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Cheyenne Mountain Redux

 

Unless the Pentagon finally got the Stargate to work, this is ominous:

 

Washington (AFP) – The US military command that scans North America’s skies for enemy missiles and aircraft plans to move its communications gear to a Cold War-era mountain bunker, officers said.

The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.

The Pentagon last week announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command.

Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that “because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain’s built, it’s EMP-hardened.”

“And so, there’s a lot of movement to put capability into Cheyenne Mountain and to be able to communicate in there,” Gortney told reporters.

“My primary concern was… are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I’m not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there,” he said.

The Cheyenne mountain bunker is a half-acre cavern carved into a mountain in the 1960s that was designed to withstand a Soviet nuclear attack. From inside the massive complex, airmen were poised to send warnings that could trigger the launch of nuclear missiles.

What this means is that the Pentagon believes there is a realistic chance in the foreseeable future that an enemy could be setting off a nuke in the continental US either by smuggling it in, or through an ICBM.  When the Obama administration first came to power Obama was hailed as a new FDR by some of his sycophants.  Actually the decade he was bringing back was the Fifties not the Thirties, at least when it came to potential nuclear war with adversaries.  Weakness breeds war, and the Obama administration has been doing its worst to convince our adversaries that war with the US might be a winnable proposition for our adversaries.  This is delusional, but you can bet that many of our enemies believe that any nation that could elect a man like Obama as its President, must, in Mao’s phrase, be a paper tiger.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

19 Comments

  1. NORAD moved out of Cheyenne Mountain in 2008 (under GWB) and onto Peterson AFB as a cost saving measure – a move that never should have happened. There has been at least one war game since then where NORAD personnel watched on their screens the fictional warheads converging on their position; at the moment of detonation a guy in the cellar pulled the breakers and killed power to the building. Looks like that part of the drill won’t happen anymore.

    This is the least ominous event of many such events in the world today.

  2. Norad was relocated to a basement at Peterson in 2006. It is ominous because the threat assessment has gone up since 2006 and, unlike under Bush, there is, I assume, in the Pentagon near unanimity that Obama will do bupkis to head off such threats.

  3. Sunny side interpretation:
    the theorized benefits of moving didn’t pan out, and the downsides of being in the mountain don’t look so bad anymore.

  4. Doesn’t do to read too much into this stuff– part of why our military gives our enemies hissies is that we often do things for reasons that make no dang sense to them– it’s not tactical, or whatever the military version of epeen is. Although we do a lot of that, too.
    Never can tell if the secretive electrical work you saw being done with high stealth was an above top secret project…or the I-level techs setting up a separate LAN for a station-wide HALO tournament.

  5. “What this means is that the Pentagon believes….”
    What do we know about that -about what the Pentagon believes? I don’t know much about the working relationship of the Pentagon and the Administration. It seems self evident that we should be more worried about our safety now than we were before this president. Maybe President is enough of a realist to be more worried too.
    Did the military initiate and sell him on idea, or would the President have initiated based on input from others?

  6. I have seen zero evidence that the president would care enough to take an effort like this– it’s not the kind of thing that’s inside of his interests, and there’s no obvious, immediate advantage, nor any obvious and immediate punishment on those with whom he is not in sympathy.

  7. My husband just suggested it was someone’s sneaky method of upgrading everything in one fell swoop– I know that even “new” things like barracks from the 70s are painfully outdated, electrical-wise, but if they gutted EVERYTHING when they moved out (as they really should’ve)…..

  8. Don, there are so many omens today, where do we start? My opinion is this shows that the U.S. military does have its eyes open (and interestingly, the emphasis seems to be on the EMP threat). What do they see?

    They see this: http://the-american-catholic.com/2015/04/08/munich-2015/

    They see the nuclear mobile missiles that are about to be deployed in North Korea.

    They see the growing fascism in India with the delusional desire for a “greater India” that will annex most of its neighbors for lebensraum and the targeting of its Christian and (more importantly from Pakistan’s view) Muslim population for ‘cleansing’. See http://www.ucanews.com/news/world-must-act-against-hindu-plan-for-christian-muslim-free-india/72688

    They see Pakistan about to hire out its military to Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and possibly its nukes later on for the coming confrontation with Iran.

    They see Turkey sliding into another form of fascism.

    About the only bright spot in the developing world, if you can call it that, is Egypt’s Muslim (and Christian) rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood. But the rest is a threat even if it is not a major threat. The Islamic State is a monstrosity. Neither China nor Russia are as stable as they ought to be.

    Things haven’t been this bad since 1937-38.

  9. “My opinion is this shows that the U.S. military does have its eyes open”

    Oh, I agree and that is why I find it an ominous sign. A war is coming, a very big war, and I fear that several, at least, nuclear weapons will be used in it.

  10. Don, I believe you have my email. Send me yours’ and I’ll let you know what I really think. I don’t post this on blogs because I don’t want to give out enemies ideas.

  11. many of our enemies believe that any nation that could elect a man like Obama as its President, must, in Mao’s phrase, be a paper tiger

    Can’t say such beliefs are without justification.

