SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 106–31]
ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE THREATS TO U.S. MILITARY AND CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE
MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
OCTOBER 7, 1999
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MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
STEVEN KUYKENDALL, California
DONALD SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
JOHN R. KASICH, Ohio
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
BOB RILEY, Alabama
OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
TOM ALLEN, Maine
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
Stephen Ansley, Professional Staff Member
Robert Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
Jean Reed, Professional Staff Member
Peter Pry, Professional Staff Member
William Natter, Professional Staff Member
Erica Striebel, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
Thursday, October 7, 1999, Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to U.S. Military and Civilian Infrastructure
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Thursday, October 7, 1999
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1999
ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE THREATS TO U.S. MILITARY AND CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Pickett, Hon. Owen, a Representative from
Virginia, Ranking Member, Military Research and Development Subcommittee
Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from
Pennsylvania, Chairman, Military Research and Development Subcommittee
Bernardin, Dr. Michael, Provost for Theoretical
Institute of Thermonuclear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Jakubiak, Mr. Stanley, Senior Civilian for Nuclear C3 and EMP Policy, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Graham, Dr. William, Former Science Advisor to
President Reagan and Rumsfeld Commissioner on the Missile Threat
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Wood, Dr. Lowell, Member of the Director's Technical Staff, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
[The prepared statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Bernardin, Dr. Michael
Graham, Dr. William
Jakubiak, Mr. Stanley
Weldon, Hon. Curt
Wood, Dr. Lowell
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be found in the hard copy.]
Testimony to the R&D Subcommittee of the House Armed Services
Committee—Open Session Testimony submitted by Dr. Michael P. Bernardin
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Questions and Answers for the Record.]
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ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE THREATS TO U.S. MILITARY AND CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Research and Development Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, October 7, 1999.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30
a.m. in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM
PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. The subcommittee will come to
order. This morning the Military Research and Development Subcommittee
meets in open session to receive testimony on the potential of an
electromagnetic pulse attack to disrupt the United States military and
civilian electronic infrastructure. Our open hearing will be followed by
a closed, classified briefing. The classified briefing will give our
witnesses an opportunity to brief Members in greater depth and to
respond to questions that may be too sensitive to fully answer in open
Before I go into the subject of today's hearing,
I want to announce that we can now confirm that on October 26 we will
have a very special hearing in this subcommittee. In fact, over the
course of the last five years, I have had five witnesses appear before
our subcommittee from Russia, including General Alexander Lebed. Twice I
have had Dr. Alexander Yablokov. I have had Mr. Lunev, who is one of
the highest ranking defectors from the GRU, and on October the 26th of
this year, our committee will have Dr. Christopher Andrew, a noted
Cambridge scholar, along with Russian—London Chief of Station of the
KGB, Oleg Gordievsky, who will appear with Andrew, and they will discuss
the recently released book entitled KGB, which documents approximately three decades of KGB files that were copied by Mitrokhin, who was the KGB archivist.
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This book has received international attention.
It is provocative in terms of what factual information is in here, and
it will be the first time in America that Members of Congress will have a
chance to see and ask questions of both an outstanding scholar on
Russian intelligence, as well as a Russian individual who has, in fact,
cooperated with us on some of the patterns that have occurred in the
Russian Intelligence Community.
I would also like to announce at this time the
release within a matter of several weeks of a new book entitled War Scare.
This book has been published by a very eminent author, who has
documented five very real cases over the past several decades of
Russia's movement toward a possible response in terms of their nuclear
The author is sitting to my left and your right,
Peter Pry, who is a staffer for our committee. We are extremely proud
to have him on staff because of his expertise, his former tenure as an
agent in the CIA, and this book is extremely provocative. I am also
working on a way that we can give visibility to the author Peter Pry's
comments, not the staffer Peter Pry's comments, because I think they are
relative to the work that is outlined in the KGB book documenting the
Mitrokhin archives by Christopher Andrew.
So those events will take place in October,
later on, and they should be exciting, and they will be provocative.
Our hearing today, as I said earlier, focuses on
electromagnetic pulse (EMP). We first held a hearing on this issue in
1997. To my knowledge, we were the first major committee in the Congress
to devote any attention at all to this issue. It has been an ongoing
concern of both my distinguished Ranking Member Owen Pickett and myself,
and certainly has been at the key of the interests of Congressman
Roscoe Bartlett, who, in fact, held kind of a mini-field hearing in his
district on this issue at Johns Hopkins earlier this year.
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Being a physiologist himself, Roscoe has a
particular expertise here that has been very helpful to this committee
in fully understanding the potential threat posed by electromagnetic
Part of our purpose today in holding an open
hearing on EMP is to help educate the public on this still not widely
understood threat. Electromagnetic pulse can be generated when a nuclear
weapon is detonated at high altitude above the atmosphere. The EMP
produced by such an explosion can potentially damage or destroy
electronic systems along vast areas of Earth's surface.
Let me say at this point in time, for those who
think and for those people who have testified that this could never
happen to America, I led a delegation to Vienna on April 30th and May
the 1st of this year to meet with a group of Russian Duma officials and
leaders to work out the framework for a peaceful solution of the Kosovo
crisis. In fact, Congressman Bartlett went on that delegation with me.
In our discussions with our Russian
counterparts, all of whom are friends of mine, one of the leaders of
that delegation, Vladimir Lukin, the former Soviet Ambassador to the
U.S. here in Washington, made this statement, that America needs to
understand that while Russia may be in a state of turmoil, Russia still
has the capability to do significant harm to our people and our country.
He went on to further outline Russia's
capability to conduct electromagnetic pulse laydown. He described it. He
said that Russia has this capability, and that if our policies
continued along the line that they were going, in that particular case
in relation to Kosovo, that that could be the response that could be
generated against America.
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So for those who would say that this kind of a
threat would never emerge, I can only tell you what came out of the
mouth of the former Soviet Ambassador to the U.S. and current Chairman
of the International Affairs Committee for the Russian Parliament, the
lower House, the state Duma.
The United States is involved in a
technologically-dependent society with high potential vulnerability to
EMP. The widespread paralysis of electronic computer systems,
communications power grids and transportation systems would not be
merely an inconvenience. Nor would an EMP attack have only commercial
consequences. Our modern way of life and life itself depends upon the
functioning of our electronic society.
How severe would the consequences of an EMP
attack on the United States be? Some have argued that an EMP event could
be like putting the United States in a giant time machine and in the
blink of an eye transforming our high-tech society into a primitive
preindustrial one, circa the 19th century. Others argue that while the
consequences of an EMP attack would be serious, the effects are likely
to be much less severe and much more manageable.
The EMP threat may have acquired new and urgent
relevance as the proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile technology
accelerates. North Korea, for example, is assessed as already having
developed one or two atomic weapons and is on the verge of testing an
Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) capable of delivering a
nuclear warhead to the United States. North Korea already has missiles
capable of delivering a nuclear warhead against U.S. regional allies and
U.S. forces based in Japan and South Korea.
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it possible that given the small size of North Korea's nuclear arsenal,
Pyongyang may consider an EMP attack the most efficient military
option; the best way to inflict the maximum damage on the U.S. and its
allies in the event of a conflict, or perhaps the best way to blackmail
or deter the U.S. in the event of a crisis?
There are differences within the scientific
community over just how damaging an EMP attack would be. There are
differing opinions among experts over the likelihood that a rogue state
armed with a small number of nuclear missiles would prefer to perform an
EMP attack as opposed to blasting a city or a military base.
The main purpose of our hearing today is to air
and explore these differences of opinion about the EMP threat by
receiving testimony from two panels representing different points of
On our first panel representing the
administration and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Mr. Stanley Jakubiak,
senior civilian for nuclear Command and Control and EMP policy from the
Joint Chiefs of Staff; Dr. Michael Bernardin, provost for Theoretical
Institute of Thermonuclear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Our second panel is made up of Dr. William
Graham, former science advisor to the President of the United States
Ronald Reagan, and Rumsfeld Commissioner on the ballistic missile
threat; and Dr. Lowell Wood, member of the director's technical staff at
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
We welcome you all and thank you all for being
here. However, before I turn the floor over to you, I want to call upon
Mr. Pickett, the Ranking Democrat on the R&D subcommittee,
respectfully for his comments.
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[The prepared statement of Hon. Curt Weldon can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Pickett.
STATEMENT OF HON. OWEN PICKETT, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
want to join you in welcoming our distinguished witnesses today, and
also I applaud the fact that you are holding an open meeting here on
this subject that I think will help inform the public about the
seriousness of this threat.
Today's hearing is an excellent opportunity to
learn more about the potential effects of an electromagnetic pulse, or
EMP, attack. Based on history, there is certainly reason to be
concerned. Both nuclear blast tests and simulated scenarios have allowed
us to recognize many of the vulnerabilities of our military and
I am particularly interested in examining this
issue more closely due to the military's growing reliance on commercial
off-the-shelf technologies. While this is neither the time nor the place
to dwell on our Nation's efforts to emphasize and rely on diplomacy,
early warning capabilities and deterrence doctrine to prevent such
attacks, I look forward to learning more from our witnesses today about
how such EMP incidents may occur and the likelihood of their possible
occurrence. Greater insight into the possibility of an EMP laydown
should prove beneficial in our effort to design a more capable, robust
and dependable military and national infrastructure and better inform
our people about the potential of this particular threat.
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Again, Mr. Chairman, I applaud you for calling
this hearing, and I look forward to the testimony of our distinguished
witnesses here today.
Mr. WELDON. I thank you, Mr. Pickett.
Mr. Pickett, would you be in agreement that
perhaps before our witnesses speak we should go complete the journal
Mr. PICKETT. Yes.
Mr. WELDON. Are there any other Members
who would like to make opening statements before we go for the journal
vote? If there are, that is fine. If not, we will go over and vote and
come back and start our panel.
Mr. BARTLETT. Just one quick moment. I am
very appreciative of the fact that you have called this meeting. This
is a discussion of an eventuality that could potentially bring us to our
knees or worse. It is very important that the American people
understand it and collectively decide what we need to do to prepare for
such an eventuality.
Thank you very much for calling the meeting.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Bartlett, for your ongoing efforts in this area.
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Mr. Reyes, any comments?
Mr. REYES. No.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Hostettler?
Mr. HOSTETTLER. No.
Mr. WELDON. We will unfortunately have to
temporarily adjourn. This is only one vote. We run very fast so we can
be back here and start hopefully within about six to eight minutes. So
the hearing is temporarily adjourned.
Mr. WELDON. The hearing now will
reconvene, and we will now turn to our distinguished panel of witnesses.
As I said before, we will start with Mr. Jakubiak and Dr. Bernardin,
and then we will move right down the line to Dr. Graham and to Dr. Wood.
Mr. Jakubiak, your statement will be entered
into the record without objection, and you are free to make whatever
comments that you would like to make. Obviously, if we have questions
that you feel are not appropriate for this forum, then they will have to
wait until we get into the classified forum. I am sure you will know
better than us as to when that line is reached. But we would like to
keep as much as possible for the public to consume about this, because
there are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation, and we are hoping
to clear some of that up today. So the floor is yours.
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STATEMENT OF STANLEY J. JAKUBIAK, DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE COMMAND CENTER'S DIVISION, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
Mr. JAKUBIAK. Mr. Chairman, Members of the committee, I am grateful—.
Mr. WELDON. Could you pull the mike a little closer to your mouth, please.
Mr. JAKUBIAK. Mr. Chairman, Members of
the committee, I am grateful for the opportunity to address the
committee on the electromagnetic pulse threat environment and to discuss
the impact on commercial off-the-shelf or so-called COTS equipment used
in military command and control systems.
As you know, the detonation of a nuclear weapon
between 50 and several hundred kilometers above the Earth's surface will
produce an electromagnetic pulse that can, under certain conditions,
damage electronic equipment. We don't know exactly how much damage can
be done to commercial equipment. The phenomenon is well-known, but the
variances in electronic equipment design, commercial design, and the
systems that they are incorporated in, do not provide us with sufficient
information to allow us to accurately predict how widespread the damage
or disruption will be.
