New York Subways at the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)


How vulnerable are NYC’s underwater subway tunnels to flooding?Ashley Fetters
New York City is full of peculiar phenomena—rickety fire escapes; 100-year-old subway tunnelsair conditioners propped perilously into window frames—that can strike fear into the heart of even the toughest city denizen. But should they? Every month, writer Ashley Fetters will be exploring—and debunking—these New York-specific fears, letting you know what you should actually worry about, and what anxieties you can simply let slip away.
The 25-minute subway commute from Crown Heights to the Financial District on the 2/3 line is, in my experience, a surprisingly peaceful start to the workday—save for one 3,100-foot stretch between the Clark Street and Wall Street stations, where for three minutes I sit wondering what the probability is that I will soon die a torturous, claustrophobic drowning death right here in this subway car.
The Clark Street Tunnel, opened in 1916, is one of approximately a dozen tunnels that escort MTA passengers from one borough to the next underwater—and just about all of them, with the exception of the 1989 addition of the 63rd Street F train tunnel, were constructed between 1900 and 1936.
Each day, thousands of New Yorkers venture across the East River and back again through these tubes buried deep in the riverbed, some of which are nearing or even past their 100th birthdays. Are they wrong to ponder their own mortality while picturing one of these watery catacombs suddenly springing a leak?
Mostly yes, they are, says Michael Horodniceanu, the former president of MTA Capital Construction and current principal of Urban Advisory Group. First, it’s important to remember that the subway tunnel is built under the riverbed, not just in the river—so what immediately surrounds the tunnel isn’t water but some 25 feet of soil. “There’s a lot of dirt on top of it,” Horodniceanu says. “It’s well into the bed of the bottom of the channel.”
And second, as Angus Kress Gillespie, author of Crossing Under the Hudson: The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, points out, New York’s underwater subway tunnels are designed to withstand some leaking. And withstand it they do: Pumps placed below the floor of the tunnel, he says, are always running, always diverting water seepage into the sewers. (Horodniceanu says the amount of water these pumps divert into the sewer system each day numbers in the thousands of gallons.)
Additionally, MTA crews routinely repair the grouting and caulking, and often inject a substance into the walls that creates a waterproof membrane outside the tunnel—which keeps water out of the tunnel and relieves any water pressure acting on its walls. New tunnels, Horodniceanu points out, are even built with an outside waterproofing membrane that works like an umbrella: Water goes around it, it falls to the sides, and then it gets channeled into a pumping station and pumped out.
Of course, the classic New York nightmare scenario isn’t just a cute little trickle finding its way in. The anxiety daydream usually involves something sinister, or seismic. The good news, however, is that while an earthquake or explosion would indeed be bad for many reasons, it likely wouldn’t result in the frantic flooding horror scene that plays out in some commuters’ imaginations.
The Montague Tube, which sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.
MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann
Horodniceanu assures me that tunnels built more recently are “built to withstand a seismic event.” The older tunnels, however—like, um, the Clark Street Tunnel—“were not seismically retrofitted, let me put it that way,” Horodniceanu says. “But the way they were built is in such a way that I do not believe an earthquake would affect them.” They aren’t deep enough in the ground, anyway, he says, to be too intensely affected by a seismic event. (The MTA did not respond to a request for comment.)
One of the only real threats to tunnel infrastructure, Horodniceanu adds, is extreme weather. Hurricane Sandy, for example, caused flooding in the tunnels, which “created problems with the infrastructure.” He continues, “The tunnels have to be rebuilt as a result of saltwater corroding the infrastructure.”
Still, he points out, hurricanes don’t exactly happen with no warning. So while Hurricane Sandy did cause major trauma to the tunnels, train traffic could be stopped with ample time to keep passengers out of harm’s way. In 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed all the MTA’s mass transit services to shut down at 7 p.m. the night before Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit New York City.
And Gillespie, for his part, doubts even an explosion would result in sudden, dangerous flooding. A subway tunnel is not a closed system, he points out; it’s like a pipe that’s open at both ends. “The force of a blast would go forwards and backwards out the exit,” he says.
So the subway-train version of that terrifying Holland Tunnel flood scene in Sylvester Stallone’s Daylight is … unrealistic, right?
“Yeah,” Gillespie laughs. “Yeah. It is.”
Got a weird New York anxiety that you want explored? E-mail, and we may include it in a future column.

