Russian Horn is still a nuclear threat: Daniel 7

Blinken: Russia’s nuclear threats ‘still a fear in an emergency for them’

December 02, 2022 04:22 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin could use nuclear weapons against Ukraine “in an emergency,” according to a top U.S. official who sees little room for negotiations to ease the anxiety.

“There was contact with Russia because there was a fear that they might use a nuclear weapon,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with French media. “It’s a fear. I wouldn’t say we haven’t seen a specific movement on that, but it’s still a fear in an emergency for them, exactly.”

Those limited exchanges offer scant hope of a major diplomatic initiative, however. Putin’s government has settled into a relentless winter bombardment of Ukrainian energy structure while trying to mobilize forces for a spring offensive. Ukrainian forces, with the benefit of Western aid, continue to prosecute a counteroffensive that has produced a series of high-profile victories in southern and eastern Ukraine.

“This war could end tomorrow if Putin stops,” said Blinken, a masterful French speaker, according to the State Department translation of his French-language interview. “But of course, what is Putin doing right now? Even though he sometimes says he’s ready for diplomacy, he’s attacking the civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.”

Putin, in a parallel conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, complained that Western aid has blunted Ukraine’s appetite for a deal on his terms.

“Attention was drawn to the destructive policy that is being pursued by Western countries, including Germany, who are flooding the Kiev regime with weapons and training Ukrainian troops,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday, using the Kremlin’s polemical term for the Ukrainian government. “The Russian president called on Germany to reconsider its approach with regard to Ukraine developments.”

Putin lashed himself to the political mast, in response to Ukraine’s battlefield successes, by amending Russia’s constitution in order to formalize the annexation of Ukrainian territory that he did not hold.

“How can a girl, whose family name is Fyodorova and who lives in the Lugansk Republic, be different from girls with the surname Fyodorova in Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg or Moscow? She is no different!” Putin said Friday, according to state media. “They are our people and we certainly must do everything to support them.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskycommemorated the anniversary of Ukraine’s vote for independence in 1991, a referendum that passed with majorities in every region of the country, including the ones claimed by Russia.

“It was an honest referendum, and that is why it was recognized by the world,” Zelensky said. “We saw many figures who could not put up with the fact that the empire had been overthrown. We are still defending Ukraine against such ‘comrades’ who wanted to celebrate the centenary of the empire this year instead of another anniversary of freedom. They wanted … But Ukrainian rules will prevail.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, after characterizing the conflict as a function of “the West [determining] to drag Ukraine into NATO,” reiterated Moscow’s desire for U.S. and Western European powers to cut military ties with the Central European countries that joined NATO following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“The West is trying to create a security system without Russia or Belarus,” he complained Thursday. “When Western Europe, NATO, and the EU see the huge risks of their dead-end policies, we will look at what they can offer for negotiating with us.”

Western European officials have made their own call for a new approach to security in Europe, in light of Russia’s launch of the largest conflict on the continent since the Second World War.

“We need a new security order in Europe, after Russia has broken completely the one that we had,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell saidThursday.

Blinken, for his part, emphasized the need to keep the current fight contained to Ukraine. “We don’t want a war with Russia. We do not want a Third World War,” he said. “On the other hand, what we need for peace: It must not be only on paper, the peace, but it must be fair, so with the principles of the U.N. charter … What we have to avoid, for example, is the idea that we freeze things in place. Russia, in this context, will never negotiate the territories that were taken by force.”