Now, to counter the EMP attack, the military has
in the past taken a simplistic approach. We have basically said and
assumed that all commercial equipment would fail under an EMP pulse, and
therefore we have designed protection into that equipment to withstand
the EMP protection or the EMP environment.
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Critical nuclear command and control nodes,
critical military nodes that must operate through that EMP environment
have been identified. The Chairman puts out policy to the services and
also to the Commander in Chiefs (CINCs) identifying what nodes and what
systems and what equipment should be protected. That is published in the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff instructions, which I am
responsible for preparing. In fact, some of those selected systems are
even provided backup power generators on the assumption that the
commercial power grid would fail in an EMP environment.
However, to capitalize on leading-edge
technologies, military systems are becoming more and more increasingly
reliant on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment, which are not
specifically designed to survive an EMP environment. To ensure that that
equipment reliably operates in an EMP environment, what the services do
is basically take that COTS equipment and test it in simulators to the
projected threat. The failures are analyzed, and modifications are
retrofitted to that equipment to ensure that the equipment does perform
properly in an EMP environment.
In some cases that retrofitted fix is a very
simple fix, costing less than $10 to make a piece of equipment that is
off-the-shelf, commercial piece of equipment, in fact, perform in an EMP
environment. However, when we talk about large sensor systems, that
inexpensive $10 part can, in fact, quickly soar to a $50 million bill to
protect that sensor.
The testing of COTS equipment has allowed us to
make some observations regarding the vulnerability of COTS equipment to a
range of EMP environments that may be of some use in assessing the
impact on the commercial infrastructure.
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If I could have that first view graph, please.
On this view graph, you can see that the EMP
field strengths between 3 and 8 kilovolts per meter, that there can be
some upset on commercial off-the-shelf equipment. When the field
strengths get above 8 kilovolts per meter, the risk that there will be
upset is more probable. In the range of 7 to 20 kilovolts per meter,
there is a possibility that some equipment will be damaged. Above the
20-kilovolt-per-meter range, the damage is most likely probable,
although some equipment will even perform above that level.
Results from some recent testing of COTS
equipment—can I have the next view graph, please—appear to confirm these
Now, the temporary upset reflected on this view
graph indicates that the upset was self-correcting. The equipment, in
fact, had an upset, and the equipment self-corrected without any
operator intervention. The upset column shows that the equipment, in
fact, required an operator to do something to the equipment to bring it
back into operation. And then the damage levels are shown on this chart
The Office of the National Communications System
(NCS) has also done some extensive testing of the commercial public
switch network and have found that the public switch network
infrastructure is inherently resistant to the effects of EMP. Their
studies have shown that the probability of connection of a telephone
call under an EMP environment is greater than 90 percent with normal
loading, and greater than 70 percent when there is panic loading on that
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The NCS results have also been confirmed by
AT&T Bell Laboratories, who reported that their testing of the
public switch network also showed that some upset could be expected, but
that damage to the system in an EMP environment was not a concern.
In conclusion, due to the sensitivity of COTS
equipment in various EMP field strengths, we have (the Joint Staff) over
the past several years sponsored an effort at the national laboratory
of Los Alamos to assess the potential field strengths that can be
produced by nuclear weapons. When you receive Dr. Michael Bernardin's
assessment in closed session, keep in mind the COTS vulnerability levels
that I have addressed in my presentation.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the committee, on
behalf of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I appreciate this
opportunity to present the Joint Staff views on EMP environment, and I
look forward to your questions.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Jakubiak.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Jakubiak can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Bernardin.
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL BERNARDIN, PROVOST FOR THEORETICAL INSTITUTE OF THERMONUCLEAR STUDIES, LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY
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Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on
this issue vital to national security. I speak as a weapons designer
with specialized knowledge in electromagnetic pulse. Since 1996, I have
been the provost for the Postgraduate Nuclear Weapon Design Institute
within the laboratory chartered with training the next generation of
nuclear weapon designers.
The issue to be addressed this morning is the
impact of a high-altitude nuclear detonation over the United States to
the civilian and military infrastructure. A high-altitude nuclear
detonation would produce an electromagnetic pulse that would cover from
one to several million square miles, depending on the height of burst,
with electric fields larger than those typically associated with
In such an event, would military equipment
deployed within the area of EMP exposure be seriously impaired? Would
civilian communications, the power grid and equipment connected to the
power grid catastrophically fail? The answers to these questions depend
on three elements: One, the types of threat weapons deployed; two, the
EMP produced by these weapons; and three, the effects that are caused by
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) identify current and projected nuclear
weapon threats and provide inputs to the Department of Energy nuclear
design labs, Los Alamos and Livermore National Laboratories, who model
foreign nuclear weapons. The labs each have over 25 years of experience
in performing this type of modeling. The weapon models serve as a basis
for associated EMP threat assessments.
For the purpose of EMP assessment, it is
convenient to group the threat weapons into the following five
categories: One, single-stage fission weapons; two, single-stage boosted
weapons; three, nominal two-stage thermonuclear weapons with yields up
to a few megatons; four, two-stage thermonuclear weapons with yields
over a few megatons; and five, special technology thermonuclear weapons.
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The reason for this grouping and the threat
weapons themselves will be discussed in closed session. The EMP produced
by these weapons is also a topic delegated largely to closed session.
It is possible to discuss in an open forum the
process by which high-altitude EMP is produced in the atmosphere, its
propagation down to the ground, and some of the generic features of the
resultant EMP. This information will be discussed briefly in my
statement, and detailed information can be found in my written
I have brought three graphics along to help illustrate the production of EMP. May I have graphic one.
Shown in graphic one is an illustration of the
area coverage of direct EMP exposure from a 200-kilometer height of
burst over the United States. For this burst altitude, which might be
appropriate for a hypothetical multimegaton weapon, the horizon is
located at about 1,600 kilometers or 1,000 miles from a point on the
ground directly beneath the burst.
For a 50-kilometer height of burst, which might
be appropriate for a 10-kiloton fission weapon, the horizon is located
at about half this distance, within the circle.
May I have graphic two.
Shown in graphic two is the spatial distribution
of the peak EMP fields for a hypothetical weapon detonated over the
United States. The directionality of the Earth's magnetic field causes
the largest peak field region to occur to the south of the burst point.
The large numbers on the plot are peak electric fuel values in thousands
of volts per meter or kilovolts per meter, and the smaller numbers are
distance increments in kilometers.
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Note that the peak field ranges from 12 to about
25 kilovolts per meter. Other later time, lower-amplitude EMP
components are generated by nuclear detonation. These are discussed in
my written testimony.
May have I have graphic three. Graphic three
illustrates details of some additional specifics of EMP generation, of
the generation process, for the early time portion of the pulse. A
high-altitude nuclear detonation produces gamma rays, X-rays, neutrons
and debris. Some of the gamma rays propagate down into the Earth's
atmosphere where they collide with air molecules and produce recoil
electrons. The electrons are created with a velocity directed
principally radially away from the burst. The electrons are turned by
the Earth's magnetic field, which results in synchrotron radiation. The
radiation adds coherently to form the electromagnetic pulse.
As the electrons traverse their trajectories,
they collide with other electrons creating a sea of ionization.
Ionization can be enhanced by atmospheric breakdown or avalanching due
to the presence of the EMP electric field. The ionization shorts out the
EMP, limiting its value to typically 30,000 volts per meter.
High-energy x-rays are also produced by the
exploding weapon and can enhance the ionization in the high-altitude EMP
source region. This source of ionization was largely ignored in EMP
assessments until 1986. The inclusion of the X-rays lowered the assessed
values of the peak field for many weapons.
Note in graphic three that the thermonuclear
weapon consists of two stages, a primary stage, which is typically of
relatively low yield and is used to drive the secondary stage, which
produces a relatively large yield. Each weapons stage produces its own
EMP signal, but the primary stage gamma rays, after they go out, leave
behind an ionized atmosphere from their EMP generation that is present
when the secondary stage gamma rays arrive a moment later. Thus, the
primary stage can degrade the EMP associated with the secondary stage.
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You can take down the graphic now.
Given an understanding of the resultant EMP
fields from a high-altitude nuclear detonation, the effects of those
fields on military and commercial infrastructure must be determined. The
effects cannot be quantified simply by drawing upon nuclear test
experience. High-altitude EMP was produced on ten nuclear tests
conducted in the United States in 1958 and in 1962, and damage or
temporary glitches of electronics were noted on a number of the systems.
However, these weapons are not truly representative of the foreign
nuclear weapons in existence today. Nor are the electronics of 1962
representative of the modern era. Moreover, the U.S. atmospheric tests
were conducted over large bodies of ocean, and thus the exposure of
extended land line systems to EMP fields was quite limited.
A much more extensive set of vulnerability data
has been accumulated over the years through EMP testing and laboratory
simulators. Tested items include aircraft, tanks, automobiles,
computers, telecommunication equipment, et cetera. Both upset and damage
(information) have been obtained for some of the systems at certain
field levels, and some of the systems experience no deleterious effects.
A limitation with this type of testing is if the
simulators are a finite volume and are not able to expose electric
lines of greater length than about 50 meters to EMP. Systems connected
to power and communication lines are frequently tested with current
injection, but even these tests are limited.
Electronic systems can be protected against EMP,
and standard protection techniques include enclosing systems or
subsystems in metal boxes and adding surge arresters to power lines,
cables, et cetera. Simulator testing has shown that EMP protection is
effective. There are costs and practical considerations associated with
implementing EMP protection. This is an area of specialty of the
military services and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for
military systems, and I suggest consulting them if more detail is
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To address the likelihood of catastrophic damage
by EMP from a high-altitude nuclear detonation, one must begin with a
model of a historical high-altitude detonation, say the Starfish event
that was conducted in 1962, and demonstrate that the predicted EMP
environments, the EMP coupling and the effects match observation. Then
one must be able to establish that the model retains its fidelity when
the warhead model is changed, when the burst location is moved over land
and changed in elevation, when the electromagnet coupling pads change,
when the vintage of electronics changes, and, with the incorporation of
EMP test simulator data, that the results are reliable. While it is
conceivable for a model to achieve all of this, any such model that is
developed should be thoroughly peer-reviewed before its predictions are
to be believed.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Bernardin can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Graham.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM GRAHAM, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL SECURITY RESEARCH
Dr. GRAHAM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and
distinguished Members of the Committee on Armed Services. I appreciate
the opportunity to testify today on nuclear EMP, and I am also going to
say a few things about nonnuclear electromagnetic effects, which I think
are closely related.
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I would like to begin by just mentioning a few
examples of the circumstances in which another nation might wish to
employ a nuclear-weapon-generated EMP effect against the United States
and the benefits that might be sought through such use. The scenarios
cover both political and military use and run from tactical to the
By way of background, I have worked in EMPs
since 1962, when I was a lieutenant at the Air Force weapons lab, handed
a dataset taken from the last atmospheric and Pacific exoatmospheric
nuclear test series, and asked to try to explain some very
strange-looking phenomena that had been observed. Fortunately, we had
the benefit of colleagues at Livermore, Los Alamos and other places in
doing this, and the theory of high-altitude EMP, and, in fact, all EMP
was developed over the next decade or so.
Interestingly, though, like many important
scientific discoveries, the intense electromagnetic pulse produced by
the exoatmospheric nuclear weapon explosion was discovered by accident.
It was first observed both directly and by its effects on civilian
systems during the exoatmospheric nuclear test series we had conducted,
primarily the FISHBOWL series in the beginning of the 1960s. However,
the theory that was being used at the time to predict the effect had
been incorrectly derived by a Nobel laureate actually and caused all of
the instrumentation on monitoring those exoatmospheric tests to be set
at far too low a scale, far too sensitive a level, so that the data on
the scope tended to look like vertical lines. We couldn't see the peak
amplitudes that were being produced, and it was Conrad Longmeier of Los
Alamos National Laboratory who, after looking at the data, figured out
what was really happening.
