To understand the EMP threat you first have to understand what an EMP is and why many Americans are beginning to get worried. People use to think the only real threat to our way of life came from a nuclear attack and the subsequent radioactive fallout. It’s clear now that the US needs to be prepared to survive a new kind of attack that can be detonated far above our atmosphere leaving our country crippled without a single building being damaged. Here is what you need to know about an EMP attack.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a quick, powerful blast of electromagnetic energy that ranges across a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum. An EMP attack would wreak havoc on electronics but would leave our buildings standing unharmed. There have been some tests where an EMP has been released during a nuclear detonation and the result has fused power lines, caused radios and TV’s to break and triggered burglar alarms in a 900-mile radius.
A threat of EMP can come from either natural phenomena or from a nuclear detonation. If someone were to detonate a nuclear warhead a couple hundred miles over the US the resulting electromagnetic pulse could destroy our countries power grid. All of a sudden life for us would be thrust backwards to the beginning of the 19th century. A similar electromagnetic pulse could also come from something like a geomagnetic solar storm. It’s also conceivable that a threat of EMP could also come from a short range missile attack that would be launched off our coast from an enemy ship. The list of countries that could possibly mount that kind of attack is a long one.
Scientists tell us that there is a real threat coming from Mother Nature in the form of solar flares that are expected to occur over the next few years. Our northern hemisphere could be exposed to very high levels of electromagnetic energy. Obviously our missile defense systems would be completely ineffective against such a phenomena. Short range missiles like Scuds could easily be launched off of war ships and the list of countries capable of such actions include China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and groups like the Hezbollah.
To begin, some 130 million cars and 90 million trucks would be affected immediately. Our roads could quickly become congested parking lots and the electronic systems in many automobiles could be disabled. The effects of an EMP attack would stretch to air travel as many planes could fall as a result of fried electronics. Trains would also be severely impacted as they rely heavily on electricity. Our shipping could be hampered as well as many cargo vessels communications and electronic systems experience complete meltdowns. Imagine the number of ships out there that would become lost without any of their guidance systems. I wonder how many of those captains are able to navigate by the stars.
It is clear the EMP threat is very real. To gauge the possible effect of an EMP attack one has only to look at what happened in the New York City blackout in 1972. There was an immediate breakdown in social order as out- numbered and out gunned police officers had to just stand by and watch looters go to work. The city was brought to its knees in an event that only lasted a day. It’s clear that if the US were to come under an EMP attack the fallout would last for months if not years millions of Americans would lose their lives.