A Lack Of Vigilance Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Faults Underlying Exercise Vigilant GuardStory by: (Author NameStaff Sgt. Raymond Drumsta – 138th Public Affairs Detachment
Dated: Thu, Nov 5, 2009
This map illustrates the earthquake fault lines in Western New York. An earthquake in the region is a likely event, says University of Buffalo Professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.
TONAWANDA, NY — An earthquake in western New York, the scenario that Exercise Vigilant Guard is built around, is not that far-fetched, according to University of Buffalo geology professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.
When asked about earthquakes in the area, Jacobi pulls out a computer-generated state map, cross-hatched with diagonal lines representing geological faults.
The faults show that past earthquakes in the state were not random, and could occur again on the same fault systems, he said.
“In western New York, 6.5 magnitude earthquakes are possible,” he said.
This possibility underlies Exercise Vigilant Guard, a joint training opportunity for National Guard and emergency response organizations to build relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners against a variety of different homeland security threats including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
The exercise was based on an earthquake scenario, and a rubble pile at the Spaulding Fibre site here was used to simulate a collapsed building. The scenario was chosen as a result of extensive consultations with the earthquake experts at the University of Buffalo’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), said Brig. Gen. Mike Swezey, commander of 53rd Troop Command, who visited the site on Monday.
Earthquakes of up to 7 magnitude have occurred in the Northeastern part of the continent, and this scenario was calibrated on the magnitude 5.9 earthquake which occurred in Saguenay, Quebec in 1988, said Jacobi and Professor Andre Filiatrault, MCEER director.
“A 5.9 magnitude earthquake in this area is not an unrealistic scenario,” said Filiatrault.
Closer to home, a 1.9 magnitude earthquake occurred about 2.5 miles from the Spaulding Fibre site within the last decade, Jacobi said. He and other earthquake experts impaneled by the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada in 1997 found that there’s a 40 percent chance of 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurring along the Clareden-Linden fault system, which lies about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, Jacobi added.
Jacobi and Filiatrault said the soft soil of western New York, especially in part of downtown Buffalo, would amplify tremors, causing more damage.
“It’s like jello in a bowl,” said Jacobi.
The area’s old infrastructure is vulnerable because it was built without reinforcing steel, said Filiatrault. Damage to industrial areas could release hazardous materials, he added.
“You’ll have significant damage,” Filiatrault said.
Exercise Vigilant Guard involved an earthquake’s aftermath, including infrastructure damage, injuries, deaths, displaced citizens and hazardous material incidents. All this week, more than 1,300 National Guard troops and hundreds of local and regional emergency response professionals have been training at several sites in western New York to respond these types of incidents.
Jacobi called Exercise Vigilant Guard “important and illuminating.”
“I’m proud of the National Guard for organizing and carrying out such an excellent exercise,” he said.
Training concluded Thursday.

The China Horn Spreads Her Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

J-15 fighters aboard China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier. Photo: Facebook

China can now deploy hypersonic nukes on its carriers

New sealant innovation allows for easier and faster hypersonic repairs and maintenance at sea

by Gabriel Honrada October 14, 2022

China’s carrier-based aircraft may soon be equipped with hypersonic weapons, thanks to the development of a new sealant that protects against storage at sea and accelerates the repair and maintenance of the game-changing armament while afloat.

The South China Morning Post reported this week that China’s carrier-based hypersonic weapons are like the Russian Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic missile, which was first used in the Ukraine war.

They can be used against air, surface and satellite targets and reach ten times the speed of sound with a range of 1,000 kilometers, as noted this month in the Chinese domestic peer-reviewed journal Aero Weaponry.

The weapon extends the strike range of China’s carrier fleet to more than 2,500 kilometers, approximately the distance east of Taiwan to Guam, which increases the threat of an ultra-fast Chinese missile attack on the strategic but increasingly vulnerable US outpost in the Pacific. Until now, hypersonic weapons have not been deployed on aircraft carriers, according to reports.

Xiao Jun, lead researcher at the China Airborne Missile Academy, and his team pointed out in the South China Morning Post article that hypersonic weapons are more difficult to repair at sea than conventional missiles. 

They note that the critical areas of hypersonic weapons are shielded using high-tech material that protects against extreme flight temperatures but also allow communication signals to pass through.

