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Forget About Russia’s S-300 or S-400 (The S-500 Is Coming)

Moscow has long been preoccupied with the threat posed by NATO airpower, and has fielded a variety of potent long-range surface-to-air missile systems over the years to counter it, including at the high end the S-300 (SA-10 and SA-12) and S-400 (SA-21). But the primary role of its latest design, the Almaz-Antey S-500 “Triumfator,” isn’t taking potshots at frontline fighter planes. Rather, the S-500 marks a new Russian effort to develop its own defense “shield” against cruise and ballistic missile attack.

Moscow has claimed the S-500 will enter service in 2016 or 2017 and has offered an impressive-seeming list of its capabilities. Appropriately nicknamed “Prometey”—Prometheus—the S-500 supposedly will have a maximum vertical altitude of 185 to two hundred kilometers, permitting it to swat down incoming Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and low-orbit satellites in space. The Triumfator would also have a maximum range of six hundred kilometers, even further than the four-hundred-kilometer range of the S-400. Russian Air Force Commander Colonel General Viktor Bondarev claimed the S-500 would be able to engage up to ten missiles at the same time, with a reaction speed of three to four seconds—compared to six missiles and nine-second reaction times for the S-400.

Like the United States’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), another long-range antiballistic missile weapon, the S-500’s upcoming 776N-N and 776N-N1 interceptor missiles are supposed to use hit-to-kill technology—that is, the missile destroys its target through physical impact, rather than relying on a fragmentation warhead. The 776Ns would travel at hypersonic speeds of five to seven kilometers per second, enabling them to intercept opposing hypersonic cruise missiles.

It’s very impressive-sounding—but Russian defense officials have been cagey about revealing the system’s actual performance specifications. While it is claimed testing has begun, the results of those tests remain unknown. Considering the American experience developing the THAAD system, which suffered numerous failures over more than a decade of testing, there’s good reason to believe designing an effective ABM system might take a little iteration.

Of course, Almaz-Antey’s engineers may have been more successful. But until testing data is available, there’s little way of knowing whether the S-500 can live up to the considerable hype.

There are some concrete details on the S-500, including the fact that unlike the older, larger 53T6 Anti-Ballistic Missiles deployed in fixed positions around Moscow, the S-500 will be a smaller, self-propelled system that can easily “shoot and scoot” to avoid attacks intended to suppress air defenses. In fact, the S-500 is supposed to be a smaller evolution of the S-400 design. Diagrams released by the vehicle manufacturer BZKT reveal that each S-500 battery would involve numerous support vehicles, including a Transport-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicle, four different radar vehicles (one of which is specifically optimized against ballistic missiles) and one or two command vehicles.

The Pentagon has had extensive experience dismantling air defense networks, so Russian media has emphasized how the S-500 will be difficult to detect. For example, it has showcased efforts to produce special “containers” that will shield the S-400 and S-500 from being spotted by satellites employing electromagnetic interference sensors. Another article highlights how the S-500 system will feature secured communication links on variable frequencies to shield them against electronic warfare.

There has also been some buzz that the S-500 will be more effective against stealth aircraft. However, most descriptions of the system do not list counter-stealth as a primary goal, and there is little concrete evidence suggesting that it possesses unique features in this regard compared to the preceding S-400. Of course, the S-500 will have low-bandwidth radar that can be used to detect stealth planes—but not to shoot at them at long range. This could still aid the air defense network in attempting to acquire a weapons-quality lock on stealth fighters at short ranges, but this is not a new capability. Overall, it seems the S-500 design really is focused on the missile-defense mission.

However, the S-500’s very long range makes it an ideal weapon for taking out the largest and least stealthy of targets. While a fighter plane would be harder to detect and to hit at extreme range, an airliner-style AWACS or electronic warfare plane would be in far greater peril, and would likely be forced to operate outside the S-500’s engagement radius.

Already, Russian S-300 and S-400 missiles deployed in Kaliningrad could interdict the airspace over the Baltic states as well as a large chunk of Poland. A forward-deployed S-500 could extend that no-fly zone even further. To be clear, NATO stealth fighters could still attack missile sites from standoff distances, but long-range SAMs could effectively shut down that airspace to most other air traffic unless dealt with.

