A nuclear explosion can react with molecules in the upper atmosphere, resulting in an invisible radio frequency, a million times stronger than the most intense earth radio signal. At an elevation of three hundred miles, the entire continental US would be exposed to a “line-of-site” pulse radiating down at the speed of light.
An EMP attack would cripple America, with its current infrastructure dependency on electricity and electronics [Nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) - Imminent danger to the US # 1]. Over-stressed power grids, non-shielded electrical systems, cascading loss of power, lack of refrigeration leaving food to rot, lack of transportation from vehicles out of gas (no electricity to pump), inability to sanitize or pump water—all leading to large scale rioting, and eventually starvation and disease.
In Jon Kyl’s (S-R/AZ) Unready For This Attack (washingtonpost.com), detonating a $100,000 Scud launched to the US atmosphere from international waters could have irreversible effects on the US’s ability to support a large portion of population.
Frank Gaffney’s [Chap.6; War Footing] in World Tribune.com -- Nuke over U.S. could unleash electromagnetic ... tsunami, Congress created an EMP Threat Commission on 10/30/2000, established by law. The Commission issued a report in 2004 revealing terrorists could indeed execute such an attack under those specified conditions. The findings are spelled out in this Congressional report.
The Threat Commission confirmed the physics and destructive power of EMP were known by China, Egypt, Cuba, Iran, India, North Korea, Pakistan and Russia. One of China’s leading military strategists has written: “As soon as its computer networks come under attack and are destroyed, the country will slip into a state of paralysis and the lives of its people will grind to a halt.” (Su Tzu Yun, World War: The Third World War).
In 5/99, Russia explicitly summoned the image of an EMP attack. Vladimir Lukin (Chairman/ Duma Int’l) assured a delegation of American legislators that Russia was not helpless due to US led interventions: “Hypothetically,” he said “ if Russia really wanted to hurt the United States…, Russia could fire a submarine launched ballistic missile and detonate a single nuclear warhead at high altitude over the United States. The resulting electromagnetic pulse would massively disrupt U.S. communications and computer systems, shutting down everything.
There are two separate systems available to counter any country’s missile launch against the US. One is Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), where the technology exists to shoot down any missile fired anywhere on earth. It has the ability to hit a spot, on the proverbial bullet, with a bullet. No country, or rogue terrorist, will want to spend millions on any kind of ballistic system that can be blotted from the sky long before it reaches apogee. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has $1.2 billion of missile defense cuts in 2010.
The second system, which sounds like it’s right out of a comic book, is the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ABL). In first, U.S. airborne laser kills ballistic missile six months ago, one saw how an Airborne laser shoots down missile in test, Pentagon says - Los ...Angeles. A chemical laser affixed to a 747's rotating nose turret shot a super-heated, basketball-size beam destroying a 4,000 mph missile.
The Airborne Laser Test Bed
Obviously no person killed, nuclear missiles becoming obsolete, and the ‘clock’ no longer ticking towards nuclear Armageddon, seems too overwhelming for this Administration. With the above two missile defense options, we can stop a nuclear war. Even a nearby rogue freighter (Al-Qaeda operates almost 80), can have any missile launch negated by a simple missile destruct sequence with missile defense. But this Administration’s answer is thousands of deaths from a nation/terrorists’ first strike, and the millions that will die in the retaliation.
Why would any American not want to have the strongest nation on earth? Perhaps Stephen Hayes (Weekly Standard Columnist) said it best: “If his [Obama’s] domestic policy priority is the redistribution of wealth, his foreign policy priority seems to be the redistribution of power.”