However, the research team noted that this material is susceptible to damage during transport, storage or mounting on an aircraft. In addition, the Chinese research team pointed out that when a damaged part is exposed to ocean humidity, salt, and mold, moisture absorption, expansion, deformation, blistering, debonding, or peeling can adversely affect the heat-resistant coating.

Past solutions required a clean ground-based room and an experienced crew with sophisticated equipment to ensure that there are no defects on the finished surface. To solve the problem, the research team developed a new sealing material that requires only one worker to remove the damaged part, fill in gaps with the sealing gel and smooth the finished surface with a scraper.

The China Airborne Missile Academy researchers say that during field tests in poor conditions aboard aircraft carriers, the new method reduced service time to one-tenth of the previous approach. They said that their new technology improves the storage lifespan of hypersonic weapons, which the Chinese military requires to last at least a decade.

The researchers claim that their new technology also allows for convenient field maintenance and periodic upgrades, as technicians inspect weapons and sometimes open them to enhance critical components such as infrared sensors.The Dongfeng-17 medium-range ballistic missile that mounts the DF-ZF Hypersonic Glide Vehicle on parade. They may soon be deployed at sea. Image: Xinhua

Moreover, they noted in the South China Morning Post report that repairs and body heat sealing need to withstand the extreme conditions of hypersonic flight and adverse conditions at sea for more than ten years while allowing for ease of maintenance under rough conditions.

The sealant technology will conceivably allow China to deploy hypersonic weapons on a broader range of its surface combatants, giving them a potential edge over their competitors, namely the United States, in surface warfare operations.

This April, Asia Times reported that China had tested its YJ-12 hypersonic weapon from one of its Type 055 cruisers, making the class one of the heaviest armed warships in the world. Video footage from the test showed a cold-launched anti-ship ballistic missile armed with a hypersonic glide vehicle, with its small control surfaces suggesting it is not a surface-to-air missile.

The YJ-12 outwardly resembles China’s CM-401 high-altitude anti-ship missile, which is based on Russia’s Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile. However, while China has successfully tested the ship-based YJ-12, an air-launched version could also be in the works.

In contrast, the US will not be ready to deploy hypersonic weapons on its surface combatants until 2025. This March, Asia Times reported that the US aims to replace the troubled Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) on its Zumwalt class destroyers with hypersonic missile tubes, converting the futuristic and stealthy shore bombardment platforms into blue-water strike ones.

As China is perceived to view its hypersonic weapons for strategic deterrence, it may also choose to arm its carrier-based strike aircraft with nuclear-tipped hypersonic weapons, taking a page from past US practice.

The idea of reintroducing ship-based nuclear weapons is under critical fire from US analysts.

In a May article for The Heritage Foundationthink tank, senior policy analyst Patty-Jane Geller noted that, during the Cold War, the US deployed nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCM-N) on surface ships and submarines to deter a possible Soviet attack on Europe but has since retired the capability.

Declassified US documents cited by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) note that during the 1970s and 1980s the US deployed a quarter of its nuclear arsenal at sea, peaking in 1975 when there were 6,191 nuclear weapons deployed on US warships.

But in the 1990s, the Bush administration unilaterally offloaded all tactical nuclear weapons from US naval forces, and in 1994 the Clinton administration decided that all US surface ships would be stripped of their capability to launch nuclear weapons.

Sixteen years later, the Obama administration ended decades of nuclear weapons deployment on warships, with only ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) carrying US strategic nuclear weapons at sea.

However, Geller notes that China and Russia have continued to advance their regional nuclear forces below the threshold of strategic nuclear weapons as a backstop for conventional military operations, developing tactical nuclear weapons to such an end.

In contrast, she notes that the US maintains the same deterrent posture focused on strategic-level nuclear threats, potentially opening a deterrence gap.The old-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Henry M Jackson. Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray / US Navy

Stressing the urgency to restore ship-based nuclear strike capability, US Strategic Command Admiral Chas Richard noted that SLCM-N would give the US “a low-yield, non-ballistic capability that does not require visible generation” to counter the tactical nuclear weapons in China and Russia’s arsenals, Defense News reported him as saying this May.

However, US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday criticized the idea, stating that forcing surface ships and submarines to carry nuclear-tipped missiles would detract from more pressing missions.