Nonetheless, the first S-500 battery will deploy to Moscow and other parts of central Russia, reflecting the strategic defense role of the missile. A naval S-500F version for the upcoming Leader-class destroyer is also supposedly in the works for deployment around 2023–25.

The fielding of an effective antiballistic S-500 would complicate Putin’s objections to the U.S. deployment of THAADS systems near its territory. However, Moscow will doubtlessly maintain that operating the S-500 on its domestic territory is not equivalent to Washington deploying THAAD on the territory of an allied state, such as Poland or South Korea.

The S-500 is intended to replace the S-300 missile in Russia’s multilayered air-defense system and complement the S-400, which would handle more routine antiaircraft duties and intercepting short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Originally, ten battalions of S-500s were projected. However, a later statement instead claims five batteries will be operational by 2020—likely reflecting the difficulties encountered in producing the weapon.

Indeed, there’s substantial evidence that the S-500 program is behind schedule and will not be entering service any time soon. To begin with, the S-500’s most significant capabilities depend on the new N776 missiles—but of the two factories built to manufacture the missiles, one was not due to be fully operational until 2016 and the other is supposed to follow in 2017. Almaz-Antey reportedly remains behind in producing missiles for the preceding S-400!

Prometey’s deployment date has been repeatedly pushed back, and despite claims that it would enter service in 2016–17, analyst Paul Schwartz from the Center for Strategic and International Studies “sees no evidence” of their deployment, and is “skeptical” it will happen any time soon. A report from the Strategic Studies Institute estimates the system won’t be ready until 2020. Alexander Khramchikhin of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis likewise has stated, “The S-500s will at best be created in 2020—no earlier.”

Given the delays in producing the hypersonic missiles, it is possible the first Triumfators will deploy with the 40N6M missiles used by the S-400—leaving the S-500 without many of its more impressive claimed capabilities. However, doing so could maintain the appearance that the program is on track.

It is clear the S-500 is intended to serve as a high-altitude antiballistic missile system for home defense, and that its very long range could make it useful for anti-access/area denial and antisatellite tasks. It is also evident that it is designed to be mobile and hard to detect or hack into, so as to resist air-defense suppression strikes.

But it’s not certain whether the S-500 will live up to the capabilities claimed of it. Furthermore, despite frequent vague claims to the contrary, there’s good reason to believe it may not be operational at full capability anytime soon.

Sébastien Roblin holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.

This first appeared in October 2016 and is being reposted due to reader interest. 

Image Credit: Creative Commons. 

Russia, Iran, Turkey Impose “No-Fly Zone” Against U.S. Over Parts of Syria

(ZHERussia said it’s ready to send peacekeepers to Syria after Turkey and Iran agreed on Thursday to Russia’s proposal for “de-escalation zones” in Syria. The move, welcomed by the United Nations, has been met with skepticism from the United States as the so-called safe-zones will closed for warplanes of the United States and those of the U.S.-led coalition.

As Bloomberg reports, the three countries signed a memorandum on the creation of so-called de-escalation areas on Thursday after two days of talks in Kazakhstan that also included representatives of the Syrian government and rebel groups.

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Opposition leaders distanced themselves from the plan, saying they can’t accept Iran as a guarantor of the truce and that they want “clear and tangible” guarantees the deal will be enforced.

The U.S. also expressed doubts, as State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday that the U.S. has “concerns” about the accord, “including the involvement of Iran as a so-called “guarantor,”’ and said Russia should do more to stop violence.

The four safe zones to be established in Syria will be closed for flights by US-led coalition warplanes, said the Russian envoy to the Astana peace talks, where the zones were agreed upon.

“Russia is ready to send its observers” to help enforce the safe zones, President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, told reporters in the Kazakh capital. “We believe the Syrian crisis can only be resolved through political methods.”

“As for [the coalition] actions in the de-escalation zones, starting from now those zones are closed for their flights,” Aleksandr Levrentyev told journalists in the Kazakh capital.

The Russian Ministry of Defense notes that the deal on safe zones in Syria will come into effect 21:00 GMT on May 5.

