Beyond the Cusp

March 9, 2018

Back on the North Korea Merry-Go-Round


Once again, we hear out of Pyongyang the idea of giving up its nuclear weapons in return for U.S. security guarantees of nonaggression and which will also soon add the demand for food, energy and monetary aid. Speaking with reporters about these developments, President Donald Trump was quoted by AFP as having stated, “I believe they are sincere.” President Trump further stated, at a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, “I hope they’re sincere,” soon adding an ominous, “We’ll soon find out.” Further commentary from President Trump claimed, “I think they’re sincere also because of the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea.” President Trump added, “(China) can do more but I think they’ve done more than they’ve ever done for our country before.”


Vice President Mike Pence in Washington added to the President’s message stating, “Whichever direction talks with North Korea go, we will be firm in our resolve. The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear program. All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.” Yes, he actually demanded that Washington needs to see North Korea take concrete steps toward denuclearization.


The story appears to have gone something like this, starting from the beginning. President Trump took office and North Korea celebrated with additional missile and nuclear tests on an increased rate. President Trump and many Western Leaders became incensed protesting with great words of accusation and threats of embargoes. There were even threats of annihilation from invasions, conquering of South Korea by the North Koreans, North Korea threats to nuke Guam, President Trump threatened to destroy North Korea in return of their attacking anyone and most of all there was the hope that China would exercise some restraint on their “pet attack dog” Kim Jong-un.


This series of events lead us to fall into some kind of hazy trance, it was as if we were living something over once again which had been promised to have been settled and done before. When we emerged from the haze, still with thoughts swirling and slowly crystalizing we realized we were no longer in this century, we had magically been sent to the ending decade of the Twentieth Century. We were not in the scene but observing from above looking through some clear, glass aperture. We were at a newsstand with all the major newspapers of the day and an old man watching the news on an old television. They were talking of the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. The date was October 18, 1994, and the headlines pretty much say it all. The New York Times headlined with, “U.S. and North Korea Agree To Build on Nuclear Accord.” Reading further, with haste, as we cannot be sure how long we will remain here, the article stated the following,


The Clinton Administration announced tonight that United States and North Korean negotiators in Geneva had reached a broad agreement that would freeze North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and allow the resumption of international inspections.

Administration officials said the agreement included some concessions by Washington, including arranging for American allies to build in North Korea two modern nuclear power plants valued at several billion dollars. The Administration also agreed to a delay in the inspection of two nuclear waste sites that were expected to reveal evidence of North Korea’s production of weapon-grades material.

Administration officials hailed the agreement — worked out over three weeks of tense negotiations — as a breakthrough. But after an 18-month dispute marked by stinging rhetoric, broken promises and failed negotiations, Administration officials remained wary that there could still be problems carrying out the accord.

Administration officials said North Korea committed itself to phasing out its five-megawatt nuclear reactor, freezing construction of two larger reactors and rejoining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
“Personally, I think it is a very good agreement,” Robert L. Gallucci, the chief United States negotiator in Geneva, said tonight after closing the round of talks that seemed close to collapsing on several occasions. “Broadly, it is an acceptable, and very positive agreement.”

With North Korea isolated and distrustful of the West, Administration officials said they agreed to delay inspections of the waste sites in part to allow for time to build trust with North Korea. The expectation, they said, is that in a few months or perhaps years Pyongyang would allow the inspections of the nuclear waste sites.
Administration officials insisted that they would not back off their insistence on such inspections and that North Korea would never receive technology from the promised new light-water reactors until inspections of the waste sites are carried out.

In another concession, the Clinton Administration backed down on its demand that North Korea quickly send to another country the 8,000 spent fuel rods, from which enough plutonium could have already been obtained to construct four or five bombs.

Under the agreement, those rods will remain in a cooling pond in the North for a considerable time, perhaps more than a year. But Administration officials insisted that those rods will ultimately be shipped to a third country for reprocessing.

