Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder
High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . . Reagan’s Vision Lives!
E-Mail Message 141031
Who Knows What Evil Lurks . . . ?
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
October 31, 2014
“Our loyal, brave people… should know the truth. They should know that there has been a gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road… and do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of the bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year, unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in olden time.” ~Winston Churchill, in protest against the Munich settlement, 1938
Perhaps some of my readers are old enough to remember those radio shows that captured our imagination in the days of our youth—in the era before TV. Among them was one of my favorites, The Shadow, introduced each session by the haunting question and answer provided by clicking here. I particularly recall these sessions during World War II—when President Roosevelt rallied us with his fireside chats, and we often reminded ourselves that he had memorably challenged, “All we have to fear is fear itself . . . “
The Shadow radio program (and comic books and more recently a movie) was loosely adapted from a popular pulp magazine series. It focused on the exploits of Lamont Cranston, a wealthy young man-about-town who used hypnotic powers to cloud men’s minds so they could not see him, as he fought crime as an Invisible Avenger known only as The Shadow.
Perhaps we could use his help with today’s challenges? Consider a few.
Today’s Evil Threat.
The Shadow began in the late 30s and ran through World War II, when I most remember listening as we awaited regular reports from Europe and North Africa as our sailors, soldiers and airmen fought their way to Berlin and from a trail of South Pacific islands as our troops fought their way to Japan. It bridged from when we ignored the growing evils of a Nazi-led Socialist Germany and Imperial Japan until a decade after the victory of the American led-allies in both theaters of World War II.
Somehow, today’s world, with all its modern conveniences, reminds me of those days of hopeful anxiety, though without the certitude that seemed to guide those we now refer to as the “greatest generation.” Modern means of communication provide much more graphic information that reinforces the fact that “evil lurks in the hearts of men.”
For example, how else can we interpret the rise of so-called “Islamic radicalism” that slaughters its victims—men, women and children—by the thousands, and brutalizes many who survive by converting to that alleged “religion of peace” and/or paying ransom for their future lives as slaves?
Whatever the perceived threat of the moment, more than any other two nations, we and the Israelis are most at risk—they call us the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan,” respectively.
Yet, this week, senior White House officials reportedly referred to the leader of our most loyal ally in the Middle East as “Chickenshit”—despairing terminology I recall from my farm boy heritage of cleaning out the hen house.
This language is totally inappropriate in describing a leader seeking to defend his people from an evil confronting all who derive their freedom from our common Judeo-Christian heritage.
These despicable folks apparently want Benjamin Netanyahu to give in to Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, while we engage his arch enemy Iran in negotiations that most believe will leave Iran with nuclear weapons they have threatened to use to destroy Israel and eventually us.
Click here for a detailed discussion of this goofy behavior associated with the White House trashing of a critically important ally.
Fixing this sounds like a challenge for The Shadow. Where, oh where are you, Lamont Cranston? Even if it takes longer than a half hour, you should get started, and maybe we’ll get an idea worth pursuing.
Lost Technology Innovation?
Missing are features of an era that in only four years loosed American know how, management skill and diligent workers—older men, women and even children—to transform soldiers who drilled with broomsticks for lack of rifles before the war into the mightiest army in the world—not to mention to build the most modern ships, aircraft, tanks and other military equipment to support our soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, merchant marine and coast guard in that war effort—that Winston Churchill said was about nothing less than to save Western Civilization.
Thank God for Churchill’s leadership, beginning while he literally stood alone against those seeking to appease the growing existential threat of his time. Where is our Churchill today?
Today, it takes four years just to build prototypes of some important military products that may be out of date when they begin operations—if we attempt such innovation at all.
Bear in mind that many of our important strategic systems are sadly outdated by the innovations of our peer competitors. (Politically correct way of saying potential if not outright enemies.) And we have been wearing out our military systems in the Middle East activities of the past decade-plus. Not to mention other capabilities important to retaining our role as a superpower.
For example, this past week our astronauts, who were transported to the space station on Russian rockets (our vaunted NASA can no longer carry them there), watched as a commercial rocket with their supplies blew up on its launch from Wallops Island in Virginia. We should be ashamed rather than just relieved that no one on the ground was harmed.
Some blame this failure on 1960s vintage Russian rocket motors used to power this commercial launcher. Meanwhile, the Russians, Chinese and others are seeking to advance into viable manned space programs while ours flounder at best.
The Shadow was no longer playing when President Kennedy challenged our scientists and engineers to take a man to the Moon within a decade and bring him home—a challenge met ahead of schedule in a bygone era when we were still filled with imagination and a “can do” attitude.
We apparently have ceded this then proven ability to others. Not to mention the economic benefits that can be derived from a presence on the Moon. Our leaders seem more concerned about the minimum wage and the “redistribution of wealth.”
We could use a revival of that “can do” attitude of the Apollo era. I refuse to believe that Americans today are less capable of rising to the challenges of our time than were those of the 1960s.
But we need visionary leaders and technically competent scientists and engineers. Lamont Cranston, if you please?
The SDI Era.
The last time we got a challenge like Kennedy’s was on March 23, 1983, when President Ronald Reagan called upon America’s scientists and engineers to end America’s complete vulnerability to nuclear armed ballistic missiles, perhaps the most horrific invention of modern man. He wanted effective defenses against such weapons as well as negotiations to reduce the reliance of all nations, but particularly the Soviet Union, on their destructive power. He gave no particular time frame, but his vision was clear.
This challenge launched the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), which it was my privilege to defend as President Reagan’s Chief Negotiator in the Geneva Defense and Space Talks and later to lead during the Bush-41 administration. Click here for my detailed discussion last March 25th of SDI achievements, the most important of which apparently have been forgotten—or deliberately subverted.
