Canada Must Join the US Missile Defense Program Within the Year to Face the Threat of North Korean a
Canada Must Join the US Missile Defense Program Within the Year to Face the Threat of North Korean and later Iranian ICBM Attack
In terms of the North Korean ICBM launches this month and the Canadian strategic context, it is important to note that Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has previously said that he won't rule out Canada joining US missile defense to defend against an attack from North Korea. Now, given events in the Pacific, the Canadian government has some critical decisions to make. The North Korean Hwasong-14 ICBM has a range that could see it strike targets as far away at Chicago and the missile tracks bring the warheads down over Canada into their US targets. The problem is that the Hwasong-14s are not yet perfected, and have a high circular error of probability, meaning they could impact miles from their target. As it stands now, the Yukon, British Columbia, and the Prairie provinces are within the potential range of an errant or rogue North Korean ICBM launch. By all accounts, the Hwasong-14 can carry a blunt, but effective re-entry vehicle for its 500-kilogram single fission-fueled nuclear warhead with a yield like the atomic bomb that struck Hiroshima. The North Korean nuclear test facility stands ready to carry out a nuclear test likely to be a thermonuclear explosion, and so a more devastating warhead is likely just around the corner. As development of the Hwasong-14 ICBM advances to maturity we are likely to see North Korea field ICBMs with multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles with fusion-fueled warheads unless they are stopped. Worse, as soon as North Korea perfects the technology, they will likely sell it to Iran meaning that in the next decade, if not stopped, Iran will likely field similar ICBMs capable of hitting Europe and the US with missile tracks bring them down over eastern Canada. The bottom-line here is that Canada needs to join US missile defense in the very near future likely by this time next year. Burying our collective heads in the sand will leave us at risk with no defensive counter-measure.
On the terrorism front, the massive US Naval base at Norfolk is on lockdown after reports this morning of a possible diver in the water.
The UK has stripped hundreds of foreign fighters who enlisted with Islamic State (ISIS) to fight in Syria and Iraq of their citizenship and blocked from returning by Western governments.
On Friday, a known ISIS-supporter killed one person and injured six others in a supermarket knife attack in Hamburg. The man was an asylum seeker born in the United Arab Emirates.
It was reported that hundreds of Swedish residents who went to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have now returned home to Sweden and the Swedish government has given several of them “protected identities” to people from finding out who they are.
Australian airports have increased security after police arrested four men on Sunday in an ISIS-inspired bomb plot to bring down a civilian passenger jet. The four Lebanese men were reportedly building an incredibly sophisticated, “non-traditional” improvised explosive device that emits a poisonous, sulfur-based gas to kill the passengers
The al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab carried out a car bomb attack on the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday that killed at least five people and wounded dozens. The death toll is expected to rise. US military has conducted a drone strike against al-Shabaab in Somalia killing one fighter on Saturday.
As it loses group in Iraq and Syria, ISIS is believed to be regrouping and recruiting in the rural regions south of the main east-to-west coastal highway and in the far-west town of Sabratha, Libya, which is poised just 60 miles from the Tunisian border. Many of its new recruits are Tunisians.
Social media accounts linked to Hezbollah, as well as its Al Manar website, announced a ceasefire with al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) in the Jurud Arsal area of Lebanon.
The Yemen-based arm of al-Qaeda — flush with millions in ill-gotten gains — is gaining strength from the fractured nation's civil conflict and is sufficiently funded to carry out new terror attacks, according to a new report.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terror cell behind Paris' Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015 and the group behind the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, reportedly earns tens of millions of dollars per year from taxation, looting, ransoms and oil and gas sales, is well funder and poised to carry out new attacks.
Khaled Abdelnabi, a prominent leader of Ansar al-Sharia, the local Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, voluntarily turned himself in to security forces in the Yafa’a district of the Lahij governorate.
Saudi forces have reportedly shot down an Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi ballistic missile just 43 miles south of the holy city of Mecca. This comes less than one week after Houthi rebels claimed to fire a ballistic missile at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.
ISIS claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack on US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Raqqa as the SDF advanced into an ISIS stronghold in the Homs province. ISIS claimed that two armored vehicles were destroyed and 53 members of the SDF were killed in the attack.
Iraqi intelligence officials said Sunday they foiled an ISIS plot to attack revered Shi'ite shrines and the sect's spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
ISIS attacked the Iraqi embassy in Kabul with a suicide bomber and three gunmen, two were killed and three police wounded.
On the Larger global security front, Russian President, Vladimir Putin announced Sunday that the US diplomatic mission in Russia must reduce its staff by 755 employees in response to US sanctions.
