North Korea is reportedly preparing to launch a satellite with the potential of detonating a nuclear weapon a hundred miles or so over the United States — possibly soon to be followed by its strategic ally, Iran. The resulting electromagnetic pulse (EMP) could destroy our unhardened electric power grid — leading to the death of most Americans within the following year. It’s long past time to counter this threat!
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Assuring the survival and assured restart capability of our nuclear power reactors should be a top priority objective of all who seek to counter the existential threat to the electric power grid posed by Cyber or Physical attack or from manmade or natural EMP threats. We are working with Duke Energy, the largest U.S. power company, to conduct a pilot study to demonstrate just such a capability.
“I agree with the intel community that we assess that they [the North Koreans] have the ability, they have the weapons, and they have the ability to miniaturize those weapons, and they have the ability to put them on a rocket that can range the [U.S.] homeland.” ~ Adm. William Gortney, Northcom Commander, responsible for defending the United States from long-range missile attack, in an October 8, 2015 address to the Atlantic Council.
“. . . [T]he entire population of the United States could be at risk. There would be no food. No water. Communications, transportation, industry, business and finance — all of the critical infrastructures that support modern civilization and the lives of the American people would be paralyzed by collapse of the electric power grid. Millions could die. ~ William R. Graham and R. James Woolsey
Last week two important ballistic missile defense (BMD) tests demonstrated significant improvements in the Navy’s Standard Missile that either is or will be deployed at sea on our and Japan’s Aegis BMD ships — and on land as the interceptor of the Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland. These same interceptors also should be charged with defending Americans at home from ballistic missiles launched from off-shore vessels, especially in the Gulf of Mexico.
Yesterday was the 74th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a classic “Black Swan” event in that it was unexpected but should have been, as concluded after the fact. Two years ago, I suggested we were courting another “surprise” attack that should be identified now and countered while there may still be time to prevent or defend against it. Two years have passed, the threat has grown and we seem to be beginning to address it—so, a “Gray” Swan? Will we respond in time?
“The Secretary of Defense at the time, Leon Panetta, called the threat of a cyber-attack on the power grid potentially a cyber-Pearl Harbor. That’s pretty huge, and nobody was paying any attention to it. And so I wondered: A) Are these people just exaggerating for reasons I don’t quite understand, and B) If they’re not, what is the government doing to prepare for it and to prepare the public for it? And my instinct told me that the answer was going to be not much. Not much is an exaggeration. Nothing is closer to the truth.” ~ Ted Koppel on the PBS Newshour, October 27, 2015, discussing his new book, “Lights Out: A Cyber Attack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.”
The Obama administration seems delusional about the threats we face and clueless about how to counter them. Others must fill the gaps, and 2016 should be a national-security election. Hopefully, we will elect a president and congress who understand the urgent strategic perils America faces—worldwide, and especially in the Middle East. We quite literally have no time to waste.
“But I don’t want to go among the mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the [Cheshire] cat, “We’re all mad here. I’m Mad, you’re mad.” “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the cat, “or else you wouldn’t have come here.” ~ Lewis Carol, Alice in Wonderland.
As the clock winds down on the near-term destiny of the terrible Nuclear Deal with Iran, a long-standing threat from Iran’s ally, North Korea, again raises its ugly head. Will we pay attention? Or also continue to ignore it and its ties to Iran?
High Frontier’s South Carolina Update 1/18/2016
South Carolina National Security Action Summit – 2015: Panel on Threats to America’s Electric Power Grid and Critical Infrastructure
South Carolina Tea Party Convention – EMP Response Panel
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