Friday, November 24, 2017

A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)


A Look at the Tri-State’s Active Fault Line


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.
In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.
But the New Jersey-New York region is relatively seismically stable according to Dr. Dave Robinson, Professor of Geography at Rutgers. Although it does have activity.
“There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,” said Robinson. “There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.”
Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage: “The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,” he said.
“More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.
Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.
In 1884, according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website, the  Rampao Fault was blamed for a 5.5 quake that toppled chimneys in New York City and New Jersey that was felt from Maine to Virginia.
“Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Speed Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

East Coast Earthquakes’ Speed Is Faster Than Previously Thought, Geologists Say


Posted:

RICHMOND, Va. — Data from the 2011 earthquake centered in Virginia shows East Coast tremors can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought, the U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday.
The agency estimated about one-third of the U.S. population could have felt the magnitude 5.8 tremor centered about 50 miles northwest of Richmond, which would mean more people were affected than any earthquake in U.S. history. Scientists also found the quake that caused more than $200 million in damage triggered landslides at distances four times farther and over an area 20 times larger than research from previous quakes has shown.
“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” USGS Director Marcia McNutt said in a news release about the findings presented at the Geological Society of America conference in Charlotte, N.C.
Researchers used landslides to see how far-reaching the shaking from East coast earthquakes could be. The unexpected jolt cracked the Washington Monument in spots and toppled delicate masonry high atop the National Cathedral. The shaking was felt from Georgia to New England.
According to the findings, the farthest landslide from the quake was 150 miles from the epicenter, a greater distance than any other similar-sized earthquake. Previous similar quakes have resulted in landslides no farther than 36 miles from the epicenter.
Additionally, the landslides from the 2011 tremor occurred in an area of about 12,895 square-miles – about the size of the state of Maryland. Previous studies indicated an area of about 580 square-miles – about the size of Houston – from an earthquake of similar magnitude.
“It’s just much more dangerous to have an earthquake at that level back on the East Coast than it would be on the West Coast,” said Edwin Harp, a USGS scientist and co-author of the study. “If something big happened, although it’s much less frequent, it would tend to damage a lot more buildings because they’re probably not quite up to the codes that they are in California.”
Geologic structure and rock properties on the East Coast allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening compared with the West Coast, Harp said.
He said equations used to predict ground shaking might need to be revised now that scientists know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes.
The information also will help with building codes as well as emergency preparedness, the USGS said.
While West Coast earthquake veterans scoffed at what they viewed as only a moderate temblor, the August 2011 quake changed the way officials along the East Coast viewed emergency preparedness. Emergency response plans that once focused on hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and snow are being revised to include quakes.
Some states have enacted laws specifically related to the quake, and there is anecdotal evidence of a spike in insurance coverage for earthquake damage.

Iran Claims the Middle East (Daniel 8:4)

TEHRAN – The fall of Daesh in Syria was a defeat for the United States, Leader of the Islamic Revolution said in a meeting with large number of Basij members on Wednesday.
Speaking ahead of National Basij Week, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei applauded the endeavors of the young men in nullifying U.S. plots and conspiracies in West Asia, saying, “In the region, the Islamic Republic and you, young individuals, managed to bring America to its knees and defeat it. All their efforts and plots were aimed at clearing up the ideologies of the Islamic Revolution or resistance from the region, but the exact opposite occurred.”
“The real cause of the demise of the cancerous tumor of Daesh was the Basiji morale. Enemies tried to use this inhuman, Takfiri group to render an incident against the resistance current, but devout, zealous, and motivated youth entered the battlefield and brought the enemy to his knees.”
Citing the 1979 Islamic Revolution as an example on how victory can be achieved, Ayatollah Khamenei touched on extraordinary successes against terrorists in Syria and Iraq but other countries were doubtful and willing to submit to the enemy's plots.
"One of the enemy's known strategies is to disappoint our youth. Unfortunately, some act like mouthpieces for the enemy, spreading hopelessness, saying it's not possible to resist such enemies. And, why not? The Islamic Republic has stood up against the enemies' avarice and has defeated the enemy in all cases."
Speaking on the success of the mobilization forces and nullify the enemies' conspiracies, the Leader said, "You have witnessed that these consecutive conspiracies, which were created in this region by America, Zionists, Arab reactionaries and others, were destroyed by the sovereignty of the Islamic Revolution. One of the conspiracies was the inhumane Takfiri group, Daesh, which was destroyed, thanks to the efforts of faithful men, with the help of those who supported the resistance force."
Ayatollah Khamenei then mentioned how vast the manifestation of Islamic Revolution's ideals became in the midst of fight against the enemy, although some were doubtful.
"Even in some of our neighboring countries, sometimes, they did not believe that it was possible to accomplish this [defeat of Daesh]. But, they had to join the fight: they entered the battlefield; they succeeded and came to believe it was possible. This is how the message of the Islamic Republic, the message of the revolution, reaches other nations."

