Posts Tagged ‘National Defense’
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is the Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security for the Congressional Caucus on EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) that endeavors to carry on the work of the EMP Commission. He is also the Director of the United States Nuclear Strategy Forum, an advisory body to Congress on policies to counter weapons of mass destruction.
Dr. Pry has served on the staffs of the EMP Commission, the Strategic Posture Commission, the Commission on the New Strategic Posture of the U.S., the House Armed Services Committee and the Central Intelligence Agency.
For those unfamiliar with what an EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) attack is, please view the segment on the topic from the Clarion Fund’s Iranium by clicking here.
The following is RadicalIslam.org’s national security analyst Ryan Mauro’s interview with Dr. Pry:
Ryan Mauro: How long will it take to get critical infrastructure back up and running after an EMP attack?
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry: Given the current state of U.S. unpreparedness, after a nuclear EMP attack that collapses the electric grid and other critical infrastructures, the U.S. might never recover. The Congressional EMP Commission–that investigated the EMP threat for nearly a decade and produced the most definitive analysis of the threat–estimated that within one year of a nuclear EMP attack, about two-thirds of the U.S. population, about 200 million Americans, would likely perish from starvation, disease and societal collapse. Iranian military writings openly describe making an EMP attack to eliminate the United States as an actor on the world stage.
Mauro: Have past nuclear tests in the air produced an EMP?
Pry: Past exoatmospheric nuclear tests have produced an EMP, such as the 1962 STARFISH PRIME nuclear test. The nuclear burst must occur at high altitude, above 30-40 kilometers, to produce the EMP effect. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union conducted high-altitude EMP tests over part of their own territory that collapsed electric grids. Fifty years of empirical data from nuclear tests and EMP simulators proves that an EMP attack would have catastrophic consequences.
Mauro: How could the U.S. government protect us from this threat? How much would it cost?
Pry: The Congressional EMP Commission produced a plan for protecting all U.S. critical infrastructures from nuclear and natural EMP (such as would be generated by a great geomagnetic storm, like the 1859 Carrington event) that could be implemented in 3-5 years at a cost of $10-20 billion. This would provide robust protection. At minimum, the 300 EHV transformers that service the biggest U.S. cities, where most of the population lives, could and should be protected, at a cost of $100-200 million, or about one dollar for every life that could be saved. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission estimates that the national electric grid could be protected from EMP at a cost to the average rate payer of 20 cents annually.
Mauro: How much dispute is there over the science behind the horrific scenario you depict? A skeptic once sent me a report by Oak Ridge National Laboratories/Metatech about “myths” regarding the EMP threat.
Pry: Among the numerous official Congressional and USG studies on nuclear EMP attack–that includes reports by the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the Department of Energy and National Electric Reliability Corporation and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (which includes the Metatech report), there is an official scientific and technical consensus that an EMP attack would have catastrophic consequences. Even the most optimistic “best case” scenario involving a nuclear EMP attack by a primitive low-yield nuclear weapon would be an unprecedented catastrophe and could collapse the national electric grid and other critical infrastructures that sustain modern society and the lives of millions.
Indeed, the entire purpose of Congressional Commissions is to, if possible, resolve controversy and achieve consensus on matters of national security concern. Two Congressional Commissions staffed by our nation’s best experts and supported by the vast resources of the defense department, the intelligence community and the national nuclear weapons laboratories have independently arrived at the same consensus that a nuclear EMP attack would be catastrophic–so as a matter of public policy, the existential character of the nuclear EMP threat is not controversial, but an established fact.
There are some individuals, usually in academia, who claim the EMP threat is exaggerated. But these people are not EMP experts and are simply ignorant or politically motivated, as when the New York Times ganged up on Newt Gingrich for trying to warn about the EMP threat during his presidential bid. Nonetheless the press, uneducated about EMP itself, keeps quoting these non-experts.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I know well Dr. William Radasky, the team leader of the Oak Ridge/Metatech report, and he would certainly agree that a nuclear EMP attack on the U.S. would be an unprecedented catastrophe–and this is the conclusion of his report. If you read the report, it warns that an EMP event could collapse the electric grid and other critical infrastructures and require 4-10 years to recover. Can you imagine trying to survive for years in the aftermath of a nuclear EMP attack that deprives you and millions of your fellow citizens of food, water, transportation and other necessities for life? Sounds pretty catastrophic to me.
But it should not take a genius to realize that when a falling tree branch can cause the great northeast blackout of 2003, any nuclear EMP attack would certainly have catastrophic consequences. Iran, North Korea, China and Russia all certainly understand this, as reflected in their military writings.
Ryan Mauro: How far away is Iran and other enemies of the U.S. from having the capability to carry out this kind of attack? Some experts say that Iran would still need a year to construct an actual nuclear bomb after acquiring the necessary highly enriched uranium and would need years after that to develop a nuclear warhead that can fit onto a ballistic missile.
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry: Any state or group possessing any nuclear weapon and any missile capable of reaching an altitude over 30-40 kilometers can make an EMP attack. An ICBM is not necessary. An EMP attack can be delivered by a short-range missile launched from a ship, such as a commercial freighter, operating near U.S. shores. Iran has practiced such a delivery mode. Iran already has missiles, such as Scuds and its Shahab-III, capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.
