Preparing for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Scenario Earthquakes for Urban Areas Along the Atlantic Seaboard of the United States

The Sixth Seal: NY City DestroyedIf today a magnitude 6 earthquake were to occur centered on New York City, what would its effects be? Will the loss be 10 or 100 billion dollars? Will there be 10 or 10,000 fatalities? Will there be 1,000 or 100,000 homeless needing shelter? Can government function, provide assistance, and maintain order?

At this time, no satisfactory answers to these questions are available. A few years ago, rudimentary scenario studies were made for Boston and New York with limited scope and uncertain results. For most eastern cities, including Washington D.C., we know even less about the economic, societal and political impacts from significant earthquakes, whatever their rate of occurrence.

Why do we know so little about such vital public issues? Because the public has been lulled into believing that seriously damaging quakes are so unlikely in the east that in essence we do not need to consider them. We shall examine the validity of this widely held opinion.

Is the public’s earthquake awareness (or lack thereof) controlled by perceived low SeismicitySeismicHazard, or SeismicRisk? How do these three seismic features differ from, and relate to each other? In many portions of California, earthquake awareness is refreshed in a major way about once every decade (and in some places even more often) by virtually every person experiencing a damaging event. The occurrence of earthquakes of given magnitudes in time and space, not withstanding their effects, are the manifestations of seismicity. Ground shaking, faulting, landslides or soil liquefaction are the manifestations of seismic hazard. Damage to structures, and loss of life, limb, material assets, business and services are the manifestations of seismic risk. By sheer experience, California’s public understands fairly well these three interconnected manifestations of the earthquake phenomenon. This awareness is reflected in public policy, enforcement of seismic regulations, and preparedness in both the public and private sector. In the eastern U.S., the public and its decision makers generally do not understand them because of inexperience. Judging seismic risk by rates of seismicity alone (which are low in the east but high in the west) has undoubtedly contributed to the public’s tendency to belittle the seismic loss potential for eastern urban regions.

Let us compare two hypothetical locations, one in California and one in New York City. Assume the location in California does experience, on average, one M = 6 every 10 years, compared to New York once every 1,000 years. This implies a ratio of rates of seismicity of 100:1. Does that mean the ratio of expected losses (when annualized per year) is also 100:1? Most likely not. That ratio may be closer to 10:1, which seems to imply that taking our clues from seismicity alone may lead to an underestimation of the potential seismic risks in the east. Why should this be so?

To check the assertion, let us make a back-of-the-envelope estimate. The expected seismic risk for a given area is defined as the area-integrated product of: seismic hazard (expected shaking level), assets ($ and people), and the assets’ vulnerabilities (that is, their expected fractional loss given a certain hazard – say, shaking level). Thus, if we have a 100 times lower seismicity rate in New York compared to California, which at any given point from a given quake may yield a 2 times higher shaking level in New York compared to California because ground motions in the east are known to differ from those in the west; and if we have a 2 times higher asset density (a modest assumption for Manhattan!), and a 2 times higher vulnerability (again a modest assumption when considering the large stock of unreinforced masonry buildings and aged infrastructure in New York), then our California/New York ratio for annualized loss potential may be on the order of (100/(2x2x2)):1. That implies about a 12:1 risk ratio between the California and New York location, compared to a 100:1 ratio in seismicity rates.

From this example it appears that seismic awareness in the east may be more controlled by the rate of seismicity than by the less well understood risk potential. This misunderstanding is one of the reasons why earthquake awareness and preparedness in the densely populated east is so disproportionally low relative to its seismic loss potential. Rare but potentially catastrophic losses in the east compete in attention with more frequent moderate losses in the west. New York City is the paramount example of a low-probability, high-impact seismic risk, the sort of risk that is hard to insure against, or mobilize public action to reduce the risks.

There are basically two ways to respond. One is to do little and wait until one or more disastrous events occur. Then react to these – albeit disastrous – “windows of opportunity.” That is, pay after the unmitigated facts, rather than attempt to control their outcome. This is a high-stakes approach, considering the evolved state of the economy. The other approach is to invest in mitigation ahead of time, and use scientific knowledge and inference, education, technology transfer, and combine it with a mixture of regulatory and/or economic incentives to implement earthquake preparedness. The National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) has attempted the latter while much of the public tends to cling to the former of the two options. Realistic and reliable quantitative loss estimation techniques are essential to evaluate the relative merits of the two approaches.