How We Helped the Pakistani Nuclear Horn

The visit of the American secretary of state to the region in October generated contrasting reports, none more than those from Islamabad and New Delhi. Now that the dust has settled, it is time to move beyond the optics and peer behind the public announcements made by the principal actors. While there was coherence between secretary Rex Tillerson’s official statement after talks in India with those attributed to "sources who were present in the meeting," the divergence is stark in press reports datelined Islamabad.
Army
The Dawn of Pakistan wrote that foreign minister Khwaja Asif briefed their Senate that Americans were told, “Pakistan does not want any military hardware, economic resources or material gain from Washington. Rather, Pakistan wants a relationship based on equality with the US.”
That, coming from a state that has been bailed out over the years by the US, is indeed brow-raising. That there were no one-on-one meetings, but a combined civil-army Pakistan delegation that dialogued with the Americans, was rich in symbolism.
Fast forward to Indian reports quoting "sources" in Delhi that while in Islamabad, “Tillerson did not pull any punches,” and “a stern message has been given” to Pakistan.
Where lies the truth and what has given Pakistan leadership such confidence that secretary Tillerson was received at the airport by a junior foreign service officer? The days of Pakistan being run by the three As — Army, Allah and America — seem to be undergoing a metamorphosis!
Indeed, the tenor of statements conveys that Pakistan considers itself the new manipulator in town, the targets being the US, Russia and, in future, China, with India not being on stage. As Dawn quoted from the Asif brief in the Senate, “There will only be room for improvement if Washington accepts their defeat, their failures in Afghanistan. They are not ready to accept this.”
This in-your-face stance and the new found confidence is due to four reasons. First, an improvement in law and order indicated by the slow resumption of international cricketing ties; that a Sri Lankan eleven, a team an attack on whom resulted in foreign teams not visiting Pakistan, would be the first national team to play in Lahore is emblematic.
Second, an improvement in economic performance with GDP at five per cent, and supposedly rising to six per cent in the coming years. Third, a greater assertion of the military post the exit of Nawaz Sharif, where there is continuity of thought, policy, and plans, as against the periodically uprooted civilian government(s). Last, and most important, perhaps an assessment in Pakistan that its acquiescence to CPEC now could, in time to come, actually make China indebted to it. A far-fetched idea? Read-on.
Time
Recent geo-political events show that, over passage of time, many benefactors become beholden to their clients due the interdependence that develops during the period — this later converts to major dependence. Nixon opened up to Mao to isolate USSR but the American economy became so dependent on China’s factories that, two decades later, Presidents Bush and Clinton turned a blind eye to China’s human rights record while giving the annual clearance to Congress for continuation of its MFN status.
Why go far?
Due its geo-strategic location, the US looked the other way vis-a-vis Pakistan’s tango with terrorist organisations and showered military and economic aid to turn Afghanistan into USSR’s Vietnam; the same terrorists returned to bite the US in 9/11 but Pakistan’s location has created such a dependency for logistic supplies for US troops in Afghanistan that the Americans cannot coerce Islamabad sufficiently. Similarly, for geo-political reasons, Russia too is cosying up to Pakistan which played the major role in its Afghanistan disaster.
Link
So, where is the link between CPEC and Pakistan’s new found confidence?
In the coming years, the fast developing US-Japan-Vietnam-Australia-India consort, as also the resurrection of the "quad," would make Malacca even more of a dilemma for its energy imports, rendering the $60 billion CPEC a critical energy and communication link for Beijing.
The alternate one for China through Myanmar, too, would be similarly threatened by the naval tango that is burgeoning between the Indian and other navies. Where would that leave Pakistan? Nuclear-capable Islamabad could then not be as beholden to China as it is now; Beijing may find it difficult to influence its client, just the way Pyongyang is refusing to tow the line after having extracted nuclear and economic benefits from it.
Pakistan’s belligerence being witnessed now could be the first signal of an emerging puppeteer. Islamabad has perfected the art of manipulating Western thinking by pulling nuclear and terrorist strings; the Chinese investment in, and its dependence on CPEC, could actually constitute a new string in that expert puppeteer’s hands.

