"Electronic Armageddon" : North Korea, Iran and the EMP Threat to America

An illustrative rendering of an EMP attack on the United States. (Image source: Video screenshot from "33 Minutes") h/t Gatestone Institute.

The threat to the United States from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack -- the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon over the United States -- is so potentially catastrophic that both the 2004 and 2008 reports of the Congressional EMP Commission said so openly -- probably in the hope that the public warning would spur the nation and the Department of Defense to action. [1]

Even an EMP attack from a single 10-kiloton nuclear weapon -- of the type now in North Korea's arsenal -- could cause cascading failures which could black out the U.S. Eastern Grid for months or years, and devastate the civilian economy. An EMP, detonated at an altitude above 30-70 kilometers, could be delivered by a short-range missile fired off a freighter, hundreds of kilometers off U.S. shores.

The result would be no communications, no transportation, no fuel, no food, and no water for a decade or more. That would be true for at least the entire eastern half of the United States, where most of the population lives. National Geographic has described it as an "Electronic Armageddon."

 -Gatestone Institute (Electronic Doomsday for the US? The Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) by Peter Huessy, 2016

It is bothersome to me as one who sees the world through the lens of scripture and often prophetic scripture at that.  

The Unites States of America apparently is not mentioned in bible prophecy.  Yes, there are a few somewhat obscure passages that some have pointed to and say those "might" point to the U.S.  If we are to be found in holy writ, its would seem it is in a much diminished role.  Where did we go? What happens to the U.S.?  Raptured perhaps to a large enough degree to render America's military "hindered", to be kind?  Blended into a one world government? Perhaps. But even then, there are to be 10 kingdoms ruled by antichrist.  Is not the U.S. mentioned as even one of those?  Militarily defeat seems to be a third an also viable option that can't be ignored. I am not dogmatic here, but a prominent role in end times bible prophecy does not seem to include America.  Bothersome.  

And while we have North Korea sounding off with their latest rhetoric just today:

Super-Mighty Preemptive Strike’ to Reduce America to ‘Ashes’

Maybe its not a bad time to recall what is an imminent and existential threat:  Electromagnetic Pulse, aka, "electronic Armageddon".  

America it can be argued, is at its most vulnerable from a military and national security point of view after 8 years of sequestration or better said, after 8 years of Barack Obama than it has been since pre-WWII.   With Trump and at least the Majority of Congress seemingly prepared to build up our depleted military during his term as President, if you were an enemy of America, say North Korea or Iran.... or Russia or China for that matter...and you wanted to attack America, you would rather attempt it before the military build up, not later.     

Three years ago I posted part of an interview with Cynthia Ayers who was at the time the Deputy to the Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and a member of the EMP Coalition.  She knows what she speaks of.

The interview was conducted by Rick Wiles of Tru News.  Here is part of that interview from 3 years ago followed by the entirety of the interview via You-tube.  It is of no lesser importance today than it was then, and perhaps, much more:

RW: What are we talking about when we say an EMP attack?

CA: Well an electromagnetic pulse attack, very basically it can be generated using a high altitude nuclear blast. It could be kiloton size or megaton size anywhere from I believe 30 kilometers above the earths surface to about 500 kilometers, um, 300 miles. Interestingly just to throw this in 300 miles above the earths surface over the eastern half of the United States is where North Korea now has a satellite that is supposedly tumbling out of control, um, back and forth across the eastern half United States and a satellite can hold a small nuclear weapon of just the right size for an advanced EMP weapon.

EMP is essentially highly charged particles that interact with the atmosphere to, um, in affect it literally melts transformers it destroys electronics it would essentially take us back to the 1800's and possibly even the 1600's if we were hit with an EMP and that's because we would lose communications, transportation, all electronics, obviously heating and anything in your house that has like electronics, the food supply and virtually anything that depends on electricity which is it just about everything in our modern day society. We would become a very localized society, it would be little communities taking care of themselves if they can't do that without being overrun by hordes looking for food, and it would be essentially hell on earth.

RW: It sounds like a Mad Max movie to me.

CW: It could very well be. A lot of people may be familiar with the TV show that's going on now "Revolution" which takes it a little bit to the extreme in the sci-fi realm I think but in terms of war lords and things like that it's it's not so far out of the question.

RW: Well you know a lot of Americans when you tell them about the potential of an EMP attack their first response is well if it happens you know we'll fix it we're America. Tell us why that won't be possible.