The Iranian Nuclear Horn Grows: Daniel 8

Iran's near weapons-grade uranium stock grows, probe stuck -IAEA reports

Iran’s near weapons-grade uranium stock grows, probe stuck -IAEA reports

Iran’s uranium enriched to up to 60% and in the form of uranium hexafluoride, the gas that centrifuges enrich, is estimated to have grown by 12.5 kg to 55.6 kg since the last quarterly International Atomic Energy Agency report issued on May 30, the IAEA report to member states seen by Reuters said. At the same time, as in previous quarters, the IAEA issued a second report saying Iran had still not provided credible answers on the origin of uranium particles found at three undeclared sites that appear to mainly be old and which the IAEA has been investigating for years.

Reuters | Vienna | Updated: 07-09-2022 18:34 IST | Created: 07-09-2022 18:34 IST

Iran’s stock of uranium enriched to up to 60%, close to weapons-grade, has grown to well above the amount that by one definition is enough, if enriched further, for a nuclear bomb, a quarterly report by the U.N. atomic watchdog showed on Wednesday. Iran’s uranium enriched to up to 60% and in the form of uranium hexafluoride, the gas that centrifuges enrich, is estimated to have grown by 12.5 kg to 55.6 kg since the last quarterly International Atomic Energy Agency report issued on May 30, the IAEA report to member states seen by Reuters said.

At the same time, as in previous quarters, the IAEA issued a second report saying Iran had still not provided credible answers on the origin of uranium particles found at three undeclared sites that appear to mainly be old and which the IAEA has been investigating for years. “The Director General is increasingly concerned that Iran has not engaged with the Agency on the outstanding safeguards issues during this reporting period and, therefore, that there has been no progress towards resolving them,” the second report, also seen by Reuters, said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Hamas, Islamic Jihad call to step up ‘resistance’ outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

 Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed Al-Hindi (photo credit: REUTERS/AHMED ZAKOT)

Hamas, Islamic Jihad call to step up ‘resistance’ in West Bank

The IDF has conducted countless counter-terrorism operations in the West Bank as part of Operation Break the Wave.


Published: SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 16:05

Updated: SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 21:10

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed Al-Hindi

(photo credit: REUTERS/AHMED ZAKOT)

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Wednesday called on Palestinians to step up the “resistance” attacks against Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.

The call came in response to increased IDF counter-terrorism operations in the West Bank.

A senior Palestinian official, meanwhile, ruled out the possibility that the Palestinian Authority security forces would move to disarm armed groups in the northern West Bank.Top ArticlesRead More

The official told The Jerusalem Post that the PA leadership has come under pressure from Israel and some international parties to take action against the gunmen, most of whom belong to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the ruling Fatah faction headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

“If Israel wants the violence to stop, it should stop sending its soldiers every night to arrest and shoot young Palestinians,” said the official. “We can’t do anything while Israel is continuing to escalate its military operations.”

On Wednesday morning, soldiers shot and killed 21-year-old Yunis Ghassan al-Tayeh in the town of Tubas in the northern West Bank after he reportedly hurled an explosive device at them.

“The West Bank battle continues with full force in defense of the land and the holy sites,” Hamas said in a statement.

“The West Bank battle continues with full force in defense of the land and the holy sites.”Hamas

Hamas is proud of Palestinian ‘martyrs’

Expressing pride in the Palestinian “martyrs” killed by the IDF, Hamas urged Palestinians in the West Bank to continue to support the “heroic battle” against soldiers and settlers. It also called on Palestinian gunmen to continue “confronting” IDF troops who enter Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps as part of the crackdown on terrorism.

Islamic Jihad, for its part, mourned the death of Tayeh, whom it described as “our son and martyr.”

The group called on all Palestinians to “close ranks” and work towards escalating the “resistance” against Israeli soldiers and settlers.

The Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of various armed groups, also called on Palestinians to step up the terrorist attacks against “the Zionist enemy and the criminal settlers.”

The PLO’s Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) warned that Israel’s increased security crackdown, especially in the northern West Bank, “will result in more popular resistance [against Israel] in all its forms.”

The DFLP accused Israel of waging a “blatant war” against the Palestinians under the pretext of combating terrorism.

“This is happening at a time when the occupying state is committing organized terrorism against our people,” the Marxist-Leninist terrorist group argued in a statement.

The PA, whose security forces haven’t moved to disarm the large number of armed groups in the Nablus and Jenin areas, said Israel “bears full responsibility” for the current flare-up of violence.

It warned that Israel’s ongoing military operations in the West Bank would lead to an “explosion” and a new cycle of violence.

“What is happening on the ground [in the West Bank] should sound an alarm bell with the international community because this is a threat to the two-state solution,” the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

The ministry claimed that the crackdown on gunmen was part of an Israeli “attempt to force the Palestinians to surrender and accept the occupation and settlements.” 

Did Trump Enable the Saudi Nuclear Horn?

‘It Could Be Anything’: Experts Tell Us What Kind of Nuclear Secrets Trump Could Steal

When it comes to nuclear weapons, basically everything is classified.

By Matthew Gault

August 12, 2022, 8:11am

When the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago in search of sensitive documents Monday, it was looking for classified information related to nuclear weapons, a source familiar with the investigation told the Washington Post. Trump denied the allegation on Truth Social, calling it a hoax and comparing it to accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The problem is, because of the way nuclear secrecy works in the U.S., it’s possible Trump took something without realizing it was classified. Presidents have done similar things before with regards to nuclear secrets.

I reached out to several nuclear weapons experts, and they all told me the same thing: They had no idea what it was, and the list of possibilities was enormous. The category of “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons” is so broad as to be meaningless.

“I’ve seen other experts speculating it could be anything from the ‘biscuit’ that held the nuclear codes during his presidency (and that would have been changed when Biden assumed office), to information about another country’s nuclear program in the form of briefing materials or other documents, to information about design or basing,” Emma Claire Foley, a senior associate in policy and research at Global Zero, a nonprofit that seeks the elimination of nuclear weapons, told me. “As things stand, there’s no way of knowing, and there’s a huge range of things it might be.”

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, concurred. “It could be anything,” he said. “That document could contain information that you would find totally unremarkable but still be marked restricted data, known as Q.”

Q Clearance refers to Top-Secret Restricted Data related to America’s nuclear programs. It’s also where the QAnon conspiracy gets its name. “I once gave a talk about Iran’s centrifuge program and the person next to me kept whispering, ‘That’s Q,’ thinking that I was disclosing ‘information related to nuclear weapons,’” he said. “I felt bad when I told her that I didn’t have a clearance but it was nice the government was also aware of the issues that Iran was having with its enrichment program.”

One of the problems with narrowing down what the FBI was looking for is the nature of how the U.S. handles information related to its nuclear program. According to Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science and author of the book Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the USA, anything related to nukes in the U.S. is classified by default.

According to Wellerstein, the Senate committee drafting the Atomic Energy Act in 1946 got worried about losing the secret of the bomb. 

“The problem is, the same committee did not want to give the federal government the power to classify the entire world of science and technology. They feared too much classification, AND too little classification,” he said on Twitter. “So to square this circle they created a concept called ‘restricted data,’ which was defined as essentially all information about nuclear weapons and nuclear power that had not been removed from that category explicitly.”

Wellerstein also told me he wouldn’t speculate on what Trump could have taken, but he did say it’s not the first time a president has run afoul of the FBI over nuclear secrets. An FBI memo from November 1956 showed the FBI fretting over what to do about former President Harry Truman.

“In August of 1956, during the discussion at the Democratic National Convention regarding the Democratic platform, Truman made the statement that the first atomic bomb contained [redacted] of fissionable material,” an FBI memo said. “[Redacted] advised that this information had been checked thoroughly by the [Atomic Energy Commission] people, and that its present classification is ‘Secret—Restricted Data.’”

