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.

The Fear of a Nuclear Trump


South Korean and U.S. marine fighter jets fly over the Korean Peninsula during a training on Aug. 31, 2017 in Gangwon-do, South Korea.
 
President Trump's unorthodox approach to foreign policy is causing rising anxiety among lawmakers and experts who worry about his singular authority to launch nuclear weapons.
While the first use of nuclear weapons is generally prohibited under international law, the speed of executing a strike means it would be difficult to stop the president if he decided to launch a unilateral attack, says Bruce Blair, a former nuclear missile launch officer and co-founder of Global Zero, a group that advocates eliminating nuclear weapons.
"The president has absolute authority, unilateral power to order the use of nuclear weapons," he tells Here & Now's Robin Young. "The legal question falls by the wayside if the president has carte blanche authority to order the use of nuclear weapons and all the means at his disposal to ensure that his decision is quickly implemented."
Speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said that he would challenge an order from Trump if it were illegal.
"I provide advice to the president," Hyten said. "He'll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm gonna say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.' Guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, 'What would be legal?' And we'll come up with options of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works."
But the president's sole launch authority has ignited a debate about whether there should be more checks and balances on the president's actions. As tensions between the U.S. and North Korea escalate, a group of senators raised concerns about Trump's temperament to handle this responsibility at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last week.
"We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests," said Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy.
Blair says that in order to launch a weapons strike, the president must alert his military aide who holds a suitcase, the so-called nuclear football, which contains attack options. Once the president orders the strike using a special code, the Pentagon immediately transmits the order to launch weapons.
Strategic Command also receives the order, but Blair explains, "If they felt that it was a really bad call or illegal, and they wanted to try to override it, they could try to transmit a termination order, but it would be too late."
Blair also says the legality of using nuclear weapons is unclear, which means the decision really is up to the president.
"The first use of nuclear weapons is almost invariably going to be illegal because they're not necessary and because they will cause collateral damage against civilian populations and in other ways violate the law of war," Blair says. "But that's not really the way that it's viewed from the inside."
In a 1996 advisory opinion, the International Court of Justice concluded that the threat or use of nuclear weapons generally violates international law governing armed conflict and humanitarian law, declaring that "states must never make civilians the object of attack."
But according to the Arms Control Association, a legal gap allows for the possible lawful use of such weapons.
The court stated in its opinion "that it cannot reach a definitive conclusion as to the legality or illegality of the use of nuclear weapons by a State in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which its very survival would be at stake."
Though only Congress has the power to declare war, retired Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, former commander of Strategic Command, testified last week that "only the president of the United States can order the employment of U.S. nuclear weapons." Massachusetts Republican Sen. Ed Markey has proposed legislation that would require congressional approval for any first use of nuclear weapons.
When pressed further by senators, Kehler said he didn't know what would happen if Trump ignored the military's order to stand down on a nuclear strike deemed illegal. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed this would amount to a constitutional crisis.
Blair agrees there are not enough people in the chain of command to slow down the authorization process.
The nuclear codes are "the length of a tweet," he says. "It would take them one or two minutes to format and transmit that directly down the chain of command to the executing commanders of the underground launch centers, the submarines and the bombers."

Iran Moves into Syria and Iraq (Daniel 8:4)

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The Islamic State Is Finished In Iraq and Syria, Iran Declares

