Notice: This website may or may not use or set cookies used by Google Ad-sense or other third party companies. If you do not wish to have cookies downloaded to your computer, please disable cookie use in your browser. Thank You.
Showing posts with label EMP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EMP. Show all posts

Thursday, October 1, 2015

America Unprepared For Devastating 'Black Swan'

Urban Man- Here is another interesting story I just read in regards to EMP issues.

WASHINGTON – Supply-chain disruptions often are the result of adverse weather, unplanned telecom outages, data breaches or even cyber hacking.

However, the one “Black Swan” event that would make these instances pale by comparison and result in a cascading disruption is a natural or man-made electromagnetic pulse event.

A “Black Swan” is an event regarded at the time of its occurrence as unprecedented and unexpected but later, in hindsight, understood to have been inevitable.

An EMP is in that category, since scientific experts repeatedly warn that a major EMP event is not a question of if, but when.

Barrett Moore, a security specialist and founder of the security company Triple Canopy, told WND that federal officials have modeled the effects of a “Black Swan” event on the timely delivery of food, water, fuel, medical care and technology. But they have done it primarily for the government’s benefit.

Michael Maloof’s “A Nation Forsaken” exposes the catastrophic vulnerability scientists and other experts have been warning about for years

“Seeing potential for large-scale chaos,” Barrett said, “they have mitigated this risk for themselves by investing hundreds of billions of dollars in a continuity-of-government plan that has overseen the construction, equipping and provisioning of over 100 classified ‘haven’ facilities accessible only to families and staff of government officials,” he said.

“No parallel provisions have been made in our country for the general population,” he said.

Years ago, Barrett noted, there were civil-defense centers in which the local population could assemble in the event of an emergency, stocked with food, water and essential medicines. But they disappeared in the 1960s.

Consideration, he said, should be given to bringing them back as one type of “safe haven” for the general population.


A recent survey shows that an EMP event is not on the radar of professionals whose industry is part of the supply chain.

A 2014 Supply Chain Resilience Survey, conducted by the Business Continuity Institute on behalf of the Zurich Insurance Group, asked the professionals to look five years ahead regarding potential, evolving world threats

They ranked the biggest threat as cyber attacks, followed in order by IT/telecom outages, outsourcer service failure, data breaches and adverse weather conditions.

Yet, supply-chain disruption caused by an EMP – a super-burst of energetic radio waves that could knock out the already vulnerable national grid – can either destroy or damage unprotected electronic systems by instantly overloading their circuits.

The immediate result would be catastrophic damage to all the critical infrastructures that rely on the grid, including automated control systems for electric power, telecommunications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water distribution and emergency services.

A natural EMP event would be a direct hit on Earth from a massive solar storm, while a man-made EMP would be a high-altitude nuclear bomb burst instigated by any adversarial country with a nuclear weapon and a missile-delivery system.

Given the level of U.S. unpreparedness, it is estimated that within 12 months of an EMP event, two-thirds to 90 percent of the U.S. population would likely perish from starvation, disease and societal breakdown, according to the Secure the Grid Coalition.

The coalition is an ad hoc group of policy, energy and national security experts, legislators and industry insiders dedicated to strengthening the U.S. electrical grid by seeking the passage of legislation and raising public awareness of the national and international threat of an EMP.

‘Keystone’ infrastructure at risk

One of the coalition’s spokesmen is Peter Vincent Pry, who told WND that “political gridlock” in Washington has hindered the implementation of any of a number of cost-effective plans to protect the national electrical grid.

He said the electric grid is the “keystone” infrastructure necessary to recover all other critical infrastructures. Protection of the grid from an EMP – which Pry said is the “worst threat” – will also enhance overall grid security against all other threats including cyber attack, sabotage and severe weather.

Pry is a former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency who serves as executive director of the congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum.

Pry also was staff director of the congressionally mandated EMP Commission, which in 2008 looked at the impact of an EMP on the nation’s vital infrastructure.

Among other things, the commission recommended an “all hazards” strategy to protect the electric grid and other critical infrastructures against all threats.

Pry said the “all hazards” strategy is the most practical and cost-effective solution to protecting the grid and the other critical infrastructures.

He pointed out that electric grid operation and vulnerability are dependent on two key technologies – extra-high voltage, or EHV, transformers and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems, or SCADAS.

“EHV transformers are the technological foundation of our modern electronic civilization as they make it possible to transmit electric power over great distances,” Pry said.

They cost millions of dollars and are custom-made rather than mass-produced. Making one EHV takes about 18 months under normal conditions, and only 200 are made a year.

While EHV transformers were invented in the United States by Nikolai Tesla, Pry said, they no longer are manufactured in the U.S.

“Because of their great size and cost,” he said, “U.S. electric utilities have very few spare EHV transformers. The U.S. must import EHV transformers made in Germany or South Korea, the only two nations in the world that make them for export.

“An event that damages hundreds – or even as few as nine – of the 2,000 EHV transformers in the United States could plunge the nation into a protracted blackout lasting months or even years,” Pry said.

SCADAS are small computers that run the electric grid and all the critical infrastructures. For example, they regulate the flow of electric current through EHV transformers, the flow of natural gas or water through pipelines, the flow of data through communications and financial systems and operate everything “from traffic control lights to refrigerators in regional food warehouses.”

SCADAS number in the millions and are indispensable as EHV transformers in running a modern electronic civilization, Pry said.

“The EMP Commission found that if the electric grid can be protected and quickly recover from nuclear EMP, the other critical infrastructures can also be recovered, with good planning, quickly enough to prevent mass starvation and restore society to normalcy,” Pry recently told a congressional panel.

“If EHV transformers, SCADAS and other critical components are protected from the worst threat – nuclear EMP – then they will survive, or damage will be greatly mitigated, from all lesser threats, including natural EMP from geomagnetic storms, severe weather, sabotage, and cyber attack,” he said.

Pry said cyber warfare is another existential threat to the U.S., not because of computer viruses and hacking alone, but owing to military doctrines of potential adversaries that call for all-out cyber attack, including an EMP.

Pry told the congressional panel that a 2011 U.S. Army War College study, “In The Dark: Planning for a Catastrophic Critical Infrastructure Event,” warned U.S. Cyber Command that U.S. doctrine should not overly focus on computer viruses to the exclusion of an EMP attack and the full spectrum of other threats, as planned by potential adversaries.