Mr. Gallucci said the agreement reached today would now be sent to Washington and Pyongyang for final approval. He said the agreement served the interests of the United States, South Korea and Japan, all of which are concerned about North Korea’s ambitions to become a nuclear power.

He said he planned to fly to Washington on Tuesday to consult with senior Administration officials and leading members of Congress. If the agreement is endorsed, he said he would sign it on Friday in Geneva with North Korea’s chief negotiator, Kang Sok Ju.


The haze slowly encompasses our entire group and off we float again feeling all weird and strange. After a brief period, well, we think it was brief but cannot really be sure, as we may have dreamt for some period, we cannot be sure. The haze is parting and, and, and we are looking at the same newsstand and all looks pretty much the same. Wait, the man is somewhat older and has a white and grey streaked beard. We can see a paper, well, we see the date first, just as before, and it is January 29, 2002. The headline starts to come into focus as does the name of the newspaper, the Washington Post with the headline reading, “Text of President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address.” Part of the article appears highlighted and is becoming clear enough to read, and some words are bolded, strange, but helpful. The passage reads,


Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.

Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September 11, but we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.

Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror; while an unelected, few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade.

This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.


Here comes that haze again and really feeling sleepier this time. As we are pulling back there came another headline from the Guardian stating, “North Korea withdraws from nuclear treaty.” Well, too late to read more, it has faded. One can only wonder whether we will arrive back in our own time or are there to be more stops on this strange trip into the past. Waking as the haze thins and we could be back, we are looking at a CNN web page and it is, wait, it is from March 1, 2012 and the headline reads, “North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activities for food.” There is a picture and three or four paragraphs visible. Here is the picture as we were gifted a copy which came along with us by some miracle and below that the story we were permitted to see. Again, there was one part bolded allowing us to fix this as during the time with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama and the unprecedented amount of aid being provided to North Korea.


The Picture of Kim Jong-un and Some Generals

The Picture of Kim Jong-un and Some Generals


North Korea has agreed to halt nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and enrichment activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for food aid from the United States, the State Department said Wednesday.
The state-run North Korean news agency, KCNA, announced the agreement separately.

“Today’s announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction. We, of course, will be watching closely and judging North Korea’s new leaders by their actions,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee.

In return for the moratorium on nuclear activities at this key site, the United States has agreed to a package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance to North Korea.


The haze returns and this time we are sure we are nodding off. The time seemed to pass faster, though that may be due to our not being fully conscious. The haze lifts and we are back at our computers feeling a little groggy and disoriented, as expected, we guess. We have no idea how long we were gone, though we can tell you there is a different show on the television, which is impressive as the new Smurf movie had just started as we left. We were quoting President Trump and Vice President Pence and how they believe that North Korea will be earnest and will negotiate in good faith. Perhaps they need to go on our little time travel revelation that every President before them going back at least three Presidents as our trip was not all inclusive. If nothing else, we are positive that there were likely headlines on July 27, 1953, celebrating and noting the Armistice between the United Nations forces led mainly by the United States and the Communist forces consisting of North Korea and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. Below please find President Dwight David Eisenhower announcing the negotiations to establish an armistice pausing the Korean War. This was an armistice which is merely a time-out which has resulted in saber-rattling threatening to resume the conflict periodically ever since.



There has been a pattern with North Korea. They used to threaten to resume the war which held the threat of many casualties on both sides and potentially the near complete destruction of Seoul, South Korea followed by similar destruction throughout North Korea with the main targets being military assets. Nobody in the West desires such a renewal of this horrific conflagration. We always would like to believe that the same is true for the leaders of North Korea, but apparently one can never be sure, as the result of each episode has proven. Originally, North Korea would only make these threats when their nation was desperately in need of food, oil for electricity and including other necessities as North Korea has a very limited economic energy. Most of their economic production relies on the sale of coal and other minerals mostly to China and some limited subsistence farming. This leads to crises from malnutrition to absolute starvation of large sections of their population. With each passing of the leadership, the frequency of these crises would increase. Kim Jong-un has tested the resolve of every President since taking over after his father, Kim Jong-il, on December 17, 2011. Kim Jong-un immediately started to test Barack Obama continuing the crisis started by his father during the Presidency of George W. Bush by launching missiles anew and advertising the progress being accomplished at the Yongbyon nuclear complex. This eventually led to the partial capitulation as stated above with the food for promises President Obama accepted on March 1, 2012.