By Jack Moore On 11/21/17 at 3:32 AM

Iranian leaders on Tuesday declared the end of the territorial hold of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made the announcement in a live address on state TV, Reuters reported.
Qasem Soleimami, the notorious and secretive leader of the country's elite Quds Force, sent a message to the country's highest religious figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also stating that ISIS's caliphate in Iraq and Syria was finished, according to the Guards official news site Sepah.
The Islamic Republic, a predominantly Shiite nation, has been aiding the government in Baghdad and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria against ISIS and in aid of Assad's six year battle to hold onto power amid a protracted civil war with moderate rebels and Salafists.
It has offered an advisory role to both countries and has provided battlefield assistance in the form of Shiite militiamen from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the support of its Lebanese proxy group Hezbollah.
But it has not remained immune from the effects of ISIS domestically. In June, ISIS claimed responsibility for twin Tehran attacks on the Iranian parliament and a shrine dedicated to the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The attacks, carried out by gunmen and suicide bombers, killed 18 people.
Iran retaliated with missile strikes on ISIS-held territory in eastern Syria from a base in western Iran, the first such action against the group to be launched from inside the country.
ISIS no longer fully controls a major town or city after years of U.S.-led coalition and Russian airstrikes. Moscow and Tehran have allowed Syrian regime forces to oust the radical Islamist group from its last strongholds in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor. The group retains a presence in the eastern Syrian town of Abu Kamal, the central Syrian desert and in the borderlands of western Iraq.
Iran is fighting to maintain and even expand a Shiite crescent of influence across the Middle East, from Beirut to Baghdad, in its rivalry with regional Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia. It is supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthi rebels in Yemen against a Saudi-backed government and the Syrian government.
Its expansion of influence in the Middle East threatens key U.S. ally Israel, which Tehran considers to be its arch-enemy. Its leaders regularly threaten Israel with destruction.
President Donald Trump has railed against Iranian "misbehavior" in the Middle East and has pledged to roll back a landmark nuclear agreement signed with world powers in 2015 that he says is the worst signed in history. He says it returns billions to Iran in frozen assets that it can use to fund its activities in the Middle East.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New York Due for a HUGE Earthquake (Revelation 6:12)

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BIG ONE WARNING: New York due a HUGE earthquake
A plethora of fault lines beneath New York have created a “brittle grid” which is ready to rupture, experts have warned.The northeastern State in the US has been hit by big earthquakes in the past, including a magnitude five tremor in 1884 which devastated buildings.
Experts predict that quakes occur on the US’s most populous city every 150 years or so.
Geologist Dr Charles Merguerian has walked the entirety of Manhattan to study the “brittle grid” and determined that there are many faults running through the city that are almost ready to go, according to author Kathryn Miles in her new book ‘Quakeland: On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake’.
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Dr Merguerian says that New Yorkers need to brace themselves for the next major tremor. Now, Dr Merguerian says that New Yorkers need to brace themselves for the next major tremor. But, there is no way of predicting when exactly it will be.
He said: “All we can do is look at the record, and the record is that there was a relatively large earthquake here in the city in 1737, and in 1884, and that periodicity is about 150 year heat cycle.
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Earthquakes seem to happen every 150 years or so in New York

Buildings collapse on the Italian island of Ischia after earthquake

“So you have 1737, 1884, 20- and, we’re getting there. But statistics can lie.“An earthquake could happen any day, or it couldn’t happen for 100 years, and you just don’t know, there’s no way to predict.”
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An earthquake could hit New York
Predictions of the so called ‘Big One’ have been limited to eastern United States with previous research suggesting that California could be in for a devastating 9.0 quake in the future.But while all the focus is going on the Pacific Ocean-side of the States, Dr Merguerian says that the east is not without its earthquake risks.
He told Ms Miles: “We just have no consciousness towards earthquakes in the eastern United States.“And that’s a big mistake.”

