Posts Tagged With: EMP

U.S. on alert for nuclear blast overhead…….Space launch vehicle’ could put kill electric grid, devastate nation….


U.S. officials quietly are expressing concern that North Korea could use its “space launch vehicle” to explode a high-altitude nuclear device over the United States, creating an electromagnetic pulse that would destroy major portions of the U.S. electrical grid system as well as the nation’s critical infrastructures.

The concern is so great that U.S. officials who watch North Korea closely are continually monitoring the status of the North Korean “space launch vehicle,” whose status could suggest a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States.
They are aware of the three-stage missile North Korea launched last December that also orbited a “package,” which experts say could be a test to orbit a nuclear weapon that then would be deorbited on command anywhere over the U.S. and exploded at a high altitude, creating an EMP effect.

This concern is in addition to North Korea’s latest threat to strike targets in Hawaii and the continental U.S., as well as possible attacks against U.S. bases in South Korea and Japan.

The 28-year-old North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has signed an order for North Korea’s strategic rocket forces to be on standby to fire at U.S. targets.

The signing was against a photo backdrop following an emergency meeting of his senior military leaders showing large maps that were labeled “U.S. mainland strike plan, specifically at Hawaii, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.”

One WND reader who traced the targeting to Texas said that it really was aimed at the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
The latest North Korean threats occurred after the U.S. sent two B-2 stealth bombers to strike targets with inert bombs during joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which Kim considered a major provocation.

“He finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets, ordering them to be on standby to fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea,” according to a statement by the North Korean news agency, KCNA.

The statement added that the B-2 flights showed Washington’s “hostile” intent, and the “reckless” act had gone “beyond the phase of threat and blackmail.”

In response, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel condemned North Korea’s actions which to date have included dissolving the 1953 armistice between North and South Korea, severing the military hotline with South Korea and putting its artillery forces on high alert and threatening, once again, nuclear strikes against the U.S.

In recent weeks, North Korea also had released three videos showing a nuclear strike on the U.S.

“We’ve made very clear that we have the capability and willingness to protect our interests and our allies in the region,” according to deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest. He said that the U.S. military exercises with South Korea should offer “pretty clear evidence” that the U.S. can defend its interests and those of its allies in the region.

Sources say that sending the B-2s was in response to the recent North Korean threats to send a message – a message which Russia and China called a “provocative act.”

Russia and China have asked the U.S. to continue talking to North Korea and not to take military action against North Korea.

In response to North Korea’s initial bellicose rhetoric, Hagel ordered the deployment of additional Aegis anti-missile systems for the U.S. West Coast. They originally were destined for Europe. And a second anti-ballistic missile radar is to be installed in Japan.

However, the Aegis anti-missile systems won’t be operational until 2017, although there are some systems already deployed along the West Coast.

North Korea’s continuing threats of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against U.S. targets suggest to U.S. officials that its military is confident in the capability of its missiles and that its recent nuclear testing for miniaturization of a warhead to be placed on a missile similarly was successful.

These officials are looking at the prospect that upon launch of the missile and a potential nuclear payload, it would take a polar path, clearly out of range of U.S. Aegis anti-missile systems.

The fact that U.S.military officials are expressing quiet but increasing concern that North Korea could launch an EMP attack has raised alarms over the preservation of the U.S. national grid and such critical infrastructures as communications, energy, food and water delivery and space systems.

This concern recently has been reinforced by a little-publicized study by the U.S. Army War College that said a nuclear detonation at altitude above a U.S. city could wipe out the electrical grid for hundreds, possibly thousands of miles around.
“Preparing for months without a commercial source of clean water (city water pressure is often dependent on electric pumping to storage towers) and stoppage of sewage treatment facilities will require net methods of survival particularly in populated areas,” the military study said.

The May 2011 study, titled, “In the Dark: Military Planning for a Catastrophic Critical Infrastructure Event,” concluded that there is “very little” in the way of backup capability to the electric grid upon which the communications infrastructure is vitally dependent.

Analysts say that it is apparent that Kim has ignored any advice from its closest friend, China, to stop any further missile or nuclear testing suggesting, as one official described Kim, as a “loose cannon.”

Kim also has been defiant of any United Nations Security Council resolutions similarly condemning the recent missile and nuclear tests. China had joined in approving those resolutions.

“The time has come to settle accounts with the U.S.,” the KCNA agency declared.

“The Obama administration is either clueless or deceiving the American people with false assurances that North Korea’s recent threats to destroy the United States are merely ’empty rhetoric’ because they allegedly ‘lack the capability,'” one former U.S. official told WND.

Some regional analysts, however, believe that Kim is seeking to leverage the U.S. for further concessions while attempting to win favor with his own military to show how tough he can be.

These analysts say that until now Kim has not had the support from the military that his father, Kim Jong-Il, had.

His war-like tone may be indicative of attempts to solidify military support within his country.

At the moment, experts are looking at efforts for preparations at known long-range missile launch sites.

Those signs may be appearing.

“North Korea’s launch sites to fire off mid- and long-range missiles have recently shown increased movement of vehicles and forces,” according to one South Korean official who described the activity at the sites as “brisk.”

“We are closely watching possibilities of missile launches,” the official said.

In this connection, officials have seen several vehicles moving to the Tongchang-ri missile site on the western coast, in what appeared to them to be preparations for testing its long-range missiles.

Some observers, however, believe the latest threats of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S. remain for now just domestic posturing and efforts to establish military credentials on Kim’s part to show that he is more forceful than his father.

In other efforts to determine warnings and indications of an attack, analysts are looking for major troop movements, although none has been detected to date.

Late last week, a North Korean Mig-21 fighter jet flew near South Korea’s front line airspace, known as the Tactical Action Line,but returned to base, according to a South Korean military official. In response, the South Koreans scrambled a KF-16 fighter.

The TAL is the point between 20 and 50 kilometers north of South Korean airspace that will prompt the South Korea to scramble its fighter jets.