We wonder how long Washington will stand for what effectively amounts to a “no-fly zone” against U.S. war planes over parts of Syria.

Russia Denies: No, We Did Not Plant Secret Nuclear Tsunami Bombs On U.S. Coast

Several weeks ago a Russian military expert named Viktor Baranet made headlines when he warned that Russia has planned an asymmetric response to any U.S. threat of war

Russia Denies: No, We Did Not Plant Secret Nuclear Tsunami Bombs On U.S. Coast

Mac Slavo SHTFplan.com

 

Several weeks ago a Russian military expert named Viktor Baranet made headlines when he warned that Russia has planned an asymmetric response to any U.S. threat of war.

That response, according to Baranet, included the deployment of “mole nukes,” a weapon that is supposedly buried several miles of the coast under the ocean floor. Should war ever break out between Russia and the United States, the bombs would be detonated with the goal of causing massive Tsunamis that would wipe out coastal cities.

The weapon is known as a “nuclear mole,” and it’s an underwater drone that carries a nuclear warhead, then burrows into the seabed floor off the coast of the target country. Once buried into the sea floor, these nuclear weapons can be remotely detonated to cause a massive tidal wave that would wipe out coastal cities in minutes.

I have estimated that a series of these weapons could be detonated in a timed sequence that multiplies the amplitude of the tidal wave, causing a much larger and more devastating wave than any single weapon by itself.

In addition to the physical destruction that could result from such a weapon, the tidal wave would contain radioactive sea water, making it a “dirty bomb” in addition to the physical destruction.

Full report: Secret Russian Weapon Could Wipe Out NYC, Boston And D.C. In Minutes With A Massive Radioactive Tidal Wave

Such asymmetric responses are no doubt a part of military planning meetings for both countries, but whether Russia planted mole nukes or even cold-war era suitcase nukes across the United States remains the big question.

As you might expect, as the mole nuke report made the rounds, first through alternative media, and then most recently via mainstream news channels, Russia had no choice but to respond to the claims:

A retired Russian colonel claims Russia planted underground nuclear devices along the U.S.’ coastline to be detonated if war should ever break out between the superpowers. The claim, which surfaced in a number of British newspapers this week, was swiftly denied by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who called the report “strange” and cautioned that journalists “not take newspaper reports like this seriously.”

Source: Newsweek

While it certainly sounds like a fantastical concept – to bury nuclear weapons under the ocean floor in order to create massive tidal waves that would wipe out entire coastal populations – should we completely dismiss the reports because Russia has denied their existence?

Covering up new and advanced technologies is business as usual in military and intelligence, so it would only make sense that, should these weapons exist, Russia would outright deny that they ever built them.

Perhaps Baranet’s claims are nothing more than conspiracy theory, or a well orchestrated intelligence psy-op to instill fear in U.S. citizens.

We likely won’t know until it’s too late.

What if Russia’s Su-35 Went to War with America’s F-35 Stealth Fighter?

Close in, the JSF does not have the maneuverability of the Raptor––or even a F-16 or F/A-18. If forced into a dogfight, an American F-35 pilot’s superior skills and experience might be the only factor that might save him or her from being shot down. The fact is that an F-35 in stealthy configuration armed only with internal weapons cannot currently carry the AIM-9X high off-boresight missile. If the AIM-9X were one day integrated into the weapons bays, it would come at the cost of an AIM-120 rail—which is arguably a better weapon for an aircraft like the F-35. Basically, an F-35 pilot should avoid a close in fight at all costs.

It is highly unlikely that a U.S. Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) would assign an air superiority mission to an F-35 unit if alternatives were available. But given the tiny fleet of Raptors and dwindling F-15C fleet, it is possible that the JFACC could be forced to use the F-35 as an air superiority asset. However, that being said, the real threat to American air power in most regions around the world is not enemy air power—but rather advanced enemy integrated air defense systems.

While the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is slated to become the mainstay of the Pentagon’s tactical fighter fleet, not everyone nation on Earth can afford to fly an expensive fifth-generation fighter.

