In the wake of President Trump’s 2019 Missile Defense Review, Wired magazine published an article titled: “Trump’s Missile Defense Plan Creates More Problems Than It Solves.” The author gave prominent space to missile defense critics who claim that strengthening our missile defense will cause an “arms race” with China and Russia (wake up folks, these adversaries have been running full speed for over a decade while we sat on the sidelines) and that effective missile defense will be cost prohibitive.
Conversely, our nation’s preeminent experts on missile defense, like Ambassador Henry Cooper have written extensively about both the need for effective missile defense and the affordability of creating this capability in space. Cooper led the development of President Reagan’s space arms control policy while serving as Assistant Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. Under President Bush, he served as the Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO).
Rather than interview an expert with decades of experience such as Cooper, Wired chose to champion Joe Cirincione of Ploughshares Fund who stated: “If you liked the President’s border wall, wait until you see the space wall.”
It’s apparent that Wired and Ploughshares disregard the importance of America maintaining its national sovereignty and the safety of its citizens. President Trump’s border wall is an important element of preserving our nation’s defenses and it must be built. Similarly, an effective space-based missile defense (or “space wall” as they put it) can serve as one of the most cost-effective methods of protection against one of the most catastrophic forms of attack against America – Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP).
EMP is a phenomenon discovered by the U.S. and the Russians in the early 1960s during atmospheric nuclear tests. Any nuclear weapon detonated at a height of 30km or higher produces a series of pulses that can catastrophically damage small electronics as well as critical, large-power transformers that make up the backbone of the nation’s electric grid. America’s foremost experts on EMP have written for years about the urgent need for America to defend against this method of attack. They consider it a “Kill Shot” since it would take down the nation’s electric grid, which sustains every other critical infrastructure and the basic elements of human life in a modern society.
Meanwhile, Wired magazine’s recent writings about EMP demonstrate their belief that it’s “overhyped.” To their credit, they completed a 2017 article on the topic with a quote from Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Chief of Staff of the Congressional EMP Commission: “I suspect people will continue to describe an EMP threat as unlikely. Right up until the day before North Korea actually attacks us.”
One can only hope that Wired and other missile defense naysayers won’t continue to claim that effective spaced-based missile defenses are unaffordable, lest they – and we – come to discover the cost of suffering a ballistic missile EMP attack, after which Wired, and America, will be offline and out of business.