Despite nonstop Democratic obstruction, President Trump proves once again that he tries his best to keep his promises.
When candidate Trump began his race for president in the Iowa Republican caucuses, I briefed him that the greatest and least understood threat to our nation and global electronic civilization is electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
Candidate Trump, astonished that the U.S. government had done nothing to protect the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures, said, "Donít worry. When Iím elected president, weíll knock some heads together and fix this."
It may well be the most significant executive order of any presidency.
And it does, in effect, "knock together the heads" of the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD) and all other relevant U.S. government departments and agencies in a well-crafted masterplan to achieve national EMP preparedness.
The president's executive order recognizes manmade and natural electromagnetic pulse (EMP) (from the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon or from a solar superstorm) are existential threats to America and the world:
"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 Nationís security and economic prosperity, and could adversely affect global commerce and stability."
Crucially, after a quarter-century of warnings by scientists and experts, Mr. Trump is the first president to act decisively against the EMP threat: "The federal government must foster sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective approaches to improving the nationís resilience to the effects of EMPs."
The Congressional EMP Commission, officially the Commission to Assess the Threat from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, has been warning for years that manmade or natural EMP could destroy our electronic civilization ó killing millions ó in reports published in 2004, 2008, and 2017. And before that, beginning in 1995, Congress held the first unclassified hearings sounding the alarm about the then little-known threat from EMP.
In 2008, Dr. William R. Graham, Chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, testified that an EMP event causing a nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill up to 90 percent of Americans through starvation and societal chaos.
"While during the Cold War major efforts were undertaken by the Department of Defense (DoD) to assure that the U.S. national command authority and U.S. strategic forces could survive and operate after an EMP attack, no major efforts were then thought necessary by the national leadership to protect critical national infrastructures, provided that nuclear deterrence was successful.
"With the development of small nuclear arsenals and long-range missiles by small, hostile, potentially irrational countries, including North Korea, the threat of a nuclear EMP attack against the U.S. becomes one of the few ways that such a country could inflict devastating damage to the U.S."
The chairmanís report concludes, "Therefore, it is critical that the U.S. national leadership address the EMP threat as an immediate, existential issue, and give a high priority to assuring the necessary leadership is engaged and the necessary steps are taken to protect the country from EMP."
President Trumpís EMP Executive Order seeks to realize the recommendations of the Congressional EMP Commission on a fast timeline, quickly.
It's an excellent first step toward achieving national EMP preparedness.
DOE and DHS have been asleep at the wheel for years, doing little or nothing to protect the nation from EMP, so White House leadership on EMP preparedness is urgently necessary.
One of the smartest features of the EMP Executive Order requires that vulnerability of critical infrastructure vital equipment be established through empirical testing in EMP simulators.
DOE, the national labs, and their partners in the electric power industry, like the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, really an industry lobby masquerading as an objective think tank), have done great injury to national security with junk science reports.
They purportedly prove the national electric grid would be little damaged and quickly recovered from natural or nuclear EMP.
These studies rely on garbage-in-garbage-out computer models grossly underestimating EMP threats.
EPRIís junk science is knowingly dishonest, since the EMP Commission met with their two EMP non-experts to try correcting their faulty analysis ó to no avail.
EPRIís happy face EMP reports are reminiscent of the cigarette industryís untrustworthy "independent laboratory assessments," allegedly proving there is no causal linkage between smoking and lung cancer.
Computer models are no substitute for EMP equipment testing, as last done comprehensively by the Congressional EMP Commission.
Now the battle to make America safe from EMP really begins.
President Trump must now penetrate the obfuscations of lobbyists, the lies of do nothing bureaucrats.
That is, he must keep knocking heads together to achieve the objectives of his excellent EMP Executive Order.
This story was originally published here. Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security. He served on the Congressional EMP Commission as chief of staff, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of "Blackout Wars." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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