The Pakistani Horn Secures Her Nukes


Pakistan nuclear weapons in tunneled storage - Satellite image
A satellite image showing Pakistan's tunnelled nuclear storage at Kirana Hills | Photo by Vinayak Bhat
Satellite images show Pakistan’s underground facilities at Kirana Hills in Punjab province are well-guarded; the site was used to conduct nuclear tests in the 1980s.  
However, most modern air forces possess bombs called earth penetrators that can be used to destroy such vaults.
Pakistan has made these tunnels almost impenetrable. An analysis of satellite images taken from 2009 to 3 June 2017 reveals how Pakistan has made special efforts to make its tunnels at Kirana Hills in Punjab province bomb-proof.
Kirana Hills
The underground facility at Kirana Hills lies approximately 8 km southeast of the Sargodha Air Base. The facility covers an area of 67.59 sq km with a perimeter of 39 km. The complete area is probably acquired by the Pakistan government to avoid any security infringements.
The area is well guarded and secure from various threats and hazards. The facility is well connected with road, rail and air.
The facility had come into prominence when US satellites detected preparations for nuclear tests by Pakistan between 1983 and 1990. The tests were called off after strong objections from Washington in 1990.

Underground Tunnels
The tunnels have entrances that are 5-15 m wide. They are located at different heights above the ground level suggesting there is a huge area inside it — at least three-storey tall. Also, the tunnels appear to be interconnected.
Pakistan seems to have decided to focus on safeguarding the entrances since early 2016, as satellite images suggest. Six of the tunnel entrances have been chosen for the special construction, designed to withstand the effects of kinetic weapons. The rest will probably be constructed in the second phase.
Strong Base

The base is dug quite deep to support a very strong structure coming up above it. The structure suggests that the base will be able to withstand the pressures of multiple layers of reinforced concrete, steel, rock rubbleand/or soil overburden.
Walls
The walls are at least 2.5 to 5 m wide. The images suggest that these walls are constructed with cement concrete reinforced with iron rods possibly in three layers. These iron rods are generally thermo-mechanically treated (TMT) and low on sulphur, phosphorous and carbon contents. RCC walls of such huge thickness would be able to withstand any kind of indirect or direct blast from side.
Wire Mesh and explosive layer

A sliding layer of wire mesh, designed to detonate the contact fuse, is observed on these constructions. Any explosion won’t affect the actual concrete or steel layer.
Apart from this, there exists a gap of about 5-6 m between the wire mesh and steel plates, above and below. This gap, in all probabilities, would contain a layer or two of high explosives. These are expected to be in conical shape with cones facing upwards. These explosives will react to any missile attack by dissipating the effects of blast and stopping further penetration of the missile.

Steel Plates

There are at least two layers of steel plates. These are probably above and below the wire mesh layer. These layers are likely to be made of compressed high-grade steel, designed to withstand the effects of kinetic weapons.
Pathways
The pathways from these rectangular entrances to the actual tunnels are almost 20-40 m away. They are probably constructed with high-strength forged steel in at least two layers. The inner layer is semi-circular and the outer is square shaped. This would later be covered with reinforced concrete and compacted soil of 10-20m and camouflaged to merge with the mountains in the backdrop.

