Saturday, August 13, 2011

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) - #3162 - The Devastating Threat to Our Security - Heritage Foundation

It sounds like something out of a movie. A nuclear weapon detonates at high altitude, generating a burst of electromagnetic energy that devastates the United States–destroying electronics, collapsing communications, halting transportation, and shutting down all electrical power. Unfortunately, the threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike is all too real, and it’s time America’s leaders wake up to the reality. But a nuclear weapon isn’t the only way an EMP can be generated. Even unusually powerful solar activity could produce catastrophic destruction in the United States. No matter how it’s generated, the chaotic effects are the same. First, the electromagnetic shock can disrupt electrical devices. The second effect is similar to lightning—a power surge that would burn circuits and immobilize electronic components and systems. The third is a pulse effect that flows through electricity trans­mission lines, damaging distribution centers and fusing power lines. Any of these can cause irreversible damage to an electronic system. And the United States would effectively be sent back to the 19th century, to a world without cars, cell phones, computers, or any other electronics.  Carafano recommends actions the U.S. government can take to guard against an EMP attack: funding comprehensive missile defense to intercept and destroy a missile bound for the United States; developing a National Recovery Plan and a plan to respond to severe space weather emergencies; and more research on the EMP threat to ensure that the United States fully understands the scope of the danger and can prepare cost-effective countermeasures.
That’s why it is time to make August 15 National EMP Awareness Day to wake up America’s leaders to the looming threat. An EMP strike should be recognized as a clear and present danger—one that could be devastating if it finds the nation ill-prepared.  On August 15, 2011, Heritage is hosting a panel event on the EMP threat from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here for more information or to watch the event online.  Read entire article.........

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