A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.

In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.

„There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,“ said Robinson. „There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.“

Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage: „The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,“ he said.

„More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,“ according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.

„Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,“ according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Babylon the Great Flexes Her Nuclear Might

LOCKED AND LOADED Massive US nuclear bombers deployed in Europe for training in impressive show of force against China and Russia

Patrick Knox

AMERICA’S strategic nuclear bomber squadrons have been in the sky over the Indo-Pacific region and Europe — to show they are ready to strike despite the coronavirus pandemic.

In a massive show of strength, the US Air Force has flown all three types of its bomber aircraft on long-range missions over the past week.

The US Air Force has flown all three types of its bomber aircraft on long-range missions to Europe in a show of strength amid the coronavirus pandemic

One of two B-52H Stratofortresses which flew from North Dakota on a mission to Europe

The US put on a show of strength with the long-distance flights

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the B-52H Stratofortress and the B-1B Lancer are all capable of carrying nuclear tipped bombs and cruise missiles. 

USAF in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander General Jeffrey L. Harrigan said: “The health of our team has been a top priority from the start of our Covid response and is key to sustaining missions like the bomber task force.

“Although mitigation efforts created challenges to overcome, our allies, partners and adversaries should make no mistake that we are ready, able and willing to deter and defend when called upon.”

The war games are a clear signal to Russia but especially China which has been using the coronavirus crisis to assert control of the vital South China Sea and flex its military muscles.

The US this week sent two warships – the USS Montgomery and the USNS Cesar Chavez – to the hotspot as part of a “presence operation”.

The move came in response to reports Chinese ships were harassing Panamanian-flagged vessel West Capella, which was drilling for oil in an area claimed by Malaysia.

It was the second time in a month US warships had to be deployed to deter alleged Chinese harassment of neighbouring countries.

It also comes amid reports that some in Beijing are clamouring to invade Taiwan which it claims as its own.

A B-1B Lancer from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, flies with a Polish F-16 and two Polish MiG-29s in the Baltic

A B-1B Lancer flies with a Danish F-16 during a training mission for Bomber Task Force Europe

The B-1B Lancer was able to make the near 10,000 mile round-trip without landing after it was refuelled by a KC-135 Stratotanker from RAF Mildenhall in the UK

A maintainer assigned to 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron prepares a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber for takeoff in support of US Strategic Command at Whiteman Air Force Base

The US is boosting its air power around the world after the navy faced weeks of bad headlines after the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier coronavirus debacle.

The ship has been tied up in Guam since March 27 after more than a thousand crew members tested positive for Covid-19 following a port visit in Vietnam. 

Several other US aircraft carriers are out of action or far from the Pacific.

China’s 35th fleet leaves port at Zhoushan, eastern China, last monthCredit: Rex Features

Special forces soldiers wave farewell on the deck in Zhoushan last monthCredit: Rex Features

An airstrip and buildings on China’s man-made Subi Reef in the Spratly islandsCredit: AP:Associated Press

Chinese sailors march in Hong Kong, China (file image)Credit: Getty Images – Getty

The USS Montgomery conducts routine operations in the South China Sea, May 7Credit: U.S. Navy

An F-35B Lightning II fighter jet prepares to land on the USS America in the South China Sea last monthCredit: Reuters

India’s Warmongering Attitude Before the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

India’s Warmongering Attitude despite Global Pandemic

By Beenesh AnsariMay 14, 2020

The rivalry between the two South Asian nations is not new. Pakistan and India have undergone four wars and that had added fuel in hate for each other. Since the Pulwama episode, India constantly remained active in pointing fingers at Pakistan. On 26 February 2019, India breached Pakistan’s sovereignty by the intrusion of Indian aircraft into its airspace. The violation of air, land, or naval sovereignty according to the international norms and regulations is prohibited and any state would have taken a drastic rather brutal stance leading to a nuclear war. Pakistan got a lot of credit for maintaining not only regional but global peace. Pakistan has been commended internationally for its sensible response to minimize the nuclear war threat and for saving the lives of millions of innocents by not triggering a harsh response rather extended a peaceful hand.

India on the contrary, with BJP government and RSS ethnic cleansing motives, have not only tried to monger war outside their borders but also within their own country. The RSS agenda revolves around flames of agony and a complex of superiority. Their unpleasant motives can be very clearly understood by the complete curfew that was not imposed due to fear of the spread of COVID-19, but because of their intention to suppress the voices of Kashmiris. That lockdown was much worse than the COVID-19 lockdown we face today. No access to any national or international media nor network coverage was accessible. In several inside interviews from local people, it was revealed that people were forced to not only close their shops but also clear the area. No one to date knows, how many lives are lost in that area by brutal killings, hunger, or distress. Human rights organizations have massively failed to provide a right to live for those people. Another episode, further depicting the disgusting motives of BJP government was passing of CAA in December 2019, elaborating their hatred towards immigrants especially Muslims. Also, the revocation of Article 35 A and Article 370 for depriving Kashmiris of their very own existence. Muslims in India are presently living in a state of fear and are ruthlessly beaten even to death by not only Hindu extremists plus the police officials.

