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2005 Peter Vincent Pry statement to US Senate on EMP threat to USA

2005 Peter Vincent Pry statement to US Senate on EMP threat to USA



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Peter Vincent Pry statement to US Senate on TERRORISM AND THE EMP THREAT
Peter Vincent Pry statement to US Senate on TERRORISM AND THE EMP THREAT

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Published by: kabud on Jun 20, 2009
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Attachment 31 Page 1 of 5STATEMENTDR. PETER VINCENT PRYEMP COMMISSION STAFFBEFORE THEUNITED STATES SENATESUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM, TECHNOILOGY ANDHOMELAND SECURITYMarch 8, 2005FOREIGN VIEWS OFELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE (EMP) ATTACKThe EMP Commission sponsored a worldwide survey of foreign scientific and militaryliterature toevaluate the knowledge, and possibly the intentions, of foreign states withrespect to electromagneticpulse (EMP) attack. The survey found that the physics of EMP phenomenon and themilitary potentialof EMP attack are widely understood in the international community, as reflectedin official andunofficial writings and statements. The survey of open sources over the pastdecade finds thatknowledge about EMP and EMP attack is evidenced in at least Britain, France,Germany, Israel,Egypt, Taiwan, Sweden, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Iran,North Korea, Chinaand Russia.Numerous foreign governments have invested in hardening programs to provide someprotection againstnuclear EMP attack, indicating that this threat has broad internationalcredibility. At least some of thenew nuclear weapon states, notably India, are concerned that their militarycommand, control, andcommunications may be vulnerable to EMP attack. For example, an Indian articleciting the views ofsenior officers in the Defense Ministry (including General V. R. Raghavan)concludes: “The mostcomplicated, costly, controversial and critically important elements of [nuclear]weaponisation are theC3I systems....Saving on a C3I system could be suicidal. With a no-first-usepolicy, the Indiancommunications systems have to be hardened to withstand the electromagnetic pulsesgenerated by anadversarial nuclear first strike. Otherwise, no one will be fooled by the Indiannuclear deterrent.” (C.Rammonohar Reddy, The Hindu, 1 September 1998)Many foreign analysts perceive nuclear EMP attack as falling within the categoryof electronic warfareor information warfare, not nuclear warfare. Indeed, the military doctrines of atleast China and Russiaappear to define information warfare as embracing a spectrum ranging from computerviruses to nuclearEMP attack. For example, consider the following quote from one of China’s mostsenior militarytheorists–who is credited by the PRC with inventing information warfare– appearingin his book WorldWar, the Third World War–Total Information Warfare: “With their massivedestructiveness, longrange
nuclear weapons have combined with highly sophisticated information technology andcomputertechnology today and warfare of the looming 21st century: information war undernuclearAttachment 32 Page 2 of 5deterrence....Information war and traditional war have one thing in common, namelythat the countrywhich possesses the critical weapons such as atomic bombs will have ‘first strike’and ‘second strikeretaliation’ capabilities....As soon as its computer networks come under attackand are destroyed, thecountry will slip into a state of paralysis and the lives of its people willground to a halt Therefore, Chinashould focus on measures to counter computer viruses, nuclear electromagneticpulse...and quicklyachieve breakthroughs in those technologies in order to equip China without delaywith equivalentdeterrence that will enable it to stand up to the military powers in theinformation age and neutralize andcheck the deterrence of Western powers, including the United States.” (2001)Some foreign analysts, judging from open source statements and writings, appear toregard EMP attackas a legitimate use of nuclear weapons, because EMP would inflict no or few promptcivilian casualties.EMP attack appears to be a unique exception to the general stigma attached tonuclear employment bymost of the international community in public statements. Significantly, even someanalysts in Japan andGermany–nations that historically have been most condemnatory of nuclear and otherweapons of massdestruction in official and unofficial forums–appear to regard EMP attack asmorally defensible. Forexample, a June 2000 Japanese article in a scholarly journal, citing seniorpolitical and military officials,appears to regard EMP attack as a legitimate use of nuclear weapons: “Althoughthere is little chancethat the Beijing authorities would launch a nuclear attack, which would incur thedisapproval of theinternational community and which would result in such enormous destruction thatit would impede postwarcleanup and policies, a serious assault starting with the use of nuclear weaponswhich would notharm humans, animals, or property, would be valid. If a...nuclear warhead wasdetonated 40kilometers above Taiwan, an electromagnetic wave would be propagated which wouldharmunprotected computers, radar, and IC circuits on the ground within a 100 kilometerradius, and theweapons and equipment which depend on the communications and electronicstechnology whosesuperiority Taiwan takes pride in would be rendered combat ineffective at onestroke...If they weredetonated in the sky in the vicinity of Ilan, the effects would also extend to thewaters near Yonakuni [inOkinawa], so it would be necessary for Japan, too, to take care. Those in Taiwan,having lost theiradvanced technology capabilities, would end up fighting with tactics and
technology going back to the19th century...They would inevitably be at a disadvantage with the PLA and itsoverwhelming militaryforce superiority.” (Su Tzu-yun, Jadi, 1 June 2000)An article by a member of India’s Institute of Defense Studies Analysis openlyadvocates that India beprepared to make a preemptive EMP attack, both for reasons of military necessityand on humanitariangrounds: “A study conducted in the U.S. during the late 1980s reported that ahigh-yield deviceexploded about 500 kilometers above the ground can generate an electromagneticpulse (EMP) of theorder of 50,000 volts over a radius of 2,500 kilometers around the point of burstwhich would becollected by any exposed conductor. Such an attack will not cause any blast orthermal effects on theground below but it can produce a massive breakdown in the communicationssystem....It is certain thatmost of the land communication networks and military command control links will beaffected and it willundermine our capability to retaliate. This, in fact, is the most powerfulincentive for a preemptiveattack. And a high-altitude exo-atmospheric explosion may not even kill a bird onthe ground.” (TheAttachment 33 Page 3 of 5Indian Express, 17 September 1999)Although India, Pakistan, and Israel are not rogue states, they all presently havemissiles and nuclearweapons giving them the capability to make EMP attacks against their regionaladversaries. An EMPattack by any of these states–even if targeted at a regional adversary and not theUnited States–couldcollaterally damage U.S. forces in the region, and would pose an especially gravethreat to U.S.satellites.Many foreign analysts–particularly in Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia–viewthe United States as apotential aggressor that would be willing to use its entire panoply of weapons,including nuclearweapons, in a first strike. They perceive the United States as having contingencyplans to make anuclear EMP attack, and as being willing to execute those plans under a broadrange of circumstances.Russian and Chinese military scientists in open source writings describe the basicprinciples of nuclearweapons designed specifically to generate an enhanced-EMP effect, that they term“Super-EMP”weapons. “Super-EMP” weapons, according to these foreign open source writings, candestroy eventhe best protected U.S. military and civilian electronic systems.Chinese military writings are replete with references to the dependency of UnitedStates military forcesand civilian infrastructure upon sophisticated electronic systems, and to thepotential vulnerability ofthose systems. For example, consider this quote from an official newspaper of thePLA: “Some peoplemight think that things similar to the ‘Pearl Harbor Incident’ are unlikely to

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