Pry said anti-hacking and anti-virus solutions will just result in an “endless virus versus anti-virus software arms race” that will prove “unaffordable and futile.”

He said the worst-case cyber scenario can be overcome through an “all hazards” strategy recommended by the congressional EMP Commission. He said the worst-case scenario envisions a computer virus infecting the SCADAS that regulate the flow of electricity into EHV transformers, damaging the transformers with overvoltage and causing a protracted national blackout.

But if the transformers are protected with surge arrestors against a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack which Pry said would be the worst kind of attack, they “would be unharmed by the worst possible overvoltage that might be system-generated by any computer virus.”

“While gridlock in Washington has prevented the federal government from protecting the national electric power infrastructure, threats to the grid – and to the survival of the American people – from EMP and other hazards are looming ever larger,” Pry said. “Grid vulnerability to EMP and other threats is now a clear and present danger.”

Urban Man-

Friday, September 4, 2015

EMP Threat Scenario

Here is a good short video on the dangers that the US is facing from a possible and likely EMP scenario. If our country does not get its act together and protect its citizens, we may be facing this one day.

Urban Man.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The EMP Issue

It's no surprise to reader of that I am a big fan of the International Forecaster and especially Bob Rinear. This article reminds us of the potential Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) threat. This was brought home to me two days ago after a hellacious thunder storm left us without power and even the cellular system was messed up. An EMP event would make this basically permanent. So hopefully, part of your survival plan address a no warning and immediate grid outage. What are you doing to do?

The EMP Issue, by Bob Rinear, The International Forecaster, Wednesday 5 August 2015

On Sunday I wrote a piece called “Fear Porn”, and it was the first of two articles I wanted to write for a long time, but “things” got in the way. The first article was about the concept of our entire lives now revolving around “the Internet”, and yet the net isn’t as stable as you might think. As I pointed out, your life would be massively disrupted if indeed a terrorist (foreign or domestic) did a massive hack which brought down the routers and pointers of the nets infrastructure.

Not because you couldn’t look at photo’s of your “BFF” showing you his or her breakfast, not  because you couldn’t tweet about some terribly unimportant topic…but because we are now at a point where no net…means no transactions. No credit cards, no ATM’s, no phones, no hotel reservations, no “a lot of things”. Given enough time, a nationwide Internet shut down, could very well cause social unrest, deaths, food supply problems, you name it. But the fact is, that’s just the warm up for the real issue. What if our power grid goes down?

I laid out the nightmares we saw during the NYC blackout of 1977 and the Ohio/Northeast blackout of 2004. Robberies, fires, arson, break in’s, looting, shootings, you name it. Ugly stuff, and that was just 1 and 2 day outages. What if something took the grid down for months?

Over the years I’ve looked at different situations wherein the “grid” as we call it (electrical generation and distribution) could be compromised on a wide scale. There’s several things that come to mind, such as network hacking. But the two that get the big attention are Solar burst of energy, and EMP’s. So what’s the real deal here? Can these things do what we’ve been told or not? Let’s look…

EMP stands for Electro-magnetic Pulse. An EMP is a short burst of electromagnetic energy.

Such a pulse may occur in the form of a radiated electric or magnetic field or conducted electric current depending on the source, and may be natural or man-made. Okay, so what’s the big deal?

Well, if the EMP is big enough, it will follow power lines, long cables, grounding straps, and burn up things with a power surge. Anything not “hardened’ against a massive short term burst, simply burns out. Be it computers, TV, phones, hospital equipment, power generators, high voltage lines, etc. Bad stuff.

We have been aware of the “natural” EMP’s that come from the Sun ( and even severe lightening storms) because the sun caused such a “burst” of electro-magnetism in 1859 that telegraph operators were singed around the country as sparks lit up their transmission lines.

Aurorae were seen around the world, those in the northern hemisphere as far south as the Caribbean; those over the Rocky Mountains were so bright that their glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning. People in the northeastern US could read a newspaper by theaurora's light. It was named the Carrington Event.

It was (and still is) the largest recorded geomagnetic storm. If something of that magnitude were to hit today, with the incredible amount of electronics we use each and every day, it would fry tens of millions of devices and plunge us into the dark for MONTHS. In fact, in Ontario Canada on March 13th 1989 a solar storm impacted their area. At 2 am on the 13th the Ontario grid went dark, plunging millions of folks into the dark. No power, no phones, no water pumping (electrical pumps) No Natural gas (electrical pumps) etc.

They found the fried equipment and things were up and running in about 12 hours. But think about that for a second. A solar “Coronal mass ejection” knocked out the power to millions. Yet it was “tiny” compared to the Carrinton event. So problem one with EMP’s is that they can indeed be natural, and another like the 1859 version would indeed take down huge parts of our entire countries power grid.

But we found out in 1962 just how dangerous Man made EMP’s could be. During that year, the US Government decided to test a high altitude nuclear blast. The test was named starfish and took place about a thousand miles from Hawaii on a deserted island. When the bomb went off some 250 miles up in the atmosphere, something quite strange happened. Electrical components on the Islands of Hawaii were blowing up. To quote one of the researchers….

The effects were bizarre and almost entirely unanticipated. One effect was an electromagnetic pulse, but nobody knew it was going to be anywhere nearly as large it proved to be. They had all this data and they didn’t understand very much of it, including the EMPs that had been observed and the effects produced…all kinds of electrical disturbances were seen over 1000 kilometers away in Oahu.

Since then we’ve learned that a large nuclear device that gets detonated in the upper atmosphere could easily wipe out the electrical grid, and darned near anything connected to it. Which instantly brought up the question of its use as a military weapon. In fact there’s no question at all as to whether the US and Russia have experimented with EMP as a weapon and we’re also worried about North Korea ( and some say Iran) Here’s why…

Let’s suppose some rogue nation takes an old scud missile and tips it with a nuclear bomb. They get the thing near our coast on a container ship or what have you and fire it. The next thing you know an entire area of the nation sees its grid go down, and the resulting surges and brownout’s spread through the network. It is not inconceivable that the whole country could go dark. Here is the statement from the 2008 committee on researching EMP attacks…

A single EMP attack may seriously degrade or shut down a large part of the electric power grid in the geographic area of EMP exposure effective instantaneously. There is also the possibility of functional collapse of grids beyond the exposed one, as electrical effects propagate from one region to another…Should significant parts of the electric power infrastructure be lost for any substantial period of time, the Commission believes that the consequences are likely to be catastrophic, and many people may ultimately die for lack of the basic elements necessary to sustain life in dense urban and suburban communities.

