New York Quake Overdue (The Sixth Seal) (Revelation 6:12)

Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.

The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.

Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.

“It can happen anytime soon,” Kim said. “We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.

Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.

Babylon the Great’s Doomsday Nukes (Revelation 16)

The U.S. Submarine That Could Bring Nuclear Doomsday With It

Key Point: The Ohio-class could pull it off.

Nine years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Ishirō Honda’s Godzilla depicted a monster awakened from the depths of the ocean to wreak havoc on Japanese cities. A giant fire-breathing reptile, however, was less horrifying than what was to come. In less than a decade’s time, there would be dozens of real undersea beasts capable of destroying multiple cities at a time. I’m referring, of course, to ballistic-missile submarines, or “boomers” in U.S. Navy parlance.

The most deadly of the real-life kaiju prowling the oceans today are the fourteen Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines, which carry upwards of half of the United States’ nuclear arsenal onboard.

If you do the math, the Ohio-class boats may be the most destructive weapon system created by humankind. Each of the 170-meter-long vessels can carry twenty-four Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) which can be fired from underwater to strike at targets more than seven thousand miles away depending on the load.

As a Trident II reenters the atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 24, it splits into up to eight independent reentry vehicles, each with a 100- or 475-kiloton nuclear warhead. In short, a full salvo from an Ohio-class submarine—which can be launched in less than one minute—could unleash up to 192 nuclear warheads to wipe twenty-four cities off the map. This is a nightmarish weapon of the apocalypse.

The closest competitor to the Ohio-class submarine is the Russia’s sole remaining Typhoon-class submarine, a larger vessel with twenty ballistic-missile launch tubes. However, China, Russia, India, England and France all operate multiple ballistic-missile submarines with varying missile armaments—and even a few such submarines would suffice to annihilate the major cities in a developed nation.

What possible excuse is there for such monstrous, nation-destroying weaponry?

The logic of nuclear deterrence: while a first strike might wipe out a country’s land-based missiles and nuclear bombers, it’s very difficult to track a ballistic-missile submarine patrolling quietly in the depths of the ocean—and there’s little hope of taking them all out in a first strike. Thus, ballistic-missile submarines promise the unstoppable hand of nuclear retribution—and should deter any sane adversary from attempting a first strike or resorting to nuclear weapons at all. At least that’s the hope.

As such, the Trident-armed Ohio-class submarines will have succeeded in their mission if they never fire their weapons in anger.

The Ohio-class boats entered service in the 1980s as a replacement for five different classes of fleet ballistic-missile submarines, collectively known as the “41 for Freedom.” Displacing more than eighteen thousand tons submerged, the new boomers remain the largest submarines to serve in the U.S. Navy—and the third largest ever built. With the exception of the Henry M. Jackson, each is named after a U.S. state, an honor previously reserved for large surface warships.

In the event of a nuclear exchange, a boomer would likely receive its firing orders via Very Low Frequency radio transmission. While a submarine’s missiles are not pretargeted, like those in in fixed silos, they can be assigned coordinates quite rapidly. The first eight Ohio-class boats were originally built to launch the Trident I C4 ballistic missile—an advanced version of the earlier Poseidon SLBM. However, by now all of the boomers are armed with the superior Trident II D5 ballistic missile, which has 50 percent greater range and is capable of very accurate strikes, which could enable them to precisely target military installations as a first-strike weapon.

Ohio-class submarines also come armed with four twenty-one-inch tubes that can launch Mark 48 torpedoes. However, these are intended primarily for self-defense—a ballistic missile submarine’s job isn’t to hunt enemy ships and submarines, but to lie as low and quiet as possible to deny adversaries any means of tracking their movements. The submarine’s nuclear reactor gives it virtually unlimited underwater endurance and the ability to maintain cruising speeds of twenty knots (twenty-three miles per hour) while producing very little noise.

While other branches of the military may be deployed in reaction to the crisis of the day, the nuclear submarines maintain a steady routine of patrols, and communicate infrequently so as to remain as stealthy as possible. Each Ohio-class submarine has two crews of 154 officers and enlisted personnel, designated Gold and Blue, who take turns departing on patrols that last an average of seventy to ninety days underwater—with the longest on record being 140 days by the USS Pennsylvania. An average of a month is spent between patrols, with resupply facilitated by three large-diameter supply hatches.

Currently, nine boomers are based in Bangor, Washington to patrol the Pacific Ocean, while five are stationed in Kings Bay, Georgia for operations in the Atlantic. The end of the Cold War, and especially the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, resulted in the downsizing of U.S. nuclear forces. However, rather than retiring some of the oldest boats as originally planned, the Navy decided to refit four of the eighteen Ohio-class subs to serve as cruise missile carriers to launch conventional attacks against ground and sea targets—starting with the USS Ohio.

