First allow us to note the passing of a great Constitutional scholar and jurist, Antonin Scalia, who was seventy-nine and had served for twenty-nine years on the Supreme Court. There will be a ton of second guessing on whom exactly President Obama will pick to replace the conservative, Constitutional scholar but the one thing we would like to put forth is they will mostly be wrong. President Obama’s previous choices of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan surprised almost all in his previous Supreme Court appointments. Our guess is of a more general nature as we believe his choice will be an academic who shares the leftist view of a living and ever mutating Constitution in which all forms of new and existing rights can be found to be implied if only the founders had the wisdom of the leftists of today. Whoever President Obama chooses will have the effect of changing the nature and status of the Supreme Court likely for a long while into the future. President Obama has had the rare opportunity to leave an indelible mark on the Supreme Court as he has had the opportunity of appointing one third of the current members sitting on the Supreme Court. This will be the true legacy next to Obamacare and the initiating the accepting of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Syrian and other Middle Eastern “refugees” and potentially resulting in millions by the time the entire story becomes known. One can hope to be pleasantly surprised that the President’s appointment turns out to be more of a purist when interpreting the Constitution as being appointed to the Supreme Court has shown some strange and unexpected results as people take the honor to heart and have the importance of the position lay heavily on their minds and their direction of thoughts on the exact definition of protect and defend the Constitution will inevitably mean to them. We can only hope for a discerning and wise person who weighs all the ramification of their decisions.
Everyone has, including us to some extent, expressed their feelings on the path to nuclear weapons power that Iran received in the Iran Nuclear Agreement 7/14/2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the inevitable ways it will change the entire makeup and distribution of power across the Middle East and many, again including us, have attempted to predict what the wholesale introduction of nuclear weaponry across the Middle East and potentially slowly seeping across Norther Africa and whether it will make Nuclear Armageddon more likely or usher in an understanding of the new and ruinous implications of starting a war might cause to bring as the outcome. Of course if anyone was looking to bring the greatest possible turmoil, chaos, death and destruction on the world as a whole and not care about the consequences because that turmoil, chaos, death and destruction actually was their only goal, then the nuclearization of the Middle East and beyond is exactly what the doctor ordered. A nuclear armed apocalyptic maniac is the exact formula to a future which could act to set human development back ten centuries or potentially lead to the next round of massive mutations across all surviving life forms eventually leading to the next apex predator to rise to the top of the food chain and with any luck also me closer to human development than the simple brute power of T-rex had attained before they and their species being brought down by an assumed impact wiping clean the slate of development leading to mankind’s rise to eventual dominance.
There have been other changes which are probably not as dire or noticeable as yet on how these developments will play out. The biggest has been the introduction of highly effective antiaircraft missile batteries at both ends of the Middle East with Iran to soon have delivery of the Russian S-300 antiaircraft batteries to Iran and the recent deployment by the Russian forces defending their port and the Alawites in the area including Bashir al-Assad of the S-400 antiaircraft batteries. These systems render an air assault or targeting within their range far riskier and problematic. Further, with Russians manning the S-400 antiaircraft batteries in Syria, they are far less likely to be shut-down as was the entirety of the Syrian air defense network by the Israelis when they bombed the nuclear development complex facility in September 6, 2007. These changes in the balance of power brought by these changes are going to be difficult to discern as the variables are significant. One also has to add two other important notes to this volatile mix of conditions, one from the Middle East and the other affecting the Middle East.
The first is the affect that North Korea may play onto the Middle East puzzle as well as the future of the United States. As we and numerous others have pointed out is the fact that both Iran and North Korea have practiced and actually placed satellites into low earth orbits which have polar orbits rather than an equatorial orbit which makes them pass over the United States mainland alternately from the direct north and from the direct south. The northern approach is not that important as it would pass over the teeth of the United States NORAD and other defensive systems placed to intercept any Russian attack during the cold war and thus would be facing formidable defensive structures. The interesting passes are the one approaching from the south, particularly those passing over Mexico or the Gulf of Mexico and crossing over the United States anywhere from New Mexico to Arizona where the entirety of the United States monitoring systems have one of the largest blind-spots and thus vulnerability. Both Iran and North Korea have practiced what is understood by military strategists to be the perfect height and orbit for delivering an EMP, or Super EMP which is the latest craze, device to explode near the center of the United States and southern Canada taking out the entirety of the North American power grid. The resultant damages to the transformers and other high voltage system hardware as well as destroying virtually all of the software run control systems would result in as high as ninety-five percent civilian deaths in the first decade with the largest loss being at the front end two years having the greatest impact.
