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DECEMBER 17, 2017




"America’s epitaph may be: “Died of stupidity.” The EMP Crisis"

Today's guest: Dr Peter Vincent Pry - 'Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum'

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both Congressional Advisory Boards, and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe and Electric Armageddon, both available from and

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry served as Chief of Staff to the Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Commission. He is the Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a Congressional Advisory Board dedicated to achieving protection of the United States from electromagnetic pulse (EMP), Cyber Warfare, mass destruction terrorism and other threats to civilian critical infrastructures, on an accelerated basis. Dr. Pry also is Director of the United States Nuclear Strategy Forum, an advisory board to Congress on policies to counter Weapons of Mass Destruction. Foreign governments, including the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, and Kazakhstan consult with Dr. Pry on EMP, Cyber, and other strategic threats.

Dr. Pry served on the staffs of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States (2008-2009); the Commission on the New Strategic Posture of the United States (2006-2008); and the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack (2001-2008).

Dr. Pry served as Professional Staff on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) of the U.S. Congress, with portfolios in nuclear strategy, WMD, Russia, China, NATO, the Middle East, Intelligence, and Terrorism (1995-2001). While serving on the HASC, Dr. Pry was chief advisor to the Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and the Vice Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and to the Chairman of the Terrorism Panel. Dr. Pry played a key role: running hearings in Congress that warned terrorists and rogue states could pose EMP and Cyber threats, establishing the Congressional EMP Commission, helping the Commission develop plans to protect the United States from EMP and Cyber Warfare, and working closely with senior scientists and the nation's top experts on critical infrastructures, EMP and Cyber Warfare.

Dr. Pry was an Intelligence Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency responsible for analyzing Soviet and Russian nuclear strategy, operational plans, military doctrine, threat perceptions, and developing U.S. paradigms for strategic warning (1985-1995). He also served as a Verification Analyst at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency responsible for assessing Soviet arms control treaty compliance (1984-1985).

Dr. Pry has written numerous books on national security issues, including Blackout Wars; Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe; Electric Armageddon: Civil-Military Preparedness For An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe; War Scare: Russia and America on the Nuclear Brink; Nuclear Wars: Exchanges and Outcomes; The Strategic Nuclear Balance: And Why It Matters; and Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal. Dr. Pry often appears on TV and radio as an expert on national security issues. The BBC made his book War Scare into a two-hour TV documentary Soviet War Scare 1983 and his book Electric Armageddon was the basis for another TV documentary Electronic Armageddon made by the National Geographic.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Call your member of congress and ask them to join the congressional EMP caucus. Call state reps and ask them to work on it.




 Patient Diplomacy with Nuclear North Korea is MAD

              by DR. PETER VINCENT PRY December 16, 2017

The mind of dictator Kim Jong Un and North Korean elites is seemingly incomprehensible to the U.S. Department of State, that continues to believe a policy of escalating sanctions will eventually persuade Pyongyang to surrender its nuclear missiles--although the policy has failed for 25 years.

Most Americans, and apparently the President of the United States himself, are losing faith in a negotiated solution to the North Korean nuclear missile threat.

Thae Young Ho-More Appeasement Please

Enter Thae Yong Ho, high-ranking diplomat and North Korean defector, who in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on November 1, 2017, told the State Department and the foreign policy establishment exactly what they want to hear:

"We should continue the current momentum of sanctions and campaign of diplomatic isolation. I think it is the only way to force North Korea to give up its nuclear ambition," according to Thae.


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A privileged member of North Korea's aristocracy, defecting as deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2016, Thae Yong Ho's testimony is highly valuable--less for his recommendations, and more for what it reveals about the thinking of North Korean elites.

Thae recommends a personal meeting with Kim Jong Un warning that continued nuclearization will only end in catastrophe. But offering, in exchange for surrendering nuclear weapons, normalization of international relations, security guarantees for Kim's dynasty, and economic benefits to build a prosperous North Korea.

But wait. Wasn't that President Bill Clinton's deal, his Agreed Framework (2004-2012)? Yes, it was.

