Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rumors Of War Realities, Israel Upgrades Its Warships, Iran And Russia Strengthen Ties, U.S. Sends 300 More Paratroopers To Iraq

The Israeli Navy will include extra “Iron Dome” missile launchers on its Sa’ar 6 missile ships being manufactured in Germany.

The four Sa’ar ships were designed to feature an iron dome missile launcher, but they will now have two iron dome pods each, the Jerusalem Post reported. Hezbollah has amassed a growing stockpile of rockets and long-range rounds that put some of Israel’s “offshore assets” within firing range.

"Because of this growing threat, we’re adding another [iron dome] launcher on the Sa’ar 6," an Israeli defense official told Defense News. Both cannons will be able to fire up to 20 Tamir interceptors, the official added. 

The iron domes are specifically designed for cheap, disruptive rockets Hezbollah could launch from Lebanon, Defense News added. Nonetheless, the last-minute design change is likely to extend the expected delivery timeline. 
A recent op-ed in Haaretz contends that Hezbollah is Israel’s "real threat." 

Israel believes Hezbollah maintains a stockpile of at least 100,000 missiles, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israeli defense companies have begun testing sea-based drones to patrol regional waters and rain down high-powered missiles against land and naval targets. On March 9, Sputnik reported that the Israeli Navy had conducted its first successful testing of a Spike missile from an unmanned surface vehicle.

Rumors of War Realities

Jesus sat with His immediate disciples upon the Mount of Olives just before His crucifixion. He answered the question that most troubled them, following His declaration that the Jewish temple would be completely destroyed, with not a stone left standing.
Their question–offered in wide-eyed amazement, no doubt–was: “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).
Jesus then said that there would first come deceivers and great deception, even people declaring themselves to be Christ. Another thing that would signal the end of the world (the age) would, He said, be wars and rumors of war.
So, rumors of war is a major signal, given by God, Himself, that the end of human history is on the verge of reaching its conclusion. We do note that the Lord next said:  “See that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
The disciples surrounding Him at the moment of His prophecy about the wrap-up of human history were to understand that the “end” was still future, and we know that the future in this instance has extended nearly 2000 years to this point. The end, as we know, is not yet…
But there is now, in these portentous times, more than enough rumblings upon the volatile geopolitical horizon to cause the diplomats of the world to be “troubled.” Nuclear weaponry and its imposition into the present-day mix of the possibility of war-making is something of which the disciples could know nothing.
Diplomats, and the rest of us as well, however, have seen what such weaponry can wreak, since “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” did their war-concluding work on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.
Possibility of war is much more than mere “rumors” these days. We have the historical experience, prophesied by Christ many centuries ago, to confirm that in this present hour upon planet earth there is reason to “be troubled.”
Wars down through the last two millennia have run their courses, with hundreds of millions dead in their aftermaths. Nuclear war will, if initiated, make all the conflicts of the past pale by comparison. Thus, it is incumbent upon the so-called “peacemakers” to put a bridle on the vicious jaws of tyrants who seek nuclear weapons in order to rein in their megalomania.
We have for years heard about Iran seeking such weapons. Attempts to rein in the Ayatollahs’ nuclear weapons ambitions have been tepid. Iran has basically been given a practically unencumbered pathway to developing not only nuclear bombs, but the means to deliver them anywhere in the world.
Russia has been complicit in helping Iran get its way, with little resistance from the Obama administration or anyone else So, the rumors of a future war loom mightily, if the new president doesn’t deal effectively in the matter.
Now we are facing another building crisis involving a major rumor of future nuclear war. Our other chief antagonist, China, is acting in much the same way in dealing with their proxy state, the North Koreans, as the Russians are in dealing with the Iranians. These matters constitute rumors of war of infinite magnitude. It has been left by previous administrations–particularly the most recent previous–for the new president to deal with these potentially deadly situations.
American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a week or so ago, while visiting South Korea, refused to rule out a preemptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities. The ongoing fallout has China pushing back against such an eventuality, making veiled and not-so-veiled threats. It is not a lovely picture of international, diplomatic tranquility we see developing, to say the least.
Yet, there is comfort in all of this rumors of war business, I can happily report, based not upon my word, but upon the Word of God. Jesus’ words “but the end is not yet,” still apply to our time upon this much-bedeviled sphere.
As a matter of fact, Jesus said life would be pretty much as usual right up until the time He next catastrophically intervenes into the affairs of mankind. It is God, Himself, who is holding back all the evil of the world (read 2 Thessalonians 2) until that moment of intervention Jesus spoke of as recorded in Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-30.
When the Church (all born-again believers, according to Romans 10:9-10) goes to be with Christ when He calls us to “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1-2) as detailed by Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 4:51-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, then the red horse of war, according to Revelation 6, will gallop forth.
That’s a long, rambling sentence, I realize, but well worth your taking apart and analyzing from the pages of your Bible. It is a matter of great comfort to read and study such promises. Such comfort–to those who know Christ for salvation–more than neutralizes the troubling, even terrifying rumors of war we now face.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has landed in Moscow for a two-day official visit during which the two countries will seek to strengthen their ties. The visit gains additional significance amid Washington's waning influence in the Middle East with other major powers attempting to capitalise on the power vacuum.
Rouhani, who is visiting at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is leading a high-level delegation. On his agenda are issues of mutual interest and the Middle East.
An official welcome ceremony led by Putin is scheduled on Tuesday, 28 March, following which the two leaders will hold freewheeling talks. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will also hold separate discussions with Rouhani and several agreements are expected to be signed. Officially, matters relating to diplomatic, judicial and economic sectors are to be finalised during the visit.

This is likely to be Rouhani's last major overseas trip since he faces a re-election in May. It is his ninth meeting with Putin during his four-year term. "Relations between Iran and Russia and any growth in these ties will be beneficial to both nations and regional stability and we enjoy good cooperation with each other at international level," said Rouhani shortly before his departure from Tehran. He added that bilateral cooperation between Russia and Iran has "never been and will never be against any third country".

One of the most legendary units in United States military history is joining the fight against ISIS. An additional 300 United States paratroopers are headed to Iraq from Fort Bragg in North Carolina.  The soldiers are members of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. The legendary Army unit’s participation marks escalated efforts by the Trump Administration to remove Islamic State fighters from the besieged city of Mosul.

As reported by the Military Times, the paratroopers will make up two infantry companies along with a route-clearance platoon, representing the division’s 2ndBrigade Combat Team.  Functionally, the soldiers are anticipated to provide support to Iraqi forces currently fighting ISIS, including in the Mosul area.  Additionally, the route-clearance platoon will perform duties related to the disabling and removal of roadside threats, including bombs.
Additional duties may also be assigned to the soldiers heading to Iraq.  The U.S. Army released additional photos of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division in late February and into early March, many of them depicting soldiers in and around the Mosul area, performing duties where they maintained various posts in support of the current mission.

The exact number of military personnel in Iraq is not being disclosed by officials, though more than 6,000 are expected to be in the region.  This is well above the authorized force size of 5,262, but many of the assignments are being classed as “non-enduring” and may not be counted toward to limit.

While the deployment of the paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division is being called temporary by U.S. officials, no information has been provided regarding the anticipated duration of this troop movement.

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