The Ramapo Fault and the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)


Living on the Fault Line

A major earthquake isn’t likely here, but if it comes, watch out.

Posted June 15, 2010 by Wayne J. Guglielmo
This chart shows the location of the Ramapo Fault System, the longest and one of the oldest systems of cracks in the earth’s crust in the Northeast. It also shows the location of all earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater in New Jersey during the last 50 years. The circle in blue indicates the largest known Jersey quake.

The couple checked with Burns’s parents, who live in nearby Basking Ridge, and they, too, had heard and felt something, which they thought might have been an earthquake. A call by Burns some 20 minutes later to the Bernardsville Police Department—one of many curious and occasionally panicky inquiries that Sunday morning, according to the officer in charge, Sergeant John Remian—confirmed their suspicion: A magnitude 2.6 earthquake, its epicenter in Peapack/Gladstone, about seven miles from Bernardsville, had hit the area. A smaller aftershock followed about two and a half hours later.
After this year’s epic earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Mexico, Indonesia, and China, the 2.6 quake and aftershock that shook parts of New Jersey in February may seem minor league, even to the Somerset County residents who experienced them. On the exponential Richter Scale, a magnitude 7.0 quake like the one that hit Haiti in January is almost 4 million times stronger than a quake of 2.6 magnitude. But comparisons of magnitude don’t tell the whole story.
Northern New Jersey straddles the Ramapo Fault, a significant ancient crack in the earth’s crust. The longest fault in the Northeast, it begins in Pennsylvania and moves into New Jersey, trending northeast through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic, and Bergen counties before terminating in New York’s Westchester County, not far from the Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant. And though scientists dispute how active this roughly 200 million-year-old fault really is, many earthquakes in the state’s surprisingly varied seismic history are believed to have occurred on or near it. The fault line is visible at ground level and likely extends as deep as nine miles below the surface.
During the past 230 years or so, New Jersey has been at the epicenter of nearly 170 earthquakes, according to data compiled by the New Jersey Geological Survey, part of the United States Department of Environmental Protection. The largest known quake struck in 1783, somewhere west of New York City, perhaps in Sussex County. It’s typically listed as 5.3 in magnitude, though that’s an estimate by seismologists who are quick to point out that the concept of magnitude—measuring the relative size of an earthquake—was not introduced until 1935 by Charles Richter and Beno Gutenberg. Still, for quakes prior to that, scientists are not just guessing.
“We can figure out the damage at the time by going back to old records and newspaper accounts,” says Won-Young Kim, a senior research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, directly across the New Jersey border. “Once the amount and extent of contemporary damage has been established,” Kim says, “we’re then able to gauge the pattern of ground shaking or intensity of the event—and from there extrapolate its probable magnitude.”
Other earthquakes of magnitude 5 or higher have been felt in New Jersey, although their epicenters laying near New York City. One—which took place in 1737 and was said to have been felt as far north as Boston and as far south as northern Delaware—was probably in the 5 to 5.5 range. In 1884, an earthquake of similar magnitude occurred off New York’s Rockaway Beach. This well-documented event pulled houses off their foundations and caused steeples to topple as far west as Rahway. The shock wave, scientists believe, was felt over 70,000 square miles, from Vermont to Maryland.
Among the largest sub-5 magnitude earthquakes with epicenters in New Jersey, two (a 3.8 and a 4.0) took place on the same day in 1938 in the Lakehurst area in Ocean County. On August 26, 2003, a 3.5 magnitude quake shook the Frenchtown/Milford area in Hunterdon County. On February 3 of last year, a 3.0 magnitude quake occurred in the Morris County town of Mendham. “A lot of people felt this one because of the intense shaking, although the area of intensity wasn’t very wide,” says Lamont-Doherty’s Kim, who visited the site after the event.
After examining the known historical and geological record, Kim and other seismologists have found no clear evidence that an earthquake of greater than 5.3 to 5.5 magnitude has taken place in this area going back to 1737. This doesn’t mean, of course, that one did not take place in the more remote past or that one will not occur in the future; it simply means that a very large quake is less likely to occur here than in other places in the east where the seismic hazard is greater, including areas in South Carolina and northeastern New York State.
But no area on the East Coast is as densely populated or as heavily built-up as parts of New Jersey and its neighbors. For this reason, scientists refer to the Greater New York City-Philadelphia area, which includes New Jersey’s biggest cities, as one of “low earthquake hazard but high vulnerability.” Put simply, the Big One isn’t likely here—but if it comes, especially in certain locations, watch out.
Given this low-hazard, high-vulnerability scenario, how far along are scientists in their efforts to predict larger magnitude earthquakes in the New Jersey area? The answer is complex, complicated by the state’s geographical position, its unique geological history, the state of seismology itself, and the continuing debate over the exact nature and activity of the Ramapo Fault.
Over millions of years, New Jersey developed four distinct physiographic provinces or regions, which divide the state into a series of diagonal slices, each with its own terrain, rock type, and geological landforms.
The northernmost slice is the Valley and Ridge, comprising major portions of Sussex and Warren counties. The southernmost slice is the Coastal Plain, a huge expanse that covers some three-fifths of the state, including all of the Shore counties. Dividing the rest of the state are the Highlands, an area for the most part of solid but brittle rock right below the Valley and Ridge, and the lower lands of the Piedmont, which occupy all of Essex, Hudson, and Union counties, most of Bergen, Hunterdon, and Somerset, and parts of Middlesex, Morris, and Passaic.
For earthquake monitors and scientists, the formation of these last two provinces—the Highlands and the Piedmont—are of special interest. To understand why, consider that prior to the appearance of the Atlantic Ocean, today’s Africa was snuggled cozily up against North America and surrounded by a single enormous ocean. “At that point, you could have had exits off the New Jersey Turnpike for Morocco,” says Alexander Gates, professor of geology and chair of the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Rutgers-Newark.