The current efforts in the eastern U.S., including New York City, to start the enforcement of seismic building codes for new constructions are important first steps in the right direction. Similarly, the emerging efforts to include seismic rehabilitation strategies in the generally needed overhaul of the cities’ aged infrastructures such as bridges, water, sewer, power and transportation is commendable and needs to be pursued with diligence and persistence. But at the current pace of new construction replacing older buildings and lifelines, it will take many decades or a century before a major fraction of the stock of built assets will become seismically more resilient than the current inventory is. For some time, this leaves society exposed to very high seismic risks. The only consolation is that seismicity on average is low, and, hence with some luck, the earthquakes will not outpace any ongoing efforts to make eastern cities more earthquake resilient gradually. Nevertheless, M = 5 to M = 6 earthquakes at distances of tens of km must be considered a credible risk at almost any time for cities like Boston, New York or Philadelphia. M = 7 events, while possible, are much less likely; and in many respects, even if building codes will have affected the resilience of a future improved building stock, M = 7 events would cause virtually unmanageable situations. Given these bleak prospects, it will be necessary to focus on crucial elements such as maintaining access to cities by strengthening critical bridges, improving the structural and nonstructural performance of hospitals, and having a nationally supported plan how to assist a devastated region in case of a truly severe earthquake. No realistic and coordinated planning of this sort exists at this time for most eastern cities.

The current efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) via the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) to provide a standard methodology (RMS, 1994) and planning tools for making systematic, computerized loss estimates for annualized probabilistic calculations as well as for individual scenario events, is commendable. But these new tools provide only a shell with little regional data content. What is needed are the detailed data bases on inventory of buildings and lifelines with their locally specific seismic fragility properties.Similar data are needed for hospitals, shelters, firehouses, police stations and other emergency service providers. Moreover, the soil and rock conditions which control the shaking and soil liquefaction properties for any given event, need to be systematically compiled into Geographical Information System (GIS) data bases so they can be combined with the inventory of built assets for quantitative loss and impact estimates. Even under the best of conceivable funding conditions, it will take years before such data bases can be established so they will be sufficiently reliable and detailed to perform realistic and credible loss scenarios. Without such planning tools, society will remain in the dark as to what it may encounter from a future major eastern earthquake. Given these uncertainties, and despite them, both the public and private sector must develop at least some basic concepts for contingency plans. For instance, the New York City financial service industry, from banks to the stock and bond markets and beyond, ought to consider operational contingency planning, first in terms of strengthening their operational facilities, but also for temporary backup operations until operations in the designated facilities can return to some measure of normalcy. The Federal Reserve in its oversight function for this industry needs to take a hard look at this situation.

A society, whose economy depends increasingly so crucially on rapid exchange of vast quantities of information must become concerned with strengthening its communication facilities together with the facilities into which the information is channeled. In principle, the availability of satellite communication (especially if self-powered) with direct up and down links, provides here an opportunity that is potentially a great advantage over distributed buried networks. Distributed networks for transportation, power, gas, water, sewer and cabled communication will be expensive to harden (or restore after an event).

In all future instances of major capital spending on buildings and urban infrastructures, the incorporation of seismically resilient design principles at all stages of realization will be the most effective way to reduce society’s exposure to high seismic risks. To achieve this, all levels of government need to utilize legislative and regulatory options; insurance industries need to build economic incentives for seismic safety features into their insurance policy offerings; and the private sector, through trade and professional organizations’ planning efforts, needs to develop a healthy self-protective stand. Also, the insurance industry needs to invest more aggressively into broadly based research activities with the objective to quantify the seismic hazards, the exposed assets and their seismic fragilities much more accurately than currently possible. Only together these combined measures may first help to quantify and then reduce our currently untenably large seismic risk exposures in the virtually unprepared eastern cities. Given the low-probability/high-impact situation in this part of the country, seismic safety planning needs to be woven into both the regular capital spending and daily operational procedures. Without it we must be prepared to see little progress. Unless we succeed to build seismic safety considerations into everyday decision making as a normal procedure of doing business, society will lose the race against the unstoppable forces of nature. While we never can entirely win this race, we can succeed in converting unmitigated catastrophes into manageable disasters, or better, tolerable natural events.

China may have surpassed US in number of nuclear warheads on ICBMs

China may have surpassed US in number of nuclear warheads on ICBMs

By Bryant Harris

 Dec 7, 02:24 PM

China’s DF-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles are seen during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP) (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. may no longer enjoy a numerical advantage against China in certain elements of its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program, according to Strategic Command, which oversees the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

STRATCOM recently sent a classified determination to Congress pursuant to a clause in the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which requires congressional notification if China overtakes the U.S. in at least one of three components regarding its ICBM stockpile.

James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, pushed the Pentagon to declassify the determination as required under the law in a letter sent Monday to STRATCOM commander Admiral Charles Richard.

“We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to China’s growing military might,” Inhofe wrote on Twitter, where he publicized the letter. “The [Biden administration] must be open and honest with the American people about the threat Beijing poses to global order and our way of life.”

Mike Rogers of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, also signed onto the letter alongside the ranking members of the Strategic Forces panels in both chambers: Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.

Under the law, STRATCOM must notify Congress if China deploys more ICBMs or ICBM launchers than the U.S. Data compiled by the Pentagon in its annual China report and a Congressional Research Service document indicate that the U.S. still maintains a numerical advantage versus China in its number of deployed ICBMs and ICBM launchers. This suggests that those two conditions did not trigger the STRATCOM notice.

