In response to Bill Forstchen's desire to terrify America ["Apocalypse WNC," July 8 Xpress], scaring people with false information is not admirable. Only three countries — the United States, Russia and China — could explode a large enough nuclear weapon high enough, higher than the International Space Station, to cause a national electromagnetic pulse problem. For accurate information on this subject, check out the report by the Congressional Research Service at http://opencrs.com; type "high altitude EMP" in the search box on the right and read the first report.
Other ideas of Forstchen's are equally misleading, such as the idea that the U.S. should preemptively strike North Korea and Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons. The U.S. is only 4.6 percent of the world's population although we do already spend 50 percent of the world's military spending to try keep us safe. How likely is it that 4.6 percent of the world can have a "might makes right" indifference to international law, creating new enemies daily, and remain safe in the long run? Irresponsible, imperialistic behavior will provide incentives for our enemies and also bankrupt us eventually.
Primitive nuclear weapons can now be made in secret by both nations and terrorists. While one of these weapons cannot cause a destructive EMP event, if delivered by truck, one could destroy a nuclear power plant, making a metropolitan area uninhabitable and costing trillions of dollars. Preemptive attacks on other nations and ballistic-missile defense can't make us safe. International law is the only hope for our planet, and the U.S. must not be a leader in lawlessness.
— Dot Sulock, instructor of "The Nuclear Dilemma Class" at UNCA