The Long Sunday: Election Day 2016 - Inauguration Day 2017 (Part Three)

by DR. PETER VINCENT PRY October 27, 2016

The Long Sunday 

Election Day 2016 - Inauguration Day 2017 


Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
Executive Director
EMP Task Force On National And Homeland Security   

Available in Kindle on and book from
the Center for Security Policy





II  EMP ATTACK: BASIC FACTS AND PRINCIPLES............................11 

III  THE LONG SUNDAY..............................................................................24 

IV  THE MIDDLE EAST................................................................................26 

V  THE FAR EAST.........................................................................................35 

VI  EUROPE....................................................................................................43 

VII  NORTH AMERICA................................................................................50 

VIII  EMP WORLD WAR..............................................................................58 

IX  RECOMMENDATIONS..........................................................................61 

RECOMMENDED READINGS...................................................................64  


For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. and its NATO allies are concerned about a major European war.  Russian annexation of Crimea, support of a war in Ukraine, cyber blackout of Western Ukraine, large-scale military exercises simulating invasions and nuclear strikes against NATO, and nuclear threats against NATO voiced regularly by Moscow, cast the shadow of a New Cold War over Europe.

According to the former deputy chief of NATO, British General Richard Shirreff, "Nuclear war with Russia is possible with a year."[1] 

On July-8-9, 2016, President Obama and officials of the 28 NATO member states met in Warsaw and agreed to deploy 4,000 NATO troops to Poland and the Baltic states as a "tripwire" to deter Russian aggression.[2]  In August 2016, Russia mobilized over 40,000 troops and thousands of tanks and armored vehicles at five places on the border of Ukraine claiming it was a "snap exercise."  Some Western experts feared the exercise was cover for an impending annexation of Ukraine, or rehearsal for an invasion of NATO.[3]

Russia Strikes European NATO

Russia has a wide variety of missile systems that could execute a nuclear EMP attack.  Russian military doctrine regards EMP attack as "the ultimate cyber weapon" and the key to decisive victory in a future war.  EMP attack is also ideal for implementation of Russia's military doctrine of "nuclear de-escalation" where Russian first use of a nuclear weapon exploits "shock and awe" to intimidate an adversary into negotiation and surrender.  The Congressional EMP Commission assesses that Russia has Super-EMP weapons, as  claimed by Russian open sources.[4] 

In this scenario, Russia makes an EMP attack on European NATO to paralyze their military capabilities, and to deter the U.S. and European governments, while Moscow annexes Ukraine and the Baltic states.  The objective is to shatter NATO militarily and psychologically while Russia begins a series of campaigns to reconstitute the USSR by first conquering Ukraine and the Baltic NATO states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, while later moving to annex Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the other former Soviet territories in Central Asia.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, laments the disintegration of the Soviet Union as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century" and appears determined to reconstitute the USSR.[5] 

Putin and Russian military doctrine assert the right to protect ethnic Russians, or those who culturally identify as Russians, even if they are foreign nationals living in another country.[6]  It is the same rationale used by Adolph Hitler to justify aggression against Czechoslovakia and Poland--to defend "German minorities" from alleged persecution. 

Putin claims ethnic and cultural Russians living in Ukraine and the Baltics are persecuted minorities.   

In August 2016, Putin accused Ukraine of sending saboteurs to terrorize Russians in the annexed territory of Crimea, just before launching a "snap exercise" that mobilized thousands of troops on Ukraine's borders.[7]  Hitler concocted false "acts of aggression" by Czechoslovakia and Poland before crushing these nations under German tank treads.

Reconstructing the USSR, on the map,  looks like an impossible task because of the vast territories that need to be recaptured.  In fact, all of the former Soviet republics on the periphery of Russia--including Ukraine and the Baltic states--are hollow militarily. 

Kazakhstan, for example, is the ninth largest nation in the world, but has only 18 million people, a small and obsolete military that is really more like a police force, and vast natural resources.  Weakness and wealth are tempting to Moscow, and the Kazakhs know it.  Kazakh officials wonder aloud, I discovered on a trip to Astana in 2014, when the Russian tanks will be coming.

Russia also has an interest in annexing the Baltic states and Ukraine so it does not eventually lose its Russian territories of Kaliningrad and the Trans-Dneister in Moldova, neither of which is contiguous to Russia but territorially separated by the Baltics, Belarus, and Ukraine.  Russia has converted Kaliningrad and the occupied part of Moldova into heavily armed camps. 

Historically, states that are territorially divided want to take over intervening territory to achieve geographic unification, a situation ripe for war, as was the case with East and West Pakistan.

European NATO has neglected investing in defense, because they thought the Cold War would never return, and become militarily hollow.  The weakest part of NATO is opposite Russia in the Baltic states, Poland and other East European NATO frontline nations.  RAND and the U.S. Defense Department estimate the Russian Army can roll over the Baltic states in 60 hours.[8] 

Moscow must wonder about the political will of European NATO governments that neglect their military and will not even defend their borders or peoples from the predations of mass migrations from the Middle East.

In this scenario, Russia detonates a nuclear weapon at 60 kilometers HOB over NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.       

pry 10 russia strikes european nato

The EMP field extends to a radius of 850  kilometers, covering all the Benelux countries and all of Germany.  The EMP field encompasses nearly all of France, covering to the Mediterranean

Coast, and beyond Bordeaux on the Bay of Biscay, leaving only the far south outside the field.  Nearly all the United Kingdom is covered by the EMP field except the far north of Scotland beyond Edinburgh.  The EMP field covers virtually all Great Britain's military bases, including the home of its Trident nuclear submarines at Faslane, and the other major naval bases at Portsmouth and Devonport (the largest naval base in Western Europe). 