Now we are hearing of President Trump triumphantly claiming he believes that Kim Jong-un is negotiating in earnest and with respect, as we quoted above of President Trump claiming, “I think they’re sincere also because of the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea.” and “(China) can do more but I think they’ve done more than they’ve ever done for our country before.” This shows once again President Trump’s lacking in depth of knowledge of history, recent or otherwise. Somebody, any of the generals, needs to inform him that he is being taken and that there is not an earnest bone in Chubby’s, sorry, we mean Kim Jong-un’s body. Kim Jong-us is playing the President and his belief that everyone thinks and treasures peace and reaching agreements as much as he. The Art of the Deal has to be sometimes not making any deal, as the other side is not dealing honestly. They are simply attempting to play for badly needed sustenance and other vital requirements. This has been the North Korean policy for the past twenty years. The North Korean economy is spent entirely on weapons, the military, nuclear research and keeping Kim Jong-un entertained, wined and dined in the manner in which he has become accustomed, which is quite lavish. Any nourishing provisions will largely be given to those in the military and the remainder of the population will be largely left to fend for themselves the best they are capable. Many people have been reportedly eating grass and bark off of trees, insects and anything else they can find which is at all edible. The one thing that Kim Jong-un has shown a desire to do is unify the entirety of the Peninsula, under his rule, of course. Any negotiation reached with Kim Jong-un today will be worthless by the end of May, as he believes that he is destined to be the leader of humankind.


Should President Trump be very fortunate, any agreement he reaches will last through the end of his time in office. The one thing the world can count on is that as soon as there is a new President, Kim Jong-un will be launching missiles, probably threatening San Francisco this time and testing nuclear weapons possibly even above ground in total disdain for all treaties. Kim Jong-un believes that the Western nations are soft and stupid and will fold before his demands every time. He knows that he will eventually get a leader elected to South Korea who will agree to some form of unification possibly with some form of shared leadership. Once the unification has been established, Kim Jong-un will slowly move his military throughout all of South Korea and, once in place, he will likely murder the South Korean leader and take rule of the entire peninsula using the wealth of South Korea to feed and assist the people of the now former North Korea and build as many missiles and nuclear warheads as he is able. Once he has attained the level with which he feels he is sufficiently well armed, then he will threaten and this time possibly force a confrontation. Within a couple of years of any future unification of the peninsula, the people of the former South Korea will be facing the same deprivations the North Koreans face today. The wealth and manufacturing of South Korea will be wasted and falling into disrepair as it is not required for maintaining his military, the only item he actually cares about other than the missiles and warheads. The entirety of the South Korean industrial infrastructure will be used to construct more military equipment, more planes, more tanks, more ships as Kim Jong-un sees himself as a conqueror and the leader of the world should he get half the opportunity. That is the man President Trump is about to trust, a man who only believes there are two kinds of people, those who are strong and meant to rule and those who treasure peace.


