February 11, 2013: An Important EMP Update


Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman              Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder

High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . Reagan’s Vision Lives!

E-Mail Message 130211

An Important EMP Update

Michael Maloof


Last Tuesday (February 5), the Heritage Foundation hosted a lecture by Michael Maloof, discussing his excellent book (A Nation Forsaken – EMP: The Escalating Threat of an American Catastrophe recently published by World Net Daily). It is well worth an hour of your time to watch the informative lecture and its Question and Answer period. 

Consider a few comments to add for emphasis:

  • As we have discussed in previous email messages, our difficulty in dealing with this existential threat is not a technical or financial problem—it is political and perhaps results from a widespread lack of understanding of the problem by the general public which has not demanded action.
  • The heart of this failure so far has been in Washington, DC—Congress and the Executive Branch have failed to take any significant action in response to the recommendations of its congressionally-mandated EMP Commission, as reported in 2004 and 2008 . . . in particular the past two congresses have failed even to act on legislation to move in that direction.
  • Perhaps as a last resort, an effective response requires an awakening by the general public to the nature of this threat and the means to counter it—and their demand for action by local, state and eventually federal officials. The private sector as well as government needs to take immediate action to counter the EMP existential threat that may be manmade or a consequence of nature, as previously discussed.

Consider briefly in addition to these points.Monday February 11, 2011

The EMP threat from nuclear bursts, which even terrorists can pose if they somehow get a nuclear weapon and mate it to a Scud missile that they then launch from a vessel off our coasts has been known for years, as is clear from the adjacent excerpt from an article by then Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ).  Then, why has nothing been done about it?

The threat certainly was understood during the Cold War by defense officials who hardened out strategic systems to survive an EMP attack by the Soviets—which they planned to employ if ever they went to war with the U.S.  But this knowledge was largely cloaked in secrecy because of our early vulnerability to this mode of attack. 

That fact may contribute to some of the current confusion about the reality of the threat, which should have been clarified by reports and testimony from the EMP Commission, which had informed Senator Kyl and others on Capitol Hill.

Congress has no excuse for not acting on these recommendations — which have been carried forward by at least a small group of Senators and members of the House of Representatives. As Senator Kyl noted in his 2005 article:

Fortunately, hardening key infrastructure systems and procuring vital backup equipment such as transformers is both feasible and — compared with the threat — relatively inexpensive, according to a comprehensive report on the EMP threat by a commission of prominent experts. But it will take leadership by the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, and other federal agencies, along with support from Congress, all of which have yet to materialize.”

Incredibly, this assessment and recommendation is as true today as when it was written almost seven years ago—in spite of efforts by a handful of Representatives who have sought in the past two congresses to introduce legislation to require that the Executive Branch and the Electric Power industry address this existential threat.

Three years ago proposed legislation passed the House by a voice vote and was blocked by a single Senator.  In the last congress, the proposed legislation was blocked by the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and never made it to the floor—though it seems clear that it would have passed by a large majority.

Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) plans to try again in the current congress—hopefully, he will have better luck.

It is past time to seek public understanding of the threat and the possible countermeasures . . . again which are much less expensive than the costs, not to mention the loss of life and all that Americans hold dear.

Michael Maloof is certainly dong his part—see his most recent article, which discusses the daunting costs of even a “limited” EMP attack over a small part of the United States—a low altitude nuclear burst over the Washington, DC area leading to nearly a trillion dollars of damage, from which it would take an estimated three years to recover. A higher altitude burst could send the nation back to the 1800s, as Senator Kyl noted seven years ago, and hundreds of millions of Americans could perish within a year.

High Frontier also will do its part to spread the word and press the powers that be to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.  In particular, we will be pressing the case for defending against short range missiles launched form vessels off our coasts—particularly from the Gulf of Mexico.

Will you do your part? 

Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage, www.highfontier.org for more information.  Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter!