Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder
High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . Reagan’s Vision Lives!
E-Mail Message 130401
April 1, 2013—April Fool . . . or For Any Other Time?
Western leaders are focused on North Korea’s “declaration of a state of war” and threats to attack the U.S. and U.S. military bases in South Korea and elsewhere in the Pacific—presumably, in response to two U.S. nuclear-capable stealth bombers flying from Whiteman AFB, Missouri to drop dummy munitions in joint military drills with U.S. ally South Korea. The B-2s were intended to demonstrate U.S. resolve following North Korea’s recent underground nuclear test, its test of long range ballistic missile that could reach the Northwestern U.S. and threats to “preemptively attack” the U.S. Subsequently, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been shown planning long range missile attacks, including on the U.S.
Most observers say that Mr. Kim’s threats probably don’t indicate an imminent war; rather they likely are intended to coerce South Korea into softening its policies, win direct talks and aid from Washington, and strengthen the young leader’s credentials and image at home. Indeed, we’ve seen this show before—and North Korea’s bellicose behavior has usually been rewarded . . . and open conflict avoided.
But will it always work that way? And what about the similar game that Iran plays?
Indeed, it easy to forget that there are other outcomes—and some decidedly more dangerous. Don’t be an April Fool . . . or at any other time. Learn about these concerns and take appropriate actions!
Same Song, Second Verse.
If things go as usual, diplomats will try to calm things down . . . the question is at what cost and to whom? Usually, Uncle Sam pays . . . the question is how much and with what currency? And to be sure, others are in the game. Consider just a couple.
Perhaps most notable is China, the owner of a growing portion of our national debt, not much of a friend, and North Korea’s partner in gaining both ballistic missile and nuclear technology. And China feeds the cacophony of nuclear proliferation, including to Iran and terrorist elements that present a global threat to Western Civilization. Many think China could have a major influence on toning down North Korea, but so far we’ve not seen much help.
Then there’s our ally, South Korea, where 28,500 U.S. troops are based. South Korea is one of two nations (The other is Germany.) that build the critical elements of our electric power grid—transformers that, unless corrective measures are taken, could be damaged beyond repair by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack; and North Korea could attack the U.S. with the ballistic missiles they have today. And it can attack South Korea with lots of the shorter range ballistic missiles in its inventory. The question is, when can they mate nuclear weapons with these missiles? And will we know when that occurs?
If North Korea has already achieved this ability to mate its nuclear weapons to ballistic missiles, Mr. Kim’s threat is not an empty one.
In evaluating the above assertions, note that North Korea has already used its ballistic missiles to launch into orbit satellites, from which nuclear weapons could be dispatched to create a high altitude nuclear EMP attack above the earth’s atmosphere over the U.S.—without paying a weight penalty to reenter the earth’s atmosphere. As previously discussed, such an attack could lead to the death of hundreds of millions of Americans from starvation, disease, pestilence, riots, etc. The only question is when they can mate this capability to their missiles.
Our ballistic missile defenses in Alaska were designed to shoot down a few North Korean long range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)—and could shoot down North Korean satellites if it attempts an EMP attack from over the North Pole. But, by design, our current defense could be overwhelmed by a few such nuclear armed ballistic missiles. Deploying an additional 14 defensive interceptors, as recently announced by Defense Secretary Hagel, will be helpful, but may not be sufficient—and depending on when North Korea were to execute such an attack, they may not even be available for employment.
Furthermore, an ICBM is not needed to launch such an attack—a short or medium range ballistic missile can create the same effect if launched from a vessel off our coasts to detonate a nuclear weapon over the U.S. As discussed below, this fact is well known to those who might threaten us—in particular Iran has tested their missiles in exactly this mode. And the U.S. is essentially unprepared to deal with this threat, especially from the Gulf of Mexico.
That’s a segue to mention that there have been many uncomfortable reports that North Korea has long been helping Iran develop its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles—not to mention China and Russia. Iran also has demonstrated it can place satellites in orbit. And as noted last week, the administration’s focus on North Korea ignores this threat—a fact emphasized by several senior members of congress.
The Dog Not Barking.