Now, depending on whom you wish to listen to, the effects of a well coordinated EMP attack on the US could last for 18 months of “dark” (no electricity) and MILLIONS dead. I could EASILY see that.

As you probably know, my biggest “big picture” scare is that we are 100% reliant on the electrical grid for EVERYTHING. We just expect it to be there because it’s “always there”. Yet what if it wasn’t? Then yes, there would be mass starvation, mass riots, bands of roaming hungry thieves. No question.

I try and keep the “wacko stuff” and the real Fear Porn out of the letters. I’m not a “shock jock” like Howard Stern who gets his listeners from being outrageous. But in this instance, I am not just trying to scare the hell out of you all, I’m trying to expose something that seems to be all-too real. Consider this…

As late as the 1940’s once you got out of town, just about every rural household had a couple chickens in the yard for fresh eggs. They usually had a hand driven well pump and a few minutes of pumping that handle would bring good clean water up from the depths. They probably had a nice veggie garden, and “mom” probably knew how to can their produce for use in the winter months.

Dad and the boys most definitely had a few small game rifles, and knew how to hunt rabbit, squirrel, and deer. They generally had a coal or wood furnace, and knew how to cook over wood instead of electricity or Natgas. Oil lamps and candles made at home were frequent. In a lot of homes in rural America 1940 if the power went down, no one noticed for half the day.

Today that very situation would be called a “prepper family”. You’d be looked upon as “one of them people”. But the fact is that for about 80% of our citizens, they have NONE of those skills or resources. A chicken coop in modern America? Horror the thought! People get run out of Home owner associations for parking a vehicle in their driveway let alone a chicken coop. A personal water well on your own property? Not today, it’s all about “city water”. Grabbing a .22 and shooting a squirrel for dinner? Perish the thought! The fact is that the typical American is absolutely and totally dependent on the “grid” for survival.

So if you ask me - Bob, what’s your two biggest fears right now? My answer would be a take down of the Electrical Grid first, and a take down of the Internet second. Now do we have any “proof” that either one is coming? Nope, not really. But sometimes you see things that make you think about it.

For example, the Military is moving a lot of its command nodes back into the depths of Cheyenne mountain, a fortified bunker complex deep beneath the granite rocks. Why? Could they be anticipating something like an EMP attack and want to make sure their command and control center is “hardened” against suck a thing? Could be.

I’d like to say I only have two fears about the big picture, but that wouldn’t be truthful. Others on my list are a global monetary reset which I totally believe is coming. A devaluation of our currency which I think is coming. I think were going to get rocked a bit over that when it happens, and frankly it has to happen. Even the wicked Central bankers know that our present system isn’t working.

So “yeah” there’s things that get my attention.

No one wants to live in fear, and I don’t either. But there’s some things that we have very little control over, that have a lot of control over our lives. Power, Internet and global finances come to mind. All 3 of them have the ability to rock our world.

Urban Man

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Attack on the U.S. From Cargo Ships As a Collapse Catalyst

"If you think are enemies can not reach out a touch us, then read the below article. What other adversaries have things like this waiting for the right time to pounce?  Urban Man"

Urban Survival Skills and most other Survivalist Prepper sites has concentrated on a financial - economic collapse as a catalyst for chaos in the United States. From time to time we have talked about Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) from terrorist or nation states' nuclear strikes causing the collapse, aka Lights Out or One Second After scenario. And while this is certainly a possibility, that possibility took on new importance and new possibilities upon Russia now manufacturing and exporting a Shipping Container missile system.

You have all seen those shipping container, on flatbeds being pulled by semi trucks, or on trains or even ships. Commonly called Sea Containers or military containers, it is common for ships entering U.S. ports to be laden with stacks and stacks of these containers. Even if all ships and all containers are inspected, and I assure you they are NOT!, it would only take a ship stopping before dockside to fire these missile into U.S. Territory.

And it really doesn't matter if these missiles are guided or not - with a nuclear warhead close enough is good enough.

The Russian Club K missile systems have been placed in Sea Containers in order to be placed on cargo ships and "hide in plain site". They have a range of 180 miles which is a great enough range to sit of the 12 mile territorial waters and fire missiles into U.S. soil.

This missile is basically a part of the Russian anti-ship armament family. It comes in a system of four missiles and can fit inside 20 foot Sea Container, therefore two systems of a total of 8 missiles can fit inside a 40 foot Sea Container.

As one intelligence analyst put it "The Russia Club K missile System is practically undetectable, and it may encounter a potential adversary’s ship anywhere at all, be it aboard a Russia patrol vessel in the northern seas, on the Crimean coast, or emerging unexpectedly from an old shipping container somewhere in Latin America.”

Urban Man

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

US Government Preparing for Armageddon?

Here is an interesting article I read on Yahoo.

It looks like the Federal Government knows something we don't.  Apparently the US SPACE Command, which governs the nuclear missile capability, is moving back into protected bunkers.  The article below came out in Yahoo News.

There is some internet chatter about the U.S. developing EMP capable missile which would of course be used in a first strike or counter strike fashion.  And about how the Russians and Chinese are so concerned about these supposed EMP missile/weapon capability - meaning the capability to take out the other side's communications, radar, other early defense, and, retaliatory nuclear strike capability - that either side may decide to strike first before they lose any edge.

Combine these warnings with the Russians continually testing this nation's perimeter with their strategic bombers  and then you have a fear, probably a justified fear of a nuclear attack.  I hope not!
US aerospace command moving communications gear back to Cold War bunker

The US military command that scans North America's skies for enemy missiles and aircraft plans to move its communications gear to a Cold War-era mountain bunker, officers said.

The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command's sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.

The Pentagon last week announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command.

Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that "because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain's built, it's EMP-hardened."

"And so, there's a lot of movement to put capability into Cheyenne Mountain and to be able to communicate in there," Gortney told reporters.

"My primary concern was... are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I'm not at liberty to discuss who's moving in there," he said.

The Cheyenne mountain bunker is a half-acre cavern carved into a mountain in the 1960s that was designed to withstand a Soviet nuclear attack. From inside the massive complex, airmen were poised to send warnings that could trigger the launch of nuclear missiles.

