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Sarticles U.S. Risks 'Catastrophe' in Nuke EMP Attack

Sarticles U.S. Risks 'Catastrophe' in Nuke EMP Attack

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Published by: rolacola on Jan 21, 2013
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Scientist to Congress: U.S. risks'catastrophe' in nuke EMP attack 
Expert says growing threat posed by Russia, China,North Korea, Iran, terrorists
July 10, 20086:22 pm Eastern© 2008 WorldNetDaily
 WASHINGTON – A top scientist today warned the HouseArmed Services Committee America remains vulnerable to a"catastrophe" from a nuclear electromagneticpulse attack thatcould be launched with plausible deniability by hostile roguenations or terrorists.William R. Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess theThreat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)Attack and the former nationalscienceadviser to PresidentReagan, testified before the committee while presenting asobering new report on "one of a small number of threats thatcan hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences."It is the first report from the commission since 2004 andidentifies vulnerabilities in the nation's criticalinfrastructures,"which are essential to both our civilian and militarycapabilities." Not taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat in the next
three to five years "can both invite and reward attack," Grahamtold the committee.The scariest and most threatening kind of EMP attack isinitiated by the detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitudein the range of 25 to 250 miles above the Earth's surface. Theimmediate effects of EMP are disruption of, and damage to,electronicsystemsand electrical infrastructure. Such adetonation over the middle of the continental U.S. "has thecapability to produce significant damage to criticalinfrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and theability of the United States and Western nations to projectinfluence and military power," said Graham."Several potential adversaries have the capability to attack theUnited States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generatedelectromagnetic pulse, and others appear to be pursuing effortsto obtain that capability," said Graham. "A determined adversarycan achieve an EMP attack capability without having a highlevel of sophistication. For example, an adversary would nothave to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMPattack against the United States. Such an attack could belaunched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to highaltitude. Terrorists sponsored by a rogue state could attempt toexecute such an attack without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world's leading sponsor of internationalterrorism, has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missilefrom a vessel in the Caspian Sea. Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistentwith EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranianmilitary writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that
would gravely harm the United States. While the commissiondoes not know the intention of Iran in conducting theseactivities, we are disturbed by the capability that emerges whenwe connect the dots."Graham reminded the committee even smaller nuclear weaponscan create massive EMP effects over wide geographic areas.He also pointed out that United Nations investigators recentlyfound that "the design for an advanced nuclear weapon,miniaturized to fit on ballistic missiles currently in theinventory of Iran, North Korea and other potentially hostilestates, was in the possession of Swiss criminals affiliated withthe A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network."Theoretically, an EMP attack is devastating because of theunprecedented cascading failures of major infrastructures thatcould result. Because of America's heavy reliance onelectricity and electronics, the impact would be far worse thanon a country less advanced technologically. Graham and thecommission see the potential for failure in the financialsystem, the system of distribution for food and water, medicalcare and trade and production."The recovery of any one of the key national infrastructures isdependent upon the recovery of others," he said. "The longer theoutage, the more problematic and uncertain the recovery will be. It is possible for the functional outages to become mutuallyreinforcing until at some point the degradation of infrastructurecould have irreversible effects on the country's ability tosupport its population."Graham took the EMP debate out of the realm of sciencefiction by reminding the committee that as recently as May

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