20 Jul 18:59 UTC: First to report: VolcanoDiscovery after 5 minutes.
Date & timeJul 20, 2022 18:54:37 UTC – 1 day 1 hours agoLocal timeWednesday, Jul 20, 2022 at 2:54 pm (GMT -4)StatusdisregardedMagnitudeunknown (3?)Depth10.0 kmEpicenter40.63402°N / 73.94743°W (Kings, Nueva York, United States)ShakingWeak shakingFelt1 reportPrimary data sourceVolcanoDiscovery (User-reported shaking)Nearby2 km (1 mi) S of Brooklyn (pop: 2,300,700) | Show on map | Quakes nearby 2 km (1 mi) SSE of Flatbush (pop: 93,400) | Show on map | Quakes nearby 3 km (2 mi) SSW of Rugby (pop: 178,500) | Show on map | Quakes nearby 4 km (3 mi) E of Borough Park (pop: 149,200) | Show on map | Quakes nearby 4 km (3 mi) NNE of Gravesend (pop: 112,200) | Show on map | Quakes nearby 5 km (3 mi) N of Sheepshead Bay(pop: 122,500) | Show on map | Quakes nearby 10 km (6 mi) SSE of New York (pop: 8,175,100) | Show on map | Quakes nearby 327 km (203 mi) NE of Washington (District of Columbia) (pop: 601,700) | Show on map | Quakes nearbyWeather at epicenterClear Sky 34.4°C (94 F), humidity: 48%, wind: 3 m/s (6 kts) from S
China is developing its nuclear forces to threaten the United States and shield its authoritarian ambitions, according to the Biden administration’s newly published National Defense Strategy. The strategy highlights China’s communist regime as “the most comprehensive and serious challenge to U.S. national security” and directs political and military leaders to “act urgently to sustain and strengthen U.S. deterrence” against the regime. Of particular note is the document’s advisory that China is developing new nuclear weapons in order to threaten the United States, possibly by preparing for a nuclear first strike, reports The Epoch Times. “The PRC (People’s Republic of China) is increasing its capability to threaten the United States and our allies and partners with nuclear weapons,” the strategy said. “The PRC has embarked on an ambitious expansion, modernization, and diversification of its nuclear forces and established a nascent nuclear triad,” the strategy said. “The PRC likely intends to possess at least 1,000 deliverable warheads by the end of the decade.”
Mr Korotchenko made it clear who the drills were aimed at, telling state TV: ‘Who could launch a first nuclear strike on Russia? The US and the UK. I don’t know if [French President] Macron is someone who would join this adventure… It is very important that we have shown who our main enemies are and what awaits them.’
If the strike were carried out for real, Mr Korotchenko boasted, Britain would be submerged beneath the Atlantic Ocean and instead of the United States there would be a new naval strait named after Joseph Stalin.
‘There is no compromise,’ he added. ‘The signal has been sent [to the US and UK]. This [should make them] sober up and clear their minds. This is not nuclear blackmail. This is what we would really do [if] we get hit.’
And adding to tensions, Russia today warned that it could attack the West’s commercial satellites in ‘retaliation’ to the US and its allies using them to aid Ukraine’s war effort.
Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry’s department for non-proliferation and arms control, told the United Nations that use the use of Western satellites to help Ukraine was ‘an extremely dangerous trend’.
‘Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike,’ Vorontsov told the United Nations First Committee, adding that the West’s use of such satellites to support Ukraine was ‘provocative’.Russia rehearsed its response to a nuclear attack yesterday in an exercise involving nuclear submarines, strategic bombers and ballistic missiles at a time when tensions are high over a ‘dirty bomb’ allegation it has made against UkraineRussia’s Tu-95MS strategic bomber is seen landing during exercises held by the country’s strategic nuclear forces at an unknown locationVladimir Putin watches over the drills ¿ a yearly preparedness exercise dubbed ‘Grom’ or ‘Thunder’ ¿ from Russia’s nuclear command centre joined by his security chiefs in a virtual meetingColonel Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Russia¿s National Defence magazine, told state TV last night that the drill was to rehearse the destruction of the UK and US
‘We are talking about the involvement of components of civilian space infrastructure, including commercial, by the United States and its allies in armed conflicts,’ Vorontsov was quoted as saying at the United Nations.
Vorontsov did not mention any specific satellite companies though Elon Musk said earlier this month that his rocket company SpaceX would continue to fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine, citing the need for ‘good deeds.’
