ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE…Is an attack in our future?

New weapons are being developed to deliver a devastating attack on the United States.

It appears that at least four U.S. adversaries are developing capabilities to carry out an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack. The Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday that Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have been developing EMP weapon capabilities over the last decade to carry out attacks against the U.S. An EMP attack would cause widespread blackouts and devastation across the nation.

A NEW WEAPON

An EMP can be produced by different means including natural and man made. There have been rumors of an EMP weapon being used in Ukraine by the Russians but today, an EMP attack is part of new military doctrines, plans, and exercises of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. This new revolutionary way of waging war is part of a wider scale cyber-attacks against military forces and critical civilian infrastructure. The report further indicated that two North Korean satellites which were launched in 2012 and 2016 currently orbit over the United States and travel in patterns “consistent with practice or preparation for a surprise nuclear EMP attack”. South Korea’s spy agency, The National Intelligence Service, noted in 2013 that North Korea acquired EMP technology from Russia to develop their own EMP weapons, The Sydney Morning Herald also reported.

The report also indicated that both Russia and China are further along in their EMP weapon development, which entail the EMP’s use in conjunction with nuclear and other non-nuclear weapons. Chinese military reports from 2016 discussed EMP delivery systems, while Russian and Iranian military reports over the past decade have shown significant vulnerabilities of the U.S. to EMP attacks. However, The EMP attack on its own however is enough for devastating consequences and such an attack would give countries that have only a few nuclear weapons the ability to cause widespread, long-lasting damage to U.S. critical national infrastructures, to the United States itself as a viable country, and to the survival of a majority of its population,” the report continued.

CAN WE SURVIVE GOING BACK IN TIME?

There have been numerous studies done in the United States about the potential effects of an EMP on the American infrastructure and the results of these studies are always the same. The effects of man-made or natural EMP would be devastating. Some reports indicate that nine out of ten Americans could die as a result of an EMP. GPS systems, computers, refrigeration and basically anything that plugs in to a wall socket would become useless instantly. No one would be able to call the police, ambulance or firefighters. Anyone on life support would die quickly. Banking would stop, vehicles wouldn’t run and all lights would go out. Essentially, an area hit by an EMP would be thrown back in to the nineteenth century virtually overnight.

HOW REAL IS THIS THREAT?

Traditionally, not many people talked about EMP’s aside from conspiracy theorists and hard-core survivalists but in 2015 the United States actually began taking this threat seriously when a large movement of sensitive communications equipment into NORAD headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain began. This move was in response to a direct threat from an EMP. Other preparations for surviving an EMP attack include the building of a new facility in Alaska.

WHAT ABOUT CANADA?

There appear to be elements of the Canadian Federal government that are vaguely aware of the danger posed by an EMP but no real steps have yet been taken to protect us, or our infrastructure or defense. This is a problem for two reasons. The Canadian electrical grid is closely interlocked with the U.S. grid which means that an attack on the United States will cause tremendous damage to Canada as well. Also, Canada’s location means that we are even more susceptible to natural EMP’s which are more prevalent in northern latitudes. This means, of course, that it is going to get colder when the EMP hits… a lot colder.

A Solar Flare

CONCLUSION

EMP is not a new phenomenon and is not limited to delivery by man-made weapons systems. In 1859 a solar storm produced an EMP known as the Carrington Event. Scientists believe that should a similar event happen today, us, or our civilizations would be thrown some hundred and fifty years back in time. In 2012, NASA spotted another solar flare that would have had similar effects on us, or our way of life. This time however, the flare missed us, or our planet. There are experts who claim that we are guaranteed to experience another solar flare in either  our, or our children’s lifetimes.

There are many differing opinions about the extent of the damage caused by an EMP. But to simplify things, just imagine what life would be like with no electricity. All evidence suggests that an EMP attack on the United States would be absolutely devastating, and today, is very likely. Regardless of what the effects would be on the United States, it is safe to assume that the effects on Canada would be even worse.

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