If the U.S. now revives an even more generous version of the Agreed Framework, would that confirm to Pyongyang that nuclear blackmail works? Certainly.

Thae Yong Ho is obviously an intelligent man, sincerely seeking a negotiated solution to growing nuclear crisis with North Korea. But he also obviously has been immersed so long in the waters of the western diplomatic community that he has absorbed its idealistic values, swallowed whole its boundless faith in negotiated solutions, and "gone native"--which is why he defected.

"Some people do not believe in soft power but only in military options," according to Thae. As if the problem in Washington is too little diplomatic patience, and too many hawks wanting to bomb North Korea.

In fact, Washington elites--including in the Department of Defense--are so terrified of a nuclear war with North Korea that military options, even surgical conventional strikes, may no longer really be on the table. Only President Trump himself gives hope to those of us who believe the time for diplomacy is past.

The Truth Will Not Set North Korea Free

Thae Yong Ho speaks hopefully about how "soft power" and patient diplomacy liberated Eastern Europe from Soviet domination, led to the disintegration of the USSR, and won the Cold War. He is confident that if only the North Korean people knew the truth--that Kim Jong Un is not God, that North Korea is not Paradise, that Freedom is possible, that life is better everywhere else in the world--then the North Korean regime would have to change or face revolution.

So Thae's "soft power" strategy for denuclearizing North Korea is Radio Free Korea and somehow smuggling to the North Korean masses the means to access the internet and learn about the outside world.

Thae, who lived the life of a highly privileged member of North Korea's elite, appears unaware, or insufficiently aware, of the lives of absolute oppression, brain-washing, and perpetual fear that is the lot of most North Koreans. Other defectors, Yeonmi Park, for example, daughter of a North Korean government official, was raised to believe Kim Jong Un is God and that he could read everyone's thoughts.

Such an Orwellian 1984 thoroughly brainwashed society is the least fertile ground imaginable for re-educating North Korea's fanatically loyal people.

Thae himself lived in the West for many years as a diplomat with full access to the truth about North Korea from mass media and the western diplomatic community--yet he did not turn against North Korea and defect until facing return to Pyongyang with his westernized children. Thae's example is not encouraging for the prospect of raising revolution among North Korea's masses. Nor have North Korea's masses revolted when starving to death and imprisoned in concentration camps by the hundreds of thousands.

So Thae's hope that better informing North Korea's people will compel Pyongyang to reform, or spark regime change, is unrealistic. Revolution in a North Korea armed with ICBMs that can strike the United States may not even be a good idea.

Disarm Nuclear North Korea Now

The Cold War with the USSR, that did eventually discredit communism among the Russian people and achieve regime change peacefully, lasted 45 years. Do we really have years or decades to wage a new Cold War with North Korea, when geostrategic and technological circumstances have changed radically?


There are many compelling reasons--including the mindset of North Korean elites described by Thae Yong Ho--to act militarily now. (See my article "Disarming Nuclear North Korea" Family Security Matters, September 29, 2017, for one example of limited conventional surgical strikes that could disarm North Korea of those nuclear forces posing the greatest threat to the United States, could be executed in a few hours, and are calculated to minimize escalatory risk.)

Risky as even surgical conventional strikes against North Korea may be, the dangers of continuing patient diplomacy are far riskier. Some of these dangers are explained below.

Mutual Assured Destruction Not A Good Idea

Buying time for sanctions and diplomacy to peacefully disarm nuclear North Korea means entrusting our lives to a Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) relationship with the psychopath in Pyongyang.

North Korea can already make an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that would blackout the North American grid and threaten the very existence of the United States. Will Kim Jong Un tolerate watching North Korea ground-down, and regime survival threatened, by economic sanctions--and not revenge himself on the U.S. with an EMP attack?

U.S. economic sanctions moved Imperial Japan to attack Pearl Harbor in 1941, forcing a peaceable and isolationist America into World War II. Yet Japanese Emperor Hirohito was a paragon of humanity and non-aggression compared to Kim Jong Un.