Vladimir Putin watched over yesterday’s drills – a yearly preparedness exercise dubbed ‘Grom’ or ‘Thunder’ – from Russia’s nuclear command centre. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said they were designed to rehearse a ‘massive strike’.
As part of the exercise, Tu-95 strategic bombers also launched cruise missiles at practice targets.
Footage shows a large nuclear submarine in the water during the test.
The large team were filmed making preparations for the simulation nuclear strikes and following launch protocol as they took part in the annual exercise.
Clips also showed them flicking switches, running up stairs, speaking to each other on radios and monitoring the missiles before they were fired.
As the test began, the Russian Sineva was seen soaring through the air from the water and disappearing into the clouds.
Meanwhile the Yars later shot into the air after switches were flicked and a sound indicated that it was about to go off.
After it was launched, a huge ball of flames engulfed the sky and left a cloud of smoke in its wake as a loud bang was also heard.
The drills were monitored remotely by Putin, who also spoke to some of his military chiefs afterwards.
The manoeuvres followed Putin’s warning about his readiness to use ‘all means available’ to fend off attacks on Russia’s territory in a reference to the country’s nuclear arsenals.
The Kremlin said that all tasks set for the exercise were fulfilled and all the missiles that were test-fired reached their designated targets.Test launch of the Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles at Plesetsk in western Russia yesterdayThe Russian despot monitors the drills from the Kremlin yesterday as the country’s strategic nuclear forces practised multiple launches of ballistic and cruise missilesSuch drills involving land, sea and air components have taken place on an annual basis to train the country’s nuclear forces and demonstrate their readinessAs part of the exercise, TU-95 strategic bombers also launched cruise missiles at practice targets
Such drills involving land, sea and air components have taken place on an annual basis to train the country’s nuclear forces and demonstrate their readiness.
The Biden administration said on Tuesday that Russia gave notice it intended to stage routine tests of its nuclear capabilities.
The Pentagon and US State Department said Russia had complied with the terms of the last US-Russia arms control agreement in notifying Washington of the upcoming tests.
It comes amid Moscow’s warnings of a purported Ukrainian plot to detonate a radioactive device commonly known as a ‘dirty bomb’ in a false flag attack to blame Russia.
Ukraine and its allies strongly reject the allegation, and yesterday Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: ‘This is absurd. Allies reject this blatantly false accusation, and Russia must not use false pretexts to escalate the war further.’
Mr Stoltenberg underlined that the 30-nation military organisation ‘will not be intimidated or deterred from supporting Ukraine’s right to self-defence for as long as it takes.’
Putin told a meeting of intelligence officials from the CIS group of ex-Soviet countries that the West was ‘pumping’ Ukraine with heavy weapons, adding: ‘There are also plans to use a so-called ‘dirty bomb’ for provocations.’
Shoigu today called his counterparts from India and China to convey Moscow’s concern about the purported Ukrainian plan.Putin has told intelligence officials from ex-Soviet countries that the potential for conflict in the world remained high
He voiced Moscow’s concern about ‘possible Ukrainian provocations involving a ‘dirty bomb” in the calls with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, and China’s Wei Fenghe, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.
The conversations followed Shoigu’s calls with British, French, Turkish and US counterparts on Sunday in which he made the same claim. Britain, France, and the United States rejected it as ‘transparently false.’
Poland’s government said it is preparing for the Kremlin’s potential use of nuclear or chemical weapons after its warnings on Ukraine.
Sejm member Marcin Ociepa told Polish state broadcaster TVP1 the government believes Putin ‘may reach for nuclear or chemical weapons’ because his country’s forces are struggling in Ukraine and that Poland ‘must be prepared for all scenarios.’
Polish president Andrzej Duda, prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, national security ministers and leaders of Poland’s armed forces met on Tuesday to discuss aid for Ukraine and the course of the war, including Russia’s nuclear threats.
The head of Poland’s National Security Bureau, Jacek Siewiera, said after the meeting that the leaders discussed the risks and consequences associated with the use of any type of nuclear weapons in light of the changing characteristics of the war as well as the approaching winter.
Despite the Western dismissal of the Russian claims, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that ‘we have the information that there is an ongoing preparation in Ukraine for such a terror attack’.
‘We will continue to energetically inform the global community about what we know to persuade it to take action to prevent such irresponsible action by the regime in Kyiv,’ Peskov told reporters.
