Gotta love The Swamp. Now that North Korea (probably) has the capability to fire a missile into our airspace, TPTB have shut down the one governmental organization with the ability to do anything testicular to deter the Fat Boy driving the looming disaster.
Did you think NoKo is going to do something fissionable with its missiles and is going to simply try to “bomb” us? Well, it would seem that’s the intention, but the real problem is the payload on their missiles. All they need is one EMP detonated in our skies (over the East Coast, where lies most of our outdated electrical infrastructure) to send the continent back to say, 1850…and that will mean ninety percent of our population gone within six months or less. One can envision the follow-up: a leisurely walk-through by China. It would be easy-peasy to sort through the pieces of what remained of Canada and the United States.
From The Center for Security Policy [with my emphases — D]:
Inexplicably, just when we need the country’s most knowledgeable and influential minds advising about how to protect against a potentially imminent, nation-ending peril, the Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Threat Commission is being shut down.
For seventeen years under the leadership of President Reagan’s Science Advisor, Dr. William Graham, this blue-ribbon panel has warned that we had to protect our electric grid from just the sorts of EMP attacks North Korea is now threatening to unleash upon us. Successive administrations and the electric utilities have shamefully failed to heed those warnings and take corrective action.
Consequently, we could experience on a national scale the sort of devastating, protracted blackouts now afflicting Puerto Rico. President Trump should give Dr. Graham and his team a new mandate as a presidential commission to oversee the immediate implementation of their recommendations.
This disaster happened at the end of September, while the MSM dithered away on their fiddles about the eeevil Trump. Meanwhile, two men who served on the panel appeared in front of this subcommittee to get the views of the panel into the permanent record, i.e. the Congressional Record. If/when it all goes down, their warnings will still exist, if anyone can access them after an EMP explosion:
DR. WILLIAM R. GRAHAM, CHAIRMAN
DR. PETER VINCENT PRY, CHIEF OF STAFF
COMMISSION TO ASSESS THE THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES FROM
ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE (EMP) ATTACK
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND MANAGEMENT EFFICIENCY HEARING
“EMPTY THREAT OR SERIOUS DANGER:
ASSESSING NORTH KOREA’S RISK TO THE HOMELAND”
Here is an excerpt from that “Statement For the Record” [any emphases are mine — D. The footnotes, which have been omitted here, can be found in the pdf linked at the end of this post]:
During the Cold War, major efforts were undertaken by the Department of Defense to assure that the U.S. national command authority and U.S. strategic forces could survive and operate after an EMP attack. However, no major efforts were then thought necessary to protect critical national infrastructures, relying on nuclear deterrence to protect them. With the development of small nuclear arsenals and long-range missiles by new, radical U.S. adversaries, beginning with North Korea, the threat of a nuclear EMP attack against the U.S. becomes one of the few ways that such a country could inflict devastating damage to the United States. It is critical, therefore, that the U.S. national leadership address the EMP threat as a critical and existential issue, and give a high priority to assuring the leadership is engaged and the necessary steps are taken to protect the country from EMP.
By way of background, the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack was established by Congress in 2001 to advise the Congress, the President, Department of Defense and other departments and agencies of the U.S. Government on the nuclear EMP threat to military systems and civilian critical infrastructures.The EMP Commission was re-established in 2015 with its charter broadened to include natural EMP from solar storms, all manmade EMP threats, cyber-attack, sabotage and Combined-Arms Cyber Warfare. The EMP Commission charter gives it access to all relevant classified and unclassified data and the power to levy analysis upon the Department of Defense.
On September 30, 2017, the Department of Defense, after withholding a significant part of the monies allocated by Congress to support the work of the EMP Commission for the entirety of 2016, terminated funding the EMP Commission. In the same month, North Korea detonated an H-Bomb that it plausibly describes as capable of “super-powerful EMP” attack and released a technical report “The EMP Might of Nuclear Weapons” accurately describing what Russia and China call a “Super-EMP” weapon.
Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Homeland Security has asked Congress to continue the EMP Commission. The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that would replace the existing EMP Commission with new Commissioners. Yet the existing EMP Commission comprises the nation’s foremost experts who have been officially or unofficially continuously engaged trying to advance national EMP preparedness for 17 years.
And today, as the EMP Commission has long warned, the nation faces a potentially imminent and existential threat of nuclear EMP attack from North Korea. Recent events have proven the EMP Commission’s critics wrong about other highly important aspects of the nuclear missile threat from North Korea:
- Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea’s nuclear arsenal was primitive, some academics claiming it had as few as [six] A-Bombs. Now the intelligence community reportedly estimates North Korea has [sixty] nuclear weapons.
- Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea’s ICBMs were fake, or if real could not strike the U.S. mainland. Now the intelligence community reportedly estimates North Korea’s ICBMs can strike Denver and Chicago, and perhaps the entire United States.
- Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea was many years away from an H-Bomb. Now it appears North Korea has H-Bombs comparable to sophisticated U.S. two-stage thermonuclear weapons.
- Just six months ago, most experts claimed North Korean ICBMs could not miniaturize an A-Bomb or design a reentry vehicle for missile delivery. Now the intelligence community reportedly assesses North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons and has developed reentry vehicles for missile delivery, including by ICBMs that can strike the U.S.
After massive intelligence failures grossly underestimating North Korea’s long-range missile capabilities, [its] number of nuclear weapons, warhead miniaturization, and proximity to an H-Bomb, the biggest North Korean threat to the U.S. remains unacknowledged — a nuclear EMP attack.
North Korea confirmed the EMP Commission’s assessment by testing an H-Bomb that could make a devastating EMP attack, and in its official public statement: “The H-Bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens of kilotons to hundreds of kilotons, is a multi-functional thermonuclear weapon with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack according to strategic goals.”
As noted earlier, Pyongyang also released a technical report accurately describing a “Super-EMP” weapon.
Just six months ago, some academics dismissed EMP Commission warnings and even, literally, laughed on National Public Radio at the idea North Korea could make an EMP attack.
Primitive and “Super-EMP” Nuclear Weapons are Both EMP Threats
The EMP Commission finds that even primitive, low-yield nuclear weapons are such a significant EMP threat that rogue states, like North Korea, or terrorists may well prefer using a nuclear weapon for EMP attack, instead of destroying a city: “Therefore, terrorists or state actors that possess relatively unsophisticated missiles armed with nuclear weapons may well calculate that, instead of destroying a city or military base, they may obtain the greatest political-military utility from one or a few such weapons by using them — or threatening their use — in an EMP attack.”
The EMP Commission 2004 Report warns: “Certain types of relatively low-yield nuclear weapons can be employed to generate potentially catastrophic EMP effects over wide geographic areas, and designs for variants of such weapons may have been illicitly trafficked for a quarter-century.”
In 2004, two Russian generals, both EMP experts, warned the EMP Commission that the design for Russia’s Super-EMP warhead, capable of generating high-intensity EMP fields over 100,000 volts per meter, was “accidentally” transferred to North Korea. They also said that due to “brain drain,” Russian scientists were in North Korea, as were Chinese and Pakistani scientists according to the Russians, helping with the North’s missile and nuclear weapon programs. In 2009, South Korean military intelligence told their press that Russian scientists are in North Korea helping develop an EMP nuclear weapon. In 2013, a Chinese military commentator stated North Korea has Super-EMP nuclear weapons.
Super-EMP weapons are low-yield and designed to produce not a big kinetic explosion, but rather a high level of gamma rays, which generates the high-frequency E1 EMP that is most damaging to the broadest range of electronics. North Korean nuclear tests, including the first in 2006, whose occurrence was predicted to the EMP Commission two years in advance by the two Russian EMP experts, mostly have yields consistent with the size of a Super-EMP weapon. The Russian generals’ accurate prediction about when North Korea would perform its first nuclear test, and of a yield consistent with a Super-EMP weapon, indicates their warning about a North Korean Super-EMP weapon should be taken very seriously.