Wellerstein had the whole story. “In November 1956, the FBI became aware that Truman was apparently telling people how much fissile material was in the atomic bomb,” he said. “After the Trinity test, Truman was given a short initial report on it, at Potsdam. According to the people there, he sort of read it out loud as he walked around the room, many times, triumphantly. Throughout his life, you can find him still quoting bits from that report, like he burned it into his memory.”

Wellerstein said one piece of the report that amazed Truman was that the bomb used only 13 and a half pounds of plutonium. “And there’s something about that ‘thirteen and a half’ but he wrote it down at Potsdam, and it HAS to be what the FBI report is about,” he said. “Harry Truman was telling people about the atomic bomb and spat out that phrase without probably having the slightest clue it was classified.”

On Twitter, Wellerstein pointed out that the AEC doesn’t contain provisions for a president to declassify Restricted Data. “It’s a different category of law and classification altogether,” he said. “But this is real bleeding-edge of presidential powers and classification law. I have certainly never seen it discussed in the long history of nuclear secrecy in the USA.”

This isn’t the first time people have raised concerns about how Trump handles nuclear secrets. Allegations of mishandling plagued him during much of his presidency. In 2019, whistleblowers raised concerns that Trump was trying to transfer sensitive nuclear data to Saudi Arabia. In 2019 Trump was also the first U.S. president to confirm that U.S. nuclear weapons are housed at an air base in Turkey, long considered an open secret, and tweeted out a classified satellite photo of an explosion at a space launch facility in Iran, despite pushback from aides. So far he has not faced consequences for any of these actions.

The nuclear secrets the FBI is looking for could be innocuous, or they could be world-shattering. The possibilities are so large that there’s no way to know. Historically, the consequences for stealing nuclear secrets in America are pretty dire. Early Trump lawyer and mentor Roy Cohn made his career by prosecuting Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for stealing nuclear secrets and passing them to the Soviet Union. Cohn won the case, and the Rosenbergs were executed in the electric chair.

Hope for Another Obama Deal Begins to Fade

Iran deal breakthrough hopes continue to fade

By Kylie AtwoodAdam Pourahmadi, Mostafa Salem and Jennifer Hansler, CNN

Updated 11:42 PM ET, Wed September 7, 2022

(CNN)Efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal have again hit a snag as US officials charge that Tehran’s latest response signals that it is not ready to return to an agreement in the immediate future as it has failed to cooperate on a probe into traces of undeclared nuclear material.

The United States and Iran have traded responses via the European Union to a proposal put forward by the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell. Iran submitted its initial answer in mid-August; the US replied to it about a week later.

Last Thursday, Iran sent its latest answer, which a State Department spokesperson said was “not constructive.”

“The last interaction is not converging, it is diverging,” Borrell said, calling it “very much worrisome.”

    “If the process does not converge, the whole process is in danger,” he said.

    You give us five minutes, we’ll give you five things you must know for the day.Sign Me Up

    According to a US senior administration official, Iran in its latest response reopened the issue of the UN nuclear watchdog’s investigation into undeclared uranium traces found at Iranian sites. Iranian officials had repeatedly said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) probe would need to be closed before they would return to the deal. However, a separate US senior administration official suggested last month that Iran had accepted the EU proposal — described by Borrell as the “final text” — without making demands regarding the investigation.

      Rafael Grossi, the head of the IAEA, is “increasingly concerned” that “there has been no progress” towards resolving the issue, according to a restricted report to member states, which said that “Iran has not engaged with the agency on the outstanding safeguards issues during this reporting period.”

      Grossi said that unless “Iran provides technically credible explanations for the presence of the uranium particles” the IAEA will not be “in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful,” according to the report.

      State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said last month that “Iran needs to answer the IAEA’s questions,” adding that “our position is not going to change.”

      In June, the IAEA’s Board of Governors censured Iran and called for explanations on why uranium particles were found at three undeclared sites in 2019. Iran dismissed the IAEA motion as “politicized,” and responded by removing surveillance cameras at key sites in response — depriving negotiators of up-to-date information on the country’s uranium enrichment program.