Even Russia and China are not likely to attempt to develop an all fifth-generation fighter fleet—instead, for the foreseeable future, the derivatives of the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker air superiority fighter will make up the bulk of their tactical air arsenals. The most potent Flanker derivative is the Su-35, which is a much-improved version with vastly improved avionics, engines and airframe. In the years ahead, this latest Flanker-E is likely to proliferate around the world.

To counter the proliferation of Flanker variants, the U.S. Air Force, Marines and to a far lesser extent, the U.S. Navy will have to rely on versions of the F-35 even though it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter. It was and continues to be a strike aircraft with a robust air-to-air self defense capability even though the Pentagon has pushed it to a be a jack-of-all-trades.

How would a group of four F-35s fare if it were confronted by a formation of four Su-35s? The most likely answer is that they would change course and call in the F-22 Raptors and F-15Cs, which are tasked with gaining and maintaining air superiority. Meanwhile, the F-35s would go on their merry way to their assigned targets.

However, as history shows us, many times in war you do not always get to chose from the most optimal of solutions. If the F-35s were left to their own devices, they would probably be alright even against the Su-35––if they played their cards right. The F-35s pilots would have to use their stealth, onboard and offboard sensors and smart tactics that play to the F-35s strengths and avoid its weakness. That means using the jet’s stealth and sensors to engage enemy fighters from beyond visual range and avoiding a visual range turning fight where the F-35 is vulnerable.

Unlike a Raptor, which was designed from the outset as an air-to-air killer par excellence—the F-35 was not. The Raptor combines a very stealthy airframe with a high altitude ceiling and supersonic cruise speeds in excess of Mach 1.8. Compared to that, the F-35 can  just barely touch Mach 1.6 in full afterburner. Further, the F-22 possesses excellent maneuverability for close-in visual-range dogfights––it crushes the competition in terms of turn rate, radius, angle-of-attack and energy addition at all altitudes.

Whereas a four-ship flight of Raptors cruising at high supersonic speeds in the rarified atmosphere above 50,000 feet can effectively choose when and where to fight, a flight of slower, lower-flying F-35s might find themselves forced to react to better-performing enemy planes if they are not careful.

Moreover, the F-35 does not have the speed or altitude to impart as much launch energy to the AIM-120 air-to-air missile as the Raptor can, which means the missiles will have less range when fired from a JSF. Nor can the F-35 carry as many air-to-air missiles—which is a problem given that digital radio frequency memory jammers can wreak havoc with the AMRAAM’s guidance system.

Close in, the JSF does not have the maneuverability of the Raptor––or even a F-16 or F/A-18. If forced into a dogfight, an American F-35 pilot’s superior skills and experience might be the only factor that might save him or her from being shot down. The fact is that an F-35 in stealthy configuration armed only with internal weapons cannot currently carry the AIM-9X high off-boresight missile. If the AIM-9X were one day integrated into the weapons bays, it would come at the cost of an AIM-120 rail—which is arguably a better weapon for an aircraft like the F-35. Basically, an F-35 pilot should avoid a close in fight at all costs.

It is highly unlikely that a U.S. Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) would assign an air superiority mission to an F-35 unit if alternatives were available. But given the tiny fleet of Raptors and dwindling F-15C fleet, it is possible that the JFACC could be forced to use the F-35 as an air superiority asset. However, that being said, the real threat to American air power in most regions around the world is not enemy air power—but rather advanced enemy integrated air defense systems.

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar

Image Credit: Creative Commons. 

This first appeared in 2015 and is being reposted due to reader interest. 

Tillerson Agrees To Lift Sanctions And Work With Russia, But ONLY Under One Condition

April 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (pictured above).

Although countries like North Korea and Iran pose a much greater risk to our national security than Russia, many are worried that the Kremlin is our biggest threat. They point to the country’s continued support for Assad and their recent seizure of Crimea as evidence that they’re interested in starting World War III. However, leaders in Moscow claim they’re not doing anything wrong, and want the U.S. to lift sanctions currently imposed on the country.

Just recently, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson agreed to ease sanctions on Russia, but only if the country starts behaving. Specifically, he stated that they won’t be lifted until the Kremlin returns Crimea. However, in the past, Russia has argued that it’s rightfully their land, and as a result, they’re not interested in relinquishing control.