Beyond the Cusp


December 18, 2014

The World Has Gone Crazy! And Here Are Some Reasons Why

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Yesterday there might have been even the slightest possibility that the world might recover its senses, but alas such has slid even further towards the cliff and might actually have slid beyond the cusp and all that’s left is the drop into the unchartered waters which lead inexorably to societal collapse and chaos. We might have made our way back from beyond the cusp of reason after President Obama stated that ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, was not Islamic ignoring their adherence to the later Quran, the Quran written in Medina where Muhammad reached a position equivalent to a War Lord commanding the largest caravan raiding group which also made him the ruler of Medina and its surrounding areas. If we could by some miracle have Muslims adopt the earlier writings in the Quran written in Mecca before Muhammad reached any level of power and was mostly spurned despite his words of peace and coexistence, Islam’s followers would be welcome additions throughout all societies and the more observant the better their acceptance. He was eventually chased and exiled from Mecca by the prevailing powers as they likely saw him as either a potential threat or an annoyance. Muhammad being chased from Mecca likely was instrumental in his eventual return with his forces to retake the city which had rejected him and force them to enlist in Islam as it had evolved into a religion which was to be spread by persuasion where possible and force where persuasion had failed. Perhaps President Obama was raised in Indonesia where he attended a Madrassa in the tenets of the early Mecca Quran and by those delineations and definitions ISIS would not be observing Islamic law. Still, it is a stretch to believe that President Obama is not familiar with the entirety of the Quran or that none of his advisors are familiar with the Quran. If that is true, then the President needs to find at least one expert on Islam to advise him, and I am not available for the job at any government pay scale.


Then there were the numerous tumultuous events throughout the world so far this week a few of which were covered yesterday. The last couple of days have extended and stretched credulity to the point where it has to have snapped and been torn asunder, placing the world into the ‘Twilight Zone’. First we had the European Union meeting to consider removing Hamas from the listings of terror organizations. Then they sent messages to Israeli media and government officials stating they still considered Hamas to be a terrorist group and then European Court of Justice within minutes ruled that Hamas was no longer considered a terrorist group and the European Union accepted their judgment. From there we went to the logical follow-up of officially recognizing a Palestinian State. Needless to say, the European Union gave warm words intended to soothe Israeli fears and assure them that they in no way intended to recognize a Palestinian State and were still one-hundred-percent behind a Palestinians State coming from negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Arab leadership. Then just hours after removing Hamas from the list of terrorist entities, the European Union Parliament voted to recognize Palestinian State by four-hundred-ninety-eight votes in favor to eighty-eight votes against and with one-hundred-eleven delegates abstaining. This now will be used by all the European nations who desire to recognize a Palestinian State using this move by the European Union statute.


Believe it or not, there are still a small core of nations whose leaderships are showing definitive signs of logic, reason and morality. As we covered not that long ago, Switzerland is holding a confab titled, “Conference on Humanitarian Law in Palestinian Authority’s Assigned Territories” which they claim they have been working towards gaining the largest possible number of nations attending for a number of weeks since the United Nations General Assembly passed by a large majority a motion calling for a conference dealing with the charges against Israel under the Fourth Geneva Convention which was submitted before the body by the Palestinian Observer to the United Nations. The United States, Israel and Australia have notified the Swiss that they will not be in attendance. But going the extra step worthy of noting and quoting is the leadership of Canada, a friend like which Israel has rarely enjoyed. Quoting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird stating, while informing the media, the Swiss, the world and all those who rush to demonize Israel, that will not attend Wednesday’s anti-Israel conference in Switzerland dealing with, “respect for international humanitarian law in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) assigned territories.” But that was not all, he continued, “Canada is deeply disappointed by the convening of this one-sided and politicized conference, which serves only to single out one country, Israel, for criticism.” And this wonderful and capably strong stated spokesman went further declaring, “Canada has complete faith in the strength of the rule of law in Israel, and we believe the Israelis are capable of investigating matters surrounding the events that took place in Gaza in the summer of 2014.” Next he entered an accusatory stage stating, “This conference risks undermining the integrity and credibility of the Geneva Conventions and the neutrality of their application.” And finally he reached his conclusion summing everything up with, “Such a misguided approach will neither serve the cause of peace nor bring the parties closer to a negotiated settlement.” Quoting Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird is simply uplifting, refreshing and such a breath of fresh air clearing away the normal mundane inanities we have to put up with most of the time. Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper is another such hero who takes a strong stand in supporting Israel and speaking truth against the hail of slanders when dealing with issues concerning Israel. Ruining this glorious series of quotes, we return to Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, who retorted to the Canadian announcement, we expect to have a “very large participation” in the conference. He concluded, “Our objective is to advance the cause of international humanitarian law. Even if Israel and the United States boycott the meeting, the international community must speak on the issue. There is no denigration of Israel planned.” Needless to deduce, should denigration of Israel result, there will be numerous representatives attending, the Swiss included, just leaping to their feet and objecting to such commentary and nobody would ever jump on board and echo such denigrations and adding their own additional twists and accusations. Add this conference to the world gone mad, and especially the European leadership from Portugal to the Ukraine.