The third component of the law triggers the notice if China has more nuclear warheads equipped on its ICBMs than the U.S.

Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at Middlebury College, told Defense News in an interview that the classified notification likely reveals that China has equipped more nuclear warheads on its ICBMs than the United States. Lewis sits on the State Department’s International Security Advisory Board but does not have access to the classified STRATCOM assessment.

“It must be warheads,” Lewis said. “The China military power report estimates that [Beijing’s] nuclear stockpile has surpassed 400.”

That report found that China will “likely field a stockpile of about 1,500 warheads by its 2035 timeline” if it continues at its current pace of nuclear expansion. The report also found that China has doubled its ICBM stockpile since 2020.

China now has 300 ICBMs and launchers. But that’s still less than the United States, which has 400 ICBMs and 450 ICBM launchers.

Lewis noted that China’s Dongfeng-41 missile can “carry multiple warheads, so 300 missiles could get you slightly over 400 warheads.” Meanwhile, all 400 U.S. Minuteman III missiles currently carry just one warhead per ICBM.

Lawmakers and their staff were unable to confirm to Defense News that the Chinese ratio of warheads to ICBMs triggered the notification given the classified nature of the determination.

“We are unable to provide additional clarity due to classification issues,” a congressional aide said on condition of anonymity to discuss the classified notification.

The aide added that the top Republican lawmakers who wrote to STRATCOM’s Richard “strongly encourage the administration to work through the associated classification issues to provide the statutorily directed unclassified notification and ensure the public is informed as possible regarding China’s expanding nuclear threat.”

Still, Lewis downplayed the fact that Beijing likely has a higher ratio of warheads per ICBM than Washington.

“It doesn’t matter because the U.S. could put multiple warheads on its land-based ICBMs, we just choose not to do that,” he said. “You really have to count the ICBMs and [submarine-launched ballistic missiles] together. And once you do that, our number is much higher than theirs. This is like an accounting gimmick.”

The U.S. had 1,389 warheads on a total of 665 deployed ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers as of September 2021, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Henry Sokolski, the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, questioned whether the U.S. could maintain its vast numerical advantage against China’s nuclear arsenal if Beijing continues its current pace of nuclear modernization on top of contending with Russia’s arsenal.

“I don’t know how long it takes for our system to get another 1,500 warheads in place on our missiles,” said Sokolski. “It could take a while and cost an awful lot. If you’re going in that direction, is there any reason to believe the other side is going to just wait while we catch up? I don’t think so.”

About Bryant Harris

Bryant Harris is the Congress reporter for Defense News. He has covered U.S. foreign policy, national security, international affairs and politics in Washington since 2014. He has also written for Foreign Policy, Al-Monitor, Al Jazeera English and IPS News.

US blacklists Pakistan horn over nuclear activities: Daniel 8

photo ispr

US blacklists Pakistan firms over nuclear activities

Entities, based in Latvia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland, were added over US national security concerns

REUTERSDecember 07, 2022

The Biden administration on Wednesday added 24 companies and other entities to an export control list for supporting Russia’s military or defence industrial base, Pakistan’s nuclear activities or for supplying an Iranian electronics company.

The entities, based in Latvia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland, were added over US national security and foreign policy concerns, the Commerce Department said.

The companies include Fiber Optic Solutions in Latvia, which produces fiber optic gyroscopes and other equipment and Russia’s AO Kraftway Corporation PSC, which calls itself one of the biggest Russian IT companies. The company says it builds and sells a wide range of IT solutions, including hardware manufacturing.

Also on the list are Russian AO Scientific Research Center for Electronic Computing, LLC Fibersense, and Scientific Production Company Optolin, AO PKK Milandr; Milandr EK OOO; Milandr ICC JSC; Milur IS, OOO; (OOO) Microelectronic Production Complex (MPK) Milandr; and Ruselectronics JSC and Swiss based Milur SA.

The Commerce Department also added four trading and supply companies in Singapore for supplying or attempting to supply an Iranian electronics company, Pardazan System Namad Arman (PASNA), that was sanctioned by the US Treasury in 2018.

The Biden administration also added 10 companies in Pakistan and the UAE that it says pose unacceptable risks of using or diverting items for Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities or are involved Pakistan’s “nuclear activities and missile proliferation-related activities”.

None of the companies was immediately available for comment. The United States has made muscular use of export controls and the entity list to punish companies over their support of the Russian military and to curb the flow of foreign technology to Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February.3
Suppliers of US goods must seek a special a difficult-to-obtain license before shipping to companies added to the list.

Who is the Antichrist? Part 2

Who is Muqtada al-Sadr? Part 2: Confronting Iran


Iraq’s ongoing political crisis pits the firebrand Shia militia leader against both domestic rivals and the regime in Tehran.

