It appears that North Korea is not only moving forward with more effective nuclear designs, but also with a powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) device. An EMP attack can begin with the explosion of a nuclear weapon high in the atmosphere. This explosion interacts with the planet’s magnetic fields, creating a pulse, which in turn causes extensive damage to electronic systems. It is critically important that we take this potential threat seriously. An EMP blast would devastate the US.
How many Americans could get by without electricity and all of our modern conveniences? Some of us are lucky enough to have grown up on a farm and know how to survive and feed ourselves, but millions of Americans live in cities were not only is that not possible, but the potential breakdown of society would be catastrophic. There is a good suggestion in the linked article about one way to protect the United States from an EMP; definitely worth investigating further.
On a related, but separate, topic why do we still have ground troops in South Korea? South Korea has Asia’s fourth largest economy. They could afford to expand their already modern and capable armed forces. The US could still show its commitment to its Asian partner by permanently stationing a carrier battle group in the Sea of Japan. I think it’s time we begin to rely more on our fleet and less on burdensome, expensive overseas bases. No matter how poor North Korea is, they are armed to the teeth; even antique weapons kill if they were to come across the DMZ. Our troops stationed in South Korea would be little more than casualties to justify American intervention. It’s time we take an informed look at the rationale behind permanently stationing troops in South Korea.
Let’s hope that someday North and South Korea can peacefully unify. I actually believe there’s a high probability it will happen after the economic collapse of the North. The real question is will China allow a unified Korea. There is little doubt that China would see a unified Korea as a potential adversary, given South Korea’s close friendship with the United States. This is another reason why it makes sense for South Korea to expand its defense budget and be in a position to defend itself.
As much as it may hurt American pride, many of our allies no longer require our protection. Germany, South Korea, and a host of other nations are wealthy enough to provide for their own defense. I think in a lot of ways America relishes the role of global defender, it allows us to dictate the rules of the game and to interfere throughout the world. As we face our crushing debt problem, we must take seriously the reality that we can no longer afford to defend the world, especially not if we’re leaving the American people vulnerable at home.