The EMP field covers all of Denmark, including the capital at Copenhagen, half the Czech Republic, half of Austria, and northern Italy as far as Venice.  All of these nations have single integrated electric grids that will probably, because of cascading failures induced by EMP, go into protracted blackout nationwide.

The EMP field covers western Poland to Poznan.  Hundreds of kilometers of 400 kilovolt high power lines and many EHV transformer substations are exposed to EMP, which almost certainly will cause cascading failures blacking-out all of Poland.  Consequently, the Polish military is crippled.  It is 1939 all over again.

The EMP field does not cover the virtually defenseless Baltic states, Russia's heavily armed military enclave at Kaliningrad, or Russia's ally Belarus, who participates in Russian exercises simulating war against NATO. 

Russian tanks roll over the Baltic states in 60 hours. 

In six months, probably much less if tactical nuclear weapons are brandished or used, Moscow can reclaim the territories of the former USSR, while NATO struggles to recover.  If NATO can ever recover.

European NATO is paralyzed.  Its military capabilities are disrupted, damaged, and destroyed by the direct effects of EMP and by blackout of electric grids and other critical infrastructures essential to military operations and national survival.  The highest priority of NATO's European governments would be to restore electric power, get lights, communications, transportation, food and water running again, to maintain law and order, avert societal collapse into chaos. 

Europe probably would not support, would vehemently object, to the U.S. trying to prosecute a war against Russia from NATO Europe--as this would guarantee another EMP attack.  U.S.  long-range Global Strike capabilities would be too little too late to save the Baltic states. 

Instead of defending the Baltic states, the highest priority of the United States would almost certainly be to rescue and recover Europe from catastrophe.

But even if stopping Russian aggression remains the highest priority for the Pentagon,  will the White House be willing to risk a nuclear holocaust in order to protect the sovereignty of places like Lithuania and Kazakhstan? 

ISIS Strikes Italy

Followers of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi , messianic leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have threatened to make a missile strike on the Vatican in Rome.  ISIS threats against Rome have been advertised on social media to their audience worldwide.  For example, according to Voice of America (February 2015):

Islamic State militants are goading Italy on their social media accounts by urging jihadist recruits to go to Libya in preparation for attack on Rome....The online propaganda offensive comes as Italian authorities ramp-up security measures...outlining plans to put 4,800 soldiers on the streets in Rome and in other major cities....One IS supporter even argued that the distance between Libya and Italy allows Scud missiles to be fired at Rome...

ISIS agents in Rome have been arrested plotting attacks on the Vatican and the Israeli Embassy.[9] 

Ideologically, an attack on the Holy See fits in with the ISIS apocalyptic worldview.  ISIS claims to be the champion of Islam come to destroy the world's false religions, Catholicism being chief among them, in a final confrontation between the "true religion" and its enemies, during these final days of the world's end time.  Crucifixions by ISIS, now higher profile than since Roman times, are supposed to be a symbolic harbinger of the coming Apocalypse and triumph of Islam, mocking Catholicism and Christianity.

ISIS has at least one Scud missile that it has paraded on social media.  How ISIS acquired a Scud is unclear, although it was likely captured from the Syrian Army or from Syrian rebels.  Contrary to some optimistic reporting in the press, the missile probably works, or can be made to work.  ISIS can certainly figure out how to fire a Scud.

Scuds are engineered to be robust missiles that can take a lot of punishment and are easy to use, literally "designed by geniuses to be used by idiots."  Houthi rebels and terrorists in the rough desert country of Yemen have successfully operated and used Scuds.  In June 2016, the Houthis launched a Scud strike on King Khalid Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia, killing Lt. General Amed al-Shaalan, Chief of the Saudi Arabian Air Force.  Reportedly, "South Korean intelligence officials said...20 Scud missiles fired at Saudi Arabia from Yemen by Houthi rebels and their allies originated in North Korea."[10]

Anything the Houthis can do, ISIS can do, and probably better.  But even if ISIS has a Scud-D, the missile does not, from the ISIS "caliphate" in Syria, have the range to reach Rome.

However, as the richest, largest, and most sophisticated terrorist organization in the world, ISIS might be able to engineer a spectacular act of destruction that finally eclipses rival Al Qaeda's 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.  If New York and Washington are the economic and political capitals of the United States, Rome is the spiritual capital of Western Civilization and of the biggest religious rival to Islam.

pry 11 _ isis strikes italy

In this scenario, ISIS buys a freighter with a nuclear-armed Scud missile in its hold from North Korea, which is strapped for cash and furious over UN economic sanctions.  North Korea has threatened to sell nuclear weapons to terrorists, according to an intelligence report to Congress.[11]

ISIS makes a ship-launched EMP attack, detonating the Scud at HOB 30 kilometers over Vatican City. 

The EMP field extends to a radius of 600 kilometers around Rome, covering all of Italy, including Sicily and Sardinia, and all Switzerland.  The EMP field reaches across the Adriatic Sea and covers the Balkan states, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia.  ISIS would surely see this as divine justice for the "ethnic cleansing" of Muslims during the Yugoslav Wars of 1991-2001, and as punishment for Muslim "traitors" now living in peace with their Christian neighbors.