Moscow also took its accusation to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, voicing its concerns during a closed-door meeting.A destroyed car is seen in the town of Balakliia in east Ukraine, liberated by the Ukrainian Armed ForcesA view of the damaged gas station after the Russian missile attacks in Dnipro, Ukraine, yesterday
Russia has not made public the evidence that it asserts it has, but says it has prepared its troops to work under conditions of nuclear contamination.
Its deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters after the Council meeting that it had passed intelligence information to Western counterparts with the ‘necessary level of clearance’.
Britain’s Deputy UN Ambassador, James Kariuki, called the allegations ‘pure Russian misinformation of the kind we’ve seen many times before’.
Russia targeted more than 40 villages around Ukraine over the past day, Ukrainian officials said yesterday, killing at least two people and sustaining the terror that forces people into air raid shelters each night.
A Ukrainian official reported that a Russian strike hit a gas station in the city of Dnipro, killing two people, including a pregnant woman.
The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentyn Reznichenko, said four of the wounded were hospitalised.
Mykolaiv, a southern port city near the war’s frontline, is among the places where residents have lined up to receive rations of bread and canned food as increases in food prices and losses of income add to the war-time burdens of low-income households in Ukraine.
Several buildings and neighborhoods were struck in Mykolaiv on Tuesday, though it was still unclear if there were any casualties, according to local authorities.
Missiles continued early yesterday morning.
The sole food distribution point in Mykolaiv allows each person to receive free bread once every three days. Many must walk long distances to collect the essential food items for their family.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Any Iraqi government formed without the participation of powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr will be unstable, the former foreign minister of Iraq told Rudaw on Thursday, while describing the withdrawal of the Sadrist Movement from the legislative body as a “strategic mistake.”
The coalition seeks to form Iraq’s next cabinet and put an end to the prolonged political deadlock that has plagued the country over the past year. If successful, the cabinet would become Iraq’s first government without the participation of the Sadrists, the kingmaker of three out of Iraq’s five parliamentary elections since 2005.
“A delegation of the main parties were supposed to visit Muqtada al-Sadr to make another attempt at convincing him to approve the government, to not stand against it, or to be a part of it, because any government without him [Sadr], take it from me, will not enjoy any stability, and I stand by that opinion,” Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq’s former foreign minister and senior politburo member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), told Rudaw’s Diyar Kurda on Thursday in Washington.
The Sadrist Movement formed a tripartite alliance with the KDP and the Sunni Sovereignty Alliance following the early elections of October 2021, seeking to form a national majority government. The alliance was disbanded once the Sadrist MPs resigned from their positions in June.
Rejecting the Coordination Framework’s attempts at forming a government based on national consensus, Sadrist supporters stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone in late July, staging a sit-in for over a month to protest the candidacy of Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani for Iraq’s premiership. The protests culminated in deadly clashes between Sadrist supporters and loyalist Iran-backed militias, which killed at least 30 in the span of 24 hours.
Fresh demonstrations have been held by Sadrist supporters over the past week, attempting to block the Iraqi parliament from holding its first session in three months, and rejecting the Running the State Coalition’s efforts toward forming a government without Sadr.
The former foreign minister stressed that the government which the new coalition is attempting to form will not reign for long, but rather its only purpose will be to make preparations for early elections and approve of a 2023 budget, or at least a budget for the snap vote.
Disagreements within the Kurdish camp are another factor in halting the political process in Iraq, as the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have been unable to agree on a single candidate for Iraq’s presidency, a position which the latter has held since 2005.
Zebari stated that the two parties have not been able to reach an agreement on a candidate as of yet and that Reber Ahmed remains the KDP’s sole candidate.
The inability to agree on a single candidate for Iraq’s next president, suggests the possibility of repeating the 2018 scenario where the KDP and the PUK fielded different candidates and the position was settled in a vote in the parliament, in which the PUK’s Barham Salih emerged victorious over the KDP’s Fuad Hussein.
The US Air Force (USAF) used to store nuclear gravity bombs at RAF Lakenheath near the village of Lakenheath in Suffolk, England, UK, which in the 1990s had 33 underground storage vaults.
By the early 2000s, the vaults at Lakenheath had 110 B61 nuclear gravity bombs for delivery by F-15E aircraft of the 48th Fighter Wing of the USAF in Europe (USAFE).
In 2008, it was reported that nuclear weapons had been withdrawn from RAF Lakenheath. The US wants to return the weapons to those bunkers after 14 years of standing empty.
