Arming Up for Armageddon
By Todd Strandberg
We live in a time of great conflict between perception and reality. The general view in the media is that of peace and safety. While we have this carefree attitude in America, the rest of the world is in the midst of an arms race.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin is working on strengthening Russia’s nuclear potential. His goal for Russia is to fortify the nation’s military nuclear capabilities and develop missiles that can penetrate any missile-defense system. He also seeks to develop precision weapons across various branches of the armed forces as well as electronic warfare systems.
“We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralizing threats to our country,” said Putin.
Despite heavy sanctions from the West over the annexation of the Crimea region, Putin has been successful in modernizing his military. He said that about 60 percent of modern armaments are currently in the Russian nuclear forces.
A Russian missile design company recently unveiled the first image of a new weapon in Russia’s arsenal: the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, nicknamed “Satan 2.”
The rocket “is capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” claimed Russian state news outlet Sputnik. The missile can carry up to 15 separate warheads with a combined explosive power of 50 million tons of TNT.
India has just tested its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-5, which is capable of striking targets in Asia. Heralded as the “weapon of peace.” the missile has a striking range of up to 5,000kms. Sometimes dubbed as the “China killer,” the missile can carry a one ton warhead and is capable of reaching almost all of Asia including India’s key rivals—China and Pakistan. India’s foes will likely respond by improving the range and carrying loads of their missiles.
The evolving threat of North Korea’s nuclear program has come about primarily because of the neglect of western nations giving them too much leeway—by dismissing their ongoing threats. We kept hoping that this little dictatorship would collapse under the weight of its massive military spending. With an endless supply of slave labor and radical ideology, North Korea has built up a growing arsenal of nuclear weapons. It will soon be able to fire them from missiles putting Japan and the Western U.S. at risk.
China has been very aggressive in expanding its military. This year, China’s fleet commissioned its first aircraft carriers. The Chinese government could potentially build a number of additional aircraft carriers within the next 15 years. The willingness of Beijing to demonstrate its military power in the Western Pacific has made the region a favorite stop for the world’s arms merchants.
There is growing concern that Japan is on a plan toward re-militarization. In the face of growing threats from China, the Japanese government has moved away from its historical pacifism, passing bills to bolster its military presence. A new, hotly contested package of 11 security bills gave the Japanese military the option to engage in battle to protect their allies, including the United States, even if there is no direct threat to Japan or its people.
Last week, the Japanese government said it will spend $44 billion to confront China. The money will be used to bolster its coast guard capabilities to defend disputed islands in the East China Sea.
The greatest threat from a militarized Japan would be its huge cache of weapons-usable plutonium. Since WWII, Japan has banned the production of nuclear weapons. With more than 47 metric tons of plutonium, Japan has enough to make nearly 6,000 warheads like the one that flattened Nagasaki.
The U.S. has the largest nuclear force on the planet, but it’s a very old arsenal. The U.S. Air Force maintains a fleet of 450 Minuteman III ICBM missiles. A key leg of the nuclear triad, the Minuteman III missiles went into service in the 1970s. The Air Force has 76 B-52 strategic bombers that have been flying since the 1960s. The Navy has 14 Ohio Class ballistic missile submarine fleet that first went into service in the 1980s.
Donald Trump has frequently talked about upgrading our nuclear arms. He recently tweeted that the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” Asked to clarify his comments, MSNBC reported that Trump had said: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
Trump’s words may be mostly bluster, but after 8 years of neglect under Obama, he may need to accelerate the development of arms just to keep up with the growing capability of our enemies.
This latest arms race has “prophecy” written all over it. Political leaders may talk about the need for peace, but very little has been done to prevent the world from sliding into the abyss. The military hardware being developed today will eventually find its way onto the battlefields of the Tribulation hour.
“Proclaim this among the nations: ‘Prepare for war!’ Stir up the mighty men. Let all the warriors draw near. Let them come. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’” (Joel 3:9-10).