One possible use of EMP against U.S. forces,
just by way of a few brief examples, might be against forces stationed
overseas; for example, on the Korean peninsula or in the Persian Gulf.
Even if an adversary had only a very few nuclear weapons, by launching
even as primitive a missile as a SCUD and exploding a nuclear weapon
above the atmosphere, the ability of the U.S. and Allied Forces to make
full use of their electronics systems, including communications, fire
control, radar systems, missiles and certainly network systems
envisioned for our 21st century forces could be degraded to some degree.
Depending on the characteristics of the weapon as described here, such
degradation—and, of course, the susceptibility of the equipment—such
degradation could range from a nuisance to a major hindrance in the
employment of electronic systems throughout the theater.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Another possible use of a nuclear weapon might
be against U.S. space assets, particularly low-altitude assets,
supporting military forces in a theater. The detonation of a nuclear
explosion outside the atmosphere, even if it were a small nuclear
weapon, perhaps a few tens of kilotons, could produce sufficient direct
and delayed radiation to degrade or destroy satellites in line of sight
of the burst, as well as a second effect; that is, producing EMP near
the Earth's surface, which could interfere with, among other things, the
satellite ground stations on the Earth.
Satellite assets, as you know, are a significant
part of our overall military capability and, therefore, would be a
Another possibility would be the use of EMP
because the adversary does not have confidence in his ability to target
precisely with a nuclear attack against forces or infrastructure,
populations on the ground. For example, if an adversary is not able to
pinpoint a carrier battle group or amphibious ready group, he could
produce an EMP effect over the presumed operating area of the group,
with only rough knowledge of where it is.
Another possibility might involve an adversary
with a long-range but relatively inaccurate ballistic missile or a
short-range missile launched from a platform that engenders some
inaccuracy itself, such as a ship or a submarine, and have only a
relatively low-yield nuclear weapon. In this case, the weapon could be
more confidently used for an EMP attack than a direct attack, because
the accuracy would not be required for the EMP attack.
And, of course, another reason would be
basically a demonstration that a country may wish to make that it had a
nuclear capability and could deliver it over our forces and allies. A
by-product of that would be an EMP effect, but in addition, it would
announce to the world that the country is nuclear-capable and prepared
to use it, while at the same time not causing any loss of life among our
forces, friends and allies, and, therefore, might impede the strong
nuclear response by the U.S.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I would like to mention one particular effect of
nuclear EMP that is, in fact, unique. While all electronics systems
fail spontaneously for a myriad of reasons from time to time, in the
case of reliable systems, as most military systems are, these failures
occur infrequently, and then only at single points or nodes. Therefore,
experience has been gained in dealing with single-point electromagnetic
and electronic system failures during the normal operation of systems.
However, since the nuclear EMP, even from a
single exoatmospheric detonation, covers a wide area of the ground and
the atmosphere above it, nuclear EMP can produce electronic system
failures at many widely distributed points simultaneously. Unless
special nuclear EMP recovery preparation and training has been
implemented, system operators will have no experience with recovering
the system from simultaneous, widely distributed multifailures and would
have to discover how to recover from such failures at the time they
occur, which would be a highly stressful time.
I know of no training in U.S. commercial systems
focused on multiple, widely spread, simultaneous failures of highly
Let me turn now to nonnuclear electromagnetic
weapons. These are typically high-powered, radio frequency or microwave
devices for which there is a great deal of interest in the world today,
and there is a substantial history of interest from the Soviet Union's
technology and that of others.
These weapons as well, these nonnuclear
electromagnetic weapons, have several characteristics that could make
them attractive to an adversary of the U.S. On the other hand, they have
the potential disadvantage of requiring closer proximity to their
targets to be effective than do nuclear EMP weapons. For example, a
small radio frequency device might have a range measured in feet, while a
relatively large, again nonnuclear radio frequency weapon might produce
upset or damage in electronic systems at ranges measured in hundreds of
feet and, of course, through basically what we call electronic
countermeasures could cause interference up to ranges of 100 miles.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Radio frequency weapons, however, are more
suitable for covert use than are nuclear EMP weapons. A targeted asset
might not realize that its problems are the result of a radio frequency
or high-powered microwave attack, or even that a radio frequency weapon
attack has taken place at all. And if such nonnuclear radio frequency
weapons were used simultaneously against multiple sites, they could
cause confusion and could slow restoration efforts because of a
multipoint failure problem.
The ability of radio frequency (RF) weapons to
be used selectively and intermittently as well as to be disguised as
ordinary objects from briefcases to trucks could allow an adversary's
covert operatives to interfere with U.S. or allied systems in a more
controlled manner than a nuclear EMP attack.
And finally, RF weapons provide an opportunity
for their users to escape detection, capture and potentially could be
used repeatedly against U.S. assets. A truck-mounted RF weapon, for
example, likely would be large enough to act from at least a few tens to
100 feet and mobile enough to have a reasonable chance of escaping
It should be noted, of course, that RF weapons,
nonnuclear ones, are not as damaging over a large area as are nuclear
EMP weapons. But in regard to a specific target against which they might
be employed, both nuclear EMP and RF weapons can produce effects
ranging from temporary interference, to the need to shut down and
restart a system, to physical disablement of the targeted system by
literally fusing or melting sensitive internal components. Especially
due to the greater applicability of RF weapons for covert use within the
United States, RF weapons, as well as nuclear EMPs, should be given
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Let me describe a range of the type of effects
that you can experience from both EMP and RF weapons, and then I will
summarize, or I will conclude by describing examples of easy errors to
make in doing EMP testing and analysis that I have seen in my experience
with this field.
At the lowest levels of field strength, the
complex world of electronic warfare involving nonnuclear generation and
transmission of signals has been present for many years and, in fact,
was a major theme in World War II. I won't address that particular
aspect of electromagnetic warfare today any further. As nonnuclear
electromagnet field strengths increase, signal carrier and modulation
effects, usually involving continuous wave or nearly continuous
electromagnetic field interaction in ways not envisioned in the design
of the target system, come into play. In addition to pickup on
deliberate system antennas, the most likely coupling mechanisms of these
signals and, for that matter, all those that I am going to describe
from this point forward is the pickup on other conductors extending from
the core of the system and acting like electromagnetic antennas.
Examples of these effects include the use of a
conventional warfare (CW) carrier with an audio modulation picked up on
telephone lines attached to a computer, rectified by the semiconductor
devices in the computer and interpreted as a telephone control signal,
thus resetting modems and other features of a computer; and another
example, the penetration of a microwave electromagnetic signal into a
missile, such as an air-to-air missile or an air-to-ground missile,
where the signal is rectified and interpreted as a missile guidance
signal and navigation command, causing the missile to go off target.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At
still higher electromagnetic field levels, both nuclear and nonnuclear
signals can be induced that are comparable in size to the normal signal
levels in a digital system, the one bit versus the zero bit, for
example, injecting anomalous bits, corrupting data and/or producing
system upset. This injection of erroneous digital information into
systems can be as benign as causing a flicker on the screen, or it can
also cause a computer to lock up, which is a more typical response, and
requires the computer to be restarted, rebooted, as they say. But in
relatively autonomous systems like missiles or unmanned aircraft,
particularly missiles in powered flight, which require active guidance
to maintain their stability, not to mention their navigation, a lock-up
of the computer is equivalent to the destruction of the system. There is
no time to reset on a missile in flight.
At still higher electromagnetic fields than
those that cause digital upset, signals induced on conductors that lead
into semiconductor junctions can cause what is called a reverse
breakdown of those junctions, and that, in turn, can then dump the power
supply connected to the semiconductor through the junction in the wrong
direction and cause the junction to fail permanently. This only occurs
when the system is powered, but the effects can be catastrophic, and
they can be apparent on power supplies, normally very rugged equipment,
as well as on signal-processing electronics.
Then finally, at still higher electromagnetic
field levels, just the direct EMP or RF weapon-induced signal can have
sufficient power and energy to cause direct damage to semiconductor
devices even when the system is turned off; and those are at the highest
Let me summarize briefly by describing five
common errors I have seen in doing testing and analysis of
electromagnetic effects on military and other systems. There is some
tendency to regard the item that is responding to the electromagnetic
effect as the box rather than the box with all the conductors extending
to it, even fiberoptic conductors, because those designed for outside
use and designed to be pulled through conduits inevitably have steel or
other conductive wires protecting the fiberoptics. So the antennas are
the dominant pickup mechanism for EMP, not the box itself, and even
though I have designed simulators for use on things like missiles, which
don't tend to have a lot of wires on them once they are launched, use
of those simulators for things like telephone switching systems is
really not appropriate unless electromagnetic pulsers are attached to
the cables. It is not a box response. It is a box plus antennas response
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I have seen systems tested with power off, even
though it is clear that having power on the system makes it much more
susceptible than having it off, and power off versus power on is a major
issue. Clearly, systems would be used with power on, and they should be
tested with power on.
I have seen systems tested in a quiescent state
where they are not functioning, where subsystems are not exchanging data
from one to another, and, therefore, the prospect of corrupting that
data is small; whereas if a system is actually functioning, the data
exchanges are taking place, and they are more susceptible to EMP.
I have seen systems well-designed with shields,
which are operated in the field with the shields open. This is
particularly true with personnel access hatches, where you might have an
excellent electromagnetic shielding door, but if the personnel find it
more convenient to leave the door open, then much of the shielding has
been lost, or if wires have been run through the open door, they act as
antennas directly into the electronics.
Finally, I have seen the issue of when a failure
occurs, confuse EMP analyses, the most likely components to fail are
first those near the outside world, near these EMP antennas, the
conductors going into a system, and the components most likely to fail
first are the weakest ones. I have seen tests where several components
failed, and when they were replaced and tested again, they didn't fail,
and people would say, well, this must have been a test anomaly. In fact,
what they were doing was weeding out the weakest components near the
interface and replacing them with statistically stronger components.
Now, that is fine if all the operational systems you deploy in the field
have also gone through this EMP trial and you have been able to weed
out the weakest components as well, but generally that is not done, and,
therefore, the weak components are left in the systems that are
deployed in the field and will fail at the first high-level pulse.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So even when tests and analyses have been run on
systems, one has to look at the results very skeptically and with the
benefit of experience that we have gained in testing systems over many
I guess I would finally like to say that I have
seen major military systems fail as low as in order of magnitude below
the level that Mr. Jakubiak showed there, and not failed at all at the
highest levels we could produce, depending on whether they had been
hardened or not. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Dr. Graham.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Graham can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Wood.
STATEMENT OF LOWELL WOOD, MEMBER OF DIRECTOR'S TECHNICAL STAFF, LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY AND HOOVER INSTITUTION
Dr. WOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and
distinguished Members. I am grateful for the invitation to appear today.
Like Dr. Graham, my esteemed senior colleague, I also commenced EMP
studies in 1962, as my graduate advisor Willard Libby had recently
retired from a long term of service as the Commissioner of the Atomic
Energy Commission, and he assigned me EMP analysis problems kind of as
exercises for the students, as he was then very keenly concerned by
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Indeed, electromagnetic pulses, EMP, generated
by high-altitude nuclear explosions have riveted the attention of the
military nuclear technical community for more than three and a half
decades since the first comparatively modest one very unexpectedly and
abruptly turned off the lights over a few million square miles of the
mid-Pacific. This EMP also shut down radio stations and street-lighting
systems, turned off cars, burned out telephone systems and wreaked other
technical mischief throughout the Hawaiian Islands nearly 1,000 miles
distant from ground zero.
The potential for even a single high-altitude
nuclear explosion of a more deliberate nature to impose
continental-scale devastation of much of the equipment of modern
civilization and of modern warfare soon became clear. EMP became a
technological substrate of the black humor, ''Suppose they gave a war
and nobody came.''.
It was EMP-imposed wreckage, at least as much as
that due to blast, fire and fallout, which sobered detailed studies of a
postnuclear attack recovery process, the PONAST studies of the 1970s.