The EMP field covers most of Austria to Vienna, and significant parts of the electric grids in France, Germany, and Hungary.  Across the Mediterranean in North Africa, the EMP field covers part of Tunisia including the capital, Tunis.  All of these nations would probably go into protracted blackout from cascading failures that cause massive damage to their electric grids nationwide.

The stage is now set for ISIS cells in Europe to arise, and for ISIS fighters in Libya to cross into blacked-out Italy, and everywhere make bloody chaos.  It would be like the Mumbai and Paris massacres on an international scale. 

ISIS would finally eclipse Al Qaeda in everything. 


Some plausible scenarios for EMP attacks against North America include the following:

--Russia Strikes Canada.  The U.S. retaliates with long-range conventional bomber and cruise missile strikes for Russian aggression against European NATO, so Russia makes an EMP "warning shot" against Canada, that also damages U.S. early warning radars and National Missile Defenses in Alaska, hoping the U.S. will "de-escalate" and stop fighting.[12]

--China Strikes the United States.  Amidst an escalating conflict with the U.S. over Taiwan and the South China Sea, China makes an EMP attack blacking-out the mainland's 48 states, hoping to knock the U.S. out of the war.

--Iran Strikes the United States.  The Obama administration is wrong, and critics are right, that Iran already has nuclear-armed missiles, and can make an EMP attack against the U.S. by satellite, which Iran does on Inauguration Day (January 20, 2017) to humiliate the departing president and destroy the "Great Satan" that is the United States.

--Al Qaeda Strikes the United States.  North Korea or Iran provides Al Qaeda with a nuclear armed short- or medium-range missile in a freighter, to make a nuclear EMP attack by proxy to eliminate the U.S. as an actor on the world stage.

--North Korea Strikes Texas.  North Korea makes an EMP attack using a Scud missile launched from a freighter to blackout the Texas electric grid as a "warning shot" for the U.S. to stop "aggressive" military exercises and deployment of THAAD missile defenses to South Korea.            

Two of the most plausible scenarios are below.

North Korea Strikes the United States

On Wednesday August 24--while writing these words-- North Korea successfully launched a ballistic missile from its Simpo-class submarine, 5 more of which are reportedly under construction, thereby demonstrating yet another platform from which the North could potentially make nuclear missile strikes on the United States.  North Korea already has two different classes of mobile ICBMs, the KN-08 and KN-14, both of which are assessed by the U.S. Department of Defense as nuclear-armed and capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.[13] 

North Korea also has orbiting over the United States two satellites, the KMS-3 and KMS-4, that are potential nuclear EMP threats.  Both satellites orbit on south polar trajectories, so they overfly the U.S. from the south, where the U.S. is blind and defenseless as Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radars and National Missile Defenses are oriented northward, or eastward  and westward, looking for missile threats coming over the North Pole or from the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.[14] 

North Korea's KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites are at the optimum altitude to generate an EMP field over the United States.  They may be armed with Super-EMP weapons.

Dr. William R. Graham, Chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, in a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee on July 10, 2008, warned that Russia developed Super-EMP weapons, and apparently transferred that technology to North Korea:

MR. BARTLET:  It is my understanding that, in interviewing some Russian generals, that they told you that the Soviets had developed a "Super-EMP" enhanced weapon that could produce 200 kilovolts per meter at the center?

DR. GRAHAM:  Yes, Mr. Bartlett.  We engaged two senior Russian generals--who were also lecturers and authors from their general staff academy, who had written about advanced weapons--and actually brought them over to the U.S. and spent a day meeting with them and questioning them about EMP-type weapons; and they said a number of interesting things.  One was that, in fact, the Russians had developed what they called the "Super-EMP" weapon that could generate fields in the range of 200 kilovolts per meter.  And we had seen in other open literature that the Russians appeared to be using that figure as an upper bound for the kind of EMP that could be produced by nuclear weapons.  So, we weren't surprised, too surprised, to see it. 

They also told us that there were Russian and other technologists, engineers and scientists, who were working with North Korea and receiving Western wages, they emphasized helping North Korea with the design of its nuclear weapons....  

MR. BARTLETT:  This is about, what, four times higher than anything we ever built or tested to, in terms of EMP hardening?

DR. GRAHAM:  Yes.[15]   

A Super-EMP warhead, in the possession of Russia or North Korea, could put at risk the best protected U.S. assets, even threatening the survival of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.  This point is emphasized in the continuing exchange between Rep. Bartlett and Dr. Graham at the congressional hearing on EMP:

MR. BARTLETT:  Which means that, even if you were some hundreds of miles away from that, that it would be somewhere in the range of 50 to 100 kilovolts per meter at the margins of our country, for instance?

DR. GRAHAM:  Yes.  Over much of the margin, yes.

MR. BARTLETT:  So, we aren't sure that much of our military would still be operable after that robust laydown.  Is that correct?....I also understand that we aren't certain that we could launch, through a series of robust EMP laydowns, that we could launch our intercontinental ballistic missiles.

