Gingrich Fears EMP Doomsday
It is certainly reassuring when a leading politician mentions the possibility of a catastrophe that most people are unaware of. Newt Gingrich is the subject of an article this week at the NY Times:
In debates and speeches, interviews and a popular book, he is ringing alarm bells over what experts call the electromagnetic pulse, or EMP — a poorly understood phenomenon of the nuclear age.
The idea is that if a nuclear weapon, lofted by a missile, were detonated in outer space high above the American heartland, it would set off a huge and crippling shockwave of electricity. Mr. Gingrich warns that it would fry electrical circuits from coast to coast, knocking out computers, electrical power and cellphones. Everything from cars to hospitals would be knocked out.
In the introduction to the 2009 novel One Second After, Gingrich said millions would die in the first week alone.
The US military believe that the following three factors should give US citizens peace of mind:
- The Missile Defense Agency has an arsenal of ground-based interceptors ready to fly into space and smash enemy warheads
- Iran and North Korea don’t have such weapons yet
- Terrorists would prefer destruction over disruption
Well, in response I suggest:
- The Missile Defense Agency hasn’t had much practice, so who knows if they could thwart such an attack
- Russia and China aren’t exactly best friends of the USA, and who says the target can’t be an American ally?
- The mindset of the terrorist in charge is not something to be predicted
Imagine if you whispered into the ear of a maniacal Russian or Chinese general, and told them that with the combination of an EMP and a ground-based attack, they could own the USA. I’m sure they’d at least day dream about it.