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EMP..ElectroMagnetic Pulse..what it means for You


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What will it mean for you? EVERY Nuclear explosion creates EMP, on the surface of the earth OR a high altitude burst. Every bomb makes EMP.

So that means you can’t hide from it. It will NOT hurt the human body, but the effects will cause great hardship for millions. EMP creates 50,000 volts of charge PER meter. About the same as a yard. That charge will “FRY” all the computer chips in things not protected. The largest radio stations at 50,000 watts, only produce about 10 volts per meter. Cars with ignition chips won’t run. Your PC System will be damaged, “unless” you do the things to protect it.  The entire power grid in the USA will be damaged from a very high Nuclear Bomb somewhere over the central USA. A very high bomb (about 200 miles high) its sole purpose is to wipe out the power grid and communications coast to coast. Radios, TV, computers, any thing built in the past couple of decades will probably not work. There will be some exceptions. When atom bomb tests were done in the South Pacific during the 1950’s the EMP damaged stuff in Hawaii about 800 miles away. And those were low surface bursts.

Most of the EMP energy lies in the “radio frequency spectrum” ranging from power lines to radar systems, AND everything in between, which means all kinds of computer chips.

EMP happens to fast for a lightening pole or rod arrestors, to protect the equipment. Though it is faster than lightening, it does the same kind of damage to electrical grids, small OR large. It just melts the circuit.

Typical collectors of EMP are long wire runs. Antennas, telephone lines, power lines, barbed wire fences, sprinkler lines, metal buildings, buried metal pipes, railroad tracks, great amounts of metal objects. Even the mass of electrical wiring in your own home will collect the EMP. The metal pipes in your home plumbing for water will collect EMP. In some rare cases just unplugging a radio or TV “MAY” be enough to protect it. USUALLY NOT! NOT! !

The radiated electromagnetic fields from a high altitude nuclear detonation are probably going to do the first damage coast to coast. The first 1st. Sign of the attack will be the power failure, everywhere. You won’t even get emergency broadcasts. SO unless you have read my information you won’t even know what is happening UNTIL it is too late, and you begin to see the flashes of light from the nuclear detonations. The only way to protect your computer is to enclose it entirely within “a metal” box that is large enough to encase it “with no exposed openings.” I bought a metal trashcan and put cardboard two layers thick in the bottom and around the inside. With the metal LID put on it I do have a place to put the things with “chips” that I need to protect. Quickly some winter evening “after” MID December, as I watch the signs of the times, I will not let the sun go down unless I put My Laptop Computer, Short-wave Radio, CD player, and a few other things in that “metal” trashcan. WITH the lid put on. NO wires can hang out or protrude out of the can. And the lid must be down tight, to protect the stuff inside. After the attack begins and I am sheltered, then I can still have some music, listen to my battery short-wave radio, that will have international broadcasts, and with my power inverter I can use my 12-Volt car battery to run my Laptop. Snug as a bug in a rug.  So that you can have some chance to hear some radio broadcasts WHEN a few stations do get back on the airwaves, you should buy a small hand held radio and extra batteries. They are “small” enough that they can survive EMP. AM 640 and AM 1240 will be the first emergency frequencies to operate Just to be sure it will work, keep it wrapped in aluminum foil when you are NOT listening to the radio.

You can put your $15 or $20 radio in a coat pocket, and listen around “noon” each day to the emergency broadcasts. Just think of the Nation without any power. Traffic lights go out, elevators stop, cars quit running, telephones go dead, gas pumps won’t work for weeks. Looters begin to scavenge anything, and everything. City water pressure pumps are shutdown for months. Thirst will force some people to melt snow with fallout in it, and they will just poison their own insides with a deadly dose of radiation. The functional damage burnout, of chips that control everything today will put us back into the last century. EMP will wipe out the memory of most computers, OR at the least scramble it into a gazillion bits of birthday funeral TV walks glass horsehair flights a hundred and fifty eleven times dung.

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North Korea EMP attack could destroy U.S. – right now!!….


‘Red Dawn’ scenario is kid’s play compared with this scenario.

North Korea now has an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the United States, as demonstrated by their successful launch and orbiting of a satellite on Dec. 12, the Washington Times reports.

In fact, the Times report says, “North Korea is a mortal nuclear threat to the United States – right now.”

It’s not just the threat of conventional nuclear attack that has experts worried. Nor is the North Korea invasion scenario in the new remake of “Red Dawn” a realistic risk.
The real concern is that North Korea now has miniaturized nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery and armed missiles with nuclear warheads that could destroy the U.S. in a single blow with an EMP attack that would send the U.S. back to 19th century technology a la the NBC TV show “Revolution.”

And North Korea is hardly the only threat to destroy what some other nations and rogue players call “the Great Satan.”

Imagine if all the lights in America went off – never to come back on again.

Imagine if all the computers in America got fried – never to come back on again.

Imagine if all the cars in America dependent on fancy circuitry wouldn’t start – ever again.

Imagine if the grocery stores and the gas stations had to close up – for good.

That’s the kind of scenario an EMP attack can cause. The scenarios suggest massive starvation, lawlessness and chaos beyond anything Americans can imagine.
Scientists and other experts have warned for years that the nation’s electrical grid system, together with other critical infrastructures that have an almost complete dependency on electricity and electronic components, are highly vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse event, either from natural or man-made causes.

However, Congress and the administrations of previous and current presidents largely have ignored those warnings.

Events such as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States, then the devastating Hurricane Katrina and more recently Hurricane Sandy revealed vulnerabilities to those infrastructures, for a time heightened that concern.

Nevertheless, none of this was enough to awaken policymakers who seem more preoccupied with making you less safe by restricting your ability to get firearms.

Make no mistake about it: An EMP attack poses the biggest threat to U.S. national and economic security in our lifetime.
An electromagnetic pulse attack on our critical infrastructures, either from an impending solar storm of serious intensity expected between 2012 and 2014 or from a high-altitude nuclear explosion, could have long-term catastrophic consequences for our society and our way of life.