CW: Well mainly because of the transformers that are used, they are the critical part of our electronic grid. We have almost two thousand of these across the U.S., I think sixteen hundred or more anyway. The core of the critical infrastructure is made up of about 350- 360 large building size transformers. Each one of these has hundreds of thousands of people depending on their continued operation to get their electricity. Well these things are only made in two countries overseas, we don't make them. These are the great big ones. It takes about eighteen months to two years generally to make them, each one of them is unique so having spares, and they are millions and millions of dollars, having spares is virtually impossible, they are re-made by having people come over from these foreign countries and um, program, essentially re-program how to make them. They are each unique and each one of them has specific, uh, specifications that have to be re-done and they are hand-wired overseas so it takes, you can figure eighteen months to two years for each one. I understand that they can only really do one or two at a time, um, and if we were to lose 350 of these things or virtually the entire core it would take a long, long time. The National Academy of Sciences came up with an estimate of 4 to 10 years that we would be without electricity if this were to happen. They say this is a conservative estimate and so does the EMP Commission mainly because if we lose them through for instance a great geo-magnetic storm which is another possibility that I haven't discussed yet, other countries would probably be affected if we were to lose that many. But if we were to lose them through an EMP attack then there is probably a lot of other things going on in the world that will take other countries attention away from helping us.

RW: Which countries are the leaders in producing these units?

CW: As I remember, Germany and South Korea. There could be other countries that are ramping up for this, but I don't know, I haven't really been keeping up with that particular aspect. 

RW: Okay, but they could have problems of their own during a crisis like this.

CW: Or it could just be to their interest not to intervene. As a matter fact I wrote this scenario where an EMP was used against us Iran during the Ahmadinejad "reign", so to speak, as a first strike option and first strike being first strike in a global war or simply against the west where the West itself  could be taken down in less than a half a day.

RW: So Germany and South Korea could be threatened "if you assist the United States in its recovery you're going to get a dose of the same medicine"? 

CW: Right, and they may have already gotten a dose by that time anyway.

The Pentagon is trying to solve this national security nightmare.

From Western Journalism came this article on April 14th of this year entitled

Pentagon Works To Protect Power Grid Amid Fears Of Attack By North Korea

In the wake of warnings that America’s power grid could be vulnerable to attack by nations such as North Korea, the Pentagon is developing a solution.

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency and BAE Systems are developing alternative communication networks for use in the event of a cyberattack on the grid.
Experts say the threat is real.  

“America’s adversaries recognize the advantage of electromagnetic pulse and promote it as a 21st century means of attack. Iran mentions EMP (electromagnetic pulse) over 20 times in its military doctrine,” said David Grantham, a fellow at the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis. “Evidence suggests that North Korea even simulated an EMP attack in 2013.”

“One of the things that’s new in the EMP world is the military doctrines of our potential adversaries,” Pry said. “They don’t plan to come after us just with nuclear EMP — it’s a combination of all these threats: physical sabotage, cyberattacks and EMP,” said Peter Pry, chief of staff for the Congressional EMP Commission.

Pry said Russia, China, North Korea and Iran could each target the U.S. with an EMP attack.

“The chief impediment to protecting our grid and our country from EMP is not technical — we know how to do it. We’ve known how to do it for 50 years,” Pry said, expressing frustration at skeptics of the EMP threat. “The chief impediment is political.”

Former CIA Director James Woolsey has written that North Korean rockets or satellites could have a devastating impact with technology that North Korea either has or could soon possess.

“According to the Congressional EMP Commission, a single warhead delivered by North Korean satellite could blackout the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for over a year — killing nine of 10 Americans by starvation and societal collapse,” Woolsey recently wrote in an op-ed column for The Hill.

Woolsey called for fast action to protect the grid.

“Launch a crash program to harden against EMP attack the U.S. electric grid to preserve American civilization and hundreds of millions of lives. This could be part of President Trump’s infrastructure modernization project,” he wrote.

The Pentagon’s response to the threat seeks to chiefly protect defense networks so that America is able to respond to any attack.

“DARPA is interested, specifically, in early warning of impending attacks, situation awareness, network isolation and threat characterization in response to a widespread and persistent cyberattack on the power grid and its dependent systems,” said DARPA program manager John Everett.

The goal of the new protective technology is to isolate the system under attack and move control of the grid to an alternative Secure Emergency Network.

“The purpose for this program is to provide a technology that quickly isolates both the enterprise IP network and the power infrastructure networks to disrupt malicious cyberattacks,” said Victor Firoiu, senior principal engineer and manager of communications and networking at BAE Systems.

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