March 30, 2019

Why it has taken so long to address EMP

Timothy Birdnow

Writing in Powerline John Hinderaker discusses the EMP effect and the Trump Administration plan to deal with it.

He states:

Much of what we read in the news is trivial. This isn’t. I have been hearing about the threat posed by electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) for quite a few years. A high altitude EMP can occur if a nuclear device is detonated over the Earth’s surface. It potentially could wipe out all electrical systems, effectively disabling the United States. Some estimate that an EMP attack could kill 90 percent of Americans. A number of countries, including Russia, China and North Korea, are believed to have the ability to detonate weapons creating one or more EMPs over the U.S.

I have no idea why the federal government has apparently been slow to deal with the EMP threat. But President Trump has finally taken action

I can explain this to John (and all of you).
During the Cold War the United States implemented a rather dimwitted policy called Mutual Assured Destruction aka MAD. A classic scheme from the spires of Academia, MAD changed American foreign policy from promoting Containment (the brainchild of liberal George Kennan and itself a rather dull policy, one that promoted stasis and a prolonged war) Containment was more of a geopolitical strategy to keep the Soviets on ice; essentially, the idea was that the Soviet Union had to expand and win foreign victories to keep her people from rebelling. As the Communist system was a most unpleasant thing, providing neither material comfort nor freedom, the citizenry had to be given something to keep them satisfied and willing to sacrifice. Kennan believed America should contain the Soviets, stop them, fight them at every turn. In the end he believed the system would collapse of it's own weight. He wasn't exactly wrong, but we kept propping them up, with grain sales, with commerce of every kind. It wasn't until Reagan actually began competing with them that the Soviet Union collapsed. Had Reagan not come along we likely would still be living in the "bipolar" world.

The term Mutual Assured Destruction was coined by one Donald Brennan, who worked for Herman Kahn, author of the 1960 book "On Thermonuclear War". Kahn was a Rand Corporation think tank egghead who promoted the idea that, since we couldn't wipe out all of the Soviet weapons, we should concentrate on a kind of balance of power in which both sides would have enough second strike capability so as to make any first strike an act of suicide. In the implementation of this plan America would open herself to utter destruction; we signed a series of treaties, such as the Outer Space Treaty (which prevented putting weapons in space and hampered our own space program), the ABM treaty which forbade anti-ballistic missiles (the Soviets lived up to the letter of that - maybe - but put in as many defensive systems as were allowable. We simply scotched all of our anti-missile technology. We signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty aka SALT. That limited the overall arsenals of weapons. The Soviets were happy to oblige, because they had no intention of living up to the treaties and they knew we would.

So what does this have to do with EMP? In 1962 the United States conducted a series of nuclear tests over Johnston atoll. This a joint effort of the Atomic Energy Commission and the Defense Atomic Support Agency was part of a larger project testing all manner of nuclear bombs - a project called Operation Fishbowl. Starfish Prime was an effort to see what happened when an atomic bomb was air burst. Scientists had their suspicions confirmed when the test blew out all manner of electronics, as far away as Honolulu, which was eight hundred miles from Johnston atoll. Radios, televisions, light bulbs, etc. blew out as a result of the nuclear EMP. The government, pursuing a policy of MAD, did not want this aspect of nuclear warfare to become well-known because they feared a panic and a forced change in policy, so they took steps to cover it up.

In fact, it was official government policy to deny the existence of Nuclear EMP. As late as 2007, when I wrote an article on the subject for American Thinker a person claiming to have been a part of Starfish Prime and more likely a National Security disinformation officer wrote a rather angry rebuttal in which he claimed it was a nonesuch. Nothing to see here. Nope. Nyet. But a year later Congress came out with a report on the topic that admitted the real danger of an EMP attack. In fact, Congress found that an EMP attack could kill up to ninety percent of our people within a year!

Since then the government stopped pretending and now it is just a matter of inertia.

See, it's going to be very expensive to harden equipment against an EMP. Unlike a natural electrical surge, an EMP moves very fast, so fast that ordinary surge protection doesn't have time to react. The result is everything shorts out. And America is entirely high tech these days; everything uses microchips and all the other fragile electronics. Everything. Our cars. Our lights, our heating, our water pumps, everything.Even our military equipment could be put out by an EMP. Now, the military may have taken steps that they didn't tell the public, but still, this is a very dangerous situation.

We hid our heads in the sand for decades because admitting this could upset a planned military strategy, and now it is too expensive and time consuming to deal with the problem. And, of course, there wasn't the political will. With the fall of the Soviet Union everyone wanted to believe "mission accomplished" and that we would have peace. Then, when Obama took office, he wanted to reduce America's ability to boss everyone around, and keeping us vulnerable in some ways meant we had to be good little children. Obama was the natural extension of Clinton's Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who argued we needed another superpower to counter-balance America. She and her boss set out to create just such an entity by promoting Red China. (Remember, it was Clinton who sold us out to the Chinese by allowing Loral Aerospace to assist them in launching satellites, thus giving them ICBM technology capable of hitting the U.S. He did it for illegal campaign contributions.)

So here we are, and President Trump is taking steps to close this gap in our national security.

No doubt this will ruffle many Progressive feathers; the internationalists want America to have weaknesses, vulnerabilities, so we are forced into intercourse with the rest of the world and must pass a "global test" as John Kerry called for when he was running for President. Making America Great is revolting to the Left, because they want us to be part of One World. If we don't have to listen to the rest of the world we can't have world government, which has been the goal for a long time among the Establishment types. It's why they created the whole Global Warming/Climate Change apocalyptic scheme; to knit us together in a type of new world order. So they are going to be quite wroth about this.

But it could save millions of American lives. Well done, Mr. President!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:55 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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