East Coast Still Unprepared For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

East Coast Earthquake Preparedness
Posted: 08/25/2011 8:43 am EDT
WASHINGTON — There were cracks in the Washington Monument and broken capstones at the National Cathedral. In the District of Columbia suburbs, some people stayed in shelters because of structural concerns at their apartment buildings.
A day after the East Coast’s strongest earthquake in 67 years, inspectors assessed the damage and found that most problems were minor. But the shaking raised questions about whether this part of the country, with its older architecture and inexperience with seismic activity, is prepared for a truly powerful quake.
The 5.8 magnitude quake felt from Georgia north to Canada prompted swift inspections of many structures Wednesday, including bridges and nuclear plants. An accurate damage estimate could take weeks, if not longer. And many people will not be covered by insurance.
In a small Virginia city near the epicenter, the entire downtown business district was closed. School was canceled for two weeks to give engineers time to check out cracks in several buildings.
At the 555-foot Washington Monument, inspectors found several cracks in the pyramidion – the section at the top of the obelisk where it begins narrowing to a point.
A 4-foot crack was discovered Tuesday during a visual inspection by helicopter. It cannot be seen from the ground. Late Wednesday, the National Park Service announced that structural engineers had found several additional cracks inside the top of the monument.
Carol Johnson, a park service spokeswoman, could not say how many cracks were found but said three or four of them were “significant.” Two structural engineering firms that specialize in assessing earthquake damage were being brought in to conduct a more thorough inspection on Thursday.
The monument, by far the tallest structure in the nation’s capital, was to remain closed indefinitely, and Johnson said the additional cracks mean repairs are likely to take longer. It has never been damaged by a natural disaster, including earthquakes in Virginia in 1897 and New York in 1944.
Tourists arrived at the monument Wednesday morning only to find out they couldn’t get near it. A temporary fence was erected in a wide circle about 120 feet from the flags that surround its base. Walkways were blocked by metal barriers manned by security guards.
“Is it really closed?” a man asked the clerk at the site’s bookstore.
“It’s really closed,” said the clerk, Erin Nolan. Advance tickets were available for purchase, but she cautioned against buying them because it’s not clear when the monument will open.
“This is pretty much all I’m going to be doing today,” Nolan said.
Tuesday’s quake was centered about 40 miles northwest of Richmond, 90 miles south of Washington and 3.7 miles underground. In the nearby town of Mineral, Va., Michael Leman knew his Main Street Plumbing & Electrical Supply business would need – at best – serious and expensive repairs.
At worst, it could be condemned. The facade had become detached from the rest of the building, and daylight was visible through a 4- to 6-inch gap that opened between the front wall and ceiling.
“We’re definitely going to open back up,” Leman said. “I’ve got people’s jobs to look out for.”
Leman said he is insured, but some property owners might not be so lucky.
The Insurance Information Institute said earthquakes are not covered under standard U.S. homeowners or business insurance policies, although supplemental coverage is usually available.
The institute says coverage for other damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage from burst gas or water pipes, is provided by standard homeowners and business insurance policies in most states. Cars and other vehicles with comprehensive insurance would also be protected.
The U.S. Geological Survey classified the quake as Alert Level Orange, the second-most serious category on its four-level scale. Earthquakes in that range lead to estimated losses between $100 million and $1 billion.
In Culpeper, Va., about 35 miles from the epicenter, walls had buckled at the old sanctuary at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which was constructed in 1821 and drew worshippers including Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart. Heavy stone ornaments atop a pillar at the gate were shaken to the ground. A chimney from the old Culpeper Baptist Church built in 1894 also tumbled down.
At the Washington National Cathedral, spokesman Richard Weinberg said the building’s overall structure remains sound and damage was limited to “decorative elements.”
Massive stones atop three of the four spires on the building’s central tower broke off, crashing onto the roof. At least one of the spires is teetering badly, and cracks have appeared in some flying buttresses.
Repairs were expected to cost millions of dollars – an expense not covered by insurance.
“Every single portion of the exterior is carved by hand, so everything broken off is a piece of art,” Weinberg said. “It’s not just the labor, but the artistry of replicating what was once there.”
The building will remain closed as a precaution. Services to dedicate the memorial honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were moved.
Other major cities along the East Coast that felt the shaking tried to gauge the risk from another quake.
A few hours after briefly evacuating New York City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city’s newer buildings could withstand a more serious earthquake. But, he added, questions remain about the older buildings that are common in a metropolis founded hundreds of years ago.
“We think that the design standards of today are sufficient against any eventuality,” he said. But “there are questions always about some very old buildings. … Fortunately those tend to be low buildings, so there’s not great danger.”
An earthquake similar to the one in Virginia could do billions of dollars of damage if it were centered in New York, said Barbara Nadel, an architect who specializes in securing buildings against natural disasters and terrorism.
The city’s 49-page seismic code requires builders to prepare for significant shifting of the earth. High-rises must be built with certain kinds of bracing, and they must be able to safely sway at least somewhat to accommodate for wind and even shaking from the ground, Nadel said.
Buildings constructed in Boston in recent decades had to follow stringent codes comparable to anything in California, said Vernon Woodworth, an architect and faculty member at the Boston Architectural College. New construction on older structures also must meet tough standards to withstand severe tremors, he said.
It’s a different story with the city’s older buildings. The 18th- and 19th-century structures in Boston’s Back Bay, for instance, were often built on fill, which can liquefy in a strong quake, Woodworth said. Still, there just aren’t many strong quakes in New England.
The last time the Boston area saw a quake as powerful as the one that hit Virginia on Tuesday was in 1755, off Cape Ann, to the north. A repeat of that quake would likely cause deaths, Woodworth said. Still, the quakes are so infrequent that it’s difficult to weigh the risks versus the costs of enacting tougher building standards regionally, he said.
People in several of the affected states won’t have much time to reflect before confronting another potential emergency. Hurricane Irene is approaching the East Coast and could skirt the Mid-Atlantic region by the weekend and make landfall in New England after that.
In North Carolina, officials were inspecting an aging bridge that is a vital evacuation route for people escaping the coastal barrier islands as the storm approaches.
Speaking at an earthquake briefing Wednesday, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray inadvertently mixed up his disasters.
“Everyone knows, obviously, that we had a hurricane,” he said before realizing his mistake.
“Hurricane,” he repeated sheepishly as reporters and staffers burst into laughter. “I’m getting ahead of myself!”
Associated Press writers Sam Hananel in Washington; Alex Dominguez in Baltimore; Bob Lewis in Mineral, Va.; Samantha Gross in New York City; and Jay Lindsay in Boston contributed to this report.

