As we join in the festivities of our Independence Day celebrations, we need to renew the pledges made by those who proposed the Declaration of Independence some 238 years ago today—again to “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” to assure the birthright given to us by the Founders is passed to future Americans. Not least is to prepare for and counter the existential EMP threat posed by the current forces of tyranny.
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As I watch the expanding tangled web in the Middle East drift toward including a soon to be nuclear-armed Shia Iran to help counter the al Qaeda off-shoot Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), I can’t help but note that America is drifting into an untenable situation that could end our way of life. These sworn enemies of each other agree on at least one thing—they hate Americans and would kill us all if they could. Soon they may be able to—and still we dawdle, refusing to harden the electric grid upon which our way of life depends. Who should be held accountable?
The quote “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” refers to how complicated life becomes when people lie. It originally referred to a love triangle in the 1808 play “Marmion,” written by Sir Walter Scott. It applies in spades to previous and current policies of the Obama administration, especially those ineptly dealing with existential threats posed by the explosive conditions in the Middle East and East Asia. So, will we pay attention or find ourselves entangled and captured by the web?
In spite of claims to the contrary, al Qaeda and its allies and friends are alive and well—and seeking the destroy America and all our values and traditions. We have the knowledge and means to counter a growing existential threat posed by them, but we must recognize the threat and deal with it. Included in our response should be building effective defenses and hardening the electric power grid. Soon!
The most cost-effective way to counter the threat of proliferating ballistic missiles with improved offensive countermeasures is with space-based defenses that can intercept attacking ballistic missiles while their rockets are burning in their boost phase, before they can release their decoys that can overwhelm our current mid-course defenses that work in outer space. These space-based defense concepts remain controversial—and are falsely perceived to be too expensive and beyond our reach. Over two decades ago, the most advanced technology produced by the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was used to design a far more cost-effective system concept than any other basing alternative—before or since. We need to overcome this false perception and take full advantage of current technology to build a modern space-based defense system. And there are signs this is possible.
To counter the threat of proliferating ballistic missiles with improved offensive countermeasures, we need cost-effective defenses, well beyond the capability of our current systems. The best way to achieve this goal is with defenses that can intercept attacking ballistic missiles while their rockets are burning in their boost phase, before they can release their decoys that overwhelm our current mid-course defenses that work in outer space. We need to revive initiatives from the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) era that recognized this potential problem and dealt with it. The most cost-effective concepts, space based interceptors, remain controversial—but unpiloted aerial vehicles (UAVs) may be acceptable as launch platforms for boost-phase interceptors. Happily, that SDI-pioneered technology has survived, at least after a fashion, and could be harnessed to defeat today’s offensive countermeasures.
Recent Pentagon strategic guidance states that the threat of proliferating ballistic missiles with improved offensive countermeasures will defeat current and planned ballistic missile defense systems—suggesting major changes in direction are required. Actually, this situation should not be a surprise since the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) era recognized this potential problem and dealt with it—regrettably those initiatives were scuttled by the Clinton administration and have not been revived, presumably for political reasons because this condition need not be tolerated if we would simply return to the SDI vision and technology championed by President Ronald Reagan. Stay tuned.
We have opportunities for diplomatic initiatives to benefit the United States and our allies while defending against fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) attacks from North Korea and Iran. Such initiatives should be easily attached to agreements for defense cooperation, as evidenced by the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the Philippines and discussions in Abu Dhabi—both of which set the stage for rapid follow through to end our total FOBS vulnerability and cooperate on regional defenses for our allies as well.
Reflecting on past May Day celebrations in Red Square prompts recollections of better times, to which I believe we should aspire to return. In my opinion, the high point, especially for our ballistic missile defense (BMD) programs was at the end of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) decade at the end of 1992, while Ronald Reagan’s “Peace through Strength” vision was still alive and well. It’s been a bit down-hill since then, at least from my perspective, though Vladimir Putin probably has a different perspective—especially as he views Russia’s current prospects in dealing with a U.S. administration that our enemies don’t fear and our friends don’t respect.
On his trip to the Pacific Rim, President Obama should set the stage for almost immediately ending America’s current vulnerability to the existential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat posed by North Korea’s Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) capability. Beyond unilateral measures—the U.S. could deploy a TPY-2 radar in the Philippines to help defend them from North Korea and to empower our Aegis ships in the Pacific and our ground-based interceptors in California to shoot down a FOBS attack before it reaches U.S. Territory.
Join The Fight
IWG Capitol Hill Conference on Aegis Sea-based Missile Defense: Present Status and Future Requirements, June 26, 2014
Amb. Cooper speaks on EMP at SC Tea Party Patriots Convention
The Day The Lights Went Out – Video Courtesy of New York Times
Expert Panel on EMP Threat: New EMP Coalition!
Gingrich endorses SHIELD Act, praises Maine EMP legislation
Jim Woolsey: Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is existential threat to America
President Reagan announces SDI on March 23, 1983
President Reagan on 10 Year Anniversary of High Frontier
Key Policy Briefs