Under the pressure of circulating material within the Earth’s super-hot middle layer, or mantle, what was once a single continent—one that is thought to have included today’s other continents as well—began to stretch and eventually break, producing numerous cracks or faults and ultimately separating to form what became the Atlantic Ocean. In our area, the longest and most active of these many cracks was the Ramapo Fault, which, through a process known as normal faulting, caused one side of the earth’s crust to slip lower—the Piedmont—relative to the other side—the Highlands. “All this occurred about 225 million years ago,” says Gates. “Back then, you were talking about thousands of feet between the Highlands and the Piedmont and a very active Ramapo Fault.”
The Earth’s crust, which is 20 to 25 miles thick, is not a single, solid shell, but is broken into seven vast tectonic plates, which drift atop the soft, underlying mantle. Although the northeast-trending Ramapo Fault neatly divides two of New Jersey’s four physiographic provinces, it does not form a so-called plate boundary, as does California’s infamous San Andreas Fault. As many Californians know all too well, this giant fault forms the boundary between two plates—to the west, the Pacific Plate, and to the east, the North American Plate; these rub up against each other, producing huge stresses and a regularly repeating pattern of larger earthquakes.
The Ramapo Fault sits on the North American Plate, which extends past the East Coast to the middle of the Atlantic, where it meets the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, an underwater mountain range in constant flux. The consequences of this intraplate setting are huge: First, as Gates points out, “The predictability of bigger earthquakes on…[such] settings is exceedingly poor, because they don’t occur very often.” Second, the intraplate setting makes it more difficult to link our earthquakes to a major cause or fault, as monitors in California can often do.
This second bit of uncertainty is especially troubling for some people, including some in the media who want a neat story. To get around it, they ignore the differences between plate settings and link all of New Jersey’s earthquakes, either directly or implicitly, to the Ramapo Fault. In effect, such people want the Ramapo Fault “to look like the San Andreas Fault,” says Gates. “They want to be able to point to one big fault that’s causing all of our earthquakes.”
Gates does not think that’s the case, and he has been working with colleagues for a number of years to prove it. “What we have found is that there are smaller faults that generally cut from east to west across the northeast-trending Ramapo Fault,” he explains. “These much smaller faults are all over the place, and they’re actually the ones that are the active faults in the area.”
But what mechanisms are responsible for the formation of these apparently active auxiliary faults? One such mechanism, say scientists, is the westward pressure the Atlantic Ocean exerts on the North American Plate, which for the most part resists any movement. “I think we are in an equilibrium state most of the time,” says Lamont-Doherty’s Kim.
Still, that continuous pressure on the plate we sit on causes stress, and when that stress builds up sufficiently, the earth’s crust has a tendency to break around any weak zones. In our area, the major weak zone is the Ramapo Fault—“an ancient zone of weakness,” as Kim calls it. That zone of weakness exacerbates the formation of auxiliary faults, and thereby the series of minor earthquakes the state has experienced over the years.
All this presupposes, of course, that any intraplate stress in this area will continue to be released gradually, in a series of relatively minor earthquakes or releases of energy. But what if that were not the case? What if the stress continued to build up, and the release of large amounts of energy came all at once? In crude terms, that’s part of the story behind the giant earthquakes that rocked what is now New Madrid, Missouri, between 1811 and 1812. Although estimates of their magnitude have been revised downward in recent years to less than magnitude 8, these earthquakes are generally regarded as among the largest intraplate events to have occurred in the continental United States.
For a number of reasons—including the relatively low odds that the kind of stored energy that unleashed the New Madrid events could ever build up here—earthquakes of plus-6 magnitude are probably not in our future. Still, says Kim, even a magnitude 6 earthquake in certain areas of the state could do considerable damage, especially if its intensity or ground shaking was of sufficient strength. In a state as geologically diverse and densely populated as New Jersey, this is a crucial wild card.
Part of the job of the experts at the New Jersey Geological Survey is to assess the seismic hazards in different parts of the state. To do this, they use a computer-simulation model developed under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, known as HAZUS, for Hazards US. To assess the amount of ground shaking likely to occur in a given county during events ranging in magnitude from 5 to 7 on the Richter Scale, NJGS scientists enter three features of a county’s surface geology into their computer model. Two of these features relate to the tendency of soil in a given area to lose strength, liquefy, or slide downhill when shaken. The third and most crucial feature has to do with the depth and density of the soil itself and the type of bedrock lying below it; this is a key component in determining a region’s susceptibility to ground shaking and, therefore, in estimating the amount of building and structural damage that’s likely to occur in that region. Estimates for the various counties—nine to date have been studied—are sent to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, which provided partial funding for the project.
To appreciate why this element of ground geology is so crucial to earthquake modelers, consider the following: An earthquake’s intensity—which is measured on something called the Modified Mercalli Scale—is related to a number of factors. The amount of energy released or the magnitude of an event is clearly a big factor. But two earthquakes of the same magnitude can have very different levels of intensity; in fact, it’s quite possible for a lower magnitude event to generate more ground shaking than a higher magnitude one.
In addition to magnitude, other factors that affect intensity are the distance of the observer or structure from the epicenter, where intensity is the greatest; the depth beneath the surface of the initial rupture, with shallower ruptures producing more ground shaking than deeper ones; and, most significantly, the ground geology or material that the shock wave generated by the earthquake must pass through.
As a rule, softer materials like sand and gravel shake much more intensely than harder materials, because the softer materials are comparatively inefficient energy conductors, so whatever energy is released by the quake tends to be trapped, dispersing much more slowly. (Think of a bowl of Jell-O on a table that’s shaking.)
In contrast, harder materials, like the solid rock found widely in the Highlands, are brittle and break under pressure, but conduct energy well, so that even big shock waves disperse much more rapidly through them, thereby weakening the amount of ground shaking. “If you’ve read any stories about the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, you know the most intense damage was in those flat, low areas by the Bay, where the soil is soft, and not in the hilly, rocky areas above,” says Karl Muessig, state geologist and NJGS head.