  • Sadrist candidates won a plurality in Iraq’s last election
  • The country’s factions remain in gridlock
  • Mass protests are likely to again erupt

This report is the second in a two-part series from GIS Expert Prof. Dr. Amatzia Baram. The first part, which published yesterday, focused on Muqtada al-Sadr’s political and ideological development.

For nearly two decades, Iran has sought to deepen its influence over Iraq’s affairs by exploiting the instability there. By 2021 it had scored substantial success. But if the current political crisis in Baghdad proves to be a hinge point in relations with Iran, it will be largely thanks to Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia cleric and militia leader who has played a central role in its recent history.

Mr. Sadr’s open confrontation with Iran began in July 2017, when he visited Saudi Arabia with great fanfare. Tehran was not pleased. The summer of 2018 saw another key event: mass demonstrations in southern Iraq against the regime’s corruption and Iran’s exploitation of the country. For the first time, it became a Shia struggle against a Shia ruling elite, a dynamic that has persisted until today.

Both Mr. Sadr and Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani supported the demonstrators, even though the former’s followers included members of the ruling elite. After almost two years of civil unrest, by May 2020 the new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, had announced his support of the protestors’ demands: new electoral legislation, new elections, an anti-corruption campaign and an end to independent armed militias. Both Messrs. Sistani and Sadr, together with Iraq’s Kurdish president, Barham Salih, backed the prime minister all the way. Ultimately, he managed to change the electoral law and conduct democratic elections, but failed to achieve his other goals.

Electoral victory?

In the early elections held in October 2021, politicians loyal to Mr. Sadr won 73 seats out of 329 in parliament – making him leader of the largest party and kingmaker. He again sought to split the Shia camp and build an all-Iraqi coalition, including most Sunni and Kurdish representatives, and managed to secure a borderline majority in parliament. He declared that his nemesis – ex-prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iran’s main supporter in Iraq – would never be part of his ruling coalition.

This step meant that the largest pro-Iranian party would be excluded from Iraq’s government, and that Iran would lose a favorable majority in parliament. For Tehran, this was a looming disaster; it might still exert control over Iraq through the 160,000-strong pro-Iranian militias, but it could not afford losing the democratic legitimacy that came from parliamentary dominance.

In a brilliant move, the Iranian regime convinced its man heading the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zaidan, to issue an unconstitutional rule stipulating that no new president can be elected without a two-thirds quorum in parliament. Constitutionally, only a new president can nominate a new prime minister. And with Muqtada al-Sadr unable to cobble together a two-thirds quorum, the democratic process was frozen solid.

Though surrounded by a million supporters, since 2003 Muqtada al-Sadr has been a lonely man.

As has happened a few times before, beginning June 11, 2022, Mr. Sadr went into an emotional frenzy lasting over six weeks. Instead of using the simple majority that he still retained to dissolve parliament, he ordered all of his 73 delegates to resign, hoping to both delegitimize the legislature and reenergize his base of support. He also believed that his Kurdish and Sunni allies would also resign, but they did not.

But by ordering his party parliamentarians to resign, he gave a majority to his archenemy, Nouri al-Maliki. The latter immediately found a candidate for the premiership, though he, too, lacked a two-thirds quorum to first elect a new president.

Muqtada al-Sadr again lashed out. On July 27, he declared a “revolution” against the sectarian governmental system that was introduced after 2003, and ordered his supporters to storm parliament – and subsequently to evacuate it, to occupy it again, and finally to besiege the Supreme Judicial Council. The latter siege lost him much domestic and foreign support. He later sent an appeal to the same body to disperse parliament and call for new elections, which the Council rejected; constitutionally, only parliament can disperse itself.


This is when Iran dealt Mr. Sadr a humiliating blow. On August 28, his official religious “source of emulation” (muqallid), Grand Ayatollah Kadhim Husayni al-Haeri, resigned from all religious leadership duties – apparently on the orders of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Such a resignation is an extremely rare act in Shia tradition: an ayatollah is muqallid for life. To add insult to injury, Ayatollah al-Haeri sent Mr. Sadr a public and highly offensive letter, reminding him just how insignificant of a cleric he was. Most embarrassingly, he called upon all of his Iraqi followers (which include most of Mr. Sadr’s supporters) to follow Iran’s Supreme Leader from then on.

Iraq 2021 election
An Iraqi poll worker prays inside a Baghdad voting station in October, 2021. Nearly a year later, despite Muqtada al-Sadr’s election night success, lawmakers remain unable to form a stable governing coalition.

As a reaction to this profound affront from Iran and his mentor, and with a sense that he has hit a brick wall, Muqtada al-Sadr again flew into a rage. On August 29, he announced – for the fourth or fifth time – his resignation from political life. He once more demanded the dissolution of parliament, but in an escalation, also demanded that all Iraqi senior politicians also resign from politics.

