One miscalculation away from the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

Side view of the 'Fat Man' atomic bomb, the kind that the US dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945, killing thousands of people during the Second World War.

Opinion: One miscalculation away from nuclear holocaust

Opinion by David A. Andelman

Updated 4:17 AM ET, Thu August 4, 2022

David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN, twice winner of the Deadline Club Award, is a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, author of “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen” and blogs at Andelman Unleashed. He formerly was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion at CNN.

(CNN)United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres is hardly a global figure given to panic, or hyperbole for that matter. But rarely has he seemed quite so afraid.

“Humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” Gutteres said this week. The way he and a growing number of those who think deeply about nuclear issues and their consequences see it, the world is plunging headlong towards potential Armageddon, with little regard to the consequences of their actions, or inaction.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to have paid little heed to such fears as she moved blithely ahead with her visit to Taiwan in the face of dire warnings from the leadership of mainland China, whose arsenal of 350 nuclear weapons lies just across a narrow strait. And this in the context of bellicose words and actions from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine and Kim Jong Un’s ongoing nuclear rhetoric and actions in nearby North Korea.

Gutteres’s fears, of course, were broader and deeper than this single Asian flashpoint. He was addressing a world conference of the nations that have signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons — a gathering delayed by two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Side view of the ‘Fat Man’ atomic bomb, the kind that the US dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945, killing thousands of people during the Second World War.

Signed on July 1, 1968, by 93 nations, and in force two years later, the treaty now has 191 adherents. Yet never has it seemed more vulnerable, if not more relevant, than today.

The context, as Gutteres observed, was that this year’s conference — the 10th since its signing — “occurs at a time of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War.”

Indeed, the very foundations of global security that have effectively guaranteed the peace since the explosion of the “Fat Man” plutonium device — the last ever detonated in battle over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 — have been deeply eroded.

The United States was, and remains, the only nation ever to have detonated a nuclear weapon in a war. The Soviet Union tested its first device four years later.

In July 1959, then-French President Charles de Gaulle sent the Count Alexandre de Marenches, the co-author of our book, “The Fourth World War” to Washington, to ask US President Dwight Eisenhower to give France the secrets that would allow the French to join the nuclear club. Ike politely but firmly declined.

Still, in less than a year, France had exploded its first nuclear device, eight years after the British.

Russia was already en route to equalizing this balance. By the early 1960s, the Kremlin had deployed the first of what would be an arsenal of more than 3,000 nuclear weapons to Ukraine, where some of the first steps toward a Soviet bomb had been taken in Ukrainian institutes located in the now deeply contested cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk. More Soviet weapons then found their way to Belarus and Kazakhstan.

By the mid-1960s, on the western side of the Iron Curtain there were three nuclear powers (the US, Britain and France), on the eastern side, four ostensibily nuclear-armed states, though utterly controlled by the Kremlin. Effectively, there were just two nuclear blocs.

There are many who look back on that era as the good old days of nuclear confrontation — and with good reason. Each side, for decades, possessed enough nuclear weapons — as many as 41,000 for the USSR and 31,000 for the US at their respective peaks — to have utterly obliterated the other side, not to mention all life on earth. This led to the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

Since then, arms control agreements have reduced the size of these arsenals dramatically — to levels still able to incinerate the earth, but without reducing much of the tension. While arsenals have shrunk since the Cold War, the number of countries with nuclear weapons has proliferated.

How is it at all possible to have MAD when you have nuclear weapons in the hands of nine powers? (The countries in question are the US, Britain, France, Israel, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, and North Korea.) Within this group of nations, there are pockets of mutually assured destruction. Some 93% of all the world’s 13,900 nuclear weapons are still controlled by Washington and Moscow.

To a degree, MAD prevails there, and indeed the prospect of mutually assured destruction comprises a good part of what has deterred Pakistan and India from launching their arsenals at each other during any of three Indo-Pakistani wars or other regular confrontations across their contested borders.

The original cover of the UK government's 1980 guide to surviving a nuclear attack.

The original cover of the UK government’s 1980 guide to surviving a nuclear attack.

A broader threat, though, has only expanded. How likely is it that given some existential challenge, Russia or even China, which arrived in the nuclear club in 1964, might not deploy a weapon of their own? Certainly, Russia has issued such a threat in Ukraine. Just weeks before its invasion of Ukraine, Russia conducted maneuvers with nuclear units, while Putin announced that his nuclear deterrent forces were being placed on a “special regime of alert.”