A few years ago, a congressional commission went into considerable depth on those consequences to our electricity-dependent infrastructures that include not only the power grid itself but also telecommunications, our banking and finance system, our transportation system that delivers the very food and water on which our society depends on a daily basis, and the fuel needed to keep our houses warm in the winter and air-conditioned during the summer.

While these critical infrastructures continue to face such an impending crisis, Congress basically has ignored its own commission report and instead has treated the threat of an electromagnetic pulse event as a political football to be weighed against the need to establish an antiballistic missile system. Out of the debate, nothing has happened in either direction.

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Portable “Ray Gun” biggest threat…send us to the 18th Century in seconds….


The nation’s attention of late has focused on a nuclear bomb or an intense solar storm as the source of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, assault on the nation’s vulnerable electrical grid system that could fry our electronics and wreak havoc on critical infrastructures.

Estimates are that tens of millions of fatalities could occur in the aftermath of such an event as food, fuel and power supplies evaporate and the nation is transported instantly back to the 18th-century lifestyle without a power grid or anything else electronic.
However, a similar threat has emerged from the so-called lone-wolf terrorist who can devise a portable EMP device and aim it at computers in a building, telecommunications linkages and banking automated teller machines – all on which the society has come to rely heavily for present-day existence.

And it can be done without a trace of who did it.

Recent concerns have been raised by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the lone wolf – someone who strikes out on his or her own without any group affiliation – is considered a larger threat than one from al-Qaida or other organized groups.

Such individuals either may see themselves as supporting the views of various terrorist groups or may have a personal grudge.

Such an individual with a penchant for electronics can pull together components from a Radio Shack or electronic store – even order the components off of selected Internet websites – and fashion a radio frequency, or RF, weapon.

As microprocessors become smaller but more sophisticated, they are even more susceptible to an RF pulse. The high power microwave from an RF weapon produces a short, very high power pulse, said to be billions of watts in a nanosecond, or billionths of a second.

This so-called burst of electromagnetic waves in the gigahertz microwave frequency band can melt electrical circuitry and damage integrated circuits, causing them to fail. Ironically, this type RF weapon won’t affect humans, although there are some forms that experts say can affect the body’s own electrical system.
The pulse from an RF weapon travels at the speed of light and can be fired without any visible emanation. These weapons can come in ultra-wideband or narrow-band, with the latter acting like a laser emitting a single frequency at very high power. This pulse then is directed at a specific electronic target.

What makes RF weapons so dangerous is their compactness and ability to be powered by hand-carried energy sources. Experts say that their range of intensity is from 200 meters to 1,000 meters, or from some 656 feet to 3,281 feet.

Concern over the effects of RF weapons has been known to the U.S. Congress since at least 1997 when retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Robert L. Schweitzer testified before the congressional Joint Economic Committee on RF weapons and their impact on the U.S. infrastructure.

His concern then was that readily available technology, much of it off-the- shelf, places the capability of making RF weapons in the hands of lone wolves or more organized terrorists.
Given the rush to decontrol critical technologies due to the downward spiral of Western economies, they are often available to other countries without the needed scrutiny of U.S. licensing officials and are readily available for people residing in the U.S.

When he testified, Schweitzer called for drawing up a list of those technologies needed to make RF weapons and placing them on what was then called the Militarily Critical Technologies List, or MTCL, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense. While the MTCL wasn’t a control list, it did show how technologies relate to the development of weapons systems.

However, many of the items listed on the MTCL were not placed on control lists of dual-use technologies administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce or the munitions list overseen by the U.S. Department of State.

Today, that list remains only as a reference and no longer is updated. Everything on the MTCL isn’t subject to export controls and isn’t referred to that often to show how certain technologies relate to developing weapons systems.

Part of the reason for virtually ignoring the MTCL today is economic, but the basis for eliminating the MTCL mostly was political, since calling them “critical” suggested that they be subject to export controls and then would interfere with the ability to conduct business in a competitive world.

At the time of Schweitzer’s testimony, however, consideration of placing certain technologies under export control was meant to deflect the ability of countries and terrorist groups from easily gaining access to those technologies.

One of the items Schweitzer gave as an example of technology that should be controlled was Reltron tubes. He said that these tubes can be small or large, generate intense radio frequency pulses and can be used as RF weapons.
While RF weapon components are on the MTCL, Schweitzer said at the time that even then there were no up-to-date guidelines or directives on limiting their access to end-users. He added that several countries have RF weapons programs and Russia admits to selling some technologies to various countries, making them readily available.

“Users of new weapons can be criminals, individuals, or organized gangs of narco or domestic terrorists – or a determined, organized, well-funded foreign adversary, either a group or nation who hates us,” Schweitzer said.
RF weapons emit a non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse, even though they project the same type of pulse that a nuclear weapon does.
“As a practical matter,” Schweitzer testified, “a piece of electronic gear on the ground, in a vehicle, ship or plane does not really care whether it is hit by a nuclear magnetic pulse or a non-nuclear one.

“The effect is the same,” he said. “It burns out the electronics. The same is true of the computers in this Senate office building, in industry, or on Wall Street.”

Schweitzer also referred to the possible existence of radio-frequency munitions which contain high explosives that produce radio frequency energy “as their primary kill mechanism.”

“Applications or potential targets would include all military computers, circuit boards or chips, of any description and include …key components of our military and national infrastructure,” he said. “They would have equal impact on civilian targets with the advantage less power would be required.”

Schweitzer pointed out that the effects of RF and EMP weapons have been known to presidential commissions, the Infrastructure Protection Task Force, a Critical Infrastructure Working Group, an Information Warfare School at National Defense University as well as divisions on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon.

At the time, Schweitzer pointed out that there were some 90 to 100 references in 26 pages of the 70-page Quadrennial Defense Review that speaks to this new threat and there were some 2,800 references “while a more thorough search found many tens of thousands of documents where the key words ‘radio frequency weapons’ appear.
“For many reasons the knowledge is diffused,” Schweitzer testified. “In the public sector the subject has yet to draw any real attention or concerted action.”