With the outbreak of the recent coronavirus, the world seemed to unite, against a common enemy. Many nations joined their hands and helped immensely to overcome the crises. On the other hand, India portrayed a completely different picture. Where the international medical experts find bats or other animals for the cause of this pandemic. Indians chose to be driven by the RSS motives and blamed Muslims for the spread of the virus. Muslims in India are facing extreme bias on religious grounds.

Pakistan’s government has been very active in facilitating people and putting an effort to curb from this pandemic. While India has chosen to keep its warmongering attitude alive. Constant LOC violations were done by India. Many soldiers and innocents were killed by Indian forces even after the outbreak of a pandemic. Another key RAW agent was captured in Karachi a few days back. Many others might be hiding inside plotting some gruesome plans for Pakistan. Recently Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior has issued another notification to stricken the security due to intelligence reports of threats for terrorist acts inside the country. We can very well connect the dots.

India’s not being affected by the deaths of its citizens by COVID-19 has chosen to not only poison its relations with Pakistan. But also newly constructed a link-road to the China border, which is the disputed border area with Nepal. The link-road connects Lipulekhon pass with the Dharchula in Uttarakhand. Nepalese demonstrators came out on the roads to protest against this illegal act and the Nepal Government has sent a note in protest to Vinaya Mohan Kwatra, the Indian Ambassador to Nepal.

India is violating all international human rights laws and without any impunity. Whether India is depicting its aggressive attitude with Pakistan or constantly violating human rights, is not anymore the actual debate. The actual question now, is why India is not held accountable for its actions, and what is the actual agenda behind its constant aggressiveness? Is India provoking Pakistan to indulge in a war? Or its objective is to become a hegemon in the region?

The Horns Nuke Up (Daniel 7-8)

World nuclear arms spending hit $73bn last year – half of it by US | Nuclear weapons | The Guardian

World nuclear arms spending hit $73bn last year – half of it by US

Julian Borger in Washington

Wed 13 May 2020 13.14 EDT

The world’s nuclear-armed nations spent a record $73bn on their weapons last year, with the US spending almost as much as the eight other states combined, according to a new report.

The new spending figures, reflecting the highest expenditure on nuclear arms since the height of the cold war, have been estimated by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican), which argues that the coronavirus pandemic underlines the wastefulness of the nuclear arms race.

The nine nuclear weapons states spent a total of $72.9bn in 2019, a 10% increase on the year before. Of that, $35.4bn was spent by the Trump administration, which accelerated the modernisation of the US arsenal in its first three years while cutting expenditure on pandemic prevention.

“It’s clear now more than ever that nuclear weapons do not provide security for the world in the midst of a global pandemic, and not even for the nine countries that have nuclear weapons, particularly when there are documented deficits of healthcare supplies and exhausted medical professionals,” Alicia Sanders-Zakre, the lead author of the report, said.

The report comes at a time when arms control is at a low ebb, with the last major treaty limiting US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons, New Start, due to expire in nine months with no agreement so far to extend it.

Russia, which has announced the development of an array of new weapons – including nuclear-powered, long-distance cruise missiles, underwater long-distance nuclear torpedoes and a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile – spent $8.5bn on its arsenal in 2019, according to Ican’s estimates. China, which has a much smaller nuclear force than the US and Russia but is seeking to expand, spent $10.4bn.

Those expenditures were far overshadowed by the US nuclear weapons budget, which is part of a major upgrade also involving new weapons, including a low-yield submarine-launched missile, which has already been deployed.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of the US programme over the coming decade will be $500bn, an increase of nearly $100bn, about 23%, over projections from the end of the Obama administration.

Congressional Democrats failed in an attempt to curb the administration’s nuclear ambitions, but Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, said budgetary constraints in a coronavirus-induced recession, could succeed where political opposition failed.

“There’s going to be significant pressure on federal spending moving forward, including defense spending,” Reif said. “So, the cost and opportunity cost of maintaining and modernizing the arsenal, which were already punishing, will become even more so.”

Why is the China Nuclear Horn Rising As World Fights COVID? (Daniel 7)

Why is China Building Its Nuclear Arsenal As World Fights COVID?

Published: 14 May 2020, 07:53 PM IST

On May 8, the editor-in-chief of the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times, Hu Xijin commented in his weibo post that “China needs to expand the number of its nuclear warheads to 1,000 in a relatively short time and procure at least 100 DF 41 strategic missiles.” This was needed to “curb US strategic ambitions and impulses towards China,” he added. The discussion in the weibo (Google translation) appeared to support the view, though some did mention the fate of the Soviet Union which got into an unrestrained competition with the US.

The next day, in a longer editorial comment in Global Times, Hu, noted that while in the past the numbers of Chinese weapons were enough for a nuclear deterrent, they may not be sufficient to deal with the US government’s “strategic ambitions and bullying impulse” against China.

Hu argued that in the past, China was seen as a second rate country by the US, but today it had recognized it as a strategic competitor. Since Trump took office, he noted, China was the target of US “nuclear arsenal investment.” If China continued in its old thinking, it “would bring us a tragedy.”

An accompanying article in Global Times the same day featured a noted Chinese military expert Song Zhongping as saying that the US was no longer seeing nuclear weapons for just deterrence. They are “now viewing them as deployable [for use] on the battlefield”. He was referring to the US decision to field low-yield nuclear weapons in February this year.

