Friday, February 14, 2014

Dress Rehearsal

The Internet is full of interesting tidbits.  Most are not well thought out and some are downright loony.  Reading through it though provides much entertainment and sometimes, just sometimes you come across a little gem that causes you to stop and think.

So was my occasion this evening while perusing various articles when this caught my eye.  The Washington Examiner ran an article by Paul Bedard conjecturing that the deployment of Iranian navy ships off of US territorial waters is a dress rehearsal for an EMP attack.

The hypothesis does fit the evidence.  Iran lacks the ability to produce enough nuclear weapons to pose any real threat to the US.  It has always been thought that Iranian nuclear weapons were a threat because they could target Israel and thereby destabilize the Middle East and threaten oil supplies.

But that is linear thinking and it linear thinking is the kind that causes businesses to go under and military leaders to lose wars.  Instead of thinking of Iran's nuclear program as being an attempt to get parity with the United States, we need to think of it differently.

First the United States and the former Soviet Union built their nuclear weapons with the intent of intimidating the other into never using theirs first.  Hence the problems were are seeing now with the cheating scandals in the US nuclear forces.  A weapon that is never intended to be used is treated with contempt by the operators and maintainers.  The senior leaders want to prove otherwise so they create more and more demanding standards that have little bearing on reality.

Perhaps Iran has seen this folly and is approaching their nuclear program in a different manner.  Iran may need to only produce enough weapons grade material to launch an EMP attack over New York or Washington.  It seems the risk of having the US retaliate with their nuclear weapons would dissuade them from that but perhaps not.  Perhaps a threatened EMP attack could be used a blackmail tactic.  Or simply taking out Wall Street would so financially cripple the US that a retaliatory strike is considered remote.

Sometimes, no matter how improbable it may seem we need to accept that it is possible.

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