Schweitzer added that while the federal government is aware of these threats from RF weapons, “a general understanding is lacking. This is true not only of RF weapons, but of their immediate threat to our (Department of Defense) and national infrastructure.”

Nevertheless, Schweitzer said that vulnerable targets include airplanes, ships and vehicles.

“Of interest is the fact that we are doubly vulnerable because we are, and will remain, in an era of dual-use of military and civilian systems,” he said.

As an example, Schweitzer pointed to military communications.

“Our military communications now passes over civilian networks,” he said. “If an electromagnetic pulse takes out the telephone systems, we are in deep trouble because our military and non-military nets are virtually inseparable.

“It is almost equally impossible to distinguish between the U.S. national telecommunication network and the global one,” Schweitzer said. “What this means is that it is finally becoming possible to do what Sun Tzu wrote about 2,000 years ago: to conquer an enemy without fighting.

“The paradigm of war may well be changing,” Schweitzer said. “If you can take out the civilian economic infrastructure of a nation, then that nation in addition to not being able to function internally cannot deploy its military by air or sea, or supply them with any real effectiveness – if at all.”
Schweitzer warned that in addition to the advanced countries, “pariah” nations have similar interests in developing RF weapons and some have the financial resources to develop or procure them.

“Russian information on RF weapons has been moving across borders for many years,” he said. “The horse is out of the barn.”

To determine whether cheap, home-made RF weapons could be built by people with little technical know-how, the U.S. Army a few years ago conducted tests at its Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

The tests, conducted on behalf of the Department of Defense, were successful.

“The message here is that any number of groups in the U.S. or other countries can do just this, relatively easily and at relatively low cost,” said Mike Powell of Schriner Engineering in Ridgecrest, California. Schriner Engineering made the weapons.

The RF weapons were made from components readily available from electronic stores and out of catalogs. They generated an extremely short but powerful pulse of electromagnetic radio waves.

Powell said that such RF weapons also would be capable of bringing down an aircraft.

“Our whole nation is vulnerable,” said David Schriner, who helped design the RF device. “We dance along with all this high technology, and we’re very dependent on it. But if it breaks, where will we be?”

As a side note, Schriner sought to bring to the U.S. Capitol an RF weapon he made himself for display purposes when he testified before the Joint Economic Committee as far back as February 1998.
When the Sergeant-at-Arms to the U.S. House of Representatives heard what the capability of the device was – namely, capable of frying the electronics of computers that were in all the Capitol office buildings – Schriner was not allowed to bring the device into the building.
His point was to show that the low-end technolIn his testimony titled “The Design and Fabrication of a Damage Inflicting RF Weapons by ‘Back Yard’ Methods,” Schriner told of how he made one in his own garage.ogy needed to fashion together an RF weapon was readily available at very reasonable cost. In fact, his testimony went into detail on how a person can fashion such a device in his own home.

Schweitzer similarly had told the congressional Joint Economic Committee that he had challenged a group of young scientists from a national laboratory to devise an RF weapon. He testified that they had gone to a Radio Shack and bought the components needed to make the RF weapon. They then mounted it on top of a minivan.
“So, you’ve got a situation on the one hand where you could put components from Radio Shack inside of a van no bigger than a UPS (United Postal Services) truck with an antenna. And, that’s really what an RF weapon often looks like, a radar or antenna showing, and drive it around the Dirksen (Senate Office) Building, make a series of passes over the Pentagon or the White House, or the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration facility out at Langley) and pulse,” Schweitzer said.

The FAA facility at Langley, Va., just outside Washington up the George Washington Parkway shares a highly guarded campus with the Central Intelligence Agency.

With a radar loaded in the back of a van or pickup truck, it can be directed at whatever target is intended. Because the radar is directional, it won’t have any effect on the vehicle carrying the radar as long as it is pointed away from its electronics.

“You make a number of passes around the building and emit these pulses,” Schweitzer said. “They go through concrete walls. Barriers are no resistance to them. And, they will either burn out or upset all of the computers or the electronic gear in the building.”

Given such power, it may be able to penetrate the walls at CIA, even though the windows are covered with a fine copper mesh to avoid listening devices picking up on classified conversations inside the buildings.

A surplus radar which operates at a multiple Gigahertz level and capable of reaching out over a thousand kilometers easily can be fashioned into a directional RF weapon.
Schweitzer in his testimony had pointed out that a radar mounted in the back of a truck and aimed toward traffic or buildings would make a very effective RF weapon.

Open source information also has documented how an RF weapon can be used against aircraft in an Intentional Electro Magnetic Interference, or IEMI. In a 2005 technical paper titled “Potential IEMI Threats Against Civilian Air Traffic,” D. J. Serafin outlined such a scenario.

“An airport area could be a selected target for (Electro Magnetic) terrorism due to the high concentration of electronics equipment likely to be perturbed by EM threats, so producing broad chaos,” Serafin wrote.

Serafin said that the main areas for a terrorist RF attack would be the airport terminal, including registration and transit areas, the traffic control tower, the parking areas for the planes and the touch down and take-off runways.

“Potential targets inside these areas include communication and navigation systems devoted to flight aircraft and safety…as well as computer networks…”

Sarafin gave the scenarios on introducing a small RF weapon concealed inside a suitcase, placed near terminal computer networks and a truck-mounted RF weapon, which could be located near an airport with direct view of the runways with a range extended to 1,000 meters, or the length of three 100-yard football fields.
In the case of Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., like many airports throughout the U.S., such a van or car could park at a lot adjacent to the runway where planes take off or land. On the flight path of the aircraft flying into Reagan National Airport, they fly over the Potomac River coming from the north and either fly across or near Roosevelt Island, which is a U.S. Park Service-administered site complete with woods and deer, with a statute dedicated to the first environmental president, Theodore Roosevelt.

There are many areas on the island in which someone easily could set up a radio-frequency weapon under the cover of a canopy of trees and through the various openings aim the device at aircraft that either are making their approaches or taking off, depending on wind direction.