North Korea Will Sell The Bomb

Thae Yong Ho testifies that North Korea will sell nuclear weapons to Iran and to anyone: "Absolutely, because North Korea is a country who wants to sell anything for the hard currency."

"U.S. Intelligence Community Claims North Korea Transferred 3 Nuclear Warheads To Iran" is the headline of an article by Franklin Lamb published in yesterday (December 10, 2017).

According to Lamb, citing sources in the U.S. Intelligence Community: "The three DRNK nuclear warheads and the ‘dirty bomb' deliveries to Iran allegedly took place during the Spring of 2017. They were transported under heavy guard from Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport on four separate North Korean regularly scheduled passenger flights of its Air Koryo airline to Iran..."

These unconfirmed allegations, whether or not they are true, are entirely plausible.

This alone--the risk of an A-Bomb or H-Bomb transferring to Iran or terrorists--is reason enough to destroy North Korea's nuclear weapons program now.

North Korean Nuclear Weapons Non-Negotiable

Despite Thae Yong Ho's endorsement of patient diplomacy to disarm nuclear North Korea, his description of the paranoia and deep distrust of the U.S. by North Korean elites would seem to make a diplomatic solution impossible.

Thae testifies the example of Libya looms large in the minds of North Korean elites. Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi gave up his nuclear weapons program, in exchange for promises of normalized relations with the West, only to be betrayed. NATO intervened in the Libyan civil war against Gaddafi, who was executed by his own people.

Likewise, in Iraq, dictator Saddam Hussein's failure to complete his nuclear weapons program contributed to a Second Persian Gulf War with the U.S., and Saddam's defeat and execution, according to North Korea's interpretation of events.

Thae acknowledges this history makes the U.S. untrustworthy to Pyongyang. He fails to explain why these precedents are not insurmountable obstacles to a diplomatic solution in the minds of North Korean elites.

Why Thae and the U.S. State Department would trust North Korea to keep any promise to give-up nuclear weapons, after it cheated on the Agreed Framework and has repeatedly broken its word and international law, is a psychological mystery.

North Korea's Nuclear Hair-Trigger

Thae Yong Ho's testimony implies nuclear command and control arrangements may be on a hair-trigger, with low-level commands pre-authorized to launch nuclear missiles if North Korea is attacked. According to Thae, Pyongyang's thousands of artillery and missiles in range of Seoul-armed with conventional, chemical and biological warheads-are pre-authorized to destroy South Korea's capitol immediately, if North Korea is struck.

The same logic applied to ICBMs would virtually guarantee nuclear missile strikes on the U.S. by accident or miscalculation.

North Korea has no early warning satellites or long-range early warning radars to provide up to 30 minutes of notification that an attack is incoming, so they can retaliate. They have tactical radars that could provide very short warning, 5-10 minutes against bombers that are not flying below radar. Most North Korean missiles, including ICBMs, are liquid-fueled and need a lot more time, at least 90 minutes and perhaps hours, to be readied for launch.

So North Korea must depend upon strategic warning provided by its paranoid intelligence services and military leaders (relying at least partially on western press and TV reporting) to decide if they are about to be attacked, and therefore must launch a retaliatory or preemptive strike.

Or North Korea may also rely upon its friends, Russia and China, to warn them when they must launch missiles. Thus, Beijing and Moscow could use North Korea to wage a nuclear war by proxy--merely by misinforming Pyongyang.

Washington elites and the State Department refuse to face the fact that this is the real reason China and Russia will not help the U.S. disarm North Korea through negotiations. Russia and China helped build the North Korean nuclear threat to serve their geostrategic interests.

North Korea's nuclear hair-trigger, that could be pulled by so many different fingers, is another reason to destroy at least North Korea's ICBMs immediately.

North Korea's Plans For Nuclear Blackmail and Nuclear War

Thae Yong Ho's testimony reveals, inadvertently, that the only reason Kim Jong Un has not yet attacked the United States may be because of his confidence in the efficacy of nuclear blackmail: "He would continue to blackmail America with a possible nuclear war against America pull American forces from South Korea."

