Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman . . . Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder
High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . Reagan’s Vision Lives!
E-Mail Message 130610
Can You See What’s Falling Through the Cracks?
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
June 10, 2013
A little heeded but still very important conclusion from the 1998 Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, chaired by later Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and unanimously supported by its bipartisan members, follows:
That the important warning about sea launch of “shorter range ballistic missiles” is still unheeded is astonishing, especially since Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense for over five years and did nothing about it, other than occasionally noting his concern about the threat. Note his embedded comments by clicking on this YouTube video of a possible attack by a SCUD launched off a vessel to attack Los Angeles.
Moreover, I have repeatedly argued that the Rumsfeld Commission and this YouTube video understate the threat, especially given the possibility of using such a launch scenario to produce a high altitude electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could kill hundreds of millions instead of a hundred thousand or so. And still we do nothing, today!
Current Defense Initiatives Still Ignore the Coastal Threat!
The Republican led House of Representatives clearly supports defending the United States against ballistic missile attacks—as evidenced by their plan to authorize additional 2014 funding, to begin building an additional land-based ballistic missile defense (BMD) site in the U.S. northeast to strengthen our existing ability to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) launched from Iran (from our ground-based defense site in Alaska). The Obama administration agrees our existing capabilities need improvement, as illustrated by its decision to buy additional interceptors for our Alaskan BMD site to counter the growing Iranian ICBM threat. So any disagreement is about price, not principle.
Whatever the merits of these initiatives—and both initiatives have merits, there are no reports of any effort whatsoever to deal with the threat of missiles launched from vessels off our coasts—which, for example, also could be executed by Iran or Iranian surrogate terrorists—and sooner than by ICBMs coming at us from over the North Pole. As is well-known, SCUDs are relatively inexpensive and easily purchased.
And We Are Totally Vulnerable to Attack from the “South”.
For the threat case of SCUDs launched from ships off our coasts, our Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) ships can shoot them down if they are appropriately located and prepared to do so. Indeed, they have demonstrated an ability to shoot down even longer range missiles—and with needed forward sensor information, even a satellite moving faster than an ICBM. A few Aegis BMD ships are usually on our East and West Coasts—so, if they train to do so, they could protect us against nearby vessels that might launch ballistic missiles from the Atlantic and Pacific.
But our Aegis ships do not “sail” in the Gulf of Mexico—so we are absolutely vulnerable to attacks from the Gulf—or indeed, from Venezuela, which has cooperated with Iran on possibly threatening technology. (See the third paragraph in the above excerpt from the 1998 Rumsfeld Commission report.) To deal with those all too real threats, we advocate building Aegis Ashore sites on military bases around the Gulf of Mexico—no development cost would be required, because we are already developing this capability for sites in Romania and Poland to defend our NATO allies.
We Also Are Totally Unprepared for an Attack from Space!
Moreover, while we have a limited defense against ICBMs that approach the U.S. from the north, we have essentially no defense against nuclear armed satellites launched on missiles that put them in orbit over the South Pole, to be detonated over the U.S.—and both North Korea and Iran have launched satellites to their south and over the South Pole—so it is not a stretch for them to send an ICBM on that same course as well. Indeed, folks have called attention to this fact ever since 1957 when the Soviets used the same rockets to launch Sputnik and their first ICBM.
For a devastating EMP attack on the U.S., all Iran (or North Korea) has to do is to include a nuclear weapon as a passenger on one of their satellites for a little over half an orbit, and just detonate it a couple of hundred miles up—say over Omaha. A couple hundred million Americans could die as a consequence.
Hello??? Wake Up, Folks!
So . . . someone should pay attention to these threats from the South—and stop letting such important matters fall through the cracks!
Hello? Anyone home? Anywhere?
Grass Roots’ Victory in Dealing with the EMP Threat!
The persistent efforts of Representative Andrea Boland (D-Sanford) were rewarded on June 6 when her proposed Act (LD151, an “Act To Secure The Safety Of Electrical Transmission Lines”) became law in Maine. This success for her and numerous others who shared her vision and supported her cause will not only help protect the citizens of Maine, it also is an excellent pattern for other state representatives to follow. If they do, they can also assure their constituents are protected against the possibility that their segments of the electric power grid might today irretrievably fail due to an EMP attack or a major solar emission. Hopefully other states will find equally dedicated representatives to follow the lead of Maine’s Representatives and Senators on both sides of the political aisle.
And hopefully, key federal authorities and members of congress will finally begin to deal effectively with this existential threat.
And what can you do?
Join us at High Frontier in seeking to alert the public and your local and state authorities to the existential threats posed by both man-made and natural EMP events—and what can be done about these threats.
We can use your help in spreading this information to the grass roots and to encourage all “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!