I titled that discussion “Put the Stars Back Into Star Wars” to emphasize the importance of space based defenses—to Reagan’s vision, to our successful negotiations producing the only offensive nuclear arms reductions in history, and to providing for the most cost-effective ballistic missile defense systems possible—and achievable.
Not to mention that many believe SDI was the straw that broke the camel’s back in ending the Cold War “without firing a shot,” to quote Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In 1983, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) memorably called Reagan’s initiative “Star Wars” to ridicule what he and the liberal elite believed was a Reagan pipe dream. And a decade later, President Clinton’s Defense Secretary Les Aspin famously said he was “taking the stars out of Star Wars” while canceling the programs then maturing the technology to support space-based defenses. And the Clinton administration pledged allegiance to the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and its underlying mutual assured destruction (MAD) doctrine that Reagan so hated.
Thus was lost—and remains lost—the most effective ballistic defense system concept produced by what I refer to as the SDI era between 1983 and 1993. Click here to read the article SDI’s first Director, USAF Lieutenant General Jim Abrahamson, and I wrote for the Journal of International Security Affairs to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Reagan’s SDI speech—and in which we stated this shared conclusion:
“As we look back to the transition away from the SDI era to later BMD efforts, the most notable loss was the continuation of any serious program to consider space-based interceptors—which we both identified in our end-of-tour reports as an, if not the most, important product of the SDI investments on our watch. We believed then, and continue to believe now, that if the political impediments can be overcome, an effective space-based interceptor system could be deployed within five years.”
Without dwelling on this conclusion, my main concern here is to reinforce the message on how we have lost our way—and how we need a Lamont Cranston to help overcome the evil that prevents us building the most cost-effective ballistic missile defenses possible, urgently needed to protect America, and our overseas troops, friends and allies.
A friend shared with me an October 23rd Business Insider article (Click here.) that among other things provided a link to a recently declassified early 2000s vintage paper from Studies in Intelligence, a CIA internal journal. The CIA article alleged to consider how Moscow reacted to U.S. missile defense efforts during the Cold War and the decade or so following the breakup of the Soviet Union—at least into the early days of the George W. Bush administration. It found that the Soviets, and then Russia, were desperate to undercut the advantages of a future U.S. missile defense system—allegedly leading them to act in potentially destabilizing ways.
Perhaps, “But it ain’t necessarily so.”
After all, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin, in his address to the January 31, 1992 United Nations General Assembly, stated:
“I think the time has come to consider creating a global system for protection of the world community. It could be based on a reorientation of the U.S. Strategic Defense system to make use of high technologies developed in Russia’s defense complex.”
This proposal matched my well-advertised restructuring of the original SDI concept into what we called a Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS) system intended to shoot down essentially all of a limited number of ballistic missiles launched from anywhere at targets anywhere else. Sounds like something we still need, don’t you think?
Folks say such an agreement can’t happen now. Before 1992, that’s also what they said. Then, Yeltsin basically said yes to President Reagan’s position that I had advocated in Geneva for five years—while the “elite” said it would never happen.
But we muffed the ball when given a slow pitch that should have led to a home run with the change of administrations in January 1993.
One More Time: Put the Stars Back Into Star Wars!
While the Clinton administration was taking the “stars out of Star Wars,” Yeltsin wanted to continue the Bush-41 talks that had been progressing while we continued our experiments on space-based interceptors.
Not unlike our current administration’s apparent devotion to appeasement as a policy approach, we gave away our negotiating leverage provided by this, the centerpiece of Reagan’s SDI—not to mention the most effective ballistic missile defenses then known to be feasible.
SDI emphasized key technologies that are still unproven, like space-based interceptors. But this is not because such SBIs are not feasible—Gen. Abrahamson and I believe they have been feasible for over 20 years, and still could be built within 5-years.
Quoting unqualified references claiming that Reagan’s vision was just another of his famed stories is itself a fiction. But it is accurate that the Clinton administration’s funding cut and redirection was not rectified by the Bush-43 administration or since. So this important strategic potential remains dormant.
And the current administration shows no interest in reviving this important capability, though it seems quite willing to spend much more money on much less effective systems.
Lamont Cranston, where are you?
Near Term High Frontier Plans.
We remain focused on rapidly deploying already developed ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems, especially
- Aegis Ashore systems on military bases around the Gulf of Mexico to protect against ballistic missiles launched from the Gulf or Latin America.
- Aegis BMD ships stationed so that they can shoot down nuclear-armed satellites launched over the South Polar region from North Korea and soon from Iran to produce an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) over America. In conjunction, we seek to deploy a TPY-2 radar in the Philippines to enable our Aegis BMD ships and our ground based interceptors on Vandenberg AFB in California against such satellites.
We also seek to revive the technology programs needed to rapidly deploy space-based defenses.
We are renewing our efforts to inform the state and local authorities—and publics—in states around the Gulf of Mexico of the important role their states can play in defending all Americans against the existential EMP threat.
Given the lethargy in Washington, we will continue informing all who will listen about the existential EMP threat and expanding our work with the National Guard to help them gain knowledge and workable plans to help harden the electric power grid and counter the EMP threat. This work will go hand in hand with efforts of State legislators who are seeking to expand on the excellent work of those in Maine and Virginia, who 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 single negative vote in Virginia can be used as a ready pattern.
We are working with South Carolina National Guard to plan tabletop exercises to help them understand how best to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to understand and respond to this serious threat.We also are supporting related activities in neighboring and other states.
We are informing SC state legislators and senators about the threat and what can be done to deal with it—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—and 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 work with 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 Virginia and the National Capital region.
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.
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.
And support us with your tax deductible gifts to help enable our continuing efforts.