Thae testifies that Kim plans to use nuclear threats to force the United States to abandon South Korea, which can then be conquered by the North. According to Thae, Kim Jong Un sees "the existence of a prosperous and democratic South itself a major threat toward his dynasty..he also believes it necessary to drive American forces out of the peninsula. And this can be done, he believes, by being able to credibly threaten the United States with nuclear weapons."

According to Thae, North Korean elites see in the Vietnam War good reason to think they can win a new Korean War. In their view, Vietnam proves American political will can be broken. When the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam, South Vietnam quickly weakened, enabling easy conquest by North Vietnam.

Thus, North Korean nuclear weapons are not just for deterrence and regime survival, but to launch a war of aggression.

North Korea A "Crazy State"

Strategic thinker and historian Edward Luttwak long ago categorized North Korea as a "crazy state." North Korea's exceptionally violent and oppressive history has spawned a warped strategic culture, generations of elites with bizarre interpretations of reality, grossly exaggerated threat perceptions, and hyper-aggressive. To outside observers from different societies with a more benign history, especially democracies, North Korea appears irrational, insane, "crazy."

Thae Yong Ho's testimony unwittingly confirms the "crazy state" diagnosis for North Korea. For example, Thae describes how Pyongyang interprets the origins of the Korean War as further proof that the U.S can be cowed by nuclear blackmail.

According to Thae, North Korean elites see U.S. fear of nuclear weapons and susceptibility to nuclear blackmail dating back to January 12, 1950, when Secretary of State Dean Acheson excluded South Korea from the U.S. Pacific "defense perimeter" in a speech to the Washington Press Club. Thae testifies North Korean elites believe the Soviet A-bomb tested in 1949, U.S. fear of nuclear war with the USSR, moved Acheson to exclude South Korea from the "defense perimeter."

So Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's grandfather, launched the Korean War--despite the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea and U.S. possession of nuclear weapons.

Apparently, North Korean elites learned exactly the wrong lessons from the Korean and Vietnam wars, seeing in both evidence of U.S. weakness.

'MAD'ness Of Patient Diplomacy

Mutual Assured Destruction is likely to become exactly that against North Korean elites enamored of nuclear blackmail, and ready to go to war over a mistake made in a speech at the Washington Press Club.

The Free World fears Kim Jong Un's reckless behavior now, when he has only a dozen ICBMs. What will the North Korean "crazy state" do when it has 50 or 100 ICBMs?

Patient diplomacy is becoming our form of insanity. Disarm nuclear North Korea now.
Read more: Family Security Matters 
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America’s epitaph may be: “Died of stupidity.”
 by DR. PETER VINCENT PRY December 5, 2017 


For 17 years, the Congressional EMP Commission warned that a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack would black out electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures, posing an existential threat to our electronic civilization.

The EMP threat is proven by:

• High-altitude (above 30 kilometers) nuclear tests by the U.S. and Russia.

• Decades of underground nuclear testing.

• More than 50 years of testing by EMP simulators.

• Known destructive effects of natural EMP from solar storms, non-nuclear EMP weapons, accidental electromagnetic transients (all typically less powerful than nuclear EMP).

• Known fragility of electric grids and other critical infrastructures to EMP and cascading failures from a wide variety of causes.

• Russia, China and North Korea featuring EMP in war plans and testing nuclear weapons capable of EMP attack.

Yet ignorant journalists, academics, non-experts posing as EMP specialists and deep strategic thinkers dominate press reporting that the EMP threat is “not real” and “merely theoretical” and “untested.”

Unfortunately, enough people in the U.S. government have imbibed such uninformed nonsense that recommendations of the EMP Commission to protect the nation are ignored.

For the sake of argument, let us suppose EMP naysayers are correct, the threat is “merely theoretical” and “untested.” Does this justify leaving the nation vulnerable to the supposedly “unproven” existential threat from an EMP?

Military history and common sense answers this question in the negative. EMP naysayers can begin their re-education by reading Bernard Brodie’s history of military technology, “From Crossbow to H-Bomb.”