DR. GRAHAM:  We designed both the missiles and their bases and the strategic communications systems during the Cold War to be able to survive and operate through EMP fields on the order of 50 kilovolts per meter, which was our concern at the time, before we realized that weapons could be designed that had larger EMP fields.[16]   

 Ambassador R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence, in "The Miniaturization Myth" (Washington Times, April 24, 2016) warns North Korea's satellites may pose a constant EMP threat, a sword of Damocles always hanging overhead:

The president and the press is missing, or ignoring, the biggest threat from North Korea--their satellites.  On February 7, North Korea orbited a second satellite, the KMS-4, to join their KMS-3 satellite launched in December 2012.  Both satellites now are in south polar orbits, evading many U.S. missile defense radars and flying over the United States from the south, where our defenses are limited.  Both satellites--if nuclear armed--could make an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that could blackout the U.S. electric grid for months or years, thereby killing millions.  Technologically, such an EMP attack is easy--since the weapon detonates at high-altitude, in space, no shock absorbers, heat shield, or vehicle for atmospheric re-entry is necessary.  Since the radius of the EMP is enormous, thousands of kilometers, accuracy matters little...Moreover, North Korea probably has nuclear weapons specially designed, not to make a big explosion, but to emit lots of gamma rays to generate high-frequency EMP.  Senior Russian generals warned EMP Commissioners in 2004 that their EMP nuclear warhead design leaked "accidentally" to North Korea, and unemployed Russian scientists found work in North Korea's nuclear weapons program....Such an EMP nuclear warhead could resemble an Enhanced Radiation Warhead (ERW, also called a Neutron Bomb), a technology dating to the 1950s, deployed by the U.S. in the 1980s as the W48 ERW artillery shell, weighing less than 100 pounds.  

"Are EMP warheads on those North Korean satellites?," former CIA Director Woolsey asks in the above article.  Many think there might be, including such senior Reagan administration national security officials as Dr. William Graham (White House Science Advisor, Administrator of NASA, Chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission), Fritz Ermarth (Chairman of the National Intelligence Council), and Ambassador Henry Cooper (Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative).          

The Obama Administration and its media "echo chamber" dismiss nuclear threats from North Korea as "bluster" and "saber rattling" designed to coerce economic and diplomatic concessions, and as propaganda for a domestic audience in North Korea.  But Kim Jong-Un's nuclear missile tests and hysteria have so far only increased international sanctions against the North and further isolated his "Hermit Kingdom."  The North Korean dictator has absolute power over his people and no need to enthrall them with costly nuclear missile programs--which are literally starving thousands to death.

Kim Jong-Un's nuclear threats should be taken very seriously. 

Kim is the twisted product of over 70 years of absolute power, inherited from his father and grandfather--as they were, he is corrupted absolutely.  Kim's megalomania and paranoia are psychopathic.  The so-called Democratic People's Republic of Korea masquerades as an atheistic Stalinist dictatorship, but is in fact a theocracy dedicated to the worship of Kim Jong-Un.  Kim is described in state media as endowed with superhuman characteristics, including a divine halo

that sometimes magically appears.  Kim has murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people and invented especially cruel ways of killing friends and close relatives.[17] 

Kim Jong-Un is Caligula in the third generation, armed with nuclear weapons.

In this scenario, Kim Jong-Un becomes convinced that the United States is becoming too dangerous, too bold in pushing for economic sanctions against North Korea, and too aggressive in military exercises with South Korea. 

While the Obama Administration and the press dismiss as "bluster" North Korea's threats to launch a nuclear preemptive strike in response to U.S.-South Korean military exercises, it is possible and even likely Pyongyang regards the annual exercises as a real threat.  The U.S., Russia, China, and North Korea all subscribe to the view that a military exercise could conceal a surprise attack.  In 1983, Moscow nearly launched a preemptive nuclear strike in mistaken belief that an annual NATO exercise, ABLE ARCHER-83, this time concealed a surprise nuclear attack.[18]            

Kim Jong-Un is at least as paranoid as was Moscow during the height of the Cold War, and entirely capable of misconstruing an allied military exercise as an existential threat.  Kim decides to strike first, before the U.S. destroys his regime, an act Kim believes will make him the most feared and most powerful man in the world.

A Super-EMP weapon hidden aboard North Korea's KMS-4 satellite is detonated at 400 kilometers HOB over the geographic center of the United States.  The EMP field extends to a radius of 2,200 kilometers, covering the U.S., most of Canada and Mexico.

The U.S. East, West, and Texas electric grids collapse, as do the Canadian and Mexican grids.  Unprotected against EMP, hundreds of EHV transformers are destroyed and millions of SCADAS and other critical electronics, leaving damage too broad and too deep to repair, requiring years, if the U.S. could survive for years. 

But there is no coming back. 

Everything is in blackout and nothing works.  The EMP sparks widespread fires, explosions, all kinds of industrial accidents.  Firestorms rage in cities and forests.  Toxic clouds pollute the air and chemical spills poison already polluted lakes and rivers.  In seven days, the over 100 nuclear power reactors run out of emergency power and go Fukushima, spreading radioactive plumes over the most populous half of the United States.  There is not even any drinking water and the national food supply in regional warehouses begins to spoil in three days.  There was only enough food to feed 320 million people for 30 days anyway.                     

pry 12 north korea strikes the usa

 In one year, as the Congressional EMP Commission has warned for over a decade, 9 of 10 Americans are dead from starvation, disease, and societal collapse.  The United States of America ceases to exist.

Russia Strikes the United States

In this scenario, Russia invades and annexes NATO's Baltic states and Ukraine, as a first step toward reunification of the former territories of the USSR.  Russia makes an EMP attack on European NATO, centering the attack on NATO HQ in Brussels, blacking-out and paralyzing the great powers of Europe. 