The weapons storage sites in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Turkey, and the UK have undergone an infrastructure upgrade as part of a 13-year NATO investment program to store the new upgraded B61-12 bombs.
B61-12 is the latest variant of the B61 family of air-launched nuclear gravity bombs, which the US military has been operating since 1968.
The new variant, which is developed as part of the $10 billion B61-12 Life Extension Program, managed by the US Department of Energy, is aimed at enhancing the nuclear capabilities of the US and allied nations.
The bomb can be air-launched by the aircraft platforms such as B-2A, F-15E, F-16C/D, F-16 MLU, PA-200, F-35, and B-21.F-35 with B61 nuclear bomb via Twitter
Full-scale manufacturing was expected to begin in May 2022, and production is to be completed sometime in 2026, according to the NNSA. The project is expected to cost $8.4 billion in total.
The B61-12 is based on the B61-4 warhead with the new tail kit guidance assembly, which combines the new guided freefall capability with the existing ballistic (unguided) delivery capability of the B61 bomb. Equipped with four maneuverable fins, the tail section offers high levels of accuracy and limited stand-off capability over the previous variants.
It has a length of 3.6 meters and weighs approximately 375 kilograms. It can be fired at the target in ballistic gravity or guided drop modes.B6-12 nuclear bomb (Federation of American Scientists)
Notably, the missile is armed with one of the most versatile warheads in the US arsenal, as its explosive power can be moved up or down depending on the target, making it either a low- or medium-yield weapon.
Located in the bomb’s middle section, the warhead has four yield options, including 0.3kt, 1.5kt, 10kt, and 50kt.
The bomb uses an inertial navigation system (INS) to achieve high kill probability while improving the survivability of the launch platform. The weapon is expected to have an accuracy of approximately 30 meters.
As reported by EurAsian Times, the USAF was scheduled to begin training the nuclear units in Europe within the next year to receive the new B61-12 guided nuclear bomb. The first B61-12 bombs were expected to be shipped to Europe in 2023.
However, the new timeline for arrival suggests the Pentagon has determined the weapon is ready earlier than planned, according to Hans Kristensen, the Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
Kristensen said that the Defense Department (DoD) Inspector General was expected to complete a review of the weapon’s performance before the beginning of training for aircrews.
The USAF conducted flight tests of the new bomb design on the F-35A in October last year and certified it on the F-15E in 2020. However, the Pentagon said in February that it intended to “complete nuclear design certification of the B61-12 with the F-35A before January 2023, after which the [US Air Forces in Europe] will be able to start certification training,” noted Kristensen.
In a joint Israeli security forces’ operation, a founder of the The Lions’ Den (TLD) was killed in the old city of Nablus on Oct. 25. The Lions’ Den commander, Wadee al-Houh was wanted for several acts of terrorism, including his role in the killing of Sgt. Ido Baruch on Oct. 11.
The IDF stated Muhammed al-Nabulsi was suspected of “possessing weapons, manufacturing explosive devices, and involvement in the Lions’ Den”.
The Rise of The Lions’ Den
The rapid ascension of the Nablus-based organization caught many in the Israeli defense establishment by surprise including other Palestinian militant organizations. Of course, there were already militant organizations in the northern West Bank that preceded TLD such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. However, TLD is unique because it wasn’t created by a foreign actor or another Palestinian faction. It’s mostly comprised of militants from different organizations and unaffiliated gunmen attracted the group’s cause.
What has largely driven the group’s popularity is its use of social media platforms. TLD’s Telegram channel was created in Aug. and has been used to publish statements including videos of attacks on IDF troops and Israeli settlements. The channel’s popularity has grown so much that its follower count (~240k) has surpassed Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Saraya al-Quds and other well-known groups that have been using the platform to spread militant propaganda for years.
It appears that recent Israeli military operations have affected TLD activity in the West Bank. The last officially claimed attack was on Oct. 19 when the group said it targeted IDF soldiers patrolling near Mount Gerizim.
Asked by FDD’s Long War Journal whether the IDF believed Israeli security operations against TLD was having a substantial affect, an Israeli military official answered in the affirmative.
The lack of operations claimed by TLD is a positive sign for the Israeli military, but it is too soon to predict how the elimination and surrender of senior members will translate on the ground. While attacks against IDF troops and Israeli settlements may decrease in the West Bank, it’s reasonable to believe the uptick in militant-led violence since last year will not subside with the possible demise of TLD.
