Death and destruction due to terrorism is a pervasive element of today's society. The potential of this despicable evil frightens citizens of many countries. Among nations and groups promoting and executing these malevolent acts are Iran and North Korea. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis described Iran as the world's "biggest state sponsor of terrorism."
Daniel Byman, a professor and senior associate dean at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service and a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, wrote: "Iran's leaders have used terrorism since they took power in 1979. Over 35 years later, Iran continues to use terrorism and to work with an array of violent substate groups that use terrorism among other tactics" ("State Sponsor of Terror: The Global Threat of Iran," Feb. 11,2015, Brookings Institution).
In October 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism in the expectation that it would agree to halt its nuclear weapons development program. The strategy didn't work. "Several shipments of arms have been intercepted on their way from North Korea to Iran and its terrorist proxies. North Korea has certainly provided material support for terrorists and terrorist organizations" (Ethan Epstein, "North Korea Is Definitely a State Sponsor of Terrorism," The Weekly Standard, March 6, 2017).
In addition to countless terrorist bombings and assassinatinos that both Iran and North Korea have helped perpetuate, these nations are researching means of develping and employing electromagnetic pulse EMP) nuclear weapons.
"An EMP attack on the United State could materialize in two forms: nuclear and non-nuclear. The most devastating form, and most difficult to achieve, is an EMP that results from a nuclear weapon. This form destroys any 'unhardened' electronic equipment and electric power system which means virtually any civilian infrastructure in the United States" (Jena Baker McNeill and Richard Weitz, "Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack: A Preventable Homeland Security Catastrophe," The Heritage Foundation, Oct. 20, 2008).
While Iranian missiles cannot yet reach America, a potential nuclear weapons capability could still directly threaten the U.S. homeland, Many National security experts are worried about the possibility of a nuclear weapon arriving in a cargo container at a major U.S. port. In addition, there is a great concern that a single missile containing a nuclear warhead launched from a ship or submarine off the U.S. coast and detonated in the atmosphere could destroy America's eletrical infrastructure.
"Suspected for years of plotting to dismantle the U.S. electric grid, American officials have confirmed that Iranian military brass have endorsed a nuclear electromagnetic pulse explosion that would attack the country's power system. American defense experts made the discovery while translating a secret Iranian military handbook. A knowledgeable source said that the textbook discusses an EMP attack on America in 20 different places" (Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, March 19,2015).
Furthermore, North Korea launched missiles into space in April 2012 and February 2016 and now has two earth-observation satellites in low orbit. Michael Maloof, a former U.S. Defense Department security policy analyst, explained their deadly significance: "North Korea could orbit a satellite which would be the size of a nuclear bomb and detonate it upwards of 300 miles above Earth, on command, making North Korea a threat to any country as a result" ("Expert: North Korea Has EMP Attack Capability," WND.com, April 25, 2017).
Contrary to conventional thought, North Korea doesn't actually need a missile capable of reaching the United States mainland to create damage and havoc. This is because a satellite-based nuclear weapon cound accomplish a crippling EMP attack that could effectively bring down the U.S. power grid.
Furthermore, a high-yield megaton-class (l,OOO-kiloton) nuclear weapon is not required for an effective EMP strike, according to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and chief of staff of the Congressional EMP Commission. He stated: "I am looking at an unclassified U.S. Government chart that shows [that] a 10-kiloton warhead (the power of the Hiroshima A-Bomb) detonated at an altitude of 70 kilometers will generate an EMP field inflicting upset and damage on unprotected electronics" ("Time to Take NKorea Nuke Threats Seriously," Newsmax, May 4,2017).
By some estimates, as few as three EMP detonations properly placed above the United States could lead to the deaths of 90 percent of the U.S. population within a year from starvation and disease. The danger is real and growing.