Obama-Iran Deal is Dead: Daniel 8

Abraham Accords signing ceremony at the White House on Sept. 13, 2020.

Netanyahu: Iran nuclear deal is ‘probably dead’; protests reveal that regime is ‘really weak’

The likely future Israeli prime minister said Iran’s deadly response to protesters shows weakness

By Ronn Blitzer , Andrew Murray | Fox News

In an interview with Fox News Digital, former and likely future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses protests in Iran, the future of the Iran nuclear deal, and peace between Israel and the Arab world.

Recent actions from the Iranian government have been very telling about the state of the country’s leadership and may have ended the possibility of a new nuclear deal, according to former and likely future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Following the release of his new memoir, “Bibi: My Story,” Netanyahu sat down with Fox News Digital in a wide-ranging interview. A few weeks after his Likud Party was victorious in Israel’s election, Netanyahu was skeptical about the future of the Iran nuclear deal in light of their continued nuclear-related activity – and how the world is seeing Iran use deadly force to crack down on anti-government protests.

“It’s probably dead because the entire world saw what the true face of this regime is,” Netanyahu said. “That’s thanks to the extraordinarily brave Iranian women and men who took to the streets – who take to the streets – against this vicious, murderous and brutal regime. And I think people ask themselves, ‘Do we want the ayatollahs, who chant death to America, to have the weapons of mass death and the ballistic missiles to deliver them to any part on Earth?’ and the answer is of course not.”

As the protests calling for an end to the Islamic regime have gone on, news came out that Iran was enriching uranium at an underground facility at a level approaching what is needed for a nuclear weapon. Asked if he is concerned that continued pressure from the demonstrations could make Iran more erratic, Netanyahu did not dismiss the idea but said the protests are exposing Tehran and showing the leadership’s vulnerability.