But in 2006, officials decided to move the headquarters of NORAD and US Northern Command from Cheyenne to Petersen Air Force base in Colorado Springs. The Cheyenne bunker was designated as an alternative command center if needed.

That move was touted a more efficient use of resources but had followed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of modernization work at Cheyenne carried out after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Now the Pentagon is looking at shifting communications gear to the Cheyenne bunker, officials said.

"A lot of the back office communications is being moved there," said one defense official.

Officials said the military's dependence on computer networks and digital communications makes it much more vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse, which can occur naturally or result from a high-altitude nuclear explosion.

Under the 10-year contract, Raytheon is supposed to deliver "sustainment" services to help the military perform "accurate, timely and unambiguous warning and attack assessment of air, missile and space threats" at the Cheyenne and Petersen bases.

Raytheon's contract also involves unspecified work at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Secret Iranian handbook calls for EMP attack on America

"Here is an article I recently read that makes chills run down my spine. Is our own government playing into the hands of these idiots. You be the judge and prepare."
                                                                                                              ~Urban Man~

WASHINGTON – A “secret” Iranian military handbook, American officials say, confirms that the Islamic Republic of Iran is including in its arsenal a plan to launch a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack on the American national grid system. To carry out such an attack, from a high-altitude nuclear blast, would require Iran to have not only the missiles to launch such a device but also the technology to produce a nuclear explosion.

The revelation comes as the United States, along with the P5+1 countries that comprise the United Nations Security Council, is about to finalize negotiations over Iran’s nuclear development program. There have been concerns raised that Iran still has the intention of making nuclear bombs using the technology in that program, and the negotiations may not do enough to prevent it.

It’s also an issue on which WND has reported for a decade,  as long ago as 2005 when intelligence sources were quoted, saying, “Iran is not only covertly developing nuclear weapons, it is already testing ballistic missiles specifically designed to destroy America’s technical infrastructure, effectively neutralizing the world’s lone superpower.”

At that time, scientists, including President Reagan’s top science adviser, William R. Graham, said there was no other explanation for such tests than preparation for the deployment of electromagnetic pulse weapons – even one of which could knock out America’s critical electrical and technological infrastructure, effectively sending the continental U.S. back to the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years.

At the time, Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., warned, “A terrorist organization might have trouble putting a nuclear warhead ‘on target’ with a Scud, but it would be much easier to simply launch and detonate in the atmosphere. No need for the risk and difficulty of trying to smuggle a nuclear weapon over the border or hit a particular city. Just launch a cheap missile from a freighter in international waters – al-Qaida is believed to own about 80 such vessels – and make sure to get it a few miles in the air.”

In the latest development, the P5+1 countries – Great Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany – have sought restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to prevent that country from turning a program that reportedly is for medical and power production into a bomb factory.

Peter Vincent Pry, who is executive director of a congressional advisory group called the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, raised the alarm as the agreement is about to be finalized. He said U.S. military officials have confirmed such an Iranian plan.

“Iranian military documents describe such a scenario – including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States,” Pry wrote in a recent column in Israel’s main online media network, Aruz Sheva. “Iran with a small number of nuclear missiles can by EMP attack threaten the existence of modernity and be the death knell of Western principles of international law, humanism and freedom,” he said.

“For the first time in history, a failed state like Iran could destroy the most successful societies on Earth and convert an evolving benign world order into world chaos.”

WND could not immediately independently confirm the military documents cited by Pry. But WND reported in 2014 that there was developing considerable alarm among national security experts that Iran was intending to position its warships off the U.S. coast. Those experts confirmed there would be no warning and that the U.S. missile defense system would not be able to respond in time to prevent the high altitude nuclear explosion that could be launched from one of those ships.

“It shows they could put a weapon on a boat or freighter, and if Iran has ballistic missiles it could put it anywhere on the U.S. coast,” John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a senior fellow at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, said at the time. The Iranian Fars News Agency had announced that the fleet would undertake a three-month mission and would consist of a destroyer and a helicopter-carrying vessel.

This week’s revelation comes as Israel has just re-elected Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister. He recently warned a joint session of Congress about reaching any nuclear agreement with Iran. According to sources, the textbook refers to an EMP attack on some 20 locations in the United States.

Pry pointed out that Iran, in fact, would not need an intercontinental missile to launch a high-altitude EMP attack that could knock out the U.S. national grid system and the other life-sustaining critical infrastructures that depend on the grid to function. He said Iran could deliver a nuclear attack from a ship just off the U.S. East Coast either by a missile or by launching into orbit around the Earth a satellite which, in effect, would be a nuclear device.

Critical infrastructures that depend on the already vulnerable U.S. national grid system include communications, water and food delivery systems, financial and banking systems, transportation, regulation of the nearly million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines that traverse the U.S. and the myriad of modern conveniences that function by automated control systems that often are located in remote areas of the country.

Pry said it would cost only about $2 billion to harden the grid from such an attack or a direct hit from solar flares – which could produce similar damage and is occurring now. He added that protection of the grid could include the installation of devices like geomagnetically induced current, or GICs, blockers. Pry’s warning about the Iranian military textbook coincided with a threat from Gen. Hassan Firouzabad, the Iranian armed forces chief of staff.

“We are ready for the decisive battle against the U.S. and the Zionist regime,” Firouzabad recently told the Iranian Fars News Agency. “Iran armed with nuclear missiles poses an unprecedented threat to global civilization,” Pry said.

In 2012, when Iran was reporting the successful testing of a variety of missiles, including those that could strike targets 1,250 miles away, WND reported that the rogue nation also was working on an intercontinental ballistic missiles under the guise of it is space program. One nuclear warhead detonated at high-altitude over the United States would black out the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for months or years by means of an electromagnetic pulse, Pry said. He said the chaos could result in the deaths of 90 percent of the American population. Such an attack would not be exclusive to the United States.

Dr. Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, said Iran also could target Israel.

Landau, who is an expert on Iran’s nuclear program, said Iran could very well be planning an EMP attack on Israel, based on statements from high-level Iranian officials. She said Iran already has the missiles but only needs the nuclear device to launch an EMP that would be capable of destroying Israel’s electrical grid.

“Iran doesn’t have a nuclear bomb yet, and hopefully it won’t have one, but if it does manage to build a bomb, an EMP attack is a real possibility,” Landau said.
Pry went so far as to say Iran is actively preparing for an EMP attack.

