Hardening infrastructure will be key to minimizing the threat
By: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
A majority of Americans support a military strike to stop or slow Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But that assumes Iran doesn’t already have some.
What if Iran already has one or more nuclear weapons and the capability to make a nuclear strike on the United States – right now? If true, this would change the calculation for the American people. Then the risks of a U.S. or Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear program would change radically.
The truth is, no one knows for sure just how far advanced Iran’s nuclear weapons program is. There are sound reasons for doubting Washington’s official estimates that Iran does not yet have the bomb or the ability to make a nuclear strike on the United States. The U.S. Manhattan Project during World War II, working with 1940s-era technology to develop nuclear weapons that were then merely a theoretical possibility, succeeded in building two working atomic bombs of radically different designs – in just three years. Iran supposedly has been struggling to develop nuclear weapons for 20 years, with help from nuclear-armed Russia, China and North Korea.
The threat of an electromagnetic attack is real, but preparing for one shouldn’t be too difficult.
By: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
Weinberger alleges that the EMP Commission and concern about the EMP threat is strictly partisan. But the EMP Commission’s bipartisan credentials are impeccable. It was established by a Republican-dominated Congress in 2001 and re-established by a Democrat-dominated Congress in 2006. Commissioners were appointed on a bipartisan basis. The EMP threat, and the necessity to do something about it, is one of the few issues on which Democrats and Republicans in Congress are working together.
Weinberger asks why nuclear terrorists or rogue states would prefer to use a nuclear weapon for an EMP attack, instead of blasting a city. The short answer is that an EMP attack could inflict more and longer-lasting damage and kill many more Americans in the long run. Blasting a city cannot paralyze the United States and will leave forensic and other evidence that will virtually guarantee the destruction of the perpetrator. An EMP attack is the only option for a single nuclear weapon that offers terrorists or rogue states any realistic chance of defeating the United States, perhaps eliminating the United States as an actor from the world stage, permanently.
North Korea and Iran are not re-inventing the nuclear wheel. They can draw on a vast treasure trove of declassified information about U.S. nuclear weapons development. And they cooperate with one another. And we are talking EMP.
By: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
The West consistently and unwittingly cooperates with North Korea and Iran by underestimating the advancement, sophistication, and strategic implications of their nuclear weapon and missile programs.
Despite North Korea’s successful long-range missile test in December 2012, and now its third successful nuclear test on February 12, 2013, the Obama administration and the press keep reassuring the American people that North Korea is not yet a fully fledged nuclear weapons state – that a North Korean nuclear missile threat to the United States is still years in the future.
The facts do not support this judgment. North Korea is already a major nuclear threat to the United States–an existential threat.
Common wisdom in the press, encouraged by the Obama Administration and North Korea, is that North Korea has not yet miniaturized nuclear warheads for missile delivery, and that its nuclear tests are in pursuit of designing a nuclear missile warhead. Indeed, the Obama administration and the western press both naively took at face value and parroted North Korea’s public claim that their third nuclear test is for nuclear warhead miniaturization.
Yet this claim is almost certainly disinformation designed to conceal that North Korea’s nuclear weapon program is advanced far beyond warhead miniaturization. Miniaturization to develop a nuclear warhead is not difficult to do, and can be accomplished even without nuclear testing.
North Korea and Iran both have strategic reasons to mislead and conceal from the West the true status of their nuclear and missile programs. They intend that the U.S. and its allies will underestimate those programs, fail to act in time to stop them, and be strategically surprised when North Korea and Iran become nuclear super-powers, and progenitors of a dystopian new world order.
By: Peter Vincent Pry
White House Science Advisor John Holdren and Sir John Beddington, Science Advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, in a recent joint article “Celestial Storm Warnings” published in the New York Times, warned that a solar flare from the Sun could cause a great geomagnetic storm, with catastrophic consequences for the United States and the world. A great geomagnetic storm would generate a powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could destroy electronic systems and collapse all the critical infrastructures–power grids, communications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water–that sustain modern civilization, and the lives of millions. Holdren and Beddington write reassuringly that “work to protect our societies is well underway.”
Unfortunately, the truth is that work to protect our societies has not even begun. Those of us who have dedicated careers to protecting the American people from an EMP catastrophe know that no actual technical work is yet underway to physically protect the national power grid from EMP. We are running out of time to make this happen. As Holdren and Beddington note, the solar maximum, and increased possibility of a great geomagnetic storm, is fast approaching, now less than a year away.
The press remains largely in the dark or indifferent to the EMP threat. For example, on February 15 (the same day as a worrisome solar flare that fortunately missed the Earth) a new Congressional Caucus convened for the first time–the Congressional Caucus on EMP. And the EMP Caucus rolled out a newly minted bill–the SHIELD Act (HR 668). Both the Caucus and the SHIELD Act are intended to protect the U.S. national power grid from an EMP event generated by the Sun or by hostile actors.
By: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
Iran—the world’s leading sponsor of international terrorism—indicates in military doctrinal writings that the capability to make an EMP attack would enable Iran to defeat U.S. military forces and destroy the United States.
- “Nuclear weapons and atomic power can be used to determine the outcome of a war…strategic information warfare …without inflicting serious human damage, neutralizes strategic and information networks and leaves them idle…The Americans…are faced with serious ambiguities concerning this type of warfare…It must be said that the most important goal in destroying financial systems or any military, political, intelligence, or economic complex or organization is to damage that system in the shortest possible time.” (Iranian Journal 2001)
- “Terrorist information warfare [includes] …using the technology of directed energy weapons (DEW) or electromagnetic pulse (EMP).” (Iranian Journal 2001)
- From article Electronics to Determine Fate of Future Wars—“Once you confuse the enemy communications network you can also disrupt the work of the enemy command and decisionmaking center. Even worse, today when you disable a country’s military high command through disruption of communications you will, in effect, disrupt all the affairs of that country….If the world’s industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults, then they will disintegrate within a few years.” (Iranian Journal 1998)