Defense News notes that the current US submarine fleet consists of 50 boats, with the US Navy requiring 66 to 72 units. Furthermore, the US destroyer fleet is preoccupied with global deployments working alone or as part of carrier battlegroups. It is expected to come under more strain as the US retires its Ticonderoga class cruisers in the coming years.

Moreover, in a potential departure from the perceived US intent of using hypersonics for conventional strike purposes, Gilday pointed out that such weapons are a preferable avenue for sea-based deterrence.

Biden’s Loose Lips Make the Nuclear Threat Worse: Daniel 7

An illustration featuring an image of Joe Biden and a nuclear symbol
Getty / The Atlantic

Biden’s Loose Lips Make the Nuclear Threat Worse

The president’s rhetoric will encourage Putin to test American resolve.

By Kori Schake

October 13, 2022, 9 AM ET

President Joe Biden is right to be concerned about Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats. As Russia’s military flounders in Ukraine, it is replacing military commanders with the architects of Russia’s campaigns in Syria, dropping even the pretense of targeting militarily significant objectives, expanding its war aims, and hinting darkly about using nuclear weapons against both Ukraine and its Western supporters.

But by loudly agonizing over the issue in public settings, Biden isn’t helping. The president has previously expressed fears of becoming enmeshed in World War III. Last week at a private gathering of Democratic donors, he likened the current risk to the Cuban missile crisis and fretted that the world faces Armageddon. The worst way to have a discussion with the American people and the world about the risks that Russia poses is to fret about them—at an elite partisan fundraiser, no less—in ways that are bound to leak out. Instead, Biden should give a national address explaining American interests in preserving an international order where states come to the aid of countries attacked by predators (as President George H. W. Bush did in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait), valorizing the Ukrainians’ courage, laying out why they deserve our help, articulating but not melodramatizing the danger, and preparing the American public for what will be needed if Russia does use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, our European allies, or even the U.S.

States are likely to use nuclear weapons when they believe their conventional military forces cannot achieve their war aims. Russia’s recent defeats in Ukraine may be raising such doubts. At the end of the Cold War, NATO reduced its holdings of tactical nuclear weapons—that is, lower-yield bombs without intercontinental delivery systems—by 90 percent, hoping to set a virtuous example for Russia. Russia has retained a tactical nuclear stockpile 10 times the size of America’s, by one estimate, and in theory could employ it against Ukraine.

To be sure, current conditions offer Russia few military targets against which nuclear weapons would confer any battlefield advantage. Ukraine has not amassed large concentrations of soldiers whom Russia could try to kill in such a strike. It has not established dense defensive lines that a nuclear detonation might crater and breach. Ukrainian military operations depend on no one port or airfield that Russia might be tempted to attack with a weapon of mass destruction. But as his army is being driven out of Ukrainian territory, Putin might plausibly try to use a nuclear weapon on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, to claim that Russia’s “special military operation” succeeded in removing President Volodymyr Zelensky from office.

Russian operations have already crossed the significant moral threshold from military targets to purposeful and punitive attacks on civilians (which are illegal under the Geneva Conventions). Putin responded to the Ukrainian attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge, a militarily significant target, by firing missiles at Kyiv. The Russian military leaders who are now being promoted—such as General Sergey Surovikin, who made his name in his country’s brutal bombing campaign in Syria—are likely to advocate further barbarity against noncombatants and perhaps even nuclear-weapons use.

Even so, Biden’s comparisons of the current war to the Cuban missile crisis are wrong as history. The Cuban missile crisis was a standoff in which the Soviet Union moved to station nuclear weapons in an allied state abutting the U.S. As the political scientist Marc Trachtenberg has shown, it was the final act of earlier Berlin crises. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not a direct U.S.-Soviet confrontation; the better analogies are proxy wars in third countries during the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.

President Biden’s public expressions of anxiety are also wrong as strategy, because they reward Russia for making nuclear threats. Although the Biden administration has so far admirably insisted that Putin’s threats won’t diminish our support for Ukraine, the president’s recent rhetoric will encourage Putin to test his resolve. It will also raise the possibility that, to give Putin a chance to de-escalate, the U.S. will press Ukraine to settle for less than restoration of its internationally recognized territory. Among other debacles, the rushed departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan last year suggests that, even against conventionally armed enemies, America’s commitment to its allies is less than ironclad.