      On Wednesday, State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel the US is continuing to work through negotiations to try to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, but reiterated that “Iran’s response did not put us in a position to close the deal.”

      “This is something that we’re going to continue to pursue, because we continue to believe and affirm that a mutual return to compliance of the JCPOA continues to be not only in the national security interest of this country, it’s an important step to contain Iran’s nuclear program,” Patel said during a press briefing, using an acronym for the formal name of the 2015 agreement: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

        A National Security Council spokesperson said negotiations will continue.

        “The President has consistently made clear that his priority is to prevent Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon. That hasn’t changed. Iran’s response did not put us in a position to achieve that outcome, as we will not close a deal unless Iran meets the terms that we have set forth. We are not there yet. This is a negotiation, with regular back and forth — and we are demonstrating that President Biden will only conclude a deal that he determines is in the national security interest of the United States,” Watson said.

        CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite, Christian Sierra and Natasha Bertrand contributed to this report.

        Russia is Using North Korean Military Crap

        Employees work at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant during a visit by members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
        Image caption,The UN agency praised a depleted staff working in challenging circumstances

        Ukraine round-up: UN nuclear safety call and Russia ‘gets North Korean arms’

        The UN’s nuclear agency says a security zone should be set up immediately to protect the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

        The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued dire warnings in its first report since its inspectors gained access to the plant – including that shelling could lead to “unlimited release” of radioactive materials.

        It also said Russian military equipment on-site could undermine the security of Europe’s biggest nuclear plant.

        In its interim report, inspectors called for an immediate halt to fighting in the area.

        The UN team said they had seen some building damage but there was no immediate concern about nuclear material going missing.

        The report praised Ukrainian staff for keeping the plant going, but they said the high stress those staff are under could increase the risk of human error.

        Both Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of targeting the nuclear site for months.

        US Prepares for Nuclear War with China

        The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) successfully launches Tomahawk cruise missiles off the coast of southern California as part of a Tomahawk Flight Test (TFT), June 26, 2018.

        Congress quietly debates new sea-based nuclear weapons amid China tensions


        THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER • September 6, 2022

        The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) successfully launches Tomahawk cruise missiles off the coast of southern California as part of a Tomahawk Flight Test (TFT), June 26, 2018. (Ronald Gutridge/U.S. Navy)

        (Tribune News Service) — Both the House and Senate Armed Forces committees approved a provision to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act that allows for additional funds for the Navy’s Sea-Launched Cruise Missile-­Nuclear program, better known as SLCM-N.

        The SLCM-N is considered a “low yield ” or “tactical ” nuclear cruise missile. It would create a large, powerful blast compared with conventional missiles but generate an explosion considerably smaller than strategic nuclear weapons. It’s also a physically smaller munition than large nuclear ballistic missiles, allowing for easier storage and transportation.

        The expansion of nuclear arms at sea could have implications for the Navy’s Hawaii-­based Pacific Fleet, and members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation sit on key committees that will determine the program’s future.

        The U.S. military does not discuss the locations of nuclear armed weapons as a matter of policy, but the Pentagon considers the Pacific its top-priority theater of operations. Proponents of tactical nukes have cited China’s rapid military buildup and North Korea’s push to enhance its own missile technology as reasons to reconsider their use.

        But both the military value as well as the potential risks of deploying tactical nuclear weapons are hotly debated within national security circles.

        The SLCM-N program started under President Donald Trump, who called for more nuclear weapons in the American arsenal. The administration of President Joe Biden has attempted to shut down the project; it did not appear in the Navy’s 2023 military budget request. But Congress appears primed to pave the way for continued funding in spite of the White House’s objection.

        Currently, the only U.S. nukes at sea are ballistic missiles launched from submarines. The Navy has 18 Ohio-class submarines, at least 14 of which are capable of launching Trident 2D5 nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, each of which can hold up to 12 nuclear warheads.

        But the new cruise missiles could potentially be stored and launched from the decks of surface ships as well as submarines.

