Much of what we read in the news is trivial. This isn’t. I have been hearing about the threat posed by electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) for quite a few years. A high altitude EMP can occur if a nuclear device is detonated over the Earth’s surface. It potentially could wipe out all electrical systems, effectively disabling the United States. Some estimate that an EMP attack could kill 90 percent of Americans. A number of countries, including Russia, China and North Korea, are believed to have the ability to detonate weapons creating one or more EMPs over the U.S.
I have no idea why the federal government has apparently been slow to deal with the EMP threat. But President Trump has finally taken action:
In the first step of its kind, President Trump has signed an executive order calling for a government wide war on EMP, the types of electromagnetic pulses that can wipe out every computer, electric grid, and jet.
In joining the voices of those warning of EMP attacks, Trump called on his government to quickly generate a plan to detect EMP, protect critical infrastructure like water and electric sources, and also to recover if a hit lands.
It seems inconceivable that such action was not taken years ago, but Sarah Sanders says that Trump’s order is “the first ever to establish a comprehensive policy to improve resilience to EMPs.” And the terms of the order do sound like the administration is starting from square one. For example:
(b) The Secretary of Defense shall:
(i) in cooperation with the heads of relevant agencies and with United States allies, international partners, and private-sector entities as appropriate, improve and develop the ability to rapidly characterize, attribute, and provide warning of EMPs, including effects on space systems of interest to the United States;
(iii) conduct R&D and testing to understand the effects of EMPs on Department of Defense systems and infrastructure, improve capabilities to model and simulate the environments and effects of EMPs, and develop technologies to protect Department of Defense systems and infrastructure from the effects of EMPs to ensure the successful execution of Department of Defense missions;
(vi) incorporate attacks that include EMPs as a factor in defense planning scenarios; and
(vii) defend the Nation from adversarial EMPs originating outside of the United States through defense and deterrence, consistent with the mission and national security policy of the Department of Defense.
Better late than never. Many observers believe that EMP weapons represent the greatest threat to the security of the U.S. and the lives of Americans. This appears to be one more instance where the Obama administration, obsessed with politics and with a largely anti-American agenda, did nothing to protect the American people but rather kicked yet another can down the road.