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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2011 :  18:58:38  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From the NY Times.....
The front page of yesterday’s New York Times features a story on Newt Gingrich’s “doomsday vision:” an attack over the United States’ airspace known as an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP. Gingrich and a cadre of concerned national security analysts worry that terrorists or rogue states—Iran and North Korea—could detonate a nuclear device over the United States that theoretically could disrupt electrical circuits, from cars to power grids.


Tim Thompson......

What is your view of this issue?

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2011 :  19:42:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's the link to the article, Bill.

Among Gingrich’s Passions, a Doomsday Vision

From the article:

“We are on the verge of catastrophic problems,” he said of electromagnetic attack. “We have zero national strategy to respond to it today.” That is why, Mr. Gingrich added, “I favor taking out Iranian and North Korean missiles on their sites.”

Critics of such pre-emptive attacks say their advocates ignore, among other things, that Iran is having trouble keeping its missile bases from blowing up and that North Korea cannot seem to get a big rocket off the ground without it tumbling out of control.

To even begin to attempt to do what Mr. Gingrich fears, these rogue states would have to perfect big rockets, powerful bombs and surreptitious ways to loft them high above America, military experts say. And if they did — and there are much easier ways to deliver a nuclear bomb than by missile, these experts argue — United States defenses would spring into action...


Basically, while it might be possible in theory, Gingrich is blowing it out his ass.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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sailingsoul
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2830 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2011 :  20:49:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Be afraid, be very afraid. The same old Republican tricks, fear mongering. Remember the National Terrorism Advisory System? I just checked, as of this writing for current alerts "there are no current alerts". Strangely "there are no expired alerts". That reads to me that whatever alerts that have ever been issued are still in effect. American tax dollars keeping us safe. What a waste of wealth but those employed buy our Dept.of Homeland Security would disagree.

DHS link

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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Valiant Dancer
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USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2011 :  06:42:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Turtledove's Worldwar series starts off with this.

Unfortunately for the aliens, it happens during WW II. The older equipment isn't suseptible to EMP.

EMP requires a few things to render an entire nation of the size of the US fried. (BTW, US reactionary systems and NORAD are heavily shielded and would not be impacted by an EMP. The terrorists would be on the recieving end of a can of whoop ass when located.)

1) reliable rocketry - NK can't do this currently. Iran just had a missile base reduced to rubble by "accident" (MOSAD, CIA, etc).
2) A large enough weapon to produce a large enough pulse.
3) A lucky shot that explodes it at the correct altitude without being intercepted.

Terrorist groups do not have the funding (the underwear bomber selected Detroit because it was the cheapest ticket) nor the knowledge to pull this off.

Maybe Ron Paul will jump on the klaxon bandwagon. It's been ages since I heard anyone warn of the zombie invasion.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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bngbuck
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USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2011 :  09:32:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Valiant Dancer.....

EMP requires a few things to render an entire nation of the size of the US fried. (BTW, US reactionary systems and NORAD are heavily shielded and would not be impacted by an EMP. The terrorists would be on the recieving end of a can of whoop ass when located.)

1) reliable rocketry - NK can't do this currently. Iran just had a missile base reduced to rubble by "accident" (MOSAD, CIA, etc).
2) A large enough weapon to produce a large enough pulse.
3) A lucky shot that explodes it at the correct altitude without being intercepted.
Sounds reasonable.
From wiki

An EPFCG package that could be easily carried by a person can produce pulses in the millions of amperes and tens of terawatts, exceeding the power of a lightning strike by orders of magnitude
What is your analysis of the threat potential posed by an EPFCG ?





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bngbuck
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USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2011 :  13:04:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kil.....
Basically, while it might be possible in theory, Gingrich is blowing it out his ass.
Well, I think that is probably true. As to the "might be possible in theory", what I was really looking for was a comment from Tim Thompson (the one I am always sucking up to, as someone said). In my opinion, (not a very important one), Mr. Thompson presents credentials in particle and astrophysics that far exceed those of anyone else's here on SFN. Vastly greater than mine, certainly.