        Hawaii’s U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono sit on their chamber’s respective Armed Serv­ices committees, which approved the continued funding and development of the missiles. The House passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act in a floor vote in July. The version of the bill supported by the Senate Armed Services Committee contains the provision to continue funding the nukes, but the full Senate has yet come to a final agreement on the bill.

        Hirono serves as chair of the SASC’s Seapower Subcommittee, making her the most senior lawmaker in overseeing Navy and Marine Corps policies and programs. Hirono declined to discuss the program, but an aide to the senator told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that Hirono “has concerns about the use of tactical nuclear weapons and this funding.” Kahele’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

        If the Senate version of the 2023 NDAA passes with approval for funding the SLCM-N, and Biden signs the bill into law, Senate and House Appropriations committees would then decide whether to actually continue funding the missiles. Hawaii’s U.S. Rep. Ed Case and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz sit on their chamber’s respective Appropriations committees.

        “Much of the debate on this question is classified,” Case said in an emailed statement to the Star-Advertiser. “In broad terms, the reality of the world we face, as opposed to the world we wish and hope we lived in, requires a diverse and unpredictable nuclear deterrence. How best to provide that is a matter of ongoing debate, including in Congress.”

        Schatz’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

        Ann Wright, a former Army officer and diplomat-turned-activist based in Hawaii, said “U.S. nuclear submarines have so many nuclear weapons on their ballistic missiles that any more nuclear weapons is unnecessary.” She added, “The probability of accidental or mistaken discharge of nuclear weapons increases with each delivery system. As the world already could be destroyed with nuclear weapons from submarines, there is no reasonable rationale for nuclear weapons onboard surface ships.”

        However, if the SLCM-N gets funded and makes its way onto surface vessels, it wouldn’t mark the first time the Navy has put tactical nuclear missiles on its ships. During the mid-1980s the Navy first deployed a nuclear-­armed version of the Tomahawk cruise missile called the TLAM-N aboard both surface ships and attack submarines.

        But in the aftermath of the Cold War, President George H.W. Bush ordered the withdrawal of all tactical nuclear weapons aboard ships, submarines and naval aircraft. In 2010, President Barack Obama’s administration recommended in its Nuclear Posture Review that the missiles be retired entirely, arguing that “this system serves a redundant purpose in the U.S. nuclear stockpile.” The Navy disposed of the last of them in 2013.

        Trump reversed course, calling for an expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, the Trump administration argued that sea-launched nuclear cruise missiles offer a “needed non-strategic regional presence” that would address “increasing need for flexible and low-yield options.”

        The Biden administration’s latest Nuclear Posture Review is classified, but officials have said that it advocates cutting back much of Trump’s nuclear push.

        According to an April Congressional Research Service report on the SLCM-N program, canceling it would save $2.1 billion over five years. “The Navy indicated that the program was ‘cost prohibitive and the acquisition schedule would have delivered capability late to need,'” the report said.

        But the program retains several supporters. In April, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who was appointed by Trump, told members of the House Armed Services Committee his position on the weapon had not changed.

        U.S. Strategic Command chief Adm. Charles Richard, who oversees the U.S. nuclear arsenal, also expressed support for the missiles during testimony before the Senate in May and reiterated his backing in a letter to lawmakers obtained by Defense News in June.

        “I support reestablishing SLCM-N as necessary to enhance deterrence and assurance,” Richard said in the letter. “The current situation in Ukraine and China’s nuclear trajectory have further convinced me a deterrence and assurance gap exists.”

        Hawaii is the home of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Pacific Fleet, making it the nerve center for all military operations in the region. There has been ongoing debate on how to bolster missile defense of the islands, particularly after a false missile alert in 2018 rattled residents amid heated rhetoric between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un regarding missile policy.

        Hawaii’s congressional delegation earlier this year withdrew support for the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii, a controversial missile defense radar that the Pentagon spent years trying to defund under both Trump and Biden in hopes of investing in alternative systems as costs for the radar system piled up amid a struggle by planners to find a suitable on-island site and against the project.

        (c)2022 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser