Beyond the Cusp

May 8, 2016

North Korea Threat Update

 

Recent satellite surveillance of North Korea has shown a greater number of vehicles parked and coming and going from the nuclear test control center just a few kilometers away from their actual test site though little activity has been photographed at the test site. The lack of photo evidence of deliveries or activity at the actual test site could be timed to only be visible between the known scheduled overfly times of the satellites which are not exactly a well-kept secret. This activity is additionally suspicious as the Party hierarchy has opened the first full congress of its ruling party since 1980. Ruling Dictator Kim Jong Un will be in attendance but the media will not as the Party Congress is being held behind closed doors. This has raised the suspicions that Kim Jong Un may be using the Congress to shuffle leadership positions and a capping of the Congress with another nuclear test of a hydrogen thermonuclear device as exclamation point launch. This would be their fifth nuclear test and possibly the third of their hydrogen bomb.

 

Taking all of these events and potential for a shakeup of the leadership along with the mixed but largely successful testing of launching of ballistic missile from a submerged, it has become obvious that virtually every city on Earth has now become within strike range from North Korean missiles. The size and range of such a submarine launch has not been determined but it is thought the current proven booster used in the tests only have about a two hundred kilometer range. Still, this placed most Capital Cities of Western World nations within range, particularly the United States. The progress made in new weapons and weapons delivery technologies has made North Korea a threat to many nations in their immediate area from Japan to China and Russia and beyond with their submersed launch capability. Should there be a nuclear test by North Korea then much of the bellicose sabre rattling may require a more serious consideration as to whether any of their threats may have actual substance.

 

Analysis from 38 North said the imagery of the Punggye-ri test site control center has shown really heavier than usual activity as noted above. The suspicions were raised as this increase in activity coinciding with the Party Congress and the fact that Kim Jung Un would be personally leading the Party Congress and that it was an all-inclusive Congress, a rarity in North Korea. The fact that both events appear to be scheduled so close together, this has raised the interest of the experts and amateurs in putting forth their thoughts on the reasoning and what the results might be. Prognostications are always a tricky business, especially for bloggers whose sources do not exactly include Pentagon experts, but we try anyways. We are expecting some shake-up of the Party mid-level officials altering the preferred individuals for future top Party positions. The high level Party officials will likely not be shuffled though some alterations of responsibilities may be switched from one department to another most likely to improve efficiency. If there are higher level changes, they will rotate around military commanders. We expect the officers who worked on the submarine submerged launch capabilities to be honored at the meeting and perhaps some leading people put on their next project while junior commanders will take charge of completing and perfecting the submerged firing capability to assure it approaches perfection and dependability and potentially attempting to attempt launches from deeper depths.

 

Should there actually be another test of a thermonuclear device, we can expect the leadership to perfect a miniaturized warhead deliverable through the submerged launch booster thus making the weapon truly a threat worldwide. They may also have them working on a thermonuclear warhead which will have a selectable yield programmed before deployment thus permitting selecting the desired yield such that any additional collateral damage could be minimized. The one side effect from any test will be the providing of the United States and other nations to gather more data and perhaps discern the intended use of the weapons. There are those who theorize that the hydrogen device is not being used as a thermonuclear device in the traditional blast-wave destruction mode but as a super EMP (electromagnetic pulse) device. The amount of damage a normal atomic bomb produces as an EMP would be capable of bringing down the North American electric grid blacking out Canada as well as the United States. The advantage of using a thermonuclear warhead as a super EMP device is quite frightening as the additional power for any usage would also apply to it being utilized as a Super EMP which could be detonated even at any height and simply relatively close to the optimum location and still produce sufficient EMP energy to more than make-up for any miss of the optimum location and height for the detonation.

 

Those whose job it is to worry and discern all things North Korea and has to keep everything updated will necessarily be watching, listening and monitoring as things progress and then making the reports, some of which will hopefully be made public so we all can use it. Meanwhile, we will keep an ear to the ground and listen for the reverberations as well as the ramifications of any nuclear test, missile launch or artillery barrages emanating from North Korea which has become less stable and even less predictable under Kim Jung Un which likely has added to their cooperation and technology sharing with Iran which makes both nations additionally dangerous. The world must contemplate Iranian missile technology married to North Korean nuclear weapons technology and additionally North Korean submarine submerged launch capability and both North Korea and Iran have become dangerous and hegemonic in their ends of Asia and the Middle East. They are a constant threat to all nations anywhere near either one and only India and Israel are capable of challenging them, and those could become hard pressed should an arms race be launched, especially in the Middle East which any such race will see Saudi Arabia buying all the devices they would initially require from Pakistan and then use whatever plans they would need from Pakistan and potentially raw materials as well. Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Oman and potentially any combination of MENA (Middle East North Africa) nations could develop or otherwise acquire nuclear weaponry and the delivery systems turning the MENA tinder box into a nuclear tinder box where everyone is smoking, heavily and too many are being careless with where they throw their lit matches. There is one situation paralleled to this which makes North Korea seem less threatening which can be found simply looking past India to the heart of the Middle East. There you find Iran threatening all and backing the worst of the worst all while making promises to wipe all of Israel from the map. Iran has recently tested some modified and improved ballistic missiles which have sufficient range to strike France but when having an exercise with testing launches of ballistic missiles they had on them “Israel should be wiped off the Earth” written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic, after all, must have the easy to read propaganda for the home front. Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t that!