Tehran has undertaken offshore exercises using Scud missiles fired and positioned in such a way that they exploded in the atmosphere, exactly the method you would use for an EMP attack, he said. “(Iran) could even marshal a major Islamic invasion of Israel, massacring the Jews and ushering in the era of the 12th imam, the Islamic messiah, whose arrival Iran’s leadership believes is imminent,” Pry said.

WND also reported at the time that a 2004 report by a congressional commission found “several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapons-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication.”

“EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences,” the report said. “EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of U.S. society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.”

Some individual states have adopted various requirements to minimize the damage from such an attack, but federal legislation has not yet succeeded in setting those standards. It’s the SHIELD Act, from Rep. Trent Franks, that has been introduced several times.

The Shield Act stands for Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage. It calls on industry and government to develop, promulgate and implement standards and processes that are necessary to address the electric grid’s current vulnerabilities and shortcomings that would be affected by an EMP.

[source: Posted By F. Michael Maloof On 03/19/2015 @ 9:48 pm In Front Page,Politics,U.S.,World | No Comments]

P.S. Here is an interesting video to watch regarding Iran and its nuclear intentions.

Urban Man

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Is US vulnerable to EMP attack?

Here is a good article from the Army Times. An EMP event would devastate our way of life. Read on an you judge for yourself.  How prepared are you should something like this occur?

"Is US vulnerable to EMP attack? A doomsday warning, and its skeptics

Former CIA Director Woolsey tells Congress of a doomsday scenario in which a nuclear-blast-triggered electromagnetic pulse takes down the US power grid, leading to starvation and death. Some experts decry 'hysteria' over EMPs. This artivle was posted on Christian Science Monitor and you can click on the linbk to watch the video.

It is an unsettling doomsday scenario: A ballistic missile is launched from a freighter near America’s shores, setting off a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere. The blast generates electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) that could take out the nation’s electrical grid and bring civilization as we know it “to a cold, dark halt.”

This warning comes from the former director of the CIA, James Woolsey, in little-noticed testimony recently before the House Armed Services Committee.

A nuclear weapon would be detonated in orbit “in order to destroy much of the electric grid from above the US with a single explosion,” he told lawmakers last week. “Two thirds of the US population would likely perish from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown. Other experts estimate the likely loss to be closer to 90 percent.”

This dire forecast included warning of an “increasing likelihood that rogue nations such as North Korea (and before long, most likely, Iran) will soon match Russia and China in that they will have the primary ingredients for an EMP attack: simple ballistic missiles such as SCUDs that could be launched from a freighter near our shores.”

Mr. Woolsey sprinkled in a bit of intelligence as well. “In 2004,” he noted to lawmakers, “the Russians told us that their ‘brain drain’ had been helping the North Koreans develop EMP weapons.”

So, how plausible is this sort of scenario? A number of defense analysts take issue with the idea that an EMP attack on the US is imminent, or even particularly likely. They also suggested the outcome of the attack would not be so dire.

“I think the wild hysteria that’s greeted EMP attacks lately is wildly overstated,” says James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“So if you’re North Korea, and you’ve got a nuclear weapon, and you detonate it over the United States, what’s going to happen next? The answer is hundreds of nukes will descend on you from the US,” he says. “So why would you waste the round? If they’re going to shoot a nuke at us, they’re not going to bother with this EMP stuff.”

What’s more, although Woolsey told lawmakers that “modern electronics are a million times more vulnerable to EMP than the electronics of the 1960s,” Mr. Lewis argues that radiation hardening has been built into many modern electronics, through chips that have become more sophisticated. “Before, there were vacuum tubes, and now you’re using a chip that can withstand a fair amount of radiation,” Lewis says.

So what’s the bottom line? If a country or terrorist group “were crazy enough to shoot a nuclear weapon up over Washington, D.C. [to try to create an EMP], you might be able to fry 30 percent of the electronics in the city,” Lewis says.

Solar flares can create EMPs as well, Woolsey noted, citing a 1989 solar-generated pulse that, he told lawmakers, “effectively destroyed Quebec’s electric grid.” According to an article on a NASA website that looked back at the event 10 years later, the power was out in Quebec for 12 hours.

While an EMP attack may not be likely, the possibility raises some interesting strategic questions, says Paul Scharre, project director for the 20YY Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security.

“If a nuclear-armed actor, instead of actually killing civilians with a nuclear weapon, lights it off at a high altitude,” he asks. “Does that cross the nuclear threshold? What’s the appropriate response? How would we respond? There’s not really a good answer for that.”

Urban Man

Sunday, May 4, 2014

EMP Threat From North Korea and Others

This is a good article written by Dr. Peter Vincent, and was published on Family Security Matters. It seems I may have read something similar in 2013, and this article is dated 2014, in any case it is still valid today,...maybe even more so given North Korea's, and not to mention Iran's, continuation of their nuclear weapons programs.

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both Congressional Advisory Boards, and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe and Electric Armageddon, both available from and

Presentation by Dr. Peter Vincent Pry

The Atlantic and Conservation Institute

New York City ~ April 10, 2014

North Korea's third illegal nuclear test on February 12, 2013, was followed by increased international sanctions, that prompted escalating threats from North Korea to make nuclear missile strikes against U.S. allies, South Korea and Japan, and the mainland United States. President Obama denied that North Korea could deliver on these threats, claiming that North Korea does not yet have nuclear armed missiles--despite assessments to the contrary by DIA, CIA, and NATO.

Three months earlier, on December 12, 2012, North Korea successfully orbited a satellite, the KSM-3, thereby demonstrating the capability to deliver a small nuclear warhead to intercontinental ranges--against any nation on Earth. The Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack assessed that Russia, China, and North Korea (with help from Russia) have probably developed nuclear weapons of special design that produce a low explosive yield and high gamma ray output in order to generate an extraordinarily powerful EMP field. The Russians term these "Super-EMP" weapons. Independently, South Korean military intelligence and a Chinese military commentator in open sources credit North Korea with having Super-EMP warheads.

The design characteristics of a Super-EMP warhead are such that it would likely be small enough for delivery by North Korea's Unha-3 space launch vehicle or its Taepodong-2 ICBM.

North Korea during its December 12, 2012 launch of the KSM-3 satellite apparently practiced making against the U.S. a surprise nuclear EMP attack. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union developed a secret weapon--the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS)--disguised as a peaceful space launch vehicle, that could orbit a nuclear warhead like a satellite, to make a surprise EMP attack.