Additionally, on Sunday, Russia held its much celebrated annual Navy Day in multiple time zones, with parades and demonstrations held across Russian and at bases abroad in Syria and in annexed Crimea. In the far eastern city of Vladivostok dozens of navy vessels and submarines from the country's Pacific Fleet were put on public display. Celebrations were also held in Baltiysk, the western base of Russia's Baltic Fleet and the Russian Navy's flagship aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, in the northern city of Severomorsk. In St. Petersburg, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, oversaw a parade featuring 5000 sailors, 50 combat ships and submarines, and 40 combat-aircraft.
Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying Simorgh rocket into space on Thursday, in what is likely the most significant step yet for the launch vehicle. Simorgh which means “phoenix” in Persian, can carry a satellite weighing 250 kilograms and is based upon North Korean missile technology.
Iran vowed on Saturday to move ahead with its missile program and condemned new US sanctions. At 4 pm on Friday, the aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz and its accompanying warship, were aggressively shadowed by Revolutionary Guards fast attack craft. Earlier in the week, a US warship fired warning shots at a Guards boat in similar circumstances on Tuesday.
The Maldives military has surrounded the Maldivian parliament to stop opposition parliamentarians entering the legislature. Lawmakers who tried to breach the military cordon were forcibly evicted by soldiers, triggering clashes through the week in Male, the Maldivian capital. President Abdulla Yameen's embattled administration has become dependent on the 3,000-strong military to maintain its hold on power.
Diplomats from India and China met on Friday to cool tensions between the two countries over a Himalayan border stand-off.
The Commander US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris has warned the Pacific region is focused on three major threats: North Korea, China in the South China Sea, and the Islamic State in the Philippines.
The UK has announced that it will send a task group of ships to the South China Sea in the coming year to conduct freedom of navigation exercise build around the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth II to protests of anger from China.
Chinese President, Xi-Jinping, Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission conducted a massive military parade on Sunday to send a message to world that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is quickly modernizing and improving its readiness for war. Tuesday marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA. More than 12000 troops, some 100 combat-aircraft flew overhead and almost 600 types of weaponry were on display for the occasion, nearly half of which were making their first appearance in public.
Among the weaponry making their first appearance was the road-mobile DF-31AG Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) designed to deliver nuclear warheads an estimated 11,000 kilometers away to a target that can reach the US and Europe. As well, three of China’s new stealth Chengdu J-20 fighter aircraft that entered service in March were included in the fly-by. Additionally, the Shenyang J-16 fighter-plane never shown before in public and a modification of Russia’s Sukhoi-30MKK joined the aircraft on display. The HQ-22 air-defense missile first revealed in 2016, and a replacement for the obsolete HQ-2 air-defense system was featured in the parade, along with the HQ-9B an upgrade of the HQ-9 that is like Russia’s S-300 air-defense missile system. Lastly, the ASN-301 drone system geared to attacking radar systems made a parade appearance. The drone has a top speed of some 220 kilometers per hour, and can stay airborne for four hours. It can target up to eight radar systems from as far away as 228 kilometers.
US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has labeled China and Russia as “economic enablers” of North Korea after Pyongyang on Friday test-fired a Hwasong-14 ICBM for the second time in a matter of weeks. China on Saturday condemned the latest test while calling for restraint from all sides. US President, Donald Trump, expressed frustration with Beijing over its efforts to curtail Kim Jong-un on Saturday by tweeting, “I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”
Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said Monday he and President Donald Trump agreed to take further action against North Korea, with Trump pledging to “take all necessary measures to protect” Japan from North Korean aggression, and he called on China and Russia to do more to stop Pyongyang.
South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, has asked the US to open negotiations that would allow South Korea to build more powerful ballistic missiles to counter an increasingly aggressive North Korea.
North Korea on Sunday warned of "a stern action of justice" if the United States initiates new sanctions against its latest test of a Hwasong-14 ICBM. Meanwhile, new imagery analysis suggests that North Korea’s missile launches were meant to land much closer to Japan.
The US has announced that it will not seek UN Security Council action following North Korea's latest missile test. US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has warned that, "the time for talk is over." She went on to state that North Korea "is already subject to numerous Security Council resolutions that they violate with impunity." There are reports that the US is examining military force options to punish the Kim Jong-un regime.
It was revealed that when North Korea test-launched the first Hwasong-14 ICBM on July 4, that the US reportedly had observed Kim Jong-un for 70 minutes before the missile took off and could have killed him. This may be the reason that North Korea carried out its most recent test launch in the dark with Kim Jong-un and several look alike decoys reportedly moving around at the launch site.
On Saturday, two US B-1B strategic bombers joined counterparts from the South Korean and Japanese air forces in sequenced bilateral missions.
The US conducted a successful missile defense test in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday amid growing tensions with North Korea. US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in Alaska destroyed a Medium-Range Ballistic Missile over the Pacific.