An electromagnetic impulse attack on the United States could come from a surge of solar activity or a deliberate explosion at altitude of a nuclear device by an enemy such as North Korea.
In either case, the impact on the electric grid, even if the outage lasted just one day, would be an estimated 574 deaths and some $35.7 billion in losses, according an expert cited by the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard.
It’s a threat about which WND has been reporting for nearly 20 years.
A one-day blackout would cost 574 lives due to a lack of emergency medical equipment powered by electricity. But such an attack could result in lights-out for a year, warns William R. Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack.
Graham said “326 million Americans cannot long survive bereft by EMP of the electronic civilization that sustains their lives.”
“A nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill millions, perhaps prove fatal to most Americans, by starvation, disease, and societal collapse.”
Graham’s warning opens a new book by EMP expert Peter Vincent Pry titled “EMP Manhattan Project: Organizing Survival Against An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe.”
Pry writes that the grid can be protected for as little as $2 billion, which is about what the U.S. has given Pakistan in aid annually.
He says, however, that energy companies and regulators are standing in the way.
Pry has been advocating for preventive measures against such attacks for years. He was on the original congressional commission that reviewed the threat.
But industry and government regulators have given only lip service to the threat.
Graham described EMP as “a civilization killer.”
Last November, WND reported the original congressional EMP Commission tasked with assessing the threat was shut down.
The scientists, engineers and security experts on it had warned an EMP attack could disable the country’s electrical grid, resulting in mass starvation and the death of about 90 percent of the American population. They recommended in an extensive report steps to protect the infrastructure.
At the time, Tommy Waller of the Center for Security Policy said the government appeared apathetic.
Waller, a U.S. Marine and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, said CSP was developing a new strategy of educating the American people about the EMP threat so they will put pressure on lawmakers to secure the grid.
“We are not trying to sell fear,” Waller told WND in an interview at the time. “The American people are vulnerable, and there will be no cavalry – the public needs to know that they cannot depend on the government at the federal, state or local level to take care of them in the event of a prolonged black out.”
Waller said the need to respond to the threat is urgent.
“For the first time in military history, we have a scenario where it doesn’t take a whole civilization to overtake another,” he said.