In his scenario of introducing RF weapons into the area of the airport, Sarafin provided detailed descriptions of the microwave bandwidth, distance and megahertz ranges for the most effect – something which a technically competent terrorist would easily understand and duplicate.

Targets for the RF weapon would include such aircraft equipment as onboard navigation and global positioning systems. Because of the antenna on top of the aircraft’s fuselage, these systems would be vulnerable, as would the display unit or computer inside the cockpit.

While the scenario concerned aircraft, there are reports that RF weapons have been used to defeat security systems, disable police communications and disrupt bank computers.

More advanced RF weapons can jam satellites, cause aircraft to crash, create pipeline explosions and large gas spills and cause life-saving medical equipment to malfunction. They also can be used to cause public water systems to malfunction and potentially create flooding as a result.

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DRONE MISSILE KILLS ELECTRONICS, NOT PEOPLE…….



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As modern warfare continues to be fought behind key boards and monitors, last week Boeing successfully tested a missile capable of making screens go blank. Boeing says their Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project known as CHAMP may one day change modern warfare by knocking out electronic targets with little or no collateral damage.
CHAMP approached its first target and fired a burst of High Power Microwaves at a two story building built on the test range. Inside rows of personal computers and electrical systems were turned on to gauge the effects of the powerful radio waves.

Seconds later the PC monitors went dark and cheers erupted in the conference room. CHAMP had successfully knocked out the computer and electrical systems in the target building. Even the television cameras set up to record the test were knocked off line without collateral damage. In one hour, seven test-range targets were hit and all electronics inside the buildings were degraded and defeated.
“This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare,” said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works. “In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive.”

So, uh, al Qaeda, you know those Sexy Tanja videos you like to make and watch in your free time? Heads up.

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Homeland Security: What EMP action plan? Federal agency lacks strategy for catastrophic collapse of grid, society….


The Department of Homeland Security still hasn’t adopted a National Planning Scenario in the event of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, event – even though the department is well aware of the potentially debilitating consequences of such an event on the nation’s electrical grid system and the critical infrastructures that depend on that grid system to function.

Brandon Wales, director of the DHS Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center, also was unable to give a cost breakdown for Congress to know how much money needs to be provided by the federal government to protect the grid in view of the tremendous costs private utilities would incur.

Wales, along with other federal agency witnesses, provided his testimony on Sept. 12 before the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies on the consequences of either a natural or man-made EMP event on the national grid.

A natural event could be triggered by a solar flare; a man-made event by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere.

DHS has outlined 15 such National Planning Scenarios as an element of its risk analysis mission, according to James Carafano of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation.

He said that such scenarios describe possible high-consequence threats, such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters, but an EMP attack is not included, despite a call for such a scenario in a report from the congressionally mandated 2008 EMP Commission.
“In 2008, under the National Defense Authorization Act for (fiscal year) 2008,” Carafano said, “the Department of Homeland Security was required ‘to coordinate efforts with the (EMP) Commission for work related to electromagnetic pulse attack on electricity infrastructure, and protect against such an attack.’

“Therefore, efforts were made to create interagency cooperation on such a critical threat to U.S. homeland security,” Carafano said. “Despite the grave dangers posed by an EMP attack, an EMP threat scenario has yet to be incorporated into the National Planning Scenarios.”

Michael Frankel, who was executive director of the EMP Commission, pointed out in congressional testimony in August 2010 that the commission had provided 75 unclassified recommendations, most of which were aimed at DHS and intended to “mitigate vulnerability and increase resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructures.”
“Unlike the response of the (Department of Defense), there has been no detectable resonance as yet out of the DHS,” Frankel had testified. “As a result, the commission’s recommendations seem to have simply languished.”

Existence of the National Planning Scenario provides the DHS with priorities on how to proceed in the event of a national emergency.

As sources point out, however, an EMP event is not one of them, despite the high prospect for what is termed a solar storm maximum which scientists and experts say is expected between now and 2013 that could have catastrophic effects on the vulnerable national grid system, depending on its intensity.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Academy of Sciences have confirmed to WND that such a solar storm maximum could occur sometime between now and 2014, with the most likely peak of its 11-year cycle occurring in 2013.

The sun produces solar explosions, or coronal mass ejections also called CMEs, that propel bursts of particles and electromagnetic fluctuations into the Earth’s atmosphere.

These electromagnetic fluctuations in turn could induce electric fluctuations at ground level that then blow out electrical transformers in power grids. The CME’s particles also collide with crucial electronics onboard a satellite and disrupt those systems, which could greatly impair Ground Positioning Systems and worldwide telecommunications.

A solar storm maximum today could result in large-scale blackouts affecting more than 130 million people and would expose more than 350 transformers to high risk or permanent damage.

Such a natural solar storm, and especially an EMP from a man-made high-altitude nuclear explosion, has the potential of thrusting the United States back to the 19th century, cutting off access to the basic necessities of life such as water and food delivery for millions of people, resulting in massive starvation.

Not only will such a development impact critical civilian infrastructure, but could have an adverse effect on U.S. military systems because of their heavy reliance on commercial satellites for worldwide communications.

Testimony from the Department of Defense at the Sept. 12 House congressional hearing confirmed that the military has a 99 percent dependency on the civilian electrical grid system.

“The biggest failure is in the White House, with the president,” one congressional source told WND.

“Even though Obama personally is concerned about the natural EMP threat from a great geomagnetic storm, he has failed to show personal leadership,” the congressional source said.

“He deserves kudos for PPD-8 and the 2011 Strategic National Risk Assessment that for the first time includes a geostorm scenario. But he is letting the bureaucrats spin their wheels forever on ‘paper progress’ that leaves the grid unprotected.”

The congressional source questioned why Obama has not ordered DHS to adopt a National Planning Scenario focused on EMP.

“All federal, state and local emergency planning, training, and resource allocation is based on the National Planning Scenarios,” the congressional source pointed out.

“Absent an NPS for EMP, the threat is on nobody’s radar screen, except at DOD and in Congress. Obama should press NERC to start hardening the grid, or at least to launch experimental pilot programs for grid hardening in some states,” he said.