Simultaneously with the EMP attack, Russian embassies in the 28 NATO member states--including the United States--warn that any NATO attempt to intervene militarily will be met with additional EMP attacks, escalating if necessary to nuclear ground-bursts on NATO military targets and all-out nuclear war.    

European NATO is cowed, their militaries helpless.  But the United States defies Russia.

The U.S. retaliates with long-range conventional strikes using bombers and cruise missiles, initially concentrating on Russian military forces in the Baltic states.  Gradually the U.S. escalates its conventional strikes to include crucial military and economic targets in Russian territory.  The U.S. strategy is to rely on its non-nuclear Global Strike capabilities to increase pressure on Russia, hopefully forcing Moscow to retreat from the Baltics and abandon its scheme to become again "Great Russia."

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin--former KGB agent, national chauvinist, still humiliated by the USSR's defeat during the Cold War--cannot countenance losing again to the United States.  If he retreats now, he will lose face before his own people.  A coup against his government, maybe a popular revolution, and Putin's assassination would be real possibilities.        

In 1999, senior Russian officials threatened a U.S. congressional delegation with an EMP attack against the United States to stop U.S. bombing of Russian ally Serbia--much lesser stakes than in this scenario.[19]

Forward deployed Russian submarines make short-warning EMP attacks using Super-EMP warheads to paralyze U.S. strategic and general purpose forces and blackout the national grid.  Fourteen EMP bursts are at 30 kilometers HOB to maximize peak field strength, centered on 14 U.S. strategic C3I and strategic forces targets:

--National Missile Defenses at Fort Greely, Alaska.

--National Missile Defenses at Vandenberg AFB, California.

--Washington, D.C.

--NORAD HQ at Petersen AFB and the Alternate HQ inside nearby Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.

-- 91st ICBM Missile Wing and B-52 Bomber Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota.

--90th ICBM Missile Wing at FE Warren AFB, Wyoming.

--341st ICBM Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Montana.

--B-2 Bomber Wing at Whiteman AFB, Missouri.

--B-52 Bomber Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.

--B-1B Bomber Wing at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.

--B-1B Bomber Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas.

--Trident SSBN Base at Bangor, Washington.

--Trident SSBN Base at King's Bay, Georgia.        

--C3I TACAMO Wing of E-6B aircraft for emergency communications (to ICBMs, bombers, and patrolling submarines) at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma.

The Congressional EMP Commission Executive Report (2004) warned: "Current policy is to continue to provide EMP protection to strategic forces and their controls; however, the end of the Cold War has relaxed the discipline for achieving and maintaining that capability within these forces."

Moreover, compared to the Cold War, today U.S. strategic forces are less ready and more vulnerable to surprise attack, perhaps especially from EMP:

-- U.S. strategic bombers are no longer armed and on strip alert, ready to takeoff on short warning, but must be made ready, including having weapons uploaded.

--U.S. ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) are "de-targeted" so they are no longer aimed at targets in Russia, but aimed at the oceans, as a safeguard against accidental launch.  Before launching, ICBMs and SLBMs must be re-targeted, which can be done quickly, but depends upon a vast array of computers and data links called the Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting System. 

--U.S. ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) are far less numerous today than during the Cold War, when 41 SSBNs were deployed.  Today the SSBN fleet numbers 14 Tridents.  Normally, 7 Tridents are at their ports in Bangor and King's Bay, so half the fleet would be caught at their berths by a surprise attack.

--U.S. SSBNs at sea no longer carry launch codes to permit an independent retaliatory strike in the event of decapitation of the National Command Authority, but must receive an Emergency Action Message from the President that includes launch code data.

--Take Charge And Move Out (TACAMO) aircraft are the only remaining redundant communications link to the three legs of the strategic Triad (bombers, ICBMs, submarines), other Cold War systems like Looking Glass, ELF, and GWEN having been retired.

--TACAMO E-6Bs, a modified version of the Boeing 707 airliner, are not kept on airborne alert (like Looking Glass during the Cold War), only a few are on strip alert, while most are grounded at Tinker AFB, where they would be sitting ducks in a surprise attack.               

The postulated Russian EMP attacks place peak EMP fields (200 kilovolts per meter) on all U.S. strategic nuclear forces and all conventional Global Strike forces, except for submarines at sea.  The attack also attempts to neutralize submarines at sea by severing their C3I and connectivity to the National Command Authority.  Overlapping EMP fields cause the collapse and protracted blackout of all North America, further crippling U.S. power projection capabilities.    

pry 13 russia strikes the usa


A final plausible scenario would be coordinated EMP attacks by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran to advance their common global strategic and ideological interests by what would amount to an EMP World War.  Is a nuclear world war implausible?  As of this writing, according to international and Russian press:

Russia is holding a massive evacuation drill for more than 40 million people to prepare for nuclear war.  More than 200,000 emergency services personnel and soldiers will use 50,000 pieces of equipment during the massive civil defense exercise.[20]

What are the common strategic and ideological interests of a New Axis comprising Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran? 

Strategically, these states are all dissatisfied with the established world order dominated by the United States and its allies.  Like Germany before World Wars I and II, they perceive themselves as threatened, victim nations, hemmed in territorially and economically by an international system built by rival powers.  Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, and Tehran would all like to overthrow the existing world order and replace it with a new world order--dominated by themselves.  At minimum they would like to topple the existing game table and start a new game.

