Train Rides Under The Sea

Grind for December 8th, 2018
“Men who do things without being told draw the most wages.” – Rodney Dangerfield


The Headline

Putin warns Trump: Withdrawing from INF could spark arms race

The Grind

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week confirmed the US was ready to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a Cold War-era agreement with Russia that prohibits the use of short- and intermediate-range missiles.

The INF bans the construction of missiles with ranges between 300 and 4,000 miles and prohibits the testing or producing of new ground-based missiles. In October, President Trump accused Moscow of violating the INF with its 9M729 cruise missile program and announced his intentions to withdraw.

Moscow has admitted to testing the weapon – but at ranges below those banned under the INF.

The Details

Speaking to NATO members on Tuesday, Pompeo announced the US would withdraw from the INF in 60 days unless Russia gets its act together.

“We would welcome a Russian change of heart, a change in direction, the destruction of their program, and their followed-on continuance of the terms of the treaty,” said Pompeo.

Such a move would force Moscow to start building missiles, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Our American partners apparently believe that the situation has changed to such an event that the US should have such weapons,” said Putin. “What answer will they have from our side? It’s simple: we’ll do it too.”

Russia’s top military official General Valery Gerasimov said Moscow’s new weapons would target US allies.

In the meantime, EU nations fear that ending the INF would facilitate the re-emergence of short-range nuclear missiles Russia could use to strike them at a moment’s notice.

According to US intelligence, Russia already has that capability.

The Takeaway

No matter how you look at it, eliminating the INF is bad news for Europe. But the advantage for Trump is that he will have more options to prepare for threats from Russia and other enemies.

As Pompeo has pointed out, China, Iran, and North Korea are not restricted by the INF:

“This leaves them free to build all the intermediate range missiles they would like,” he said. “There is no reason the United States should continue to cede this crucial military advantage to revisionist powers like China, in particular when these weapons are being used to threaten and coerce the United States and its allies in Asia.”

Out Of This World

The Headline

UAE Government proposes underwater train to India

The Grind

The UAE’s National Advisor Bureau this week presented a proposal to construct a bullet train connecting a city on its eastern coast to Mumbai, India.

The 1,242-mile journey through the Arabian Sea would take place underwater, inside a tube suspended by floating rings.

The Details

The concept of an underwater bullet train isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.

The Chinese government explored a similar idea in 2005; and last month, Beijing approved a railway connecting the coastal city of Ningbo with Zhoushan (an island in the East China Sea).

About 20% of the 50-mile route will be underwater.

According to National Advisor Bureau Director Abdulla Alshehhi, the train between UAE and India could be used to transport people as well as key resources like oil and water. The journey would take about 2 hours.

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