Officially, the Obama Administration claims that Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons. Personally, I have written several articles warning that Iran might already have the bomb. Our intelligence on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is not good. Historically, our intelligence community has a bad record on predicting the advent of new nuclear weapon states and was taken by surprise by the development of nuclear weapons by Russia, India, Pakistan and North Korea.
Supposedly, Iran has been trying to develop nuclear weapons for 20 years, yet during World War II, the U.S. Manhattan Project developed the world’s first nuclear weapons using 1940’s era technology in just three years. Why should Iran, with access to the now declassified Manhattan Project papers and copious other U.S. documents on nuclear weapons design and helped by North Korea and others and equipped with modern technology, not be able to accomplish in 20 years what the U.S. accomplished during the 1940’s in just three?
The difficulty of miniaturizing a nuclear warhead for missile delivery is often exaggerated. Pakistan deployed nuclear warheads on its Ghauri missile just one year after its first nuclear test. Israel, according to the respected Wisconsin Project, has developed a sophisticated array of nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear warheads and weapons miniaturized for delivery by missiles and artillery–all without nuclear testing.
Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org’s National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.
Do you remember the Contract with America? Millions of Americans came together to demand action from Washington on issues ranging from abortion and gun rights to out of control spending and regulation. And we won. Conservative candidates swept the polls and held back Washington’s power grabs, waste and self-indulgence for almost a decade. That was 16 years ago. Since then, politicians have abandoned America. Election after election, we see the same results. Incumbents get comfortable, outsiders become insiders, and before we know it… everything we worked for vanishes in the haze of bloated budgets, waves of illegal immigration, and outbursts of federal power. It’s time for a new Contract. We have gathered the 10 most important conservative issues into a list that we demand action and adherence to
Declaration of Independence
We, the undersigned American voters, are disgusted with the antagonism of many of our elected and appointed government officials toward American values, their violations of their oaths to uphold our Constitution, and their manifest disdain for our God-given, constitutional rights and liberty. The words and deeds which have come from such an attitude have made our federal government the most serious threat to the safety and freedom of Americans in our time.
You, our elected and/or appointed officials, are our representatives. Your authority over us is not unlimited: it is limited by our fundamental law, our Constitution. We expect you to uphold, not subvert, our fundamental values. We expect you to abide by your oath to support our Constitution. If you represent us, you should publicly support—in action as well as in speech—at least the following American principles:
Article I: Limited Government
The federal government has been given clearly limited and defined powers in the Constitution in order to preserve our freedom. The idea of Big Government running every aspect of our lives—from healthcare to the cars we drive—is revolting and unconstitutional. The founding fathers designed separation of powers with checks and balances into the Constitution to decentralize power and preserve our liberty. A constitutional amendment requiring term limits for all publically elected officials is necessary. Presidents, congressmen, senators, and judges who violate the Constitution’s limit on the powers of their offices—and do not work to prevent other officials’ transgressions of those limits—must be removed from office.
Article II: Gun Rights
The Second Amendment guarantees private citizens the right to keep and bear arms. The federal government has no authority to restrict this right in any way, shape, or form. Federal officials who do so must be removed from office.
Article III: Courts
Judges should interpret the law by studying the intentions of the framers of the Constitution and its amendments, and by adhering to legal precedents which are based squarely on those intentions. Judges who legislate—or amend our Constitution—from the bench must be removed from the bench.
Article IV: Federal Spending
Unconstitutional legislation and fiscal irresponsibility have produced out-of-control deficit spending that is crippling our future—and our children’s and grandchildren’s. The only way to bring Congress under control is to restrict how much they can tax and spend and one way to accomplish this is through a balanced budget amendment. Legislators and presidents who engage in uncontrolled spending must be removed from office.
Article V: Energy
Americans should be free to pursue energy options which use our own resources, don’t tax us to subsidize politically-favored groups, and don’t enslave us to foreign countries. We need sensible, constitutional environmental rules—not environmentalist extremism—the removal of impediments to the development of nuclear and other forms of energy, and freedom to drill in Anwar and elsewhere. Politicians who stand in the way of energy independence must be removed from office.
Article VI: Personal Responsibility
Government handouts in any form take from some to give to others and create dependence. Government does not exist to provide for its citizens and our Constitution does not authorize such legalized theft. Current federal compensation programs, including “corporate welfare”, should be phased out—and politicians who advocate such things should be removed from office.
Article VII: National Defense
A strong national defense is a constitutional as well as a practical necessity in this hostile world. Our citizens and our national interests must be protected. Terrorists should be tried in military tribunals and not given the rights of American citizens that so many of our troops have died to defend. Our military forces must be kept second-to-none: by a large margin. Politicians and officials who weaken our national defenses must be removed from office.
Article VIII: Borders
Secure borders are essential to the defense of our lives, liberty, and property. There is a legal way to come to this country and we welcome those who do so. Those who do not are breaking the law and should be treated as criminals. Amnesty is not an option for those who came here illegally. Politicians who advocate anything less must be removed from office.
Article IX: Right to Life
Human life unquestionably begins at conception. Ending the life of an unborn child via abortion is murder, is truly unconstitutional, and must be outlawed. Politicians whose character does not agree with this must be removed from office.
Article X: States Rights
The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The federal government has usurped many powers from the state governments. These powers must be returned to the respective states—for the sake of constitutionality and of our freedom. Politicians who oppose states’ rights must be removed from office.
We the people of these United States declare that we will support candidates who support these principles and work against those who violate them.