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China: EMP Armageddon By 2032?
By Dr. Peter Vincent Pry Tuesday, 20 July 2021 12:04 PM
Headline: “Chinese Nuclear Scientists Urge Readiness For Electromagnetic Pulse Attack” (South China Morning Post 12 July 2021).
Reportedly, according to a recent study by China’s nuclear weapon experts:
—”Exploding nuclear weapons at high altitude can produce electromagnetic waves that can cripple power and communications without killing humans.”
—”China should bolster its defenses so that critical infrastructure could withstand future electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks that can wipe out power grids and communication, according to a Chinese military research institute.”
—”The United States is vulnerable to damage caused by extremely powerful electromagnetic pulses, but by 2032 it will have built-up the capability to protect its vital infrastructure from such an attack, according to Chinese researchers’ assessment, based on their analysis of recent U.S. government and military documents.”
—U.S. capability to make EMP attacks, if U.S. critical infrastructures are protected from EMP, “could tip the strategic balance among world powers.”
Theoretically, EMP attack is a way of winning a nuclear war by paralyzing critical infrastructures, without killing people immediately—a highly attractive option to military planners not only in China, but in Russia, North Korea, and Iran too. See the EMP Commission reports at www.firstempcommission.org
EMP can indirectly kill millions in the long-run, by blacking-out electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for weeks, months, or forever, causing starvation and societal collapse. Threatening EMP mega-deaths is also attractive to adversaries for purposes of nuclear diplomacy and blackmail against the United States.
Moreover, an EMP attack would immediately cripple U.S. military power projection capabilities and incentivize a U.S. president — instead of defending Taiwan or fighting World War III — to focus on using all remaining national assets, including the Defense Department, to recover U.S. critical infrastructures before millions of Americans die.
China has been planning EMP attacks against the U.S. for more than 20 years. See my report “China: EMP Threat” (June 10, 2020).
What is new is the allegation that China’s nuclear experts fear the U.S. will have protected its electric grids and other critical infrastructures against EMP, possibly have Super-EMP weapons, and be able to defeat China with a nuclear EMP attack by 2032.
The once prestigious South China Morning Post, now owned by Alibaba Group, according to critics writing in the New York Times, Atlantic, and Der Spiegel, has since 2016 become an instrument of China’s propaganda.
Maybe the article is intended to move Western anti-nuclear groups to oppose EMP protection of U.S. critical infrastructures? Prominent arms control activists, like Jeffrey Lewis, recently called for the U.S. to limit strategic defenses because these supposedly are driving the nuclear arms race with Russia and China.
But maybe not.
Totalitarian states, just like us, do “mirror imaging” in their threat assessments. Unlike us, their strategic culture is not one of dysfunctional optimism, but dysfunctional pessimism–paranoia.
Consequently, since China has Super-EMP weapons and plans to do an “EMP Pearl Harbor” on the U.S., they assume the U.S. is developing (or already has) Super-EMP weapons and plans for a surprise attack against China.
Imagine a paranoid Chinese intelligence officer reviewing the evidence. He would see President Trump’s “Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses” (March 26, 2019) to protect U.S. electric grids and other critical infrastructures against EMP.
He would assume the U.S. is like China, and that the U.S. government is moving full-speed ahead to EMP harden critical infrastructures in response to a Presidential Executive Order— because that is what would happen in China, if Chairman Xi Jinping ordered EMP protection of China’s critical infrastructures.
China’s intelligence officer has probably read the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently declassified report “Joint Nuclear Operations” (April 17, 2020) that has a sentence describing EMP attacks as a targeting option: “Some high-altitude bursts, in excess of 100,000 feet, will produce widespread electromagnetic pulse (EMP) events . . .”
China’s intelligence officer has probably read the Congressional EMP Commission reports describing scenarios, derived from China’s own military doctrine, depicting EMP attacks on the U.S. and its allies.
So China’s paranoid intelligence officer would put all this and other data together to conclude the U.S., just like China, is preparing not only to survive an EMP attack, but to strike first. He would write a report exactly like the one described in the South China Morning Post.
Little does China’s intelligence officer know how deeply incompetent is the U.S. government, that U.S. preparedness for EMP is all on paper, that our political-military leaders are so afraid of our own nuclear weapons that the possibility of the U.S. developing Super-EMP warheads is zero.
During the Cold War, Soviet paranoia often led them to overestimate Western capabilities, seeing the U.S. as “10 feet tall” — mistakenly. “Mirror imaging” by China and Russia that greatly exaggerates the “U.S. threat” may be the only thing keeping us alive.