Meanwhile, the New START treaty which came into effect in 2011 imposes additional limits on the number of deployed nuclear weapons. The current plan is to keep twelve Ohio-class subs active at time with twenty Trident IIs each, while two more boomers remain in overhaul, keeping a total of 240 missiles active at a time with 1,090 warheads between them. Don’t worry, restless hawks: that’s still enough to destroy the world several times over!

The Ohio class will serve on until the end of the 2020s, and may even receive some additional acoustic stealth upgrades until they are replaced by a successor, tentatively dubbed the Columbia class. With estimated costs of $4–6 billion each to manufacture, the next-generation boomers may be fewer in number and will use new reactors that do not require expensive overhauls and refueling, allowing them to serve on until 2085.

Sébastien Roblin holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring. This piece was first featured in January 2017 and is being republished due to reader’s interest.

Media: Wikipedia

The Nations Continue To Trample Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

An image grab from November 20, 2019 shows smoke and fire billowing during a reported Israeli air strike on the outskirts of Damascus. AFP

Analysis Iran Unrest Gave Israel a Window to Strike. Now the Danger Lurks Elsewhere

At what point would Russia demand Israel cease its hostilities?

Amos Harel22.11.2019 | 05:56

Though it was Israel that struck most of the blows and took the initiative in the two recent rounds of escalation in Syria and the Gaza Strip, there appears to be a big difference between the two fronts.

In Gaza, Israel dictated the timing of the outbreak of hostilities and chose the opening shot – the assassination of top Islamic Jihad figure Baha Abu al-Ata. The military friction there did not get out of control and for now it appears Israel achieved the main aims it set for itself – hitting Abu al-Ata and a return to indirect talks with the Hamas regime, in the hope of reaching a long-term truce agreement in the future.

In Syria, the ping-pong balls are still flying, some of them not visible to the eye. Viewing the situation from the sidelines, it is hard go say exactly which blow was struck in response to which counter-attack and vice versa. Moreover, while the behavior of both Islamic Jihad and Hamas is more or less predictable, Iran’s position in the north is more complex.

It is quite possible that the next moves by Iran will be affected by the domestic political crisis there. Since the end of October the regime in Tehran has been bothered by the outbreak of mass protests in two countries in its orbit: Iraq and Lebanon. Last week, however, the Iranians’ troubles bumped up a notch when protests erupted again at home, in riots spreading to dozens of cities and towns throughout the country. The “gasoline protest,” which began in the populace’s response to the regime’s decision – under pressure from American sanctions – to raise fuel prices in the country by double-digit percentage points, has already exacted the lives of more than 100 Iranians, most of them demonstrators who were shot and killed by the security forces.

An Iranian man checks a scorched gas station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices near Tehran, on November 17. 2019. AFP

Security sources in Israel describe the current protest as the most serious since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. This, even though the precise criteria for comparison are not entirely clear, and even though the information coming out of Iran is only partial due to the authorities’ decision to shut down the Internet almost completely. It is reasonable to assume that the Israeli decision to respond more harshly in Syria – in the pre-dawn air force attack on Wednesday, more than 20 Iranian and Syrian targets were hit – took into account the assessment that the domestic troubles in Iran are opening a window of opportunity for Israeli action.

This is also an approach that could come back at Israel like a boomerang. Precisely from within the domestic pressure the Iranian regime is facing now, it is liable to conclude that a violent confrontation with Israel is beneficial. And the greatest danger is not lurking in Syria but rather in Lebanon – where Iran’s most effective asset is located: the huge rocket arsenal Hezbollah has accumulated.

Israeli intelligence officials figure Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah clearly remembers the damage inflicted in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and he is not keen to repeat the experience. However, Nasrallah is subordinate to the Iranians’ considerations and he has to cope on his own with increasing protest that is placing Hezbollah and Iran in its sights – to the extent of blunt accusations by Shi’ite demonstrators regarding the organization’s involvement in corruption and the drug trade.

Apparently, in the Iranian view the boldness that was demonstrated in the attacks on the Saudi oilfields in September have proven themselves. The launching of drones and cruise missiles made a big impression throughout the Middle East, especially as the Americans refrained from reacting to the attack – President Donald Trump explained that because the target was Saudi, it is a Saudi problem and not an American one. The Iranian temptation to act forcefully against Israel could rear up now in the wake of the Saudi precedent, despite the clear differences in the attack and defense capabilities of the two countries. Such an attack could be carried out from afar: The drones that attacked in Saudi Arabia flew hundreds of kilometers, apparently from Iranian territory. Last month Israeli Military Intelligence warned of a similar Iranian deployment in western Iraq, which could be aimed at Israel.