His supporters viewed these as marching orders. They occupied the government palace, and all over Baghdad began challenging pro-Iranian militias. The highly dangerous, pro-Iranian group Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq quickly opened fire. No fewer than 30 people were killed, almost all of them Mr. Sadr’s men.

Prime Minister al-Kadhimi ordered a full curfew in Iraqi cities, while security forces tried to separate the warring sides. On August 30 – with the casualties piling up and after receiving a quiet demand from Ayatollah al-Sistani to evacuate Baghdad’s Green Zone and end the violence – Mr. Sadr denounced both his own side and the other. He praised the prime minister for not unduly involving state security, ordered his supporters to evacuate the Green Zone within the hour, and urged all involved to stop the fighting. While tensions remained as high as the August heat of 52 degrees Celsius, his words cooled everybody off.


Though surrounded by a million supporters, since 2003 Muqtada al-Sadr has been a lonely man. The Shia intellectual and political elite, such as the Islamic Dawa Party, have had little respect for him or his supporters. The anti-regime and anti-Iranian demonstrators cannot trust him, because his men harassed them in 2019-2020 for no reason. Since he ordered his lawmakers to resign, his Kurdish and Sunni allies, the prime minister, the president, and the marja’iyya (religious leadership) of Najaf – while all sympathetic – are worried about his decision-making style and predisposition for violence.

Mr. Sadr has no consigliere to make him pause and listen in a moment of anger. After past major crises, he has resigned and then bounced back. This is again the case today: he will be back. But if he desists from political activity for a few months, it will serve the parliament and Iraqi politics on a silver platter to Nouri al-Maliki and Iran. Alternatively, Mr. Sadr can send his people back to the streets, which could also spark a civil war.

While parliament is now widely seen as illegitimate, following the resignation of Mr. Sadr’s lawmakers, even a problematic parliament can serve Iran’s needs. Interim President Barham Salih is therefore supporting Mr. Sadr’s call for new elections. Mr. Salih is highly respected, but this is not enough. Now that the high court has decided against interference, the one person who can save Iraq from the present crisis without subjugating the country to Iran is Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani – who, for the last few months, has kept himself above the fray.

Mr. Sistani favors the fight against corruption and against Iran’s domination of Iraq’s politics, security and economy. Yet, contrary to the Iranian concept that the senior cleric should rule, he does not want to get involved in politics. He seems reluctant to return to the role of political arbiter that he played in 2019-2020.

However, if Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani believes that most Iraqis (or, at least, most Iraqi Shias) want him to intervene, he will. So far, his actions have appeared somewhat contradictory. On one hand, he quietly demanded that Mr. Sadr end all violence. On the other, he and his Najaf colleagues have gently signaled support for the junior Iraqi cleric’s cause, by sending senior representatives to a ceremony mourning the dead Sadrist soldiers and denouncing the killings. But that modest signal was all.

Mr. Sistani’s inclination is to call for new elections – but he faces the dilemma that constitutionally, the parliament is still legitimate. Calling for its dissolution will also alienate Iran and its powerful militias. More likely, therefore, unless Iraq explodes into violent riots, or unless there emerges a constitutional way to dissolve parliament, the Ayatollah will keep his silence.

Still, because too many young Iraqis want to see Iran’s exit, major political reform and new elections, calm is not likely. Peaceful mass protests are very likely to erupt again, as they did most impressively in October 2019 – and the pro-Iranian militias know how to shoot. Muqtada al-Sadr’s mistakes greatly weakened the protesters, as well as his Kurdish and Sunni allies.

Indeed, these two groups of allies are in a bind. If they betray Mr. Sadr and join the pro-Iranian camp, he will never forgive them, and they will be blamed for turning Iraq into Tehran’s vassal. If they stick with Mr. Sadr much longer, the political crisis will become extremely dangerous.

They could solve their dilemma in two stages. First, by agreeing on a president, who must be Kurdish. The two main Kurdish parties are on both sides of the parliamentary divide and, so far, cannot agree on a single candidate.  Second, the pro-al-Sadr Kurds and Sunnis may be able to force the pro-Iranian politicians to agree that a new prime minister will declare early elections. If the pro-Iranians prove unyielding, Mr. Sistani’s support for such a step could then be decisive.

As for Western aims, the path to lifting Iran’s grip on Iraq starts with supporting new elections. Muqtada al-Sadr is a dangerous actor, and helping him means riding a tiger. Still, to achieve that goal, Western powers and Arab states would first have to help the woefully divided Iraqi demonstrators organize ahead of the next elections. Then they must ensure that the ballot is a democratic one. Tehran is certain to act in the opposite direction.

Columbia University Warns Of Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

     Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study
A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.
Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New Yorkcompared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.” Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.
The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”
Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.
One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.
The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.
“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”
The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.
Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”
The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.
The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.
Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.
“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”
New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:
Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.
Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.
New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.
Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered  in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.
The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.
Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.
Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.
In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

Babylon the Great Will Extend Her Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

A missile is fired from underwater

The USS Annapolis (SSN-760) launches a Tomahawk missile in 2018.


