’33 Minutes’ Screening Saturday

Earlier today, I received — and accepted — an invitation from former U.S. Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.) to attend a screening of the film, “33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age,” at the St. Charles (Mo.) Convention Center Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.  A trailer for the film appears below.

This film, produced by the Heritage Foundation where Senator Talent is a fellow, tells the story of the very real threat foreign enemies pose to every one of us:

“The truth is brutal.  No matter where on Earth a missile is launched from, it would take 33 Minutes or less to hit the U.S. target it was programmed to destroy.”

I’ll let you know more about the film after Saturday.  Stay tuned!

See also: BMW posts on electromagnetic pulse, Jim Talent and missile defense.

Missile Defense Needed to Thwart EMP Attack

Two days before the election, I published ten reasons NOT to elect Barack Obama in 2008 with reason #3 being the fact that Obama wants to drastically cut defense spending, research and capabilities.  Among those defense cutbacks, a missile defense system that might protect the United States from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.

Not familiar with the concept of an EMP attack?  Two and a half months after broaching the subject of an EMP attack in an opinion piece, the Wall Street Journal Online reminds readers of the threat today — this time in a news story.

Under the headline, What a Single Nuclear Warhead Would Do, writer Brian T. Kennedy’s article offers a glimpse at the impact of such an attack:

Think about this scenario: An ordinary-looking freighter ship heading toward New York or Los Angeles launches a missile from its hull or from a canister lowered into the sea. It hits a densely populated area. A million people are incinerated. The ship is then sunk. No one claims responsibility. There is no firm evidence as to who sponsored the attack, and thus no one against whom to launch a counterstrike.

Further into the pieace, he adds:

…such an attack would effectively throw America back technologically into the early 19th century. It would require the Iranians to be able to produce a warhead as sophisticated as we expect the Russians or the Chinese to possess. But that is certainly attainable. Common sense would suggest that, absent food and water, the number of people who could die of deprivation and as a result of social breakdown might run well into the millions.

Need something to do in your spare time?  Contact your elected officials in Washington, D.C., and encourage the soon-to-be-inaugurated 44th president to drop his plans to cut missile defense.  If successful, the life you save might be your own.

See also:

Emergency Plan Fails to Consider EMP Threat

Oil Crisis Pales in Comparison to EMP Threat

Oil Crisis Pales in Comparison to EMP Threat

The ongoing oil crisis pales in comparison to a recently-identified threat slowly catching the attention of reporters and think tankers alike.

In the opening paragraph of a Wall Street Journal Online opinion piece published today, readers were asked to use their imaginations and envision a frightening choice facing terrorist enemies of the United States (think Iran):

Imagine you’re a terrorist with a single nuclear weapon. You could wipe out the U.S. city of your choice, or you could decide to destroy the infrastructure of the entire U.S. economy and leave millions of Americans to die of starvation or want of medical care.

The means via which a terrorist — or a terrorist nation — might accomplish the latter option is explained in successive paragraphs as an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack and was the focus of a study conducted by The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.

According to the commission’s Critical National Infrastructures Report (PDF, 7MB) report delivered to Congress July 22, the EMP threat “is one of a small number of threats that has the potential to hold our society seriously at risk and might result in defeat of our military forces.”

In a recent backgrounder for the Heritage Foundation, senior policy analyst Jack Spencer exclaimed, “this alarming report clears the way for Congress to debate more seriously the most effective measures to meet the threat of an EMP attack.” Talk about an understatement.

He goes on to explain that protecting the United States against the evolving EMP threat will require a mix of active defenses, passive defenses, and policy changes. Specifically, the United States should:

  • Develop a clear policy about how it will respond to an EMP attack;
  • Assess which assets of the nation’s power grid and telecommunications infrastructure are most critical to the overall system;
  • Harden those critical assets against EMP;
  • Retrofit at least a portion of U.S. military assets to protect against EMP;
  • Engineer EMP protections into a greater percentage of future military capabilities; and
  • Deploy an effective ballistic missile defense.

Unlike the threat of skyrocketing oil prices doing great harm to our economy, an EMP attack holds potential to not only shut down the engines driving our economy, but to return Americans to the standard of living experienced more than a century ago. Hence, there’s no better reason to ensure IRAN is stopped before such an attack can be executed.

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For more about the EMP threat, read this article from Defense Industry Daily.

See also: Emergency Plan Fails to Consider EMP Threat