During a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Tillerson said that the crippling sanctions “[will] remain in place until Russia returns control of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.” On top of that, if they want the sanctions removed, Moscow must respect the ceasefire agreement in Ukraine. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll give up the territory without a fight. In February, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, claimed, “Crimea is territory belonging to the Russian Federation” adding, “we don’t give back our own territory.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The sanctions were first placed on the country after they used force to annex Crimea back in 2014. Although President Donald Trump hinted at possibly lifting the sanctions while running for office, his official position has been largely unclear. However, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer recently told reporters that Trump is expecting Vladimir Putin to return Crimea.

The President’s relationship with Russia is a bit uncertain. While running for office, he was accused of essentially working for them. He’s called the leader, “very smart,” and suggested that he’s not really a terrible person, at least, in relation to everyone else. Because of his statements and paranoia from the left, Congress decided to investigate whether or not Trump has any ties to Russia. So far, he doesn’t appear to have done anything unlawful or unethical. However, his former National Security Adviser appears to have had contact with Russia during the campaign without disclosing it to the federal government. He’s currently being investigated for criminal activity, and if he’s found guilty of any misconduct, Trump’s not necessarily at fault.

On the other hand, after launching missiles in Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack, Russian officials lashed out at the President. They warned him that further aggression will not be tolerated. The U.S. military said they won’t launch any others as long as chemical weapons aren’t used. After visiting the country earlier this month, Tillerson said reported that relations were at a “low point.” Despite this, Trump was a bit more optimistic. “We may be at an all-time low [in relations]” he said, “[but] we’ll see what happens.

In addition to negotiating with Russia, Tillerson also warned the world about Iran becoming an increasing threat during an interview with reporters. If they were allowed to get nuclear weapons, he claimed that the country, known as the leading state sponsor of terrorism, would be an extreme threat to the rest of the world, like Russia or North Korea.

He claimed that he plans to review the Iran deal to figure out the best way to move forward. According to him, “this deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat we face in North Korea.” He added, “the Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran. The evidence is clear Iran’s provocative actions threaten the U.S., the region, and the world.”

The Iran nuclear deal, which was first passed in January 2016, is an agreement between Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities. If Iran complied, then they’d be able to gain access to billions of dollars from bank accounts currently frozen. In addition, the U.S. agreed to lift sanctions, but because of Iran’s continued support for terrorism, they refused.

Many conservatives were outraged when the deal passed. The former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush claimed, “history is full of examples of when you enable people or regimes who don’t embrace democratic values you get a bad result…it’s called appeasement.” He’s worried that Iran will take advantage of the deal and arm themselves with nuclear weapons.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also criticized the deal. “My initial impression is that this deal is far worse than I ever dreamed it could be and will be a nightmare for the region, our national security and eventually the world at large,” he said, adding, “[it’s] possible death sentence for Israel.”

As evidence of Iran’s lack of trustworthiness and ties to terrorism, Tillerson pointed to instances of them of harassing U.S. naval vessels, conducting cyber attacks, arbitrarily detaining foreigners, including U.S. citizens, and violating U.N. resolutions by carrying out a series of missile tests. He also mentioned that they sponsor terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Israel, which they’ve been doing since 1984. Because they’re the “foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” according to the former Obama administration, they received harsh sanctions, like Russia.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has also spoken out against Iran. While in Saudi Arabia addressing problems caused by Iranian-funded terrorists in Yemen, he said, “the militia they maintain, Lebanese Hezbollah that they support in Lebanon, that militia is contributing thousands of fighters, and of course Iran’s got its own military inside Syria continuing to hold [President Bashar] Assad in power,” adding, “everywhere you look, if there is trouble inside the region you find Iran.”

General James Mattis.

Tillerson appears to be the perfect person to improve our global relations. His familiarity with leaders in Russia helps to ensure we avoid an international war. Rather than fight one another, which is what would’ve happened under Clinton, this administration is interested in working with the country. However, Trump and his team will only do so if Moscow is willing to compromise.