Col Vinayak Bhat (retd) is a Military Intelligence veteran of the Indian Army with vast experience of satellite imagery analysis. He has worked as a Chinese interpreter and is a specialist on PLA and Pakistan’s armed forces. He tweets @rajfortyseven.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Sixth Seal Will be in New York (Rev 6:12)

Earthquakes Can Happen in More Places Than You Think
By Simon Worrall
PUBLISHED AUGUST 26, 2017
Half a million earthquakes occur worldwide each year, according to an estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Most are too small to rattle your teacup. But some, like the 2011 quake off the coast of Japan or last year’s disaster in Italy, can level high-rise buildings, knock out power, water and communications, and leave a lifelong legacy of trauma for those unlucky enough to be caught in them.
In the U.S., the focus is on California’s San Andreas fault, which geologists suggest has a nearly one-in-five chance of causing a major earthquake in the next three decades. But it’s not just the faults we know about that should concern us, says Kathryn Miles, author of Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake. As she explained when National Geographic caught up with her at her home in Portland, Maine, there’s a much larger number of faults we don’t know about—and fracking is only adding to the risks.
When it comes to earthquakes, there is really only one question everyone wants to know: When will the big one hit California?
That’s the question seismologists wish they could answer, too! One of the most shocking and surprising things for me is just how little is actually known about this natural phenomenon. The geophysicists, seismologists, and emergency managers that I spoke with are the first to say, “We just don’t know!”
What we can say is that it is relatively certain that a major earthquake will happen in California in our lifetime. We don’t know where or when. An earthquake happening east of San Diego out in the desert is going to have hugely different effects than that same earthquake happening in, say, Los Angeles. They’re both possible, both likely, but we just don’t know.
One of the things that’s important to understand about San Andreas is that it’s a fault zone. As laypeople we tend to think about it as this single crack that runs through California and if it cracks enough it’s going to dump the state into the ocean. But that’s not what’s happening here. San Andreas is a huge fault zone, which goes through very different types of geological features. As a result, very different types of earthquakes can happen in different places.
There are other places around the country that are also well overdue for an earthquake. New York City has historically had a moderate earthquake approximately every 100 years. If that is to be trusted, any moment now there will be another one, which will be devastating for that city.
As Charles Richter, inventor of the Richter Scale, famously said, “Only fools, liars and charlatans predict earthquakes.” Why are earthquakes so hard to predict? After all, we have sent rockets into space and plumbed the depths of the ocean.
You’re right: We know far more about distant galaxies than we do about the inner workings of our planet. The problem is that seismologists can’t study an earthquake because they don’t know when or where it’s going to happen. It could happen six miles underground or six miles under the ocean, in which case they can’t even witness it. They can go back and do forensic, post-mortem work. But we still don’t know where most faults lie. We only know where a fault is after an earthquake has occurred. If you look at the last 100 years of major earthquakes in the U.S., they’ve all happened on faults we didn’t even know existed.
Earthquakes 101
Earthquakes are unpredictable and can strike with enough force to bring buildings down. Find out what causes earthquakes, why they’re so deadly, and what’s being done to help buildings sustain their hits.
Fracking is a relatively new industry. Many people believe that it can cause what are known as induced earthquakes. What’s the scientific consensus?
The scientific consensus is that a practice known as wastewater injection undeniably causes earthquakes when the geological features are conducive. In the fracking process, water and lubricants are injected into the earth to split open the rock, so oil and natural gas can be retrieved. As this happens, wastewater is also retrieved and brought back to the surface.
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Different states deal with this in different ways. Some states, like Pennsylvania, favor letting the wastewater settle in aboveground pools, which can cause run-off contamination of drinking supplies. Other states, like Oklahoma, have chosen to re-inject the water into the ground. And what we’re seeing in Oklahoma is that this injection is enough to shift the pressure inside the earth’s core, so that daily earthquakes are happening in communities like Stillwater. As our technology improves, and both our ability and need to extract more resources from the earth increases, our risk of causing earthquakes will also rise exponentially.
After Fukushima, the idea of storing nuclear waste underground cannot be guaranteed to be safe. Yet President Trump has recently green-lighted new funds for the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Is that wise?
The issue with Fukushima was not about underground nuclear storage but it is relevant. The Tohoku earthquake, off the coast of Japan, was a massive, 9.0 earthquake—so big that it shifted the axis of the earth and moved the entire island of Japan some eight centimeters! It also created a series of tsunamis, which swamped the Fukushima nuclear power plant to a degree the designers did not believe was possible.
Here in the U.S., we have nuclear plants that are also potentially vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, above all on the East Coast, like Pilgrim Nuclear, south of Boston, or Indian Point, north of New York City. Both of these have been deemed by the USGS to have an unacceptable level of seismic risk. [Both are scheduled to close in the next few years.]