As noted last week (and in previous reports), the Washington “powers that be” are ignoring the existential EMP threat. A single high altitude nuclear explosion at an altitude of a few hundred miles—well above the earth’s atmosphere—could expose the entire nation to an EMP. This coverage has been known for well over a decade—e.g., see the adjacent 1997 figure, available to anyone on the web.
Furthermore, it is also well known that such an event could return the United States to the conditions of the 19th century, but without the benefits of an indigenous agrarian society—and without the modern means of transportation, communications, banking, medical support, etc. This was the testimony of the Chairman of the congressionally appointed EMP Commission, Dr. William R. Graham, an acknowledged expert on EMP effects since the 1960s, who among other things served as President Reagan’s Science Advisor. The 2006 and 2008 Commission reports are provided on High Frontier webpage—in 2006, only the Executive Summary was openly available—whereas much information was cleared for open publication in 2008. Click here for Dr. Graham’s prepared congressional testimony in 2008 .
It is most notable that the threat is well known among all U.S. adversaries. Listen to then Congressman Roscoe Bartlett’s 2011 presentation at the Heritage foundation, beginning just over 4 minutes in. He reported that, in 1999, Russian authorities told him and other members of congress that if they wished they could destroy the U.S. with an EMP attack—that exchange led him and others to charter the EMP Commission to elaborate for congress the technical facts associated with such claims.
The EMP Commission did just that—in comprehensive reports and testimony in 2006 and 2008, so far without much effect on the congress or anyone else. Among other things, the Commission reported that EMP effects are widely understood by the technical community around the world.
That much was kept secret to U.S. citizens until their 2008 report has not kept our enemies from learning about this existential threat. So, our enemies understand how they can bring the American people to their knees, and neither the American people nor their representatives appear to appreciate that fact.
We prefer to believe that most in congress and the administration do not understand rather than that they are deliberately allowing the American people to be held hostage to the whims of rogue states and terrorists. But make no mistake, terrorists and rogue states will eventually get the ability to launch a nuclear weapon to high over the U.S.—and some already have that launch capability, the only question is when they get appropriately light weight nuclear weapons.
Bottom line: In spite of an authoritative set of facts, essentially nothing has been done to address this serious problem—either by the executive or legislative branches if the federal government. Perhaps in the current Congress, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) will have better luck as Co-Chairs of the EMP Caucus in getting support for appropriate Federal legislation.
Go to the Grass Roots.
As noted previously, it seems clear that grass roots efforts will be needed to impress on the Washington “powers that be” that the folks back home want to be defended against the threats discussed above.
In the coming weeks, we will focus on informing Americans around the Gulf of Mexico of the threat from the south against which we are totally defenseless—and what can be done about it. This includes deploying Aegis Ashore sites at military bases around the Gulf—like those we are deploying in Europe to defend our allies against Iranian missiles.
While we will focus on the ballistic missile threat, we will emphasize the need to harden the electric power grid, at a minimum, to assure we can survive a massive solar geomagnetic storm—missile defenses are useless against this natural threat, which will occur. As discussed in our December 30, 2012 report, the only question is when?
While that hardening is a necessary but not sufficient condition to assure society’s survival following a nuclear event, it is an important first step. Other damaging effects from a natural major EMP event or a nuclear EMP event are more easily repaired than would be living without the transformers essential to the electric power grid.
Future reports will chronicle the progress we and others make in taking our message to the grass roots. Hopefully, we will begin to gain a following, in and out of government, to assure the electric power grid can survive a natural or manmade EMP event. And we will seek to aid the development and application of technology to assure survival or easy repairs of all key elements of our society that is dependent on electricity to function.
Finally, we again applaud Maine Representative, Andrea Boland, for her efforts to require all new transmission lines of the to-be-installed $1.4 billion Maine Power Reliability Program be protected against major solar storm geomagnetic effects. Passage of her proposed Bill, LD 131, would set a very important precedent. For an in-depth analysis of her efforts and related background concerns, see Dr. Peter Vincent Pry’s comprehensive Family Security Matters article, “Maine’s Battle to Save America.”
And what should you do?
Join us at High Frontier in seeking to alert the public to the existential threats posed by both manmade and natural EMP events—and what can be done about these threats.
We can use your help in spreading the word to grass roots and local authorities to press the powers that be to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do. Will you do your part?
Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage, www.highfrontier.org for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter!
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