EMP Threat From North Korea, 2013

By: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry


North Korea’s third illegal nuclear test on February 12, 2013, was followed  by increased international sanctions, that prompted escalating threats from  North Korea to make nuclear missile strikes against U.S. allies, South Korea and  Japan, and the mainland United States.  President Obama denied that North  Korea could deliver on these threats, claiming that North Korea does not yet  have nuclear armed missiles–despite assessments to the contrary by DIA, CIA,  and NATO.

Three months earlier, on December 12, 2012, North Korea successfully orbited  a satellite, the KSM-3, thereby demonstrating the capability to deliver a small  nuclear warhead to intercontinental ranges–against any nation on Earth.   The Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from  Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack assessed that Russia, China, and North Korea  (with help from Russia) have probably developed nuclear weapons of special  design that produce a low explosive yield and high gamma ray output in order to  generate an extraordinarily powerful EMP field.  The Russians term these  “Super-EMP” weapons.  Independently, South Korean military intelligence and  a Chinese military commentator in open sources credit North Korea with having  Super-EMP warheads.

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World War?

By: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine to seize the Crimea on February 28, 2014, reporting by the mainstream media has focused on President Obama’s threats to impose economic sanctions on Russia in retaliation.  Media pundits have spoken of the “standoff” and the “stalemate” between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine–as if economic sanctions against a handful of Russian oligarchs is somehow strategically equivalent retaliation for Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Indeed, mainstream television and newspapers have reported with grim satisfaction that President Obama is “ratcheting up” the sanctions, trying hard to create the impression that Moscow must be quaking with fear.  Mainstream media pundits have reported, largely uncritically, Obama’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s  seizure of Crimea is archaic behavior belonging in another century and “an act of weakness.”

Viewers of ABC, CBS, NBC, and MSNBC, and readers of the New York Times, USA Today and etc. might well get the impression that President Obama’s sophisticated use of the “soft power” of economic sanctions will inevitably prevail over Dictator Putin’s old fashioned military muscle flexing.

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Ukraine: Wake-up Call For NATO

By: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry

In the long history of war and peace, numbers matter.

If Ukraine is annexed or dominated by Moscow, Russia will again directly confront NATO in central Europe. New NATO members Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland are no match for Russia. Nor are traditional NATO members in Western Europe what they were during the Cold War. They are no match for the modernized Russian Army.

Collectively, the armed forces of NATO’s 27 members (excluding the United States) seem impressive at about 1.7 million active duty, although this is only about half their Cold War strength of 3.3 million. European NATO (including Turkey) collectively has 6,000 tanks and 2,000 fighter aircraft among 27 member nations.

However, NATO’s European members have very little power projection capability–their armed forces are largely incapable of traveling far beyond their national territories. Only the United Kingdom has significant power projection, estimated capable of sending 30,000 troops overseas.

France, after the U.K. estimated to have the greatest power projection capabilities in Europe, had great difficulty projecting even a small force numbering 2,000 Foreign Legionnaires to Mali in January 2013. France needed help with aerial refueling and logistical support from the U.S., Canada, and Britain.

When European NATO led the bombing campaign against Libya in March 2011, they quickly exhausted their ammunition. They needed resupply from the United States.

European NATO was hard pressed to conduct military operations against Libya–a helpless adversary.

Russian armed forces comprise 1.4 million active duty troops, 3,300 modern main battle tanks (18,000 more tanks in reserve), and 2,750 military aircraft.
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Nuclear Iran: The Sanctions Delusion

By: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry

The Obama Administration, and its critics, are mistaken that Iran’s nuclear negotiations are motivated primarily by economic sanctions.

Since revolutionary Iran’s seizure of the U.S. Embassy in 1979, every presidential administration has imposed on Iran new and ever more stringent economic sanctions restricting trade and seizing financial assets.  Most recently, in 2010 and 2013, President Obama imposed the latest round of economic sanctions, advertised as the most stringent ever, that include prohibiting banking transactions in the rial, Iran’s currency, and even restricting importation of Iranian caviar.

Historically, economic sanctions have had little or no discernible effect on altering Iran’s dangerous behavior, such as its world leadership of international terrorism and its development of nuclear weapons. Analyst A.E. Torbat concludes, “overall, the sanctions’ economic effect… has been significant, while its political effect has been minimal.”

Mistakenly, the Obama Administration and its critics both assume that Iran’s primary reason for initiating negotiations over its nuclear program is the coercive success of economic sanctions. Much energy is being expended, uselessly, debating whether the threat of additional economic sanctions will finally compel Iran to give up its aspiration to become a nuclear weapons state. The short answer is — economic sanctions did not bring Iran to the negotiating table in the first place.

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