For years previous U.S. administrations have been aware of the potentially catastrophic threat posed by an EMP event, both man-made and natural, but did little to protect its citizens.
No lesser a figure than the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, warned of the extreme consequences of an EMP attack. In a speech delivered at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, on December 14, 2016, Gingrich declared that:
…. electromagnetic pulse is the largest, single threat to our civilization. It’s absurd how little we spend on coping with it, because if you harden enough, it’s not a threat; but if you don’t harden enough, and we get hit with an electromagnetic pulse, your civilization collapses.
Now under President Trump, the administration has acted.
On October 9, 2018 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a report entitled "Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland Against Threats of Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbances."
The following is an extract from Chapter Two of my book, "Western Civilization Under Siege". (Free download of book).
What is EMP?
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic (gamma) radiation, caused by a nuclear device that can destroy, damage or cause the malfunction of electronic systems by overloading their circuits. An EMP is harmless to people biologically, passing through their bodies without injury, like a radio wave.
But by damaging the electronic systems that make modern society possible, an EMP can cause mass destruction of property and life.
A single nuclear weapon detonated at high altitude over any country, or say, central Europe, will generate an electromagnetic pulse that can cause catastrophic damage across a radius of 2,000 to 3,000 kilometres to the critical infrastructure – electric power, telecommunications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water – that sustains modern civilisation and the lives of millions of citizens.
Because an EMP attack would detonate a nuclear warhead at high altitude, no other nuclear effects – such as blast, thermal radiation or radioactive fallout – would be experienced by people on the ground.
However, because modern civilization and life now depend upon electricity and electronics, an EMP attack is a high-tech means of killing millions of people the old-fashioned way – through starvation, disease and societal collapse.
Official sources estimate that if a high altitude EMP was exploded over the United States, up to 200 million people would perish within 12 months.[i] An EMP attack would send America back to the pre-industrial age – no electricity, no running water, no transport, no banking and finance, no credit cards, and after a few days – no food.[ii]
[ii] EMP Commission, Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, Volume 1: Executive Report (Washington, DC: 2004), pp. 1-3.
Dr William R. Graham, Testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, July 10, 2008.