And then there are the peripheral nuclear powers. While most of the world has been preoccupied with Ukraine, Taiwan, and terrorist leaders in Afghanistan, North Korea has continued to launch missiles and threaten new rounds of nuclear tests. On Victory Day last month, Kim Jong Un warned he was “ready to mobilize” his nuclear deterrent.

Finally, we are potentially within weeks of a new round of escalations, this time involving Iran. Though Secretary of State Antony Blinken has embraced a return to the conference table to restore the nuclear accord that was restraining Iran’s headlong dash toward a nuclear weapon, there is little real evidence Iran is prepared to agree.

Indeed, on Monday the Biden administration unveiled a new round of sanctions targeting “illicit” support of the Iranian oil industry, which is already under crushing sanctions. And there are indications that the “breakout time” — the time needed for Iran to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon — has shrunk to near-zero.

Should Iran test or even exhibit the capacity to test a nuclear weapon, its arch enemy Saudi Arabia has already indicated it will do all within its power to deploy its own. Indeed, it has fostered close relations with the nuclear programs of Pakistan and with China, whose appetite for foreign sources of oil knows few bounds.

It is hardly surprising that the UN Secretary-General has waxed so pessimistic. The speeches that followed his opening of the non-proliferation conference seemed scarcely calculated to return the genie to its nuclear bottle.

Blinken charged in his speech at the same conference that Russia is “engaged in reckless, dangerous nuclear saber-rattling” in Ukraine, while North Korea “is preparing to conduct its 7th nuclear test.” And as for Iran, it “remains on a path of nuclear escalation.”

“To escape the logic of fear,” Blinken concluded, should be the most immediate mission of all nations who’ve agreed to restrain the proliferation of nuclear arms.

Somehow, though, an even more worthwhile objective might just be for the world to find a way to turn back the clock from 2022 to 1962 or even 1982. These were terrifying years when, innocently, we practiced weekly duck-and-cover exercises under our little wooden desks in kindergarten, dug home fallout shelters in our backyards against an imminent nuclear attack.

But those very real and immediate threats led the nightly news, consumed the global dialogue, motivated every action by every world leader who understood that nuclear arms were, and should be, at the very top of priorities. They no longer are.

It is this fear that is at the heart of the Secretary-General’s pessimism — and should be at the heart of all of us

8 terror leaders narrowly escaped Israeli raid outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

8 terror leaders narrowly escaped Israeli raid in West Bank last month — report

Senior commanders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad barely got away during shootout with Israeli troops that killed 2 Palestinians in Nablus on July 24, report says

By TOI STAFF4 August 2022, 5:57 am   

A picture taken after clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in the Old City of Nablus in the West Bank on July 24, 2022 (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

Eight senior commanders of the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups narrowly escaped an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Nablus late last month, according to a Wednesday report.

The terrorists saw the Yamam troops enter the building where they were meeting on a security camera. Eight of the ten zmanaged to escape, while the remaining two stayed behind, fought with the Israelis and were killed, the report said, citing a Palestinian source.

The Border Police said at the time that troops had clashed for several hours with Palestinian gunmen during the raid, and that there were no casualties to Israeli forces.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry previously reported the death of the two men, and said six people were injured. It was unclear whether the injured were combatants.

The men killed were identified online as Aboud Sobah and Muhammad al-Azizi.

Images circulated online purported to show the pair carrying rifles, indicating they were members of a terror faction in the city, although no group immediately claimed them as members.

Police said troops had used gunfire and “other means” to “neutralize” the gunmen who were in and on top of the building. Footage of the home where the fighting took place showed heavy damage.

The Border Police said troops found “many weapons, firearms and explosive devices” in the house, and released an image of the confiscated items.

Weapon and weapon parts seized by troops in Nablus, July 24, 2022. (Border Police)

After the raid, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that the targets were “terrorists who recently carried out a string of shooting attacks.”

The Channel 12 report said the raid highlighted the dangers for troops operating in the densely crowded old city of Nablus. The area is difficult to access, and there are many places for terrorists to hide, including in underground tunnels, which can put Israeli forces at risk.

To carry out an operation, Israeli troops need precise intelligence about the location of the targets, and there is a network of armed terrorists in the area who alert each other to the presence of Israeli forces, which can lead to shootouts and put non-combatants at risk, the report said.