Chinese experts like Song and Wei Dongxu saw the possibility of conflict spilling over from what was happening in Taiwan and the South China Sea. The article noted Chinese nuclear force modernization in the form of the fielding of the DF-41 road-mobile missile, the testing of the Type 096 nuclear submarine and its companion JL-3 missile and the development of the H-20 stealth bomber. The issue that seems to be bothering Beijing is that of numbers. As of now estimates say that China has 290 warheads, as against 6,000 each held by Russia and the US, but of which only 1500 or so are active.

On the same day, asked to comment on Hu’s remarks, Hua CHunying, the official spokeswoman of the foreign ministry said that those were Hu Xijin’s personal views “and he enjoys freedom of speech in China.” Pointing to Beijing’s No First Use policy on the employment of nuclear weapons, she said it was the duty of the big nuclear powers (US and Russia) “ to further reduce their arsenal drastically”.

Other more moderate voices have also spoken up. On Monday, Tsinghua Professor and top nuclear expert Li Bin, wrote in The Paper that the size of the arsenal is a matter of scientific calculation and that there was nothing in Hu’s argument that was specific as to why a thousand more weapons were needed. He offered a four point algorithm that would help reach that number of weapons that were “enough.” There could be circumstances, arising out of new roles for the weapons, or technical issues, which deemed the number insufficient. But people like Hu, needed to point out what these were instead of deriving some new numbers “intuitively.’

All this debate in China could well be a trial balloon floated by the government itself. The reasons are not too far to seek. Besides the February 2020 decision to field low-yield nuclear weapons, the US is also moving to rope in China for any future arms control talks.

Nine months from now, in February 2021, the last remaining arms control agreement—New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), that limits long range nuclear weapons—is set to expire. The US has been delaying the talks for its extension because it now wants China to be part of the treaty as well.

The US walked out the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia in August 2019 claiming that Russia was violating the treaty by deploying a new type of cruise missile, the 9M729 which violated the provisions of the treaty .

Russia, in turn, blamed the developments for the US abandonment of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. But the subtext of the decision was China which has hundreds of what would be INF class missiles on the mainland, ones that can hit Taiwan, Japan, India and the US territory of Guam.

Both the INF and New START were essentially US-Russia agreements. Now, with China looming larger in US calculations, it wants Beijing to also join up to any future agreements, even though the Russians are game to renew New START for another five years. China legitimately claims that in terms of numbers, its arsenal is simply too small for it to be involved.

New START now restricts deployed strategic warheads and bombs held by the US and Russia to 1550, a steep reduction from the 6,000 cap of START 1, though the warheads have been “retired” not scrapped. China is reported to have some 290 strategic warheads.

While there is no confirmation of Chinese numbers, the US NSA Robert O’Brien believes that they are “moving ahead very quickly on every type of advanced platform and weapons system known to man.” China itself acknowledges that it is modernizing its arsenal, but does that mean numbers or delivery systems ?

Old treaties expiring is bad enough, as is modernization of the weapons delivery system. But even more dangerous are the new emerging threats in the nuclear area—the use of AI and hypersonic missiles. For India, a fledgling nuclear weapons state, such trends can only bode ill.

(The writer is a Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

Army of Islam Steps Up its Activities Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Jaysh al Islam steps up its activities in the Gaza Stripa

By Joe Truzman | May 13, 2020 | Joe.Truzman@longwarjournal.org | @Jtruzmah

Jaysh al Islam (Army of Islam)

Recently, one of Gaza’s Salafi jihadi groups, Jaysh al Islam (JAI), stepped up its activity in the Gaza Strip. In the last month and a half, the militant group has published material showing its fighters training, conducting community service and interpreting Islamic rulings about COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 pandemic started to affect Middle Eastern countries, JAI published a 10-page document of its interpretations of Islamic law regarding the disease. The document describes COVID-19 as “of the creation of God Almighty.” Additionally, the group ruled the closing of mosques during a pandemic if certain conditions aren’t met, is prohibited.

“We consider the mosques the best places on earth and they are glorified from the Taqwa [being conscious and cognizant] of God Almighty, and the closure of them and preventing the servants of God Almighty from praying in them is among the greatest oppression,” the publication says.

On April 25, the group’s Telegram channel published over two dozen images of fighters conducting military training titled “Part of the preparation courses conducted by the Army of Islam in Jerusalem.” The photographs, which appear to be new, are believed to be the first publication showing military training of its fighters since the summer of 2019.

Photographs from the course show JAI fighters training under different military scenarios. A close look at the photographs reveal some of the fighters equipped with wooden firearms. This is likely an indication of JAI’s inability to procure weapons for all of its members due to the lack of financial support for the group.

Water and dates given out as Dawa before breaking the Ramadan fast.

On May 6, JAI published a video depicting its fighters handing out water and dates as a part of Dawa (missionary work) before breaking of the Ramadan fast. Each packet given to a needy person also contained a message from the group.

“Breaking the fast, from your brothers, Army of Islam Group,” read the statement. Interestingly, below the message was the group’s Telegram channel information and how to access it. Which suggests JAI’s attempt to increase its social media presence through its charity work.

JAI’s publication of its recent activity in the Gaza Strip is a stark difference compared to the last twelve months. During most of 2019, the group was considerably quiet and inactive on social media contrasted to previous years. Its social media channels were removed from Telegram, due in part to its pro-ISIS content, which made it difficult for the group to disseminate information about its activities.

