Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman . . . Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder
High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . Reagan’s Vision Lives
E-Mail Message 140312
Still a Dangerous World . . .
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
March 12, 2014
“I think that cutting the defense budget in significant ways right now is a serious mistake. You know, when we’ve cut the budget before—at the end of the Cold War, at the end of Vietnam and at other times, it’s been because we thought the world was going to be a safer place . . . at least we thought so temporarily at the time. No one can make that case right now. You look at the situation in Ukraine and our relationships with Russia. You look at the tensions between China and Japan and in the South China Sea. You look at Iran and North Korea. These guys are operating on the 20th century model of nation states, boundaries matter, strategic interests matter, zero sum game, I win, you lose. This is the way these countries look at the world. It’s different than the way the West Europeans and we look at it, and frankly the pace at which both the Europeans and the United States [are] cutting their defenses, regardless of what the facts on the ground in terms of the number of ships and number of planes, it certainly sends a signal that we are not interested in protecting our global interests.” . . . Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, March 9, 2015
During the past couple of weeks, there have been several important conferences in Washington, all of which illustrated the truth of Secretary Gates comments on Fox News Sunday last weekend.
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
In our last email message, I referred to the major disconnect between President Barak Obama and Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted by the President’s public statements and discussions at the concurrent AIPAC conference.
While there are claims to the contrary, such U.S. actions suggest that the U.S. is abandoning our best friend in the Middle East and while accepting an eventually nuclear armed Iran—and ineffectively dealing with the likely consequent proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region. Among others, there are reports that Egypt, while receiving Russian aid to offset the Obama administration’s reductions, is considering a nuclear capability. The U.S. previously ceded leadership in the Middle East to Russian President Putin, who rescued President Obama from his unwise “red line” threat breached by Syria’s chemical weapons program with a diplomatic solution that promised the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons—now unsurprisingly way behind schedule.
The largest AIPAC conference ever was followed by the annual mass meeting of conservatives at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and a lesser known but, in my judgment, a very important one day concurrent National Security Action Summit (NSAS). My purpose in this message is to highlight my perception of the most important summary conclusions and to provide links to several pertinent presentations that you may find of interest and worth your time.
The reason for the NSAS was because many national security conservatives are unhappy that CPAC gives such little time to this leg of Ronald Reagan’s three legged stool: Free enterprise, Pro-family social policy and a “Peace through strength” national defense and foreign policy. Even so, CPAC had at least one articulate spokesman for this important third leg, John Bolton, whose 9 minute presentation can be witnessed by clicking here. In summary, Bolton’s main points were:
- We are experiencing many national policy crises, the biggest crisis is the President’s deliberate erosion of U.S. strength to fit into a multilateral world without U.S. traditional exceptionalism, contrary to the historic conservative principle that our federal government’s first priority is “to make the world safe for ourselves.”
- Isolationism is not a conservative answer either. Reagan argued that a strong defense budget is the vital margin of safety, and we are losing that margin.
- As U.S. military budgets and capabilities shrink others’ military capability is growing. In particular, Russia and China are making major strides while our capabilities atrophy.
- Terrorism is growing—Al Qaeda’s flag is flying around the world. The National Director of Intelligence recently testified that terrorism is as bad as on 9/11.
- Libya is a paradigm of the Obama doctrine of failures—particularly the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack that killed the President’s personal representative with no consequences—conservatives will not let this issue go away. We will tell Hillary Clinton “We know what difference it makes, even if you don’t!” Click here for a recent letter, which I joined in signing, to Speaker Boehner urging him to appoint a select committee to get to the bottom of this important matter.
- We conservatives need to return national security to the center of our political debate in the upcoming 2014 and 2016 election seasons—we need to mobilize the majority of Americans who believe as we do, and return to replace the current policy of “drift, decline and defeatism” with to the policies and victories of Reaganite Peace through Strength agenda.
For the full complement of all the presentations at the National Security Action Summit, click here. The agenda was as follows:
Panel One: The Muslim Brotherhood,the “Civilization Jihad” and Its Enablers
– Hon. Pete Hoekstra [via video]- Andrew McCarthy [via video]- Stephen Coughlin
– John Guandolo
– Deborah Weiss
– Dr. Zhudi Jasser [via video]
Remarks: Henry Schwartz, Chairman EMPact America
Panel Two: Amnesty and Open Borders—The End of America – and the GOP
– Phyllis Schlafly
– Rosemary Jenks
– Mark Krikorian
– Amb. Roger Noriega
Panel Three: Benghazigate—The Ugly Truth and the Cover-up
– LTG William G. “Jerry” Boykin USA (Ret.)
– Chris Farrell
– Catherine Herridge
– Charles Woods
Remarks: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Panel Four: The Common Defense Endangered—The Case for Peace Through Strength 2.0
– Gen. Jim Conway USMC (Ret.)
– Adm. James “Ace” Lyons USN (Ret.)
– LTG Tom McInerney USAF (Ret.)
