What most of us haven’t contemplated is what it would be like to live in the 19th century … in the 21st century.
F. Michael Maloof has, and the former analyst for the Defense Department has presented such a thesis, along with a warning, in an explosive new book, “A Nation Forsaken.” You see, the threat that a terrorist enemy would target us with a guided nuke, or some such other cataclysmic weapon, is all-too-real.
Ever heard of an EMP? Electromagnetic pulse attack. It would immobilize the country by attacking the electric grid and rendering us unable to function as a modern society for some period of time.
As Maloof states: “It’s something of a miracle that the power grid works as well as it does. It has been able to grow to accommodate swelling demands on it – thanks to giant advances in controls technology and operating practices. It has been able to ‘absorb’ the consumption growth on existing power lines, with the addition of only a few new substations. However, there has been little construction of new transmission capacity, particularly the new, higher-gigahertz transmission lines required of the Internet age.”
Now imagine if a terror entity – or state – targeted the power grid.
Hear Maloof again: “Consequently, either a man-made or natural EMP attack on our national grid infrastructure or any of our other major infrastructures such as our telecommunications, transportation, petroleum and natural gas, finance and banking (including ATM) systems, food and water distribu¬tion, medical care, trade and production, emergency services and space systems could result in unprecedented cascading and devastating failures due to their interdependent relationship.”
Keep in mind, Maloof not only expects something like this to happen – he expects it to happen soon!
In his fascinating-but-frightening style, Maloof reminds us that should there be a catastrophic event in America: 20 kids on an island were “Lord of the Flies;” 200 million hungry adults with be a plague of locusts.
Yet “A Nation Forsaken” is not simply a gloomy warning. If it were only a premise written with some certainty, perhaps it wouldn’t have much real value. But the book is much more than that.
Threat assessments reveal that within a decade, any number of entities could possess the necessary ballistic missiles to carry out such an attack, and that even today, a handful of countries (Pakistan, Russia, North Korea, India and China) can launch an EMP attack on us now.
That’s why “A Nation Forsaken” is right on target. Maloof proposes that bureaucratic snags keep us from meeting this threat head on. For example, the EMP Commission identified 10 sources of concern in our system and made 75 recommendations for correcting the problems. The Department of Homeland Security, on the other hand, has identified 15 potential threats to the U.S., including natural disasters, but an EMP attack is not on the list!
As usual, improvement will come in the form of individual watchdogs and individual companies taking matters into their own hands. Waukesha Electric and Mitsubishi Electric are taking steps to build bigger power transformers and are committed to helping upgrade the country’s aging power-grid infrastructure. Making more people aware, through avenues like “A Nation Forsaken,” will alert more and more people to the problem, as well.
Maloof has plenty of sound advice for readers, such as: “A lot of people will tell you it’s simply not possible to prepare for something as potentially devastating as an EMP attack. Usually after saying this, they go back to watching their favorite TV show. The truth is, you won’t be able to stop an EMP event, but you can prepare to survive it and rebuild. I hope you do that.”
He also includes a handy list of websites specializing in EMP supplies.
In addition, his balanced approach to the problem provides readers with actual hope, since he states that experts in EMP survival scenarios tell us that surviving such an attack is 80 percent psychological, and 20 percent gear and preparation. In other words, we can do this, people. That’s vital.
Maloof appears to be exactly what he is: a concerned citizen using his extensive knowledge of a critical subject to improve our preparedness.
Hopefully, his new book will be seen in the future in the light of technological salvation for the country, rather than read by light from an oil lamp.