When essentially nothing electrical or electronic could be relied upon
to work even in rural areas far from nuclear blasts, it was surpassingly
difficult to bootstrap national recovery, and postattack America in
these studies remained stuck in the very earliest 20th century until
electrical equipment and electronic components began to trickle into a
Jeffersonian America from abroad.
For obvious reasons, the entire topic of EMP was
highly classified, and congressional oversight was generally
circumspect and conducted in closed session. Indeed, this is only the
third even partly open session of congressional oversight devoted to the
EMP topic of which I am aware, and I congratulate you and your
colleagues, Mr. Chairman, for the extraordinary vision and dedication to
bedrock, albeit less fashionable, aspects of the Nation's security
which are evidenced by this morning's hearing, as well as for the
exceptional expertise of your staff on this subject embodied by Dr.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The third decade following the high-altitude
tests of the early 1960s saw the expenditure of roughly five billion
present-day dollars by the Defense Special Weapons Agency, now part of
the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and its predecessors, the Defense
Atomic Support Agency and the Defense Nuclear Agency, to develop a
detailed working-level understanding of EMP and related nuclear effects
phenomena and the consequences for both our own and our adversaries'
military hardware systems. Substantially larger sums than this $5
billion were expended by other components of DOD in order to express
this understanding as force in being, primarily to defend especially
vital military equipment against EMPs' destructive effects. Regrettably
these defensive efforts directed towards strategic military capabilities
were not perfectly fruitful.
To be sure, there were some outstanding success
stories. However, a number of important military systems were quite
incompletely defended, and some were defended only on paper. Even more
regrettable was the fact that much military hardware and systems,
especially those not considered vital to the conduct of strategic war,
weren't hardened against EMP very much at all.
I strongly concur with the remark that my
colleague Dr. Graham just made, that I know of major military systems,
some very important to the Nation's warfighting capabilities, which were
documented to have failed at EMP levels in order of magnitude and more
below those which Mr. Jakubiak represented to you.
As a result, at the present time our national
profile of vulnerability to EMP attack is highly uneven, with large
parts of our military machine and virtually all of the equipment
undergirding modern American civilization being EMP-vulnerable.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Through the end of the Cold War, our national
posture, though unfortunate, arguably could be tolerated. Only one
nation, the Soviet Union, could mount EMP attacks on the U.S. and likely
only as the first punch of a fight to the death conducted with
EMP-hardened means. Indicated responses to any EMP attack then were
To be sure, as you noted at the outset, Mr.
Chairman, the maximum Soviet capability to impose such attacks still
exist today in the strategic forces of the Russian Federation, and I
unhesitatingly predict that it will continue to exist for many decades
Today we also watch the ongoing diffusion by
purchase and perhaps by illicit routes, at least as much as by
indigenous development; as the Rumsfeld Commission documented in the
case of ballistic missile proliferation, we see the ongoing diffusion of
nuclear weapons technologies throughout the Third World. Just last
week, for instance, former Secretary Perry told the Nobel Institute that
he expected to see nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iraqis, the
Iranians and the Syrians, in addition to those who already have them.
At the same time, we are compelled to
acknowledge the unique opportunities for defeating both advanced U.S.
forces abroad and the American Nation itself which are offered to our
adversaries by EMP-centered attacks. You have heard a great deal about
the revolution in military affairs and the promise which it extends for
far greater effectiveness of a postrevolutionary American military. You
have likely heard far less about the classic Achilles heel which EMP
poses to any information-intensive military force completely dependent
for its electronic data flows on EMP fragile integrated circuits.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There
arises the regrettably real prospect that EMP weaponry, assuredly if
nuclear and perhaps, as my colleague Dr. Graham just highlighted for
you, even if it is nonnuclear, could abruptly transform a future Desert
Storm type of operation from another historic victory to a memorable
Such EMP weaponry could also be deployed with
only slightly more advanced means from space to rip up the electrical
and electronic infrastructure of the American homeland. Thus, the de
facto national policy of nakedness to all of our potentially EMP-armed
enemies takes on ever more of the character of national scale masochism.
It is perverse and irrational, and it is assuredly not necessary or
Relative to the two years since I last testified
before you on this subject, it is useful to ask what has changed and
what has not. The natural laws governing EMP haven't changed an iota,
nor has the EMP-oriented Russian strategic war machine. American
preparedness against EMP attacks hasn't improved. Rather, the operation
of Moore's Law continues to endow our national infrastructure with ever
more intrinsically fragile electronics.
Notably, Third World nuclear weaponry
capabilities and long-range rocketry both continue to advance rapidly,
as the Rumsfeld Commission reported. Specifically, North Korea, a nation
which has elected to lose an appallingly large fraction of its
population to starvation over the past few years, and which is still
formally at war with the United Nations and with the United States,
nonetheless has been allowed to gain nuclear weapons capabilities and is
just now on the threshold of ICBM ownership. In short, our previously
poor national position vis-a-vis EMP attacks has deteriorated markedly
over the past two years, and it is no exaggeration to forecast future
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It is therefore heartening to see the Congress
continue to engage the EMP threat, for too much of the DOD has seemingly
resigned itself or, worse by far, is actively deluding itself regarding
the nature and severity of EMP.
That said, I must commend those dedicated and
competent DOD components and staff, both civilian and military, who
continue to labor to harden with respect to EMP crucial national
warfighting capabilities, strategic and tactical. While those belittling
the magnitude of the consequences of EMP threats should be judged
harshly by the Congress, the more so when the shakiness of their
technical premise becomes manifest, the many DOD people and
organizations of integrity and fidelity to the enduring national
interests vis-a-vis EMP are most deserving of praise.
For the sake of America's future in a nuclear
multipolar world, I appeal most earnestly to you and your colleagues,
Mr. Chairman, to remain seized of this vital issue, for it is one of the
few which in and of itself carries the potential of military victory or
defeat; perhaps even of national well-being or devastation.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be grateful if
my prepared statement can be included in the record. I also ask your
attention to the fact that I am here today as a private individual, not
necessarily representing any opinions other than my own. I have
verified, however, the viewpoints I have expressed and will express in
subsequent testimony seem congruent with the community consensus as
represented in documentation in the pertinent files of the Defense
Threat Reduction Agency. Thank you, sir.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Dr. Wood.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Wood can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. I thank all four of you, and
your statement will be entered in the record as will all the statements.
We appreciate the testimony, and as we had hoped and wanted, and as we
have seen and observed, there is a significant amount of difference in
the assessment of what the impact would be of an EMP laydown or the EMP
threat, and I think also the preparation of response, and I would hope
that during our time of questioning, our colleagues would explore those
Let me start out by asking the question, is it
not true that in the past both the strategic doctrine of the U.S. and
the Soviet Union had an EMP laydown at the beginning of a nuclear attack
on the other country? Hasn't that been a part of the strategic doctrine
of both nations?
Dr. WOOD. Yes, Mr. Chairman, it has
been. In all of the war games in which I have been present and all the
ones which I have studied when I have not been present, the attack, the
red attack, always begins with an EMP laydown on blue, that is to say a
Soviet laydown on the continental United States by multiple multimegaton
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Jakubiak, would you agree with that?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. I agree with that.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. Dr. Bernardin?
Dr. BERNARDIN. I cannot speak to that subject.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Graham, do you concur with that?
Dr. GRAHAM. I don't have current information on that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. How about in the past, did your experience indicate that that, in fact, was the case?
Dr. GRAHAM. Yes.
Mr. WELDON. That being said, Mr.
Jakubiak, maybe I misread your statement, but it seemed to me as though
there was some question as to whether or not EMP was an effective tool.
I guess I would ask the question, why would both
major superpowers have an EMP laydown as the key start of a nuclear
confrontation if, in fact, there was not a degree of certainty that, in
fact, this was a good tool?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. In my statement, sir, I
basically indicated that, in fact, the U.S. military has assumed that,
in fact, unless the equipment is protected against an EMP, it would fail
under an EMP environment, and therefore we have taken steps to protect
those military circuits to the levels that we feel are the threat levels
and provide a protection for those critical circuits.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
My statement basically was geared towards the
use of COTS equipment, which is now becoming more prevalent within
military systems, and, in fact, the COTS equipment has been showing up
as being surprisingly resistant to EMP effects. To counter any
deficiencies that equipment is, in fact, tested on a case-by-case basis.
The levels are, in fact, identified that the equipment fails at,
solutions identified, and, in fact, modifications are retrofitted to
that equipment before they are fielded.
For systems that go into an EMP environment, EMP
threat environment, are intended to be used in an EMP threat
environment, they are, in fact, protected at the EMP levels that are
identified as the threat.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Jakubiak, your statement
doesn't seek, was at least my impression—and I certainly could be wrong,
I have been wrong in the past—but in the hearings we have held in the
past, one of which was an opportunity to have General Clark here, he
basically left me with two impressions. One, we were dismissing the
potential threat; and, two, we were characterizing the cost as being too
excessive to deal with as the reasons why we weren't taking aggressive
Furthermore, my understanding is, and maybe
again I am incorrect, that the only systems that have really been
hardened are ICBM systems that would be used in the event of an all-out
nuclear attack against the Russians, and that, in fact, the rest of our
systems are not hardened to any level of certainty that they could
withstand an EMP. That may be wrong, and I am going to ask you each to
respond to that, but that has been my assessment.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I
guess the specific question is, I think it was in Dr. Woods' testimony,
he mentioned that we had spent at one point in time $5 billion, I think
was the figure you used. Is that correct, Dr. Wood?
Dr. WOOD. That is what has been spent,
just by what is now the nuclear component of the Defense Threat
Reduction Agency, sir. That is a small fraction of what has been spent
by DOD overall.
Mr. WELDON. I don't know of any specific
line that is being spent on EMP in our current year's budget, and I have
chaired this subcommittee for five years, and I have asked this
question frequently. My suspicion is that because no one service has EMP
as a priority program, as we have faced a very difficult budget
process, that funding and investment in hardening has gone by the
wayside. I would ask you all to respond to those statements that I have
just made in the positive or the negative. Why don't we start with Mr.
Mr. JAKUBIAK. The requirement for an EMP
protection is addressed on a system-by-system basis when you get outside
of the nuclear command and control area. The ICBM systems you talked
about, they are protected. The SSBN systems are protected. The bomber
systems are protected. All of the communications that are used to
provide survivability for execution of those forces are, in fact,
protected to EMP levels that are specified in a DOD standard that has
been produced by, in fact authored by, the Defense Threat Reduction
When we get to the tactical battlefield, the
individual systems that are used in the battlefield come before a
requirements panel. The utilization of that equipment as to what
environment that equipment might be used, whether it would be—whether it
would be used under an EMP umbrella or EMP threat environment is
considered, and a decision is made as to whether that equipment will, in
fact, be provided EMP protection or designed to EMP standards. For
instance, the M–1 battle tank, that is EMP protected. That is a tactical
system, not a strategic system. There are several others that I will be
able to address in closed session of tactical systems that, in fact,
have been protected to EMP standards.
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Mr. WELDON. Would the others like to comment on this statement? Dr. Graham first and then Dr. Woods.
Dr. GRAHAM. Mr. Chairman, as far as the
cost issue goes, on those systems which have been EMP-hardened, the cost
of the hardening is embedded in the system cost.
My experience is that with systems designed from
the ground up for military application, if the hardening is taken into
account early in this system, conceptual design and development, it can
be as small as a percent or two of the system cost.
On the other hand, if the system is completely
designed, engineered, manufactured, and then you want to harden it, it
can be up in the tens of percents of system cost or higher, and
generally is regarded as prohibitive. So when you do it is very
I have much less experience with COTS equipment,
but my impression is that at least in cases where you are using what
might be called global hardening, shielding and penetration control, you
are probably going to come into about the same situation, where
thinking of it early has a tremendous payoff, including the EMP
hardening early is very valuable.