Yucca Mountain is meant to address our need to store the huge amounts of nuclear waste that have been accumulating for more than 40 years. Problem number one is getting it out of these plants. We are going to have to somehow truck or train these spent fuel rods from, say, Boston, to a place like Yucca Mountain, in Nevada. On the way it will have to go through multiple earthquake zones, including New Madrid, which is widely considered to be one of the country’s most dangerous earthquake zones.
Yucca Mountain itself has had seismic activity. Ultimately, there’s no great place to put nuclear waste—and there’s no guarantee that where we do put it is going to be safe.
The psychological and emotional effects of an earthquake are especially harrowing. Why is that?
This is a fascinating and newly emerging subfield within psychology, which looks at the effects of natural disasters on both our individual and collective psyches. Whenever you experience significant trauma, you’re going to see a huge increase in PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicide, and even violent behaviors.
What seems to make earthquakes particularly pernicious is the surprise factor. A tornado will usually give people a few minutes, if not longer, to prepare; same thing with hurricanes. But that doesn’t happen with an earthquake. There is nothing but profound surprise. And the idea that the bedrock we walk and sleep upon can somehow become liquid and mobile seems to be really difficult for us to get our heads around.
Psychologists think that there are two things happening. One is a PTSD-type loop where our brain replays the trauma again and again, manifesting itself in dreams or panic attacks during the day. But there also appears to be a physiological effect as well as a psychological one. If your readers have ever been at sea for some time and then get off the ship and try to walk on dry land, they know they will look like drunkards. [Laughs] The reason for this is that the inner ear has habituated itself to the motion of the ship. We think the inner ear does something similar in the case of earthquakes, in an attempt to make sense of this strange, jarring movement.
After the Abruzzo quake in Italy, seven seismologists were actually tried and sentenced to six years in jail for failing to predict the disaster. Wouldn’t a similar threat help improve the prediction skills of American seismologists?
[Laughs] The scientific community was uniform in denouncing that action by the Italian government because, right now, earthquakes are impossible to predict. But the question of culpability is an important one. To what degree do we want to hold anyone responsible? Do we want to hold the local meteorologist responsible if he gets the weather forecast wrong? [Laughs]
What scientists say—and I don’t think this is a dodge on their parts—is, “Predicting earthquakes is the Holy Grail; it’s not going to happen in our lifetime. It may never happen.” What we can do is work on early warning systems, where we can at least give people 30 or 90 seconds to make a few quick decisive moves that could well save your life. We have failed to do that. But Mexico has had one in place for years!
There is some evidence that animals can predict earthquakes. Is there any truth to these theories?
All we know right now is anecdotal information because this is so hard to test for. We don’t know where the next earthquake is going to be so we can’t necessarily set up cameras and observe the animals there. So we have to rely on these anecdotal reports, say, of reptiles coming out of the ground prior to a quake. The one thing that was recorded here in the U.S. recently was that in the seconds before an earthquake in Oklahoma huge flocks of birds took flight. Was that coincidence? Related? We can’t draw that correlation yet.
One of the fascinating new approaches to prediction is the MyQuake app. Tell us how it works—and why it could be an especially good solution for Third World countries.
The USGS desperately wants to have it funded. The reluctance appears to be from Congress. A consortium of universities, in conjunction with the USGS, has been working on some fascinating tools. One is a dense network of seismographs that feed into a mainframe computer, which can take all the information and within nanoseconds understand that an earthquake is starting.
MyQuake is an app where you can get up to date information on what’s happening around the world. What’s fascinating is that our phones can also serve as seismographs. The same technology that knows which way your phone is facing, and whether it should show us an image in portrait or landscape, registers other kinds of movement. Scientists at UC Berkeley are looking to see if they can crowd source that information so that in places where we don’t have a lot of seismographs or measuring instruments, like New York City or Chicago or developing countries like Nepal, we can use smart phones both to record quakes and to send out early warning notices to people.
You traveled all over the U.S. for your research. Did you return home feeling safer?
I do not feel safer in the sense that I had no idea just how much risk regions of this country face on a daily basis when it comes to seismic hazards. We tend to think of this as a West Coast problem but it’s not! It’s a New York, Memphis, Seattle, or Phoenix problem. Nearly every major urban center in this country is at risk of a measurable earthquake.
What I do feel safer about is knowing what I can do as an individual. I hope that is a major take-home message for people who read the book. There are so many things we should be doing as individuals, family members, or communities to minimize this risk: simple things from having a go-bag and an emergency plan amongst the family to larger things like building codes.
We know that a major earthquake is going to happen. It’s probably going to knock out our communications lines. Phones aren’t going to work, Wi-Fi is going to go down, first responders are not going to be able to get to people for quite some time. So it is beholden on all of us to make sure we can survive until help can get to us.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.