Panel Five: Crisis in the Ukraine: Putin’s Bid for USSR 2.0 and the Needed U.S. Response
– Herman Pirchner
– Sebastian Gorka
– Clare Lopez
– Ariel Cohen
Remarks: Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) “Financial Stability of America’s Future”
Remarks: Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX)—Vice Chairman, House Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee
Remarks: Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)—Purging the Warriors
Remarks: Senator David Vitter (R-LA)—Amnesty
Remarks: Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ)—Protecting the Power Grid
Panel Six: Protecting the Grid: Correct Its Vulnerabilities – or a “World without America”
– Hon. Hank Cooper
– Hon. Roscoe Bartlett
– Major General Bob Newman
– Dr. Peter Pry
Featured Closing Address: – Judge Jeanine
Additional Remarks: Steve Bannon, Breitbart.com; James O’Keefe, Project Veritas
Program Closing: Moderator, Frank Gaffney
I want to emphasize the presentations by Congressman Trent Franks (12 minutes) who chairs the EMP Caucus, the panel on protecting the electric power grid (36 minutes), and the closing remarks by Judge Jeanine (10 minutes), which focus on the threat of manmade and natural electromagnetic pulse (EMP) events and what is blocking our efforts to counter them effectively. Some key summary points:
Rep. Trent Franks:
- The current ballistic missile defense budget is the lowest in years—the lowest of the Obama administration.
- Either we are wasting a lot of money on hardening some of our military systems or we are delinquent in investing to harden the electric power grid which is essential to support our military forces, not to mention all Americans.
- America is behind internationally in dealing with this critical issue. Other nations have recognized the threat and are responding.
- There is always a time when a major problem is big enough to be seen and small enough to be dealt with—this is such a time re. EMP.
- Should read the review of the 11 Commissions and official studies that have concluded that the electric power grid is vulnerable to EMP and are being ignored.
Former Rep. Roscoe Bartlett:
- In 1999, a Senior Russian official told him and several other congressmen that they could have destroyed our nuclear power grid with a single nuclear weapon detonated over the U.S.
- Iran can deliver this weapon via long range ballistic missiles, satellites in orbit over the U.S., or short-range missiles from vessels off our coasts, particularly from the Gulf of Mexico.
- Accuracy does not matter in executing an EMP attack.
- Everyone buys fire insurance, how can America go to sleep tonight without insurance against this threat?
- Lowell Wood says this is just too hard for Americans to think about it—but indeed we must.
Amb. Hank Cooper:
- Things have been bottled up on Capitol Hill for years—three congresses.
- Washington is terribly broken—so I believe we must go to the local and state level to raise awareness and begin dealing with this urgent need.
- The National Guard is key to achieving this awareness and dealing with this threat. They are made up of local citizens and yet play nationally important roles. For example they man our homeland ballistic missile defense systems.
- Iran may get an ICBM to attack us over the North Pole—the Pentagon is studying the threat and may deploy an East Coast defensive site. But there are other threats for which we are not well prepared.
- Iran and North Korea have launched satellites over the South Pole that could carry a nuclear weapon over the South Pole—and they could detonate that weapon over the U.S. before our current defenses could shoot it down. Iran or their terrorist surrogates could launch nuclear armed missiles from vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and we currently have no defense to shoot them down. Cold War Deterrence probably won’t work with Iran.
- The facts on the EMP threat used to be classified—but the EMP Commission made most of the important information available to the general public in 2008. Still it is being ignored in spite of numerous competent reviews that reinforce the Commission’s conclusions and recommendations.
- The root of this problem is the electric power industry which has successfully lobbyied to block effective hardening of the grid. They have blocked congressional action for three congresses—four years or so. And the administration is not addressing the issue either.
- We are working with the SC Adjutant General’s office to conduct a major exercise in 2015—if successful, we’ll be educating folks from the bottom up. And we will be joining forces with Bob Newman to include as many other states as we can.
- Perhaps when Washington feels the heat from below, they will see the light and address this urgent problem.
MGen. Bob Newman:
- The National Guard is uniquely embedded under state and federal authorities. They are in the right place to lead in working to counter the potential catastrophic effects EMP events. We are working with many states on how to deal with natural and manmade EMP events.
- Working bottom-up with the Guard, which is receptive and the concern is beginning to resonate with them. Focus is generally on reconstruction—but unlike most disasters, there may be no outside effort if the entire grid goes down. Probably nothing will happen until we explain how the Guard can help prepare.
- The Guard is experienced in dealing with disasters—but is unprepared to deal with an EMP disaster that could shut down a major portion, possibly the entire electric power grid.
- Beginning to get some action in a number of states—with the Guard working upward and with the state legislatures.
Dr. Peter Pry:
- Solar emissions that could lead to this catastrophe occur about every hundred years—the last one was 150 years ago so we are overdue. One just missed the intersecting the Earth in 2012. Many countries could attack us—and it a part of Iran’s doctrine to do so.