Organizations that spearheaded the violence in the West Bank remain present. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades continue to claim attacks. In one example, Katibat Jenin (PIJ) claimed a shooting attack on the northern West Bank settlement of Shaked earlier today.
Lastly, it is important to note there is a trend of copycat groups emerging in the West Bank with no apparent affiliation to established militant organizations. Some of these organizations have produced evidence supporting claims of attacks on Israeli targets. For example, previously unknown groups such as Saqour al-Quds (recently underwent a rebranding) and Saraya al-Sayyad have published statements and videopurportedly showing attacks on Israeli targets. Though it is unlikely these groups will become a persistent threat in the West Bank.
Joe Truzman is a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal.
VIENNA, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Iran is a problem that is ever more “relevant”, the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s chief, Rafael Grossi, said on Friday, in an apparent reference to the growing number of advanced centrifuges the Islamic Republic is using to enrich uranium.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has said in recent confidential reports to member statesseen by Reuters that Iran has been installing and enriching with more cascades, or clusters, of advanced centrifuges at its underground enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow.
He added later that he would not cave to political pressure over his investigation of the uranium traces and his efforts to obtain explanations from Iran on how they came to be there.
“I will never do anything in the verification area under political pretences or for political reasons. The IAEA has to do what it has to do. I say it here publicly and I’ve said it to my Iranian counterparts many times when they request that we look elsewhere.”
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.”
“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.
NEW YORK, Oct 28 (APP): Pointing out that the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir is “very, very turbulent”, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan, has warned of a serious threat of escalation of tensions with India, saying that this includes the looming possibility that the two countries could turn to their strategic arsenals should a fight erupt.
“That risk is always there,” Ambassador Masood Khan told Newsweek in an interview, as Kashmiris, Pakistanis and their supporters observed “Kashmir Black Day” on Thursday.
The “Black Day” marks the anniversary of India’s massive invasion and occupation of Jammu and Kashmir on 27 October 1947.
That Indian aggression led to the first Indo-Pakistani war, but since then the two nations have fought three more major conflicts with even more frequent clashes occurring across the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region.
While ties between Islamabad and New Delhi have fluctuated over the years, Newsweek said they’ve been particularly strained since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dissolved India-administered Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status in August of 2019 and ordered a crackdown to stem three-decade of uprising.
But even as the situation approached a critical point, he called for both bilateral and international mediation to improve ties with New Delhi and avoid further escalation.
“It is the responsibility of the two countries to come to a peace table to resolve outstanding issues,” the ambassador said. “But the risk is that right now there is no diplomatic contact between India and Pakistan at all, no diplomatic conduit. This is perilous.”
“The two sides should be communicating and talking,” he added, “especially because of the precarious situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”
Masood Khan also rejected Indian allegations of Pakistan supporting militant group in occupied Kashmir, and portrayed the conflict as one of an unarmed people facing one of the world’s strongest militaries.
He accused India of having “hubris” due to “its great power status” through which India assumes “it would get away with whatever it is doing in Kashmir.”
“But this may not be true at all in the long run, as this might affect the general dynamics of Indian polity as well,” he added. “I mean, if you’re imposing injustice in the occupied territory that pattern can travel to other parts of India. That pattern had manifested in the form of persecution of Muslims and other minorities in India itself.”
With the relationship between Islamabad and New Delhi virtually frozen, Masood Khan argued that the two governments should work to find a venue to outline and resolve their issues once and for all.
“We in Pakistan, the people of Jammu and Kashmir, believe in diplomacy,” the ambassador said. “We think that the right vehicles are the United Nations or we should have peace tables in Srinagar or Muzaffarabad … or Delhi or Islamabad or a third country.”
“But the most suitable places would be New York or Geneva,” he added. “We should have talks to put this issue on the table again, and resolve it for all times to come. It can’t be swept under the carpet. This would be good for both countries and the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Such an effort at the U.N., he said, may finally lead to a breakthrough on Kashmir’s status.
“If it is their territory, as they claim, then go to the United Nations hold a referendum and the people of Jammu and Kashmir will decide whose territory it is. And if the people decide in their favour, then they can impose their writ,” Masood Khan said. “But if the people of Jammu and Kashmir make an alternative choice, that they would rather join Pakistan, then India should respect that verdict.”
But the ambassador also acknowledged what he saw as a lack of international focus on the issue, given the multitude of crises plaguing the geopolitical climate.
