Last month, news broke that the congressional committee studying the threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States was being forced to disband–at the same time North Korea specifically threatened an EMP attack as part of it’s alarming increase in nuclear tests. This is widely considered to be the complete opposite approach to protecting our nation’s national security in a mostly anarchic international environment. In fact, just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea’s nuclear arsenal was primitive, some academics claiming it had as few as 6 A-Bombs.
Texas lawmakers and national security experts say the state’s electric power grid — which is independent of the rest of the nation’s power grid — is vulnerable to a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, which could have devastating effects on both the state and the nation. Six members of the Texas state Senate, including members of both parties, are co-sponsoring legislation that — if passed — would begin taking steps to secure the state’s electric power grid from an EMP attack, an event that former CIA director James Woolsey and other national security experts have said is a real and credible threat both for Texas and for the country as a whole.
Through global reach and global power, we have the ability to hold the interests of any adversary in the world at risk within minutes. But, there is one vulnerability that threatens to significantly degrade our ability to not only project power abroad, but protect our own homeland – electromagnetic pulse. The American Leadership and Policy Foundation has produced objective, vetted research that exposes the vulnerabilities of the United States’ power grid and, more specifically, the nuclear power grid and associated generation facilities. While the threats of EMP caused by a high-altitude nuclear detonation, or the similar force of massive geomagnetic disturbance event, are neither novel nor probable, they represent a real existential threat that could render useless all means of offensive and defensive actions in all domains of military operations.