Speaking of the Ukraine, there has been a steady streaming of Russian provided weaponry, both small arms and heavy weapons including tanks and armored personnel carriers into the war torn eastern Ukraine resupplying the Russian aligned rebels. The Ukraine will be in turmoil and largely standing alone in the world with every respectable nation shaking at the prospect of facing off against Russia’s Putin who it is now claimed is feeling pressured horribly by the falling oil prices depressing an already weak economy. Putin has been using military adventurism as a distraction from the economic woes and with this current downward pressure Putin is likely to become even further driven in his adventurism. There have been rumors that there has been Russian pressure being placed on regions of Lithuania which has raised fears that Putin might actually challenge NATO by moving against some of NATO’s eastern European members. It has been long known that the Russians were displeased with the admissions of their former satellite countries, especially those closest geographically to Russia such as Lithuania.


Add to everything else that Iran, who arms and finances Hamas and Hezballah, will probably declare themselves to have entered the nuclear club as a result of the lack of will from the rest of the world to prevent their thus arming themselves. With a nuclear armed Iran, one has to wonder whether a tactical nuclear weapon might be deployed by Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad against the rebel, al-Qaeda aligned forces or ISIS positions escalating the civil war to a whole new and frightening level. There would also be a potential for Hamas or Hezballah to be so armed which would completely change the complexity of the threats against Israel raising the threat of a nuclear exchange in the Middle East. Such a situation would also be a great challenge to the United States fleets in the Persian Gulf, especially considering that the Iranians are rumored to have received advanced Sunburn anti-ship missiles which carry a seven-hundred-fifty pound conventional warhead or a miniaturized nuclear device. Additionally, with the recent revelations of the advanced state of Russian and Chinese nuclear programs and missile technology resulting from their sizeable investments, as reported here, over the past decade or more and their sharing many of their advances with North Korea and Iran furthers the possibility for a conflict in the Middle East backed by the threat from Iran to resort to the use of nuclear weapons should any nation oppose their moves which may come against Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arabian Gulf nations possibly with the exception of their ally Qatar to take control of their Shiite areas claiming to restore these former Persian areas to their rightful control. With so much of the world on edge, embroiled in conflict and fearing other threats and dangers wherever one looks that it seems that we are simply waiting for the fuse to finish burning through the very short remainder of the fuse and the explosions to spread as a wildfire throughout the globe.


Beyond the Cusp


December 15, 2014

Obama Ignores Russian Discovery that Neuters Nuclear Warheads


Recent revelations have indicated that the Russians have discovered a neutering weakness of all the nuclear warheads in the arsenals of the United States and likely other nuclear powers as well. This discovery which completely alters any perceived balance of power is that the heat shields used on the United States nuclear missiles use polymeric compounds as a component in their heat shields which protect the warhead during the stages of reentry are able to be destroyed when subjected to intense x-rays. This discovery means that if the warheads which utilized polymers that were reinforced with asbestos fibers, such as the aging United States arsenal employ, were subjected to an intense blast of x-rays they would literally become brittle and crumble when subjected to reentry vibrations and thus permit the heat of reentry to cook and destroy the warheads. This would mean that the Russians would need to simply launch a few nuclear warheads to detonate within a reasonable distance of even an all-out nuclear strike from the United States and the resultant burst of x-rays, along with gamma-rays and other effects, would cause the entirety of the missiles to be crippled as their heat shields would become compromised making the entire strike to become ineffective and inert. Such a discovery would make the United States enter into a frantic and immediate upgrading of their nuclear warheads and thus modernizing them in such a manner as to make them no longer susceptible to such a neutering vulnerability. Hard as it may seem to believe but the current budget actually decreased the funding for maintenance of the United States nuclear arsenal.