One of the group’s primary goals is to wage jihad against Israel. Their last major jihadist act against the state was in 2018 when it took advantage of clashes between the IDF and militant groups in the Gaza Strip. Its fighters fired several mortars against southern Israel in retaliation for the killing of a Gaza resident in an IDF airstrike.

JAI has kept a low profile publicly and on social media. The group seems to be acting cautiously about its activities due to it likely being under the surveillance of Israel’s intelligence agencies and Hamas, which JAI considers an apostate disbeliever of Islam. In the meantime, the group continues to step up its activities in the Gaza Strip as it continues to wage jihad against Israel.

Joe Truzman is a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal.

The risk of the first nuclear war after the pandemic (Revelation 8 )

The postponement of the NPT review conference. Antagonisms, conflicts and nuclear risks after the pandemic

By Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, May 12, 2020

Editor’s note: The following is a document from the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs concerning nuclear problems and tensions in the time of COVID-19. The document has been co-signed by a large number of Pugwash colleagues and personalities, who are listed below. 

The new coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has already inflicted great damage on a number of nations and on the world at large, resulting not only in many tens of thousands of deaths but also in economic, financial and social crises. It also forced the international community to cancel or postpone a number of important meetings, including big international conferences. One such victim, unfortunately, is the 10th conference to review the operation of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – a central pillar in the current architecture of nuclear arms control and disarmament.

The 10th NPT Review Conference was scheduled for April 27 to May 22 of this year. However, the designated President of the Conference, Gustavo Zlauvinen, recently announced that the Review Conference has been postponed to a date not later than April 2021, depending on the state of the pandemic. This was, of course, an appropriate and necessary reaction to the COVID-19 crisis.

Ironically, the postponement represents an opportunity to address mounting pressures within the NPT regime.  The risks for the Conference and, ultimately, for the Treaty itself, have been multiplying. There is a large list of serious worries and problems: the renewal of the nuclear arms race; the crisis in the architecture of nuclear arms control treaties; the crisis in the relations among nuclear weapon powers; new setbacks with regard to the Iranian nuclear deal and the proliferation crisis in North-East Asia; and growing antagonisms between nuclear-weapon-possessor and non-possessor states. It is therefore essential that the parties to the NPT use the time between now and the start of the Review Conference to look for ways to ensure substantive progress. If nothing is done, the situation is likely to become even worse.

Over the next year, COVID-19 apart, many damaging, dangerous, or counterproductive things can happen in the area of nuclear disarmament and nuclear risks. To start with, the only remaining element of the US-Russia arms control system, the New START agreement, is going to expire. Will it be extended or replaced? Will there be any further discussion about promoting new arms control agreements? And how will the possible further disregard of Art. 6 of the NPT impact the NPT member states at large? Will there be an increase in the dangerous feeling of disappointment about the role of the NPT itself, 50 years after its entering into force? What will be the global impact, and the impact on regional situations, including Europe, of the decision by the US president to exit the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) treaty?

While arms control frameworks are eroding or disappearing, the nuclear weapon states are vigorously modernizing their nuclear forces, including the adoption of advanced technology. Examples include new hypersonic missiles and a new generation of cruise missiles.   More generally, states possessing nuclear weapons and states hosting nuclear weapons on their territories keep reinforcing the message that nuclear weapons are important and legitimate instruments for their defense.

While the nuclear weapon states cling to their steadily modernizing force postures and increasingly reject arms control, much of the world is moving in the opposite direction. The clearest indication of this is the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons  (TPNW), adopted on July 7, 2017.  Supported by 122 states in the UN General Assembly, it has 81 signatories and 36 ratifications (still short of the 50 ratifications needed for its formal entry into force but with the expectation that the treaty will gradually attract the required number of ratifications). This schism between the nuclear haves, committed to the indefinite retention of nuclear weapons, and the nuclear have-nots, most of whom supported a treaty banning nuclear weapons, represents a dangerous fault-line in the NPT and is sure to produce friction at the NPT Review Conference.

The coming year will continue to be marked by regional tensions and serious nuclear risks. A major concern is the greatly increased tension in South Asia between the two nuclear-armed states India and Pakistan. Also worrisome is the failure to make any meaningful progress in dealing with the nuclear risks in North East Asia.  Further, the US decision to exit the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program (JCPOA) and the American implementation of secondary sanctions against institutions and companies that do not respect the reinstated US sanctions against Iran, has created a tense environment in which the risk of conflict seems very real.  n the midst of this confrontational reality, there is a humanitarian catastrophe in the making because the sanctions against Iran are exacerbating the situation in a country that is also heavily hit by COVID-19.

The NPT’s one-year postponement also brings into play domestic political considerations in some key countries. For instance, in November 2020 there will be Presidential elections in the US and in 2021 there will be Presidential elections in Iran. There could be a new American president and there certainly will be a new Iranian president. The results of these internal political processes could have a large impact on the fortunes of the 2021 Review Conference.