The NERC refers to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation which is an organization of U.S. electrical grid operators of the private utilities. They determine and implement standards for keeping the grid in functioning order.

While the federal government through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is charged with developing reliability standards, only private industry can implement those standards.

In his Sept. 12 Capitol Hill testimony, FERC Director Joseph McClelland expressed concern that private utilities are not prepared to handle a catastrophic EMP event, saying that the effects would be widespread on the national grid system.

McClelland pointed out that the FERC’s jurisdiction is limited to the “bulk power system” under the Federal Power Act and excludes local distribution facilities.

The FPA also excludes all of Alaska and Hawaii, as well as any federal facilities located in these states. Their authority also excludes all local distribution facilities, including those connected to the defense infrastructure.

This has the effect, McClelland testified, of “precluding commission action to mitigate cyber or other national security threats to reliability that involve such facilities and major population areas,” which would be every major city in the United States.

McClelland added that the challenge will be in getting local electrical distribution facilities to take the threat of an EMP seriously and put up the capital investment.

The congressional source pointed out that promising legislation called the SHIELD Act is languishing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.

H.R. 668, known as the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, or SHIELD, was introduced last year by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

The SHIELD Act would amend the Federal Power Act to authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, with or without notice, hearing, or report, to order emergency measures to protect the reliability of either the bulk-power system or the defense critical electric infrastructure whenever the president issues a written directive or determination identifying an imminent grid security threat.

Among other things, it also directs the FERC to order the Electric Reliability Organization, or ERO, to submit reliability standards to:

Protect the bulk-power system from a reasonably foreseeable geomagnetic storm event or electromagnetic pulse event (EMP); and

Require entities that own or operate large transformers to ensure their adequate availability to restore promptly the reliable operation of the bulk-power system in the event of destruction or disability as a result of attack or a geomagnetic storm or EMP.

“Obama should call Upton and ask him to pass SHIELD,” the congressional source said. “Obama should tell (U.S. Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid to introduce a Democrat version of SHIELD in the Senate. Contrast this with Obama’s aggressive leadership to stop ‘global warning’ through promotion of green energy and draconian regulations.

“Obama spends his political capital on the fictional threat from global warming,” the congressional source added, “leaving the nation vulnerable to EMP just as we are entering the solar maximum.”

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, who was staff director of the 2008 EMP Commission, also acknowledged that the SHIELD Act is stalled but praised the work of a number of members of Congress for their continued work on the threat of an EMP event on the national grid system.

“The biggest kudos to the Congress (in the House who are) the real leaders on this issue,” Pry said in an email to WND. “Hats off to the Congressional EMP Caucus led by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R), Rep. Trent Franks (R), and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D). They have launched numerous initiatives to protect the nation from EMP, and understand the grave and immediate nature of the threat.”

A new network television drama also recently presented the cataclysmic consequences of an EMP attack, in “Revolution,” which portrays life in the former United States 15 years after an electromagnetic pulse disables all electronics.

In the story, society has collapsed and the country devolved into a collection of mutually hostile self-styled militias, private armies and warring tribes. Former members of the Marine Corps become warlords. Google executives become rifle-toting soldiers. Insurance salesmen transform into militia members.

It shows that basic necessities that Americans take for granted, such as widely available food and clean water, become inaccessible as millions die from starvation, disease or widespread violence.

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HOMELAND SECURITY: WHAT EMP ACTION PLAN?


Welcome back to the 19th Century……

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security still hasn’t adopted a National Planning Scenario in the event of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, event – even though the department is well aware of the potentially debilitating consequences of such an event on the nation’s electrical grid system and the critical infrastructures that depend on that grid system to function.

Brandon Wales, director of the DHS Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center, also was unable to give a cost breakdown for Congress to know how much money needs to be provided by the federal government to protect the grid in view of the tremendous costs private utilities would incur.
Wales, along with other federal agency witnesses, provided his testimony on Sept. 12 before the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies on the consequences of either a natural or man-made EMP event on the national grid.

A natural event could be triggered by a solar flare; a man-made event by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere.

DHS has outlined 15 such National Planning Scenarios as an element of its risk analysis mission, according to James Carafano of the Washington-based Heritage Foundation.

He said that such scenarios describe possible high-consequence threats, such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters, but an EMP attack is not included, despite a call for such a scenario in a report from the congressionally mandated 2008 EMP Commission.

“In 2008, under the National Defense Authorization Act for (fiscal year) 2008,” Carafano said, “the Department of Homeland Security was required ‘to coordinate efforts with the (EMP) Commission for work related to electromagnetic pulse attack on electricity infrastructure, and protect against such an attack.’

“Therefore, efforts were made to create interagency cooperation on such a critical threat to U.S. homeland security,” Carafano said. “Despite the grave dangers posed by an EMP attack, an EMP threat scenario has yet to be incorporated into the National Planning Scenarios.”

Michael Frankel, who was executive director of the EMP Commission, pointed out in congressional testimony in August 2010 that the commission had provided 75 unclassified recommendations, most of which were aimed at DHS and intended to “mitigate vulnerability and increase resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructures.”

“Unlike the response of the (Department of Defense), there has been no detectable resonance as yet out of the DHS,” Frankel had testified. “As a result, the commission’s recommendations seem to have simply languished.”

Existence of the National Planning Scenario provides the DHS with priorities on how to proceed in the event of a national emergency.

As sources point out, however, an EMP event is not one of them, despite the high prospect for what is termed a solar storm maximum which scientists and experts say is expected between now and 2013 that could have catastrophic effects on the vulnerable national grid system, depending on its intensity.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Academy of Sciences have confirmed to WND that such a solar storm maximum could occur sometime between now and 2014, with the most likely peak of its 11-year cycle occurring in 2013.

The sun produces solar explosions, or coronal mass ejections also called CMEs, that propel bursts of particles and electromagnetic fluctuations into the Earth’s atmosphere.