This decreasing of the budget for upkeep and research into ways to modernize the United States nuclear arsenal is also surprising for other reasons. One glaring reason has been the upgrading and researches the Russians and the Chinese have invested in with their nuclear inventories with both nations producing nuclear weapons which are two generations removed from those which they maintained previously to gain parity with the NATO powers. The research that both nations have placed as a priority has been aided further with the recent exchange of information between the two world powers such that they have also gained from each other’s research and development. The Russians have almost completed a substantive upgrading of their entire nuclear inventory replacing their older warheads with their latest improved both their designs and the means of weaponizing the detonation sequencing for greater yields and also for specialized effects such as using warheads specifically for generating EMP waves or neutron yields which leave structures relatively intact while causing yields of radiation that is lethal for living organisms. Meanwhile the United States has sat idle in the fields of nuclear weapons research and has retained with minimal upkeep their weapons from the Cold War period. This makes the youngest warheads in the United States arsenal to be over thirty years of age. Fortunately for the United States, these just over thirty year old devices are equipped with a superior graphite-reinforced heat shields which are not vulnerable to a burst of x-rays or any other such vulnerability but the remainder of the United States and NATO warheads still have this vulnerability and there does not appear to be any great rush to upgrade these warheads.


When one thinks about the effect of the smug attitude amongst the western nations that they no longer need to upgrade their nuclear weapons and that there is no potential dangers where such weapons might enter into the exchanges in any future conflict shows a general disdain for preparing for any and all potential conflicts. This is the same smugness which has plagued the United States placing them in vulnerable positions and always having to play catch-up at the onset of hostilities. This smugness and perception that the world has entered a stage where committing a nation to start a war is beyond their ability to conceive and thus relegated to the realm of the impossible. Holding such an attitude will actually make the potential for a future war more likely than not as it leaves the United States, western nations of NATO and the free world in general ill prepared for any conflict which may occur. Such an attitude also ignores other realities such that these new developments in warhead design and rocket designs, some of which allow for the reentry vehicle carrying the warhead to approach its target along a trajectory other than a simple gravitational parameter making them impregnable to standard existing anti-missile systems, have been exchanged between Russia and China and thus likely to have been shared with North Korea and Iran. This would allow all these nations to produce nuclear weapons systems which could potentially be impervious to United States and NATO as well as potentially Israeli anti-missile interceptors currently in use. This would make the requirement for research and concurrent upgrading of the nuclear weapons systems and anti-missile systems urgent and of primary concern in the immediate future, but considering the complete aversion to the military and its requirements by the current administration under President Obama completely impossible. What is even more frightening is that the next President is also not likely to be all that interested in investing the funding and placing such emphasis on the urgent needs to acquire the leading minds in these fields to simply start what will need to be a prolonged and continuous effort.