The map that accompanies the online version of the NJGS’s Earthquake Loss Estimation Study divides the state’s surface geology into five seismic soil classes, ranging from Class A, or hard rock, to Class E, or soft soil (
Although the weakest soils are scattered throughout the state, including the Highlands, which besides harder rock also contains areas of glacial lakes, clays, and wetlands, they are most evident in the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain. “The largest expanses of them are in coastal areas where you have salt marshes or large glacial lakes, as in parts of the Passaic River basin,” says Scott Stanford, a research scientist with NJGS and lead author of the estimate. Some of the very weakest soils, Stanford adds, are in areas of filled marshland, including places along the Hudson waterfront, around Newark Bay and the Meadowlands, and along the Arthur Kill.
Faults in these areas—and in the coastal plain generally—are far below the ground, perhaps several hundred to a thousand feet down, making identification difficult. “There are numerous faults upon which you might get earthquake movement that we can’t see, because they’re covered by younger sediments,” Stanford says.
This combination of hidden faults and weak soils worries scientists, who are all too aware that parts of the coastal plain and Piedmont are among the most densely populated and developed areas in the state. (The HAZUS computer model also has a “built environment” component, which summarizes, among other things, types of buildings in a given area.) For this reason, such areas would be in the most jeopardy in the event of a large earthquake.
“Any vulnerable structure on these weak soils would have a higher failure hazard,” Stanford says. And the scary truth is that many structures in New Jersey’s largest cities, not to mention New York City, would be vulnerable, since they’re older and built before anyone gave much thought to earthquake-related engineering and construction codes.
For example, in the study’s loss estimate for Essex County, which includes Newark, the state’s largest city, a magnitude 6 event would result in damage to 81,600 buildings, including almost 10,000 extensively or completely; 36,000 people either displaced from their homes or forced to seek short-term shelter; almost $9 million in economic losses from property damage and business interruption; and close to 3,300 injuries and 50 fatalities. (The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation has conducted a similar assessment for New York City, at
All of this suggests the central irony of New Jersey geology: The upland areas that are most prone to earthquakes—the counties in or around the Ramapo Fault, which has spawned a network of splays, or auxiliary faults—are much less densely populated and sit, for the most part, on good bedrock. These areas are not invulnerable, certainly, but, by almost all measures, they would not sustain very severe damage, even in the event of a higher magnitude earthquake. The same can’t be said for other parts of the state, where the earthquake hazard is lower but the vulnerability far greater. Here, the best we can do is to prepare—both in terms of better building codes and a constantly improving emergency response.
Meanwhile, scientists like Rutgers’s Gates struggle to understand the Earth’s quirky seismic timetable: “The big thing with earthquakes is that you can commonly predict where they are going to occur,” Gates says. “When they’re going to come, well, we’re nowhere near being able to figure that out.”
Planning for the Big One
For the men and women of the state police who manage and support the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the response to some events, like hurricanes, can be marshalled in advance. But an earthquake is what responders call a no-notice event.
In New Jersey, even minor earthquakes—like the one that shook parts of Somerset County in February—attract the notice of local, county, and OEM officials, who continuously monitor events around the state from their Regional Operations and Intelligence Center (The ROIC) in West Trenton, a multimillion dollar command-and-control facility that has been built to withstand 125 mph winds and a 5.5 magnitude earthquake. In the event of a very large earthquake, during which local and county resources are apt to become quickly overwhelmed, command and control authority would almost instantly pass to West Trenton.
Here, officials from the state police, representatives of a galaxy of other state agencies, and a variety of communications and other experts would assemble in the cavernous and ultra-high tech Emergency Operations Center to oversee the state’s response. “A high-level earthquake would definitely cause the governor to declare a state of emergency,” says OEM public information officer Nicholas J. Morici. “And once that takes place, our emergency operations plan would be put in motion.”
Emergency officials have modeled that plan—one that can be adapted to any no-notice event, including a terrorist attack—on response methodologies developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. At its core is a series of seventeen emergency support functions, ranging from transportation to firefighting, debris removal, search and rescue, public health, and medical services. A high-magnitude event would likely activate all of these functions, says Morici, along with the human and physical resources needed to carry them out—cranes and heavy trucks for debris removal, fire trucks and teams for firefighting, doctors and EMTs for medical services, buses and personnel carriers for transportation, and so on.
This is where an expert like Tom Rafferty comes in. Rafferty is a Geographic Information Systems Specialist attached to the OEM. His job during an emergency is to keep track electronically of which resources are where in the state, so they can be deployed quickly to where they are needed. “We have a massive database called the Resource Directory Database in which we have geolocated municipal, county, and state assets to a very detailed map of New Jersey,” Rafferty says. “That way, if there is an emergency like an earthquake going on in one area, the emergency managers can quickly say to me, for instance, ‘We have major debris and damage on this spot of the map. Show us the location of the nearest heavy hauler. Show us the next closest location,’ and so on.”
A very large quake, Rafferty says, “could overwhelm resources that we have as a state.” In that event, OEM has the authority to reach out to FEMA for additional resources and assistance. It can also call upon the private sector—the Resource Directory has been expanded to include non-government assets—and to a network of volunteers. “No one has ever said, ‘We don’t want to help,’” Rafferty says. New Jersey officials can also request assistance through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), an agreement among the states to help each other in times of extreme crisis.
“You always plan for the worst,” Rafferty says, “and that way when the worst doesn’t happen, you feel you can handle it if and when it does.”
Contributing editor Wayne J. Guglielmo lives in M