Washington urgently needs to move full speed ahead protecting critical infrastructures from EMP, before Beijing decides to make an EMP preemptive strike before 2032, so the U.S. cannot “tip the strategic balance among world powers.”
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, served as Chief of Staff of the Congressional EMP Commission, Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, and on the staffs of the Strategic Posture Commission, House Armed Services Committee, and thed CIA. He is author of The Power And The Light: The Congressional EMP Commission’s War To Save America (2020).
What I am about to share is something read during our Anniversary trip. It was on a private forum for West Pointers, so I had to copy and paste it to make it sharable. Please read. “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Knowledge.” Robert E. Lee and You By Colonel (retired) Barrie Zais “The most visible socio-political movement of our time is identity-based politics. In its broadest sense, it includes a range of gender and racial causes. Agendas such as critical race theory, diversity and inclusion, the Me Too movement, The 1619 Project, Black Lives Matter, and equity are all part of this larger counter-culture war. Most claim the existence of an American form of systemic and institutional racism and discrimination and call for some sort of social justice. Today identity politics permeates governmental, military, and educational institutions at all levels. And it divides us. Emerging as a manifestation of this movement is the recent work, Robert E. Lee and Me, (St. Martin’s Press, 2020) by Ty Seidule.
The author, a former head of the West Point Department of History, claims to have discovered that all we have been taught about the Civil War and the South are myth. While in his position, Colonel, now Brigadier General Retired, Seidule presided over a fundamental shift in the teaching of military history at West Point until his retirement in 2020. Announcing that “it is important that we get our gender and racial agenda right,” large portions of the military history curriculum were eliminated, specifically the Civil War. As an example, the study of Lee’s brilliant campaigns were scrapped in favor of things like a Civil Rights staff ride throughout the South. Military history is the data base of the military profession. When it is diminished, as has been the case at the West Point, the result is professional catastrophe. Current faculty have told prominent sources, “Sir, it’s so bad I don’t think we are going to be able to fix the department.” Another more optimistic senior professor said, “Give us some time.” Unfortunately, when one sets out to write history for political purpose, it usually turns out to be bad history. And Robert E. Lee and Me is just that. The author’s purpose is to indict Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders and purge them from the Army and West Point. In a fit of self-righteous virtue signaling, Seidule declares that “Lee was a traitor and does not represent my values.”
So Seidule proudly committed to “change our history to reflect our values.” Some have argued that it is disingenuous to judge one’s views on an issue from another era by the circumstances and ideologies of today. Or judging historical figures based upon current mores and understanding does not lead to an accurate interpretation of the figure in question. Rather, they must be placed in historical perspective. If so, this book is the poster case of historical malfeasance. Seidule’s method is to indict all white, Southern culture, and in doing so, take down its most revered symbols. How Seidule goes about this takes a classic page out of the Marxist handbook. It starts with what is called “The Big Lie,” in this instance, that the South seceded from the Union and fought the Civil War for the exclusive purpose of perpetuating white supremacy and expanding slavery. Few, if any, of the hundreds of books tracing the coming civil war arrive at such a simplistic conclusion. Of course, slavery was the dominant issue of the time, but the cause of the war was far more complicated than that. One must go back at least to James Madison, the Constitution, and the rights of states in the new nation. But Seidule hammers his Big Lie over and over, four or five times in the Introduction alone. Once he gets the gullible to nod, the rest is easy. If the protection and expansion of slavery was the singular Confederate purpose, then they all must have been bad, and their version of events must be myth. And the actions of succeeding generations of Southerners must be evil and their historical interpretations, myth. In history this is called a single factor theory.
This is not to ignore decades of slavery and segregation and their evils, but just to acknowledge that single factor theories are always simplistic and most often wrong. The author’s misuse of historical events and documents has gone unnoticed, as the book’s reception has been mostly unfettered acceptance. He is loose with both facts and interpretations. His assertion that the Ordnances of Secession of the seceding states confirm that the issue was slavery is not true. Some of the deep South ordnances stress the subject of slavery, but Virginia and others emphasize threats to their sovereignty. Seidule’s mean attempt to bring down a great man consciously omits facts such as two thirds of Virginia born officers in the Army went with the Confederacy and that in 1882, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arlington House and the surrounding grounds, now Arlington National Cemetery, were taken illegally by the Lincoln Administration without due process. The court returned the property to the Lee family. An attempt to advance “social justice” should not dispense with a respect for factual interpretation. Seidule’s intent to smear Lee as a cruel racist is a most egregious historical assassination. Lee was at least ambivalent, at most opposed, to slavery. However, his foe, U.S. Grant, only freed his personal slave in 1859, but his wife kept hers. There is some discussion whether the slaves were legally hers or her father’s, but they were in the Grant family. Years later she claimed the four were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. We know this is not true since the proclamation freed no slaves in Missouri where Julia Grant resided.