In any event, I would certainly welcome his commentary on the potential of this apparently well-developed technology to become an effective terrorist weapon - if not as a WMD, possibly as an weapon that could be focused selectively on critical power grids, computer server centers, etc. - in financial, communication, and commerce centers as well as government installations.

I readily confess to knowing next to nothing about the specifics of an EMP device theoretically used as a terrorist weapon. I barely had paid any attention to the idea until Gingrich started using it as a political club.

But much as Cheney/Dubya was able to hoodwink a great many of us with dire warnings about Iraq's WMD's; from a purely technical standpoint, is the use of this type of weapon probable at some point or even possible? It looks like Newt is ready to throw this bomb frequently, with the proviso that he, of course, is the only one capable of standing up to the problem. Bomb Iran, bomb Iran,....etc.

Quite honestly, I really don't know. I really would appreciate a qualified scientist's appraisal of the concept of EMP, and its smaller corollary EPFCG, as possible terrorist weapons.

Gingrich will very likely completely mesmerize a large group of dumb-as-a-sackofhammers Republican stalwarts. He is seen as an intellectual who shares the primitive superstitions of the Republican crazy right -- god, christ, abortion, homosexual threat, etc.

Effective counter propaganda may be needed to counter this scare tactic, as apparently Newt thinks he has a hot boogyman here.

Dude used to have strong and pretty well documented views on some of these issues, but like the other missing regulars recently mentioned; I haven't seen him hanging around SFN much recently. I would welcome some input from him, as he always seemed to be well-informed on current technology.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2011 :  13:34:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bill:
Gingrich will very likely completely mesmerize a large group of dumb-as-a-sackofhammers Republican stalwarts. He is seen as an intellectual who shares the primitive superstitions of the Republican crazy right -- god, christ, abortion, homosexual threat, etc.

I know this is a bit of a highjack but most of the Republican establishment, including many of those who identify as "tea party" hate Gingrich. And they are saying so. Many of the people who have worked along side him when he was the speaker, are not only not endorsing him, they are making clear that he is unacceptable. Even nutters like Glen Beck has said that if Gingrich wins the nomination, he will vote for Ron Paul as an independent. That what's-his-name Savage guy, talk show host has offered Gingrich one million dollars of his personal money to drop out of the race. Rove is pissed, and so on. He might have the base so far, but he hasn't got the party. Not even close. They all know that with negatives like his, which includes a failure to lead, some of them are saying, and with the ethics violations, his big mouth, his lobbying for Freddy Mac, and all the other bagage he brings to the party, he doesn't stand a chance against Obama.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2011 :  20:15:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kil.....

I know this is a bit of a highjack but most of the Republican establishment, including many of those who identify as "tea party" hate Gingrich.
With considerable trepidation I would like to say that I could care less about any "highjack" aspect of anyone's comments. I see much of the discussion here more as creating a fabric than merely following a thread. But I am reasonably certain that you are in no danger of being taken to task for "derailing", so I feel comfortable in responding in kind.

This ever-widening schism in the Republican Party's nomination process is truly becoming a spectacle. Ultimately, of course, it will boil down to which camp can collect, or buy, the most campers; but to me, it is far from certain that Gingrich will not eventually win the nomination.

If Gingrich takes Iowa and New Hampshire, I think there will be the damndest slugfest of all time within the GOP. No question that the base and the traditional roots of the party are at loggerheads and are seemingly getting ever more entrenched in their respective bunkers. But which faction really wields the most power?

From the disgusting cocksucking that Boehner and Cantor have been performing for a long, long, time in the House; it would appear that the Teapartiers rule that roost. The Senate is much harder to fathom. And then, there is the consensus (ha!) of Republican governors, many of whom appear to be aligned with the new nut wing of the party.