The FOBS would launch southward, away from the U.S., and orbit a nuclear warhead on a satellite trajectory over the South Pole, attacking the U.S. from the south. During the Cold War and today, U.S. Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radars and anti-missile interceptors are all looking north. U.S. National Missile Defenses are blind to the south and not prepared for an attack from that direction.

The first warning of a FOBS attack would be the nuclear EMP burst which could paralyze military communications and forces and would have catastrophic consequences for the electric grid and other civilian critical infrastructures. The Congressional EMP Commission assesses that a nuclear EMP attack that causes a protracted nationwide blackout lasting a year or more could kill up to 9 of 10 Americans from starvation, disease, and societal collapse.

The trajectory of North Korea's KSM-3 satellite had the characteristics for delivery by FOBS of a surprise nuclear EMP attack against the United States. The satellite was launched to the south, away from the U.S., transited the South Pole, and approached the U.S. from its southern blindside--at the optimum altitude for placing an EMP field over all 48 contiguous United States.

President Obama, despite public dismissal of the North Korean nuclear missile threats, nonetheless conducted B-2 bomber demonstrations over the demilitarized zone and strengthened National Missile Defenses (but not in the south).

Amidst the nuclear crisis with North Korea, on April 10, 2013, the KSM-3 satellite was near the geographic center of the U.S., at optimum altitude (if KSM-3 was a nuclear weapon) for placing an EMP field over most of the continental United States.

On April 16, 2013, the KSM-3 satellite was over the Washington, D.C.-New York City corridor--the optimum location and altitude for placing a peak EMP field over the area most likely to blackout the Eastern Grid. The Eastern Grid generates 75 percent of U.S. electricity and is indispensable to national survival. The peak EMP field would also have maximized damage to Washington and New York, the nation's political and economic centers.

Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, on April 16, 2013, on the same day North Korea's KSM-3 was over Washington and New York, saboteurs unknown attacked the critically important Metcalf transformer substation outside San Jose, that services a 470 megawatt power plant and the Silicon Valley. Had the attack on Metcalf destroyed the transformers, cascading failures might well have blacked out much of the Western Grid. U.S. military operations in the Pacific, and against North Korea in a major war, depend upon West coast power projection capabilities.

Power projection to the Pacific and Asia cannot be sustained if the Western Grid is in blackout.

Three months after Metcalf and the KSM-3 orbit over Washington-New York City, a North Korean freighter that transited the Gulf of Mexico was intercepted trying to enter the Panama Canal carrying, hidden in its hold under bags of sugar, two nuclear-capable SA-2 missiles on their launchers. The missiles had no nuclear warheads. But North Korea's demonstrated capability to move nuclear capable missiles into the Gulf of Mexico is eerily similar to the EMP Commission's nightmare scenario of a rogue state launching a nuclear EMP attack from a freighter operating off the U.S. coast.

An EMP attack launched from a freighter near the U.S. coast could achieve surprise, minimize the possibility of interception, and be executed anonymously to escape retaliation. Deterrence and retaliation depends upon knowing who executed the attack.

The nuclear crisis of 2013 may have been an elaborate training exercise by North Korea for an all-out Cyber Warfare Operation against the United States. The Congressional EMP Commission found, and as explained in May 2013 congressional testimony of former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, in the military doctrines of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, Cyber Warfare is not limited to computer viruses and hacking--but includes sabotage, like the Metcalf attack, and nuclear EMP attack. The objective is to destroy the enemy by collapsing the civilian critical infrastructures--communications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water--and especially the electric grid, which sustains all the infrastructures, and modern civilization.

All the elements of a total Cyber Warfare Operation were present. Every day the electric grid and other critical infrastructures experience hundreds of attacks and probes by computer viruses and hacking. The Metcalf attack on April 16 may have been practice for a much larger and more ambitious sabotage campaign against the electric grid, as Jon Wellinghoff, former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and many experts believe. The April 16 orbit of KSM-3 over Washington and New York, in the perfect position for an EMP attack on the Eastern Grid, is an astounding coincidence, if it is a coincidence. Three months later, the presence in the Gulf of Mexico of a North Korean freighter carrying nuclear capable SA-2 missiles completes the picture, and checks all the boxes for an all-out Cyber Warfare Operation.

What is to be done?

Former Director of Central Intelligence Woolsey and I have written in the Wall Street Journal that it is too risky to tolerate North Korean launches of their Unha-3 space launch vehicle or their Taepondong-2 ICBM--we should blow them up on the pad in a surgical strike.

During President George W. Bush's Administration, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Ashton Carter, until recently President Obama's Deputy Secretary of Defense, both advocated such a policy. They urged President Bush to surgically destroy North Korean long-range missiles under development--because it would be too dangerous to allow North Korea the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon against the United States.

Now that North Korea has Super-EMP weapons, and the capability to deliver them, preventing their launch of weapons or "satellites" over the United States is even more imperative.

More important than ever, vital to national survival, is protecting the electric grid from EMP and the other elements of an all-out Cyber Warfare Operation. Bills enjoying strong bipartisan support are before Congress designed to protect the grid--the GRID Act, the SHIELD Act, and the Critical Infrastructures Protection Act. But these have been stalled, blocked from a vote, by lobbying from the electric power industry, especially the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

State initiatives to protect the grid from EMP and other threats have been more successful and appear to be a promising way to achieve progress. Maine and Virginia have already passed initiatives to study protecting their State grids. Florida, New York, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma and Indiana have movements afoot to introduce grid protection initiatives, instead of waiting for Washington to act.

Finally, Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, has excellent ideas about how we can quickly bolster National Missile Defense with Aegis cruisers and Aegis ashore interceptors to patch the holes in our defenses--especially to the south. Ambassador Cooper is our nation's foremost expert on missile defense. During the Cold War he was deeply involved in efforts to protect our military forces from EMP.

And then we have this article from World Net Daily, titled: "State warns on EMP: There's no help coming". We're glad there is some level of government recognizing the EMP threat. Just too bad it's not the Federal Government.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed legislation to require the state’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to prepare materials outlining what citizens need to know to deal with either a natural or man-made electromagnetic pulse event that could knock out the vulnerable electrical grid system over a wide geographical region.

The legislation, SB 1476, was introduced by Sen. David Farnsworth, R-Mesa. It includes the type and quantity of food, water and medical supplies that each person should stockpile in case an EMP occurs over the U.S.

