According to a new report from Congress, four of the U.S.’s prime adversaries will soon be poised to unleash a devastating nuclear electronic pulse attack (EMP) on our nation, an attack that could throw millions of people off the electrical grid and bring about one of the worst disasters in our nation’s – nay, the world’s – history.
The recently-published Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack report says, “The United States critical infrastructure faces a present and continuing existential threat from combined-arms warfare, including cyber and manmade electromagnetic pulse attack, and natural EMP from a solar superstorm.
“Within the last decade, newly nuclear-armed adversaries, including North Korea, have been developing the ability and threatening to carry out an EMP attack against the U.S.,” the report continues. “Such an attack would give countries that have only a small number of nuclear weapons the ability to cause widespread, long-lasting damage to U.S. critical national infrastructures, to the United States itself as a viable country, and to the survival of a majority of its population.”
In addition to North Korea, the commission warns that Russia, Iran, and China are all in the advanced stages of developing similar technology that would allow them to throw much of the U.S. off the power grid for an extended period of time.
“Nuclear EMP attack is part of the military doctrines, plans, and exercises of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran for a revolutionary new way of warfare against military forces and civilian critical infrastructures by cyber, sabotage, and EMP,” the report warns.
The report recommends that the Pentagon develop its own nuclear EMP weaponry, following in line with the “mutually-assured destruction” strategy that is credited with keeping the Cold War from turning into a global nuclear holocaust.
William R. Graham, the chairman of the commission, warned in August that “326 million Americans cannot long survive bereft by EMP of the electronic civilization that sustains their lives.”
In addition to recommending that the U.S. military develop its own counter-measures, Graham has long urged U.S. leaders to invest in an upgrade of the power grid that would make it less susceptible to attack.
“The bureaucratic Gordian knot preventing national EMP preparedness appears to be a greater challenge than winning World War II, the invention of the atomic bomb, the development of the nuclear navy, building the national highway system, or sending Men to the Moon,” he wrote.
Graham has estimated that it would cost the U.S. $2 billion to properly prepare the grid for an EMP attack – approximately the same amount our country gives to Pakistan on an annual basis.