Brace Yourselves for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

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Brace Yourselves, New Yorkers, You’re Due for a Major Quake
A couple of hundred thousand years ago, an M 7.2 earthquake shook what is now New Hampshire. Just a few thousand years ago, an M 7.5 quake ruptured just off the coast of Massachusetts. And then there’s New York.
Since the first western settlers arrived there, the state has witnessed 200 quakes of magnitude 2.0 or greater, making it the third most seismically active state east of the Mississippi (Tennessee and South Carolina are ranked numbers one and two, respectively). About once a century, New York has also experienced an M 5.0 quake capable of doing real damage.
The most recent one near New York City occurred in August of 1884. Centered off Long Island’s Rockaway Beach, it was felt over 70,000 square miles. It also opened enormous crevices near the Brooklyn reservoir and knocked down chimneys and cracked walls in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Police on the Brooklyn Bridge said it swayed “as if struck by a hurricane” and worried the bridge’s towers would collapse. Meanwhile, residents throughout New York and New Jersey reported sounds that varied from explosions to loud rumblings, sometimes to comic effect. At the funeral of Lewis Ingler, a small group of mourners were watching as the priest began to pray. The quake cracked an enormous mirror behind the casket and knocked off a display of flowers that had been resting on top of it. When it began to shake the casket’s silver handles, the mourners decided the unholy return of Lewis Ingler was more than they could take and began flinging themselves out windows and doors.
Not all stories were so light. Two people died during the quake, both allegedly of fright. Out at sea, the captain of the brig Alice felt a heavy lurch that threw him and his crew, followed by a shaking that lasted nearly a minute. He was certain he had hit a wreck and was taking on water.
A day after the quake, the editors of The New York Times sought to allay readers’ fear. The quake, they said, was an unexpected fluke never to be repeated and not worth anyone’s attention: “History and the researches of scientific men indicate that great seismic disturbances occur only within geographical limits that are now well defined,” they wrote in an editorial. “The northeastern portion of the United States . . . is not within those limits.” The editors then went on to scoff at the histrionics displayed by New York residents when confronted by the quake: “They do not stop to reason or to recall the fact that earthquakes here are harmless phenomena. They only know that the solid earth, to whose immovability they have always turned with confidence when everything else seemed transitory, uncertain, and deceptive, is trembling and in motion, and the tremor ceases long before their disturbed minds become tranquil.”
That’s the kind of thing that drives Columbia’s Heather Savage nuts.
New York, she says, is positively vivisected by faults. Most of them fall into two groups—those running northeast and those running northwest. Combined they create a brittle grid underlying much of Manhattan.
Across town, Charles Merguerian has been studying these faults the old‐fashioned way: by getting down and dirty underground. He’s spent the past forty years sloshing through some of the city’s muckiest places: basements and foundations, sewers and tunnels, sometimes as deep as 750 feet belowground. His tools down there consist primarily of a pair of muck boots, a bright blue hard hat, and a pickax. In public presentations, he claims he is also ably abetted by an assistant hamster named Hammie, who maintains his own website, which includes, among other things, photos of the rodent taking down Godzilla.
That’s just one example why, if you were going to cast a sitcom starring two geophysicists, you’d want Savage and Merguerian to play the leading roles. Merguerian is as eccentric and flamboyant as Savage is earnest and understated. In his press materials, the former promises to arrive at lectures “fully clothed.” Photos of his “lab” depict a dingy porta‐john in an abandoned subway tunnel. He actively maintains an archive of vintage Chinese fireworks labels at least as extensive as his list of publications, and his professional website includes a discography of blues tunes particularly suitable for earthquakes. He calls female science writers “sweetheart” and somehow manages to do so in a way that kind of makes them like it (although they remain nevertheless somewhat embarrassed to admit it).
It’s Merguerian’s boots‐on‐the‐ground approach that has provided much of the information we need to understand just what’s going on underneath Gotham. By his count, Merguerian has walked the entire island of Manhattan: every street, every alley. He’s been in most of the tunnels there, too. His favorite one by far is the newest water tunnel in western Queens. Over the course of 150 days, Merguerian mapped all five miles of it. And that mapping has done much to inform what we know about seismicity in New York.
Most importantly, he says, it provided the first definitive proof of just how many faults really lie below the surface there. And as the city continues to excavate its subterranean limits, Merguerian is committed to following closely behind. It’s a messy business.
Down below the city, Merguerian encounters muck of every flavor and variety. He power‐washes what he can and relies upon a diver’s halogen flashlight and a digital camera with a very, very good flash to make up the difference. And through this process, Merguerian has found thousands of faults, some of which were big enough to alter the course of the Bronx River after the last ice age.
His is a tricky kind of detective work. The center of a fault is primarily pulverized rock. For these New York faults, that gouge was the very first thing to be swept away by passing glaciers. To do his work, then, he’s primarily looking for what geologists call “offsets”—places where the types of rock don’t line up with one another. That kind of irregularity shows signs of movement over time—clear evidence of a fault.
Merguerian has found a lot of them underneath New York City.
These faults, he says, do a lot to explain the geological history of Manhattan and the surrounding area. They were created millions of years ago, when what is now the East Coast was the site of a violent subduction zone not unlike those present now in the Pacific’s Ring of Fire.