Worse yet, Biden’s public anxiety telegraphs to every aspiring authoritarian the value of having nuclear weapons. That, in turn, poses a distinct problem for the U.S. Because of its superior conventional forces, which can win wars without resorting to nuclear bombs, America is a major beneficiary of the nuclear taboo. Still, the entire world is safer with fewer nuclear-armed powers, and showing dictators that nuclear threats are the way to tie Washington up in emotional knots will only undermine global security.

The right response to Putin’s nuclear threats is the one that Ukrainians—who are the people likeliest to be victims of Russia’s nuclear use—have already given: This will not change the outcome of the war. That message signals our commitment and diminishes the power of nuclear threats.

Biden ought also to make explicit what the United States will do if it detects Russian preparations to use a nuclear weapon. At a minimum, the U.S. should make public what it knows and should provide Ukrainians with all the intelligence and military assistance necessary for them to preempt such an attack. If that stance fails to prevent it, NATO nations should send military nuclear-cleanup teams immediately to Ukraine to help deal with the consequences, accelerate weapons deliveries to Ukraine, bury any hesitation about Ukraine striking Russian territory, and pledge that Americans will hunt down and bring to justice everyone involved in the policy decision and execution of the orders.

If Biden takes these public positions, he still may not prevent Russia from using nuclear weapons, any more than threats of sanctions and unusually specific warnings about Russia’s intentions dissuaded Russia from invading Ukraine earlier this year. But by overtly and credibly committing the U.S. to explicit responses, Biden will strengthen deterrence. The best way to avoid nuclear Armageddon is to make sure that Russia does not miscalculate our intentions.

US will soon need to deter the China and Russian Nuclear Horns

putin at podium
Vladimir Putin has threatened to use ‘all means’ to defend Russian territory. Photograph: Sputnik/Reuters

US will soon need to deter two major nuclear powers for first time, White House says

New national security strategy warns of Russia as more immediate threat and China as long-term competitor

Julian Borger in WashingtonWed 12 Oct 2022 14.33 EDT

Within a decade, the US will need to deter two major nuclear weapons powers for the first time, the Biden administration has warned, pointing to the Russian arsenal that is increasingly being brandished by Moscow and an expanding Chinese stockpile.

The president’s new national security strategy (NSS) depicts China as the most capable long-term competitor, but Russia as the more immediate, disruptive threat, pointing to its nuclear posturing over Ukraine. It warns that threat could grow as Russian forces continue to suffer defeats on the battlefield.

“Russia’s conventional military will have been weakened, which will likely increase Moscow’s reliance on nuclear weapons in its military planning,” the strategy blueprint says. Its publication was scheduled in the spring but was postponed because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin has threatened to use “all means” to defend Russian territory, in which he included Crimea, annexed in 2014, and four Ukrainian regions he now claims. The NSS pledges US support for Ukrainian resistance would not be affected by such threats.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking during a meeting with employees of the nuclear industry on their professional holiday, Nuclear Industry Worker's Day, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

“The United States will not allow Russia, or any power, to achieve its objectives through using, or threatening to use, nuclear weapons,” the document says.

In a foreword, Biden makes a distinction between the types of threats posed by Moscow and Beijing. “Russia poses an immediate threat to the free and open international system, recklessly flouting the basic laws of the international order today, as its brutal war of aggression against Ukraine has shown,” the president writes.

He describes China, on the other hand as “the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to advance that objective”.

The policy document portrays Beijing as “America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge”.

“The People’s Republic of China harbors the intention and, increasingly, the capacity to reshape the international order in favor of one that tilts the global playing field to its benefit, even as the United States remains committed to managing the competition between our countries responsibly,” it says.

China has an estimated 350 nuclear warheads, according to an assessment by the Federation of American Scientists, compared with 5,977 in Russia’s stockpile, against the US inventory of 5,428. However, the Pentagon believes the Chinese force will grow to more than 1,000 warheads by 2030, making it a third major nuclear power.

Under the last remaining major arms control agreement in place, the New Start treaty, the US and Russia observe a ceiling of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads, referring to those warheads mounted on land or sea-launched missiles, or ready for loading on to long-range bombers.