Tensions are high in the West Bank, as Israeli security forces have stepped up operations following a deadly wave of terror attacks against Israelis that left 19 people dead earlier this year.

On Monday night, Israeli troops arrested the West Bank head of Islamic Jihad in Jenin, a West Bank city seen as a hotbed for terror activity. Bassem Saadi was taken in along with his son-in-law and aide, Ashraf al-Jada, and another member of the terror group was killed in a gun battle with troops.

In response to Saadi’s arrest, the Gaza-based group announced in a statement that it was declaring a state of “alertness” and raising its fighters’ “readiness.”

The military closed roads around the Gaza border due to fears of a reprisal attack. The roads remained closed on Thursday for the third day in a row. The IDF also bolstered its Gaza Gaza Division with 100 reservist troops and three conscript companies to assist in keeping civilians out of restricted areas under imminent threat by Islamic Jihad.

The IDF’s Southern Command and the air defense array were also on high alert for the possibility of rocket fire.

Israel has reportedly warned terror groups based in the enclave that it would respond forcefully to any revenge attack following the recent arrest of Saadi.

Antichrist demands dissolution of parliament, early elections

Iraqi populist leader Muqtada al-Sadr
Iraqi populist leader Muqtada al-Sadr delivers a televised speech in Najaf, Iraq [Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters]

Iraq’s al-Sadr demands dissolution of parliament, early elections

Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr orders supporters to continue sit-in inside the national parliament and calls for new elections to be held.

Published On 3 Aug 20223 Aug 2022

Iraqi populist Muslim scholar Muqtada al-Sadr has urged his supporters to continue their sit-in inside the national parliament in Baghdad until his demands, which include the dissolution of parliament and early elections, are met.

The remarks, delivered by the Shia Muslim leader in a televised address from Najaf on Wednesday, could prolong a political deadlock that has kept Iraq without an elected government for nearly 10 months.

Thousands of al-Sadr’s followers stormed Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions, last weekend and took over the empty parliament building staging a sit-in that is continuing.

Al-Sadr supporters have set up an encampment with tents and food stalls surrounding parliament.

Supporters of Iraqi populist leader Muqtada al-Sadr gather for a sit-in at the parliament building, amid political crisis in Baghdad, Iraq [Khalid Al-Mousily/Reuters]

The moves were a response to attempts by his Shia Muslim rivals, many of whom are close to Iran – mainly the Iran-backed Coordination Framework – to form a government with prime ministerial candidates of whom al-Sadr does not approve.

Sadr won the largest number of seats in parliament in an October election but failed to form a government that would exclude his Iran-backed rivals.

He withdrew his lawmakers from parliament and has instead applied pressure through protests and the parliament sit-in, drawing on his popular base of millions of working-class Shia Iraqis.

Al-Sadr reiterated during his address that he was ready to “be martyred” for his cause.

“Dissolve parliament and hold early elections,” al-Sadr said.

‘Don’t want dialogue’

Al-Sadr, who once led an anti-US militia and who has millions of devoted followers, noted in his speech that he also had “no interest” in negotiating with his rivals.

“But we have already tried and experienced dialogue with them,” he added. “It has brought nothing to us and to the nation – only ruin and corruption.”

Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Baghdad, said al-Sadr appeared eager to show that he was “not seeking any personal gains from this process”.

“He was adamant that, of course, corruption exists in all various levels of government, he said one of the ways we can get rid of it is by having another round of elections to bring in a new slew of people,” she said.

The deadlock between al-Sadr and his rivals has left Iraq without a government for a record time in the post-Saddam Hussein era.

Outgoing Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has called for a “national dialogue” in a bid to bring all sides together to talk, and on Wednesday he spoke with President Barham Saleh.

Both men stressed the importance of “guaranteeing security and stability” in the country, according to the official Iraqi News Agency.

But Jabbari said it is now clear that al-Sadr, as well as his representatives, are not going to be taking part “in any form of national dialogue at this stage”.

Iranian Horn is Ready to Nuke Up: Revelation 16

The interior of the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant near Qom, Iran. (file photo)
The interior of the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant near Qom, Iran. (file photo)

The Farda Briefing: For The First Time, Iran Raises The Possibility Of Building A Nuclear Bomb

August 03, 2022 11:22 GMT

Welcome back to The Farda Briefing, an RFE/RL newsletter that tracks the key issues in Iran and explains why they matter.