 

 

Israel must be wiped out written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic after all must have the easy to read propaganda for the home front Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t thatWhen having an exercise with testing
launches of ballistic missiles they had on them
“Israel should be wiped off the Earth”
written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic,
after all, must have the easy to read propaganda
for the home front. Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t that!

Beyond the Cusp

 

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April 14, 2016

One Shot Out of Four is All We’ve Got

 

Europe appears to be hell-bent on committing suicide and not exactly taking the slow road about it. The introduction was all Angela Merkel with her promise to have room to absorb 800,000 Syrian refugees a year for the foreseeable future. The invitation appeared to reach a few more than the planned 800,000 and apparently somewhere towards three or four times as her presumed limit. The response was so monumental that every European country could have been a new home to their own half a million and some received that gratis before they could act to close their borders. A few countries saw sanity and kept their borders closed except for those on a train passing straight through without even stopping for a break and a brew. Now Europe in many parts is experiencing the pleasures of refugees running wild, and it is not a reality show title but the reality running loose on their streets. New Year’s Eve celebrations had some extra and unwanted gusto especially for any native women venturing out anywhere, especially the central train stations in any city, sizeable or quaintly small. There are many looking to the United States hoping that the electorate will realize the threats now straining the bounds of civility poised to dissolve all sanity along with all the Western World’s graciousness. The threat is impolite, boorish and horrifically violent. But the American public appears to be enamored with electing a high school senior class president than a leader of the democratic, free, liberal Western World.

 

There were seventeen Republican candidates and four Democrat candidates well into the campaign and we are now down to four apparent survivors and three of the four would be just as Americentric as President Obama has been with a similar isolationist policy outlook. Their presidential outlook would stop at the border and would only differ in their treatment of the southern border with Mexico where one promises to build a wall while the others would install an easy access walkthrough with neon lights claiming open for business. The only one who understands the threats facing our world and the distinct possibility of a new dark ages shrouding any further scientific advancement ending the hopes for a bright future with promise of medical miracles and exploration reaching out and taking the first baby steps into the cosmos all hanging by a thin thread which requires our constant vigilance and protection, our constant mending and reinforcement; otherwise it breaks and we plunge back into the darkness of suspicions and loss of curiosity. That begs the question of what are the possibilities that civilization which prizes curiosity and ventures into the unknown always striving to find the next challenge and then meeting it with inventiveness and spirit constantly striving to know more, to understand why, how and sometimes even what might be the next discovery, the next level to strive and reach beyond what the last generation accomplished. That is what hangs threatened and with it the hope for cures for diseases, crop yields and fresh water derived from land now unusable and water unpotable, new energy generation which is green, plentiful and affordable. The world of machines with artificial intelligence and automation replacing tedious jobs freeing mankind to chase dreams and pursue that which was beyond belief just a few decades back. What is at stake is whether we will continue to strive for new technical heights and progress matching or exceeding that which took us from Kitty Hawk and a flight of 12 seconds and 120 feet to the moon in 66 years. Where will man be when the next sixty-six years has passed and it is 2035? Will we be reaching Mars and have built a space station with space dock for building the next generation of space travel built in space purely for space and have a moon base with monitoring telescopes of every variation taking advantage of the lack of interfering atmosphere? Will we be chasing a thousand dreams or will we be locked in an eternal conflict pitting one against his brother where no one wins and society and advancement are the biggest losers? Where do we wish to go with the future? That is the only question which should be on the minds of every voter in the United States, Europe and the entirety of the advanced industrial and information world as there truly are clouds on the horizon and that horizon is falling closer and closer and in some places it seems to have arrived bringing the threat of an eternal darkness. We have choices. They neither are not necessarily pleasant choices nor are they easy choices. Nobody enjoys even discussing the choices but we have been here before and we had better not make the same mistakes again as the consequences are far more dire this time around the merry-go-round.