Russian Horn readying nuclear missile ’12 times more powerful’ than one dropped on Hiroshima


Russia readying nuclear missile ’12 times more powerful’ than one dropped on Hiroshima

On Dec 14, Russia upgraded its ‘Doomsday’ plane Il-80VKP with a new ultra-long wave communication complex in order to maintain communication with submerine.

2022-12-15 07:39:19

On Dec 14, Russia upgraded its ‘Doomsday’ plane Il-80VKP with a new ultra-long wave communication complex in order to maintain communication with submerine.

As the battle in Bakhmut eastern Donetsk rages on and the Commander of Donetsk militia, Alexander Khodakovsky, pushed for the use of tactical nukes to “win this war,” it appears Russia’s President Vladimir Putin may be readying a strategic nuclear missile “12 times more powerful than one destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki” during the World War II (1939-45). The atomic weapon was dropped on the Japanese city on August 6, 1945 by the American B-29 bomber. The world’s first atomic bombing on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed 70,000 and 35,000 citizens instantly. Thousands succumbed later due to the fatal atomic radiations.

Moscow ‘s nuclear missile weights 46,000 tonnes, has an operational range of up to 12,000 kilometers (7,456 miles) and can strike the United States or anywhere in Europe, according to the Moscow based tabloid newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. The payload of the missile is up to 500 kilotons. Russia has suffered unexpected setbacks on the battlefield in the conflict with Ukraine that has soared tensions in the Kremlin about the war’s outcome.

Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Credit: Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology

Russian Defense Ministry, shared a footage showing the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) RS-24 Yars that can evade missile defense systems mounted on a silo launcher at the Yars missile complex in the Kaluga region. The three stage solid fuel missile RS-24 Yars, first tested by Moscow in 2007 [known as the SS-29 to the United States and NATO] is a heavier version of the RT-2PM2 Topol-M that is capable of carrying 10 warheads including the nuclear 150-200 kT, MIRV warheads, as well as penetration aids.

Russia is speculated to have at least 6-10 with 100 – 300 kT blast yield each ad the fire range of 12 000 km. It is both road-mobile and on the silo-based system and entered into service in February 2010 for Russian Strategic Missile Forces. RS-24 Yars ICBM was first deployed by Russian military in 2004 after its first successful flight test in May that year. By 2016, Russian Strategic Missile Forces deployed nearly 63 mobile and 10 silo-based Yars ICBMs with the Topol-M systems. 

Yars launch at Plesetsk. Credit: Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology/ CSIS Missile Defense Project

Upgradation of Doomsday plane 

On Dec 14, Russia upgraded its ‘Doomsday’ plane Il-80VKP with a new ultra-long wave communication complex in order to maintain regular communication with submerged ‘nuclear’ submarines, according to the Naval Open Source Intelligence (NOSI). The communication complex would enhance the connection with an extended submersible communication antenna towed by the submarine. The Ilyushin Il-80VKP (Il-86VzPU), NATO code Maxdome, is the airborne command post of the Russian President that will acrivate in an event of a nuclear attack. it is also dubbed as the Flying Kremlin. Moscow currently has an estimated 4,477 deployed and reserve nuclear warheads. Of these there are 1,900 “non-strategic.”

In a speech on the national television, Russian President Vladimir Putin had threatened use of tactical nuclear weapons during the ongoing offensive. “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff,” he said, in a blatant warning to the Western military alliance NATO.

China Could Start A Nuclear War On America

Chinese Nuclear Weapons

China’s ICBM Force Could Start A Nuclear War On America

ByChristian Orr

DF-41 Road Mobile ICBM. Image: Chinese Internet.

Last week, the ever-vigilant Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation hosted its annual China Forum in Washington, DC, highlighting Beijing’s malign behavior in the areas of security, economics, and human rights. Among the guest speakers was Russell Hsiao, Executive Director of the Global Taiwan Institute.

Russell gave a detailed account of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) military exercises Aug. 4. The PLA designated six closure areas and fired 11 ballistic miles, four of which overflew Taiwan. Hsiao added some historical perspective by noting that the PLA fired a mere eight ballistic missiles during its 1995-1996 “missile diplomacy” shenanigans.

The good news is that Taiwan has fairly robust missile capabilities of its own, as noted earlier this year by my 19FortyFive colleagues Steve Balestrieri and Brent Eastwood. That said, China’s missile program is obviously something that needs to be taken seriously, and now is a good time to take a look at their missile arsenal. With the hope of expanding this into a multipart series, today I will focus on the deadliest and most powerful arrows in China’s quiver, their intercontinental ballistic missiles. 

F-5 (Dong Feng-5 / CSS-4)

This is the biggest ballistic boy on Beijing’s block, with a launch weight of 183,000 kilograms and a payload of 3,000 to 4,000 kg. It has a long reach, with a range of 13,000 kilometers, and the F-5 is the oldest of China’s homegrown ICBMs, first entering operational status in 1981. Strictly silo-based, it is capable of delivering large nuclear payloads across the United States and Western Europe. 

DF-41 (Dong Feng-41 / CSS-X-20)

This will be the second-biggest entry in the Chinese ICBM arsenal, with a launch weight of 80,000 kg and a payload of 2,500 kg. It has the longest range of the bunch at 15,000 km. 

The DF-41 is still in development, but once operational it will be capable of loading up to 10 multiple independently-targeted warheads (MIRVs). For perspective, America’s LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM carries only three MIRVs.

The DF-41 will also offer versatility. It can be based on road-mobile, rail-mobile, and silo launching platforms. The PLA tested the DF-41 in the Gobi Desert in November 2021 and displayed them on a large military parade commemorating the PRC’s 70th anniversary in October 2019. 

DF-31 (Dong Feng-31 / CSS-10)

The DF-31 was first deployed in 2006. It is a three-stage, solid-fueled missile with an estimated range of 7,000 to 11,700 km. Launch weight is 42,000 kg, and payload is 1,050 to 1,750 kg. It is launched from mobile platforms. The original variant was carried on an 8-axle, tractor-trailer-based transporter erector launcher (TEL) built by Hanyang. The latest edition, the DF-31AG, has an upgraded TEL that can traverse unpaved terrain. This allows dispersal to a wider variety of concealed positions, reducing the missile’s vulnerability to countervailing attack.

