One of the most perplexing issues I have come upon while researching for my books is the small percentage of citizens in the U.S. who are aware of what a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse devise is (HEMP) and the destructive powers a HEMP represents.

  The HEMP (High-Altitude Pulse Bomb) is by far the most devastating weapon in the World's arsenal. A HEMP bomb has the potential of destroying the power grid in an instant. Destroying the power grid would in effect destroy the critical infrastructure of the United States there-by thrusting the country back in time a hundred and fifty years.

Taken From: Wikipedia,

  A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (nuclear EMP or NEMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation created by a nuclear explosion. The resulting rapidly varying electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical and electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. The specific characteristics of a particular nuclear EMP event vary according to a number of factors, the most important of which is the altitude of the detonation.

  The term "electromagnetic pulse" generally excludes optical (infrared, visible, ultraviolet) and ionizing (such as X-ray and gamma radiation) ranges. In military terminology, a nuclear warhead detonated tens to hundreds of miles above the Earth's surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device. Effects of a HEMP device depend on factors including the altitude of the detonation, energy yield, gamma ray output, interactions with the Earth's magnetic field and electromagnetic shielding of targets.

  The E1 pulse is a very fast component of nuclear EMP. E1 is a brief but intense electromagnetic field that induces high voltages in electrical conductors. E1 causes most of its damage by causing electrical breakdown voltages to be exceeded. E1 can destroy computers and communications equipment and it changes too quickly (nanoseconds) for ordinary surge protectors to provide effective protection from it. Fast-acting surge protectors (such as those using TVS diodes) will block the E1 pulse.

Executive Order

March 26, 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13865:

Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pluses

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Executive Order 13865

Section 1. Purpose. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) has the potential to disrupt, degrade, and damage technology and critical infrastructure systems. Human-made or naturally occurring EMPs can affect large geographic areas, disrupting elements critical to the Nation's security and economic prosperity, and could adversely affect global commerce and stability. The Federal Government must foster sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective approaches to improving the Nation's resilience to the effects of EMPs.

Taken From: Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency Website

Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbance

  Extreme electromagnetic incidents caused by an intentional electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack or a naturally occurring geomagnetic disturbance (GMD), caused by severe space weather, could damage significant portions of the Nation's critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, communications equipment, water and wastewater systems, and transportation modes. The impacts are likely to cascade, initially compromising one or more critical infrastructure sectors, spilling over into additional sectors, and expanding beyond the initial geographic regions adversely impacting millions of households and businesses.

  For these reasons, the potential severity of both the direct and indirect impacts of an EMP or GMD incident compels our national attention.

Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology of the Committee on Homeland Security House of Representatives:

July 21, 2009

  Dr. William R. Graham chaired the EMP Commissions for eight years and is widely considered to be the free world's foremost expert on electromagnetic pulse.

  Dr. Graham has said that a major catastrophic EMP attack on the United States could cause an estimated 70-90 percent of our nation's population to become unsustainable.

  In other words, Dr. Graham says 70% to 90% of our nation's population will be dead.

  Today it is known that Russia, China, and possibly North Korea have developed and tested hypersonic weapons. Because of the speed they travel, up to 25 times the speed of sound, these weapons are virtually unstoppable. For some reason the United States has chosen to stay with conventional weapons and have no hypersonic weapons. The reasons for the failure to develop hypersonic weapons are stated for both scientific and policy reasons.

  Hypersonic weapons are not the only means of delivering a HEMP. There are literally thousands of them in orbit that crossover the U.S. multiple times a day. What payloads these satellites carry is unknown. It is foolish to believe there are not some type weapons on a number of these.

North Korea's Capabilities for Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry

Executive Director

EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security

June 6, 2021

  North Korea's KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites orbit over the U.S. daily. Their trajectory is similar to that planned for a Soviet-era secret weapon called the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) deployed by the USSR to make a surprise High-altitude EMP (HEMP) attack on the United States. Trajectories of North Korea's KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites are near optimal for a HEMP attack on the U.S. if they are nuclear-armed.

  HEMP attack does not require much accuracy or a re-entry vehicle capable of penetrating the atmosphere and is well within North Korea's technological capabilities.

  A rogue nation could quite easily purchase a nuclear weapon, to be used as HEMP, from a number of willing accomplices. These weapons could be launched from a foreign container ship, or actually any sea going vessel just off the U.S. coast.

  After reading these documents, from the Government, you should at least be concerned. Then you should wonder why you haven't seen, heard, or read anything about the threat presented by a HEMP from your Government. Since 2008 and probably before then the Government has been warned about these dangers numerous times, yet no word or very little word to the public.

  In recent days the Government and the news media have begun releasing reports on what they are now referring to as Cyber warfare. For some reason the Government tries to avoid discussions or even using the terms HEMP or Electromagnetic Pulse. I believe this reluctance in use HEMP or Electromagnetic Pulse is because the Government has for years miscalculated the threat a HEMP poses to the U.S. The Government was warned as far back as 2018 and probably further back than that. They refused to act on these warnings. Now it is too late. There is actually little the Government can do. Today our society is an electronic society. There is very little if anything the Government can do to alleviate the dangers. The logistics are simply too great. There is no way that all electrical components vital to the U.S. critical infrastructure, the government, and military can be protected against a HEMP attack. Neither can it be replaced. It was just recently announced China has hacked into the U.S. infrastructure.

Washington Post - December 12, 2023

By: Craig Huber

• The Washington Post, citing U.S. officials as well as private sector security officials, reports Chinese hackers have accessed the computer systems of about two dozen critical entities over the past year.

• The state-backed hackers targeted the Texas power grid, a Hawaii water utility and a West Coast port and pipeline, among other critical infrastructure, the report stated.

• Hackers are targeting critical U.S. infrastructure with the intention of laying the groundwork for the disruption of critical communications should a conflict between the U.S. and China arise.

• The hackers, the Post said, mask their activity by accessing home or office routers. They additionally target employee credentials.

Copyright © 2024 Kenneth D. Nunn

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