The New Nuclear Race (Revelation 15)


In modernizing nuclear arsenal, world powers stoke new arms race

 
The next year, while warning that Washington would retain the ability to retaliate against a nuclear strike, he promised that America would develop no new types of atomic weapons.
Within 16 months of his inauguration, the United States and Russia negotiated the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as New START, meant to build trust and cut the risk of nuclear war.
It limited each side to what the treaty counts as 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads.
By the time Obama left office in January 2017, the risk of Armageddon hadn’t receded.
Instead, Washington was well along in a modernization program that is making nearly all of its nuclear weapons more accurate and deadly. And Russia was doing the same:
Its weapons badly degraded from neglect after the Cold War, Moscow had begun its own modernization years earlier under President Vladimir Putin.
It built new, more powerful ICBMs, and developed a series of tactical nuclear weapons.
The United States under Obama transformed its main hydrogen bomb into a guided smart weapon, made its submarine-launched nuclear missiles five times more accurate, and gave its land-based long-range missiles so many added features that the Air Force in 2012 described them as “basically new.”
To deliver these more lethal weapons, military contractors are building fleets of new heavy bombers and submarines.
President Donald Trump has worked hard to undo much of Obama’s legacy, but he has embraced the modernization program enthusiastically.
Trump has ordered the Defense Department to complete a review of the US nuclear arsenal by the end of this year.
Reuters reported in February that in a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump denounced the New START treaty and rejected Putin’s suggestion that talks begin about extending it once it expires in 2021.
Some former senior US government officials, legislators and arms-control specialists – many of whom once backed a strong nuclear arsenal – are now warning that the modernization push poses grave dangers.
They argue that the upgrades contradict the rationales for New START – to ratchet down the level of mistrust and reduce risk of intentional or accidental nuclear war.
The latest improvements, they say, make the US and Russian arsenals both more destructive and more tempting to deploy.
“The idea that we could somehow fine tune a nuclear conflict is really dangerous thinking,” says Kingston Reif, director of disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based think tank.
One leader of this group, William Perry, who served as defense secretary under President Bill Clinton, said recently in a Q&A on YouTube that “the danger of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War.”
Perry told Reuters that both the United States and Russia have upgraded their arsenals in ways that make the use of nuclear weapons likelier.
The US upgrade, he said, has occurred almost exclusively behind closed doors.
“It is happening without any basic public discussion,” he said. “We’re just doing it.”
The cause of arms control got a publicity boost in October when the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a Geneva organization, won the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in getting the United Nations General Assembly in July to adopt a nuclear prohibition treaty.
The United States, Russia and other nuclear powers boycotted the treaty negotiations.
The US modernization program has many supporters in addition to Trump, however. There is little or no pressure in Congress to scale it back.
Backers argue that for the most part the United States is merely tweaking old weapons, not developing new ones. Some say that beefed up weapons are a more effective deterrent, reducing the chance of war.
Cherry Murray served until January as a top official at the Energy Department, which runs the US warhead inventory. She said the reduction in nuclear weapon stockpiles under New START makes it imperative that Washington improve its arsenal.