All also see "the world's only superpower" that is the United States as the greatest threat to their existence.  No matter how benign the U.S. really is, they do not, perhaps cannot, see anything but that the U.S. is a great potential threat.  The New Axis are what might be called "national security states" or "militant dictatorships" because they are obsessed with survival and dominance to the point of sacrificing prosperity.  Co-existence might be a temporary necessity.  But real security is achieved by dominance, by the annihilation of rivals, a view like that in organized crime.  An unsurprising parallel, as these are criminal states.

Ideologically, contrary to common Western assumptions, these "outsider" states do not perceive the United States and the West as necessary to their prosperity, but as impediments actively hostile to their existence.  Totalitarian and authoritarian societies see politics and economics, power and wealth, as a zero-sum game.  Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran do not blame themselves for their economic and political problems--they blame the U.S. and the West.              

Moreover, they fear the free political, economic, and cultural systems represented by the United States and the West, so alien and diametrically opposed to their own totalitarian and authoritarian systems.  Like ancient militarist Sparta, in its war with democratic Athens, that made common cause against Athens with all other city states run by tyrants, the elites of Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, and Tehran are united by their fear and hatred of freedom.    

Evidence is substantial that Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran are tacit allies.  Russia and China conduct  military exercises together, support each other at the UN, and typically have a united front on most international issues.  China's new and growing military power is largely built on Russian technology.  Russia and China have both helped North Korea and Iran's nuclear and missile programs, and often protect them from sanctions at the United Nations.[21]

Is it a coincidence that all four of these powers are now embarked on major acts of aggression in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that challenge international law and the existing world order--simultaneously?

An EMP World War might unfold by sequencing the already described theater EMP scenarios as follows:

--Iran Strikes Israel comes first, while Russia, China, and North Korea wait for U.S. forces to concentrate in the Persian Gulf.  The U.S. military is now so diminished by cuts in budget, material, and manpower that it can no longer fight more than one big theater war.  After perhaps a week, when U.S. forces and crucial C3I assets are committed and en route to the Middle East, simultaneously or in rapid succession:

--North Korea Strikes South Korea and Japan

--China Strikes Taiwan

--Russia Strikes European NATO 

Finally, if necessary:

--North Korea Strikes the United States

--Russia Strikes the United States  

This sequencing of EMP attacks would maximally exploit the U.S. "hollow" military.  Where the U.S. is no longer able to support major military operations in more than one theater, the proposed plan would confront the U.S. nearly simultaneously with an EMP World War in four theaters--in five theaters if the U.S. itself is attacked.[22] 

EMP is essentially an anti-technology weapon--and perhaps the perfect "silver bullet" to defeat and humble the high-tech military of the United States that is the basis for its claim to be "the world's only superpower." 

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi 

pry 14 emp world war



The United States and the Free World may well be on the brink of an EMP and cyber Blackout War from which there may be no recovery.  EMP can, literally and figuratively, turn out the lights of electronic civilization and bring on the advent of a New Dark Ages. 

The magnitude of this existential threat and its proximity, evidenced almost daily by the increasing aggressiveness and mounting capabilities of numerous potential adversaries, constitutes a grave emergency necessitating immediate action:

The President should declare that EMP or cyber-attacks that blackout the national electric grid constitute the use of weapons of mass destruction that justify preemptive and retaliatory responses by the United States using all possible means, including nuclear weapons.  Potential adversaries should not be allowed to think that the U.S. may agree with their military doctrines that a Blackout War waged with EMP and cyber weapons does not cross the nuclear redline.  A Defense Science Board study Resilient Military Systems and the Advanced Cyber Threat (January 2013) equates an all-out cyber-attack on the United States with the consequences of a nuclear attack, and concludes that a nuclear response is justified to deter or retaliate for cyber warfare: "While the manifestation of a nuclear and cyber-attack are very different, in the end, the existential impact to the United States is the same."

The President should sign the draft executive order "Protecting The United States From Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)" submitted by the EMP Commission and repeatedly by members of  Congress to the White House.  Among many other provisions to protect the nation from EMP on an emergency basis, the executive order would instantly mobilize a much needed "whole of government solution" to the EMP threat:  "All U.S. Government Departments, Agencies, Offices, Councils, Boards, Commissions and other U.S. Government entities...shall take full and complete account of the EMP threat in forming policies and plans to protect United States critical infrastructures..."

The President should rescind Executive Order 13618 (signed by President Obama on July 6, 2012) and re-establish the National Communications System (NCS) in the White House to oversee national preparedness, including of the electric grid and other critical infrastructures, against EMP.  President Ronald Reagan established the National Communications System to provide survivable and enduring communications to the White House, departments and agencies of the federal government, and the Congress, in order to support continuity of government in the aftermath of a nuclear war or other national catastrophe.  Staffed with military and civilian defense professionals and EMP experts, NCS provided exemplary service.  Under Executive Order 13618, President Obama transferred and subordinated NCS to the Department of Homeland Security, where its expertise is underutilized and the EMP threat is a low or non-priority.    

Congress should rescind the legal authorities of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (U.S. FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as the lead entities responsible for electric grid security, and empower a renewed NCS at the White House with enhanced legal authorities to order and oversee the immediate protection of the electric grid and other critical infrastructures from EMP.  U.S. FERC and NERC have not only failed spectacularly to protect the grid, but NERC especially has actively lobbied against EMP protection and concocted "junk science" studies to justify its dangerous neglect of the public interest and of national survival.[23]

Congress should immediately pass the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) that passed the House unanimously, and now awaits action in the Senate.  CIPA directs the Department of Homeland Security to include the EMP threat among its National Planning Scenarios that are the basis for all federal, state, and local emergency planning, training, and resource allocation.  CIPA requires DHS to develop plans, new technologies, and launch pilot projects to protect the national electric grid and other critical infrastructures from EMP.