JL-2 (Ju Lang-2, CSS-NX-14)

This is essentially the submarine-launched ballistic missile variant of the DF-31. It is deployed from the PLA Navy’s six Type 094 Jin-class nuclear-powered ballistic submarines, each of which can host a dirty dozen of the JL-2s. In service since 2015, the JL-2 has a range of 8,000 to 9,000 km, a launch weight of 42,000 kg, and a payload of 1,050 to 2,800 kilograms. 

Presumably the missile carries only a single warhead, but some analysts speculate that it could deliver anywhere from three to eight lower-yield MIRVs.  

“As China continues to rise to power, its ambitions rise alongside it. Today, the People’s Republic of China’s ultimate intentions are clear: It seeks to overthrow the U.S.-led order. In an effort to aggrandize itself, China hopes to dominate the Indo-Pacific region. This contest over the future of the regional and world order between the United States and China may potentially lead to massive conflict. For this reason, China poses the greatest danger to the U.S. national interest.”

Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force Security Forces officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon). Chris holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California (USC) and an M.A. in Intelligence Studies (concentration in Terrorism Studies) from American Military University (AMU). He has also been published in The Daily Torch and The Journal of Intelligence and Cyber Security. Last but not least, he is a Companion of the Order of the Naval Order of the United States (NOUS). In his spare time, he enjoys shooting, dining out, cigars, Irish and British pubs, travel, USC Trojans college football, and Washington DC professional sports.

Why is the China Horn building 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035?

Why is China building 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035?


New Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Mohammed SalehUpdated: Dec 15, 2022, 08:23 PM IST

In this picture taken on October 8, 2022, visitors can be seen standing in front of a giant screen displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping, next to a flag of the Communist Party of China at the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution in Beijing, China. Photograph:(Reuters)

This sudden spurt in Beijing’s nuclear arsenal is driven by the fear that the United States with its numerous nuclear options and a more mature triad could overwhelm China with a pre-emptive strike. So, Beijing is building more nuclear weapons 

In the year 2020, China had an estimated 200 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. But in just the last two years, the dragon is said to have doubled the number of nuclear warheads that it can deploy in the event of a nuclear conflict. 

But China’s nuclear ambitions don’t end here. According to the recently released Pentagon report titled: China’s Military Power, by 2027 China is expected to scale up its nuclear arsenal to 700 warheads. And by 2035, Beijing will have a minimum of 1500 nuclear warheads that it can deploy.

To be clear, even with 1500 nuclear warheads, China will still have only about a third of the nuclear weapons that the United States and Russia currently have in their arsenal. According to estimates, the United States currently has about 5,550 nuclear warheads. While Russia is estimated to have about 6,225 nuclear warheads. Other nuclear powers of the world, such as the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have largely maintained a steady number of nuclear warheads for the purpose of deterrence. But in the case of China, there is a fundamental shift that has been witnessed in its nuclear doctrine.

Beijing began developing its nuclear technology in the 1950s. It tested its first nuclear bomb at Lop Nur in the Xinjiang province on the 16th of October in 1964. Within three years of its first nuclear test, in 1967, Beijing also detonated a thermonuclear device. But in the 1970s and 1980s, China struggled to develop the delivery systems: such as the ballistic missile systems launched from land, air and sea to form a nuclear triad.

Back then, the Chinese economic muscle hadn’t developed yet, to generate the economic froth that is needed for the production and maintenance of these expensive nuclear warheads. Besides this, the ‘No First Use’ nuclear doctrine meant that nuclear weapons had been precluded from being part of China’s offensive weapons.

But ever since the 1990s, when the Chinese economy began to boom, Beijing first developed its conventional weapons arsenal at a breakneck speed. And now that Beijing feels confident that it can hold its own in a conventional war, on land, sea and air – the dragon is looking for nuclear parity with the United States of America, which for the last decade has been talking of a policy to ‘Contain China’.

China’s nuclear policy which started from the 1960s, with a ‘Minimum Nuclear Deterrence’ doctrine, has now been transformed into a ‘Second-strike Capability’ Doctrine! 

This sudden spurt in Beijing’s nuclear arsenal is driven by the fear that the United States with its numerous nuclear options and a more mature triad could overwhelm China with a pre-emptive strike. So, Beijing is building more nuclear weapons. New silos are being constructed in the Xinjiang province and in the Gansu province. With this what China is trying to ensure is that it has enough missiles to get past the American air defences, and strike the mainland United States, in the event of a nuclear war.

But a nuclear conflict leads to nothing more than mutually assured destruction. With this being the case, is China being paranoid about seeking nuclear parity with the United States? The fact is, the United States on October 30 this year, announced that it was planning to deploy a minimum of 6 b-52 nuclear bombers at the Tindal air base in Australia.

The AUKUS is a military alliance, between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Canberra. Irrespective of how the United States tries to paint these developments, the fact is Beijing has slammed these manoeuvres by Washington as a clear nuclear provocation in the Asia-Pacific.

