At a recent campaign rally, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz assessed U.S. foreign policy, saying “The whole world’s on fire.”
Ted Cruz is certainly right when it comes to the recent exponential growth in nuclear weapons capability in the last five years.
The planet’s largest arsenal of atomic weapons belongs to Russia. On several occasions last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointedly reminded everyone of his country’s nuclear capability. He implied that he would be willing to use such weapons.
Putin’s nuclear ambitions are turning out to be bigger than anyone imagined. One of the most shocking things to come out of the Clinton Foundation scandal has been the fact that the United States government knowingly allowed Putin to gain control of as much as 50% of U.S. uranium production.
Russian ties to Iran have been gaining strength in recent days — an alliance foretold in the Bible as a last days event. With the cozy Russia-Iran relationship, it’s entirely possible that United States uranium could soon be fueling Iranian nuclear weapons.
In order to sell the public and Congress on a potential new deal with Iran, the U.S. recently declassified official assessments that Iran is only three months away from having the necessary uranium to build a nuclear weapon. But that’s only half the story. We also learned that U.S. intelligence officials came to this conclusion several years ago.
If Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear weapon is only three months, and it’s been that way for several years, how do we know they don’t already have such weapons? Maybe that’s why Iran refuses to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to all its nuclear facilities. Everyone knows the Iranians are hiding something. Maybe it’s a big something.
We also know that Iran is busy developing ballistic missiles. They already have the ability to hit Israel, and are working to develop the ability to strike the United States. When the sanctions are dropped, they’ll be able to invest vast amounts of their oil wealth in this endeavor. They may also try to buy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) from cash-strapped Russia.
Add nuclear weapons to ICBMs, and even families full of “fast runners” are in danger.
For decades, China has been North Korea’s main ally and chief benefactor. But what they have learned about North Korea’s nuclear program frightens even them. The Chinese have told the United States that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is far more advanced than anyone in the west knew. They say the Koreans already have as many as 20 nuclear warheads.
That’s enough to do unthinkable damage to countries in range of their delivery devices, including South Korea and Japan. Those two nations have been hinting that they may develop their own nuclear arsenals as a deterrent. That means an Asian nuclear arms race. But who can blame them? North Korea’s capacity to produce weapons-grade uranium is expected to double by next year. They could have as many as 100 nukes within five years.
U.S. defense treaties with Japan and South Korea commit the United States to retaliate against any country that attacks them. That could draw the United States into a nuclear war.
We also know that North Korea is working hard to develop ICBMs that can directly strike the continental United States. They may already have them. KN-08 missiles are ICBMs launched from a mobile platform. First displayed by the North Koreans three years ago in a military parade, they were carried on logging trucks that had been converted into massive transporter erector launchers. Their mobility means it is almost impossible to take them out in advance of a strike.
The missiles displayed in the parade were clearly not operational, but that may have changed. Admiral William Gortney heads the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). In a Pentagon briefing earlier this month, he said, “Our assessment is that they have the ability to put a nuclear weapon on a KN-08, and shoot it at the homeland. We assess that it’s operational today, and so we practice to go against it.”
Technology trends always head in the direction of greater abundance at lower cost. In regard to weapons technology, that means more and more countries gaining vast new levels of destructive power.
Nuclear arms are just one subset of one problem facing the world. There are many other things I could mention. Metaphorically speaking, the world really is on fire. And it’s only going to get worse. The Bible describes a series of dire catastrophes facing Planet Earth in the near future.