Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Ultimate Nuclear Terrorist Threat To The United States

A thought-provoking article in Forbes magazine from Larry Bell.

Any notion that achievement of nuclear capabilities by Iran, North Korea and other countries hostile to U.S. interests poses little direct danger is terribly misguided. Imagine a very plausible scenario: A relatively small and primitive 500-kiloton single-stage atomic bomb – the same type of weapon that has been in existence since the 1950s – is launched from an ordinary-looking freighter ship and exploded in the atmosphere about 300 miles above Chicago.

The resulting electromagnetic pulse (EMP) will release a burst of charged particles powerful enough to overwhelm all systems or circuits that draw or transmit electricity over a large distance, literally blowing them out or frying them from the inside. This includes orbiting satellites used for missile tracking, ground-based GPS, and general communications. The launching ship is then sunk, leaving no firm evidence about who sponsored the attack, or against whom a counterstrike is warranted.

Many highly informed sources, including former speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich,  believe the potential for an EMP attack is perhaps our most serious national security threat… one with catastrophic consequences for virtually all aspects of life. Try to picture the disastrous effects of U.S. power grid disruptions that shut down all water pumping and sanitation stations; lights and refrigerators; TV, radio and Internet communications; and manufacturing industries.

Consider that all equipment that relies upon complex electronic micro-circuitry would cease to function, including banking transactions, air traffic control operations, aircraft and ground transportation vehicles, gasoline pumps, and tiny implanted medical devices. Think about those who live in cold climates without heat, contemplate mob pandemonium without essentials to support law enforcement.

Recovery would be expected to require many years. Obtaining and replacing the vast network of power grid transformers destroyed en masse would be a huge, time-consuming task. And while some vital information contained on computer hard drives would be salvageable, the costs would be enormous.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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