Each time that occurred, the land currently known as the Mid‐Atlantic underwent an accordion effect as it was violently folded into itself again and again. The process created immense mountains that have eroded over time and been further scoured by glaciers. What remains is a hodgepodge of geological conditions ranging from solid bedrock to glacial till to brittle rock still bearing the cracks of the collision. And, says Merguerian, any one of them could cause an earthquake.
You don’t have to follow him belowground to find these fractures. Even with all the development in our most built‐up metropolis, evidence of these faults can be found everywhere—from 42nd Street to Greenwich Village. But if you want the starkest example of all, hop the 1 train at Times Square and head uptown to Harlem. Not far from where the Columbia University bus collects people for the trip to the Lamont‐Doherty Earth Observatory, the subway tracks seem to pop out of the ground onto a trestle bridge before dropping back down to earth. That, however, is just an illusion. What actually happens there is that the ground drops out below the train at the site of one of New York’s largest faults. It’s known by geologists in the region as the Manhattanville or 125th Street Fault, and it runs all the way across the top of Central Park and, eventually, underneath Long Island City. Geologists have known about the fault since 1939, when the city undertook a massive subway mapping project, but it wasn’t until recently that they confirmed its potential for a significant quake.
In our lifetimes, a series of small earthquakes have been recorded on the Manhattanville Fault including, most recently, one on October 27, 2001. Its epicenter was located around 55th and 8th—directly beneath the original Original Soupman restaurant, owned by restaurateur Ali Yeganeh, the inspiration for Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. That fact delighted sitcom fans across the country, though few Manhattanites were in any mood to appreciate it.
The October 2001 quake itself was small—about M 2.6—but the effect on residents there was significant. Just six weeks prior, the city had been rocked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers. The team at Lamont‐Doherty has maintained a seismic network in the region since the ’70s. They registered the collapse of the first tower at M 2.1. Half an hour later, the second tower crumbled with even more force and registered M 2.3. In a city still shocked by that catastrophe, the early‐morning October quake—several times greater than the collapse of either tower—jolted millions of residents awake with both reminders of the tragedy and fear of yet another attack. 9‐1‐1 calls overwhelmed dispatchers and first responders with reports of shaking buildings and questions about safety in the city. For seismologists, though, that little quake was less about foreign threats to our soil and more about the possibility of larger tremors to come.
Remember: The Big Apple has experienced an M 5.0 quake about every hundred years. The last one was that 1884 event. And that, says Merguerian, means the city is overdue. Just how overdue?
“Gee whiz!” He laughs when I pose this question. “That’s the holy grail of seismicity, isn’t it?”
He says all we can do to answer that question is “take the pulse of what’s gone on in recorded history.” To really have an answer, we’d need to have about ten times as much data as we do today. But from what he’s seen, the faults below New York are very much alive.
“These guys are loaded,” he tells me.
He says he is also concerned about new studies of a previously unknown fault zone known as the Ramapo that runs not far from the city. Savage shares his concerns. They both think it’s capable of an M 6.0 quake or even higher—maybe even a 7.0. If and when, though, is really anybody’s guess.
“We literally have no idea what’s happening in our backyard,” says Savage.
What we do know is that these quakes have the potential to do more damage than similar ones out West, mostly because they are occurring on far harder rock capable of propagating waves much farther. And because these quakes occur in places with higher population densities, these eastern events can affect a lot more people. Take the 2011 Virginia quake: Although it was only a moderate one, more Americans felt it than any other one in our nation’s history.
That’s the thing about the East Coast: Its earthquake hazard may be lower than that of the West Coast, but the total effect of any given quake is much higher. Disaster specialists talk about this in terms of risk, and they make sense of it with an equation that multiplies the potential hazard of an event by the cost of damage and the number of people harmed. When you take all of those factors into account, the earthquake risk in New York is much greater than, say, that in Alaska or Hawaii or even a lot of the area around the San Andreas Fault.
Merguerian has been sounding the alarm about earthquake risk in the city since the ’90s. He admits he hasn’t gotten much of a response. He says that when he first proposed the idea of seismic risk in New York City, his fellow scientists “booed and threw vegetables” at him. He volunteered his services to the city’s Office of Emergency Management but says his original offer also fell on deaf ears.
“So I backed away gently and went back to academia.”
Today, he says, the city isn’t much more responsive, but he’s getting a much better response from his peers.
He’s glad for that, he says, but it’s not enough. If anything, the events of 9/11, along with the devastation caused in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, should tell us just how bad it could be there.
He and Savage agree that what makes the risk most troubling is just how little we know about it. When it comes right down to it, intraplate faults are the least understood. Some scientists think they might be caused by mantle flow deep below the earth’s crust. Others think they might be related to gravitational energy. Still others think quakes occurring there might be caused by the force of the Atlantic ridge as it pushes outward. Then again, it could be because the land is springing back after being compressed thousands of years ago by glaciers (a phenomenon geologists refer to as seismic rebound).
“We just have no consciousness towards earthquakes in the eastern United States,” says Merguerian. “And that’s a big mistake.”
Adapted from Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake by Kathryn Miles, published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Miles.

Israel Tries to Hold Back the Iranian Horn

If Israel had not taken action, Iran would already possess nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, in response to a joint U.S.-Russian statement Saturday outlining principles for post-war Syria.
Iran is a longtime backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Israel has long complained about the involvement of Iran and Iranian proxy Hezbollah in the ongoing civil war in Syria. Israel has said it will not tolerate the presence of Iran or its Shiite allies in Syria, particularly near Syria's shared border with Israel.
Israel signaled on Sunday that it would keep up military strikes to thwart the delivery of weapons to Hezbollah, as well as to prevent any encroachment by Iranian-allied forces.
"We are making sure Israel is secure, and we are doing it well – you know that," Netanyahu told his Likud party at their weekly meeting on Monday.
"We are doing it with a balanced combination of strength and responsibility. We are defending our borders, we are defending our country and we will continue to do this," he said.
"I have communicated to our friends in Washington, first of all, and also to our friends in Moscow that Israel will take action in Syria, including southern Syria, as we see fit and according to our security needs. That is the deciding factor, and it will continue to be the deciding factor."
Later, during an address before the Knesset plenum, Netanyahu said that "we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the Arab world's moderate states. Together we are confronting the threat of radical Islam, whether it comes from the direction of Iran or of ISIS or from others."
"If it hadn't been for our [Israel's] actions, Iran would have become nuclear a long time ago. Iran knows very well, and everyone here should know, that we will not tolerate [Iran's] military presence in Syria," he said. "At this point, the only reason Iran does not possess nuclear weapons is because of our activity."

Korea is Back on the Terror List

Speaking during a Cabinet meeting, Trump said the designation will impose even greater sanctions on North Korea amid rising nuclear threat tensions with the Asian nation. He said the label is long overdue and is part of the U.S. “maximum pressure campaign” against North Korea.
"In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil," Trump said.
U.S. officials cited the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother in a Malaysian airport in February as an act of terrorism.
North Korea was removed from the list – which includes three other countries – in 2008 in an effort to salvage a deal to halt its nuclear development. However, since then, North Korea has made significant strides in its nuclear program.

What does the designation mean?

