14 March 2009

Iran & North Korea Building EMP Weapons?

Iran and North Korea are far behind their sponsors Russia and China in the high technology arms race. But that doesn't mean they aren't trying -- nor does it mean they are not receiving a little help.
...in at least two earlier ballistic missile launches, the Iranians launched in ways that “appear they were designed to optimize an EMP burst,” according to a Pentagon source with detailed knowledge of the Iranian’s efforts and of space technology.

...EMP stands for electro-magnetic pulse and it is one byproduct of a nuclear blast. EMP destroys power sources, communication capabilities and would cripple or destroy the abilities of most satellites to function. A percentage of military communication and other satellites are hardened against EMP but the gravest effect would be on the ground, the space expert said. “As bad as the space part of this is, that is pretty bad, but the ground part of it is much, much worse. Effectively, whoever was subjected to an EMP burst would be shoved back to an agricultural state.” Few civilian assets such as power grids, generators, telephone systems and commercial communications satellites are hardened against EMP. _DefTech
One advantage that China and Russia enjoy, is the ability to use belligerent client states as cat's paws -- proxies for doing dirty work while maintaining deniability. Iran is receiving a lot of help from Russia on the nuclear front, and receiving significant protection against international interference from both China and Russia.

North Korea has announced plans to launch an orbital payload of undetermined nature within the next few weeks. Given North Korea's nuclear ambitions and multiple threats against South Korea, the US, and the west in general, the ability to loft nuclear weapons -- and perhaps EMP weapons -- into orbit would be a tremendous morale booster for the pariah dictatorship.
A 2007 report by the congressionally-mandated Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack detailed the devastation that could result from a relatively unsophisticated EMP strike. It also detailed how EMP works and what measures the U.S. government might take to reduce the risk from it.

One independent study, “Initial Assessment of Electromagnetic Pulse Impact Upon Baltimore-Washington-Richmond Region,” says a Scud-type missile launched from a small ship 200 miles off our coast could cause up to $771 billion in damage, equal to 7% of gross domestic product. _DODBuzz
A combination EMP / radioactive dirty bomb attack of limited sophistication could easily do over $1 trillion in damages and render much of the Baltimore - Washington - Richmond area uninhabitable for decades.

To this point, neither Russia nor China has been pushed to the point where they might orchestrate a proxy attack of this type against the US. But with the failing economy and demographics of Russia, and with a growing threat of political instability within China, it is impossible to know how easily either nuclear power might expend some of their overseas assets. Particularly during the special window of opportunity that an Obama depression in the US represents.

We should understand that the djinn is out of the bottle. India is developing EMP weapons because it suspects that Pakistan is planning a pre-emptive EMP strike against Indian cities such as Bangalore, a high tech research hub.
"Any nation with even a 1940s technology base could make them," says Carlo Kopp, an Australian-based expert on high-tech warfare. "The threat of E-bomb proliferation is very real." POPULAR MECHANICS estimates a basic weapon could be built for $400. _PM

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts