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  • Don't Let White House Ignore Electromagnetic Pulse Threat

    Natanz Nuclear Facility in Iran

    Three days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it could take months for new UN sanctions against Iran. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that, in addition to China, the Obama administration is increasingly worried about gaining the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council, including Brazil, Turkey and Lebanon. While Iran’s ballistic missile program continues to advance, a long-range nuclear missile might not be the biggest threat Iran presents to the United States.

    Iran could place a short-range ballistic missile on one of the thousands of commercial freighters sailing in the Pacific and detonate a warhead high above U.S. territory that could take down 75 percent of our nation’s electrical grid. As Heritage fellow Baker Spring explains such a Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack would “cause a cascade of failures throughout the broader infrastructure, including banking systems, energy systems, transportation systems, food production and delivery systems, water systems, emergency services, and–perhaps most damaging–cyberspace. Effectively, the U.S. would be thrown back to the pre-industrial age following a widespread EMP attack.”

    Congress has already begun to address this threat. They created the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, who has since issued reports in 2004 and 2008. The Commission concluded: “EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences.”

    But now the Obama administration has chosen to ignore the Commission’s findings. Congress can not allow this to continue. Baker recommends:

    • Require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to Produce a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) Describing Which Countries Are Capable of Launching an EMP Strike.
    • Press the Obama Administration to Prepare to Protect the Nation’s Cyber Infrastructure Against the Effects of EMP.
    • Require the Navy to Develop a Test Program for Sea-Based Interceptors with the Capability to Intercept and Destroy Ballistic Missiles Carrying EMP Weapons Prior to Detonation.

    You can read Spring’s full report, here.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Don't Let White House Ignore Electromagnetic Pulse Threat

    1. Tom, Kennesaw Georgi says:

      EMP is a misunderstood and serious threat. It deserves activity. If the government is not analyzing this already, this MUST be done. Imagine life without grid power, automobiles (yes, EMP will fry auto computers), and any unprotected electronic device you can name. One relatively small tuned nuclear blast 250-300 miles above the surface of the earth will do this to everything within line of sight. Send it up over California, and everything to the Rocky Mountains goes down. Grid power included. If this scares you, it should.

    2. Pingback: Electromagnetic Pulse Threat Cause for Concern : Homeland Security News

    3. MJH Texas says:

      Read "One Second After". A movie would prepare more people than all the warnings on the internet. People would actually pay to learn and become scared. Friday the 13th could become tame in comparison.

    4. Kevin Jackson, Georg says:

      Governments have known about the problems of Electro Magnetic Pulse since solid state electronics first started replacing vacuum tubes in electronic technical equipment. Very few facilities have protection against EMP. It is very exensive to equip and impossible to protect "our" electrical grid from such devastation. Ignore the inevitable and fail to fund what we cannot see and this is what we get! The good news, if there is any, a pre-emptive strike, well within our capabilities, would elimate the threat and release the EMP over the enemy devastating the enemy's ability to even launch a single missle or speak on a cell phone.

    5. David - Dallas, Texa says:

      The book, "One Second After" is a very realistic and frightening look at the devastating impact of an EMP. After reading the book I reviewed both the 2004 and 2008 congressional reports and found that this threat is very real and we are totally unprepared. An EMP offers a rouge nation or terrorist with (pardon the pun) the biggest bang for their buck. It is almost the perfect terrorist weapon. By crippling critical electronic systems and networks they effectively freeze our economy and our ability to distribute information. The result is true Terror as citizens turn against citizens to survive. The death toll would far exceed that of a ground detonation of a similar size device while totally undermining the confidence and spirit of the American people.

      Our population shift to the cities and use of technology has created an increased reliance on electronics and just in time delivery, which means that individuals no longer have the skills to survive without them. – No refrigeration to preserve food, anyone know how to preserve food with smoke or salt? No power to drive pumps for water or sewage, anyone know how to purify water? Where and how to you bury victims, without power equipment, in order to prevent the spread of disease?

      And what is the risk for the offender? An EMP knocks the US back 200 years while a nuclear response against an offending country that is not as sophisticated or dependant on technology has little effect.

      While I believe that this is a real threat that the government must prepare for, the reality is that the real preparation rests with the individuals. Regardless of a government respond there will be a period of time when we are “on our own”. One of the best things that the government can do is to admit that and help individuals and communities develop the plans, skills and tools to survive until the government can respond.

    6. Bernard z, Ormond Be says:

      A book,published by the U.S. about the effects of nuclear blasts, described how one of the test blasts, 600 miles away from one of the Hawaaian iislands blew out a string of street lights on that island due to the large current in those power lines generated by the electromagnetic pulse(EMP) of the blast. That frightened me. The book was available to the public at the time and I had to read it at work(in the 60's).I recall the title as 'The Effects of Nuclear Blasts".I found that the requirements for shielding from the effects of the EMP are onerous, e.g.,the gaps in the shielding had to be much smaller than those between typical automotive sheet metal panels.

      What to do, its almost an impossible task.

    7. Billie says:

      One thing will always be for sure. Mankind can get along if they so choose. For the sake of mankind they should choose to do so.

    8. Mark Minnesota says:

      I’ve read the book. It’s sobering. As I recall, Russia’s long range bombers used tube-type equip so that the US’s nukes wouldnt fry their nav & radio equip.

    9. Dr K V Ranjit,Pathan says:

      far from emp affecting in a missile attack what is of even more serious concern is that iran would use a atom bomb shortly at its disposal directly as the pak had plotted during 1999 1nd 2001 which was averted the details of which has be n sent to info@heritage.org and can be checked out at http://www.facebook.com/drkvranjit and to avert which emergency actions are inevitable

    10. TheStator says:

      Many people on a popular new thread over at abovetopsecret.com are engaging in the exact same subject, a new EMP attenuation system developed a few months ago that was designed and built to stop the effects of an EMP. After reading the thread I found out that it could withstand even the biggest of nuclear EMP bombs, the ones that produce an astounding 200kV per squared meter.

      There are more posts every few minutes so it must still be new. The people on the thread believe it because of how the moderator has been describing it. The system will even become something that the general public can purchase. We wouldn't have to worry about our devices being destroyed.

      Go check it out: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread574415/

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