The Russians and Chinese have been placing just such an emphasis on their weaponized systems including and especially nuclear warhead design and missile technology which made a special effort on making the missiles more capable of defeating anti-missile systems currently in use. These new warheads will have placed an emphasis to require newer systems which use particle beam and laser intercept pulsed systems as these would counter the newest systems as the delivery speed of the intercepting device would travel near or at the speed of light. Systems using rail-gun technologies would also be another area to research as such would be very practical for intercepting directed missiles such as the Russian and Chinese anti-ship Sunburst Missiles which carries a 750 pound conventional warhead or can carry a tactical nuclear warhead and has a range of up to one-hundred miles and reaches a top cruising speed of Mach 2.1 which is more than twice the speed of sound plus utilized a low height trajectory just over wave while performing erratic and radical course changes during flight enabling it to defeat most anti-missile defenses. This is but one of the new challenges that the Russian and Chinese have developed directly resultant to their doubling and redoubling their funding and investment in new and advanced weapons systems. Both nations realized that they would be incapable of matching the United States ship for ship, aircraft for aircraft and missile for missile so they instead invested in developing systems with vast capabilities and with a direct input demanding that these systems be capable of defeating all countermeasures in use by the United States and NATO nations. This is the situation which the western nations have thus far ignored either from disbelief that the Chinese or the Russians could have progressed that far ahead of the current technologies in use even though most of these systems are decades old with a few and rare exceptions.


The problem is more dire and serious than many in the west have realized as many of these technological advancements are being made available to nations who are potential enemies who would not think twice about attacking United States or NATO forces and initiating the confrontation responding to even the most minimal affront including rhetorical attacks which many would not perceive as rising to the level of causing an actual military response. Iran has been given access to the anti-ship Sunburn missile which they could conceivably use as a ground based weapon and not necessitate placing it on a ship which would be more vulnerable. Iranian technological expertise has been witnessed by Israel during their last operation in Gaza where they realized the extent to which Hamas and Islamic Jihad relied upon tunnels and underground stationing of rocket launching platforms which would rise up and fire their missile or rocket only to retreat back underground placing a cover which concealed the location from detection. These systems proved only to be vulnerable to detections based on knowledge gained through intelligence gathering. Gathering intelligence on Gaza is not anywhere near the difficulty that gathering such intelligence on Iran would pose simply due to proximity and size of area over which such intelligence would need to cover. Iran would pose an impossible challenge to even the highest and best intelligence gathering and would take a large investment and still might be dependent upon satellite data gathered over a prolonged period. As Russia has grown close with Iran especially in respect to arming Syria and Hezbollah which Iran has made ample investments purchasing weapons used by Iran and their satellite interests. China has a similar relationship with North Korea whose current leader is more of an enigma than a known and understood entity. All of these relations and new realities are challenges which the western nations need to realize, identify and invest in the necessary upgrades and the research which will produce the next generations of weapons systems and defenses. The west and the world in general cannot afford to enter any conflict being decades behind in technology and sophistication of their weapons and defensive systems and hope to have the time to play catch-up after hostilities have broken out. It was sufficient a challenge during World War II and one that almost cost the allies their victory. Had the Third Reich had just a few more months before the Normandy Invasions and Russian turning around the field of battle at Moscow and Stalingrad and they might have developed and produced their latest technologies such as jet aircraft and three-stage rockets capable of reaching the United States mainland from launchers within Europe and nuclear warheads to place atop such rockets and the results would have been very different. In the next conflict there will be no time to play catch-up as the distances which once proved to be insurmountable and provided the United States with a seclusion of invulnerability which has vanished in the current situations. Believing that the world has reached the sophistication where nobody would start a war because the potential price they might have to pay was too high is an innocence of thought and misunderstanding of the realities of the world that could prove fatal to any nation living under that dream. There are nations, Iran and North Korea come to mind and potentially Russia should their internal distress reach an unbearable point, for whom starting a war despite the potential for devastating result on the home front would not be sufficient deterrence. Can the west honestly believe they are safe because nobody would dare be fool enough to attack them as doing so would be suicide? First off, are they sure it would be suicide and if so is that an honest assessment? There are no such guarantees that the world will act in any manner which some believe are based on valid and sane assessments as nations throughout history have entered into conflicts which were ill thought out and resulted in disasters. They will continue to do so in the future as mankind has not actually evolved beyond such foolishness no matter how much we desire to believe so.


Beyond the Cusp


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