These electromagnetic fluctuations in turn could induce electric fluctuations at ground level that then blow out electrical transformers in power grids. The CME’s particles also collide with crucial electronics onboard a satellite and disrupt those systems, which could greatly impair Ground Positioning Systems and worldwide telecommunications.

A solar storm maximum today could result in large-scale blackouts affecting more than 130 million people and would expose more than 350 transformers to high risk or permanent damage.

Without taking adequate protective measures between now and the time of the expected “severe geomagnetic storm scenario,” experts agree the cost from space weather-induced outages that in turn could cause “non-space-weather-related events” could run from $1 trillion to $2 trillion during the first year alone, with a recovery time taking anywhere from four to 10 years.

Such a natural solar storm, and especially an EMP from a man-made high-altitude nuclear explosion, has the potential of thrusting the United States back to the 19th century, cutting off access to the basic necessities of life such as water and food delivery for millions of people, resulting in massive starvation.

Not only will such a development impact critical civilian infrastructure, but could have an adverse effect on U.S. military systems because of their heavy reliance on commercial satellites for worldwide communications.

Testimony from the Department of Defense at the Sept. 12 House congressional hearing confirmed that the military has a 99 percent dependency on the civilian electrical grid system.

“The biggest failure is in the White House, with the president,” one congressional source told WND.

“Even though Obama personally is concerned about the natural EMP threat from a great geomagnetic storm, he has failed to show personal leadership,” the congressional source said.

“He deserves kudos for PPD-8 and the 2011 Strategic National Risk Assessment that for the first time includes a geostorm scenario. But he is letting the bureaucrats spin their wheels forever on ‘paper progress’ that leaves the grid unprotected.”

The congressional source questioned why Obama has not ordered DHS to adopt a National Planning Scenario focused on EMP.

“All federal, state and local emergency planning, training, and resource allocation is based on the National Planning Scenarios,” the congressional source pointed out.

“Absent an NPS for EMP, the threat is on nobody’s radar screen, except at DOD and in Congress. Obama should press NERC to start hardening the grid, or at least to launch experimental pilot programs for grid hardening in some states,” he said.

The NERC refers to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation which is an organization of U.S. electrical grid operators of the private utilities. They determine and implement standards for keeping the grid in functioning order.

While the federal government through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is charged with developing reliability standards, only private industry can implement those standards.

In his Sept. 12 Capitol Hill testimony, FERC Director Joseph McClelland expressed concern that private utilities are not prepared to handle a catastrophic EMP event, saying that the effects would be widespread on the national grid system.

McClelland pointed out that the FERC’s jurisdiction is limited to the “bulk power system” under the Federal Power Act and excludes local distribution facilities.

The FPA also excludes all of Alaska and Hawaii, as well as any federal facilities located in these states. Their authority also excludes all local distribution facilities, including those connected to the defense infrastructure.

This has the effect, McClelland testified, of “precluding commission action to mitigate cyber or other national security threats to reliability that involve such facilities and major population areas,” which would be every major city in the United States.

McClelland added that the challenge will be in getting local electrical distribution facilities to take the threat of an EMP seriously and put up the capital investment.

The congressional source pointed out that promising legislation called the SHIELD Act is languishing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.

H.R. 668, known as the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, or SHIELD, was introduced last year by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

The SHIELD Act would amend the Federal Power Act to authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, with or without notice, hearing, or report, to order emergency measures to protect the reliability of either the bulk-power system or the defense critical electric infrastructure whenever the president issues a written directive or determination identifying an imminent grid security threat.

Among other things, it also directs the FERC to order the Electric Reliability Organization, or ERO, to submit reliability standards to:

Protect the bulk-power system from a reasonably foreseeable geomagnetic storm event or electromagnetic pulse event (EMP); and
Require entities that own or operate large transformers to ensure their adequate availability to restore promptly the reliable operation of the bulk-power system in the event of destruction or disability as a result of attack or a geomagnetic storm or EMP.
“Obama should call Upton and ask him to pass SHIELD,” the congressional source said. “Obama should tell (U.S. Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid to introduce a Democrat version of SHIELD in the Senate. Contrast this with Obama’s aggressive leadership to stop ‘global warning’ through promotion of green energy and draconian regulations.

“Obama spends his political capital on the fictional threat from global warming,” the congressional source added, “leaving the nation vulnerable to EMP just as we are entering the solar maximum.”

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, who was staff director of the 2008 EMP Commission, also acknowledged that the SHIELD Act is stalled but praised the work of a number of members of Congress for their continued work on the threat of an EMP event on the national grid system.

“The biggest kudos to the Congress (in the House who are) the real leaders on this issue,” Pry said in an email to WND. “Hats off to the Congressional EMP Caucus led by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R), Rep. Trent Franks (R), and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D). They have launched numerous initiatives to protect the nation from EMP, and understand the grave and immediate nature of the threat.”

A new network television drama also recently presented the cataclysmic consequences of an EMP attack, in “Revolution,” which portrays life in the former United States 15 years after an electromagnetic pulse disables all electronics.

In the story, society has collapsed and the country devolved into a collection of mutually hostile self-styled militias, private armies and warring tribes. Former members of the Marine Corps become warlords. Google executives become rifle-toting soldiers. Insurance salesmen transform into militia members.

It shows that basic necessities that Americans take for granted, such as widely available food and clean water, become inaccessible as millions die from starvation, disease or widespread violence.

A coming book, “A Nation Forsaken,” suggests that the show actually may downplay the real threat.

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Israel readies ‘secret weapon’ for Iran attack..30 day attack window….


Netanyahu ‘under pressure’ to delay until after U.S. election…….
==========================================
Israel sees Iranian nuclear weapons as an existential threat, and plans are in place to carry out strikes to cripple the nuclear program by the middle of next month. Middle East expert Mike Evans says his discussions with top Israeli officials this week suggest there is a strong likelihood the attacks will take place between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.

Evans estimates a 75 percent chance that strikes will be carried out in that 30-day window. Evans says high-ranking Israeli leaders also tell him they have a secret weapon they intend to deploy for any strikes, but they would not tell Evans what that weapon is. He believes the likely weapon is an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which would cripple Iran’s power grid.