“I suppose so, but I think that it also highlights the fact that they’re really weak – that they govern only with basically the threat of murder,” he said. “And the people are showing remarkable resilience.”

As an example of the resolve of the Iranian people, Netanyahu referenced the Iranian World Cup soccer team remaining silent during their national anthem before their first game of the tournament.

“The whole world is watching, and the entire team refused to sing the anthem, not because they’re not Iranian patriots, because they are,” he said. “Because they know their country has been hijacked by this gang of theological thugs who govern simply by terror. And the fact that the entire world sees that I think has made the possibility of stopping Iran’s nuclear program and rolling back the tide of this horribly aggressive regime possible.”

Netanyahu observed that both sides of the political spectrum are more united against Iran now than they had been before. Whether or not this results in actually stopping Iran, he said, “depends on how much the community of like-minded nations unites” to keep them from getting a nuclear weapon.


Netanyahu said that in order to do this, both “crippling sanctions” and a military threat are needed. Regarding the latter, he said Israel is prepared to act regardless of U.S. approval, although he believes that there may now be a more “forward-leaning American position on this matter.”

Netanyahu angered many American officials in 2015 when he accepted an invitation to appear before a joint session of Congress and speak against the Iran nuclear deal – against the position of then-President Barack Obama. Netanyahu said he respected Obama but disagreed with him on this issue. Going against the president at that time “wasn’t an easy decision,” Netanyahu said, but it was a decision he made out of concern for Israel’s survival.

As it turned out, that speech may have helped lead to the one of the most remarkable regional developments in recent memory: emerging peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Abraham Accords signing ceremony at the White House on Sept. 13, 2020. (Getty)

“In the course of giving that speech in Congress, our delegation received calls from Gulf governments – Arab governments in the Gulf – who said, ‘We don’t believe what we’re seeing. We don’t believe that your prime minister is willing to take this stand against an American president. It’s very hard,'” Netanyahu recalled. “And that’s what led to meetings in 2015, clandestine meetings with Gulf Arab leaders … and that created the foundations for the Abraham Accords.”

The Abraham Accords are the peace agreements Israel made with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan. Netanyahu hinted that more countries could join in the future, predicting that “the best is yet to come.”

Netanyahu said that the developing peace with Arab nations debunked the long-standing myth that regional stability would not come until after Israel made peace with the Palestinians.

“That’s inside out. My argument is the exact opposite: it’s outside in. Complete the circle of peace with the entire Arab world and then get to the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said. “And perhaps then we could have them abandon their idea that they’ll do away with the Jewish State once they recognize the right – not merely the fact, but the right – of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, then I think we’ll be well on the way to a solution with them as well.”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict had long been emblematic of a greater conflict between Israel and the Arab world, but that no longer seems to be the case as the local conflict continues despite Arab countries improving relations with the Jewish state. Most recently, Israel was hit by two explosions at Jerusalem bus stops, attacks that Hamas, the group in control of the Gaza Strip that the U.S. has on its list of designated terror organizations, praised, according to Reuters.

The cover of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new book, which covers his military service, work in politics and insights from his career. (Simon & Schuster)

Hamas is backed by Iran, setting it apart from much of the Arab world. Netanyahu noted that “the rise of Iran’s threat” was one of “the foundations” of the Abraham Accords, along with Israel’s growing military and technological power.

Another recent point of conflict between Israel and Palestinians involved the death of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Palestinians quickly blamed Israel, and Israel later stated that Abu Akleh was likely accidentally killed by gunfire from Israeli Defense Forces. 

The U.S. Department of Justice said they were going to investigate the matter. Current Prime Minister Yair Lapid came out against this, and Netanyahu echoed that sentiment.


“Israel has its own investigatory powers,” Netanyahu said, adding that the IDF has “really meticulous internal mechanisms” to handle such situations.

