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An Electromagnetic Pulse Attack

August 3, 2009
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Yeshua (Jesus) warned us to be ready for such a severe reality. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places” (Matt. 24:6–7). He said, ”these things MUST come to pass.” That is a very sobering thought, and it is wise for believers to be aware of the potential for evil we face. The same week the 9/11 Commission report was published, another report was released called ”The Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack.“ One commentator described the 9/11 report as observing through the rear-view mirror, while the EMP report was looking ahead.

The EMP Commission included Chairman Dr. William Graham (not Billy Graham), who at that time was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of National Security Research Inc., a Washington-based company that conducts technical, operational, and policy research and analysis related to US national security. Also a part of the commission was Dr. John Foster, Jr., chairman of the board of GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems. He was director of Defense Research and Engineering for the Department of Defense from 1965–1973, serving under both Democrat and Republican administrations. He has also been on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, as well as the Ballistic Missile Defense Advisory Committee. The total list of commissioners reads like a Who’s Who of security expertise.

Devastating Effects

Their executive report begins with this statement: ”EMP is capable of causing catastrophe to the nation.” They wrote:

Briefly, a single nuclear weapon exploded at high altitude above the United States will interact with the Earth’s atmosphere, ionosphere, and magnetic field to produce an electromagnetic pulse radiating down to the Earth and additionally create electrical currents in the Earth. EMP effects are direct and indirect. The former are due to electromagnetic “shocking” of electronics and stressing of electrical systems, and the latter arise from the damage that “shocked”—upset, damaged and destroyed—electronics controls then inflict on the systems in which they are embedded. The indirect effects can be even more severe than direct effects.

The Commission also reported: “The damage level could be sufficient to be catastrophic to the nation, and our current vulnerability invites attack.”

Guy Rodgers, Act for America executive director, wrote: “It is almost impossible to imagine an America without electric power, paralyzed for weeks, even months. In such a scenario, all other infrastructures—communications, transportation, food and water, finance, law enforcement, government—would be crippled. Life as we know it would no longer exist.”

He said, “According to the Commission report (www.empcommission.org), millions and millions of Americans would die.” Imagine all electrical power cut off in a single moment of time—water systems, the bank networks, transportation, refrigeration—all down! No rescue teams available! No rescue resources operational!

At a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee (July, 2008), William Graham described EMP as “one of a small number of threats that could hold our country [USA] at risk of catastrophic consequences.” The Commission’s 208-page report opens by saying an EMP attack ”might result in the defeat of our [US] military forces.” In chapter two: “The cascading effects from even one or two relatively small weapons exploded in optimum location in space at present would almost certainly shut down an entire interconnected electrical power system, perhaps affecting as much as 70% or possibly more of the United States, all in an instant.”

Other notables made the following comments:

 “The greatest danger: a large nuclear warhead exploding upwards of 25 miles [40 kilometers] above the earth. The explosion would create a tsunami or ionized particles racing towards the planet’s surface. Electrical cables and wires would act like lightning rods, attracting and absorbing the intense burst of electromagnetic energy. Anything connected to them could be disrupted, disabled or destroyed. Delicate, integrated circuits and components would be burned out.” —James Jar Carafano, a leading expert in defense and homeland security

“Iran is not only covertly developing nuclear weapons, it is already testing ballistic missiles specifically designed to destroy America’s technical infrastructure, effectively neutralizing the world’s lone superpower, say US intelligence sources, top scientists and western missile experts.”—Joseph Farah, a conservative Lebanese–American journalist of 30 years,whose wife founded World Net Daily, from WND’s “Iran Plans to Knock Out US with 1 Nuclear Bomb.” (Farah described how Scud missiles could be used to launch the attack. Scuds are common throughout the world and at US $100,000 each, they are within reach of most terror group budgets.)