The Department of Defense should develop plans for conventional and nuclear preemptive strikes and develop new cyber and EMP weapons to prevent adversaries from launching a Blackout War.  On April 13, 2016, in a hearing before the U.S. Congress, senior Pentagon officials testified that, because nuclear missile threats from nations like North Korea might be able to overwhelm U.S. National Missile Defenses, the Defense Department is developing new cyber and electronic weapons, and new operational procedures, to attack enemy missiles before they launch. During the Cold War this was known as "preemption" or "striking first." 

The Pentagon also has a new euphemism for "striking first" calling it "left-of-launch" missile defense, which means destroying the missile before launch. As then Commander of North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD), Admiral William Gortney, explained to the Senate Subcommittee on Strategic Forces: "We need to augment our defensive posture with one that is designed to defeat ballistic missile threats in the boost phase as well as before they are launched, known as 'left-of-launch'." 

Left-of-launch interception of enemy missiles, or more plainly striking first, would be accomplished by attacking enemy electronic systems--including missile electronics, command and control, and the power grid supporting military operations--to prevent the missile launch.  Brian McKeon, Principle Defense Undersecretary for Policy, testified to U.S. Congress that development of new cyber and electronic weapons to strike first against impending enemy missile launches is "underway."  According to Bill Gertz in "Pentagon Developing Pre-Launch Cyber Attacks On Missiles" (Washington Examiner, April 14): "Defense officials familiar with the research said the new, non-kinetic missile defenses include the planned use of cyber-attacks and other electronic warfare means, such as electromagnetic pulse attacks, against foreign command and control systems. An electromagnetic pulse is the force emitted from a nuclear blast that can disrupt all electronics over wide areas." 

An EMP attack would enable the U.S. to destroy mobile missiles, such as North Korea's KN-08 and KN-14 mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and their hundreds of medium-range missiles, before they launch. Mobile missiles operating in the field during a crisis may already have their launch codes and probably could not be stopped from launching by computer viruses or hacking.  An EMP attack could stop them. 

The Pentagon's categorization of EMP as a non-kinetic weapon like cyber-attack follows the lead of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, in whose military doctrines nuclear EMP attack is considered part of all-out cyber warfare.  Admittedly, preemptive strikes, including by EMP and cyber, are dangerously destabilizing and lower the nuclear threshold, making nuclear conflict more likely than during the Cold War--but U.S. vulnerability to EMP and cyber is even more destabilizing and dangerous.  Preemptive capabilities are  necessary, at least until such time as the American people can be protected by hardening the grid and deploying adequate missile defenses.

The President, Congress, and the Department of Defense must cooperate on a crash program to bring back President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and develop revolutionary new missile defenses.  Immediately, Aegis anti-missiles should be posted ashore in states on the Gulf of Mexico to close the hole in U.S. missile defenses, as recommended by Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Director of SDI. 

There is a better way of defending North America and NATO than by striking first with cyber and EMP weapons.

President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, foolishly derided by the press as "Star Wars," invented a revolutionary new missile defense system called GPALS (Global Protection Against Limited Strikes) that would have worked, had SDI not been canceled by President Bill Clinton.  SDI technology has been proven, in peaceful applications, by NASA in Moon exploration and in the private sector space program. 

SDI could make unnecessary the dangerous revolution in military technology now underway developing offensive cyber and EMP weapons for striking first. SDI could replace these destabilizing offensive technologies with stabilizing defensive technologies, and make the world a much safer place. 


Congressional EMP Commission, Report of  the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack: Executive Report (2004).

Congressional EMP Commission, Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack: National Critical Infrastructures (2008).

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Dr. William Graham, Ambassador R. James Woolsey, Ambassador Henry Cooper, Rep. Andrea Boland, Senator David Farnsworth, Senator Bryce Reeves, Senator Ralph Shortey, Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, Dr. George H. Baker III, Dr. William Radasky, John Kappenman, William R. Harris, Thomas Popik, Michael Hoehn, Lori Frantzve and Larry Guinta, Blackout Wars: State Initiatives To Achieve Preparedness Against An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Catastrophe (EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, 2015).

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Dr. William R. Graham, Ambassador R. James Woolsey, Ambassador Henry Cooper, Dr. William Radasky, John Kappenman, Dr. Alberto Ramirez Orquin, David B. Jackson, Thomas Popik, Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe (EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, 2013).

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Dr. William Graham, Dr. Fred Ikle, Professor Cynthia Ayers, Brigadier General Kenneth Chrosniak, Electric Armageddon: Civil-Military Preparedness For An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe (EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, 2013).

U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Interagency Report, Electromagnetic Pulse: Effects on the U.S. Power Grid, Executive Summary (Washington, D.C.: 2010).

U.S. FERC Interagency Report by Edward Savage, James Gilbert, and William Radasky, The Early-Time (E1) High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) and Its Impact on the U.S. Power Grid (Meta-R-320) Metatech Corporation (January 2010).

U.S. FERC Interagency Report by John Kappenman, Low-Frequency Protection Concepts for the Electric Power Grid: Geomagnetically Induced Current (GIC) and E3 HEMP (Meta-R-322) Metatech Corporation (January 2010).

