- Our luncheon speaker was Representative
Kurt Weldon (R-PA) who led an early May delegation of U.S. congressional
representatives to meet with members of the Russian State Duma to discuss
ways to end the US-NATO bombings. Weldon repeatedly expressed the opinion
that President Clinton wants the bombings to continue for irrational reasons
which are unclear to his congressional critics.
- During the question period, I asked Weldon,
"Given the weakness of the Russian missile alert system, especially
with probable year 2000 computer problems, and the irrationality of both
President Clinton and President Yeltsin, who already several times has
threatened nuclear war over the bombings, what do you consider to be the
percentage chance of nuclear war in the next 12 months." (My question
and his reponse were the first and only reference to nuclear war during
the conference, except for one panelist's sarcastic comment about using
nuclear weapons against Belgrade.)
- Weldon said (somewhat paraphrased): "This
is why we in Congress are working so hard and doing our own negotiations.
We are worried about the Russian nuclear safety issues. We are worried
about the possibility of nuclear war over the instabilities this war has
- In fact, I have a story to tell. When
the eleven members of our congressional delegation were sitting there with
the members of the Russian Duma, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Foreign
Policy Committee, Vladimir Lukin, warned the Americans, 'You have to understand
that if we want to cause you a problem over this, we could. Someone, we
don't know who, could send up a missile from a ship or a submarine and
detonate a nuclear weapon high over the United States. The EMP (electromagenetic
pulse) would take away all your capability.'** So we in Congress take this
whole situation very very seriously."
- This warning is even more direct and
threatening than President Yeltin's several warnings that the bombing of
Yugoslavia could eventually lead to World War Three or that Russian would
massively retaliate should one US bomb stray into it's territory.
- **Note: an electromagnetic pulse from
a high detonated nuclear weapon could burn out most unprotected electrical
and electronic equipment, unprotected computers, solid state electrical
components of aircraft, modern autos, trucks, tractors and most consumer
equipment and effectively bring America to a halt.
- As I understand them, EMP weapons have
a radius of coverage of about 25 to 50miles from their detonation point
(still quite a problem). Does anyone knowif Lukin's statement that the
EMP from a nuclear weapon detonated at high altitude could affect the entire
U.S. is true?
- Jon Bell
- From Danny Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org
- I just read the article via Sightings about the Russian
threat that a single EMP could take out the U.S. electronics capability,
and a Jon Bell asked if a single pulse could do this. I don't know if I'm
sending this to the right adresses, but here is my response:
- One single pulse at a high enough altitude could do serious
damage, especially if it targeted the megalopolis along the East Coast,
but a single pulse almost certainly would not take out *all* of North America's
capabilities. A series of them, however, say six strung over the continent,
would undoubtedly knock out the vast majority of our computers, cars, TV's,
electronic records, and so on. (And it almost certainly would wipe out
Canada and Mexico along with the U.S.) This is a relatively cheap weapon
the Russians can use, and there's a good chance that they (and the Chinese)
can simply up the EMP capabilities to beyond what we shield for, since
shielding is far more expensive than creating the burst in the first place.
- Maybe we should also remind people that the Chinese stole
EMP technology from Los Alamos right along with everything else.
- Take care. As ever,
- Danny Adams