It is highly desirable to use the time made available by the postponement of the NPT Review Conference to work on and hopefully to make progress on these issues that are sure to complicate and possibly undermine the conference. However, the overwhelmingly urgent crisis of the moment is the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, COVID-19 is not only the main (if not only) topic discussed by the international press, it is also the main topic discussed by the Governments and political institutions of most countries. So it is reasonable to expect that for some time the issues of nuclear disarmament and the NPT will be put aside. But if this trend continues over the coming year, it will be very difficult to have a “successful” conference.

Another potential barrier to progress in promoting restraint and reducing nuclear risk is the international friction and contention that may be caused by the pandemic. The medium- and long-term consequences of the pandemic are certainly yet to be understood, but it is possible that this crisis will cause or intensify conflicts, especially in the context of existing global and regional tensions. If this occurs, the pandemic will contribute to an environment that will have a negative effect on the prospects for nuclear disarmament, for progress in the NPT regime, and on hopes for reducing nuclear risks.

There are some positive signs in the midst of this terrible crisis. There undoubtedly have been initiatives of solidarity among nations in order to face the common enemy of mankind, i.e. the disease. Countries, in various and different ways, exchanged and are exchanging equipment, knowledge and medical workers in order to deal with the disease. Such cooperation is particularly critical to assist poor countries that have more difficulties in getting proper equipment (such as personal protective equipment, respirators, etc.) and often do not possess the medical infrastructure that is needed to deal with the pandemic. In a striking reaction to COVID-19, the UN Secretary General called for a global ceasefire, given the critical situation of mankind in the times of the virus. There has been, for example, formally a provisional ceasefire in the war in Yemen and also in Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Ukraine (although several countries did not support the ceasefire call). Global cooperation has been imperfect, but nevertheless this international solidarity movement is, in its own way, contributing to peace and collaboration around the globe.

Even if the picture is not completely bleak, the pandemic will have a number of adverse consequences that may make it difficult to manage the period ahead. The human cost of the coronavirus is considerable, including above all the extensive loss of life. But in addition the very heavy limitations on the transfer of people both across international borders and within countries themselves have brought to almost zero the political and human interactions of the majority of people.

The pandemic will also, obviously, have profound and inescapably important economic effects. The total lockdown of many activities in most countries has created almost everywhere a dramatic economic crisis whose effects are still to be fully understood but will surely be massively negative. The economic crisis will certainly be a global one, even if we will have significant differences between various countries and various regions. Facing the severe economic situation, countries and regions will try to rebuild economic activity and will be naturally inclined to think to their own narrow, specific, nationalistic interests.  Unfortunately, there will be a strong temptation to put aside the need to cooperate and to express solidarity with others.  In fact, the common attitude of “blaming others” is already evident in many places; indeed, the US and China have blamed each other for the start of the pandemic. It will be difficult to cooperate in this tense and pressured situation, as already witnessed in Europe, where we have seen difficulties in finding an agreement on how to define shared instruments to promote a general economic recovery.

In short, the economic calamity will haunt international politics. Cooperation is desirable and probably also necessary, but will be hard to achieve.  We have to expect that economic difficulties will bring about a climate where many different antagonistic attitudes could arise or could be enhanced. These antagonistic attitudes will be of particular concern in countries that have a previous history of hostilities or rivalry with other countries and/or where religious or ethnic or political antagonisms are strong. It is also possible that new hostilities will arise

The precise consequences of the above considerations are of course yet to be seen. But we should be concerned that the new post-COVID-19 political climate may increase the risk of war in various parts of the globe. With about 14,000 nuclear weapons still in the hands of the nuclear weapon states, the risk of the use of these weapons (or other weapons of mass destruction) will still be with us.

If we want to look at a crucial example from the past, where the long-term effects of an economic crisis brought war, we should think back to the worldwide economic crisis after 1929 and particularly to Germany in the 1930s. In Germany, the crisis created a political climate where the extremist Nazi movement took over and the consequences, in terms of antisemitism and war, are well known.  In the present times extremism has already shown a potential for growth when people look for “saviours” and strong leaders.

On the other hand, we should not forget one simple lesson from the current COVID-19 crisis: It has hit a lot of countries hard—big and small, some will suffer more, some less. But, in any case, the investments that some countries have been making in nuclear weapons, their new delivery systems and in military solutions for today’s security problems at large, have proved to be useless in terms of protecting their security and their people from this new unprecedented danger. The difficulties in addressing the impact of the virus on the population are also a reminder of the enormous humanitarian consequences that mankind would face in the case of even a “limited” use of nuclear weapons.

In conclusion, Pugwash’s goals are probably more critical than usual in the current challenging moment: helping bridge the divides in critical regions; supporting conflict resolution; and promoting nuclear arms control and disarmament measures globally and regionally.  Now the public debate and the media are dealing predominantly with the dangers of COVID-19. But we should expect that in the coming phases of this crisis, and in particular as we move into the reconstruction phase, antagonistic attitudes will become more relevant and more at the center of the public debate. It is easy to foresee that in the future, the need to defuse antagonistic attitudes, strengthen instruments of international cooperation and, in particular, reduce and eliminate nuclear risks will be greater than ever.

A final comment is in order concerning biological weapons. As we know, no international monitoring institution has been established since the entry into force of the Biological Weapons Convention. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the big impact of a pandemic on the life of the world population. Even if it is clear that the virus of COVID-19 was not the result of the work of any laboratory in any state done for the purpose of spreading a pandemic, the idea of building a biological weapon may look now more “attractive” to some, after seeing the consequences of the present disease. The virus of COVID-19 is not, by itself, a “model” for a biological weapon since this virus has generated a pandemic, while a biological weapon should be “confined” to the territory of the enemy. But there are other viruses that could become more “effective” biological weapons. It is very important that an international monitoring system should be created in due time, so as to avoid a biological weapons spread in the future. On this point the international scientific community should give suggestions on how to proceed and Pugwash should help promoting such activity.

The people listed below have signed this document on a purely individual basis. The affiliation associated with each name is only for identification purposes, and does not indicate any agreement or support on the part of the institution.

PC = Member of the Pugwash Council

May 10, 2020

Ershad Ahmadi (Afghanistan) Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan; President of Kabul Compass-Strategy and Analysis

Amb. Qayyum Kochai (Afghanistan) Former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Russia

Abdul Ahrar Ramizpoor PC (Afghanistan) Former Lecturer, Kabul University

Omer Safi (Afghanistan) CEO, TM4-Security and Risk Management; Head of Foreign Relations, Afghanistan Governors’ Association

Amb. Omar Zakhilwal (Afghanistan) Former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan

Irma Arguello (Argentina) Head of Secretariat, Latin American and Caribbean Leadership Network (LALN)

Dr. Veronica Garea (Argentina) Executive Director, INVAP Foundation, San Carlos de Bariloche

Prof. Karen Hallberg PC (Argentina) Professor of Physics, Instituto Balseiro, Bariloche

Amb. Alfredo Morelli (Argentina) Member, Argentine Council for International Relations

Gen. Hayk Kotanjian (Armenia) President Emeritus, Political Science Association of Armenia; Professor of Strategic Studies

Dr. Vahram Petrosyan (Armenia) Chair, International Relations and Diplomacy, Yerevan State University

Benjamin Poghosyan (Armenia) Executive Director, Political Science Association of Armenia

Dilara Efendieva (Azerbaijan) Director, Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform

Prof. Tom Sauer (Belgium) Associate Professor of International Politics, University of Antwerpen

Dr. Jean Pascal Zanders PC (Belgium) Independent consultant, The-Trench.com

Amb. Jorio Dauster (Brazil) Former Ambassador to the EU; former President of the Companhia Vale do Rio Doce

Prof. Nelida Del Mastro (Brazil) Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (IPEN), University of Sao Paulo; President of WIN Brazil

Dr. Odilon Marcuzzo Do Canto (Brazil) Former Executive Secretary, ABACC (2007-2016)

Amb. Sergio Duarte PC (Brazil) President, Pugwash Conferences; former UN Under-Secretary of Disarmament, NY

Dr. Leonam Dos Santos Guimarães (Brazil) President (CEO), Electronuclear; Member, Advisory Groups of IAEA, SAGNE and INLEX

Dr. Monica Herz, PhD (Brazil) Associate Professor, Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University (PUC), Rio de Janeiro; former Member of UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters

Prof. Lucas Carlos Lima (Brazil) Professor of International Law, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Dr. Laercio Antonio Vinhas (Brazil) Former Permanent Representative of Brazil to the IAEA and CTBTO; former Chair, Board of Governors, IAEA; former Director of Safety, Security and Safeguards at the Brazilian National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN)

Prof. Cristian Ricardo Wittmann (Brazil) Professor of International Law at UNIPAMPA and SEHLAC

Dr. Adele Buckley PC (Canada) Steering Committee of Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, and of Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Dr. Peter Jones PC (Canada) Executive Director, Ottawa Dialogue, University of Ottawa

Amb. Paul Meyer (Canada) Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament; Professor of International Studies, Simon Fraser University; Chair of the Canadian Pugwash Group

Tariq Rauf (Canada/Pakistan) President, Global Nuclear Solutions; former Head, Verification and Security Policy, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Douglas Roche (Canada) Former Canadian Senator

Dr. Jennifer Simons PC (Canada) Founder and President, The Simons Foundation ‎Canada; Senior Fellow, Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue, and Adjunct Professor, SFU School for International Studies

Amb. Alfredo Labbe (Chile) Vice President of International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission (IHFFC); former Special Envoy for Nuclear and International Security

Prof. Li Bin PC (China) Professor, Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University

Prof. Shen Dingli (China) Professor, Institute of International Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai

Dr. Tong Zhao (China) Senior Fellow, Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy

Anissa Hassouna PC (Egypt) Member of the Egyptian Parliament

Dr. Katariina Simonen PC (Finland) Senior Ministerial Advisor; Adjunct Professor, National Defence University

Dr. Nicolas Delerue (France) CNRS, Irene Joliot-Curie Laboratory Orsay

Dr. Venance Journe PC (France) CNRS-Researcher, Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Paris

Gen. (ret.) Bernard Norlain (France) retired Air Force General

Prof. Annik Suzor-Weiner (France) Professor Emeritus, University Paris Saclay (Orsay)

Amb. Ruediger Luedeking (Germany) Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the UN and other International Organizations, Vienna (2008-12); Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the OSCE, Vienna (2012-15); Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Kingdom of Belgium (2015- 2018)

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Dr. Goetz Neuneck PC (Germany) Professor, University of Hamburg; former Deputy Director at IFSH, University of Hamburg