EMP Threat From Satellites
While most analysts are fixated on when in the future North Korea will develop highly reliable intercontinental missiles, guidance systems, and reentry vehicles capable of striking a U.S. city, the threat here and now from EMP is largely ignored. EMP attack does not require an accurate guidance system because the area of effect, having a radius of hundreds or thousands of kilometers, is so large. No reentry vehicle is needed because the warhead is detonated at high-altitude, above the atmosphere. Missile reliability matters little because only one missile has to work to make an EMP attack against an entire nation.
North Korea could make an EMP attack against the United States by launching a short-range missile off a freighter or submarine or by lofting a warhead to 30 kilometers burst height by balloon. While such lower-altitude EMP attacks would not cover the whole U.S. mainland, as would an attack at higher-altitude (300 kilometers), even a balloon-lofted warhead detonated at 30 kilometers altitude could blackout the Eastern Electric Power Grid that supports most of the population and generates 75 percent of U.S. electricity.
Or an EMP attack might be made by a North Korean satellite, right now.
A Super-EMP weapon could be relatively small and lightweight and could fit inside North Korea’s Kwangmyongsong-3 (KMS-3) and Kwangmyongsong-4 (KMS-4) satellites. These two satellites presently orbit over the United States, and over every other nation on Earth–demonstrating, or posing, a potential EMP threat against the entire world.
North Korea’s KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites were launched to the south on polar trajectories and passed over the United States on their first orbit. Pyongyang launched KMS-4 on February 7, 2017, shortly after its fourth illegal nuclear test on January 6, that began the present protracted nuclear crisis with North Korea.
The south polar trajectory of KMS-3 and KMS-4 evades U.S. Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radars and National Missile Defenses, resembling a Russian secret weapon developed during the Cold War, called the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) that would have used a nuclear-armed satellite to make a surprise EMP attack on the United States.
Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Director of the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative and a preeminent expert on missile defenses and space weapons, has written numerous articles warning about the potential North Korean EMP threat from their satellites. For example, on September 20, 2016, Ambassador Cooper wrote:
U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) interceptors are designed to intercept a few North Korean ICBMs that approach the United States over the North Polar region. But current U.S. BMD systems are not arranged to defend against even a single ICBM that approaches the United States from over the South Polar region, which is the direction toward which North Korea launches its satellites…This is not a new idea. The Soviets pioneered and tested just such a specific capability decades ago — we call it a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS)…So, North Korea doesn’t need an ICBM to create this existential threat. It could use its demonstrated satellite launcher to carry a nuclear weapon over the South Polar region and detonate it…over the United States to create a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP)…The result could be to shut down the U.S. electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to the death within a year of up to 90 percent of all Americans — as the EMP Commission testified over eight years ago.
This is the link to the whole report, fourteen pages long, which was read into the Congressional Record. Takes about twenty minutes to skim.
Here’s the website for The Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee. Scroll down the list of members to see if your Congressman is on that committee. Better yet, write your own Congressman and tell him to get going on this critical issue. He doesn’t have to be a member of that subcommittee to nudge it forward. While you’re at it, send a tweet to Trump.
That commission was extant and active for seventeen years. Yet for some strange reason, it’s been disbanded now that we have two irrational actors on the world stage capable of bringing us to a neck-breaking halt.
At least Maine seems to be aware and active about the problem. Whether it’s past the initial stages of deciding what to do is hard to say, but its preliminary actions show the way forward for other states. States don’t have to wait for the Federal behemoth to move toward safety. They could even act regionally in a co-operative. This is especially important for our vulnerable northeastern corridor.
Here’s where you can find the contact information for your Congressional representative. It would be a good idea to lean on your state representatives, too. Send their assistants the pdf.
This time we can’t say we didn’t see it coming.