I’m Mehrdad Mirdamadi, a senior editor and journalist at RFE/RL’s Radio Farda. Here’s what I’ve been following and what I’m watching out for in the days ahead.

The Big Issue

In a break with policy, Iranian officials have started talking publicly about the possibility of the country building a nuclear bomb.

After Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, against nuclear weapons in 2005, officials were adamant that Tehran’s nuclear program was strictly for civilian purposes. But the rhetoric has shifted in recent weeks.

Kamal Kharazi, a senior adviser to Khamenei, suggested on July 17 that the country was capable of making a nuclear weapon but that a decision on whether to do so had not yet been made. A video posted on a Telegram channel affiliated with the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on July 29 asked the audience, “When will Iran’s sleeping nuclear bomb wake up?”

The channel claimed that the underground Fordow enrichment facility was able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for one nuclear weapon. Those claims were echoed on August 1 by Mohammad Eslami, the head of Iran’s atomic energy organization.

Why It Matters: The recent statements are unprecedented. It could be an attempt by Iran to gain leverage and concessions at the negotiating table. Protracted talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers have been deadlocked for months. On the other hand, Iran could simply be revealing its intentions to become a nuclear power.

When discussing the nuclear issue, Iranian officials in recent years have cited the Islamic notion of taqiya, in which believers can conceal their faith in the face of persecution. In other words, you can achieve your original purpose in secret.

What’s Next: It is hard to believe that these statements were made without the consent of Khamenei, who has the final say on all important state matters. The supreme leader’s aim could be to restore public faith and pride in the country’s nuclear program and showcase the Islamic republic’s resolve. In this way, if Iran does agree to recommit to the nuclear deal, Khamenei can save face.

When the original agreement was signed in 2015, he hailed the country’s “heroic flexibility.” Since then-U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the deal in 2018, the agreement has been on life support. This time, Khamenei has resorted to what some have described as “defiant perversity” in his dealings with the West.

The hardening rhetoric that has emerged in recent weeks is likely to continue. On August 2, lawmaker Mohammadreza Sabaghiyan openly threatened that if “bullying from the enemy continues, we will ask our leader to change his fatwa in favor of making a bomb.”

Stories You Might Have Missed

• Iranian authorities amputated the fingers of a man convicted of theft using a guillotine machine. Amnesty International called it an “unspeakably cruel punishment.” Puya Torabi had fingers cut off on July 27 inside Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

In May, authorities amputated the fingers of another convict, Sayed Barat Hosseini, without giving him anesthetic, Amnesty said, revealing that at least eight other prisoners in Iran were at risk of having fingers amputated. Finger amputation as punishment for theft has reemerged recently amid a rise in petty crime and worsening economic conditions.

• Iranian security agents halted a music concert in Tehran while the musicians were on stage playing, in another sign of the crackdown authorities are waging against events they deem contrary to Islamic values.

According to a video published on social media on July 29, the members of the band Kamakan were performing when a security guard suddenly came on stage and told the band’s singer: “Stop! We were ordered to stop this!”

Following a recent uptick in social protests, dozens of concerts and cultural performances have been abruptly called off.

China Horn Continues to Nuke Up: Daniel 7

Russia Navy
A Russian sailor prepares for Navy Day in Kronstadt Navy base, outside St.Petersburg, Russia, … [+] COPYRIGHT 2020 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

With No U.S. Pushback, China Follows Russia, Eying New Nihilistic Weaponry

Craig Hooper

Senior Contributor

I evaluate national security threats and propose solutions.Follow

Aug 3, 2022,08:54am EDT

As the Biden Administration prepares to roll out an abruptly revised and more Russia-focused national security strategy within the next few weeks, it is no secret that the process of formulating America’s national security strategy is broken. America’s strategic challenges are multi-faceted, the formative process is bureaucratically painful, and, by the time America’s grand new national defense strategy is finally ready to be implemented, it is either overtaken by events or a whole new team is settling into the White House.

It is a corrosive exercise. As one administration after another produces National Security Strategies full of little more than watered-down, overly-broad proclamations about protecting the “American people, the homeland and the American way of life,” talented national security operators are opting out of the entire process, leaving it to folks who enjoy nothing more than long DC meetings and slapping backs during mid-meeting coffee klatches. But the failure to produce a durable, long-term national security strategy is trickling down to other components within the national security space. Rather than build to a defined strategy, the U.S. Navy and others take refuge in a “warfighter” ethos, focusing on building a grab-bag of tactics with no defined goal or end-state.