“The international community’s bandwidth about Jammu and Kashmir has shrunk because of many other factors,” Khan said, “such as the Ukraine war, and also many other international developments.”
“So, nobody’s talking, for instance, in the United Nations or around the United Nations about the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute or the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which was promised to them by the United Nations Security Council,” he added. “We must revive multilateral diplomacy to ascertain the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”.
As India and Pakistan marked their opposing narratives over the history of October 27, the Pentagon released its Nuclear Posture Review highlighting the Biden administration’s efforts to deter adversaries with the full extent of the U.S. military’s own arsenal, the Newsweek report pointed out.
“Nuclear weapons are developed for deterrence, you deter your adversaries and enemies from attacking you, you secure yourself,” Masood Khan said. “But when you’re talking about the use of nuclear weapons, you have to demonstrate the utmost responsibility and restraint. Rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons comes cheap, but its consequences are disastrous, catastrophic.”
In fact, Khan warned, “even if a small weapon, hypothetically speaking, was used in any theater, that would lead to a nuclear winter.”
“Just one part of the world will not be affected; it will be the entire globe,” he said. “And it would have a detrimental impact on climate change, food security or there would be a nuclear winter, but it would impact people’s health adversely.”
Masood Khan stressed the need for stronger ties between Pakistan and the US, who have a long history of partnership, both through the Cold War and the “War on Terror.” And he said it was important to define these relations beyond simply the scope of regional issues such as the rivalry with India.
This October marked the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis — when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were on the brink of a global nuclear war. The current conflict between the U.S. and Russia, brought on by U.S./NATO use of the war in Ukraine to promote a broader war against Russia, contains many similarities.
Just as Cuba was not the danger to global peace 60 years ago, Russia is not today. The threat comes from the Biden administration and its NATO allies.
Yet corporate media pundits, with increasing frequency, repeat President Joe Biden’s statements that imply a nuclear threat comes from Russian President Vladimir Putin. At a fundraiser Oct. 6, Biden claimed Putin “talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons, because his military is . . . significantly underperforming.” Biden ended his remarks stating: “I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with ‘Armageddon.’” (Guardian, Oct. 7)
Russia, on the other hand, is not carrying out nuclear war games against the U.S. or any other NATO country. Putin had mentioned nuclear war in his televised address Sept. 21, when he accused the U.S. and NATO of engaging in “nuclear blackmail”; he was referring to statements made by representatives of leading NATO countries about possibly using nuclear weapons against Russia. These statements included those made by the former British Prime Minister Liz Truss. Putin was simply asserting Russia’s right to defend itself, if the country’s territory was threatened.
In 2019, then-President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. And Biden has not resurrected this treaty.
Nuclear weapons: ‘just another military tool’
Russia published a doctrine that spells out the “exceptional circumstances” under which they can use nuclear weapons. (from remarks by Scott Ritter, Scheerpost, Oct. 20) Biden, like Trump, follows policies set by his predecessors.
The published U.S. nuclear doctrine includes a policy of nuclear preemption, established by former President George W. Bush. This policy considers nuclear weapons as just another military tool, to be used when needed. In 1969 then-President Richard Nixon openly threatened to use nuclear weapons against Vietnam to end that war.
Nixon used chemical weapons in Vietnam, including the highly carcinogenic Agent Orange. Bush used Depleted Uranium-coated ammunition during his devastating war in Iraq, leaving Fallujah and other areas permanently radioactive with uranium dust. He accidently admitted it was a “wholly unjustified and brutal invasion,” when he said Iraq instead of Ukraine during a speech in May.
As a candidate, Biden had promised to reduce U.S. arms sales. But a report by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (Qi), released Oct. 21, found that U.S. arms sales have increased under Biden, with weapons even going to countries the U.S. considers “repressive regimes.”
Qi found that roughly two-thirds of current military conflicts involve one or more parties armed by the U.S. Qi researchers reported: “Current U.S. arms policy and practice too often fuel war rather than deterring it. Roughly two-thirds of current conflicts — 34 out of 46 — involve one or more parties armed by the U.S. In some cases, U.S. arms sales to combatants in these wars are modest, while in others they play a major role in fueling and sustaining the conflict.” (TeleSUR English, Oct. 21)
War has become the lifeblood of 21st century capitalism. Weapons manufacturing provides the highest profits, as long as there are conflicts between countries to be exploited. The working class continues to pay the price, as politicians drain funds from domestic spending programs to finance expanding wars.