“You would not want us to investigate an event in America if you had something happen, a similar tragedy happening in our military,” Netanyahu said, adding that Israel has investigated and will continue to investigate Abu Akleh’s death.

Netanyahu himself has also drawn criticism from U.S. officials, including longtime supporter of Israel Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., over far-right members of the coalition that Netanyahu is looking to form to set up a new government that he would lead as prime minister. In particular, Menendez reportedly referenced the inclusion of individuals like Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Critics have painted Ben-Gvir as a right-wing extremist for his connections and support of far right-wing elements in Israel, including the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose ultra-nationalist party was outlawed from running in subsequent elections for inciting racism against Arabs. Kahane was assassinated by a terrorist in Manhattan in 1990. Ben-Gvir said that Menendez’s criticism was “incorrect and mistaken.”

Netanyahu said the criticism was not “morally or logically consistent,” calling out Menendez and others for being silent when his opposition aligned themselves with supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Netanyahu accused that group of supporting terror while his partners “support the Jewish State.”

Netanyahu’s likely return to the prime minister’s office comes nearly a year and a half after he was voted out. During his time away from office, he wrote a memoir, “Bibi: My Story,” in which he discusses his military and political career as well as his family, which includes Israeli hero Yoni Netanyahu, who died during a daring hostage rescue mission in Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976.

Netanyahu said that having time away from the prime minister’s office “renewed” his energy to reenter the “cruel” world of politics.

“The reason I came back to power is because I live a life of purpose. And my purpose is to protect the Jewish state and make sure that Israel has a … secure and prosperous existence for the decades to come,” he said.

Netanyahu also addressed a problem facing Jews worldwide: rising antisemitism. The issue has especially been impacting Jews in the U.S. in recent weeks following the spread of antisemitic comments and tropes by notable figures such as Kanye “Ye” West and NBA player Kyrie Irving.

Asked about whether influential figures such as Ye and Irving could empower other antisemites, Netanyahu agreed that this is a concern.

“Yes, I think that’s clear,” he said, calling antisemitism “a chronic disease” that “changes its form” over the 2,500 years that it has existed.

“People look for a scapegoat,” he said. “You’re a capitalist, you blame the Jews who are the communists. You’re a communist, the Jews are the capitalists. You have a problem, blame the Jews.”

Netanyahu said the only real defense against antisemitism is to “take a strong stance against it.” He also pointed out that the existence of the state of Israel gives Jews a means of defense, be it militarily, morally, politically or otherwise.

“The rebirth of Israel was meant to give a defense against antisemitism,” he said.

Fox News’s Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report.

Antichrist launches anti-LGBTQ campaign

Supporters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr sign a pledge to stand against homosexuality or LGBTQ, outside a mosque in Kufa, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. Al-Sadr who announced his withdrawal from politics four months ago has broken a period of relative silence to launch an anti-LGBTQ campaign. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

Influential Iraqi cleric launches anti-LGBTQ campaign


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Supporters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr sign a pledge to stand against homosexuality or LGBTQ, outside a mosque in Kufa, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. Al-Sadr who announced his withdrawal from politics four months ago has broken a period of relative silence to launch an anti-LGBTQ campaign. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

An influential Iraqi cleric who announced his withdrawal from politics four months ago has broken a period of relative silence to launch an anti-LGBTQ campaign.

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr posted a statement on Twitter Wednesday calling for “believing men and women (to) unite all over the world to combat (the LGBTQ community).”

He added that this should be done “not with violence, killing or threats, but with education and awareness, with logic and ethical methods.”

The religious leader’s call has stoked fears in the LGBTQ community, particularly given that al-Sadr’s followers have a history of violence. After the cleric announced his resignation from politics in August amid an impasse over government formation, hundreds of his angry loyalists stormed government buildings in the capital and set off clashes that left at least 30 dead.