- Did an experiment years ago that showed an engineering student, within a year, built two non-nuclear EMP weapons from components purchased from Radio Shack.
- We’ve known for 50 years how to harden the grid—which may cost as little as we send to Pakistan every year.
- Should relate this vulnerability to the currently unfolding events in Ukraine and the Middle East. We need to avoid war that could lead to the use of EMP attacks, which are our gravest threat.
- This is more important than the national debt because of the erosion of our strategic capabilities over the past several years.
- Think about some important numbers: numbers matter. The nuclear deterrent we had under Reagan is not there anymore. Three missiles could wipe out almost half of our nuclear weapons based on bombers by attacking three bases. Two more could take out another third by attacking the two ports at which our submarine launched ballistic missiles are located most of the time. The last third is in the ICBMs—and the Obama administration is trying to get rid of them—including by moving to a Dyad, including to satisfy some interpretation of environmental concerns.
- We’ve weakened our NATO defense forces—more undefended states and poor to no strategy
- Need actions: Learn from history, totalitarian states don’t respect “soft power”—perhaps worse than doing nothing. We need to reverse the erosion our strategic forces, restore our defenses including ballistic missile defenses by reviving the Strategic Defense Initiative.
- Knows what it means to fight for something—and the scariest thing she recalled was seeing the cloud on 9/11 and its continuing implications.
- Most people don’t get the EMP issue and the terrorist threat. No one is talking about this problem. People want to destroy us. They live to do this; they’d die to do this.
- The first order of government is to protect us—and it is failing us.
- Following recent news reports on an assault on San Jose substation almost a year ago, Senate Democrat leaders now are alleged to concerned and are studying the problem. After a year. And they blocked the Grid Act three congresses ago after it had passed by voice vote in the House.
- This government works for us and it’s their job is to protest us. Fred Upton, who presumably voted for the Grid act, now for the second congress in a row prevents getting a subsequent bill (The Shield Act) out of his committee—and he won’t come on her Fox News show (Judge Jeanine) to explain himself. Sixty percent of his campaign support comes from the electric power lobbyists.
- It’s time to get this done—need a call to arms: 1) to conservatives as a national security issue, and 2) to everyone across the political spectrum as a safety issue for the citizens of the United States.
The Washington Post Editorial Board again seems to be leaning our way with its Monday editorial, notably entitled “A Defense Budget Based on Hope.” This is a bookend with former Defense Secretary Bob Gates’s comments highlighted above and expanded upon in his Fox News Sunday interview that highlighted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In short, congress should add significant funding to strengthen our national defenses—including against ballistic missiles that could be used in a devastating EMP attack.
Needed initiatives include additional funding for the Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program to:
- Deploy a TYP-2 radar in Maine to enable the 4-6 Aegis BMD ships normally along the East Coast or in port to shoot down Iranian ICBMs coming over the North Polar region.
- Begin looking for specific Aegis Ashore sites around the Gulf of Mexico to counter ballistic missiles launched from vessels in the Gulf or Latin America.
- Develop a light weight kill vehicle for the Standard Missile (both the Block IB and IIA) to enable the highest burnout velocity possible so that it can reach higher altitude to shoot down satellites that might threaten an EMP attack over the South Pole and in any case to defend a larger area.
- Initiate studies to build space- based interceptors to provide a high confidence defense against all ballistic missile attacks, including EMP attacks from high altitude satellites.
We need to press our efforts to inform state and local authorities about the EMP threat and expand our work with the National Guard to help them gain knowledge and workable plans to help harden the grid and counter the EMP threat. This work should go hand in hand with the efforts to gain support from State legislators to expand on the excellent work in Maine and Virginia, which have passed legislation requiring serious studies of the EMP threat and the needed countermeasures to protect the electric power grid.
The most recent bill passed in record time without a negative vote in Virginia can be used as a ready pattern. And other states are also considering their own approaches, including, as I understand it, an Oklahoma referendum, on which all Sooners will vote to direct the electric power companies to harden their grid.
Near Term High Frontier Plans.
We will continue working with South Carolina folks to build a coalition to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to work with the SC National Guard in understanding and responding to this serious threat. We will expand this effort to neighboring and other states.
We are informing SC state legislators and senators about the threat and what can be done to deal with it—and hopefully they will follow Maine and Virginia in seeking to harden the electric power grid. We also expect support from Cong. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) whose district includes my SC farm—who is a member of the Congressional EMP Caucus seeking passage of the Shield Act and the Infrastructure Protection Act, as well as other SC representatives.
We will be working with members of the EMP Coalition and others who are seeking to take our message across the country—especially with Bob Newman, a former Adjutant General of Virginia to help us link our SC plans more broadly and especially into the National Capital region. We will be traveling to North Carolina and Florida during the next couple of weeks spreading the word and seeking support.
What can you do?
Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.
Get involved— in particular, let your electric power company know of your concern and urge them to harden the electric power grid.
Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.
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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