Jerusalem’s Amazing New Bomb Shelter

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Jerusalem’s Amazing New Bomb Shelter.”

Israel Railways zips passengers north-south between Nahariya and Be’er Sheva and east-west between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv…but the best thing of all is that it also serves for the strategic defense for its citizens…there are provisions for 3,000 to 5,000 people to shelter from a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack on the holy city of Jerusalem

Thankfully, Israel is growing as a democracy, a Startup Nation, and as a light unto nations, yet it must remain vigilant and strong against enemies that could even attempt the unthinkable. 


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Is The Most Dangerous?

Recently, I started watching this show called “Billions.”


I’m in the middle of Season 2, and it is a brilliant and mesmerizing show that depicts the battle between the CEO of a Wall Street Hedge Fund and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.


Ands it is a true battle of wits, might, and it gets ugly in every way. 


(I won’t spoil the show…)


But there is one line from the show that came out in the heat of an exchange between the two at the end of Season One that I wanted to share:

The only thing more dangerous than a person with unlimited resources is a person who has nothing to lose.

When you think about it, there is tremendous wisdom and truth in this, and a poignant lesson to be learned for every person, organization, and even nation of great power.


No matter how much money, people, and assets you may have to fight…


…if the other guy has nothing to lose and is willing to go do the unthinkable then we have a very big problem indeed. 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 


From those desperate and willing to act as suicide bombers to those that would actually push the button on a nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack, there is no winning even if you are the last one left standing.


The other guy who feels he has already lost is willing to take you with him by any and all means. 


Therefore, we cannot and should not ever think that the battle against evil is won, because even when the opponent appears in all respects to be defeated that may be when they become even more dangerous to us than ever.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

North Korea — No Deal!

This is sort of what I feel happened with North Korea and the U.S. at the Summit in Vietnam this week. 


We went into this thinking that the enticement of moving from war to prosperity, like with Vietnam, would set the stage for North Korea to see that truly, peace is the answer! 


But when there is no real trust between the people negotiating, then you get a lot of gesturing, but no real determination to make a commitment–like getting rid of those crazy nukes!


For now from North Korea’s perspective, “one in the nukes is worth two in the prosperity”…and they aren’t going to disarm so easily and give away what they consider their ace in the hole.  


High hopes, lots of drama, confusion and blame, and ultimately a big let down.


If North Korea would give up their nukes, and Iran would give up their pursuit of nukes…WOW, WOW, WOW, oh what a world that would be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fire As A Force Of Nature And Man

So fire is a tool for heating and cooking, but obviously it is also a destructive force that can be and is weaponized.

From tales and mythologies of old, dragons would spew fire from their mouths and destroy the enemy leaving only maybe their charred remains (likely, we will get to see more of that in Season 8 of Game of Thrones coming up soon).

In the 20th century, flamethrowers were widely used in World War I and II, and today thermonuclear weapons create great fireballs and mushroom clouds.

But already as far back as the Bible, Samson fought with fire against the Philistines.

He caught 300 foxes, tied them tail to tail in pairs and put a lite torch between them and they ran terror and havoc through his enemy’s encampment.

By the time of the Greek and Roman Empires, they would use catapults to hurl pots or bundles of flaming materials at their enemies.

In the Movie, Gladiator, upon releasing these catapults, he orders: “Unleash Hell!”

During the Spanish Inquisition, the inquisitor and his henchman would force Jews and others to convert or face execution by fire in the auto-da-fe.

Again in the Salem Witch Hunts, they would burn suspected witches at the stake.

And in more recent times, in the War Against Terror, ISIS was shown in videos that went viral torching those they considered infidels.

The other night watching a movie, “Redbad,” there was a riveting scene, where the Franks pour accelerants on live pigs and then light them up with torches and send them darting like crazy into the enemy ranks and villages.

Fire for good or for evil, those flaming pigs, I will never forget. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Training Them To Be Like Us

So I saw this in the supermarket. 


This kid was pushing the shopping cart with groceries in it. 


And a little sign at the top that says:

Customer in Training


His mom is nearby with the big shopping cart full of even more groceries. 


It’s interesting how we teach our kids to be just like us and at the same time to be not like us. 


They emulate some things and they reject others.


The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


But no two apples are the same either. 


Teaching is an important component of parenting and schooling. 