 

 

One in Four Knows the Score For if Wrong you Choose Your Freedom You Lose

One in Four
Knows the Score
For if Wrong you Choose
Your Freedom You Lose

 

 

Every election which comes will be the choice and we need to choose studiously and with great caution. The last time we faced such a threat it was from amongst our own house and we almost threw away our last hope. We cannot afford to make such a mistake again as the weapons of war have changed and even an intelligent high school science whiz-kid is capable of building an atomic bomb for his science fair project. Such a bomb would be clumsy, large, and require a cement truck to carry it making it undeliverable, but such could still be driven in said cement truck to its target. We played games and pretended that it is beyond the scientific and industrial ability for North Korea to produce a deliverable weapon and we now realize how wrong we were as they are capable of placing a device on a medium range ballistic missile and striking anywhere in Japan, South Korea, China, Hawaii, Australia or anyplace within that radius and within a few years that missile will be an ICBM capable of reaching anywhere on the planet with a thermonuclear warhead. We are pretending currently that Iran is thus limited and that is a pipe dream which could be turned into a nightmare at any time. The reality is that these countries have scientists just as capable as any in the free world as they attended the same universities often at our expense as a matter of if we allow them scientific advancement they would be less likely to wage war. What if we were sorely mistaken? After all, we allowed North Korea to advance and produce such weapons and the means to deliver them very soon to anyplace on the planet, likely they already are capable of such. While we are listing nations in some of the trouble prone areas known to have nuclear weapons we can add Israel, Pakistan and India to the list. These are in addition to the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and with the technical knowledge we can add Japan, Canada, Taiwan and likely quite a few more if they felt a pressing need. All in all the world is armed to the brink of turning much of the planet into a smelting pot of smoking ruins incapable of supporting much if any life, let alone human life. The world has never been closer to the theme of the movie On the Beach as it is today and the one guarantee is each day places that alternative that much closer. Where nuclear disarmament is a wonderful idea and would be a great stride towards a safer world, until there is a surefire method of assuring complete compliance worldwide it is just that, a nice dream.

 

The time is approaching where we begin to be on the wrong side of the warning given by Winston Churchill when he explained the choice fast approaching his England and the free world of the 1930s, the same world which relegated him to obscurity as they called him an old fool and a war monger and then turned to him to save them when they realized almost too late the monster they had allowed the time needed to become all but unstoppable. We should heed that warning as well as Winston Churchill stated to his peers saying,

 

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.

 

My driving question is where is and who can be our Winston Churchill as we need to find that individual before it is too late. Reviewing the leaders of our carious nations and there are a few candidates but none who possess the full range of guts, intellect, eloquence, command of language and that spark necessary to lead into the teeth of adversity with steadfastness and audacity all while bringing forth the nest from others elevating all in their midst. The combination required comes around only once a century and I pray it is not so soon that Winston Churchill was that person for our time as well. One need remember that he warned of Hitler when none cared to listen, he warned of communism and coined the phrase Iron Curtain which he said had fallen over half of Europe and opposed FDR and the virtual surrender to Stalin but bowed to necessity of a second front and he warned of another dehumanizing catharsis which took on the disguise of a religion. Perhaps he was the man for our season as well and we will have to take his guidance and fight for his memory and allow his words to steel our nerves for the storm that approaches. There is a storm brewing on the horizon and we can only hope there will be sunlight when we reach the other side.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 15, 2015

Russia Iran Mutual Assistance Agreement

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What do Russia and Iran have in common? If your answer was sanctions, congratulations. The two have been under sanctions from the western nations. So, you might think that two nations under sanctions would both be suffering cash shortages and thus would both be too financially strapped to assist each other in any way. But there are ways nations can assist each other that do not require dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling or any other normative tenders. But then the Iranians, or maybe for this we might call them by their original name, Persians and the Russians are returning to a more familiar means from history, trade and bartering. The Russians have something the Iranians have desired and made agreements which were prevented by combined actions by the United States and Israel, their advanced S-300 antiaircraft radar and missile systems. But what could the Iranians have that the Russians could use? Oddly enough, despite Russia being an oil exporter they have made an arrangement where the Iranians initially will pay for these advanced systems by shipping oil to the Russians and change their style of payment to some form of cash, not necessarily petro-dollars but rather some alternate currency which may be the initial first step to establishing an alternative international currency to compete with the dollar which Iran and Russia have been pressing for largely seeking to enjoin China in this effort which they believe might make such a currency internationally acceptable. In the meantime the oil provided as payment to the Russians will simply become a part of their own petroleum reserves as oil is an extremely fungible commodity which can be sold without fearing the buyer will be running laboratory tests to trace its nation of origin.