Prof. Erzsébet N. Rózsa (Hungary) Professor, National University of Public Service, Budapest

A.S. Dulat (India) Former Special Director, Indian Intelligence Bureau, and former Chief of RAW

Dr. Happymon Jacob PC (India) Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Prof. R. Rajaraman PC (India) Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, School of Physical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Amb. K.C. Singh (India) Columnist and Strategic Analyst; former Secretary MFA; former Ambassador of India to Iran and the UAE

Col. (ret.) Ajai Shukla (India) Consulting Editor, Strategic Affairs

Prof. Siddiq Wahid (India) from Kashmir; Professor & Scholar in Residence, Shiv Nadar University

Dr. Kayhan Barzegar (Iran) Director, Center for Middle East Strategic Studies, Tehran

Prof. Nasser Hadian (Iran) Professor of International Relations, Tehran University

Prof. Saideh Lotfian PC (Iran) Professor, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran; Chair of the Pugwash Council

Amb. Bozorgmehr Ziaran PC (Iran) Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission (CTBTO PrepCom)

Dr. Hussain Al Shahristani (Iraq) Former Minister of Higher Education of Iraq; former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq; former Minister of Energy of Iraq

Gen. Shlomo Brom (Israel) Former Director of the Strategic Planning Division of the General Staff; Head of the program on Israeli-Palestinian relations at INSS

Prof. David Menashri PC (Israel) Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University

Aharon Zohar PC (Israel) Independent consultant, regional planning and environmental protection

Prof. Francesco Calogero PC (Italy) Professor of Theoretical Physics (Emeritus), Physics Department, University of Rome; Member, SICA group, Italian National Academy of Sciences; Member, Scientific Council, Italian Union of Scientists for Disarmament (USPID)

Prof. Paolo Cotta Ramusino PC (Italy) Secretary General, Pugwash Conferences; Professor of Physics, University of Milan; Member, SICA group, Italian National Academy of Sciences; Member, Scientific Council, USPID

Prof. Francesco Forti (Italy) Professor, Department of Physics “E. Fermi”, University of Pisa; Secretary General, USPID

Dr. Francesco Lenci PC (Italy) Research Associate, National Research Council (CNR) Italy; former Research Director at CNR; Member, SICA group, Italian National Academy of Sciences; Member, Scientific Council, USPID

Prof. Luciano Maiani (Italy/San Marino) President, SICA group, Italian National Academy of Sciences; former Secretary General, CERN (Geneva); former President, INFN and Italian CNR

Dr. Emilio Parisini (Italy) Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Riga

Prof. Alessandro Pascolini (Italy) Senior Scholar, Physics Department, University of Padua; Member, SICA group, Italian National Academy of Sciences

Prof. Carlo Schaerf (Italy) Director, International School on Disarmament and Research on Conflicts (ISODARCO); Professor of Physics (ret.), University of Rome; Member, SICA group, Italian National Academy of Sciences; Member, Scientific Council, USPID

Dr. Gianpiero Siroli (Italy) Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna; expert in cybersecurity

Amb. Carlo Trezza (Italy) Head, Italian section, European Leadership Network; former Ambassador of Italy to South Korea; former Head, Missile Technology Control Regime; Member, Scientific Council, USPID

Prof. Michiji Konuma (Japan) Professor Emeritus of Physics, Keio University, Tokyo

Prof. Yoshiko Kurita PC (Japan) Professor, Chiba University

Dr. Tatsu Suzuki PC (Japan) Director and Professor, Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA), Nagasaki University; former Vice Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission and former Associate Vice President, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry

Prof. Takao Takahara (Japan) Director, International Peace Research Institute, Meiji Gakuin University – PRIME

Amb. Wael Al-Assad PC (Jordan) Senior Adviser to the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons, Qatar, former Director, Disarmament & Multilateral Relations Department, League of Arab States, Cairo, Egypt

Dr. Talatbek Masadykov (Kyrgzstan) Senior Analyst, Independent Research and Analysis Centers of Kyrgyzstan and of Kazakhstan

Dr. Eldar Mamedov (Latvia) Foreign Policy Adviser for the Social-Democratic Group in the European Parliament

Dr. Olga Pellicer (Mexico) Professor and Researcher, ITAM; former Permanent Representative of Mexico to the IAEA

Prof. Alejandro Pisanty (Mexico) Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; Chair, ISOC-Mexico

Jan Theodoor Hoekema (Netherlands) Head of the Dutch Pugwash Group; former Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation; former Member of Parliament

Prof. Bob van der Zwaan PC (Netherlands) Professor, TNO and University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amb. Tim Caughley (New Zealand) Former New Zealand Disarmament Ambassador

Sverre Lodgaard PC (Norway) Senior Research Fellow and former Director (1997–2007), Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI); former Director, UNIDIR (1992-1996)

Amb. Svein Sevje (Norway) Former Special Envoy to the Middle East and Ambassador to Israel

Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary (Pakistan) Former Minister of Interior of Pakistan

Zulfiqar Abbasi (Pakistan) from Kashmir; Chief Executive Officer, Kohsar Hydro Power Pvt.

