How Realistic is an EMP?

EMP_attackGreetings. I’ve been doing some threat analysis the last few weeks, something I do every once in a while. The idea is to look at the various disasters that can happen and make an educated guess on which ones are the most likely. Last year at this time, the big issues was the Ebola outbreak in Africa and whether it would come to the United States. But this year, it’s different.

That’s not all that surprising, as the one thing that’s constant in life is change. If we can believe the information that’s coming out of the CDC and WHO (doubtful), then the Ebola risk has lessened. While there are still lots of people in Africa with Ebola, the disease has been contained and the risk of it spreading is minimal. Apparently it has been long enough that the risk of some terrorist organization using it as a biological warfare weapon are minimal as well.

So, while I’m still checking up on the Ebola situation from time to time, my survival efforts have moved to the next biggest threat, that of an EMP strike. In today’s world, this is probably the most devastating single thing that can happen to the United States.

The greatest risk of an EMP strike come from terrorists, Iran or North Korea. Obviously there aren’t any terrorist organizations who have nuclear bombs, as if they did, they would have found a way to use them by now. But Korea has nukes and thanks to Obama’s “deal” with Iran, they will have them too, before long. The only real question in the case of Iran, is how long will it take for them to build their first working nuclear bomb.

While building a nuclear bomb is a difficult undertaking, the science and technology is well established. This isn’t the 1940s, when the world’s brightest scientists were working on the problem. Any student of nuclear physics knows how to build nuclear devices and most of the information needed can be found on the internet.

While North Korea has done a lot of saber rattling against the United States, they haven’t taken any direct action yet. A lot of their fiery rhetoric could just be for domestic consumption, rather than true threats against the United States. We’re not sure about that, so you can be sure that our government is keeping as close an eye on them as they can, with massive amounts of technology focused on keeping track of the North Koreans, especially their missiles and their military in general.

On the other hand, the supreme leader of Iran has made it clear that he’s willing to use nuclear devices against Israel and the United States, as soon as he has them available to use. He’s even willing to sacrifice his country to destruction, if that’s the price. Iran already has missiles, which may be able to be used to launch those nuclear devices. While they probably can’t do it from over there, there’s nothing to say that they couldn’t do it from international waters off our coast.

So, when Iran succeeds in creating working nuclear bombs, there’s actually a rather high probability that they will go ahead and use them. The only real question is how they are going to use them. It could be against Israel or it could be against the United States. If they choose to come against the United States first, which would make sense from a strategic point of view, then it’s just a matter of how they will deliver the bomb.

With a limited nuclear capability, EMP gives a lot more bang for the buck. If they are able to take out our electrical grid, it’s a cheap mission kill for them. They could essentially take down our country with one nuclear bomb. There is no other means of attack that provides as massive a result for the expenditure of minimal ordinance.

Do I think the Iranians are going to attack us this year with an EMP? No, I don’t. The best open source information I can find says that they are several years away from producing a working nuclear bomb. But that doesn’t totally eliminate the threat. If they can steal the technology or get it from some nation that already has working nuclear weapons, that timeline could be accelerated.

Besides, while Iran is probably the biggest EMP threat out there, they aren’t the only threat. There is still the threat of Korea or for that matter of Russia. While I really don’t expect a preemptive strike from Russia, there’s nothing to say that they won’t try to work through some surrogates. If Vladimir Putin decides that the Unites States is in the way of his goals, would he enable another country to attack us? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t put it past him.

In such a case, I’m relatively sure that an EMP would be the attack of choice. Russia is fully aware of our weakness in that area and probably knows more about how to attack us with an EMP than we know ourselves. After all, they’ve done more recent HEMP testing than we have.

So, this all leaves me with the blelief that an EMP attack is probalby the biggest threat we face today. While I don’t expect an attack to happen anytime in the next year, the window of opportunity is narrow. More and more people, in government and out, are becoming aware of the EMP threat which we face. That means that if our enemies wait too long, their attack may not be as effective. I know that I’ll do my part to make sure it’s not effective with me.

So it’s up to you as to how well you prepare for a potential EMP. I wouldn’t wait, as we never really know what tomorrow may bring. Until then, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

PS: Protect yourself from an EMP event with this.


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