We need to impart important lessons from the past, so children don’t have to recreate the wheel in the present and future. 


But spitting out little clones is not helpful to innovation and the engine of “what’s next.” 


Sometimes, I envision that there is a really big war–maybe World War III–nukes are used and all our bits and bytes are wiped out, and we are thrown back to the Stone Age. 


All the teaching is evaporated in the vapor of the blasts.


All that’s left in what’s in the soul of the remaining. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Isn’t The U.S. Keeping Up Militarily?

The United States is ranked as the most powerful country in the world:


But the U.S. spends more than the next 7-8 countries COMBINED!(See below chart from Forbes 2016)


In fact, military spending is more than half of all U.S. federal discretionary spending. 


So the question is why are we spending so much more than everybody else, is the United States getting its money’s worth, and most importantly are we able to defend ourselves? 


The U.S. defense budget is going up and has been approved at $717B for 2019. 


All the other 28 NATO countries together spend less than half ($296B) as much as the U.S. alone. 


If you add NATO spending as a complement to the U.S. then the total spend on our mutual defense approaches $1 trillion!


Russia ($69B) China ($146B), North Korea ($6B), and Iran’s ($16B) military spending in total pales in comparison at just $237B.


NATO as a whole is outspending Russia + China + North Korea + Iran by a factor of 4 times yet these countries are still considered major threats to us!
Despite all the truly incredible brave, hard working, and excellent men and women that serve with distinction in our military, 


Therefore, again why is it that the U.S. is spending more on what others seem to get for cheaper?  Is there significant fraud, waste, and abuse in the system?  Are we as a rich capitalistic nation simply getting fat, lazy, and stupid?  


Notwithstanding the outsized spending by the United States, incredibly from today’s Wall Street Journal, there is another article about our inability to defend ourselves:

“These are admissions that the U.S. cannot proportionally and equally defend itself in space, cyber, and response to tactical and nuclear weapons except through the threat of escalation and intrusion into other domains.”

Some poignant examples given:

– Our stationary land-based nuclear missiles are no match for Russia and China’s mobile-based ICBMs.

– Our ten busiest U.S. ports do not have an adequate defense against an underwater nuclear missile launch.


China and Russia variously are beating us out in:

  • Quantum Communications
  • Anti-Satellite Weapons
  • Directed Energy 
  • Hypersonics 

In fact, it was just reported that China conducted its 8th hypersonic test of a plane–with this one said to capable of Mach 10–and that it is capable of carrying nukes! 

Further, our carrier group fleet and land forces are at risk with respect to Russia and China’s hypersonic weapons.


Of course, EMP weapons can fry our electrical grid and a large cyber attack could disable our critical infrastructure.


Let’s not even talk bioweapons–think Black Plague from the Middle Ages that wiped out 30-60% of Europe. 


Yes, some of these are asymmetric warfare, but why are we still thinking and fighting so kinetic and conventionally. 


If we are fighting the wars of yesteryear instead of the battles of today and the threats of tomorrow then what good is our military investments and assets.


To become a more capable fighting force that is less vulnerable, more capable of defending this country, and making better use of our large investment dollars here are 10-steps we need to take to transform our military; we need to transition as follows:

  1. From static land-based nuclear missiles to a fully mobile platform.
  2. From vulnerable fleets of large ships and planes to “unstoppable” swarms of miniaturized lethal drones. 
  3. From a preponderance of earth-based kinetic weapons to space-based energy directed weapons. 
  4. From having to generally choose between speed or power to using the power of speed as an “unstoppable” force of nature. 
  5. From projecting a time and space bound visible presence to a persistent invisible existence.
  6. From attempting to defend limited points of presence to establishing a “impenetrable” umbrella shield of multi-layered defenses.
  7. From reactively identifying and stopping cyber threats to proactively hunting and destroying them. 
  8. From knee-jerk instinctive putting of human lives in harm’s way to matter-of-factly sending milbots (military robots) to the front lines. 
  9. From relying on the heroics and genius of individual human brainpower to harnessing in realtime “the collective” augmented by artificial intelligence into a hive.
  10. From relying on escalation of a “bigger, badder gun” to being able to fight capably in every battle arena, win in each and dominate holistically. 

Over $700B per year should buy us a lot of defense, hopefully in the future we can really use it to defend ourselves. 😉