In order to end up on the list, countries have to repeatedly prove “support for acts of international terrorism,” according to the Department of State.
Trump promised the designation would impose additional penalties on North Korea.
Sanctions can include: restrictions on foreign assistance from the U.S.; ban on defense exports and sales; control over certain exports of dual use items and other financial restrictions.
Other people and countries could also be sanctioned if they engage in “certain trade with state sponsors,” the State Department said.

Who else is on the list?

Iran, Sudan and Syria are the only three countries currently listed by the State Department as state sponsors of terrorism.
Syria was designated in 1979, Iran in 1984 and Sudan in 1993.

How can a country be taken off the list?

There are two ways a country can be taken off the list of a state sponsor of terror, according to a 2016 State Department report.
In one instance, the president would need to submit a report to Congress which shows “a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the government of the country concerned,” proof that the country’s government is not supporting international terrorism acts and the government’s assurance “that it will not support” those types of acts in the future.
The president can also submit a report to Congress at least 45 days in advance that shows the country at issue has not supported international terrorism in the last six months as well as has provided assurance that it will not do so in the future.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Monday, November 20, 2017

America Prepares for War Against Korea

The US Marine Corps turned 242 years old on November 10.
"At places like Trenton, Tripoli, Chapultepec, Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Chosin, Khe Sanh, Fallujah, Sangin, and so many others, Marines have fought with an inner spirit — a spirit that bonds us, binds us together as a cohesive team. It's that intangible spirit that has formed the foundation of our warfighting reputation for the past 242 years," Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a message this year.
Below, you can see some of the best photos from the Marine Corps' storied history, pulled from its archives.
Amanda Macias composed an earlier version of this post.

Created in 1798, the Marine Corps band was called "The President's Own" by President Thomas Jefferson during his inaugural ball. Since then, it has played at every presidential inauguration. Here's the band in 1893.

In the early 1900s, Marines were active in China and in the Philippines. This photo, from 1907, shows Marines in front of the Sphinx in Egypt.

These Marines are posing with a German trench mortar captured in France in 1918. Mortars were especially useful because a mortar round could be aimed to fall directly into the trenches that criss-crossed World War I battlefields.

Marines wearing gas masks in France in 1918. About 2,400 Marines died in World War I.

Here, Marines practice carrying a wounded comrade in western Germany sometime around 1918.

Marine Corps experimentation with aviation began in conjunction with the Navy around 1919. This 1930 photo shows a Marine flying a Grumman FF-2 Navy plane. Within a decade the Marines had its first aircraft wing, which is now based in Okinawa, Japan.

Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought the US into World War II. This photo shows a Marine with a piece of shrapnel removed from his arm after the attack.

Allied efforts to dislodge the Japanese from islands in the Pacific started with the Marines' deployment to the tropical island of Guadalcanal. This photo shows two Marines waiting for “chow call,” or mealtime, in 1943.

Marines on a landing barge take one last look at a "good-luck picture" of a pin-up girl in 1943 as they approach the Japanese-held island of Tarawa in the Pacific.

Marines on a landing barge take one last look at a
US Marine Corps photo

In this 1943 photo, James Wrobel designs the insignia for Marine Fighter Squadron 312. The official Marine Corps emblem has an eagle, a globe, and an anchor. The eagle represents readiness and precision. The globe represents the Corps' worldwide presence. The anchor reflects the Corps' naval heritage and ability to access any coastline in the world.

Here, Marines land on the Japanese-held island of Saipan in 1944. Amphibious warfare has been a mainstay of the Corps' operations.

Here, Marines land on the Japanese-held island of Saipan in 1944. Amphibious warfare has been a mainstay of the Corps' operations.
US Marine Corps photo

Here, Marines on the South Pacific island of Bougainville slog through thick mud to get ammunition to the front line.

Marines on Bougainville get letters from home.

Marines from the Navajo tribe used their native language to send coded radio transmissions to units overseas. Navajo code talkers, like the ones below, seen in 1943, were said to be faster and more accurate than Morse Code. Intercepted Navajo codes were never successfully deciphered by the enemy.