I would also say that when looking at hardened
systems, hardened against EMP, you have to look at what was in the
design and manufacture of the system, how the system was tested and how
the system is maintained.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It
is perfectly possible to start out with an EMP-hardened system, but
because the maintenance program and the operational program doesn't
incorporate EMP-related issues, the system can become vulnerable very
Finally, I would like to say that you mentioned
strategic missiles. There are other systems that have been designed for
EMP hardness. For example, the best example, the best case of an
airplane being hardened to EMP, I know, is the Navy and Strategic
Command's EA–6B Tacamo aircraft, which is a highly modified 707, which
has been very extensively hardened to EMP, and there is still some
maintenance program associated with EMP ongoing.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Wood.
Dr. WOOD. It is indeed the case, Mr.
Chairman, as you said, that the strategic war machinery of this country
has received by far and away the greatest attention with respect to EMP
hardening, and, at that, the unhappy fact of the matter is that these
efforts have been incompletely successful. I obviously can't speak to
details except perhaps in closed session.
The situation that Mr. Jakubiak seems to be
emphasizing is concerned with tactical capabilities and, in particular,
with COTS equipment involved in tactical circumstances.
It should be pointed out that there is
essentially no COTS equipment in the strategic war machine, both because
the strategic war machine has not seen significant amounts of upgrading
since the emphasis on COTS equipment utilization in DOD, and also
because of the very special nature of much of the equipment, it is
really not conducive to use of COTS gear. So most of the—most all of the
use of commercial off-the-shelf, or COTS, equipment is necessarily
confined to tactical systems.
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Because of the disagreement which first surfaced
when Congressman Bartlett held a discussion along these lines in his
office most of a year ago, I went out to the Defense Threat Reduction
Agency and spent most of the day reviewing the studies and the
associated documentation that was referred to by Mr. Jakubiak in these
previous discussions, and I discovered several things that were
pertinent in their fundamentals to the points that have come up.
First of all, the studies, and in particular the
Army study to which Mr. Jakubiak made extensive reference, has in its
notes an indication that cables were not connected to the study during
the EMP testing. As my colleague Dr. Graham has pointed out, it is not
sufficient to analyze the box. It is required to analyze the box and the
cables whenever you are looking at the EMP hardness of any equipment,
because it is the cables that intercept most of the energy of the
electromagnetic pulse and drag it into the equipment where it then does
damage. If you don't have cables connected during EMP testing, you
really haven't tested under circumstances which are at all realistic. It
is a little bit like showering in a raincoat. The water flows, and it
trickles down the drain and so forth, but the body doesn't see much
The second point is that the study notes also
indicated that the equipment was sometimes powered up and sometimes was
not powered up during the testing. Again, as Dr. Graham has pointed out,
reverse breakdown of semiconductors depends very strongly for its
effectiveness in damaging equipment with the equipment being powered up.
If it is not powered up, there is no energy in the power supply that
then flows into the semiconductors that have undergone reverse
breakdown, and there is no damage along that mechanistic line.
On the other hand, if the equipment is powered
up, it is the power supply itself whose energy tends to destroy the
compromised semiconductors. So it is extremely important if you are
doing a full-up EMP vulnerability assessment to have the equipment not
only have its cables connected, but to have it powered up, and that was
not always the case in these studies. It apparently was not a subject
that was given a great deal of attention by the people conducting the
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Indeed, the people conducting this study
documented their statement that it was hastily constructed test
equipment, that the systems were using only very small data sets, and
their manifest and declared orientation was to find specific problems
and see how they could fix them on particular pieces of equipment with
insertion of more or better components.
From a physics standpoint, probably the most
striking thing about these tests was that they used only the lowest
frequency component of the EMP threat spectrum, the so-called E–3
component. They did not use what I think Dr. Graham and I would both
tell you in most circumstances is the most threatening portion of the
EMP spectrum, namely the E–1 component, the high frequency component
that tends to be especially penetrating of enclosures, especially
unforgiving of cracks and other sort of deficiencies in these protective
enclosures, and what, in tests conducted by the Defense Nuclear Agency
over the decades, has been the most damaging to most types of electronic
It is the low-frequency component, the E–3
spectrum, against which protective compartments, protective decoupling
devices and so forth is most effective. It is not a blunder on the part
of the people doing the tests. Under some circumstances the E–3 threat
spectrum may be the most interesting to look at, but it is not the most
threatening to look at.
So for these reasons, I found the tests that
were done by the Army chemical and nuclear laboratory to certainly be
commendable in that they were looking for inexpensive, quick ways to
upgrade COTS equipment to the point where it might possibly be useful,
but they were in no sense up to DOD standard with respect to how you
thoroughly evaluate the EMP vulnerability of equipment, and, therefore, I
would caution you that the results which Mr. Jakubiak presented to you
in summary—and I am certainly not suggesting it was anything other than
in good faith that they were presented, but I must caution you that
those results from a technical standpoint can be impeached from several
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
One final quick question, and I would like you
to try to narrow this down to a simplistic answer in what is a very
complicated and difficult subject, I realize, but I am going to try and
do this. We are doing this public hearing for the American people.
North Korea, possessing, let's say, a
low-complexity SCUD missile, puts a nuclear warhead on the top, puts it
on a ship so we don't know it is North Korea, fires that missile into
the atmosphere off of our coast and detonates it. How prepared is
America, from a military systems standpoint and a civilian standpoint,
to respond? Would we be able to handle it with no problem? Would it
create some degree of problem for perhaps the military, or would it
wreak havoc on the people of our country?
I would like to go down the row and ask each of
you what you think would be the impact today if North Korea, which both
has the SCUD missile capability and a warhead capability of a low-yield
capacity, if they, in fact, deployed an EMP, what would be the impact on
America both militarily and civilian? Mr. Jakubiak? Would it be
significant or nonsignificant?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. A single weapon off of the
coast of the U.S. would be—naturally it would be a concern, but it would
not be a drastic or catastrophic event that would wipe out the civilian
infrastructure. That is my personal opinion. I think that the people
you would have to talk to to see the more analytical approach as to what
the impact on the infrastructure would be would be the national
communications systems, the Office of National Communications System,
which is responsible for overseeing the survivability of the public
telephone switching network infrastructure. Their results have shown
that, in fact, that infrastructure would survive, no problem; that, in
fact, your phone calls would get through. In fact, even in a panic
calling environment, where people repeatedly would try to redial again,
they have shown that, in fact, the infrastructure would survive, and
your calls would get through at a 70 percent rate, which by no means is a
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In the area of the military communications
systems, our nuclear command and control system would continue to
operate properly. We would be able to detect that launch. We would be
able to advise the President as far as what his options were, in fact,
from a nuclear command and control perspective. And, in fact, if any
activation of nuclear weapons was, in fact, required on the U.S., that
could still occur after the EMP occurred.
Mr. WELDON. Who would we attack?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. I am just saying that, in
fact, the President would be advised of his options as far as what
nuclear capability he has to respond if he wants to respond.
Mr. WELDON. So even if it was an EMP
laydown where no damage was done to individuals, you think perhaps we
would think that was justification to have a nuclear response against
Mr. JAKUBIAK. The President is always advised of what his nuclear capability is as far as the scenario.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Bernardin, what would be the impact of that kind of a one, single warhead detonation would be?
Dr. BERNARDIN. Mr. Chairman, I am only
able to speak to the field levels that would be produced on the ground,
and, in fact, I have in closed testimony some presentations to show on
what North Korean weapons would produce.
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Mr. WELDON. Let's say a 1-kiloton warhead
that is fired on a low-complexity SCUD off of our eastern coast, what
would be, in your personal professional opinion, the impact of that?
Could we handle it, no problem, minimal problem, significant problem,
civilian and military today?
Dr. BERNARDIN. The effects on our civilian and military infrastructure I am not prepared to speak to. That is outside my area of expertise.
Mr. WELDON. As a professional. You are a physicist.
Dr. BERNARDIN. I am. My impression would be that we would have low effects due to a 1-kiloton-type weapon detonated over the United States.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Graham.
Dr. GRAHAM. Mr. Chairman, I don't know the answer to your question, and I—.
Mr. WELDON. Let's increase that to 10- to 20-kiloton.
Dr. GRAHAM. Either way it turns out the
fields more or less are logarithmic in the nuclear weapons yield, so
they vary fairly slowly with the yield, and I don't believe the analysis
has been done which would give a definitive answer to that question.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC However,
pieces of the analysis have been done and other systems looked at that
while I think the United States would survive such an event, there are
such a large number of capabilities, both in our military forces
directly and even more in our civilian, supporting infrastructure that
we need, that it is quite possible that the effects could provide a
major disruption and delay in our activities.
As you know, to deploy military forces in an
expeditionary fashion overseas, we require massive logistics to get them
there, equip them and sustain them there, and that requires a heavy use
of the civilian infrastructure, air transport, surface transport,
telecommunications, computing capability. Monetary flows in the United
States are primarily electronic today and throughout the world. All of
those capabilities depend heavily upon civilian electronics and somewhat
military electronics. All of those would be subject to disruption and
confusion. None of the civilian infrastructure that I know of has been
designed with EMP threats in mind, and, therefore, is likely to
experience some degree of disruption. So if we were in a time-critical
situation where we have to get men and women to a theater rapidly, such
an attack could cause us a significant delay and, therefore, a military
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Wood.
Dr. WOOD. Mr. Chairman, the question or
the set of questions that you posed are certainly the most pertinent
ones. They also elicit answers which not only are a bit extended, but
really is—some portions of them would have to be made in closed session.
But to speak to the issue as much as feasible in
open session, the North Koreans certainly have the ability to deliver a
small nuclear explosive to the U.S. at the present time. The ballistic
missile capability which they have demonstrated could deliver a warhead
weighing substantially more than a tenth of a ton and substantially less
than one ton anyplace that they chose to in the United States,
including any height of burst that they choose over the continental
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So that is something which I think the Rumsfeld
Commission predicted would happen. It is something of which the test of
last August 31, 1998, indicated they indeed had that capability.
The press reports are saying that they could
strike Alaska or they could strike Hawaii. That is striking in reference
to a 1-ton warhead. With a fractional-ton warhead, that same missile
could deliver that warhead to any point over the continental United
States, over the 48 contiguous states. It is not necessarily the case
that the referenced 1-ton warhead is what the North Koreans would use.
It is very well known that U.S. strategic warheads that are in stockpile
at the present time have masses of tenths of a ton, and not very many
tenths of a ton. So if the North Koreans had access to a single sheet of
paper, whether it could come to them in a fax from a Soviet nuclear
weapons laboratory, they could use the materials that they are known to
have in hand to create a warhead, not, Mr. Chairman, that was one
kiloton or even ten kilotons, but substantially higher yield than that.
My colleague Dr. Graham has said that the EMP
yield of a warhead is very weakly dependent on its energy yield. That is
true, but it is true in spades. Special purpose nuclear warheads, on a
kiloton scale, can have much more of EMP effect than ordinary nuclear
warheads on the megaton scale. Less than ten kilotons properly employed
in the type of warheads which have actually been examined, both in the
Soviet Union and in the United States experimentally, warheads of less
than 10-kiloton yields can put out very large EMP signals. So it is
necessary to understand that it doesn't take a megaton to do an awful
lot of damage. You can do an awful lot of damage in ten kilotons or
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON.
What would be the damage done by that, in your opinion? That is what I
am trying to get at, and I know there are all kinds of variations. Are
we prepared, militarily and civilian, for the kind of capabilities North
Dr. WOOD. In order to be
noncontroversial, I will just quote a CIA estimate that has been briefed
by a senior cognizant CIA national intelligence officer on the Hill
here during the last year, on an unclassified basis, where he considered
a hypothetical laydown of the type that could be posed by a Taepo Dong
missile over the central United States and presented the unclassified
calculations of what the EMP yield or the EMP consequences would be at
the coasts of the United States; in other words, most distant from the
explosion. The EMP field strengths that were calculated there—and nobody
seriously questions these calculations, they are with tool sets that
are community tool sets that have been around for decades—with the field
strengths that were demonstrated at the coasts, the maximum distance,
you would see upset or damage to a wide variety of civilian equipment
that has been documented to fail at these field strengths, and you would
see some damage to military equipment.