Such an assault could effectively take out almost all of the ground based systems the United States would be reliant on for its defense from invasion or to retaliate against their attacker. This would not mean the perpetrators of such an assault would be free and clear of retribution raining down on their heads as the United States has a large enough contingent of its forces located around the globe that United States power projection would remain credible. The large nuclear missile carrying submarines, often called Boomers (hey, we do not make up these names, honest) would still carry in their tubes sufficient nuclear strike capabilities of destroying virtually the entirety of human existence globally and definitely could remove the populations of North Korea and Iran without losing their critical and definitive threat against any others planning in taking advantage of the problems back home caused by such an attack. Where this would bring little solace to the Americans facing brutish conditions as their entire food and other supply networks would have been destroyed in such an attack, this deterrent power of the United States nuclear powered Navy that eventually the United States would return onto the world stage meaner and leaner but even more determined to take vengeance unto which the world has never known. The last part in this section of the puzzle is that Iran and North Korea have had a high level of cooperation in nuclear development and rocket/missile technology. Keeping such in mind, the recent test carried out by North Korea of a hydrogen powered nuclear device now believed to be, here comes the new buzzword, Super EMP device capable of on detonation generating a series of EMP Gama-radiation waves which could destroy if detonated over Kansas City or St Louis or anywhere between which would be sufficiently potent to effect sensitive electronics in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D. C., Norfolk Naval Base, Andrews Airforce Base, the Pentagon (except for its shielded emergency generators), Richmond on down to Atlanta, Georgia. That would include the East and West Coasts leaving potentially the Coronado Naval Base and Marine Base intact and slight possibility of not destroying the Bremerton shipyards. Still, such a wide ranging area of destruction of electronic devices would be devastating and would be felt world-wide as there would be other ramifications such as GPS satellites not receiving update information largely controlled by the United States and a loss of large sectors of the Internet, phone networks and any other functions which pass through the United States communications hubs which carry the largest volume of the entire world’s communications. This would have far reaching effects many of which are irreplaceable and even unpredicted. The best case scenario, and only best case scenario, is that such an attack never occurs; but with a child-like egotistical and maniacal megalomaniac in charge in North Korea who believes himself one of the most powerful people ruling a giant amongst nations who murders any general or even family member who attempts to implant even the slightest glimmer of reality into the equation being executed on the spot, who knows? Just think about the day, which might be today or tomorrow, when Kim Jung-un decides it is time to teach the United States a lesson. Just ponder that for a moment and then try to return to your normally scheduled day as such would never happen, would it? Adding the Iranian fanatical and suicidal Mullahs in Iran and have fun sleeping tonight, they do not really mean it when they claim to desire bringing chaos, turmoil, misery and a general state of conflagration worldwide just so their messiah the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, who will emerge from his hiding place down a well in Qom where he has been hiding since before the year 1000 AD. You cannot make this stuff up. So there is that threat and they share technology and many believe the tested nuclear Super EMP device tested by North Korea recently was actually an Iranian design and was carried out by North Korea for the Iranians so they would not break their treaty quite yet.
The other side of the coin is Israel. The Israelis have not been taking all these developments as fait accompli but instead have been working, one could say feverishly, on their layered missile and aircraft defense systems. The world was given a demonstration of the effectiveness of the Iron Dome on locally launched missiles, mortars and rockets during the last Gaza war. Since then there have been further upgrades made possible by the data acquired during that conflict. Many of the upgrades were software but the other was a new interceptor which would improve the accuracy and lethality of the system, a system which already proved to be over ninety percent accurate in its initial deployment during the last Gaza Hamas war. Israel also has a multi-layered system of interceptor which would make interception possible on an ICBM or Continental Ballistic Missile such as what Iran would need to use if launching from within their borders. Should they launch from Syria or Lebanon then the intercept would be performed by a faster reacting system such as the Iron Dome or other slightly more encompassing system. The kind of layered system which will be required to keep Israel and the Israeli population safe from any device with the emphasis on early detection and removal of threats on their ascendant prefecture over the downward flight as it is most often on the approach to target after apogee that missile systems deploy avoidance technologies. While the Israeli nuclear capability has been pondered and guessed at, it is still not 100% proven if such systems exist or where and how they would be stored and/or deployed, what delivery systems exist and whether these systems kept in hardened bunkers atop ICBM and Continental Ballistic Missiles or if they exist, are they simply bombs requiring aircraft to fly the mission to deliver these weapons which may not even exist. As we covered recently on February 13, 2016 in our article What Israel Must Learn from President Obama concerning, amongst other items of importance, the F-35 JSF and its serious limitations and no freedom of action when using these fifth generation fighters that they make second guessing any nation relying on these systems to come under United States control potentially at the most critical of moments. Further, the fact that an EMP device would necessarily affect the very support systems which would allow the F-35 JSF to deploy would be destroyed or isolated such that they could not release the aircraft when most needed, the F-35 JSF would become just so much advanced electronics and composites composited dead on the runway. There are a number of other links to other articles both ours and outside corroborative articles all worth a quick read as they lay out much of the thought patterns since even before 2010 when we first finally got around to addressing the next generation of aircraft which are going to become a necessity for air defense at close range and possibly further missions run from a control aircraft. Perhaps another article is due on such future systems; we will try to look into such but no absolute promises on when.
As is noticeable the world is changing, the sides are lining up and one errant move could force ramifications too dire to face but face them we must; otherwise, they could occur and have no mitigating systems in place to avoid hostilities falling into place where one act creates another leading to a more vigorous act which forces a full deployment and the next thing you know the Grand Duchess Gloriana XII of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick will order Prime Minister Count Rupert of Mountjoy to deploy their finest archers to voyage across the seas and attack to defend the honor of the wines of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick from a California cheap imitation. The troops under Field Marshal Tully Bascombe, a recent promotion of sorts, assault the United States and , well, you will need to rent the movie “The Mouse that Roared” and enjoy Peter Sellers at his hysterical best, well, next to the Pink Panther. Unfortunately the world today is almost as insane as the Mouse that Roared but all too dangerous to really joke about, but we must keep a balance and our sanity so some light hearted entertainment might mitigate the sense of dread, well, for around an hour and a half. Think we will make some buttered popcorn and watch a movie, later.
Beyond the Cusp