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Tags: bmd | emp | jcpoa

Our Elected Officials Fail to Defend US from Global Threats

global threats from north korea
(Jae Young Ju/Dreamstime.com)

Henry F. Cooper By Thursday, 26 May 2022 02:35 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

This past Sunday, President Joe Biden told reporters in South Korea that "We are prepared for whatever North Korea does."

The president added that he was "unconcerned,"

Why? Because "We’ve thought through how we would respond to whatever they do."

I wish the president was correct in suggesting that the United States is safe from attack by North Korea; but I regret to say that I believe he is seriously mistaken.

That is a fact which should be well known.

In a 2018 Washington Times article, shortly after Dear Leader Kim Jong-un threatened to use electromagnetic attacks as a strategic goal — and to use his "nuclear button" to engage some of his then estimated about 60 nuclear weapons, I warned that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack over the Pacific could, among other things, shutdown the undersea cables that empower our economic system — involving some $10 trillion of daily financial transactions.

This event alone would have a catastrophic impact on the international economy —whatever else might be the consequences of Kim’s attack.

I also believe he could pose an existential threat to all Americans if even one of his nuclear weapons detonates over the United States.

I seriously doubt that our current ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems provide adequate protection against such an attack.

The resulting EMP could shut down the nation’s electric power grid for an indefinite period of time.

Without electricity most Americans could perish within a year from starvation, disease, and societal collapse.

Permitting this vulnerability to remain unaddressed year-after-year as an existential threat potentially fits one definition of insanity, "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Hope for change is not a strategy for dealing with this existential threat about which I have warned numerous times. See my September 2017 article that observed a North Korean nuclear attack on America was "an urgent concern."

In that column, and in numerous others, I've urged that we should empower our Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system to provide early BMD capabilities to protect against such possibilities.

Hopefully, that has been done.

Remember, these defenses can be defeated with plausible countermeasures or overwhelmed. I also have repeatedly urged since 2017 that we urgently develop and deploy an ability to defend from the air against ballistic missiles in "their boost-phase," while their rockets still burn and before such countermeasures can be released.

Such boost-phase defenses from the air, or especially from space, were demonstrated to be viable three decades ago, but so far as I know we have not yet exploited those potential capabilities.

To my best of my knowledge, we don’t know how many nuclear weapons the North Koreans actually have — but I suspect they can overwhelm our limited current defenses, especially if they launch their attack to approach the United States from the South.

As part of a coordinated strategy, they could and probably would also threaten our capabilities in the neighborhood — e.g., on Guam.

Continuing this situation is particularly troublesome as we spend trillions on infrastructure, without protecting the nation’s electric power grid — which is far less expensive than attempting to pick up the pieces after an attack.

Imagine life without electricity.

The administration and Congress are even leaving incomplete and unfunded relatively inexpensive initiatives to prove that such hardening of our essential electric power grid infrastructure is quite affordable.

This presumably while investing heavily in the so-called Green New Deal aimed a fundamentally new capability, decades hence if ever.

And I wish North Korea was the only such threat that we certainly should address.

For example, the Biden administration considers renegotiating the terrible Joint Cooperative Plan of Action (JCPOA) while alleging to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, Iran has participated with North Korea’s nuclear testing and should be considered already to be nuclear capable.

On Feb. 1, 2015, I joined several experts in coauthoring a Newsmax article that then judged Iran as already being "a nuclear ready state," with missiles capable of hitting the United States.

Our elected officials swear to provide for the common defense.

On this threat, they are failing to live up to that pledge.

Ambassador Henry F. (Hank) Cooper is an acknowledged expert on strategic and space national security issues and was President Ronald Reagan's Chief Negotiator at the Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union and Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Director during the George H.W. Bush administration.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


HenryFCooper
Our elected officials swear to provide for the common defense. On this threat, they are failing to live up to that pledge.
bmd, emp, jcpoa
733
2022-35-26
Thursday, 26 May 2022 02:35 PM
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