The legislation, however, doesn’t require actual hardening of the grid within the state.

“In our lifetimes the emergencies we’ve seen have been local emergencies, and really all we have to do is be prepared enough to hang on until help arrives,” Farnsworth said at the time he introduced it last February. “With an EMP, there’s no help coming.”

Under the legislation that now is law, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management is to post on its website recommendations such as the type and amount of supplies residents should stockpile to be prepared for an EMP event.

Farnsworth’s more immediate concern was the prospect of an EMP triggered by the detonation of a high-altitude nuclear weapon. The EMP would have the effect of knocking out the vulnerable grid system and any unprotected electronics. “My hope is that by bringing this out, we’ll start discussions and come to the realization that as a government we can’t feed all these people, but as responsible citizens we need to do our part and make individual preparations,” he said at the time he introduced the legislation. A co-sponsor of the legislation, Don Shooter, R-Yuma, had criticized the federal government for not taking a similar public education program. Read the documentation that’s sparking the worry about the EMP threat, in “A Nation Forsaken.”

“It’s too expensive for the government to prepare on a national scale,” Shooter said. “This time around, it’s people who can do the most to prepare. It’s even possible to EMP-proof your electronics. It just takes time.” Shooter said the threat of an EMP event may be small, but “if it ever does happen, most people won’t be prepared. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and warn them now. God puts a watchman on the tower for times like these.”

State Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, was one of 17 lawmakers who voted against the original legislation, criticizing the focus on a catastrophe that he said was a very remote possibility. “Really, we already have a major catastrophe in the state and that’s called our schools falling apart, our roads falling apart and we should be fixing those things,” he said. “Not living in some fantasy world worrying about some unquantified attack or some disaster that’s not gonna happen.”

Survival gear expert Tim Ralston of Scottsdale, Ariz., however, said that there are simple things that can be done to give people “peace of mind.” “The food, the water, everything has to do with electricity. And an EMP in an instant would shut that all off,” he said. Ralston said that less than 15 percent of the Arizona population is prepared for an electrical disruption of 30 days or more. “I think it’s fantastic,” Ralston said of the new law. “I think any time we can take a proactive step to help people become more self-reliant it will help that transition.”

Arizona has taken a lead in moving on the EMP issue.

In February 2013, Congressman Trent Franks introduced the SHIELD Act in the House of Representatives and established in the U.S. House of Representatives the EMP Caucus. The Shield Act stands for Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage. It calls on industry and government to develop, promulgate and implement standards and processes that are necessary to address the electric grid’s current vulnerabilities and shortcomings that would be affected by an EMP.

Franks has been trying to get the SHIELD Act into law since 2011. In the last session of Congress, it passed the House but failed in the Senate. His efforts stem from findings of the congressional EMP commission which spelled out in considerable detail the cascading impact of an EMP on the electrical grid system and its catastrophic impact on life-sustaining critical infrastructures that depend on it.

Experts agree that if there were an EMP event, the U.S. could see some 90 percent of its population affected. Experts believe food, water, energy and other supply systems could be unoperational, possibly for periods extending to years.

Arizona is but the latest state to take action due to the failure of the federal government to address the EMP issue. Last June, Maine passed and the governor signed legislation ordering its grid to be hardened against an EMP. The law not only requires preparation against a natural or man-made EMP, but it encourages other states to take a similar initiative.

Other states, including New York, Texas, North Carolina and Missouri, also are considering EMP legislation.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has failed to look at EMP as a major threat in its 15 planning scenarios, even though DHS officials have testified before Congress that they are very aware of the consequences of an EMP event, whether natural or man-made.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

EMP Threat In The News

It is becoming more mainstream to talk about the EMP Threat. Recently on Fox News and on web based reporting, good explanations on how an Nuclear weapon or EMP attack over the central U.S. could potentially cause a blackout or infrastructure destruction to over half of the U.S.

EMP is of course an intense electro-magnetic pulse that will instantly destroy electrical circuits which is a by product of nuclear detonations but also several countries have been experimenting with EMP weapons designed specifically against the electrical infrastructure as opposed to physical destruction of everything.

For example a 1.4 megaton EMP bomb detonated 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most electronics in the U.S. See map below of anticipated effects radius or area. This of course will cause complete chaos and subsequent death from the total destruction of our electrical infrastructure as the entire U.S. economy is dependent upon this grid.

Actually, nobody knows the magnitude of infrastructure failure and destruction that an EMP attack would cause. All of the conjecture is based on modeling. Electrical grids going down for months - if not years; communications gone;

Reports by experts confirms that the U.S. is totally unprepared for an EMP attack and that Terrorists Groups and rogue nations like Iran are fully aware of what such an attack would do to the U.S.  Conservative estimates are that the U.S. would lose tens of millions of people in the first year and many more to follow
as the infrastructure that virtually powers every aspects of our lives would be down for years to come and in fact may never regain even parts of it's former capacity.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Survival Planning - More on EMP Threat

Recently came across a November 28th report from World Net Daily (WND), written by Bob Unruh, entitled "Report Warns Obama about 'new' Dark Ages -Airplanes would fall from sky, cars would stop, networks fail".

I don't think there is alot lot more you can do to prepare for EMP if you are board with a Survival Preparation plan already for contingencies such as socio-economic collapse. EMP would certainly cause a total collapse of the infrastructure, but nobody really has an idea on just how prolific the affected areas would be. I have bolded some of the more interesting parts of this article.

The WND Article:

Two national-security experts have issued a report through the Heritage Foundation that warns Obama administration officials to start working now to prevent – and mitigate the damage from – an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States because of the potential for "unimaginable devastation."

"Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine. Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Much of the world's intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the 'new' Dark Ages," states the report by James J. Carafano, the deputy director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, and Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Politial-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute.

The report, which is described by the Heritage Foundation as a "backgrounder," is titled "EMP Attacks – What the U.S. Must Do Now" and was released just days ago, says what is needed right now is for the government to "prevent the threat," by pursuing "an aggressive protect-and-defend strategy, including comprehensive missile defense; modernizing the U.S. nuclear deterrent; and adopting proactive nonproliferation and counterproliferation measures."

Further, measures are needed to add to the "resilience" of the electrical grid and telecommunications systems, including duplicating some essential functions, and "robust" pre-disaster planning should be going on now for "federal, state, local private-sector, non-government organizations and international support," the report said.

Especially, the nation needs to work to "protect the capacity to communicate," the report explains.

