Decade after commission report, EMP threat looms large

Thursday, January 3, 2019
 | 
J.M. Phelps (OneNewsNow.com)

Iran military paradeA new military study provides an ominous warning: America's enemies have not given up on the devastating effects of an EMP on a woefully unprepared United States.

An EMP attack on the United States has been the subject of nightmare scenarios for years, since scientists and Pentagon analysts warn of mass starvation if the electric grid --- in a moment --- ceases to operate and the refrigerator, for example, is rendered useless.

Such an attack was imagined in the novel "One Second After," a New York Times bestseller that described a surprise attack by missiles fired above the United States from container ships parked off our coasts. 

Hardening military systems against an EMP has been a top priority of the Pentagon for decades, but the executive director of the EMP Task Force says the civilian grid has been ignored.

Dr. Peter Pry describes an EMP to OneNewsNow as “a super energetic radio wave that can destroy electronics,” which can be initiated by the sun, nuclear weapons, and non-nuclear weapons.

Xi and KimMeanwhile, he warns, the “head-in-the-sand posture” of the United States has kept America at risk, says Pry. In one example, the military doctrines of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, the countries that have called for “making EMP attacks against the United States.”

In the case of Iran, Pry hopes the State Department has noted their desire to wreak havoc in America, but “they seemed to have been ignoring [it].” 

“Isn’t Iran supposed to not have nuclear weapons?” he asks. “Then why does their military doctrine call for making a nuclear EMP attack on the United States?”

The problem with being unprepared, Pry tells OneNewsNow, is there is no "second chance" against such an attack.

The "good news" is that the U.S. knows how to protect itself from an EMP attack after the commission published a plan in 2008. But the problem, he adds, is the civilian grid has not been hardened.

Electric lines“Why haven't we done that?” Pry asks. “It's been 10 years since the EMP commission delivered its report and provided a plan for doing this.”

As former chief of staff of the commission, Pry say the team of experts worked for 17 years to create a plan in 2008, but to date that plan has been ignored, and no federal agency is in charge and no agency wants to be in charge of the problem, he complains.

“Not a single implement recommendation of the EMP commission has been implemented in 10 years," he warns, "and we remain as vulnerable today” as we ever have been.

Pry feels there is "hope," however, because President Donald Trump is listening to the commission and taking the concern seriously.

"And [Trump] is the first president to include in his national security strategy a directive for the federal government [to] protect the electric grid and the other life-sustaining critical infrastructures from EMP," Pry advises.

He adds, however, that federal bureaucracy is not cooperating and is ignoring the EMP commission.

Meanwhile, says Pry, the EMP threat has increased since 2008 because of technology: microelectronics have become faster, and operate on smaller voltage, making them more vulnerable to an EMP burst.

Consequently, Pry says, “it takes less and less energy to destroy them, so the very thing that makes us a high-tech society” is also “our technological Achilles' heel."

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