“No need for the risk and difficulty of trying to smuggle a nuclear weapon over the border or hit a particular city. Just launch a cheap missile from a freighter in international waters—al-Qaida is believed to own about 80 such vessels—and make sure to get it a few miles in the air.”—US Senator John Kyle, R-Ariz for the WashingtonPost

“Unfortunately, the public and all too many policymakers still do not understand that rogue states and terrorists are obsessed with obtaining nuclear weapons and EMP capability. They are well aware that if they can credibly threaten or actually execute an EMP attack against the United States that they could destroy the critical infrastructures—electrical power, telecommunications, transportation, food and water —that sustain civilization.”—US Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md, from WND’s “Warning says Iranian SCUD could do $771 billion damage”

In May 2009, Iran deployed missile launchers for surface-to-air and surface-to-sea missiles in the Strait of Hormuz (the entrance to the Persian Gulf from the Indian Ocean) and other areas of the Gulf. A report issued by The Media Line said: “Iran is said to have informed Arab countries in the region of its activities and reassured its neighbors that the missiles were not aimed at states in the region, a reference to Sunni Arab states such as Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, which have a Shi’ite majority but Sunni government.”

Not a New Idea

The EMP idea is not new. In 1999, a Russian committee chairman reported to a delegation of the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee: “Hypothetically, if Russia really wanted to hurt the United States,…Russia could…detonate a single nuclear warhead at high altitude over the United States. The resulting electromagnetic pulse would massively disrupt US communications and computer systems, shutting down everything.”

The Commission report issued in 2004 said:

EMP is not reported in the scientific literature to have direct effects on people in the parameter range of present interest. EMP and its effects were observed during the US and Soviet atmospheric test programs in 1962. Some electronic and electrical systems in the Hawaiian Islands, 1,400 kilometers [869 miles] distance, were affected, causing the failure of street-lighting systems, tripping of circuit breakers, triggering of burglar alarms, and damage to a telecommunications relay facility. In their testing that year, the Soviets executed a series of nuclear detonations in which they exploded 300 kiloton weapons at approximately 300, 150 and 60 kilometers [186, 93, and 37 miles]. They also observed surge arrestor burnout, spark-gap breakdown, blown fuses and power supply breakdowns.

Writing in 2005, Paul Weyrich—the late American conservative political activist and commentator—described what the chaos would be like: “Electronic records in computers, such as savings and checking accounts, would be inaccessible. Your telephone line, even cellular, would be dead. The systems that operate petroleum refineries would be stopped, forcing energy production to halt for some time. Transportation would be disrupted. Car and truck engines, train engines would be disabled. Traffic signals would be inoperable. Our air traffic control system would cease to exist.”

So, what about Israel? If an EMP attack can be launched so simply and put an end to about 70% of the United States in a moment, what are the chances for Israel? In February 2009,Jerusalem Post columnist Carolyn Glick wrote in “An Urgent Memo to the Next Government”: “Were Iran to attack Israel with an EMP attack, Israel would be rendered defenseless and at the mercy of Iran and the Arab world. For their part, they [Arab terrorists] would undoubtedly be tempted to invade the Jewish state to finish what the Iranians started.”

Growing Lethal Potential

The possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the grasp of terrorists has been emphasized by activities in Pakistan. In the past, the United States has imposed sanctions on Pakistan in an attempt to curtail its nuclear program. But more and more Pakistan became a frontline for US programs in their approach to Russia and in the war on terror. The Pakistani army is considered to be a fickle group. If the Taliban was to acquire part of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal, there is little doubt the weapons would find their way to other like-minded terrorists. The North Korean nuclear program is also a danger.

The known nuclear powers are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China. Those countries with nuclear weapons, but no party to the non-nuclear proliferation treaty are India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Israel is listed as an “undeclared nuclear weapons state.” In a NATO weapons-sharing program, the United States has stored nuclear devices with Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Greece, and Turkey. There is a growing number of nuclear devices, each with a lethal potential.

The prophet Isaiah reminds us that “when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him“ (Isa. 59:19). Those of us who seek to be watchmen on the wall must declare His truth fearlessly. I like the way Dr. Billy Graham put the questions: “Are we preparing for the storms of suffering, or will we be caught without resources?” As I prepared this commentary, I thought of Psalm 115:9: “O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.”

I am also encouraged that we should be activists against evil. We have a mighty weapon that no enemy can shut down. It is our very own EMP—Even More Prayer!

By Ron Ross, former BFP Israel Mosaic Radio Host

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