 

The Russians are moving on delivering these advanced antiaircraft radar and missile systems which are capable of targeting multiple aircraft including cruise missile and possibly some forms of ballistic missiles (not IBCM but ballistic mid-range missiles which do not leave the atmosphere and reenter the atmosphere) as quickly as the systems can be assembled, tested and configured. The Russians are showing little signs of putting this deal on hold and waiting for the sanctions to be officially removed and are not concerned whether the sanctions are going to be immediately removed upon the signing of a nuclear agreement as the Iranian Framework Agreement Farsi translation states, or gradually over a period of time after Iran meets certain markers as President Obama’s copy of the Framework Agreement claims. This not concerning the Iranians is more than readily believable and with the weakness shown by President Obama with his message requested to be given Putin by former Russian President Medvedev about his greater ability to be more flexible after the 2014 elections, like now, there will be no respect for anything President Obama might think forcing Putin to delay this deal more than about ten seconds. The Russians are actually apparently anxious to provide the Iranians with their advanced S-300, or perhaps the improved S-400, complete mobile anti-aircraft systems, almost as anxious as the Iranians are to receive them and put them around their nuclear development sites, even those sites which they will have switched over to spinning a mixture of gasses including a base noble gas and a cross-section of other gasses so that the cascaded centrifuges will retain their calibration and be immediately returned to uranium enrichment as soon as restrictions are retired, or whenever the Iranians decide to shoot for a nuclear weapon and deny the IAEA inspections and ignoring all restrictions of any agreement reached in the nuclear negotiations.

 

While the threat to use the military option should Iran break the deal reached presumably between now and June 30th and has repeatedly been brought to the world’s, and especially the media’s, collective attention by President Obama, the one truism existing is that the military option will remain there on the table for as long as President Obama is in office. The problem is that should the Russian deal with the Iranians come to fruition, and we doubt any threats from the west, either the Europeans or President Obama, are likely between the Russian energy stranglehold over the Europeans and President Obama’s greater flexibility, exercised like a man without a spine, would be believed by President Putin who would likely make a threatening move and all would wilt before his shirtless form. As far as the Iranians are concerned, and has been proven by the fiasco which have passed as negotiations, they really do not care what the rest of the world thinks and they know they have the upper hand as the Europeans have the military preparedness of a preschool compared to the Iranian missiles which can easily reach virtually all of Europe and the Americans have President Obama whose effeminateness precludes his taking any strong military attack is nil. Once the Russians have provided the Iranians with sufficient S-300 systems they will have become relatively immune from most military airstrike be they from jet fighter-bombers or cruise missiles. The S-300 systems radar station can track at least a dozen separate aircraft (up to seventy-two are trackable in its most advanced systems) and target six missiles in flight (up to thirty-six are targetable in its most advanced systems). A number of missiles are matched with a central radar system and both the missiles and radar system are mounted on trucks making the entire systems mobile, thus making them less easily targeted and easily relocated to guard targets considered most vulnerable at any given time. The S-300 systems, assuming the deal will provide Iran with as many systems as they desire, will make any air strikes by the Israelis close to impossible and at the least excessively costly in the cost of aircraft, and more importantly, pilots either lost or captured. Such a system would require stealth aircraft to avoid the high resolution wide-array radars. This would make Israeli Air Force excessively vulnerable and their initial targets would necessarily need to be the radar systems followed by the antiaircraft missiles themselves. Daring such attacks while not having the stealth aircraft for the mission would still present challenges which would tax any pilots beyond imagination. As far as a strike force from the United States, it would likely take their every F-22 Raptor escorting every B-2 Stealth Bomber with special radar seeking missiles equipped on the Raptors and for many of the buried and reinforced nuclear sites, especially the Fordow site, would require bunker-buster munitions with some requiring the GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) which weighs 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg), with a length of 20.5 feet (6.2 m) and a circumference of 31.5 inches (0.80 m) and originally required a modification of the B-2 Stealth Bomber in order to carry this unfathomably strange and huge munition. Such an attack will not be even slightly possible before the next Presidential Inauguration before it should even be considered remotely possible, and then it will be dependent on who is the new President the people of the United States elect. The truth be told, this deal will be the final nail removed from the coffin to allow the nuclear mummy to rise from the crypt and begin the nightmarish specter of a nuclear armed theocratic realm with apocalyptic visions and aspirations to rise and spread the fears of nuclear annihilation across the globe and also release the spreading specters of fears spread to the rest of the Islamic nations of the Middle East and Northern Africa starting any number of nations, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and beyond take this as their starting whistle to developing their own nuclear weapons to balance against any Iranian threats. A world with such a spread of nuclear arms will have become one threat removed from a miscalculation spawning a reaction which very easily could tilt the balance into crazy and soon might follow the raining of missiles carrying the end of life as we know it as the clouds rise in a column then spreading their bulbous sides outward making a large caldron of swirling hot gasses spreading outward poisoning a large swath of Earth and changing our outlook into the future, if there is to be a future, if there is going to be a future at all.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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