The consequences of such a laydown are very
strongly dependent on what you assume is the nature of the explosive, as
well as what you assume is the vulnerability of the equipment, but with
documented equipment vulnerability of the type that has been measured
for sensitivity to these threat spectra during the last two to three
decades, you would see major damage as far out as the coasts to civilian
gear. You would also see it to a substantial amount of military gear.
It must be said, sir, that Mr. Jakubiak is
vastly more optimistic than I am with respect to the vulnerability and
survivability of civilian infrastructure. He said the telephone
companies said that their equipment would just come through unscathed,
or essentially unscathed; that you would not notice the difference
essentially. Well, this is the same telephone company that can't carry
my traffic when I try to call my mother on Mother's Day. And they aren't
out 70 percent or 30 percent of the time, they are out for hours at a
time, where I get an all circuits are busy now, please place your call
again next weekend.
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The Defense Department didn't believe that the
telephone company would survive a nuclear EMP laydown. They built an
independent telephone system during the Cold War to carry vital
strategic traffic, and they did all kinds of things that the telephone
company doesn't do in the hopes that that system might actually survive a
nuclear laydown. But neither the Strategic Air Command, nor the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, nor the Defense Communications Agency during the Cold
War believed that the civilian telephone or telegraph or whatever
infrastructure would survive a nuclear laydown in any fraction. They
thought it would be knocked down completely and forever, and this was
extensively documented, Mr. Chairman, in the studies, the Post Nuclear
Attack Survivability and Recovery Studies (PONAST) of the 1970s. There
was nothing left. It was totally burned down, and statements by AT&T
or whoever else may be making such statements that they are in vastly
better shape today are very, frankly, sir, hogwash.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
guess what we are all really concerned about here is the basic
question—we are the government policymakers here, and we are trying to
get an assessment of whether or not there has been an adequate
determination of what the threat is to our country, and then whether or
not we have developed an adequate response to the threat.
So you all know that we as elected
representatives operate in an environment where we have to somehow make
an assessment of the technology involved, the economics involved and the
response that is fashioned for our country, and we have to bring all of
this about in a political environment where we have to persuade the
public that what we are spending that money for is justified.
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So my question is, first of all, do you on the
panel believe that there has been an adequate assessment of the threat
to our country from EMP; and, secondly, if there is a threat there that
requires a response, has enough been done by our country to respond to
the threat, and, if not, can you make some suggestions about what
addition would have to be done in order for our country to have an
adequate response to the threat that we have identified?
Dr. WOOD. Mr. Pickett, by far and away
the most effective thing that could be done in terms of cost efficiency
to see that our country doesn't suffer damage from the EMP threat is to
make sure that nuclear explosions never occur over our country.
Mr. PICKETT. You are alluding to an adequate missile defense system; do I understand you correctly?
Dr. WOOD. That is one approach to it, sir.
Mr. PICKETT. Yes. Okay.
Dr. WOOD. There are others that take
exceedingly dire retaliatory threats that would presumably have
something—some efficacy along those lines, if those threats were
Mr. PICKETT. Anyone else? Yes, Dr. Graham.
Dr. GRAHAM. Well, I agree with Dr. Wood
about the importance of trying to prevent nuclear weapons explosions
over the U.S. Using every diplomatic, economic and military capability
we have or can develop, I believe we would still face the possibility
that it might occur. For example, one of the ways an offensive nuclear
weapon on a missile can be armed is in what is called a sympathetic or a
salvage fusing mode, so that even if you intercepted above the
atmosphere before it reaches its target, once it knows it is being
attacked, once the offensive nuclear warhead knows it is being attacked,
its fusing system may choose to detonate itself there to get at least
the EMP and space radiation effect of the weapon.
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So it is very hard to eliminate that possibility
completely, although we should certainly take every action we can to do
I think from the point of view of the Congress,
it would prove an interesting exercise to ask the Defense Department and
officials in the national security area to review the systems which
they think should function through a possible at least high-altitude
nuclear attack, and then to describe which of those systems were
designed to be hard to it, which were tested to be hard to it, which are
being maintained to be hard to it, with some description of what is
transpiring in each of those areas, and then to do the same thing in the
I am familiar with some of the civilian
telecommunications tests, in particular a number five electronic
switching system test that was done in the Aries simulator, which I did
the preliminary design for in 1968. The cables that normally extend
hundreds of miles into that system were represented by cables coiled up
and placed under the mobile vans it was carried in. So, as we mentioned
earlier, that is certainly not a good representation of the stress that
the system would receive.
I am not trying to say that this is the complete
work that has been done, but it is indicative of the concerns that a
review of the subject by your committee might find both informative for
you and beneficial for the defense authorities.
Mr. PICKETT. Dr. Bernardin.
Dr. BERNARDIN. I would like to respond to
your question, Mr. Pickett. I believe that the United States is
investing quite adequate resources in studying the threat; that is,
studying what countries are out there that are trying to develop nuclear
weapons through the intelligence agencies, and what those weapons might
look like through the national laboratories. In terms of identifying
how serious is that threat that requires EMP testing, I would point out I
believe one of the panel members may have left a misimpression, that
there is quite extensive testing that has been done of military systems,
and it has been to the E–1, the high-frequency EMP. Dr. Graham just
mentioned he tested at Aries facility. That is an E–1 simulator of
high-frequency EMP, and as you fly into the airport in Albuquerque, you
can't help but notice these EMP simulators that are taking up large
areas of space, on the order of a football-sized field. Those are E–1
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So the military has done quite a bit of testing
of EMP for vital equipment, as Mr. Jakubiak talked about which equipment
really needs to be EMP-protected.
As far as civilian systems go, I can't speak to
that, and I don't know what our vulnerability is on the civilian side.
Mr. PICKETT. Mr. Jakubiak, can you respond?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. Let me endorse what Dr.
Bernardin just said, that the military has, in fact, invested quite a
bit of money into assessing what the threat is over the years and the
changing threat. The threat is different from what it was back in 1970.
The threat today is different, and we are looking at that threat on a
continuing basis. That is why we have funded the effort at the national
laboratories to continuously look at the threat, to tell us if the
threat is getting worse or if it is getting better, and designing our
EMP programs and equipment to meet that threat in today's environment
and in the environment of the future.
As far as the commercial infrastructure is
concerned, the military—and I am not involved with assessing what the
commercial infrastructure vulnerability is, I have access to the reports
that have been done by those that are responsible for that. It is not
just the telephone companies. It is the National Communications System,
which is a Federal agency that, in fact, oversees the survivability of
the commercial telephone infrastructure. It is their reports and their
testing that I am quoting here, and it is their performance under EMP
environment that I am speaking to when I mentioned that the phone system
will work at a 90 percent level with normal loading and at a 70 percent
with panic loading under EMP environment. They have tested that to the
EMP levels that, in fact, we test military equipment to, and that has
been their result. So if you would like to have more information on the
commercial infrastructure, I would strongly suggest that you get a
representative of their survivability program, the National
Communications System, and have him provide a briefing also on the work
they have been doing and are continuing to do.
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In fact, it is my understanding, from a phone
call I had this morning with the National Communications System, the
person in charge of the survivability effort, that they are continuing
to provide testing on survivability of the public telephone system, and,
in fact, their current testing is more concentrated along blast damage
than it is EMP, because they feel their system will survive an EMP
Mr. PICKETT. Okay. Thank you very much.
Dr. WOOD. Mr. Pickett, you should be
advised that the national capability to do EMP testing is basically in
shambles relative to 10 or 15 years ago. For instance, the system that
Dr. Bernardin referred to that you see when you fly into Albuquerque
Airport is the wreck of the trestle system. It has been decommissioned.
It has been completely nonfunctional for a number of years. It would
take many tens of millions of dollars to bring that back into
The national capability to test against EMP
vulnerability of satellites and system-generated EMP died when the U.S.
ceased to do underground nuclear testing. There are very few of the
major facilities that existed 20 years ago, sir, that are in operational
condition today, and the ones that are in existence are used very
This is a Potemkin village of an EMP
vulnerability and hardening program that exists at the present time,
sir. I strongly suggest that this committee would be well advised, in
all respects, to ask for documentation along these lines. You will find
that there is nothing behind the facade to a first approximation.
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Mr. PICKETT. Thank you.
Mr. BARTLETT [Presiding]. Thank you very much. We must recess briefly for another vote, and it will be very brief this time.
I would just like to pose a question that I
would like you to be thinking about while we are gone. Our last real
life experience in EMP effects was Starfish, 1962. There was essentially
no electronic equipment in Hawaii. It was electrical equipment. There
was massive, relatively massive, disruption of those crude, crude
systems in 1962.
I am having a lot of trouble with the
simulations today that can't come even close to that real-life test. I
mean, what you are telling me is that these highly vulnerable systems
that we have today, because we are so sophisticated, would be far less
affected by EMP than these crude systems that we had in Hawaii that shut
down their telephones, turned off their street lights. I am just having
trouble with the validity of your tests.
We have to go to the real world sometimes to get
a validation of your tests. I am just very skeptical of the validity of
these tests when they can't come even close to predicting the kind of
damage that you had in the only real life experience that we have had,
and I don't know how you can be sanguine about your tests when they
can't verify what, in fact, you know happened in Starfish in 1962.
I would like a brief discussion of that when we
return, and we must now recess our committee briefly, and we will return
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Mr. WELDON. [Presiding.] If we could reconvene, I would return to my distinguished colleague Mr. Bartlett.
As an editorial comment, I understand in
response to Mr. Pickett's questions, that there was a statement that was
made that was said could be refuted in a classified session. For the
public that is here and the media, I will say this on the record, we
will have a classified session after this, and we will have a chance for
that data to be refuted, but I will also give those who are criticizing
the opportunity, and I will let the public know whether or not there
has been a refutation of the claims made by the administration in this
case on that data. I can't get into the details of the data, but it is
unfair, I think, to just use the item that we are going to do that in
classified session, which I understand your reason why, but I also
understand that in classified session there may be disagreements over
that data, and I plan to make that known to the public if there is
disagreement in a classified session between the panelists that we have
So I don't want anyone to read the fact that we
can supposedly refute something in a classified session that the public
will not know. The public will not know the specifics of it, but they
will know whether or not Dr. Wood and Dr. Graham, and perhaps Dr. Lunt,
disagree with the assertions made in terms of refuting certain items by
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Let me come first to the question I posed just
before I recessed, and that is how can you be sanguine about your
simulation results when they, as I understand, come far short of
predicting what we know happened in 1962 at Johnston Island? If I
believe your simulation results, then what happened in 1962 didn't
How do you explain that?
Dr. WOOD. There is a fairly
noncontentious way to begin to understand that difference, Mr. Bartlett,
and that is that the simulations necessarily do not fully represent
what happens in the real world. One of the mechanisms or one of the
distinctions along those lines that came up during the break, so the
break was actually useful for clarifying this, is that when people put
these boxes like the large telephone switches into an EMP simulator, as
Dr. Graham pointed out, they curl up the cables and set them underneath,
and it is kind of like sitting on your hands, if you will, and they
then test to see if the equipment inside the box is vulnerable or not.
But in the real—and they sometimes find out
that, hey, it survived the test, but in the real world those cables, as
Dr. Graham says, extend out for hundreds of miles. They pick up the
real, honest-to-goodness EMP, and they haul it into the box through the
penetrations, through the protective enclosure, through the back door,
if you will, and it is that aspect of EMP which damages equipment inside
Well, if you are working with strategic systems,
and your boss, the general, has said, I want you to make absolutely
certain that thing is going to survive in a real EMP environment, what
you do is you not only set the box inside the EMP simulator, but you
inject current representing the EMP into those cables that in a real
system go out for hundreds of miles; you inject current pulses into them
to see—which is known to represent the EMP that the cables pick up, and
you see if it survives under those circumstances.
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You often find out that, oh, with current
injection the thing died. However, if I just curl the cables up and set
them underneath, it came through fine.
So a lot of the difference between the tests and
what is seen in the real world is how rigorous the tests are, how close
to the real world they are made to be.
There is just an enormous difference between
what you can say happened in an EMP simulator and what happens in the
real world if the EMP simulator is not realistic. You might as well, in
some circumstances, not have done the test at all.
Mr. BARTLETT. Dr. Graham.
Dr. GRAHAM. Particularly concerning the
Starfish event, which was above the horizon, but over 1,000 miles from
Oahu, the Hawaiian Islands, and approximately that distance from the
other islands, a number of events were observed on the islands that were
almost certainly related to the EMP from the event. Of course, the EMP
wasn't understood at that time, and, therefore, the phenomenon that
occurred wasn't understood in any but the vaguest possible way as being
something that happened at about the same time as the Starfish event.
However, there was a body of anecdotal data of
things that had happened that were unanticipated, coincident with
Starfish, and I must admit we were probably a little slow on this, but
it wasn't until about a decade later that we made a systematic effort to
collect all of that data and describe it. We undoubtedly missed some
things that had been lost in the intervening decade, but we had a list
of phenomena that were observed, and by that time, say around 1972 or
so, we understood the high-altitude EMP effects much, much, much better
than we did in 1962.
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I don't know of any effort to go back and
deliberately simulate those effects by applying electromagnetic fields
and currents to the equipment that was affected during Starfish.
However, I believe most—the effects that were observed, as best I can
recall them, were in generally what I would call generally at least
qualitative accord with the electromagnetic field levels from Starfish
that were incident on the Hawaiian Island chain.
So it is really a case of not having done all of
the simulation and perhaps not even all the analysis we might, but
having, I think, a generally plausible agreement between what we
discovered had happened on the event and the electromagnetic field
strength we expected in retrospect at Hawaii from Starfish.
Mr. BARTLETT. It is fair to say then, I
gather, that we do not know the extent of our vulnerability because of
our inability to test whole systems and even complements of systems
realistically under the kind of environment that would exist with an EMP
laydown? Is that a fair statement?
Dr. GRAHAM. I don't think it is quite
fair. I would say it is slightly differently. I think you can do
reasonably good simulation even on systems that are quite extended,
cables running off everywhere, antennas, power lines and so on. All of
those systems seem to have the characteristic that the really
complicated stuff, like electronics and computers, is in one or a few
nodes, and all the stuff that goes off great distances is things like
wires and cables and antennas, which are relatively simple.
It is not possible to simulate the EMP field
effect by directly subjecting long, long wires to that field. The
generators, the EMP generators, would have to be too big to do that.
However, by directly injecting the current that we predict would be
picked up by those cables, antennas and wires, and possibly
simultaneously simulating the fields on the more compact and complex
parts of the system, I believe you can do a reasonably good job of an
overall EMP effect simulation. Interestingly enough, I think, as we
mentioned before, the effects on the wires, that is the current
injection tests, will have greater effects than the field simulation
tests in most cases.
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Mr. BARTLETT. Dr. Wood.
Dr. WOOD. The ability, sir, to simulate
EMP for reasonably compact systems that definitely have existed in the
past to a regrettably good approximation doesn't exist at the present
time. Perhaps the single largest such facility was the trestle facility
to which Dr. Bernardin referred to at Kirkland Air Force Base. That
could actually take and was built to take an entire B–52 bomber and
could subject it to quite realistic of an EMP environment, and was built
specifically for that purpose. The comparable facilities existed and
were created typically on special-purpose bases at the Nevada test site
in underground facilities for testing of exceedingly important
spacecraft that had to survive during nuclear explosions in space in a
strategic environment, and those facilities were made to be exceedingly
realistic because it was discovered that unless you were exceedingly
realistic, you got results that were off by a country mile; and they
were off, and off in an optimistic direction. That is to say, unless you
did the job very realistically, you concluded that your spacecraft
would survive, but when you are honest about it, you discovered that
they would not. Those facilities ceased to be used nearly a decade ago
when the U.S. entered the current testing moratorium.
So when you have sufficiently compact systems,
yes, you can do very realistic testing. It is necessary to, in some
circumstances, people being just human, to confront folks with the
prospect of realistic testing in order to elicit candor from them.
We heard at the present time the telephone
company says that the telephone infrastructure would survive extremely
well. However, when they were asked formally, less than two decades ago,
if they could provide service to the Defense Department during a
nuclear war situation, they said, not a chance. So the Defense
Department went off and spent well over a billion dollars creating a
hardened telephone system of an exceedingly extensive geographic nature,
but an extremely limited nature as far as service, to connect the
national command authority with the strategic war machine here in North
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That money was spent not because people were so
eager to go out and spend money on a hardened telephone system. It was
spent because the telephone company said that there is no chance at all
that their systems could survive because they were confronted with a
prospect of realistic testing.
The same situation pertained to the electric
power system. Three decades ago the electric utilities of this country
formally assured the government that the power system would ride through
a nuclear war; that because there would be so much load lost as cities
were vaporized, that there would always be an excess of electric power
generating capability relative to what was needed throughout a nuclear
war and afterwards.
Then came the 1965 blackout in the Northeast,
followed by large-scale blackouts in this country that were attributed
to the effects of solar magnetic storms; that is to say, exceedingly
weak EMP of the type that God generates when the sun fluctuates in the
output of solar wind. The Earth's magnetosphere rattles around as a
result. As a result, there are very low-frequency but, over large
geographic scales, large-amplitude electric field disturbances around
power systems, and the power systems fall apart; not believed to do so,
but they have done so, repeatedly. You know, you actually read in the
newspapers occasionally that such and such a blackout was attributed to a
Well, after these events, the power—the electric
utilities became much more realistic and in the PONAST studies of the
1970s they told the government that they should assume that due to EMP
effects, not due to blast and heat or elimination of cities, but due to
EMP effects, they should assume the power systems would go down
nationwide, and it would be very difficult to reconstitute for the
reasons that Dr. Graham said, namely that when a power system goes down,
if a piece of it goes down, the rest of the power system can be used to
pick it back up and make it operational again. But when the whole
system goes down, when a whole interconnection goes down, it is
exceedingly difficult to bring it back up. In the case of the
northeastern blackout in 1965, in some places it took two or three days
to bring it back because people had never brought a power system back
before that had gone down over such a wide scale.
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So as people are confronted with the prospect of
realistic testing, or sometimes they are just humbled by natural
phenomena such as large geomagnetic storms, they become much more
realistic about whether their systems can survive, and in particular can
So I would suggest to you that the primary
reasons why people are thumping their chests now, are reportedly
thumping their chest and saying we are so robust against EMP, is they
simply know they won't be tested.
Mr. BARTLETT. Let me see if I can get an
answer to my concerns another way. The three of us here were sitting in a
hotel in Vienna just a few months ago with Vladimir Lukin, Ambassador
from Russia to the United States, at the end of Bush, at the beginning
of Clinton, who is now the chairman—.
Dr. WOOD. I remember him well.
Mr. BARTLETT. Sir?
Dr. WOOD. I remember him well. He was the final Soviet hardliner.
Mr. BARTLETT. Yes, and he was one of the
Duma members who was negotiating with us a resolution of the Kosovo
fiasco; we were discussing a resolution of that debacle.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC He
said, during those deliberations, if we really wanted to hurt you, we
would detonate a nuclear weapon at high altitude over your country—by
the way, he started out to say, if we really wanted to hurt you without
any fear of retaliation, we would detonate a nuclear weapon at high
altitude over your country and shut down your entire power grid and your
communications system for a month or two.
Did he not know what he was talking about?
Dr. WOOD. That is probably a realistic
assessment of the time that it would take to reconstitute the power
system in this country. When the most vulnerable portions of a power
system die, and these are usually the very high-powered transformers in
major switching stations, when they go out, the time scale to replace
them, if only one is lost, is about 90 days. If you lost 100 of them or
300 of them or whatever, it might be as long as a year or more before
you could reconstitute a large portion of the major interconnect points
that switch and convey electric power in this country.
It is certainly true that the type of EMP levels
that the Soviet Union, or nowadays the Russian Federation, could lay
down on this country without killing anybody would be easily sufficient
to bring down the entire power grid.
So with respect to how long would it take to
come back up, that is a little bit problematic. But with respect to
their ability to do it, they could do it today or any time they chose,
and if they did it in the middle of the day, on a sunshiny day, you
might not even see the bomb go off.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So,
yes, it represents a way that the Soviet Union could impose pain—or the
Russian Federation could impose pain, and indeed in my prepared
statement I suggested that they will retain that particular whip hand
over the planet for as long as that government is still in existence.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Jakubiak, why would he
say ''without fear of retaliation''? This was Vladimir Lukin. He said
''without fear of retaliation.''.
Mr. JAKUBIAK. I do not know what—.
Mr. BARTLETT. You can't figure out that?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. I can't understand what his thinking was behind that.
Mr. BARTLETT. You see, if this came from
the homeland, there is no reason to launch it from your homeland because
then we would know where it came from. You would have to be pretty
dim-witted to launch a nuclear device on our country from your homeland.
It is a big ocean. There are a lot of ships out there and submarines on
their part. But if it was launched from the ocean, how would we know
who launched it in today's world? In the old Cold War world, we knew who
would have launched it. It would have been the Soviets. But in today's
world, how would you know who launched it?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. I don't feel qualified to discuss that.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT.
Sir, even if we did know, if all they had done is electronic warfare,
they have knocked out your power grid, they have knocked out your
communications, they have not hurt one person or broken one window, are
we then justified in incinerating their grandmothers and babies?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. I think that is a decision that the national command authority would have to make.
Mr. BARTLETT. Who would it incinerate if it came from the ocean?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. Sir, I don't feel qualified to address that question.
Mr. BARTLETT. The point I am trying to
make is that we face a real vulnerability here, and I think that this is
such a hard question, there are military people that would rather not
discuss it, which is why we are discussing it today, because I think it
has to be discussed.
What would be the effect on our satellites, both
prompt and delayed effects on our satellites? How many of them would
survive a high-altitude blast?
Dr. Wood, can you tell us how many would survive?
Dr. WOOD. It would depend quite
critically, sir, on where the blast occurred, and the total fission
yield of the blast. The satellites would die promptly due to gamma ray
effects, so-called system-generated EMP, and other satellites that were
not necessarily even in the line of sight of the blast would die at a
timescale of hours to weeks due to the so-called pumping up of the Van
Allen Belts, the radiation belts surrounding the Earth, by the beta
decay products from the fission products of the explosion.
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So the extent of the damage to satellites in
space is difficult to say without specifics, but it was demonstrated by
the U.S. in the Argus test series in the late 1950s that even very
modest nuclear explosives detonated in the Van Allen Belts created large
and enduring fluxes of radiation which are confidently expected to be
of magnitude such that they would destroy satellites at low- to
medium-level Earth orbits.
Mr. BARTLETT. Two satellites that would assuredly survive are the MILSTAR satellites?
Dr. WOOD. MILSTAR is deployed very far
from the Earth, and it represents reasonably hard satellite technology,
so MILSTAR—if any satellite survived, the MILSTAR satellites would
probably be among them.
Mr. BARTLETT. But the other $50 billion of our satellites are vulnerable?
Dr. WOOD. To varying degrees depending on
their orbits, sir, they are vulnerable. The ones close to the Earth and
in medium Earth orbit in the inner Van Allen Belts would be highly
vulnerable to a nuclear explosion at most any location above the Earth's
Mr. BARTLETT. Let me ask one additional
question, then I will save the rest. We are told that recent hardware
procurements are waiving EMP-hardening. That adds on to our discomfort.
Can you tell me that that is not true? We are told that we are now
waiving both chemical and EMP-hardening because the ten percent roughly,
maybe less than that, extra cost buys more weapons systems, and the
budget is so tight that our military is making the judgment that they
would rather have the more weapons systems than have the lesser number
hardened. Is that true as far as you know?
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Mr. JAKUBIAK. Well, let me caveat. The
answer to that question is that the systems that are waived-EMP go
through a process of reviewing what the requirement is, where that
system might be used under an EMP environment, and what the risk is
associated with not having that EMP protection on that system.