“Israel is trying to get a hard promise from the U.S. that they’ll support an attack,” Evans told WND.

Evans says he’s not surprised that the Obama administration is telling Israel and Iran that the U.S. will not back any Israeli attacks. He also reports that CIA Director David Petraeus and other American officials are strongly pressuring Israeli leaders to hold off on attacks before the U.S. elections. Evans explains what sort of ironclad promises from President Obama could convince Israel to stand down temporarily.

WND Senior Staff Reporter Jerome Corsi reported in 2009 on a “secret weapon” being developed and tested by Israel.

The test was done at an undisclosed Israeli military base, but few details were uncovered at the time. It was confirmed that the military specifically designed the weapon to be used in a possible conflict with Iran.

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Iran unveils new missile, other weapons….


DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran unveiled upgrades to six weapons on Tuesday, including a more accurate short-range missile and a more powerful naval engine, Iranian media reported, in what seemed to be its latest response to international pressure over its nuclear program.

The hardware was presented at a ceremony marking Defence Industry Day and attended by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi.

Israel has said it is considering air strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites if the Islamic Republic does not resolve Western fears it is developing the means to produce atomic weapons, something the Islamic Republic denies.

Iran says it could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region if it comes under attack.

It has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the neck of the Gulf through which 40 percent of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass. Such a move would probably invite a military response from the United States.

Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Iran’s military advances are purely for defensive purposes and should not be taken as a threat, but said they would dissuade world powers from imposing their will on Iran.

“Defensive advances are meant to defend human integrity, and are not meant to be offensive moves toward others,” Ahmadinejad said, according to Mehr news agency.

“I have no doubt that our defensive capabilities can stand up to bullying and put a halt to their plans.”

The United States has also not ruled out military action against Iran but says the priority of world powers remains the use of diplomacy and sanctions to rein in its nuclear activity.

Among the upgrades was a fourth generation of the Fateh-110 missile, which boasts a range of about 300 km (180 miles).

Iran said earlier this month that it had successfully test-fired the new model and that it was equipped with a more accurate guidance system.

“This missile is one of the most precise and advanced land-to-land ballistic missiles using solid fuel,” Vahidi was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. “In the last decade it has had a significant role in promoting the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defence capabilities.”

In July, Iran said it had successfully test-fired medium-range missiles capable of hitting Israel, and tested dozens of missiles aimed at simulated air bases.

It also presented a more powerful, 5,000-horsepower sea-borne engine, the Bonyan-4, Fars quoted Vahidi as saying. A previous version had 1,000 horsepower, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) said.

SCEPTICISM

Military experts have cast doubt on Iran’s claims of weapons advances, especially its assertions about its missile program, saying Tehran often exaggerates its capabilities.

“The Fateh-110 has a crude guidance and control system that operates during the missile’s ascent” rather than during final descent, said Michael Elleman, senior fellow for missile defence at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“The Fateh-110 appears to lack the subsystems needed to effect terminal steering,” he said in an email.

Iran also presented Armita, an “airborne laboratory” to help test aircraft launch systems and oxygen generation and train fighter pilots, Fars reported.

Vahidi said it was named after the daughter of Dariush Rezaeinejad, an Iranian scientist who was shot dead last year.

Iran believes agents working with foreign intelligence services including the American CIA and Israel’s Mossad are behind the assassinations of several of its nuclear scientists.

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When Israel strikes Iran in October……


Israel is in a political and security quandary.

Officials are convinced it’s only a matter of time before Iran uses its nuclear capability against the Jewish state, living up to the dire threats its leaders have been making for years now.
But Israeli leaders also fear they will lose the window of opportunity to deal a devastating military blow to Iran’s nuclear development if such a strike is not conducted by October of this year.

Why?

Because they believe Barack Obama has a reasonable expectation of being re-elected to the White House – and, if he is, he is likely, unconstrained by concerns about a future election, to be a political liability in the wake of such an action.

However, if the strike is made prior to the election, Obama is much more likely not to condemn Israel. It just wouldn’t be a popular political move for him. Even most Democrats in the U.S. Congress will support Israel’s right to defend itself.

But here’s the quandary – not only for Israel but for Americans who want to see Obama defeated in 2012: Will that kind of “October surprise” indeed help Obama to win the election?

Most Israeli leaders don’t want to see that. But what choice do they have when their nation’s survival is at stake?

Historically speaking, sitting presidents have a distinct political advantage during worldwide military crises. Will that be the case for Obama in the wake of a major military strike on Iran in October, just weeks or days before the vote?

On the one hand, most Israeli leaders would like to see Obama, the harshest critic of Israel ever to reside in the White House, be defeated in November. But, on the other hand, they have their own nation’s self-interest hanging in the balance.

Likewise, most Americans will have no problem with Israel defending itself, especially those most likely to oppose Obama in November, but will they be willing to change horses in the middle of an international crisis?
No one is talking about this, but because the November election is likely to be close, this “October surprise” could well provide the tipping point for Obama.

Or, are Americans so fed up with the deteriorating economy and the leadership of Obama that they will overlook instability in the world and vote their pocketbooks and good sense?

I don’t know the answer to this question, but it’s something to think about.

The likelihood of this attack is growing. The timing is nearly predictable. Yet, Americans and the U.S. media have not focused much attention on it.

The only thing that might change the equation is if Mitt Romney soars far ahead of Obama in the polls, effectively buying Israel more time to make its strike without major political fallout from the U.S.

As it stands now, the election is too close to call – and, in the minds of Israeli leaders, the strong possibility of an Obama re-election must be considered in the equation. As long as that is the case, you can take it to the bank that October is the likely time for a strike on Iran.

Personally, I am much more optimistic that Obama will be voted out of office in November. But I wouldn’t bet my life on it. And neither is Israel willing to bet its life on it.

That’s why 2012′s “October surprise” might not be so surprising at all – for those who understand the politics of the Middle East.

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