested in funding that, and that’s a problem.”

This article has been updated to reflect that Miles said New York is the possible site of an upcoming earthquake, and not the likeliest place to be next hit by one.

The Winds of the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

The winds of nuclear war

Munir Akram

The writer is a former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.

PAKISTAN has rightly denounced the crude National Security Strategy put out by the Trump administration and its flawed analysis and aims in Afghanistan and South Asia. There is, however, one assertion in the document which, excuse the pun, trumps all other issues’ intonations. It says: “The prospect for an Indo-Pakistani military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange remains a key concern….”

This is an understatement. Preventing a South Asian nuclear war should be the primary focus of any security strategy for the region. Dr Kissinger was right in observing a few years ago that nuclear weapons are most likely to be used in a Pakistan-India war.

Pakistan and India have ‘survived’ several previous crises with a ‘nuclear dimension’.

Today, Pakistan and India are engaged in a complex confrontation.

In the 1971 war, Chinese intervention in support of Pakistan was forestalled by a Soviet nuclear threat to Beijing.

In 1987, India’s Brasstacks military exercise blatantly threatened Pakistan until president Ziaul Haq whispered to Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi at a cricket match in New Delhi that Pakistan’s newly acquired F-16s could reach India’s nuclear facilities in Trombay.

In 1990, as Pakistan-India tensions mounted in tandem with the Kashmiri freedom struggle, India threatened war until US satellites detected Pakistan loading suspected nuclear warheads onto its F-16s, bringing then CIA director Gates to South Asia to defuse the crisis.

Following India’s nuclear tests of May 1998, Indian leaders asserted that India’s nuclear weapons (“we have a big bomb”) had changed the power equation. Pakistan was obliged to conduct its tests to remove any ambiguity that could have led India to a disastrous misadventure.

A conflict was narrowly avoided on the night before Pakistan’s reciprocal nuclear tests. Pakistani radar detected aircraft moving up India’s western coast whose profile was that of US F-15s, creating suspicion of Indo-Israeli collusion to prevent Pakistan from conducting its tests. Urgent warnings were conveyed to New Delhi, Tel Aviv and Washington. Fortunately, the radar readings proved to be a false alarm. In the absence of bilateral communications, war can be easily triggered by miscalculation and mistake.

In the aftermath of the Kargil war, US president Clinton depicted Kashmir as the world’s primary nuclear flashpoint. This remains true today.

During the prolonged India-Pakistan stand-off in 2002, there were at least two occasions when Pakistan detected Indian aircraft being readied for a strike. In public statements, Pakistan warned that in extremis it would be obliged to resort to its nuclear capabilities. India apparently concluded that a war would entail unacceptable cost. This led to revival of the peace process.

Today, Pakistan and India are engaged in a complex confrontation which could erupt in a war that quickly escalates to the nuclear level. The lessons of past crises have apparently been forgotten.

India is now ruled by a Hindu fundamentalist prime minister whose visceral hatred for Muslims is well known. He is using anti-Pakistan rhetoric and postures successfully as a populist electoral tool with his extremist constituency. The ‘Pakistan-bashing’ will escalate as the 2019 Indian national elections approach.

Second, the people of India-held Kashmir, especially its youth, have risen in a spontaneous and indigenous revolt. Unlike the past, the revolt is outside the control of the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders and/or Pakistan. And, despite brutal tactics, India has failed to suppress the revolt and, as usual, blames Pakistan and ‘cross-border terrorism’ for its failure.

Third, it is inevitable that Kashmiri freedom figh­ters will continue to attack Indian targets in and outside occupied Kashmir. It is equally inevitable that India will blame Pakistan and/or pro-Kashmiri groups located in Pakistan for such attacks.

Fourth, India has threatened to conduct ‘surgical strikes’ in response to ‘terrorist’ attacks. The daily Indian violations of the ceasefire along the LoC in Kashmir could provide India the ‘cover’ for such ‘surgical strikes’. Pakistan would consider any cross-border or cross-LoC incursion by India not as a ‘sub-conventional’ operation but as the initiation of a conventional conflict and give a ‘matching response’. This would commence a war which could escalate very quickly.

Fifth, despite the experience of the 2002 stand-off, India’s military doctrine contemplates a ‘limited’ war with Pakistan. Moreover, India has deployed its strike forces in forward positions, in accordance with its Cold Start doctrine, which contemplates a massive surprise attack against Pakistan. In response, Pakistan has adopted the doctrine of ‘full-spectrum deterrence’ under which Pakistan could utilise short-range nuclear missiles to break up large attacking Indian formations.

Sixth, perhaps to indicate that India is not deterred by this, the Indian air chief has asserted that he can identify and destroy Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. Pakistan knows that India on its own does not have the capability to do so. The Indian assertion has raised the question of whether the US has undertaken to neutralise Pakistan’s nuclear delivery systems, through a pre-emptive strike or seizure, in a crisis. (In this context, reports about US plans to seize or destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons are illuminating.)

The US has played an active role in defusing previous crises in South Asia. During and after his election, President Trump offered to mediate between Pakistan and India. Pakistan accepted but India rejected this offer. It has not been revived recently. Nor is it reflected in the National Security Strategy.

