Are We Ready?
I wrote a piece about a year and half ago concerning the southern borders and terrorism. At the time, I did not think there would be a large attack in the near future on the U.S. proper because of the “cash cow” syndrome; Hezbollah, al Qaida and others using the U.S. affinity for drugs to fund activities against targets worldwide and in particular Israel; not to mention human and arms smuggling throughout the third world. A large attack would put the U.S. on a war footing and their money could dry up. Their primary target for nearly 70 years has been Israel and the financial needs to keep the Ji'had against the Jews outweighed the need to attack America. I now am convinced I was wrong that these Ji'hadis would reserve their attacks on the U.S. until they decided that it was their time. When I wrote of the border and terrorism, there was not an army of psychopathic serial killers plowing across the Middle East slaughtering people for virtually no reason other than the perverted joy of bloodletting.
There are many ways to pull off a large and seriously damaging attack on the U.S. or one of the other Western nations. Biological, chemical or nuclear would be the ‘big’ three, but after 9/11, we know there are other less conventional ways to kill and maim massive numbers of people. However, these three are where I want to put the focus on for this article.
Biological weapons are very easy to make and spread at a rudimentary level. The problem with these weapons is that the carrier themselves would likely be infected; particularly with a viral agent. A bacterial agent would be more virulent, but probably less effective because it would be more easily stopped with antibiotics. Viral agents are not easily killed by anti-bios but they are generally weaker in the natural state; the exceptions are obvious. Terror groups such as ISIS would have problems moving and spreading these agents in a significant manner. They could generate a lot of fear and panic, but not a lot of damage. Having said that, if ISIS, the Taliban or another of these large groups trying to control a state manage to do just that, control a state, it would not be long until they could weaponize biologics and a grand scale. Smallpox, weaponized Anthrax, Ebola and the rest seem to be the viruses and bacterium that most nations and people are afraid of seeing. In my opinion, this is not the threat that would make the difference. A virus, either natural based or engineered, introduced into the food supply would have long term overreaching affects possibly for a generation. With today’s technology, designing a virus to attack wheat or another of the U.S. food commodities would not only affect the U.S., but would cause food and economic crashes across the planet. America and Canada produce roughly 35% of the world’s supply of bread commodities. We would be able to eventually stop the virus, but the damage would be significant. In my reading, I have noted that there are defenses in place for an attack of this sort, but to what extent and how effective, I am not sure.
Chemical weapons are more easily weaponized than biologics, and are very frightening, but in real terms, they would not have the long term effects of the biological weapons. All these are heavier than air and would disperse relatively quickly. Of course, there would be significant injury and loss of life. It would certainly cause economic damage on the scale of 9/11 or an even more significant crisis with panic and mass hysteria. With recent news of more those “non-existent” WMDs than previously thought being found in Iraq, ISIS probably already have their bloody hands on Sarin and Mustard gas warheads. These could easily be smuggled in to the U.S. via the southern border. These warheads are not very large and exploding one with a bit of dynamite or even just breaking one open in public place could hurt a lot of people.
The most frightening scenario would be a nuclear device within our borders. I am firmly convinced there are nuclear devices already in the U.S. and in the hands of those who would see fit to detonate them. I believe there have been small nukes in the U.S. or one of our allies since before 9/11. A small device of a 3 to 5 kiloton would weigh only about 10 lbs. and very easily hidden for years. The Soviets were building these sort of bombs as far back as the 1980s and lost track of many of these during the upheavals of the early 1990s. There is no reason to believe these lost nukes are not in the hands of whomever had enough cash to buy them on the arms black market. And there is also no reason to believe one or more of these are not here in the U.S. If one of these is detonated in an American city, not only will it kill hundreds or even thousands of civilians, it would be a repeat of the financial crisis following the 9/11 attacks only much more serious and long lasting. A ‘homemade’ dirty bomb would have the about same effect as one of these small tactical nukes, but would be less damage in human loss of life, but there would still be disruptive repercussions both in human and economic terms.
This comes to what I believe could be the most serious scenario we could face as a republic under attack; and this would be the same for any western nation. That would be the detonation of a low yield nuke about 20 to 30 miles in the upper atmosphere over a highly populated part of the U.S. This could be done with a 10 to 20 kiloton device attached to an old style Scud type rocket from a small boat a few miles of the coast. Any tramp ship would do fine and the only way this would be detected would be from a tipster which would be unlikely especially with very good planning. An explosion of this sort would not generally hurt anyone but it would generate an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). This would turn off most of the power grid in the area under the nuke. Even a small device would affect a large part of the power grid and nearly all equipment needed for our current way of life. This seems like it would be a simple so-called tough time because there would be no damage and no fallout, but there would be dire consequences. The first affected and most seriously would be those who depend on the grid and the infrastructure for their very lives. All those would depend on medicines to keep them alive such as diabetics, those with epilepsy …and so on. Most of these would be dead in a couple of weeks, followed by the old and invalid and very young within a month; this would be about 10% the population. There most certainly would be rouge elements driven by desperation and hunger that would do what they figured would be needed to be done for survival. This would take another 10% within 3 to 6 months. The mortality rate for the rest of the survivors would be many times higher than it is now adding another 5% in 6 months or so. In short, 25% of the population of the area affected would not survive to see the next year. Some experts have put that number at up to 90% fatality rates. I have more faith in the American people and their willingness to survive. Our history is replete with survival stories of even large groups of Americans in dire circumstances. Our rugged individualism would be a huge advantage in such a disaster. Depending on the location, this 25% fatality rate could be in the millions of souls. I have read that most experts believe there is a 50/50 chance of a major EMP on the continental U.S. by 2025; i.e.… the next decade. It would take us a generation to recover from this sort of attack and during that time we would be vulnerable to much more terrorism and economic attacks.
Do I believe one or more of these scenarios is possible? Of course, and not only possible, but probable. There are ways to be prepared, but how much is being done by our military and government right now to protect against these types of attacks; I don’t know, I would hope that there would be a lot of work being performed. For me, waiting on the government is simply naive. The best way for me to prepare is to leave my children and grandchildren information and tools to help them survive.