At the top, America’s leisurely path towards an underwhelming and watered-down strategic “document” does America no good. This failure to quickly generate bold, responsive and longer-term strategies leads to strategic paralysis and has real national security consequences.

The world moves quickly. Rivals quickly identify and focus in on America’s policy gaps, knowing that America’s ponderous national security processes won’t respond.

Vladimir Putin dresses up as a military commander
Few push back on Vladimir Putin’s strategic nihilism AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

While Israel is focused on Iran, the First Nuclear War is Coming: Revelation 8

While Israel is focused on Iran, nuclear danger is rearing its head elsewhere

While Israel is focused on Iran, nuclear danger is rearing its head elsewhere

Experts warn that if Iran achieves its nuclear goal, Israel must prepare for the possibility of Pakistan providing Saudi Arabia with atomic warheads or the knowledge and means necessary to speedily create one on its own.

 By  Tamir Morag

 Published on  08-03-2022 16:15

 Last modified: 08-03-2022 16:15

Far from the eye of the media, and perhaps even the focus of Israeli lawmakers – who are preoccupied with Iran, and rightfully so – a nuclear threat is developing much closer to home, with former senior defense and intelligence official warning of the political alliance between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

According to sources, in the event Iran achieves its nuclear goal, Israel must prepare for the possibility of Pakistan providing Saudi Arabia with atomic warheads or the knowledge and means necessary to speedily create one on its own.

Although a nuclear Saudi Arabia might not be a threat as great to Israel as Iran, the scenario in which Riyadh becomes a nuclear power is dangerous for several reasons. First, because it is an undemocratic country with a significant presence of elements with Islamist worldviews, and its government can change, with an anti-Israel one possibly rising in its wake, as has happened in other countries in the past, including Iran. Second, there is no guarantee that Riyadh’s interests will forever remain aligned with Israel. And third, such a move by Saudi Arabia will prompts other countries in the Middle East, such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey, to obtain atomic weapons of their own, turning the entire region into a nuclear powder keg.

In 2019, Yoel Gozansky, senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies and formerly head of the Iran and Persian Gulf department at Israel’s National Security Council, wrote an article on Saudi-Pakistani ties, saying it was “the only article written in Hebrew in recent years on the ties between the two countries, and this fact indicates the lack of sufficient attention to the issue in Israel.”

In his work, Gozhansky explains that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is long-standing and extremely close, so much so that they were previously described by Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, who served as the head of Saudi intelligence, as one of the closest relationships that exists between two countries in the world.

The basis for such an alliance is mutual benefit. Pakistan is the second-most populous Muslim country in the world, with about 215 million, of which about 85% are Sunnis, which counters the influence of Shiite Iran. In turn, Saudi Arabia provides Pakistan with massive economic aid and investments worth billions of dollars and is given a central role in the safeguarding of holy Islam sites, as well as political influence in the Persian Gulf.
Developing an “Islamic bomb” with Saudi funding, but on Pakistani soil, enables Riyadh to avoid international pressure. At the same time, Pakistan gains deterrence against arch-rival India.

“The close relationship between Riyadh and Islamabad is a vital strategic issue, which, unfortunately, is not very well-known in Israel,” Gozhansky told Israel Hayom. “Saudi Arabia has invested quite a bit of money in Pakistan, especially its nuclear program, and, of course, wants to receive something in return. In turn, Pakistan sees itself as the protector of Saudi Arabia and guardian of the holy Islam places, and over the years it’s made public statements making it clear it would stand by it in the face of external threats.”

“The two countries’ militaries train together and there is even an unofficial tradition in which senior members of the Pakistani army who take off their uniforms, including chiefs of staff, are invited to Saudi Arabia where they receive prestigious positions and live a life of luxury. This is a very complex relationship that has had some ups and downs – primarily against the backdrop of the Saudi disappointment with the limited Pakistani aid against the Houthi rebels in Yemen – but the bottom line is that it remains extremely deep even today.”
Gozhansky concluded, “As such, the transfer of nuclear warheads from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia is a plausible scenario. This is not the only possibility, but the State of Israel must prepare for it and take it all into account. It worries me personally because we seem to only look to Iran and miss significant things along the way. Despite the warming ties, we must understand that not all of Saudi Arabia’s interests align with ours, and therefore Saudi nuclear preoccupation, most of which is hidden from view, should greatly worry Israel.”