Probably, the final decision will come down to money and the guy with the most and getting more from all of the usual corporate suspects will triumph. That looks very much right now like Waving Willard. He certainly appears to be the most manipulable when compared with Newt the Anointed. Not that Gingrich isn't attracted by money, he certainly is. But I think he is really most interested in practicing megalomania at the highest level in the world. The fact that Rove wants to take him down is the best clue. The Rove/Cheney political operative arm of the Powers That Be, will probably prevail.

Unless there are more Tea Party crazies out there than anyone suspects!



Maybe Tim Thompson will come soaring in in superhero tights and save this thread from a fate worse than.....ignomy?



What is your analysis of the terrorist threat potential posed by an EPFCG ?
Edited by - bngbuck on 12/14/2011 22:48:41
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2011 :  07:02:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

Valiant Dancer.....

EMP requires a few things to render an entire nation of the size of the US fried. (BTW, US reactionary systems and NORAD are heavily shielded and would not be impacted by an EMP. The terrorists would be on the recieving end of a can of whoop ass when located.)

1) reliable rocketry - NK can't do this currently. Iran just had a missile base reduced to rubble by "accident" (MOSAD, CIA, etc).
2) A large enough weapon to produce a large enough pulse.
3) A lucky shot that explodes it at the correct altitude without being intercepted.
Sounds reasonable.
From wiki

An EPFCG package that could be easily carried by a person can produce pulses in the millions of amperes and tens of terawatts, exceeding the power of a lightning strike by orders of magnitude
What is your analysis of the threat potential posed by an EPFCG ?








Local only.

Again, altitude and a pretty sizable one is required for an EMP pulse to do widespread damage.

A single burst that impacts the entire US requires an altitude of 400 to 500 km.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/intro/nuke/emp.htm

This link supports that position.

Basically, what saves you from non-local effects from a ground burst or burst from an aircraft in flight is the curvature of the Earth and the Earth's magnetic field.

Given that commercial airliners in the US are typically limited between 8-12 km and the service ceilings for these aircraft typically max out about 25-30 km, you will gain the full and undivided attention of the US military as you get into their designated airspace altitudes.

The burst at 30 km would have an effect against the center of the US (approx 150 km), but not the entire US. However, bursts above 10 km are blunted by the Earth's magnetic field.

The EPFCG is a much less powerful EMP than what is produced in a thermonuclear blast. It has a far reduced impact from the same altitude as a typical thermonuclear weapon.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1996/apjemp.htm

This report from 1996 pretty much provides the detail that answers your questions nicely.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2011 :  08:23:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Electronics have a whole range of sensitivity of EMP. Just because some equipment gets fried doesn't mean everything gets fried.

An EMP from a solar eruption is too slow to generate the kind which fries electronics (only large power-grids), but an astronomic gamma-ray-burst in our intergalactic neighbourhood definitely have the capacity to fry everything on an entire hemisphere.
The EMP from a nuke doesn't originate from the blast itself. It is when the gamma ray pulse from the nuclear explosion hits the atmosphere that the atmosphere generates the EMP.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
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Valiant Dancer
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USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2011 :  09:33:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Electronics have a whole range of sensitivity of EMP. Just because some equipment gets fried doesn't mean everything gets fried.

An EMP from a solar eruption is too slow to generate the kind which fries electronics (only large power-grids), but an astronomic gamma-ray-burst in our intergalactic neighbourhood definitely have the capacity to fry everything on an entire hemisphere.
The EMP from a nuke doesn't originate from the blast itself. It is when the gamma ray pulse from the nuclear explosion hits the atmosphere that the atmosphere generates the EMP.


Granted, but the sources are well above the 500 km minimum range for a Continental US EMP disruption. I forewent the EMP shielded and hardened systems and only focused on the unshielded soft systems which are most likely to suffer some sort of damage. (Non-military grade avionics, microwave ovens, some power system transmission wires, vehicle PCM modules, etc.)

The question he had concerned a man portable E1 type EMP weapon.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2011 :  16:02:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My wife glanced over my shoulder and read aloud from your post:
"A single burst that impacts the entire US requires an altitude of 400 to 500 km... You do realise that's beyond the orbit of the Space Station, right? It's at 400 km."