Marine artillerymen wearing barely any protective gear plug their ears while firing a 155 mm howitzer on northern Iwo Jima.

This photo shows a Navy corpsman giving a wounded Marine blood plasma on an island in the Pacific in 1944.

Marines raise the American flag at the top of Mount Suribachi in 1945. This photo actually shows the second flag raised on the mountain that day. The first flag was too small to be seen easily.

Marines seen here atop an amphibian tractor celebrate the end of World War II and "Victory over Japan Day" in 1945.

The North Korean invasion of South Korea brought the US into the Korean War. This 1950 photo shows Marine air and ground units during the war.

In the US, women began training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, in 1949. All female recruits are still trained at Parris Island.

Marines line up at a makeshift Post Exchange in Korea to get comfort items like candy, cigarettes, and soft drinks.

Marines scatter away from a CH-46 helicopter that is exploding after it was shot down during combat in Vietnam. At least 13 Marines were reported killed in the crash, with another three badly burned.

Khe Sanh, in southern Vietnam, faced the heaviest rocket and artillery attacks from the North Vietnamese. The Marine below was stationed there in 1968.

Here, an exhausted Marine takes a quick break from fighting in Hue in 1968.

Marine Cpl. Larry Nabb reads next to a Christmas tree at Quang Tri Combat Base, Vietnam, in 1968.

A Marine dismantles a 122 mm field gun that was captured during battle in 1969.

Marines carry supplies from a cargo helicopter to their temporary base near Da Nang in 1969.

A Marine fills out his voter-registration card ahead of the 1968 presidential election.

In 1983, the US embassy in Beirut was bombed by Islamic terrorists. At the time, it was the deadliest attack on a US diplomatic mission. This photo shows a Marine wearing a gas mask while digging through the rubble to find survivors.

In 1983, the US embassy in Beirut was bombed by Islamic terrorists. At the time, it was the deadliest attack on a US diplomatic mission. This photo shows a Marine wearing a gas mask while digging through the rubble to find survivors.
Bill Foley/AP

In this photo from 1990, Marine David Gurfein sits next to a Christmas tree in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Marines cover each other as they prepare to enter one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

In this iconic photo, a Marine looks on as a statue of Saddam Hussein is pulled down in central Baghdad's Firdaus Square on April 9, 2003.

One of fiercest Marine battles in Iraq was in Fallujah, known as the "city of mosques," in 2004. It was the only battle in Marine Corps history where leaflets were dropped to alert civilians that troops were coming and to unnerve the enemy.

Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller, dubbed the "Marlboro Marine," became the face of the Iraq War after his photo was taken by a Los Angeles Times reporter in Fallujah in 2004.

The "Darkhorse" Marines in the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit deployed to Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, following the heavy Marine-led assault on Marjah. Here, some members of the unit are under enemy sniper fire in 2010.

The
US Marine Corps Photo

The Marine Corps also trains to fight and survive in water. Here, Marines conduct an underwater gear shed during a basic swim qualification course at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, on March 16, 2016.

Marines also train to operate in the air. Here, a crew master observes an F/A-18C Hornet approach a refueling hose during Exercise Pitch Black 2016 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal on August 9, 2016.

Built in 1861, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island consists of 8,095 acres of various types of terrain for the recruits to use as their learning facility. About 20,000 recruits are trained here every year.

Built in 1861, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island consists of 8,095 acres of various types of terrain for the recruits to use as their learning facility. About 20,000 recruits are trained here every year.
US Marine Corps Photo

Every recruit received at Parris Island is transformed by legendary Marine drill instructors like the one pictured here. Marine recruits are typically younger than those in the Corps' sister-service branches, and each DI wants to ensure they can survive combat.

Today, more than 200,000 active-duty and reserve Marines are serving air, land, and sea. The Marines pictured here respond, "I do" during the oath of office at the US Naval Academy Class of 2012 graduation and commissioning ceremony.