The conflict between the United States and China that has loomed over the horizon in this decade may very well define the fortunes of the 21st century. Xi Jinping has made no bones about wanting to reunite Taiwan with mainland China, even by force if needed. The Taiwan Strait crisis that unfolded in the month of August, after the visit of Nancy Pelosi to Taipei is just a glimpse of what is to come in this decade.

And China’s whirlwind nuclear expansion is aimed at preparation for this conflict. 

(Disclaimer: The views of the writer do not represent the views of WION or ZMCL. Nor does WION or ZMCL endorse the views of the writer.) 

The Iranian Horn is a Rogue State: Daniel 8

Iran Is a Rogue State

Wednesday, 14 December, 2022 – 12:15

Tariq Al-Homayed

Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

The developments we see unfolding today affirm that the mullah regime has turned Iran into a rogue state. They also demonstrate that the approach that the West and the US have followed in dealing with Iran has failed, particularly since the failed 2015 nuclear agreement signed by former President Barack Obama.

The nuclear deal signed at the time only addressed enrichment levels and a few facilities, overlooking other weapons, most dangerously missiles and drones, which the mullah regime had demonstrably been using in the region.

In 2015, they didn’t heed the warnings of the countries of the region, including Israel, about the dangers of ignoring the missiles and drones, as well as Iran’s regional proxy militias.

It has become clear that these threats were real. The nuclear deal is not being respected. Instead, Iran benefited from access to over 100 billion dollars in assets abroad that had been frozen at the time, and it was allowed to sell its oil and thus fund its militias, continue to manufacture drones, and engage in other activities of this sort.

Today, Iranian drones are striking Kiyv, which is an attack on NATO because, without NATO’s support, Kiyv would have fallen to the Russians long ago. Worse still, the parts for these drones had been purchased from the US and Europe, showing just how careless the Western and American strategy has been.

The threat posed by Iran’s militias was also underestimated. The plainest example is the Houthis, who refuse to extend the ceasefire and continue to wreak havoc in Yemen, and everyone knows that this is Iran’s decision, as the mullahs want to use the Houthis to negotiate an end to the media coverage of the protests.

The mullahs have already targeted Saudi territory, only retreating after realizing that such attacks would have dangerous repercussions for them. Meanwhile, the presidential vacuum in Lebanon continues, and Iraq continues to falter because of Iran’s militias.

On top of all of that, the regime is vicious with its own people, who have taken to the streets to voice their opposition to the regime and its crimes, openly attacking Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and calling for the downfall of his regime.

In response, the Iranian regime has publicly executed youths in the streets and barbarically tortured detainees, both men and women, beating, sexually assaulting, and raping them in a clampdown of unprecedented savagery.

As all of this happens, the US and the West are satisfied with individual sanctions on figures that don’t care about sanctions. If anything, these sanctions boost their standing among their supporters and strengthen their position within the regime, giving them an advantage over rivals in the mullah regime’s obvious power struggle.

And so, the question now for the United States and Europe is: when will we see an end to this leniency in dealing with the mullah regime, whose crimes in Iran and the region, as well as Ukraine, are apparent for all to see? That is besides the attempts to kidnap individuals in the US and its threats to British journalists over their coverage of the protests in Iran.

For all these reasons, we should and expect to see an “automatic” resumption of sanctions by the US and UN, and especially the EU, through the “snapback” mechanism within the failed 2015 agreement.

If Iran is not declared a rogue state, who is? What human rights and stability are the West, and before it, the US, talking about? For this reason, the mullahs’ crimes should be dealt with, and the Iranian people should be supported.

The Russian Horn’s Chilling Nuclear Threat: Revelation 16

Putin has readied his nukes ahead of a massive military parade
Putin has readied his nukes ahead of a massive military parade (Image: RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Putin’s chilling nuclear threat as he readies terrifying missiles able to strike West

Russia’s nuke-loving leader Vladimir Putin has ordered his military to prepare a huge nuclear weapon ahead of the country’s military parade on Saturday (December 17)

Will StewartRussia Correspondent

Adam Cailler

  • 08:29, 14 DEC 2022
  • UPDATED08:52, 14 DEC 2022

Russia’s despotic President Vladimir Putin has ramped up his nuclear threats against the West after readying warheads for combat.

A terrifying video released by Putin’s army show a strategic Yars missle being readied at the Kozelsk military compound, thought to be somewhere south west of Moscow.

The Yars series of intercontinental ballistic missiles were first produced around 10 years ago, and can travel a distance of around 6,800 miles at the speed of Mach 20 – or 15,200 miles per hour.

Putin was seen in late October overseeing the launch of a similar Yars nuclear missile on a mock attack on the West amid high tension in the war with Ukraine.

Russia is building up to more nuclear showboating as it marks the annual Strategic Missile Forces Day on Saturday (December 17).