According to reports from Syrian human rights organizations, which are not known for their scientific precision, in the Israeli attacks in Syria on Wednesday, 23 people were killed, about half of them Iranian citizens. Possibly the real number is higher. To some extent, the move led by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Qasem Soleimani – establishing a military presence in Syria, by means of setting up camps and deploying Revolutionary Guards Corps and Shi’ite militia weaponry – in the meantime looks misjudged.

Of all the arenas in which Israel’s campaign between the wars is being waged, Syria is the most convenient for the Israel Defense Forces. The logistical chain the Iranians are establishing is long and vulnerable and the stronghold they have built near the border is still too weak to deal successfully with Israel’s intelligence and air force capabilities.

Another factor Israel must take into account is Russia. The most recent attack was preceded by the visit of a high-level defense delegation to Moscow. In the IDF, they have acknowledged that before the attack, the mechanism to inform the Russian forces in Syria in advance was triggered. However, the top Russian interest is ensuring the stability of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, in whose survival Moscow has invested considerable effort and vast amounts of money during the past four years.

Possible Russian intervention?

If the Russians suspect that the combination between riots in Iran and Iraq, and the increasing friction between Israel and Iran in Syria, is endangering their people or damaging their strategic project in Syria, they are liable to intervene and demand that Israel stop the attacks. In September 2018, after the Syrian air defense system mistakenly downed a Russian Ilyushin plane during an Israeli attack, Russia complained not to Syria but to Israel. Several months went by until things were ironed out between the two countries.

During the past several months there has been harsh criticism, in Israel as well, of the Trump administration’s Middle East policy. On two key points – the restraint in the face of the Iranian attacks and the abandonment of the Kurds in the midst of the withdrawal of American troops from northeastern Syria on the eve of the Turkish invasion, the president caused disappointment and anger among his allies in the region. Now, belatedly, the riots in Iran indicate that Trump’s consistent support of sanctions has to some extent borne fruit.

However, two questions remain: Will the regime succeed in suppressing the riots with the same skillful brutality it employed in the past, especially against the failed Green Revolution of June 2009? And will the pressure at home compel the leadership to consider concessions in the nuclear talks, in the hope of persuading Trump to ease the sanctions?

Even Pentagon Warns of the Growing Iranian Horn (Daniel 8:3)

AP/Vahid Salemi

Pentagon warns of Iran’s expanding capabilities in new report

November 21, 2019

Iran will deploy an increasing number of more accurate and lethal theater ballistic missiles,” says a senior intelligence analyst.

By World Israel News Staff

A report entitled “Iran Military Power” is raising concerns at the Pentagon.

Released by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), an external intelligence service of the U.S. Government, the document examines “the core capabilities of Iran’s military.”

“Iran will deploy an increasing number of more accurate and lethal theater ballistic missiles, improve its existing missile inventory and also field new land attack cruise missiles,” warns Christian Saunders, Senior Defense Intelligence Analyst for Iran at the DIA.

The Islamic Republic already “has the largest missile force in the Middle East, with substantial inventory of close-range ballistic missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and medium-range ballistic missiles that can strike targets throughout the region as far as 2,000 kilometers away,” Saunders adds.

“As Tehran expands its capabilities and role as both an unconventional and conventional threat in the Middle East, it is more important than ever that we understand Iran’s military power and the threat it poses to our interests, our allies, and our own security,” DIA Director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr. said in his introduction to the report.

“Iran sees itself as closer than ever to achieving its goals,” Ashley said. “Tehran has played the cards dealt it by the fall of Saddam [Hussein in Iraq], the uprising in Syria, the rise and retreat of ISIS, and the conflict in Yemen.”

Aside from its missiles, “another point of concern to the United States and our allies is Iran’s rapid progress in advancing its UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] capabilities,” says Saunders.

In June, Iran shot down a U.S. Navy high-altitude drone, firing a surface-to-air missile in the area of the Strait of Hormuz.

On the non-conventional front, “Iran has no nuclear weapons but its nuclear program remains a significant concern for the United States,” says the DIA senior analyst on Iran.

“Earlier this year, Iran began a counter-U.S. maximum pressure campaign, which has included gradually exceeding some of the nuclear related limits stipulated in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA,” Saunders notes, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six world powers, and the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement in 2018.

“In early July 2019, the IAEA first confirmed that Iran had exceeded some of its JCPOA limits,” says the senior intelligence analyst.

“Tehran has threatened to continue ceasing other JCPOA commitments unless it… receives sufficient sanctions relief,” he adds, referring to the sanctions imposed on Iran by Washington, after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. was pulling out of the nuclear pact, which had also been reached with Russia, China, the U.K., France, and Germany.

