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WASHINGTON â Gen. Robert Kehler, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees U.S. ballistic missile and strategic bombers, has just dropped a bombshell by stating his forces may not be fully prepared for an electromagnetic pulse attack from an adversary capable of launching a nuclear weapon aimed at the United States, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
“I am concerned about the threat of electromagnetic pulse,” the STRATCOM chief recently told the Senate Armed Service Committee. “There are some pretty good books that have been written here recently about this, a couple of novels that were written that â that you turn a page looking for the happy ending and it never comes in the book.
“And so I would tell you that we are still mindful of electromagnetic pulse. It is not a Cold War relic,” Kehler warned. “It is something that we need to prepare some of our systems to deal with in the operational environment.
“We have a lot of work to do,” he cautioned. “I am not yet comfortable that we have gone anywhere near where the magnitude of this problem should take us.”
The issue arose in connection with Congress getting assurances on the survivability of STRATCOM’s mission.
“We should expect the Defense Department to protect its equities from EMP, and independent expert reviewers should carefully scrub its work, as was done during the Cold War,” said former Ambassador Henry Cooper, the first director of the Strategic Defense Initiative under President Ronald Reagan.
While it is imperative for the Department of Defense, or DOD, to ensure its equities are protected in the case of an EMP event, Cooper said that it isn’t up to DOD to ensure the viability of the nation’s critical infrastructures, particularly its vulnerable electrical grid system and all those that rely on electronic components and automated control systems.
“Logically, one would assume the Department of Homeland Security should provide integrated guidance and a government-wide integrated approach to assuring the viability of all critical infrastructures under all stressful conditions,” Cooper said. “But DHS does not even include an appropriate scenario to encourage various government agencies to deal with EMP effects.”
What Cooper was referring to are the 15 National Planning Scenarios that DHS has developed on what action to take in the event of a national catastrophe, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. However, DHS has not devised a NPS for an EMP event, whether natural or manmade.
The National Aerospace and Space Administration also has warned that the nation and indeed the planet could sustain a direct hit from some of the X-class solar flares that increasingly are spewing off of the sun’s surface.
If that happened, NASA projects that because of the vulnerability of the national electrical grid and critical infrastructures that rely on electronic components and automated control systems, this nation alone could sustain damages amounting to some $2 trillion, take anywhere from four to 10 years to recover, if ever, and affect the lives of some 160 million people, meaning death and starvation.
He said that the Department of Energy could lead in assuring the electric power grid will survive an EMP event “but hasn’t yet made much progress in doing so,” he said.
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