These are only a few examples of the author’s selective use of facts. What we get throughout the book are disconcerting nomenclature changes, he refuses to use the term “Union Army,” using instead “U.S. Army,” and ideological interpretations rather than statements of moral and political clarity. The book is also bogged down by an overdone account of the author’s personal life and his purported epiphany. Seidule, did, and continues to do much damage to the Army and West Point. Calling racism a “national institution,” he has played a key role in the cultural purge of Lee and Confederates at the military academy. It is all but certain that Lee Gate, Lee Barracks, Lee Hall, Lee Road, and Lee Housing Area will be erased from history by the cultural commissars. Heeding Seidule’s proposition that all use of the name “Lee” at West Point is “a protest against integration and equal rights,” the Military Academy leadership is all in on the purge. The Robert E. Lee Award for mathematics was eliminated and the West Point superintendent removed the Lee portrait from his quarters. Perhaps the Class of 1961 Reconciliation Plaza that recognizes post-civil war healing will survive. But that is not assured, as the current scorched earth movement shows no signs of abating. Riding the wave of uber wokeism sweeping the nation, Seidule received an appointment to another commission charged with renaming the ten Army posts in the South carrying Confederate names. Installation names such as Fort Gordon, Georgia will disappear from history. And the name of John Brown Gordon, civil war hero, once Governor, three times elected to the U.S. Senate, and idol of the state of Georgia for 40 years, will be purged from memory. It is no coincidence that Brig. Gen. Seidule is lauded in the 40-page June 2020 policy proposal authored by nine disgruntled West Point graduates. They allege that the Academy is racist to the core, that white privilege reigns, and that the institution does not accomplish its mission. While political correctness, wokeness, and critical race theory thrive at West Point, expect no help from the very highest levels of our military establishment.
The Secretary of Defense recently told Congress that the military does not teach critical race theory. He was wrong. The West Point superintendent confirmed the use of the book, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. And Congressman Michael Waltz, R-Fla., provided slides from a West Point workshop entitled “White Power at West Point” and “Racist Dog Whistles at West Point.” At the same hearing, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified that he saw nothing untoward about teaching critical race theory to West Point cadets under the title “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage,” what some cadets have called a “woke effort to inspire race-based guilt among students.” The Chairman huffed that he found it personally offensive that the U.S. military was accused of being woke. He went on to say that he had personally read Mao, Marx, and Lenin and adamantly denied that political correctness and wokeism are rampant in the military. The facts do not seem to confirm his view. The Navy’s highest-ranking officer also wandered into the ideological stew by including several politically charged books on his officially endorsed reading list for all naval personnel. His refusal to address sailors’ complaints about Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist and what they called woke diversity training has drawn congressional attention. Two veterans, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Tex., viewed it necessary to establish a whistleblower hotline to report official military woke ideology training. The line has been flooded. So, how does this end? Some are pessimistic. Others say the elections of 2022 have the potential to at least slow the tide. The elections of 2024 appear to offer a more critical opportunity. Prompted by attacks on the nation’s founders, in the waning days of the last Administration, the President signed an executive order establishing the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission. Calling America an exceptional nation dedicated to the ideas and ideals of its founding, the order noted a recent series of polemics grounded in poor scholarship that vilify our country. “This radicalized view of American history lacks perspective, obscures virtues, twists motives, ignores or distorts facts, and magnifies flaws, resulting in the truth being concealed and history disfigured.” The order called upon all of us not to abandon faith in the common story that binds us to one another across our differences. Those symbols that bind are, of course, the American flag, the National Anthem, the U.S. military, and places like West Point. Disrespect of those only deepens the division. It is identity politics that divides, rather than unites. At the most fundamental level, the order concluded that an informed and honest patriotism taught in our schools should be the goal. In closing it is only fair to note that early on the Biden Administration eliminated the Advisory Commission.” Barrie E. Zais is a West Point graduate who served two tours in Vietnam and commanded infantry units from platoon to regimental level. He holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees in history from Duke University and has taught on three college faculties. He was the Course Director of the two-semester course, History of the Military Art, in the Department of History, U.S Military Academy, West Point…. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. The canary in the coal mine just died.
National Guard Two Weeks from Collapse — Stalling Promotions, Gutting Training, Canceling Drills, Leaders Warn
National Guard operations are about two weeks from grinding to a halt as a $520 million tab to reimburse the force for protecting lawmakers during its months-long Capitol Hill mission remains in limbo amid partisan bickering.