On Friday, following the afternoon prayer session, thousands of al-Sadr’s followers lined up outside of mosques around the country to sign a pledge to “stand against (homosexuality) or (LGBTQ) by ethical, peaceful and religious means” and to demand “abolition of the homosexuality law.”


It was not clear what law the pledge was referring to. Iraq does not have a law that explicitly criminalizes homosexuality, although it has one that outlaws “immodest acts,” which Human Rights Watch has described as a “a vague provision that could be used to target sexual and gender minorities.”


Built to disappear: World Cup stadium 974Iranian state media: Construction begins on nuclear plantJoint patrols resume in north Syria amid tension with TurkeyIsraeli officer kills Palestinian after alleged stabbing

Al-Sadr’s proclamation comes amid a World Cup in Qatar that has drawn international scrutiny to LGBTQ rights there and in the region more generally. Qatar, where gay sex is illegal, faced intense international scrutiny and criticism around the games, including questions over whether LGBTQ visitors would feel safe and welcome. Some fans were barred from bringing items with rainbow colors, a symbol of LGBTQ rights, into stadiums.

The Gulf nation has said all are welcome, including LGBTQ fans, but that visitors should respect the nation’s culture.

Some of those who heeded al-Sadr’s call on Friday alluded to the World Cup culture wars.

In Kufa — a town in al-Sadr’s home province of Najaf province — hundreds lined up to sign the pledge on Friday. Kazem al-Husseini, imam of a local mosque, denied that the campaign was prompted by the World Cup, noting that al-Sadr had made similar statements previously. But he added that “at the World Cup there were attempts to promote this issue by Westerners who came to the (games).”

“There is a fear that the West is putting pressure on the Arab and Islamic regimes to legitimize same-sex marriage in the constitutions and laws so that they try to normalize this perversion,” he said.

In Baghdad’s Sadr City, Ibrahim al-Jabri, who also signed the pledge, said he is standing against the “corruptions that came to us from Europe and elsewhere, what they call freedoms. We also have the freedom to reject falsehood, to reject corruption.”

Sanar Hasan, an Iraqi journalist who has written on LGBTQ issues, noted that al-Sadr had previously blamed both the COVID-19 pandemic and monkeypox on homosexuality. As for the timing of his latest campaign, she said al-Sadr was “trying to gain the support of the Iraqi street again” by playing on social taboos, after his failure to win out in forming the country’s government.

Despite the campaign’s nominal commitment to non-violence, LGBTQ people in Iraq fear that it will lead to more harassment and abuse in a country where their identity already puts them in danger.

A Human Rights Watch report released earlier this year accused armed groups in Iraq of abducting, raping, torturing, and killing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people with impunity. The Iraqi government, it says, has failed to hold perpetrators accountable.

The report released by the New York-based organization in collaboration with Iraqi rights group IraQueer also accused Iraqi police and security forces of being often complicit in compounding anti-LGBTQ violence and of arresting individuals “due to non-conforming appearance.”

“Attacks against LGBT people in Iraq have long been a political tactic,” said Rasha Younes, an LGBTQ rights researcher with the group said in an emailed statement. Public speeches like al-Sadr’s “have served to undermine LGBT rights and fuel violence against LGBT Iraqis, who already face killings, abductions, torture, and sexual violence by armed groups with impunity,” she added.

A university student in Najaf who identifies as queer and who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear for their safety, said that despite not being openly LGBTQ, they have been frequently harassed in the street for wearing clothes in colors and styles that do not fit local conservative norms.

Al-Sadr’s recent “hate speech” makes them more fearful, given the past acts of violence by his followers, the student said.

“I was thinking that I would wait until I graduated from the university and then go to Europe with a study visa, but now … I am thinking of taking precautions in case of any emergency event so I flee to the nearest safe place,” they said.


Associated Press writer Ali Abdul-Hassan in Baghdad contributed reporting.