Iran is calling on European countries to save the agreement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing Tehran of using “nuclear extortion” in pressuring the Europeans.

Iran has taken steps towards developing a limited expeditionary capability through its operations in Syria and Iraq,” says Saunders in his review of the DIA report.

He says the Iranian elite Quds Force and “its network of proxies will remain critical to Iran’s military power and Tehran will also improve its conventional forces in seeking new capabilities.”

Israel Air Force fighter jets struck in Syria this week, hitting “dozens of military targets” belonging to the Quds Force and Syrian army, according to the Israeli army spokesman on Wednesday.

“The attack was carried out in response to the launching of rockets by an Iranian force from Syrian territory into Israeli territory and an intent to cause damage in Israeli territory,” the military spokesman added

The Fires in Iran (Revelation 6:6)

Iran on fire in 100 cities: ‘Most difficult time in decades’

World Tribune

November 20, 2019

Mass protests are raging in more than 100 cities in Iran days after the Islamic Republic, under pressure from sanctions, finally announced fuel rationing and a 50 percent increase in gas prices.

As it has in response to past uprisings, the government is cracking down — hard.

Reports, which have been few since Iran imposed a near total Internet blackout, say that up to 200 people have died in the recent protests. / YouTube

According to Amnesty International, more than 100 people have died in the protests. Exile groups say the death toll is above 200. State media have reported more than 1,000 arrests.

The regime of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has imposed a nationwide Internet blackout and banned reporters from covering what have become the largest protests in Iran in many years.

“Authorities are brutally repressing Iranians who are frustrated with an autocratic, abusive government and its policies and who bear the brunt of negative economic consequences of renewed U.S. sanctions,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

“By severing Iranians from global Internet connectivity, the authorities are hoping to hide their bloody crackdown on their own people from the rest of the world,” Page added.

Even before the gas price increase was announced, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Nov. 12 that the country in recent months has been facing “the most difficult” time in decades.

Reports from the scene which the Iranian regime has been unable to block have said that protesters are chanting “Death to Rouhani” and “Death to Khamenei” as well as “Death to the dictator.”

Iranians on social media reported receiving threatening text messages by the judiciary warning them not to attend protests. The texts called the protests “illegal” while warning that those attending the rallies could face prosecution.

In a statement carried by state media on Nov. 18, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned protesters of “decisive” action if the unrest does not cease.

Amnesty International said that Iranian government snipers have shot into the crowds from rooftops and even from a helicopter, adding to “a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings by Iranian security forces, which have used excessive and lethal force to crush largely peaceful protests.”

Khamenei referred to the protesters as “thugs” and “rioters” who he says are trying to destabilize the country at the behest of foreign influences.

“Funny: Iraq and Lebanon are weeks into mass protests aimed at Iran’s malign influence in those nations. Proving the protesters’ point, Teheran actually dispatched top security officials to counsel leaders in Beirut and Baghdad on how to crush those demonstrations,” the New York Post said in an editorial.

“But now those experts have had to rush home to direct a domestic bloodbath.”

India Fires a Warning to Pakistan (Revelation 8 )

India Test Fires Two Prithvi-II Short-Range Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missiles

The tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles were test fired at night on November 20.

Franz-Stefan Gady

Credit: DRDO

India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) test launched two short-range nuclear capable ballistic missiles at night as part of its annual training cycle to test the combat readiness of the Indian Army’s missile forces.

Two Prithvi-II tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles were test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on Dr. Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Odisha at nighttime on November 20.

The missile launches took place between 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., according to government sources cited in local media reports.

“[T]he missile trajectory was tracked by radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations by the DRDO along the coast of Odisha,” an official was quoted as saying by Times Now.

“Both tests met all parameters,” the official added. The missile reportedly splashed down in the Bay of Bengal.

The night-time user trial was overseen by the SFC and the Defense Ministry’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The missile was randomly selected from the production stock.

As I reportedly previously:

Prithvi-II is a single-state, liquid-fueled short-range ballistic missile, developed by DRDO in the 1990s and early 2000s under the so-called Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. It was first introduced into service in 2003. The missile has an operational range of around 350 kilometers and can alternatively be armed with 500 to 1,000 kilogram conventional or nuclear warheads.

The last nighttime test firing of a Prithvi-II took place in June of this year. A previous test took place in February 2018.

Earlier this month, the SFC conducted a test launch of an Agni-II medium- to intermediate-range ballistic missile from Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal.

The nuclear-capable Agni-II has a maximum range of between 2,000-3,000 kilometers and can carry a conventional or nuclear warhead of up 1,000 kilograms. It was first deployed in 2004 and is both road and rail mobile.

The Agni-II missile was last test fired in February 2018.