If Congress fails to act quickly, the National Guard will shut down most training through Oct. 1, the start of fiscal 2022, Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the head of the National Guard, warned Congress in May.
That would include August and September drills, annual training events and critical pre-deployment training. It would also affect 2,000 Guard-run schools, including noncommissioned officer development courses, such as the Basic Leader Course, needed for promotion, a National Guard spokesperson said.
Even worse, Guard leaders say, troops will miss out on two months of pay, which could devastate families and make it hard for troops to cover Tricare insurance costs. For a specialist, the Army‘s most common rank, missing out on two months of drill will cost them around $700. If they also were scheduled for annual training, they’ll miss out on at least $1,200 of pay.
“I feel horrible as a leader, to tell my soldiers and airmen that I may not be able to pay them for August and September drill,” Maj. Gen. Roger Lyles, adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard, said at a news conference Friday. “Those [are] checks that them and their families count on.”
He was accompanied by Maj. Gen. Richard Neely, Illinois’ adjutant general, and Brig. Gen. John Driscoll, Massachusetts’ land component commander. The three shared concerns that the Guard will be in disarray if funding shortfalls aren’t solved soon.
Most states operate several schools that junior enlisted and non-commissioned officers must attend to qualify for their next rank. This includes the Basic Leader Course for promotion to sergeant and the Advanced Leader Course for promotion to staff sergeant.
“[Guardsmen] will not be able to prepare for wartime capability deployments, or attend formal schools, training or certification programs,” a National Guard spokesperson told Military.com.
John Goheen, a spokesman for the National Guard Association of the United States, warned that shutting schools down even for two months could have a long-lasting impact on careers. For many service members, rescheduling these courses might not be easy.
“Getting those soldiers to school is tough; some wait a long time,” Goheen told Military.com. “They have to calculate everything — college, kids, family. This is a big problem.”
Promotion schools take weeks or months to complete and usually require a soldier to be away from home for the duration. The National Guard does not provide services for troops such as child or pet care, making attending a school a potentially huge logistical hurdle to overcome.
Meanwhile, troops also will miss out on pre-deployment training, and Lyles is alarmed over the possibility of untrained troops being sent on missions at home and abroad. For example, the 54th Security Assistance Brigade’s planned rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center, or JRTC, at Fort Polk, Louisiana, ahead of an overseas deployment will be scrapped if funding isn’t met in two weeks.
“That training exercise is at risk because it may have to be canceled, so our federal mission will be at risk,” Lyles said, referencing the JRTC training event. “We also have companies about to be trained for a border mission. Those missions are also at risk because of the inability to train. This will potentially place our soldiers and airmen in harm’s way without the proper training.”
Leaders have touted the pandemic response as “the year of the Guard,” after a long string of domestic missions. Given the Guard’s training schedule of one weekend per month, Lyles warned that axing two months would hinder governors’ ability to wield troops effectively if a crisis occurs.
“Our governor’s ability to deploy us domestically is also degraded for any man-made or natural disaster because we would not have the opportunity to train our reactionary forces,” he said.
The reimbursement issue stems from a battle in the Senate over a U.S. Capitol security spending bill. Republicans and Democrats are arguing over the size and scope of the legislation.
On Monday, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, unveiled a $3.7 billion plan that dwarfs the $1.9 billion bill passed by the House in May. The House bill provides extra money to federal law enforcement and additional Capitol security measures. In addition to reimbursing the Guard for its mission costs, Leahy’s bill would give extra money to Capitol police, boost support for Afghanistan refugees and add resources to combat the pandemic.
“We did not budget for an insurrection,” Leahy said in a statement. “I am glad that my Republican colleagues have joined the negotiating table on this urgent matter, but their proposal falls far short of the needs of the moment.”
Leahy’s Republican counterpart on the committee, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., introduced a much slimmer $632.9 million bill on Monday that would fund the National Guard and cover additional costs the Capitol Police accrued related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“We all agree we must provide desperately-needed funding for the Capitol Police and National Guard,” Shelby said in a Monday press release. “My bill answers these needs. I urge my Democrat colleagues to join me in passing this bill without further delay. Funding for the Capitol Police and National Guard must not be held hostage because the Democrats insist on billions more in spending that lacks full support at this time.”
The Guard leaders urged Congress not to delay passing legislation, saying they need funding ahead of the deadline to avoid the most severe cuts to training and operations.
“What’s the chance the funding is going to occur? We wouldn’t be having this conference if we had high confidence,” Neely said of the funding crisis.
— Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.