Mr. BARTLETT. I understand.
Let me interrupt you just a moment, and then I
will pass on because I don't want to consume all the time. At a hearing
just like this when our field people were in here, I asked one of them
how much of his capability would remain after an EMP laydown, and he
told me, he told the committee, it is on the record, five percent. He
would lose 95 percent of his capability with an EMP laydown.
Now, you know if that is true, I don't know how
effective we are with five percent of our capability remaining, and,
therefore, should we not look carefully at policies of procurement which
Mr. JAKUBIAK. I think one would have to look at his understanding of the EMP environment before you make the judgment.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Chairman, let me yield back.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Bartlett.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. WOOD.
Mr. Bartlett, if I might respond very briefly to the hypothesis that
you had in your question which I didn't speak to. Some might consider
your suggestions with respect to EMP-based launches from the sea to be
somewhat exotic, and along those lines I would just like to bring to the
committee's attention the statement made by former Defense Secretary
William Perry last Saturday speaking to the Nobel symposium in Stockholm
and as quoted by the Associated Press. He said, quote, last year's
India test ruptured the fragile barrier of the nonproliferation treaty.
Not surprisingly, Pakistan quickly followed suit, and my expectation is
that we will see Iran, Iraq, and possibly Syria go nuclear as well, end
Now, the significance of this, other than
pointing out that, hey, everybody is getting them as fast as they can,
is that it has also been reported in The New York Times that the
Iranians have been seen testing the launch of SCUD-type missiles from
barges in the Caspian Sea, and so they are not waiting to develops
ICBMs, Shahab-5 and so forth; that the CIA has publicly said they will
likely have in well under a decade, they are looking to a possibility,
one which was identified by the Rumsfeld Commission and tabled before
the Congress, of shipping their short-range ballistic missiles
presumably with weaponry of mass destruction in them as close to the
U.S. as they can get in tramp steamers or barges or whatever and
launching them from there.
This is not a conjecture anymore. They have been seen testing such equipment in the Caspian Sea.
Mr. WELDON. It is the intent of the Chair
that we will finish the public section with Mr. Saxton. The three of us
have to be at an event at 1:30. We need time to clear the room. So it
would be the Chair's intent to reconvene at two o'clock. So I will turn
over to you, and so if you will adjourn it—recess it at when Jim is
finished, and then we will come back at 2:00 for the closed session, and
then the staff will have a chance to clear the room.
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Mr. SAXTON. [Presiding.] Thank you, Mr.
Chairman. First let me thank all of you for being with us today and for
helping us understand the technical aspects of this very important
subject. I would like to look at it from a slightly different angle for a
few minutes, if we may. Let me begin by saying that earlier this week,
the United States Commission on National Security for the 21st Century
was here with us to present us with their report on phase one of their
three-phase study. And, of course, in that report they draw some
conclusions. And I found the conclusions very interesting because they,
in part, go hand in hand with what we have been hearing from you this
But there is a theme through their conclusions,
and I would like to try to summarize that theme by reading part of their
conclusions to you, if I may.
They say that America will become increasingly
vulnerable to hostile attack on our homeland—a scary thought and similar
to some of the things that we have been hearing from you this
morning—and our military superiority will not entirely protect us.
States, our traditional adversaries as well as terrorists and other
disaffected groups will acquire weapons of mass destruction and mass
disruption, and some will use them.
And then they go on in another part of their
conclusions and say, foreign crises will be replete with atrocities and
deliberate terrorizing of civilian populations. The essence of war will
not change. What will change will be the kinds of actors and the weapons
available to them.
We talked about some of the weapons that
are—that will be available to them. They include nuclear EMP. They
include radio frequency weapons. It includes weapons used in
cyberattacks, chemical weapons and biological weapons of warfare. All
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And when I saw this theme running through their
conclusions, it reminded me of something that I think about often, and
that is the fact that in today's world we no longer have the luxury, if
you will, of being able to identify our foe as we did during the Cold
War. Funny thing to call a luxury. But in a sense at least it gave us a
pretty clear idea of what we had to deal with.
But today, I think, at least beginning in the
early 1990s when we demonstrated to the world that we had the kind of
conventional capability which very few around the world can compete
with, there emerged, I think, an enhanced determination on the group of
people who want to influence world events through other means to use
terroristic types of activities in order to accomplish those goals. They
proved, for example, in Afghanistan that those kinds of guerrilla
warfare tactics and terrorist tactics were pretty effective.
My question to you is can you help us understand
with regard to radio frequency weapons which have been discussed here
to some extent this morning, and, of course, EMP as well, what kind of
capability this might offer in a nonstrategic—I don't know what we call
it today. There is probably—as far as I know, there has not been a
phrase termed or developed to really describe this issue—but in terms of
terrorists, small groups of people, guerrilla-type warfare, what kind
of capability and what kind of attack does this type of technology—what
kind of capability does that give these other types of groups that are
nontraditional types of adversaries? May I just ask each of you to
respond? Dr. Wood, would you start?
Dr. WOOD. Very substantial capabilities,
sir, to impose damage, and in some circumstances perhaps impose very
considerable pain and even loss of life.
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The means for generating very large pulses,
electromagnetic pulses, without nuclear explosives have been published
in the technical literature for over three decades, and they are of the
nature and scale that would suffice to attack in a very effective
fashion an entire urban industrial complex like, for instance, greater
New York City in an attack that, for instance, might be mounted from a
light aircraft, privately-owned light aircraft.
It is obviously not appropriate to provide
technical detail in open session, but I would be happy to expand on the
possibilities in closed session. There is no point in coaching the bad
guys. But the possibilities basically are very substantial ones.
We saw what could be done by incompetent
amateurs with deadly intent in the Tokyo subway attacks using
neurotoxins. Just a little bit more competence on the part of those
people in dispersing the material that they had prepared, and instead of
killing a dozen people and permanently injuring a couple of hundred,
the likely casualty levels would have been about two orders of magnitude
higher. They probably would have killed on the order of 1,000 people
and crippled 100,000 just with the materials they had if they had used
them in a more effective manner.
So the prospects for terrorists imposing really
wide-scale damage by a variety of means these days are peculiarly
potent, and EMP just happens to be one of the more technically advanced
ways to do the job.
The low-tech stuff would be what was done at the
World Trade Center. The story that Jim Woolsey, former CIA Director,
relates there was that the guy who masterminded that particular attack
was being taken by helicopter over Manhattan by Federal agents for
arraignments, and one of the Federal agents pointed to the World Trade
Center and said, it is still standing, and Ramsi Yosef said, yes, but if
I had had $5,000 more materials, it wouldn't be.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
If they had knocked over the World Trade Center,
they would have killed 100,000 people. That is the super low-tech
garden fertilizer approach. The medium-tech is the Tokyo subway
approach. The high-tech way would be just to destroy the electronic and
electrical infrastructure in large part over an entire urban industrial
complex with an EMP weapon, a nonnuclear EMP weapon of the type that a
very small terrorist group could build.
Mr. SAXTON. When you speak of a nonnuclear EMP-type weapon, are you referring more to the radio-frequency-type weapon-type situation?
Dr. WOOD. I would recommend, if it is agreeable to you, that we speak about this in closed session.
Mr. SAXTON. Any of you other gentlemen? Dr. Graham? Dr. Bernardin?
Dr. GRAHAM. You asked a question that is
both very broad and very deep as to how we respond as a country and a
society to the growing range of potential threats that we face at
Mr. SAXTON. Let me try to narrow it down because we are going to run out of time, and I didn't mean to ask that broad a question.
With regard to nuclear EMP and with regard to
radio frequency weapons, are these effective weapons that can be used by
small groups who want to effect political change?
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Dr. GRAHAM. Certainly they both, and the
nuclear the most, can send dramatic messages to the U.S. We implicitly
have an insular mentality, because it has been so long since we have
been attacked to any substantial degree. I believe any kind of an attack
against us which has either a major infrastructure, military, or
population effect will have the same effect on our country as Sputnik
had on our science and technology in 1957. It—1956, I guess. It will
cause us to think about the world in a different way than we think about
Mr. SAXTON. Could an individual or a
group of individuals use an radio frequency weapon to, say, shut down
significant parts of Wall Street?
Dr. GRAHAM. I would prefer to address the
specifics in closed session, if that is all right. But certainly
attacks against our infrastructure using radio frequency weapons as well
as the possibility of the other threats that you mention is a definite
possibility. Steps we can take, of course, to counter that are first to
have a coherent, consistent national policy on how we are going to
approach such concerns; second, on being able to tell if such an attack
is, in fact, being mounted against us not just by our intelligence to
anticipate it, but, when it is actually being put into effect, to be
able to know what is happening; and then third, having plans to respond
And I believe we can make a great deal of
progress in each of those areas, and certainly some very careful thought
in that is warranted.
Mr. SAXTON. Dr. Bernardin?
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. BERNARDIN.
I am a nuclear weapon expert and speaking on nonnuclear matters,
nonnuclear type of weapons, I have limited knowledge. I know that both
our laboratories have explored the technology in the past, both
Livermore and Los Alamos.
Mr. SAXTON. Let me ask you a nuclear question then.
Dr. BERNARDIN. Okay.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Bartlett a short time ago
asked the question about the Koreans potentially detonating a nuclear
device off one of our coasts and what kind of damage that would do. Is
it feasible in your mind that someone like Osama Bin Laden, who
reportedly has a wealth of about $7 billion, could acquire the necessary
equipment, ships, SCUD missiles, to detonate such a device? Is that
within the realm of feasibility?
Dr. BERNARDIN. I think it is within the
realm of feasibility to acquire the launching equipment like a missile.
Acquiring the special nuclear materials in order to fashion a nuclear
weapon is something that the intelligence agencies would have to
Mr. SAXTON. You don't think he would buy one?
Dr. BERNARDIN. That is another possibility. A loose nuke is certainly a scenario that has been postulated.
Mr. SAXTON. Tough question, I understand.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. BERNARDIN. It is.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Jakubiak?
Mr. JAKUBIAK. The military has always
looked at various scenarios, and that includes situations such as loose
nukes appearing and being detonated over the U.S., and we play those
scenarios in war games and see what the impact would be on military
Mr. SAXTON. I am going to stop.
Dr. WOOD. Mr. Chairman, if I could just
give a very brief personal example that ties some numbers to your
question, last year a few of my colleagues and myself, as a
demonstration along these lines, offered to take a vanload of equipment
which we estimated would cost less than $10,000 and go out and in a
fashion that would be totally fingerprint-free destroy a government
facility that cost about $1 billion to build, could not possibly be
reconstituted now, and would punch a very major hole in the national
strategic capabilities, and do so at no risk to ourselves. And the
equipment was specifically EMP weaponry. But it obviously didn't involve
nuclear energy, and as I said, it packed into a rental van—I mean, an
ordinary passenger van.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. We really have to
stop because we have some people waiting for us at 1:30. But I have, as
some of you know, been interested in this general subject of
nonconventional attack by smaller groups for quite some time, and now
the United States Commission for National Security for the 21st Century
has come to the same conclusion. And this is very serious and something
that we as a committee and we as a governmental institution and we as a
society need to be more aware of and need to be able to deal with more
effectively, and so I thank you for helping me to make these points in
public. Thank you.
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Mr. BARTLETT [presiding]. I want to thank
Mr. Saxton for joining us. He is not a member of our subcommittee, and
we are very pleased that he is here with us because of his concern in
this area. Because a number of our Members could not be here and are
very interested in this, I would ask unanimous consent that the record
be held open so that they can make comments or pose questions to which I
hope you will give answers.
Hearing no objection, so ordered.
We now need to adjourn technically. We need to
adjourn this because this is a hearing. The next event will be a
briefing, and so a recess would not be appropriate. We need to adjourn
this, and then we will reconvene at the briefing, our committee Chairman
said, at two o'clock. This meeting is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:32 p.m. The subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
October 7, 1999
[This information is pending.]