The Navy Needs a Low-Yield Nuclear Weapon

By Brandon M. Patterson

December 2022

The end of the Cold War bred an illusion of permanence. Events have forced optimists to shed their pretenses about the end of power politics. The so-called rules-based international order is coming apart. Norms are voluntary; principles considered sacrosanct since 1945—such as sovereignty and nonintervention in the internal affairs of other states—have proven to be conditional. History’s underlying reality is that peace requires equilibrium. But managing the balance of power is in part psychological: a perceived equality of power will not be challenged. It is not only the possession of power that contributes to stability, but also the will to bring it to bear. The renewed danger of nuclear war will turn U.S. inhibitions about it into a weapon in the hands of those determined to challenge global equilibrium.

The United States insists on aggression becoming unambiguous before it merits resistance—as if the means of aggression are more important than the ends it serves.1 Even when aggression is unambiguous, U.S. leaders sometimes redefine “red lines” in terms that are unlikely to be met. Adversaries have reintroduced low-yield nuclear weapons into their arsenals, which contributes to this irresolution. Effective U.S. resistance to aggression therefore may turn on its establishment of a low-yield nuclear deterrent, and the Navy will be integral to making such a deterrent survivable and credible.

Massive Retaliation and its Discontents

Under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the United States introduced the doctrine of “massive retaliation,” which stated that the United States would react to any aggressive Soviet move with a nuclear attack on Soviet territory. The doctrine was based on a U.S. nuclear monopoly; when the Soviets balanced the nuclear equation, it placed the United States in an untenable position. Any time the Soviet Union committed an act of aggression, a U.S. president would face choices between risking U.S. cities to defend distant allies or capitulating. No president would be willing to sacrifice American cities over a limited objective, so submission would be the only option. This produced the risk that Russia—whose historic proclivity was incremental expansion—would commit acts of aggression short of those that would cause a nuclear war, but the accumulation of which would lead to Soviet hegemony over Eurasia. U.S. nuclear inhibitions were fodder for an enemy whose favorite tactic was nuclear blackmail.

This placed the onus on conventional forces, in which the United States and NATO were numerically inferior. Now the balance of power operated on two levels: in the traditional, geopolitical sense; and in the mutual effort to deter a nuclear first strike. A common solution was found in “limited” nuclear war, exemplified by rapidly deployable expeditionary forces armed with low-yield, “battlefield” nuclear weapons.6 Such weapons allowed U.S. leaders to respond to a threat at the level at which it arose and would help offset the disparity in conventional forces between NATO and the Soviets.

sailors reload a missile on a submarine

Deterrence in a New Nuclear Age

The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review expressed U.S. anxieties at the perceived low-yield gap left by increased Russian production of tactical nuclear weapons. Russian doctrine does not enumerate the purported principle of “escalate to deescalate” or how it might be implemented. Yet the notion is enough to cause handwringing as to how the United States would respond to the first use of low-yield nuclear weapons during a conventional conflict. Such fears could result in paralysis in the face of aggression.

The war in Ukraine illustrates the dilemma. At each stage of the conflict, the United States has tied itself in knots over what can be done to aid Ukraine without risking a full-blown conventional or, especially, nuclear confrontation with Russia. In a conventional war over limited objectives, the reaction to defeat is unlikely to be a global murder-suicide. The danger, therefore, is not strategic but “tactical” nuclear weapons—evinced by discussions in major U.S. newspapers of Russian advantages in the type of nuclear weapon that Moscow is “likely to use.”

The Western response of military aid and economic sanctions has shrouded this problem. NATO’s explicit rejection of any possibility of direct intervention likely provided Russia with a safety net for aggression. It also marked a clear limit to U.S. support for Ukraine’s survival. It is not a great logical leap to assume that the same fears will emerge in the event of an attack on Poland, the Baltics, or Taiwan. If any confrontation with Russia—or China—over any issue perforce risks nuclear annihilation, it begs the question of what, if anything, the United States deems worth risking nuclear war to defend.

The inability of the United States to react proportionately to the use of low-yield nuclear weapons incentivizes nuclear blackmail as a means of isolating an opponent from its ally and undermining the basis of deterrence. The worst action the United States could take would be to accept small-scale use of low-yield weapons, which would only provide incentives to bad actors to threaten the use of such weapons to gain the upper hand in international relations.

 The theoretical dividing line between tactical and strategic weapons no longer holds, if it ever did. Nevertheless, the ability to escalate within a theater of conflict is imperative, and the United States must again develop some notion of limited nuclear war for its proclamations to remain credible. Others have expressed the need to credibly convince Russia that the United States is willing to “trade Vilnius for New York” to defend NATO. The ability to respond to low-yield use with low-yield use might avoid testing that conviction.