"An EMP strike can easily obliterate America 's electrical, telecommunications, transportation, financial, food,and water infrastructures, rendering the United States helpless to coordinate actions and deliver services essential for daily life," says the report.

"In the words of Arizona Sen. John Kyl, EMP 'is one of only a few ways that the United States could be defeated by its enemies.' The time to prepare is now!"

The new report echoes the warnings carried in a story first broken in WND five years ago about a blue-ribbon commission appointed by Congress to investigate the impact of an EMP attack on the U.S.

An EMP catastrophe, which scientists have warned also could come through a naturally occurring Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun, largely is feared to come from an act of war from an enemy. If there is a nuclear explosion high in the atmosphere over North America the resulting electromagnetic discharge can "permanently disable the electrical systems that run nearly all civilian and military infrastructures," the report said.

"A massive EMP attack on the United States would produce almost unimaginable devastation. Communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be non-existent," the report warns.

"All past calamities of the modern era would pale in comparison to the catastrophe caused by a successful high-altitude EMP strike," the report said. "The effects of EMP will immediately disable a portion of the 130 million cars and some 90 million trucks. Since millions of vehicles are on the road at any given time, there will be accidents and congestion that will impede movement…. The U.S. rail network depends directly on electricity. … America 's aviation industry will be destroyed…. The U.S. food infrastructure depends heavily on the transportation sector," it warns.

William R. Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack and the former national science adviser to President Reagan, previously testified before Congress and issued an alarming report on "one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences."

He identified vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructures that "are essential to both our civilian and military capabilities."

Not taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat "can both invite and reward attack," Graham told the members of Congress at the time.

He described that the attack would come like a swift stroke of lightning, and would immediately disrupt and damage all electronic systems and America 's electrical infrastructure.

A detonation over the middle of the continental U.S. "has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power," said Graham.

"Several potential adversaries have the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear-weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse, and others appear to be pursuing efforts to obtain that capability," said Graham.

"A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. For example, an adversary would not have to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMP attack against the United States. Such an attack could be launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high altitude. Terrorists sponsored by a rogue state could attempt to execute such an attack without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism, has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea. Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States . While the commission does not know the intention of Iran in conducting these activities, we are disturbed by the capability that emerges when we connect the dots."

The new Heritage Foundation report echoed those concerns.

"Even with farsighted mitigation measures there is little question that a nationwide EMP attack would be crippling," it warned. "Thus, while pursuing mitigation, the U.S. should take all possible measures to protect and defend the nation against a ballistic-missile attack that could be used to deliver an EMP strike, as well as pursue aggressive counter-proliferation measures against rogue states developing nuclear weapons."

The report warns such an attack would turn science fiction into reality.

"Airplanes would literally fall from the sky, cars and trucks would stop working, and water, sewer, and electrical networks would fail. Food would rot, medical services would collapse, and transportation would become almost nonexistent," it explains.

The report warned that one criticality is to develop domestic sources for replacement equipment for the electric equipment, transformers and substations that would be damaged.

"The equipment used in the transmission grid is costly, specially produced, and has to be ordered from overseas … Those with the expertise to replace transformers and capacitors are likely to be overwhelmed…"

What would happen already has been documented, the report noted, in the 1977 New York City blackout, although on a much smaller scale.

"Two lightning strikes caused overloading in the electrical power substations of the Con Edison power company. These lighting strikes, the equivalent of a minuscule fraction of [EMP], caused the Indian Point power plant north of the city to fail, as well as the subsequent failure of the Long Island interconnection. … Failure of the Linden-Goethals 230,000-volt interconnection with New Jersey resulted in the protective devices removing overloaded lines, transformers, and cables from service. As a result, a power failure spread throughout the New York area. This blackout lasted only one day, yet resulted in widespread looting and the breakdown of the rule of law throughout many New York neighborhoods. The estimated cost of the blackout was approximately $246 million, and nearly 3,000 people were arrested through the 26-hour period," the report said.

"The blackout in New York City resulted in an immediate breakdown of the social order. The police were outmatched and had no chance of stopping such massive theft, largely having no choice but to stand by watching the looters from a distance. In North Brooklyn , a community of more than a million residents, only 189 police officers were on duty…."

In 2003, a blackout in Ohio , New York , Maryland , Pennsylvania , Michigan and Canada saw "massive traffic jams and gridlock when people tried to get home without traffic lights. … Railways, airlines, gas stations, and oil refineries halted operations. Telephone lines were overwhelmed due to the high volume of calls. Overall, the blackout's economic impact was between $7 billion and $10 billion due to food spoilage, lost production, overtime wages…"

A true EMP attack, the report said, "could prove even more severe."

Further, major disruptions will happen in communications, financial and other computer-dependent parts of society.

Peter Vincent Pry, chief of EMPact America , said the world this past summer dodged a bullet – in the form of a massive solar flare.

The results of that naturally occurring even could be very similar to a nuclear-caused EMP attack, he said.

"The last 'great' geomagnetic storm was in 1859, called the Carrington event. Modern civilization, so dependent upon electronic systems, has not yet experienced a 'great' geomagnetic storm. Many scientists think we are overdue," he wrote. "Some scientists believe that, as we approach the solar maximum over the next two years, since the solar maximum brings increased solar flare activity, the possibility of a "great" geomagnetic storm will also increase."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book Review – One Second After by William R. Forstchen

This is book is one of our favorites as it takes the reader through the trials and tribulations of an very unprepared family living in the mountains of North Carolina preceding an attack of nuclear missiles detonated in the atmosphere over the East Coast causing incredible damage to the infrastructure through Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) . With all electrical components are fried,….no frigerators, no cars, no computers, no airplanes, no cell phones,…in short a trip back to the dark ages with the resultant starvation, rampant disease and security-protection issues. Not only is this a viable scenario for preparedness, the book also takes the reader through EMP 101.

Even the survival minimalist will recognize the haplessness of the book’s key figures, a retired Army Officer and his teen age daughters. Many lessons can be learned from the subjects lack of basic preparation as this book does not paint a rosy picture of a community banding together like one of our other favorite EMP books, Lights Out, an e-book available on the web.

This book is recommended reading, available from Amazon through the link at the bottom of our page, or through your favorite brick and mortar book store.

Publisher: Forge Books, 1 Edition March 17, 2009; ISBN-10: 0765317583; ISBN-13: 978-0765317582