Closer To Doomsday                     Week of 2/4 & 10/19

Map of Syrian colored with surrounding countries and fighting fractions within Syria.

For the better part of a year the Atomic Scientists doomsday clock has been at 2 minutes until doomsday. This is closer than 2017 when they set the clock to two and a half minutes till midnight. The clock is a timeline of conflict, culture and change. So what made the scientists move the arm of the clock closer to catastrophe? In a nutshell, United States President, Donald Trump. The Atomic Scientists do not appreciate the President′s stance on global warming; they do not care for his International diplomacy and blame him for the breakdown in the International order.

That being said, the International Community also has issues with the American President who has now decided to terminate the INF (Intermediate‐Range Nuclear Forces) treaty due to Russia (for many years) violating the agreement. The treaty expires in about 6 months. (Some back ground history: The INF Treaty is a bilateral U.S.‐Soviet agreement that U.S. President Ronald Reagan and then General Secretary of the Union of Soviet Socialist, Mikhail Gorbachev signed to eliminate Intermediate‐Range (620‐3,420 miles) and Shorter‐Range (310‐620 miles) Missiles. The treaty required that both the U.S. and USSR would destroy “ground‐launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, their launchers and associated support structures and support equipment within three years after the Treaty enters into force” according to the U.S. State Department′s website. Signed on December 8, 1987, the whole world sighed in relief and not long after, events (like the toppling of the Berlin Wall and fall of communism in Eastern Bloc Nations, including Russia) announced the beginning of a major shift in world powers).

Fast forward thirty or more years, the INF treaty is outdated. Consider; back in 1987 the U.S. and U.S.S.R were the only super powers—today that is all changed. Those countries that have ground‐launched intermediate‐range missiles, which could reach Russia and possibly the U.S., are China, India, Iran, Israel (although they have not publicly admitted this), North Korea and Pakistan—none of whom are bound by the INF treaty. And the truth be known, if you want to be a super power today you need the latest technology which is the high‐precision long‐range missile—whether it has a nuclear warhead or not. And you will need lots of them.

In 2014, the Obama Administration accused Russia of violating “its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight‐test a ground‐launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.” Although at that time facts were vague regarding the allegations, the year 2018 produced specifics. The U.S. revealed that probably around the turn of the new century (the year 2000 plus) Russia began developing the 9M729 (or SSC‐8 as it is known in the U.S.) and finishing testing around 2015. They tested from a fixed launcher and mobile platform. Herein lies where they were in violation of the INF treaty. To be fair, geography plays a role in this. The U.S. is surrounded by water. Therefore, they could work within the INF treaty and launch missiles from a submarine, ship or aircraft. Russia is surrounded by land and would make more sense to use land launchers or some kind of mobile platform against their intended target like countries in Western Europe (NATO for instance) although they do have submarines and aircraft as well.

How does the mutual agreement to leave the INF Treaty affect Israel? With Russia bent on developing hyper‐sonic weapons, (meaning they combine speed, range and maneuverability) and if they fell into the hands of one of Israel′s enemies—it could be stressful news for the tiny Middle East State. There are critics of the State that believe Israel′s defensive measures are not keeping up with the world stage. And as there are April elections in Israel this year, the newly elected may (or may not) be so prepared to handle Israel′s defense.

How does this affect Europe and the World? By throwing the INF Treaty to the wayside, this allows the U.S. and Russia to engage in full development of missile defense—they have some catching up to do with other nations, like China. But, just because a nation has high‐precision long‐range missile capability is no reason for citizens to be alarmed. If the playing stage is even and everyone has the same toys everyone should be happy and feel safe—right? Unfortunately, history has proved this to be wrong and according to Scripture, the world is going to get more chaotic.

What does all of this mean for you? If you have not received Jesus as your Lord and Savor, and followed Him in true obedience to the Holy Scriptures; it means, that your doomsday clock is fast ticking toward a most horrific time—the Tribulation. In the book of Jeremiah, God warns His people because they have forgotten Him (ref Jer 18:15), forsaken Him (ref Jer 19:4) and have hardened their necks and would not hear His Words (ref Jer 19:15); therefore, He will bring all the plagues he has pronounced against His people (ref Jer 19:15). Why does He warn His people? He desires them to repent—to return everyone from his evil way, and make their ways and works good (ref Jer 18:11). Right now He is giving you that opportunity. Turn to Jesus with all your heart before it is too late. Don′t be like the children of Judah during the time of Jeremiah who said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart‐Jer 18:12. Commit your life to Jesus. Read your Bible every day and obey God′s commandments.

Sources: thebulletin.org; newsofdayonline.com; washingtonpost.com; state.gov; vox.com, jpost.com, romeosquared.eu, foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com, stripes.com.

Photo: Information for photo from rferl.org.