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Not The Problem You Think

We live in the age of Clickbait. In the old days, we used to say "If it bleeds, it leads".
Let's be honest. Fear sells. If you see some article claiming we are on the cusp of war with North Korea, it grabs your attention. This is serious business. Especially now that the NorKos have a missile with the range to hit anywhere in North America.

Buried in the bottom of the story, the writer may mention that North Korea has some "technical issues" to solve before they can truly threaten the cities of The United States. That's one of those handy half-truths. The real story is less glamorous and more dangerous.

First, the good news. North Korean (DPRK) has not demonstrated the ability to launch a missile accurately. Even with a nuclear warhead, accuracy matters. Traveling thousands of miles at high speed, a small trajectory error means instead of hitting Los Angeles, the warhead splashes in the Pacific or maybe the Salton Sea. Also, getting a warhead shielded and hardened is very difficult. Without proper missile construction, the warhead will probably fail due to the stress of launch or extreme heat upon re-entry. Finally, the DPRK does not have silos. Every time they prep an ICBM to launch, it's above ground and our spy sats see it all. We can be ready.

Now the good / bad news. We have interceptor missiles. The Ageis ship based interceptors are reliable, but only during the short "boost phase". That means local commanders only have a few minutes to get authorization and execute. Our land based "GMD" system has been tested, and each of those interceptors has an average kill rate of 50%. Launching four of those at a NorKo ICBM means a probable kill of over 90%. Not bad (?!)

(Drum roll) Now, the bad news! Y'all familiar with an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)? If Norko decides to use that weapon, they bypass their current weakness. An EMP weapon is detonated above a population center, in orbit. Accuracy is really not as much of an issue, as the idea is to blanket a region with a particle wave that will permanently kill all electronics. The warhead never re-enters the atmosphere, so it does not need to be shock and heat protected. In other words, they have the technology to do this right now.

If you think a space-burst EMP is less destructive than a ground burst nuke, you are wrong. Dead wrong. If Los Angeles was instantly deprived of the ability to distribute food, water, fuel and medicine, what would that look like?

So, if you choose to be frightened, be frightened for the right reasons.

Comments

Jeez Winston,
world we're livin in eh?
Technology advancing at such a rate of knots and in the hands of crackpots.
 
Which makes me think of a morbid joke - well, if it just hits Washington D.C. most of our problems will have been solved. Knowing history, was it our actions at the end of the Korean war (and since then) that have basically created the current problem, or was North Korea always going to be like they are? In any case, how to fix it? Don't know, but I really don't think saber-rattling on our part is helping.
 
Winston,

As usual, well informed and well written.

About a year ago I listened to an enlightening interview of a North Korean defector, who for 20 years was the head of their cyber attack division. They are pouring huge money into it. They wave bombs in our faces to distract from the real assault. We need to put more money, not into the traditional military industrial complex that Eisenhower correctly warned about, but into cyber security. War has changed, but now supporting the military is big business. Businesses that bribe politicians. Yes, the traditional military will have a role to play, but not as much as the nerds. Our country does not pay them as well as private industry. It is reported that we, consequently, get the "C" students. Time to wave flags for those nerds & pay them plenty. Take it out of that huge hardware budget the military has, and put it into software by smart brains. They will be the ones most capable of protecting us, but, with certainty, we will be hit, in some devastating way. No stopping it. There hasn't been a uniformed enemy to get in our gun sights in decades, and these attacks will come out of thin air.

Want to take out capitalism, hit our financial institutions. A huge amount of money was recently siphoned from The New York Federal Reserve bank. A low level guy caught it to stop even more. That's laughable, but it ain't. Best have some cash stashed. It may hold you for awhile, if temporary.

And, shockingly, I advocate for being a prepper. Few are capable of surviving in America. Couch potatoes. Head in sand types. I won't survive either, but it won't be from ignorance , or lack of some preparation. I know it's coming.
.
 
sas;bt11117 said:
Winston,

As usual, well informed and well written.

About a year ago I listened to an enlightening interview of a North Korean defector, who for 20 years was the head of their cyber attack division. They are pouring huge money into it. They wave bombs in our faces to distract from the real assault. We need to put more money, not into the traditional military industrial complex that Eisenhower correctly warned about, but into cyber security. War has changed, but now supporting the military is big business. Businesses that bribe politicians. Yes, the traditional military will have a role to play, but not as much as the nerds. Our country does not pay them as well as private industry. It is reported that we, consequently, get the "C" students. Time to wave flags for those nerds & pay them plenty. Take it out of that huge hardware budget the military has, and put it into software by smart brains. They will be the ones most capable of protecting us, but, with certainty, we will be hit, in some devastating way. No stopping it. There hasn't been a uniformed enemy to get in our gun sights in decades, and these attacks will come out of thin air.

Want to take out capitalism, hit our financial institutions. A huge amount of money was recently siphoned from The New York Federal Reserve bank. A low level guy caught it to stop even more. That's laughable, but it ain't. Best have some cash stashed. It may hold you for awhile, if temporary.

And, shockingly, I advocate for being a prepper. Few are capable of surviving in America. Couch potatoes. Head in sand types. I won't survive either, but it won't be from ignorance , or lack of some preparation. I know it's coming.
.

Thanks sas. I had to keep his short and not too "wonky" to keep it readable.
Of course, the NorKos will use a cyber attack in conjunction with an EMP. If an EMP is burst over the Northeast, a massive DDOS / Logic Bomb attack would be a force multiplier. A cyber attack would hamper our ability to render aid to another region, paralyzing us.
And of course you are right about our priorities. On a national level, we are arrogant and dismissive toward our adversaries. Most people personally are willfully ignorant. Its always someone else's problem... until you've been starving for weeks and no one is coming to help.
 
Winston,

Back in the 50s those who built bomb shelters were considered nutcase alarmists. I actually can remember it (didn't just read about it...smiles). Geez. Now, here I am, with my own alarms clanging. Hope I am wrong. And, FYI, take up bow hunting. Learn to make bows & arrows. Not kidding. I know you're very capable. That was my recent advice to my son, who is somewhat prepared, too. I was a good shot with a bow, in my younger years, took lessons & they weren't compound bows either. Ha. Couldn't pull one today, even if it was.
 

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