At a House hearing yesterday, experts warned members of Congress that a North Korean EMP attack could kill 90% of Americans within one year, calling it an "existential threat." But despite this looming crisis, the Department of Defense has decided now was the time to defund the Congressional committee that has been studying the threat since 2001.
The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack has been around for nearly two decades, but their efforts have mostly been restricted to making sure that the U.S. national command authority and U.S. strategic forces could continue to function. Meanwhile "no major efforts were then thought necessary to protect critical national infrastructures." Apparently, the plan was that our defense would be so effective, no further steps were needed.
This has all changed with recent strides in nuclear weaponry by North Korea. The results of an EMP strike could be apocalyptic.
With the development of small nuclear arsenals and long-range missiles by new, radical U.S. adversaries, beginning with 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 United States. It is critical, therefore, that the U.S. national leadership address the EMP threat as a critical and existential issue, and give a high priority to assuring the leadership is engaged and the necessary steps are taken to protect the country from EMP. (source)
What a lot of people didn't know was that just a couple of weeks ago, Sept. 30, 2017, the Department of Defense terminated the funding for the EMP Commission. At the same time, "North Korea detonated an H-Bomb that it plausibly describes as capable of "super-powerful EMP" attack and released a technical report "The EMP Might of Nuclear Weapons" accurately describing what Russia and China call a "Super-EMP" weapon." The EMP Commission has been urging EMP preparedness on a national level for 17 years, but no one has been listening, despite alarming strides toward that goal in just the past six months.
Recent events have proven the EMP Commission's critics wrong about other highly important aspects of the nuclear missile threat from North Korea:
-Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea's nuclear arsenal was primitive, some academics claiming it had as few as 6 A-Bombs. Now the intelligence community reportedly estimates North Korea has 60 nuclear weapons.
-Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea's ICBMs were fake, or if real could not strike the U.S. mainland. Now the intelligence community reportedly estimates North Korea's ICBMs can strike Denver and Chicago, and perhaps the entire United States.
-Just six months ago, most experts thought North Korea was many years away from an HBomb. Now it appears North Korea has H-Bombs comparable to sophisticated U.S. two-stage thermonuclear weapons.
-Just six months ago, most experts claimed North Korean ICBMs could not miniaturize an ABomb or design a reentry vehicle for missile delivery. Now the intelligence community reportedly assesses North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons, and has developed reentry vehicles for missile delivery, including by ICBMs that can strike the U.S.1
After massive intelligence failures grossly underestimating North Korea's long-range missile capabilities, number of nuclear weapons, warhead miniaturization, and proximity to an H-Bomb, the biggest North Korean threat to the U.S. remains unacknowledged—nuclear EMP attack. (source)
So, for 17 years, this group has been ringing the warning bell and no one has been listening. Now that the threat is at our doorstep, their funding has been pulled. Something doesn't add up.