Obama takes a shot at Trump’s tweeting as he is paid $400k AGAIN for another major speaking gig

April 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Obama was asked how he coped with frustrating moments as president, and responded: ‘By not having a Twitter account.’

Obama takes a shot at Trump's tweeting as he is paid $400k AGAIN for another major speaking gig

As President Obama came under fire for scheduling a $400,000 speaking gig at a Wall Street firm next fall, he pocketed the same amount for a speech Thursday night for A&E Networks. 

During the speech at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, Obama delivered a sly dig at his successor’s prolific tweeting.

Obama was asked how he coped with frustrating moments as president, and responded: ‘By not having a Twitter account.’

President Donald Trump has repeatedly come under fire for comments posted on Twitter, while Obama was considerably more restrained.

He made the comment in an interview with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin at the event last night.

Goodwin observed that Abraham Lincoln used to write angry letters when he needed to vent his frustration, but would not send them.

Obama said that the things he most misses about living at the White House included sitting on the Truman balcony on summer nights, a source told the New York Post.

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Putin Warns: The Situation In North Korea Has “Seriously Deteriorated”

April 29, 2017 Leave a comment

“We call on all states involved in the region’s affairs to refrain from military rhetoric and seek peaceful, constructive dialogue.”

Putin Warns: The Situation In North Korea Has “Seriously Deteriorated”

Mac Slavo SHTFplan.com

While it’s easy to dismiss the rhetoric of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the ravings of a madman, world leaders appear to hold a different view.

With President Trump having deployed a Naval strike fleet to South Korea, China mobilizing over a hundred thousand troops to the border and Russia following suit with a mobilization on their southern border with North Korea, it appears a conflict is imminent.

Whether that comes in the form of a de-escalation should North Korea eliminate their weapons program, or all out war in the form of ICBM’s, Tomahawks and boots on the ground, a resolution to the problem will likely be seen in coming weeks and months.

And while we hope that cooler heads will prevail, it appears, evidenced by statements from the Trump Administration, as well as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, that war may be the most likely scenario:

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program is deepening after the issue dominated talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow.

He and Abe believe the situation on the Korean peninsula has “seriously deteriorated,” Putin said Thursday after the Kremlin meeting. “We call on all states involved in the region’s affairs to refrain from military rhetoric and seek peaceful, constructive dialogue.”

Source: Bloomberg

Dialogue is certainly one approach, but if a video released by North Korea today is any indication of the kind of dialogue the rogue state wants to hold, then it’s time to prepare for war.

Via Zero Hedge:

The video was released just days after North Korea conducted large-scale artillery drills, showing off conventional weaponry that can easily reach South Korea’s capital, Seoul. It also comes one day after the entire Senate was gathered at the White House to receive a briefing from Trump’s top generals on the situation in North Korea. At the same time, the US sub, USS Michigan, which carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, docked in the South Korean port of Busan this week. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, along with the destroyers and cruiser that make up its strike group, will arrive in the Korean Peninsula area this weekend.

Should a war with North Korea be initiated it will likely be over fairly quickly, especially since the first order of business will be the elimination of Kim Jong Un by U.S. special forces and China appears to be backing President Trump with troop support on the border.

The unknown in this scenario, however, is whether or not the North Koreans have nuclear capable war heads on their submarines, which could lead to a massive nuclear exchange with South Korea, Japan and the United States. Incidentally, submarine hunting aircraft and vessels were deployed off California’s coast just two weeks ago, with speculation mounting that they were looking for a North Korean sub.

While their nuclear capabilities are limited and the country likely only has a handful of such weapons, it really only takes one and the entire world could be throw into panic.

Perhaps even more alarming is that North Korea has sent two satellites into space, with some positing that they could hold EMP-capable nuclear weapons on board. Should such a device be detonated 200 miles over the central United States it could render our entire grid infrastructure useless. Researchers have theorized that such a scenario could lead to the deaths of 90% of Americans within one year due to starvation, disease, and civil conflict.

Such scenarios throughout history have often been an event horizon of sorts – no one really knows what comes out the other side, which is why we urge our readers to prepare for the worst just in case.

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