Gen. Asad Durrani (Pakistan) Former Director General of ISI; Political Commentator

Zahid Hussein (Pakistan) Journalist, writer and television commentator

Amb. Aziz Ahmad Khan (Pakistan) Former Ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan and India

Amb. Riaz Mohammad Khan (Pakistan) Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan

Gen. Talat Masood PC (Pakistan) Former Secretary for Defence Production in the Pakistan Ministry of Defence; former Chairman and Chief Executive of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Board

Prof. Abdul H. Nayyar (Pakistan) Professor (ret.), Physics Department, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; former Visiting Scholar, Princeton University

Amb. Sherry Rehman (Pakistan) Former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US; President of the Jinnah Institute

Amb. Rustam Shah (Pakistan) former Ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan

Haifa Baramki PC (Palestine) President, National YWCA of Palestine, Jerusalem

Taghreed El-Khodary PC (Palestine) Freelance editor/journalist/media consultant, Fanack.com

Hazem Kawasmi (Palestine) Member of the Palestinian Independent Commission

Samir Shawa (Palestine-Gaza/UK) Chairman, Alhani Foundation, Gaza, Palestine

Brig. Gen. Hassan Al Nesf (Qatar) Chairman of the National Commission for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW)

Dr. Jungmin Kang (Republic of Korea) Former Chairman, Nuclear Safety and Security Commission of South Korea

Dr. Chung-in Moon (Republic of Korea) Vice Chairman and Executive Director, Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament

Mark Suh PC (Republic of Korea/Germany) Chair, Korean Pugwash Group, former Member, Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful Unification of Korea, Seoul

Dr. Alexei Arbatov (Russia) Member of the Russian Academy of Science

Dr. Nadia Arbatova (Russia) Deputy Chair of Russian Pugwash

Prof. Vladimir Baranovsky (Russia) Russian Academy of Sciences, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy & Int’l Relations-IMEMO

Amb. Serguey Batsanov PC (Russia) Director, Geneva Office of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; former USSR and Russian Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament

Prof. Alexander Dynkin PC (Russia) Chair of the Russian Pugwash Committee; President, Institute for World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences

Prof. Alexander Nikitin PC (Russia) Director of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Security of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations of the Russian MFA

Prof. Irina Zvyagelskaya (Russia) Head, Center for Middle East Studies, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations-IMEMO

Prof. Nola Dippenaar (South Africa) Professor Emeritus, School of Medicine, University of Pretoria; CEO, Health Insight SA

Amb. J. Dhanapala (Sri Lanka) Former President of Pugwash; former Undersecretary General of the UN for Disarmament

Amb. Rolf Ekeus PC (Sweden) Distinguished Associate Fellow, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPIRI); Fellow, Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences; former Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, former Executive Chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) 1991-97

Dr. Anita Nilsson (Sweden) Associate Fellow, Chatham House; former Director of Nuclear Security, IAEA

Dr. Trita Parsi (Sweden) Adjunct Associate Professor, Georgetown University; Founder and former President of the National Iranian American Council

Arnold Luethold PC (Switzerland) Former Head of the Middle East North Africa Programme, Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, Geneva

Memduh Karakullukçu (Turkey) Founding Board Member and First President, Global Relations Forum, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kibaroglu PC (Turkey) Dean, Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences, MEF University, Istanbul

Sandra Ionno Butcher PC (UK/USA), Chief Executive, National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome-UK (NOFAS-UK); former Executive Director of Pugwash Conferences

Amb. Peter Jenkins (UK) Chair of the British Pugwash Group; former UK Ambassador to the IAEA

Sir Adam Thomson (UK) Former UK High Commissioner to Pakistan; former UK Permanent Representative to NATO; Director, European Leadership Network

Dr. Christopher Watson PC (UK) Former Business Development Manager AEA Technology

Dr. Thomas M. Countryman (USA) Former US Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation

Sen. Chuck Hagel (USA) Former US Senator, and former US Secretary of Defense

Dr. Ira Helfand (USA) Co-president, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (1985 Nobel Peace Prize)

Prof. John Holdren (USA) Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy, Harvard University; President Obama’s Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (January 2009 – January 2017)

Col. (ret.) Christopher D. Kolenda (USA) Founder Strategic Leaders Academy; former Senior Advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan to US Department of Defense

Dr. Cliff Kupchan PC (USA) Chairman and Director of Research, Eurasia Group, Washington, DC

Prof. John Limbert (USA) Professor (ret) of Middle-Eastern Studies, US Naval Academy; former US diplomat

Gen. (ret.) Douglas Lute (USA) US Army Lieutenant General; former US Permanent Representative to NATO

Dr. Steven Miller PC (USA) Director of the International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University; Editor-in-Chief, International Security; Chair, Pugwash Executive Committee

Amb. Robin L. Raphel (USA) Former US Assistant Secretary of State

Dr. Laura Rockwood (USA) Director, Open Nuclear Network; former Section Head, IAEA Nonproliferation  and Policy

Dr. Randy Rydell (USA) Executive Advisor, Mayors for Peace; retired officer in the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs

Leon Sigal (USA) Director, Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project; former International Affairs Fellow, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, US State Department

Prof. Sharon Squassoni (USA) Research Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

Dr. Ali Vaez (USA) Iran Project Director, Crisis Group, Washington DC

Prof. Frank von Hippel (USA) Professor (ret.) Princeton University

Prof. Jonathan Weisman (USA) London Clay Professor of Biology, The Whitehead Institute and MIT