Since before Alexander the Great introduced the sarissa, a spear twice as long as those typically in use in 300 B.C., and the Macedonian phalanx employing the sarissas in conquest of the Persian Empire, warfare has often been the story of new technologies and new tactics surprising and prevailing over the old. New technologies and tactics are almost always “unproven” and “untested” until winning decisively on the battlefield, as Alexander did at Issus (333 B.C.) and Guagamela (331 B.C.), introducing a new way of warfare.

Scholars call such breakthroughs in military technology and tactics a “revolution in military affairs.” Some other examples:

• Battle of Cynoscephalae (197 B.C.): The Macedonian phalanx and Hellenistic Empire is eventually conquered by Rome’s use of new technologies and tactics in their legions, including military roads and battlefield artillery, like the scorpion and catapult.

• Battle of Adrianople (324 A.D.): Foot-powered Roman legions are defeated by cavalry that becomes dominant on the battlefield.

• Battle of Crecy (1346 A.D.): The longbow and cannon herald doom of mounted knights, castles and the Age of Feudalism.

• Battle of the ironclads Monitor and Virginia (1862): Never before tested in combat, the ironclads make obsolete the age of sail and wooden frigates, revolutionizing naval warfare.

• Battle of France (1940): Nazi Germany’s surprise Blitzkrieg (“Lightning War”) of tanks and air power, and Imperial Japan’s surprise use of carrier aviation at Pearl Harbor (1941), nearly wins World War II, and these technological and tactical innovations become the basis for modern conventional warfare.

In the nuclear missile age, “untested” and “unproven” technologies are the norm for deterring and, if necessary, fighting nuclear wars that have been, since 1946, entirely theoretical. Yet science and engineering have so advanced that nuclear weapons and their various effects are more assuredly destructive than any previous military technology.

For example, the Hiroshima atomic bombing (1945) was done with a uranium-fueled gun-type weapon never proven or tested. (The Trinity atomic test was a plutonium-fueled implosion A-bomb used on Nagasaki.)

The phenomenology of making an optimized nuclear blast — detonating an A-bomb a half-mile above Hiroshima so the shock wave would reflect off the ground, creating a secondary shock wave reinforcing the first and significantly increasing the lethal radius — was entirely theoretical and never done before or tested. If the Hiroshima A-bomb yielded 1-kiloton instead of 10-kilotons detonating a half-mile high, it would have been a dud, with the entire U.S. stockpile of weapons-grade uranium lost over Japan.

Yet the Hiroshima atomic bombing worked perfectly, a “miracle” of modern science.

Other examples abound where the calculational super-competence of modern science and engineering are alone sufficient to “prove” nuclear weapon systems for use “untested”:

• No U.S. ICBMs have ever been singly or salvo-launched from operational missile silos to prove capability by testing.

• No U.S. submarines have ever proved “ripple-firing” all of their 16-24 missiles in testing.

• Since the U.S.-USSR 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty, 54 years ago, nuclear ground-bursts, airbursts and exo-atmospheric bursts have not been tested.

• Since the 1974 Threshold Test Ban Treaty 43 years ago, U.S. nuclear weapons with yields above 150 kilotons (most strategic weapons) have been untested.

Since 1992, 25 years ago, no U.S. nuclear weapons — not one — have been tested. But all 1,500 are certified yearly as safe and ready, another “miracle” of modern science upon which depends the foundation of U.S. national security — nuclear deterrence.

However, North Korea may not be deterred if the U.S. fails to protect against the well-proven threat from EMP — leaving America vulnerable.

So ignore the ignorant EMP naysayers. Vulnerability to an existential threat is never a good idea.

• Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is chief of staff of the congressional EMP Commission and served in the House Armed Services Committee and the CIA.

Dr. Pry has excellent articles on NewMax!! Click below:
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and served on the staffs of the U.S. congressional EMP Commission, Strategic Posture Commission, House Armed Services Committee, and Central Intelligence Agency.