Daryl Kimball, the head of the Arms Control Association, expressed concern over whether the new language in the strategy document could herald a rethink about the size of the US arsenal.

“If we have to worry about two near-peer nuclear rivals by the year 2030, what does that mean for the number of targets in Russia and China that the president believes we need to hold at risk to deter those nuclear threats? And how does that affect that total number of strategic nuclear weapons the United States and the president believes he needs to deploy?” Kimball asked.

“They’re basically looking at issues and questions that could lead to a larger number calculation,” he said, adding: “It’s not hard science. It could be more; it could be less. I would argue that even if China has twice the number of nuclear weapons, we still can and should reduce the total number of strategic nuclear weapons because what we have is excessive of any reasonable calculation of what it takes to deter a nuclear attack.”

Where will it all end? The conflict in Ukraine appears further than ever from resolution. Nuclear threats, mass graves, the sense that both sides are “all in”.

It’s our job at the Guardian to decipher a rapidly changing landscape, and report the facts in sober fashion, without getting carried away. Our correspondents are on the ground in Ukraine and Russia and throughout the globe delivering round-the-clock reporting and analysis during this fluid situation.

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Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan: The Man Who Made Pakistan a Nuclear Horn

(Source: BBC News/YouTube Screengrab)

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan: The Man Who Made Pakistan a Nuclear Power

by SOFREP1 day ago

(Source: BBC News/YouTube Screengrab)

In a small laboratory in the city of Kahuta, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan changed the course of history. He is known as the Father of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program and is responsible for making Pakistan a nuclear power. This title alone makes him one of the most important figures in Pakistani history.

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was born in 1936 in Bhopal, India. His family moved to Pakistan after the partition of India in 1947. He received his early education in Karachi and then studied metallurgy at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. During his time at Delft University, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan began working on nuclear enrichment technology. In 1974, he returned to Pakistan and started working on Pakistan’s nuclear program.

Pakistan Before Dr. Khan

Before Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan did not have a nuclear weapons program. However, with Dr. Khan’s help, Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998. Dr. Khan was a metallurgist who worked on uranium enrichment in the Netherlands. In 1976, he founded the Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL), responsible for Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.

Dr. Khan was very successful in developing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. He developed an advanced uranium enrichment process called gas centrifuge technology. This technology is used to enrich uranium to a level necessary for producing nuclear weapons.

The Kahuta Research Laboratories

Pakistan’s nuclear program began in 1971 under the leadership of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The program was started in response to India’s nuclear tests in 1974. However, Pakistan’s nuclear program accelerated rapidly after Dr. Khan joined the team in 1976. By 1984, Pakistan had developed its first atomic bomb. In 1998, Pakistan conducted its first nuclear tests, becoming the seventh country in the world to create nuclear weapons.

Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) is a government-owned research and development institute in Kahuta, Pakistan, founded in 1972 by Dr. Khan. The primary purpose of KRL is to conduct research and development on nuclear and defense-related technologies.

Khan Research Laboratories is also responsible for developing Pakistan’s atomic bomb program. In May 1998, just two months after Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test, KRL successfully tested an atomic bomb codenamed “Chagai-I.” This was the first time an atomic bomb was developed and tested in a Muslim country.

Since its inception, Khan Research Laboratories has played a significant role in developing Pakistan’s nuclear and defense programs. The institute has developed several breakthrough technologies, including uranium enrichment and missile technology. KRL has also contributed significantly to Pakistan’s efforts to become a global player in the field of nuclear energy.

Since 1998, Pakistan has continued to develop its nuclear weapons program with the help of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. In May 2015, Pakistan successfully tested a submarine-launched cruise missile called Babur-3. This missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and provides Pakistan with a second-strike capability in case of a nuclear attack.

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan has been credited with developing Pakistan’s uranium enrichment program and making it one of the most successful nuclear programs in the world. He is also known for his work on gas centrifuge technology, which is used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.

In 2004, Dr. Khan was accused of providing nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea. As a result, he was arrested by Pakistani authorities and later pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf.

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan suffered from ill health in his later years and died on Oct. 10, 2021, at 85.

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan is a national hero in Pakistan and is revered by many as the Father of Pakistan’s Nuclear Program. He is credited with making Pakistan a nuclear power and changing the course of history. His work has made him one of the most important figures in Pakistani history.