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Boom and Blink

August 29, 2012

It’s been a busy day again doing work on some different tasks.  I have to do a public presentation… oh, who am I kidding?  There’s nothing to post on other than the convention and the election.  At this point, there’s no real strategy there.  Blame each other, dissemble, and whine.  There.

Luckily, someone at Hot Air must’ve been bored, since they found this article on a possible Israeli strategy for Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

U.S. intelligence agencies recently reported growing concerns that Israel will conduct a strike on Iran using a high-altitude nuclear burst aimed at disrupting all electronics in the country.

The intelligence worries were triggered by recent publication of an article in the Israeli press suggesting the Jewish state should carry out an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack.

I have to admit I have my doubts (as do a couple real experts in the article), since an EMP is tough to direct.  It generally takes out everything in a wide radius.  Also, firing off a nuke isn’t exactly the way to endear yourself to any other nation, and Israel does still have a couple allies… I think.

Asked about the EMP report, an Israeli government spokesman declined to comment. A U.S. intelligence community spokesman also declined comment.

A U.S. official said the article in question appeared Aug. 6 in the news outlet Israel National News. The article stated that an Israeli nuclear burst over Iran could “send Iran back to the Stone Age.”

Feel free to insert the obvious joke here…

It seems to me that detonating a nuclear device, even one intended to just take out unprotected electrical systems, is the stuff of a desperate and despotic regime.  I’ve often said that I’m more concerned with North Korea launching an EMP strike than I am an actual nuclear attack.  There’s a lot less need for range, precision, and true desperation.  Israel doesn’t seem to lack the two former, and has plenty of options before the latter sets in.  Now do I think that the possibility has been evaluated?  Sure.  And I’m sure the US has a few cases where EMP has been put on the table… likely as fast as it’s been taken off.

The truth really comes down to this: In pursuing a strategy, you have to look at all your capabilities.  It’s just a part of the environment.  I’d be shocked if Israel, or the US, or North Korea for that matter, doesn’t evaluate the use of the nuclear weapons at their disposal.  I just don’t think that many of those options can really be taken seriously given the consequences of a first strike.

What interests me more is how our election will come out, and what options Israel will feel it has to pursue as a result.  That’s some strategic gaming that will be very crucial, and will have long-lasting results on the Middle East and across the world.

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