I had to double-check with Wikipedia, but of course she was right. One man's "high altitude" is another man's "low earth orbit".

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 12/15/2011 16:04:09
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Valiant Dancer
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USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2011 :  06:37:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

My wife glanced over my shoulder and read aloud from your post:
"A single burst that impacts the entire US requires an altitude of 400 to 500 km... You do realise that's beyond the orbit of the Space Station, right? It's at 400 km."

I had to double-check with Wikipedia, but of course she was right. One man's "high altitude" is another man's "low earth orbit".


Yup. I got that.

I was considering a single EMP that impacts the entire Continental US.

I was struggling to pick an appropriate word for the distance between the ground and the target object. Height may have been better, but I selected altitude.

Altitude being defined as the height above a reference point.


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sailingsoul
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2830 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2011 :  09:42:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The alleged concern is.
Originally posted by bngbuck,,,
Gingrich and a cadre of concerned national security analysts worry that terrorists or rogue states—Iran and North Korea—could detonate a nuclear device over the United States that theoretically could disrupt electrical circuits, from cars to power grids.
So there we have it. Has it not been established, by previous posts, that it would take a nuclear bomb delivered to an altitude of some >400km (+250 miles) above the center of the USA to cover the country. That would also cover some of Canada and Mexico.
I am not aware that any "terrorists or rogue states—Iran and North Korea" that have possession of anything close to a rocket or ICBM that is able to deliver a nuke to that location. Which brings us to why "Gingrich and a cadre of concerned national security analysts" would make such an unfounded claim? One I'm sure they know is a complete lie due to the impossibility of those stated from being capable of pulling off.

Could it be to,,,
Be afraid, be very afraid. The same old Republican tricks, fear mongering.

This particular attempt seemed to have fallen flat on it's face. As it rightly should have being as unfounded as it is.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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sailingsoul
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2830 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2011 :  15:19:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From another article on the matter.


Younger is appalled at the way "one fast talking scientist" managed in 2004 to convince some members of Congress that North Korea might be able to launch a nuclear device capable of emitting a high altitude electromagnetic pulse that could burn out computers and other equipment over a wide area. When he queried a man he considers to be "perhaps the most knowledgeable person in the world about such designs" (and who "was never asked to testify"), the response was: "I don't think the United States could do that sort of thing today. To say that the North Koreans could do it, and without doing any testing, is simply ridiculous." Nevertheless, concludes Younger acidly, "rumors are passed from one person to another, growing at every repetition, backed by flimsy or nonexistent intelligence and the reputations of those who are better at talking than doing." [emphasis in the original]



The validity of the concern comes down to this one partial reply
"I don't think the United States could do that sort of thing today. To say that the North Koreans could do it, and without doing any testing, is simply ridiculous."

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
Edited by - sailingsoul on 12/16/2011 15:23:12
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bngbuck
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USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2011 :  16:30:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
sailingsoul.....

Be afraid, be very afraid. The same old Republican tricks, fear mongering.
Pretty much exactly what I meant by this post several replies back on this page:
Gingrich will very likely completely mesmerize a large group of dumb-as-a-sackofhammers Republican stalwarts. He is seen as an intellectual who shares the primitive superstitions of the Republican crazy right -- god, christ, abortion, homosexual threat, etc.

Effective counter propaganda may be needed to counter this scare tactic, as apparently Newt thinks he has a hot boogyman here.
Of course, nattering Newt would use any posssible tactic to reach the credulous and ignorant crowd of primitives that constitute the Republican base.

I would like to see more qualified experts in nuclear armaments speak out regarding the improbability of these types of devices being used as Weapons of Significant Destruction by terrorists - much as the mention of the so-called "dirty" nuclear bomb was used frequently as a terror tactic by Cheney/Bush, when new ways of scaring the gullible were needed - as an attempt to defuse this fake bomb scare starting to be used by Gingrich.
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