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Wake up the mighty men, prepare for war

President Biden's intelligence agencies have been caught completely unawares as Communist China conducts successful hypersonic missile tests. “We have no idea how they did this”, one intelligence source quoted. North Korea also claims it tested a hypersonic weapon at the end of September, but its capabilities were far more limited and the test largely debatable, whereas China's missile actually circumnavigated the world before plunging back into the atmosphere.

After a long hiatus, hypersonic missile research and development is back in full swing. A global hypersonic arms race is now under way, challenging geopolitical order and undermining strategic air and missile defence systems. Recent reports of successful hypersonic missile tests demonstrate that these capabilities will be fielded much sooner than first thought, forcing a global reassessment of traditional deterrent models. Dr. James Bosbotinis, an iQ contributor and speaker at an upcoming Hypersonic Weapons Systems online conference and a UK specialist in defence and international affairs, has provided some technical and political insights into hypersonics and the implications for future defence alliances.

But what does hypersonic mean? A hypersonic missile travels at speeds of Mach 5 or higher: ie – 5 times faster than the speed of sound or approximately one mile per second in the Imperial. Russia's Kh-47M2 Kingzhal air-launched ballistic missile is allegedly capable of reaching Mach 10 speeds and distances of 2,000 km or there-abouts. In comparison, the US Tomahawk cruise missile – the US Navy and Royal Navy's preferred long-range missile system – is subsonic, travelling at around 550 miles per hour for a maximum distance of around 1,500 miles. A hypersonic cruise missile reaches its target with the help of a high-speed jet engine that allows it to travel at such extreme speeds.

When hypersonic missiles become operational, the gap between missile offence systems and missile defence systems will be huge. Simply put, there is no single operational missile defence system that is presently capable of intercepting a hypersonic missile. At the time of writing, hypersonic missile research and development remains at the classified level, but in recent months many governments have publicly announced successful tests and future projects. The development and deployment of these systems will provide states with significantly-enhanced strike capabilities and, potentially, the means to coerce. This will be the case where a major regional power, such as Russia, may seek to coerce a neighbour, using the threat of hypersonic strikes against critical targets. In this regard, consider the implications of Iran deploying hypersonic weapons versus an Israeli deployment, or in the context of a NATO-Russia or US-China confrontation.

Of course, at this point in time we don't know what weapons will be used in the coming Tribulation period, but we do know that when the Lord opens the second seal . . . there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. (Revelation 6:4). We also know that Russia and its allies will invade Israel during the first half of the Tribulation. Ezekiel speaks of this invasion in chapters 38 and 39 of his prophecy: And thou shall come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shall come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, in their eyes.(Ezekiel 38:15-16).

The northern army is led by Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal from the land of Magog. This land, according to Josephus the Jewish historian, was the land of Scythia on the northern shore of the Black Sea. Today this land is part of Russia, and the description of the invading army from the north is just as we would expect from someone living 2,500 years ago. Modern weapons are described in terms of ancient warfare, but they do produce fire and smoke. Both ancient and modern armies leave behind them burning cities, although history discloses the fact that the Russians themselves torched many of their buildings in Moscow in order to thwart Napoleon's plan to conquer the country. Not fully understanding the severity of a Russian winter he left his departure too late, with disastrous consequences for his once-great French army. Israel's losses during its northern invasion will be similar: bearing in mind that when this invasion occurs Israel is still under the chastening hand of God.

With many countries feverishly working on ever-more-advanced weapons systems – and knowing from Bible prophecy that terrible times are ahead for those left behind after the Church has been raptured, it's more important than ever for Christians to do whatever they can to win more souls for the Lord.

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