Credibility means that one’s word can be trusted by allies and opponents alike. This historically means following through on one’s threats; for nuclear weapons, credibility requires doctrine. How does one employ these weapons, and how does one keep such a war limited? This is not purely a military problem. Diplomacy and power are not discrete but mark the endpoints of a spectrum. Power without diplomacy is aimless; diplomacy without power is sterile. What is now referred to as “limited war” is often misunderstood. “Limited” traditionally refers to objectives, not means. Strategy is the quest to define a correspondence between power and one’s will to apply it; war is an attempt to make resistance more painful than capitulation. Nuclear weapons upset these relationships, as their all-out use deprives victory of its historic meaning. One cannot exact any further penalties from a society that has been destroyed.

Throughout any war over a limited objective, the opponent must be presented with a settlement that appears preferable to continuing the conflict. This keeps means and ends in rough proportion and incentivizes the losing side to make peace rapidly to prevent further losses. So long as mutual assured destruction remains plausible, both sides in a nuclear war over limited objectives will seek to keep that use of nuclear weapons proportionate unless one side believes its survival is under immediate threat. The task of diplomacy in this context therefore is to communicate that the opponent’s survival is not under threat.

Merging diplomacy and force thus makes limited nuclear war theoretically feasible, which is the foundation of doctrine. Communicating limited aims does not guarantee that escalation is impossible. But the U.S. refusal to consider how it would wage a limited nuclear war only increases the probability that aggressors will make nuclear threats to create a protective umbrella against conventional attacks. The best means of preventing such a scenario from arising is to negate the advantage an aggressor thinks it derives from wielding such threats.

Implementation: The Need for a Maritime Low-Yield Option

Much has changed politically since the Cold War, but the United States’ task remains the same: preventing the peripheral regions of Eurasia from coming under the domination of a single power. Given existing nuclear agreements within NATO, there is a natural inclination to forward deploy existing weapons such as the B-61 gravity bomb to deter a Russian first use of low-yield weapons. This is the least controversial means of augmenting U.S. low-yield nuclear forces. Germany, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands are all potential locations for such increased deployments.

In Asia, the problem is as much geographic as it is political. Deploying B-61s to U.S. possessions as well as forming arrangements for forward deployments in Japan, the Philippines, and Australia merits exploration as a way of mitigating the distances involved. Apart from Japan, however, these deployments would necessitate strategic bombers given the limited range of tactical U.S. aircraft, and forward-deployed aircraft are vulnerable to a first strike, nuclear or otherwise. Deterrence in Asia requires greater flexibility and survivability.

In the post–Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty world, one possible solution would be to deploy medium-range nuclear weapons to Poland or elsewhere in Eastern Europe. But the experience of placing Pershing IIs in Germany in the 1980s ought to drive home the political costs associated with forward deploying land-based missiles. Even if it were feasible, the narrow geographic distribution of this deterrent threatens its survivability. For similar reasons, it is also unlikely that any land-based missile could be deployed in Asia.

A low-yield submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM-N) might be a better solution. It is diplomatically the least fraught of possible delivery systems, and it ensures the deterrent’s survivability. Cruise missiles also promise a margin of safety over ballistic missiles because they reduce the risk of early warning systems interpreting their launch as the opening move in a total nuclear war. With modified visitation arrangements among allies such as “nuclear-free” New Zealand and Japan, rotational deployments of fast-attack submarines armed with SLCM-Ns would help mitigate the geographic difficulties posed by the Indo-Pacific.4

Indeed, U.S. Strategic Command’s Admiral Charles Richard expressed the need for a wider menu of low-yield options before the Senate Armed Services Committee in May 2022: “What you want to be able to do is offer the President any number of ways at which he might be able to create an effect that will change the opponent’s decision calculus and get them to refrain or otherwise seek negotiation vice continued hostility.” He explicitly advocated for an SLCM-N to address the gap: “[A] low-yield, non-ballistic capability to deter and respond without visible generation is necessary to provide a persistent, survivable, regional capability to deter adversaries, assure allies, provide flexible options, as well as complement existing capabilities.”5 The Navy’s role in this new dispensation, therefore, is to ensure a survivable deterrent, to multiply a U.S. president’s options, and to shore up a willingness to wage war against a nuclear-armed opponent. But only if the fate of the SLCM-N program is reconsidered in this context.

If the United States is unwilling to accept the reality of this new nuclear age, it will be unable to play its role in contributing to global equilibrium. U.S. policymakers and service chiefs alike must ask themselves what they fear more: the dangers they face, or the measures needed to redress them. The material, bureaucratic, and opportunity costs of reintroducing low-yield weapons to the U.S. submarine force—which are significant—must be weighed against the consequences of vulnerability. The Navy is indispensable to confronting these dangers, and the need for a survivable low-yield deterrent will only grow more evident with time.

