Are all EMP bombs atomic bomb

EMP attack: "A threat to the US, democracy and the world order"

The "Electromagnetic Defense Taskforce" has presented a new report and calls for extensive and rapid preparations

We have repeatedly pointed out, among other things in the book "Cyberwar", that the military is worried about a major EM attack, i.e. with an electromagnetic pulse (who will use an EMP weapon first?). The US side sees Russia, Iran and North Korea as the main opponents. An EMP commission was set up by the congress in 2001. Its reports have always been shrill warnings, but they met with little response (protection against an EMP attack).

The Pentagon tested an EMP weapon only once, an atomic bomb in the Starfish Prime test at 400 km above the Pacific in 1962, which showed the effects could still be observed from over 1000 km away . Several satellites were also deactivated as a result. Since then, there has been fear that a single EMP attack could paralyze large parts of the United States, because it could destroy or temporarily render all non-hardened electronic and electrical systems - i.e. the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) - inoperable.

Nuclear and non-nuclear offensive weapons and countermeasures are being further developed, systems are being hardened, command centers are being relocated underground, attacks on the electrical infrastructure on a small scale and without EMP were already rehearsed in the Kosovo war with graphite bombs that cause a power outage. In the US, there have also been some reports from committees convened by Congress to provide information on the potential dangers. Most recently, there was a possible threat from North Korean atomic bombs. A single explosion high in the atmosphere over the USA would cause the otherwise asymmetrically better armed country, which is very vulnerable due to its advanced digitalization, to fall into a digital paralysis. Since in the USA, due to its geographical location, such threats appear much more dangerous from a distance than conventional threats from tanks, aircraft or short-range missiles, the topic haunts more than in Europe, which would be exposed to the same consequences in the event of a failure. but where the threat from other attacks is more present. But because comprehensive protection against a NEMP, a nuclear EM weapon, is hardly possible, the risk that the electricity could be turned off for an entire society is also often politically suppressed.

Now the Air Force University has presented the report of an "Electromagnetic Defense Task Force", which gathers the results of seminars, workshops, expert interviews, simulation games and a conference. Its aim was to sound out the threat posed by EM attacks and to make suggestions as to where action should be taken because "our technical superiority in EMS is threatened". Of course, once again there is a warning that action must be taken quickly. Some topics have been known since the 1960s, but the window is closing to avert some threats, said ex-CIA boss and neocon James Woolsey, who was a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and closely worked with the recently deceased hawk John McCain. Even if, in addition to EMP attacks, there are also laser weapons, geomagnetic disturbances, solar storms, microwave weapons and the like. went, the former was evidently in the foreground as the greatest threat.

The threat has increased because "silicon-based technologies are integrated into almost all aspects of modern technology and society". With reference to the available data, the report said, "an attack on the electromagnetic spectrum could pose a threat to the United States, democracy and the world order". Neither the military nor society are prepared for a major EMP attack. Internationally, it is assumed that the war fields are land, sea, air, space and cyber, "but electromagnetic activities unfold through and in all domains and control the most important functions." And because EMP attacks are the Achilles heel of the digital domain, cyber should no longer be the core of modern warfare: "EMS is probably the domain that can dominate them all." One thinks involuntarily of the "Lord of the Rings" when saying the phrase.

Although the potential consequences of EMP attacks have been known for decades, "our collective knowledge of EMS phenomena is at its lowest in recent times, while the risks and threats are likely to be greatest as knowledge and capacities increase are".

An EMP attack is dangerous because many systems can be affected at the same time, while an advance warning is not possible. This is increasingly the strategy of the opponents, who also allow attacks to take place in a hybrid strategy in the gray area so that they cannot be traced. You have to reckon with creative and asymmetrical attack scenarios that cause effects on a strategic level. Attempts would also be made to undermine existing protective measures, as the Germans had simply bypassed the Maginot Line with a "blitzkrieg" in World War II.

All hardware and devices that are not hardened could be paralyzed or destroyed in an attack. Above all, there could be a long-term power failure, but the drinking water and wastewater supply, communication, traffic (petrol stations) etc. could also fail. Rapid unrest is to be expected, as had already been seen at the 1977 Blackout in New York.

With reference to Fukushima, where there were General Electric reactors, the nuclear oversight was built on the US model and the employees were trained according to US rules and are "all up to date and in accordance with the best US methods" and it still came to the meltdown, it says:

In the worst case, all reactors in the affected region could be affected at the same time. In the US, this would mean that around 60 plants and 99 nuclear reactors with more than 60,000 tons of spent fuel in the cooling pools are at risk of core meltdown.

But it is easy to harden the generators, store the fuel rods in a dry place and keep more fuel in stock for the generators. When expanding the 5G network, it is important to ensure that China cannot control it technically and economically. In just three years, US manufacturers could be left behind, China is massively expanding the "Digital Silk Road". Controlling the 5G network means practically controlling the Internet. In general, there is no response plan to an AMP attack, there is not even an emergency plan for a solar storm. In many areas "a strategy is completely non-existent": "EMP is a tragedy of commons" because nobody feels responsible for it. (Florian Rötzer)

Read comments (133 posts) errorsPrinting Telepolis is a participant in the affiliate program advertisement