Comments (9)

  1. steve willie says:

    “…though he felt it was too alarmist on the aspect of water systems not working and hospitals losing power. He notes that many water systems are gravity-fed and most hospitals have diesel-fired back-up generators.”


    1. a relatively small percentage of water systems are totally gravity-fed (after the storage tanks run dry which would typically take two or three days). The vast majority are fed by wells or surface water sources which require pumping and treatment. pumping almost always requires electricity. surface water sources always require treatment which requires electricity.

    2. most backup generators (including those in every hospital i have seen) are microprocessor-controlled. the circuits are not typically shielded from nuclear emp because there is no code requirement to do so.

  2. Irb Laster says:

    Bolton proposes, “These forces would ultimately reach China’s border, but we can commit to Beijing that Washington will not station troops there for a sustained period.”

    That is a nonstarter for China. Never mind the legacy of the KOREAN and Vietnam wars. Rather, the insurmountable obstacle the US faces in Asia is the recent & ongoing US belligerence AGAINST Russia. Here in Asia, we mostly support and sympathize with the Russian position versus US. Because the fact is that during the Bush administration, the US solemnly agreed it would not try to expand its influence in eastern Europe, much less bring any of these nations into NATO, as eastern Europe is Russia’s “buffer” zone against European invasion, Russia having been devastatingly overrun from that direction three times in recent memory. And now Bolton proposes that China agree to willingly let US into China’s buffer zone in NK with the understanding the US will soon leave thereafter? Seriously? THAT Will never happen! You see, there are consequences when you trash security agreements like the US has with Russia. others notice.

  3. Justin McCarthy says:

    Interesting article. But, it says that Korea is capable of detonating an EMP above the atmosphere without hardening the re-entry vehicle. And, then states the damage if detonated at an altitude of 30 kilometers. While the atmosphere is pretty thin at that altitude it is still well within the atmosphere which supposedly extends to between 90 to 100 kilometers before technically above the atmosphere. PLENTY of meteorites burn up before they reach 30 kilometers. Just wondering if there is some alarmist spin in the article. Further, what would the US response be if anyone attacked the US with a nuclear weapon? EVen limited to an EMP. Especially a limited capability nation such as N. Korea. It would most likely be absolute destruction of n. Korea just to send the message to any other adventurist regimes. NO president could politically ride out such an attack without retaliation. The response to 9-11 was to topple two regimes and wage global war on terrorists. There would be no need to maintain the pretense of no first use of nukes. We have tactical nukes galore forward deployed on ships and aircraft Carriers and submarines. And, no doubt contingency plans for their deployment. North Korea knows this.

  4. MR. Gingrich brings up an important point I’d forgotten about with regards to the EMP. However, I am cautious about characterizing the North Korean regime as “Crazy” or whatever word you want to use. Being perceived as crazy has been a very useful tool to them over many years. Remember their primary goal is the security of their regime. Unless you actually believe they are psychologically unstable, you can rely on them to know that any form of attack on the U.S. is the end of their regime. So that’s the critical question; Are they crazy like a fox, or just plain crazy.

    Mr Bolton, as I recall is the gentleman responsible for the policy in iraq that lead to the dismissal of all the bath party members from the military and and government. My perception is that the policy had a lot to do with creating the mess we found (find?) ourselves in.

    Nevertheless, I’d love it if we could get Chinese cooperation in reunifying Korea. But I suspect China likes the buffer they now have. We also know from the Korean war (sorry- I mean police action) that they consider having foreign troops on the Yalu river an existential issue. Mr. Bolton says we can assure them it’s only for a little while. I’m all for trying, but i doubt that will satisfy them.

  5. Rick JULIEN says:

    I would prefer you stick to the great economic pieces and advice you Have provided for years
    I suspect all this hysteria over NK underestimates the US or others Ability to take out the NK rockets or fry their electronics when we think it is time

  6. Justin McCarthy says:

    Good points. The neo-cons are always for attacking someone. It seems if China can live with North Korea having the ability to hit all of China; maybe it really is there problem.

  7. Farook Ahmed says:

    Have to echo this: the ICBM-delivered EMP threat is a red herring that Gingrich has been espousing for quite a while. Here, he is making two mistakes typical of armchair strategists:
    First, he forgets his Clausewitz, by considering North Korea’s capabilities rather than its political objectives. How would North Korea further its objectives by carrying out an EMP detonation on the U.S.?
    Second, he does not understand the mechanisms of command and control that relate to inbound ICBMs. Were North Korea to launch an nuclear-tipped ICBM towards the United States with the intention of causing an EMP, we would have no way of distinguishing it from a regular-way nuclear attack. North Korean military leaders certainly know this. While the DPRK’s leadership is well-versed in the arts of histrionic bombast and is comfortable acting with boundless brutality against its own people, it is not suicidal.
    Bolton, I think, is on to something, though, which is that the United States and China have a confluence of interests as regards this problem. However, he takes a graduate student’s approach by assuming full knowledge and confidence on all sides.
    I suspect we are in a bit of a prisoner’s dilemma, as the strategic cultures of both countries – which are built on a defensive worldview – will likely undermine meaningful coordination. All indicators suggest that Beijing prefers Pyongyang’s continued bellicosity to the specter of American troops dashing towards the Chinese border. This is especially the case since the outcome of such an operation, if successful, would be that American leaders would now have proof of concept in using military force to effect a regime change onto a nuclear-armed adversary.

  8. Irb Laster says:


    On another front, perplexed about the bullish short-euro. My chart says It’s months too soon to expect a major reversal yet.

  9. Irb Laster says:

    Addendum: for a currency short, suggest bitcoin now instead.

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