US debuts its new nuclear bomber, the B-21 Raider

FILE – This undated artist rending provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a U.S. Air Force graphic of the Long Range Strike Bomber, designated the B-21. (U.S. Air Force via AP)   (Associated Press)

Pentagon debuts its new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider | Newser

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s newest nuclear stealth bomber is making its public debut after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon’s answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China. 

The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years. Almost every aspect of the program is classified. Ahead of its unveiling Friday at an Air Force facility in Palmdale, California, only artists’ renderings of the warplane have been released. Those few images reveal that the Raider resembles the black nuclear stealth bomber it will eventually replace, the B-2 Spirit.

The bomber is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize all three legs of its nuclear triad, which includes silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads, as it shifts from the counterterrorism campaigns of recent decades to meet China’s rapid military modernization.

China is on track to have 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035, and its gains in hypersonics, cyber warfare, space capabilities and other areas present “the most consequential and systemic challenge to U.S. national security and the free and open international system,” the Pentagon said this week in its annual China report. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other invited guests will be on hand Friday to witness the bomber’s public unveiling. 

”We needed a new bomber for the 21st Century that would allow us to take on much more complicated threats, like the threats that we fear we would one day face from China, Russia, ” said Deborah Lee James, the Air Force secretary when the Raider contract was announced in 2015. “The B-21 is more survivable and can take on these much more difficult threats.” 

While the Raider may resemble the B-2, once you get inside, the similarities stop, said Kathy Warden, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Corp., which is building the Raider.

“The way it operates internally is extremely advanced compared to the B-2, because the technology has evolved so much in terms of the computing capability that we can now embed in the software of the B-21,” Warden said. 

Other changes likely include advanced materials used in coatings to make the bomber harder to detect, new ways to control electronic emissions, so the bomber could spoof adversary radars and disguise itself as another object, and use of new propulsion technologies, several defense analysts said. 

In a fact sheet, Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia, said it is using “new manufacturing techniques and materials to ensure the B-21 will defeat the anti-access, area-denial systems it will face.”

Warden could not discuss specifics of those technologies but said the bomber will be more stealthy.

“When we talk about low observability, it is incredibly low observability,” Warden said. “You’ll hear it, but you really won’t see it.” 

Six B-21 Raiders are in production; The Air Force plans to build 100 that can deploy either nuclear weapons or conventional bombs and can be used with or without a human crew. Both the Air Force and Northrop also point to the Raider’s relatively quick development: The bomber went from contract award to debut in seven years. Other new fighter and ship programs have taken decades. 

The cost of the bombers is unknown. The Air Force previously put the price for a buy of 100 aircraft at an average cost of $550 million each in 2010 dollars — roughly $753 million today — but it’s unclear how much the Air Force is actually spending. 

The fact that the price is not public troubles government watchdogs. 

“It might be a big challenge for us to do our normal analysis of a major program like this,” said Dan Grazier, a senior defense policy fellow at the Project on Government Oversight. “It’s easy to say that the B-21 is still on schedule before it actually flies. Because it’s only when one of these programs goes into the actual testing phase when real problems are discovered. And so that’s the point when schedules really start to slip and costs really start to rise.” 

The Raider will not make its first flight until 2023. However, using advanced computing, Warden said, Northrop Grumman has been testing the Raider’s performance using a digital twin, a virtual replica of the one being unveiled. 

The B-2 was also envisioned to be a fleet of more than 100 aircraft, but the Air Force ultimately built only 21 of them, due to cost overruns and a changed security environment after the Soviet Union fell. 

Fewer than that are ready to fly on any given day due to the significant maintenance needs of the aging bomber, said Todd Harrison, an aerospace specialist and managing director at Metrea Strategic Insights. 

The B-21 Raider, which takes its name from the 1942 Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, will be slightly smaller than the B-2 to increase its range, Warden said. 

In October 2001, B-2 pilots set a record when they flew 44 hours straight to drop the first bombs in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks. But the B-2 often does long round-trip missions, because there are few hangars globally that can accommodate its wingspan. That limits where B-2s can land for needed post-flight maintenance. And the hangars needed to be air-conditioned — because the Spirit’s windows don’t open, hotter climates can cook cockpit electronics. 