  12. If I may, let me add that there is little one can do to advert a war.

    Historians like to point out the fact that ol’ Adolph said he would have backed up if the French had opposed the invasion of the Rhineland in 1936. True enough, but this was an exceptional example. It was not true of the Sudetenland betrayal in 1938, and certainly not of Poland in 1939.

    There is also the issue of popular support. About ten years ago one of the Kaplans (Robert, Fred, Lawrence, I forget) wrote an essay in which President Bush acts on intelligence reports that “something bad” was going to happen and invades Afghanistan. Nineteen foreign nationals are also detained in the U.S. The result is a huge hue and cry, because, as the essay explains “no attack took place”. Bush is driven from office. It ends with Senator McCain criticizing Bush in the opening speech of his presidential bid, which takes place in the shadow of the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

  13. “If I may, let me add that there is little one can do to advert a war.”

    I don’t think that is correct because wars averted tend to be quickly forgotten. I can think of six almost wars in US history of the top of my head:

    1. The US and Britain almost came to war in 1839 over the boundary of Maine.

    2. The US and Britain almost came to war in 1845 over the boundary of the Oregon Territory with British Columbia.

    3. The Pig War of 1859 between the US and Great Britain.

    4. The Trent Affair of 1862 between the US and Great Britain.
    5. 1865 war between the US and France over French intervention in Mexico.

    6. The US and Chile came close to war in 1891.

  14. Don, I have to disagree with at least half of your choices on that list,
    1) OK, but it looks like that was mostly local militias with almost no backing by either national government
    2) Nope, just bluster (the Mexican War sapped any energy it might have had)
    3) Nope, just bluster
    4) OK, but war planning was just on the British side, and that showed they were not prepared. I love their characterization of the Canadians as the ‘sedentary militia’. Mostly bluster
    5) OK, perhaps the most serious case, but the French had no stomach for taking on the Union army and ran
    6) Not really, it was a series of really minor incidents involving gun running, failed prosecutions, and sadly a group of U.S. sailors stabbed followed by compensation

    I’m really surprised you missed the 1887-89 Samoa crisis. That probably exceeded all on your list as a missed war, and it was missed only because of a typhoon.

  15. “2) Nope, just bluster (the Mexican War sapped any energy it might have had)”
    But for the Mexican War there would have been war. The country was eager for it.

    “3) Nope, just bluster”

    But for the British admiral on the scene, there would have been war.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/09/07/the-great-pig-war-of-1859/

    “4) OK, but war planning was just on the British side, and that showed they were not prepared. I love their characterization of the Canadians as the ‘sedentary militia’. Mostly bluster”

    It was hard to avoid however due to the fact that the populations of both nations were eager for war. The consequences would have been staggering, with probable independence for the Confederacy.

    “6) Not really, it was a series of really minor incidents involving gun running, failed prosecutions, and sadly a group of U.S. sailors stabbed followed by compensation”

    It had large consequences including giving a spur to the shipbuilding program for the US Navy. The Chilean affair was regarded by many in Washington as showing how weak the US military had become since the Civil War

    “I’m really surprised you missed the 1887-89 Samoa crisis.”

    The list was not meant to be comprehensive but, as stated, off the top of my head.

  16. Oh, I agree with your last post’s facts. I just think that, for example, eagerness is not enough.

    You know Don, I’m amazed at how your postings spur one (or at least me) on to learn more. I did a quick assessment of the Chilean situation and found I had no idea of the size of the Chilean navy of that time. Still doesn’t change my opinion of the chance of war, but you are right, it was an eye-opener for us back then, and it was for me today.

    One question for you: it seems that the final end of the U.S.-UK friction over the Trent Affair was the Emancipation Proclamation. It seems that the Brits began with the assumption that the Union was going to lose, and kept to that until late in the war. They felt that their experience in 1812 of successful maneuver without permanent gain would be repeated by the Union within the CSA. They also seemed to have believed that their military doctrine and that of the CSA would not mesh well enough for coalition warfare (meaning they would have preferred independent Canadian border and New England coastal operations). However, the British public was strongly anti-slavery, and once the Proclamation declared that a Union war aim was the end of slavery most sympathy for the CSA ended. My question is, how much of this was involved in Lincoln’s decision to issue the Proclamation? I’ve never seen anything on this issue. Did Lincoln in part issue the proclamation as a sop to British public opinion? I’m curious.

  17. “However, the British public was strongly anti-slavery, and once the Proclamation declared that a Union war aim was the end of slavery most sympathy for the CSA ended. My question is, how much of this was involved in Lincoln’s decision to issue the Proclamation? I’ve never seen anything on this issue. Did Lincoln in part issue the proclamation as a sop to British public opinion? I’m curious.”

    The Confederacy had a fair amount of sympathy on their side among British movers and shakers who hoped America would be rent in twain, but absent something like the Trent affair they simply were going to sit this war out. Slavery was part of it, but the Brits fundamentally viewed this as not their fight but an American internal squabble. I doubt if how the Brits viewed Emancipation motivated Lincoln much. He was much more concerned with how the North would react to it, and outside of abolition circles that was by no means clear. However, by the time of Antietam enough blood had been shed that the North was ready for Emancipation, and an attack on slavery as the cause of the War in which so many Union troops had already died.

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