WHAT IS EMP? Electromagnetic pulse.

Date: 02 May 2009


Is This the Greatest Threat to America? 

Part Two 

by Guy Rodgers 
ACT! for America Executive Director


Electromagnetic pulse. The potential devastation that could be caused by an EMP attack triggered by a nuclear detonation above our country may well be the most serious threat we face from radical Islamists bent on destroying or subjugating us. 

As I noted in yesterday’s email, the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack (http://empcommission.org/) reported one year ago: 
“…the cascading effects from even one or two relatively small weapons exploded in optimum location in space at present would almost certainly shut down an entire interconnected electrical power system, perhaps affecting as much as 70% or possibly more of the United States, all in an instant…”
(If you missed yesterday’s email, I urge you to read it before you read this Part Two. It’s that important. Click here to find it in our email archives). 

The Commission’s report stated it plainly – America is at genuine risk from an EMP attack triggered by just one or two nuclear weapons detonated above our atmosphere. 

It is almost impossible to imagine an America without electric power, paralyzed for weeks, even months. In such a scenario, all other infrastructures – communications, transportation, food and water, finance, law enforcement, government – would be crippled. Life as we know it would no longer exist. According to the Commission report, millions and millions of Americans would die. 

I know this sounds hard to believe, but model simulations, coupled with a history of real-life events that are similar to a premeditated EMP attack, led the Commission to draw the dire conclusions it did. 

We have been warned. 

Do our enemies understand our vulnerability to an EMP attack? According to Senate testimony given four years ago, an Iranian military journal had already addressed the issue of an EMP attack against the West: 
“Once you confuse the enemy communications network…you will, in effect, disrupt all the affairs of that country. If the world’s industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults then they will disintegrate within a few years.” (EMPACT publication, Global Single Point Failure: The EMP Threat).
As the EMPACT publication points out, among our enemies the Iranian Islamist government, with the assistance of North Korea, has been conducting missile tests whose objective appears to be to simulate an EMP attack. In other words, as Iran marches inexorably toward the acquisition of nuclear weapons, its leaders know about the potential devastation from an EMP attack, they are planning and preparing for it, and they understand that it would only take a few – or even one – strategically deployed nukes to trigger an EMP attack that would cripple America. 

Once Iran has nuclear weapons capability, it is not hard at all to envision a scenario in which they hide such a weapon, and a mobile missile launcher, in the belly of a cargo ship. Then, after sailing the ship to the coastal waters of our eastern seaboard, they launch the missile(s) into the atmosphere over America. 

The successful detonation of one or more such missiles could create an EMP that, as the EMP Commission stated, would have the potential for “unprecedented cascading failures of our major infrastructures” – such as our electrical power grid. 

This is not science fiction. This threat is very, very real. And because the scope of the threat is so enormous (the Commission estimates 70% or more of our power grid could be destroyed), we simply cannot afford to ignore it. To ignore this threat would be like playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun capable of killing tens of millions of people and destroying our way of life. 

After reviewing various reports and discussing this issue with experts in the field, we in the leadership of ACT! for America have determined that we must take action this year to ensure that America is prepared to deal with the threat of an EMP attack. With some intelligence estimates predicting Iran will have enough enriched plutonium in less than two years to produce a nuclear warhead, there is no time for delay. 

The good news is there are actions we as a country can take to fend off this threat. We do not need to look on helplessly as enemies of America, such as the mullahs in Iran, plot our destruction. 

What is missing is the sufficient political will in Washington to take the actions necessary. 

It is for this reason that ACT! for America has prepared a multi-pronged action plan that will need every bit of grassroots support we can muster. Next week we will lay out for you the actions we propose to take this year that will, hopefully, persuade the Obama administration and the Congress to do what is necessary to prevent the unthinkable from happening. 

In closing, I urge you, I exhort you, to please take this threat seriously. We must not succumb to fear, but we must also not dismiss this as an imagined threat or a fantasy threat or a hyped-up threat. I know it’s tempting to think that something as devastating as the destruction of our electricity and other infrastructures simply couldn’t happen. Surely, the government is doing everything it can to protect us from this, right? 

Unfortunately, no. 

The ACT! for America motto is “rising in defense of our security, our liberty, and our values.” I can’t think of a threat from radical Islam where this motto is more appropriate than protecting ourselves against the threat of an EMP attack. 

We can do this. We must do this. We will do this. 

Guy Rodgers is Executive Director of ACT! for America, www.actforamerica.org. 


ACT for America 
P.O. Box 12765 
Pensacola, FL 32591