In fact, the US can no longer be considered an impartial mediator. It is now India’s ‘strategic partner’. The National Security Strategy blames ‘cross-border terrorism’ for the violence in Kashmir. It does not speak of India’s brutal repression of the Kashmiris, their human rights or their demand for azadi (freedom).

Pakistan must seek alternate diplomatic mechanisms to prevent a spiral into a nuclear war. One such mechanism could be a China, EU, US and Russia ‘quad’ that engages with Pakistan and India in joint or parallel talks to defuse the current crisis, prevent the outbreak of a war and promote a just and peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute. Such talks could be made mandatory through a resolution of the Security Council (which the US will find difficult to veto).

Ignoring the winds of war in South Asia could lead to a nuclear catastrophe without precedent in human history.

The writer is a former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2017

The Consolidation of Iran/Korean Nukes


Iran’s North Korean playbook to protect its nuclear program

John Hannah, Foreign Policy

Anyone watching the systematic consolidation of North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability over the past decade can’t help but worry about the parallels with Iran. Like Iran, North Korea insisted for years that its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes – despite a long track record of deception and lies about its true intentions. Like Iran, it accepted an international deal – the so-called Agreed Framework – that was supposed to terminate its pathway to the bomb in exchange for assistance that propped up its crumbling economy. And, as with Iran, the U.S. president who negotiated the North Korean deal pledged that its provisions, including a tough international inspections regime, would enhance America’s security.

Alas, as we all know, it didn’t work out that way. Within 12 years of agreeing to dismantle its nuclear program, North Korea exploded its first weapon. Now, another 11 years on, its arsenal could be as large as 60 nuclear bombs. And after conducting three tests this year of intercontinental ballistic missiles, North Korea stands on the threshold of being able to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city in the United States, including New York and Washington, D.C. Its ability to wreak nuclear devastation against America’s closest Asian allies, South Korea and Japan, is already a fait accompli.

There’s no doubt lots of blame to go around for the dire situation that we now confront in North Korea. The failure attaches to Democratic and Republican administrations alike. Whether we’re now on course toward a similar policy disaster in Iran remains to be seen. But in light of the North Korean precedent, the Islamic Republic’s longstanding nuclear ambitions and history of military and scientific cooperation with Pyongyang, and the significant shortcomings of the Iran nuclear deal itself, who can be sanguine? Vigilance is obviously called for in an effort to ensure that the mistakes made in North Korea are not repeated with Iran.

One in particular concerns me here. It’s the matter of the overwhelming military threat that North Korea now poses to South Korea – nuclear weapons or not. How many South Koreans would die in a conventional war’s first days from North Korean artillery, rocket, and missile barrages is impossible to say. Casualty estimates cover a wide range – from tens of thousands to a million. Thousands of American residents of South Korea – estimated at about 150,000 – might also be killed or injured. Seoul, the South Korean capital that lies within 50 miles of the border, would suffer incalculable economic loss, social dislocation, and psychic trauma. And that’s not even considering the unintended risks and consequences – both in Asia more broadly and globally – of such a horrific war fought on the doorstep of the world’s other great nuclear powers, China and Russia.

Steve Bannon, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, may have grossly exaggerated the consequences last August when he said that, “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.” But the larger point that he was making was almost certainly correct. Since at least the 1990s, when the Agreed Framework was negotiated, the potentially catastrophic consequences of any pre-emptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear program have heavily constrained U.S. decision-makers. The widely held belief that there is no viable military option that doesn’t render a key U.S. ally a smoking ruin has, without question, been an essential pillar of Pyongyang’s successful strategy for entering the nuclear club.

Which brings me to Iran. Think about what it’s been doing with Hezbollah in Lebanon for the past decade or so. Since Israel and Hezbollah went to war in 2006, Iran has flooded its Shiite proxy on Israel’s northern border with weapons – specifically, with rockets and missiles. The last time Hezbollah squared off with Israel, it had fewer than 15,000 in its arsenal. During 2006’s 34-day war, it fired 4,000 of them at Israel, averaging more than 100 per day despite robust Israeli suppression efforts. The vast majority of these were inaccurate short-range systems that sought to target and terrorize civilian communities in northern Israel. Hezbollah’s much smaller number of medium- and longer-range missiles were largely destroyed in a lightning strike by the Israeli Air Force in the conflict’s first hours.

Nevertheless, some 160 Israelis lost their lives in the war – including almost 50 civilians killed by rocket fire. Hundreds of thousands fled their homes in Israel’s north. Hundreds of thousands more were forced into bomb shelters day after day. Thousands of homes, apartment buildings, businesses, and schools were destroyed or damaged. Economic losses were measured in the billions of dollars.

That was bad enough. But flash-forward to today. Estimates of Hezbollah’s rocket and missile force now range between 120,000 and 150,000. That’s an absolutely stunning number – especially when you consider that the United Nations resolution that ended the war in 2006 allegedly prohibited all efforts to re-arm the terrorist group. It’s also a chilling number that now includes a far larger force of more advanced long-range missiles, capable of delivering massive payloads – upwards of half a ton – to every corner of Israel.