The process of preparing the nuke took a while, local media reported
The process of preparing the nuke took a while, local media reported (Image: MoD Russia/e2w)

The missile being readed was installed in a silo launch pad using a special transport and loading unit.

Local media has reported the exercise as being a “complicated technological operations” which took several hours.

Division commander Col. Alexei Sokolov made clear the exercise was aimed at sending a message to the West, with both the UK and US within range.

“The importance of this operation lies in the fact that the next missile will be put on combat duty on schedule,” he said.

“The homeland will get another nuclear missile weapon, which will make it possible to solve any tasks at the strategic level.”

Putin's threats of nuclear war have been ramping up in recent months
Putin’s threats of nuclear war have been ramping up in recent months (Image: Getty Images)

Combat engineer Vadim Vyazovsky told TV Zvezda, the Russian defence ministry’s own channel: “I feel proud of Russia that my country is putting such products into service so that the Motherland can sleep well.”

The Kozelsk missile is undergoing modernisation and a revamp, said reports.

The Yars is a modification of the Topol-M missile system.

In the October drill, Russia allegedly practiced its response to a Western nuclear attack – although there hasn’t been one, or even a threat of one from the West.

US Enables the S Korean Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

US soldiers attend an inauguration ceremony for a new US space force unit in South Korea on Wednesday. Photo: EPA-EFE

US launches South Korea space force unit amid North Korea, China, Russia threats

‘Just 48 miles north exists an existential threat we must be prepared to defend against and, if required, defeat,’ said unit’s boss in Seoul, an hour from North KoreaUnit belongs to US Space Force which was launched in 2019 aimed at supporting interests in space, including navigation, intelligence, communication satellites

Associated Press

Published: 10:02pm, 14 Dec, 2022

US soldiers attend an inauguration ceremony for a new US space force unit in South Korea on Wednesday. Photo: EPA-EFE

The US military formally launched a space force unit in South Korea on Wednesday, a move that is likely to enable Washington to better monitor its rivals North Korea, China and Russia.

The activation of the US Space Forces Korea at Osan Air Base near Seoul came after North Korea test-fired a barrage of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles designed to strike the US mainland and its allies South Korea and Japan in recent months.

“Just 48 miles north of us exists an existential threat; a threat that we must be prepared to deter, defend against, and – if required – defeat,” Lieutenant Colonel Joshua McCullion, chief of the new space unit, said during a ceremony at Osan. He apparently referred to North Korea, whose heavily fortified border with South Korea is an hour’s drive from Seoul, the South’s capital.

The unit belongs to the US Space Force, which was launched in December 2019 under then-President Donald Trump as the first new US military service in more than 70 years.

The Space Force was seen soberly as an affirmation of the need to more effectively organise for the defence of US interests in space, especially satellites used for civilian and military navigation, intelligence and communication. A previous Pentagon report said China and Russia had embarked on major efforts to develop technologies that could allow them to disrupt or destroy American and allied satellites in a crisis or conflict.

The US Space Forces Korea is a subordinate of a bigger US Space Force unit established within the Indo-Pacific command in Hawaii last month.

The insignia of the US Space Force unit in South Korea. Photo: EPA-EFE

The insignia of the US Space Force unit in South Korea. Photo: EPA-EFE

Jung Chang Wook, head of the Korea Defence Study Forum think tank in Seoul, said the US Space Force was created to bring together diverse surveillance assets including space-based satellites in one organisation to manage and develop them in an effective, systemic manner.

He said its unit in South Korea would work like a field unit while the one in the Indo-Pacific Command would be its headquarters.

“The US Space Forces Korea would maintain, operate and assess related equipment. Simply speaking, I would say the actual US space operations will be done at Osan Air Base,” Jung said. He said the main role of US Space Forces Korea would be receiving, processing and analysing a tremendous amount of data and information transmitted by US satellites.

“The US military is faster, better connected, more informed, precise and lethal because of space,” General Paul LaCamera, commander of the 28,500 US troops in South Korea, said during the ceremony. “Specifically, the activation here today, of US Space Forces Korea … enhances our ability to defend the homelands and ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia.”

General Paul LaCamera (C-L) during a ceremony in South Korea on Wednesday to launch the US military’s space force unit there. Photo: EPA-EFE

General Paul LaCamera (C-L) during a ceremony in South Korea on Wednesday to launch the US military’s space force unit there. Photo: EPA-EFE

Jung said the launch of a space unit in South Korea was primarily aimed at better monitoring North Korea, followed by China and then Russia.

The United States and South Korea have expanded their regular military drills and pushed to further bolster their combined defence capability in the face of North Korea’s advancing nuclear programme. North Korea has threatened to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively in potential conflicts with the United States and South Korea, and the US military warned the North that the use of nuclear weapons “will result in the end of that regime”