The new Raider will also get new hangars, to accommodate the size and complexity of the bomber, Warden said. 


Follow the AP’s coverage of the Air Force at


This story has been corrected to show the B-2 rollout was in 1988, not 1989.

The Chinese Nuclear Horn Continues to Grow: Daniel 7

China's Leader Xi Jinping arrives to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit in Bangkok on Nov. 19, 2022. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)

China’s Leader Xi Jinping arrives to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit in Bangkok on Nov. 19, 2022. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP)


China to Increase Nuclear Warheads to 1,500, Pentagon Warns

By The Associated Press

December 1, 2022 Updated: December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON—China is expanding its nuclear force and is on pace to nearly quadruple the number of warheads it has by 2035, rapidly closing its gap with the United States, the Pentagon said in a report released Tuesday.

The report builds on the military’s warning last year that China is expanding its nuclear force much faster than U.S. officials had predicted, highlighting a broad and accelerating buildup of military muscle designed to enable Beijing to match or surpass U.S. global power by mid-century.

Last year, the Pentagon said the number of Chinese nuclear warheads could increase to 700 within six years and may top 1,000 by 2030. The new report says China currently has about 400 nuclear warheads, and that number could grow to 1,500 by 2035.

The United States, by comparison, has 3,750 active nuclear warheads.

The Chinese communist regime’s growing arsenal is creating uncertainty for the United States as it navigates how to deter two nuclear powers, Russia and China, simultaneously, the Pentagon said in its recent nuclear posture review. And the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) buildup also creates uncertainty about its intentions, said Bonny Lin, director of the China power project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Will the actual increase in capability start impacting how Chinese experts think about the use of nuclear weapons?,” such as whether it would change Beijing’s no “first use” policy, Lin asked. “That’s the uncertainty. We can’t assume that if they have more capabilities, that their policy is going to remain the same.”

China is closely watching how the international community reacts to Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, said John Erath, senior policy director for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

“If Russia is able to gain its objectives by means of nuclear threats, China will derive lessons from that and could be potentially making these kinds of threats against Taiwan or other neighboring countries in connection with China’s territorial ambitions,” Erath said.

The report was released as China is seeing its most widespread protests in decades, with demonstrators denouncing the country’s “zero-COVID” policy, but the timing is unrelated. Congress requires the Pentagon to prepare the report annually.

Its release also comes just two weeks after President Joe Biden met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines the Group of 20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, their first in-person meeting since Biden became president in January 2021.

During their nearly three-hour session, Biden objected directly to the CCP’s “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions” toward Taiwan, but also said the United States is not looking for conflict with the CCP.

However, the CCP considers Taiwan to be a “red line,” Defense Minister Wei Fenghe told U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Cambodia last week, according to a statement provided by the Chinese Ministry of Defense.

Beijing has vowed to bring the self-governing island of Taiwan under its control, by force if necessary. Xi has given his military until 2027 to develop the military capability to retake the self-ruled island democracy that the CCP claims as its own territory.

“If realized, this 2027 objective could give the (People’s Liberation Army) capabilities to be a more credible military tool for the Chinese Communist Party to wield as it pursues Taiwan unification,” the Pentagon found in its 2022 report.

The United States has committed billions of dollars in military weapons to Taiwan to build up its defenses and help it rebuff any potential attack.

In reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, the Chinese regime has also launched more frequent and aggressive military actions that test Taiwan’s airspace and coastlines.

China has also made worrisome gains in building capabilities that “blind and deafen the enemy,” including knocking out communications and early warning satellites, expanding its use of artificial intelligence and intensifying their efforts in cyberwarfare, the report said.

The Pentagon, in its recently released national defense strategy, said China remains the greatest security challenge for the United States, and that the threat from Beijing will determine how the U.S. military is equipped and shaped for the future.