Turkey Continues to Tolerate Hamas’ Operations Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Turkey Continues to Tolerate Hamas’ Operations Against Israel

by Ioannis E. Kotoulas

Hamas supporters take part in a protest against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to postpone planned parliamentary elections, in the northern Gaza Strip April 30, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Mohammed Salem

As Turkey works to repair relations with Israel, it is not yet willing to stop supporting Hamas. Turkey continues to host Hamas operatives in its territory, and refuses to recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Three Israeli Arabs from northern Israel were indicted in late October for helping create a considerable cyber threat against the communications infrastructure used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). They also are accused of providing sensitive Israeli security information to Hamas terrorists in Turkey. In essence, the three were able to disrupt IDF and Israeli Police communications by taking down the cellular system in a time of tension or war.

The main suspect, identified only by his initials as R.A., is a software engineer at Israeli telecommunications company Cellcom, which provides services to both the IDF and the Israeli Police. He enjoyed a broad access privilege to Cellcom’s database and information systems. In 2017, Israeli investigators say, he met with Hamas operatives in Turkey.

The meeting was arranged by Ashraf Hassan, a former Israeli citizen and a Hamas operative. Hassan is a dangerous terrorist. In 2004, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for plotting to kidnap and kill an Israeli soldier. Hassan left Israel in 2016 and moved to Turkey. In 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Interior revoked his Israeli citizenship, in an attempt to keep him from returning to the country.

There is a common French expression used when a task seems futile — “pisser dans un violon.” Sadly, combating the…

R.A. also met with another Hamas military official in Turkey, Azzam Akra. Both Hassan and Akra report to Saleh al-Arouri, a senior Hamas official in charge of terrorist West Bank operations. Al-Arouri, a founding commander of Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, is a US-designated terrorist with a $5 million reward offered under the Rewards for Justice Program.

Al-Arouri was based in Istanbul, Turkey, at least until 2016, using the city as his headquarters to direct Hamas’ terrorist operations in the West Bank. He drifted between Lebanon and Qatar, but in 2020, Hamas members reported that he had returned to Turkey.

R.A. allegedly gave Hamas sensitive information about Israeli communication infrastructure, which could help the terrorist organization disrupt systems during a conflict.

“Cellcom strongly condemns the serious incident and worked closely with the security authorities to thwart any potential damage and help the investigation,” a company statement said. “… The employee accused of the serious acts as well as the outside consultant were dismissed from Celcom immediately.”

R.A. recruited a colleague Cellcom colleague, known by his initials as S.A., to identify ways to circumvent Cellcom’s information security systems. S.A. acted “with full knowledge that RA intended to pass the relevant information to the Hamas members in Turkey,” the indictment said. The third defendant, Z.A., is R.A.’s brother. He met with Ashraf at least three times in Turkey. The three Israeli Arabs had been cooperating with Hamas since 2015 “out of their desire to help the Palestinian military struggle against Israel, by harming a central communication infrastructure in Israel (the Cellcom company) and its users, and harming the security of the state,” the indictment said.

Hamas established a headquarters in Istanbul in 2012, directing hundreds of terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank and laundering millions of dollars. Turkey’s ties to Hamas terrorists have been extensively documented. Hamas continues to use Turkey as a major financial hub to avoid international sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.

On Nov. 8, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey rejected an Israeli request to deport Hamas leaders. “We didn’t satisfy any [Israeli] request on Hamas, because we don’t perceive Hamas as a terror group,” Çavuşoğlu said.

“We are always leading efforts to unify them with Fatah,” he added, referring to the Palestinian political group which controls the Palestinian Authority.

The Turkish government seems to be continuing an ambivalent policy. On the one hand, it recently helped thwart an Iranian plot to kill Israeli citizens in Turkey. But it refuses to renounce Hamas, even after numerous deadly attacks were orchestrated by operatives in Turkey. Turkey also continues to support and provide refuge to the members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Over the last dozen years, Israeli-Turkish relations have been fraught, but lately there has been an attempt to ameliorate relations between the two countries due to the volatile geopolitical environment in the greater region. In August, the two countries restored full diplomatic relations by mutually assigning ambassadors after a long period of tension. The Israeli side has been asking for specific initiatives by the Turkish side, such as ending the presence of Hamas leadership in Turkey, before engaging into serious bilateral talks. Turkey has been steadily refusing to expel the Hamas operatives. It seems that Turkey is not yet willing to give up on the Islamist card in its approach in the Middle East. Turkey is hoping to project its influence in the region, as it did in the past through Islamists in Syria and the Morsi regime in Egypt. It is in this context that Turkey allows Hamas’ activities in its territory.

Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) Senior Fellow Ioannis E. Kotoulas (Ph.D. in History, Ph.D. in Geopolitics) is Adjunct Lecturer in Geopolitics at the University of Athens, GreeceHis latest book is Geopolitics of the War in Ukraine. A version of this article is originally published by IPT.