Electromagnetic Pulse Basics
William R. Forstchen is the author of One Second After, a best-selling novel that looks at a post - EMP US. Without the electrical power grid, modern civilisation would be in danger of collapse. If your power utility breaks down, the world around you will grow very dangerous, and life very precarious -- quickly.
This is a terrifying aspect of an attack that no government report has publicly discussed along with the potential casualty rate in the first seconds after an attack. Commercial airliners today are all computer driven. In fact, from lift off to landing, a pilot no longer even needs to be in the cockpit, a computer can do all of it if need be. When the pilot pulls back on the "stick" it is no longer connect by wires stretching all the way back to the tail and the elevator assembly. Instead, his motion is read by a computer which sends a signal to an electrical servo - motor in the tail, which then moves the tail. In short, the entire plane is computer driven. It is estimated that at any given moment during regular business hours, somewhere between three to four thousand commercial airliners are crisscrossing the skies. (There is a fascinating site you can find via Goggle that shows typical air traffic around the world during a twenty four hour period. From dawn til way after dusk, the entire USA is one glowing blob of commercial flights crisscrossing our sky). All of them would be doomed, the pilots sitting impotent, staring at blank computer screens, pulling on controls that no longer respond as the plane finally noses over and heads in.Read the whole thing.
Somewhere between 250,000 to 500,000 people will die in the first few minutes...more than all our battle casualties across four years of World War II
AREN"T WE PREPARING? ISN'T THERE REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT IN PLACE AND TRAINED PERSONNEL READY TO REACT?
The frightening answer is no. This author has spent over four years researching this topic, interviewing scores of personnel from Congressmen and Generals, to your local police chief and sheriff. At your local level, since 9/11, first responders have received hundreds of hours of training and briefings on all sorts of terrorist scenarios. Only a few have told me that they even discussed the topic for more than a few minutes at an official level. As to emergency stockpiles of supplies and crucial replacement parts, there is nothing in place.
EMP, has managed to "stealth" its way on to the highly dangerous list and few, except for a small number of personnel in the Pentagon, various research labs, and men like Congressman Bartlett (R., MD) who heads the Congressional Investigative Committee on EMP, are aware of it. For one it has a certain "sci - fi" sound to it, which makes many dismiss the potential before the discussion has even started. Second, the only way to truly evaluate the threat and demonstrate it is to detonate a nuclear weapon, something we have not done since the full test ban went into effect decades ago. It is therefore not "visible" to us, the way another airliner smashing into a skyscraper is now forever imprinted on our national psyche, feared, and prepared for. Next, with all the competing issues and threats in the world, EMP simply does not have a "constituency" of influence. Only a few members of Congress, our military and scientific community are issuing the warnings. There are no Hollywood stars placing themselves in front of cameras with this as their cause, the few times it has been used in popular movies, it has been portrayed inaccurately, often absurdly.
And finally, the impact is so overwhelming - that it triggers a psychological sense of helplessness, and therefore why bother, since if it happens we are finished. It is the same response that happened between the 1950s - 60s. When first confronted with the threat of a nuclear attack, tens of billions was spent to prepare, in fact our Interstate Highway system was initiated in the mid 1950s as a national defense effort to provide avenues of escape from cities in the event of nuclear war, a means to bring in emergency supplies and to move our military. Plans were issued to citizens on how to build bomb shelters and all children were drilled in what is seen now as the absurd "duck and cover."
Something happened though by the mid - 1960s. The threat was no longer fifty to a hundred small atomic bombs dropped from bombers, it was now a rain of thousands of hydrogen bombs, delivered within minutes by ballistic missiles. In this atmosphere of overkill, attempting to prepare seemed ridiculous, futile. The standard phrase became "the living will envy the dead," so why bother? Civil defense finally became an object of derision, the realm of a few survivalist nut cases.
That threat is still there, and to this day our nuclear forces stand ready to respond, which has indeed been the only defense left..."if you nuke us, we'll nuke you," a policy known as "mutual assured destruction," a zero win game.
EMP is different, it is not a rain of thousands of bombs, needing a vast and powerful military to deliver it, which means Russia and China are the only real threats in that realm...but unless seized by madness, their leaders know such an attack, within minutes would be met with thousands of bombs annihilating their country as well. It is a balance of terror that has now endured for nearly sixty years.
An EMP attack is different since it only requires but one nuclear weapon, detonated 300 miles above the middle of the United States. One bomb. The launch could even be done from a container ship somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico and in that instant, the war is already over and won.
If you are an Obama zombie, brain-dead and blindly trusting in the benevolence and wisdom of the clown in the White House, there is nothing here that will interest you. Life goes on according to the "talking points", and life will always go on according to the talking points. To think anything else is to wander off the reservation, onto dangerous and uncharted territory.
But if you can think for yourself, you will see the threat of EMP as just one out of many threats that can throw the modern, oblivious way of life out of its convenient and affluent path.