Instead of just over 100 missiles per day, the next war is likely to see Israel experiencing barrages of up to 1,500 rockets and missiles per day. Even with the sophisticated, multi-layered missile defense systems that Israel currently fields (which didn’t exist in 2006), the likelihood that they will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of incoming explosives, at least in the war’s opening days, is very high. With potentially thousands of powerful warheads raining down on crowded population centers, some Israeli planners are preparing for “as many as hundreds” of civilian deaths every day during the conflict’s first week.

It gets worse. Among those longer-range missiles that it has acquired from Iran, Hezbollah almost certainly possesses some that can be classified as “precision” missiles, with advanced guidance systems capable of midflight corrections and a high degree of accuracy. How many is not clear. Relatively early in the Syrian conflict, when Israeli leaders publicly declared that one of their red lines would be efforts by Iran to transfer “game-changing” weapons to Hezbollah, stopping the delivery of these types of deadly missiles was uppermost in their minds. Of the more than 100 strikes that Israel has conducted in Syria against convoys, factories, and warehouses, the vast majority have almost certainly been to constrain what it has called the Iranian/Hezbollah “accuracy project.” But as vigilant as the Israelis have been, it’s almost certainly the case that some of those attempted transfers succeeded, with an unknown number of precision missiles finding their way into Hezbollah’s order of battle.

To foil Israel’s attacks on its extended supply lines to Hezbollah, Iran is now also building factories in Lebanon as well as Syria that would provide the group with an indigenous capability to produce large quantities of precision missiles closer to home. At least some of these factories are being buried deep underground – as much as 160 meters – in an effort to make them immune from aerial attack. Senior Israeli officials have been ringing alarm bells about the factories since last summer – with a strong hint that if the United States and the international community don’t take action to stop them, Israel is prepared to act pre-emptively to destroy the facilities before their production lines open. Indeed, there is evidence that several such factories have already been destroyed in Syria.

The strategic significance of the Iranian/Hezbollah accuracy project is hard to overstate. Given its small size and limited redundancy, Israel is extraordinarily vulnerable if even a few dozen precision missiles breach its defenses and strike key targets: a handful of power plants and water desalination facilities; a few oil refineries and offshore gas rigs; the Dimona nuclear reactor; the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces in Tel Aviv; a few vital military industrial sites; Ben Gurion International Airport; or the sea ports at Haifa and Ashdod. Perhaps throw in the Knesset and several high-rise apartment buildings. It wouldn’t take much to inflict unprecedented damage on Israel’s home front, potentially taking a major chunk of the country’s critical infrastructure offline. One former head of Israel’s National Security Council described the potential destruction and casualties that Israel could incur as “unbearable.”

It’s no great leap to see this extraordinary buildup of Hezbollah’s capabilities as part of a systematic Iranian strategy to replicate the North Korea-South Korea dynamic in the Lebanon-Israel theater. In short, this would ensure that the costs of any future war against Hezbollah are so catastrophic for Israel that it – as well as its superpower ally, the United States – will be deterred from ever attacking Hezbollah’s patron in Iran. Once that shield of Hezbollah’s balance of terror against Israel has been established, the Islamic Republic will have the necessary cover to develop nuclear weapons unhindered, at a time of its choosing.

Unlikely? Perhaps. But who could have imagined the extraordinary expansion of Hezbollah’s lethality that we’ve witnessed in just the past 10 years? Where will it be in, say, another decade? Or even more to the point, at the time when – under the terms of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – most of the critical constraints on the size and scope of Iran’s nuclear program sunset by 2030? During the debate over the Iran agreement, former U.S. President Barack Obama frequently made the point that if Iran did make a dash for the bomb in 15 or 20 years, the United States would have “the same options available to stop a weapons program as we have today, including – if necessary – military options.” It was always a fairly vapid assessment. But it was particularly so in the event that any future president might have to consider that any strike on Iran could trigger a Hezbollah attack that would inflict unspeakable horrors on Israel, the one and only Jewish state and among America’s most important allies.

Stopping Iran’s mullahs from eventually following in the footsteps of North Korea and acquiring nuclear weapons will be hard enough as is. But it will almost certainly be impossible if Iran, through its continued arming of Hezbollah, is effectively permitted to take a U.S. or Israeli military option off the table. Israel is saying with increasing clarity that it will not allow such a balance of terror to consolidate. It will do whatever is necessary to prevent it – even if it risks triggering a broader war with Hezbollah and Iran. Better to face that conflict now, as horrible as it no doubt would be, than to face it later when the Iran/Hezbollah accuracy project is completed and Israel’s well-being, in the most fundamental sense, could be put at risk.

That should be America’s position as well. We’ve seen what happens when the price of stopping a virulently anti-American rogue state from going nuclear becomes the devastation of a critical U.S. ally. The story ends with that rogue state being able to hold all of our great cities hostage to its nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles. That’s the North Korean playbook that Iran ultimately wants to follow. The United States has a vital interest in making sure that it fails.