A recently published report from the congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack should have every American calling for the Trump administration to address what is America's Achilles Heel: our highly vulnerable electric grid.
“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 said.
“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.”
The report, containing redactions requested by the Pentagon, was written by William R. Graham, EMP commission chairman who is regarded as one of the foremost experts on EMP. Graham helped discover the phenomenon after a 1962 U.S. atmospheric nuclear test near Hawaii.
EMP is a burst of electromagnetic energy from a solar storm or nuclear blast capable of disabling or destroying electronic devices over wide areas.
The report is based on information up to June 2017 and reveals that both Russia and China are well advanced in developing plans for using EMP as part of advanced warfighting concepts that combine the use of nuclear and non-nuclear EMP with cyber and other electronic warfare capabilities.
The report also warns of vulnerabilities to the U.S. electric grid from both a nuclear blast EMP and a devastating solar storm, like the 1859 Carrington event that generated a widespread natural EMP that if it occurred today would have caused massive blackouts to electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures.
A massive solar storm narrowly missed hitting the planet in July 2012 that the report said would have caused a long-term electrical blackout worldwide with potentially catastrophic consequences.
“Recurrence of another Carrington Event is inevitable,” the report said.
Regarding nuclear EMP, the report states that China, Russia, and Iran consider the use of high-altitude nuclear blasts as “sixth generation warfare” that could cripple the ability of U.S. military to wage war using advanced electronic systems for intelligence, navigation, and precision weapons guidance.
“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 says.
Because damage is limited to electronic components and systems, enemy leaders do not consider an EMP attack as an act of nuclear warfare that would be bring U.S. nuclear retaliation.
“Potential adversaries understand that millions could die from the long-term collateral effects of EMP and cyber-attacks that cause protracted black-out of national electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures,” the report states.
“At least some regard this relatively easy, potentially anonymous, method of inflicting mass destruction as an attractive feature of what they describe as a Revolution in Military Affairs.”
The report urges the Pentagon to develop its own EMP weapons that can be developed from relatively low-yield nuclear arms and precision guided missiles.
The president should direct that a limited nuclear option for EMP attack be included in U.S. nuclear strike plans to deter foreign states developing EMP arms.
Of particular concern, according to the report, are two North Korean satellites currently in polar orbit over the United States. The two satellites, launched in 2012 and 2016, currently travel in trajectories that are “consistent with practice or preparation for a surprise nuclear EMP attack,” the report says.
The satellites' polar orbits allow them to evade detection by U.S. missile defense satellites and sensors – a sign they could be used during the first stage of a North Korean long-range nuclear attack to disrupt U.S. missile defenses in Alaska and California.
The satellites, KMS-3 and KMS-4, appear to be similar to a secret Soviet-era weapon called the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) that Moscow planned for a surprise nuclear attack on the United States over the poles.
Two retired Russian generals testified to the EMP commission in 2004 that a design for a Russian super-EMP weapon was transferred to North Korea by Russian scientists and engineers working on North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons program.
The Russians asserted the North Koreans could test a super-EMP weapon in a few years.
Last year, after North Korea conducted its sixth underground nuclear test, North Korean state media announced that the hydrogen bomb “can be detonated even at high altitudes for a super-powerful EMP attack according to strategic goals.”
China's EMP arms were discussed in Chinese military writings as recently as 2016.
China's National Security Policy Committee, stated in January 2016 that “electromagnetic pulse bombs” will “change the ‘rules of the game'” by disrupting U.S. military precision warfare capabilities.
A PLA air force publication in 2014 states that EMP blasts are a new type of weapon. “On a battlefield, this new-type weapon will cause devastating damage to electronic systems, including computers, communications and control systems, and radars, resulting in immeasurable losses,” the report said.
Russian military plans for using EMP attacks were traced in the report to Gen. Vladimir Slipchenko and his book Non-Contact Wars that calls for combining cyber attacks, physical attacks, and EMP attacks against electric grids.
Source: Free Beacon