By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Indeed, on December 23, 2013, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency issued a solicitation “to … conduct satellite system performance modeling, satellite system response-to-environments modeling, high altitude weapons electromagnetic pulse effects modeling, and disturbed atmosphere effects modeling…”
Yet, on January 21, 2014, responding to Fox News analyst Bret Baier’s inquiries, the Department of Defense stated:
“The Department is unaware of any increase in the threat of a deliberate destructive use of an EMP device. Further, any reporting to the contrary by those without access to current threat assessments is both reckless and irresponsible…”
The growing EMP threat seems to escape the Obama administration. However, back on September 16, 2002,Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld warned: ”countries have placed ballistic missiles in ships — cargo ships, commercial ships, dime a dozen — all over the world. Any given time, there’s any number off our coast, coming, going, on transporter-erector-launchers, and they simply erect it, fire off a ballistic missile, put it down, cover it up. Their radar signature’s not any different than other 50 others in close proximity.”
Washington denials aside, the Geneva Accord that went into effect on January 20th, has increased, not lessened, an Iranian EMP threat. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, insisted on CNN today “that the Obama administration mischaracterizes concessions” by his country “in the six-month nuclear deal with Iran.”
And Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani stated: “No Destruction of Centrifuges.” He repeatedly refused to accept any limitations on Iran’s research and development its nuclear technology. Instead, he announced that “in accordance with the parliament’s law, in the future, we’re going to need 20,000 mega watts of nuclear produced electricity and we’re determined to get it at the hands of our Iranian scientists.“
The front page of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on the day after a 1962 high altitude nuclear test 900 miles away, which caused damage in Hawaii, and a National Geographic magazine a couple of summers back, which highlighted EMP from Solar emissions.
We worked hard during the Cold War to harden our key military systems against EMP effects, but not our critical civil infrastructure-notably the electric power grid-and modern solid state electronics are much more vulnerable to EMP effects than they were in 1962. Unless these vulnerabilities are rectified, a single nuclear burst over the center of the nation could bring down the grid for an indefinite period and several hundred million Americans could die within a year. Solar storms can also bring down the currently unhardened grid with similar consequences-and a major solar storm will happen one day when the orbital mechanics associated with the Earth’s travel around the sun coincides with one of the regularly occurring massive solar emissions. The only question is when?
[The] current main concern is that a nuclear armed Iran (see the chart below) could mate a nuclear weapon on one of its many ballistic missiles and launch it to produce the EMP of concern. The good news is that the Pentagon, at Congress’ direction, is considering five possible locations for a ground-based ballistic missile defense (BMD) site-like those in Alaska and California-to defend the Eastern Seaboard against Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could carry a nuclear weapon over the North Pole to attack us.
The bad news is that such a site would not deal with Iran (or their terrorist surrogates) in launching ballistic missiles from off our coasts-particularly from the Gulf of Mexico, nor would it be effective in defending against nuclear weapons carried by Iranian satellites over the South Pole. Iran and also its ally North Korea have launched satellites over the South Pole, so this threat is not hypothetical from a technological point of view. In fact, the Soviets had such a system, called FOBS (for Fractional Orbital Bombardment System) in the 1960s. We also need to defend against these “attack from the south” or “back door” threatening scenarios.