U.S. FERC Interagency Report by William Radasky and Edward Savage, Intentional Electromagnetic Interference (IEMI) and Its Impact on the U.S. Power Grid (Meta-R-323) Metatech Corporation (January 2010).

U.S. FERC Interagency Report by William Radasky and Edward Savage, High-Frequency Protection Concepts for the Electric Power Grid (Meta-R-324) Metatech Corporation (January 2010).

Ambassador R. James Woolsey, "Heading Toward An EMP Catastrophe," Statement for the Record before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (Washington, D.C.: July 22, 2015).

Ambassador R. James Woolsey, "Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)--The Ultimate Cyber Threat," Statement for the Record before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Washington, D.C.: May 21, 2013).

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, "Foreign Views of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack," Statement for the Record before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security (Washington, D.C.: March 9, 2005).

Ted Koppel, Lights Out (Macmillan, 2015).

F. Michael Maloof, A Nation Forsaken (WND Books, 2013).

Jim LeBlanc, Real Risk Management For The Electric Grid (Center for Security Policy, 2016).   


Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a Congressional Advisory Board dedicated to achieving protection of the United States from electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber attack, mass destruction terrorism and other threats to civilian critical infrastructures on an accelerated basis.  Dr. Pry also is Director of the United States Nuclear Strategy Forum, an advisory board to Congress on policies to counter Weapons of Mass Destruction.  

Dr. Pry served on the staffs of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States (2008-2009); the Commission on the New Strategic Posture of the United States (2006-2008); and the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack (2001-2008). 

Dr. Pry served as Professional Staff on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) of the U.S. Congress, with portfolios in nuclear strategy, WMD, Russia, China, NATO, the Middle East, Intelligence, and Terrorism (1995-2001).  While serving on the HASC, Dr. Pry was chief advisor to the Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and the Vice Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and to the Chairman of the Terrorism Panel. Dr. Pry played a key role: running  hearings in Congress that warned terrorists and rogue states could pose an EMP threat,  establishing the Congressional EMP Commission, helping the Commission develop plans to protect the United States from EMP, and working closely with senior scientists who first discovered the nuclear EMP phenomenon.  

Dr. Pry was an Intelligence Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency responsible for analyzing Soviet and Russian nuclear strategy, operational plans, military doctrine, threat  perceptions, and developing U.S. paradigms for strategic warning (1985-1995).  He also served as a Verification Analyst at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency responsible for assessing Soviet compliance with strategic and military arms control treaties (1984-1985). 

Dr. Pry has written numerous books on national security issues, including Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe; Electric Armageddon: Civil-Military Preparedness For An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe; War Scare: Russia and America on the Nuclear Brink;  Nuclear Wars: Exchanges and OutcomesThe Strategic Nuclear Balance: And Why It Matters; and Israel's Nuclear Arsenal.  Dr. Pry often appears on TV and radio as an expert on national security issues.  The BBC made his book War Scare into a two-hour TV documentary Soviet War Scare 1983 and his book Electric Armageddon was the basis for another TV documentary Electronic Armageddon made by the National Geographic.           


pry final congressional emp caucus

[1] "Ex-General Says  NATO-Russia Nuclear War 'Possible Within A Year'" RT, May 18, 2016.

[2] "NATO Agrees To Reinforce Eastern Poland, Baltic States Against Russia" Reuters, July 8, 2016.

[3] "Vladimir Putin Masses 40,000 Troops On Border With Ukraine" The Sun, August 18, 2016; "Ukraine Fears An Upcoming 'Full-Scale Invasion'", August 18, 2016. 

[4]Russia: Nuclear Response To America Is Possible Using Super-EMP Factor CEP20061108358006, op. cit.;  "Threat Posed By Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack" Hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, Washington, DC: July 10, 2008. 

[5] "Putin Deplores Collapse of USSR" BBC News, April 25, 2005; "Soviet Collapse A 'Tragedy,' Putin Says", April 25, 2005.

[6] "Putin Pledges To Protect All Ethnic Russians Anywhere.  So Where Are They?" Radio Free Europe, April 10, 2014.

[7] "Putin Accuses Ukraine of Plotting Terrorist Attacks in Crimea" New York Times, August 10, 2016. 

[8] "Revealed: Russian Invasion Could Overrun NATO In 60 Hours" The National Interest, February 4, 2016. 

[9] "Italy Uncovers Islamist Plot to Attack Vatican and Israeli Embassy," Newsweek, April 28, 2016.

[10] VICE News, July 29, 2015.

[11] "N. Korea Would Sell Nukes To Terrorists" Washington Times, February 5, 2008. 

[12] "The EMP Threat To Canada" Mackenzie Institute, October 22, 2015.

[13] Department of Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, Report to Congress, Office of the Secretary of Defense, January 5, 2016.  

[14] Ambassador R. James Woolsey, Dr. William Graham, Ambassador Henry Cooper, Fritz Ermarth, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, "Underestimating Nuclear Missile Threats From North Korea And Iran" National Review, February 12, 2016.  

[15] "Threat Posed By Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack" Hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, Washington, D.C.: January 10, 2008.

[16] Ibid.

[17]"In Hail of Bullets and Fire, North Korea Killed Official Who Wanted Reform" New York Times, March 12, 2016.

[18] "The 1983 Nuclear War Scare--And Today" Family Security Matters, November 6, 2015; President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board , The Soviet "War Scare" PFIAB, February 15, 1990; Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, War Scare, Praeger, 1999.

[19] Hearing on the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, House Armed Services Committee, Washington, D.C.: July 22, 2004; Peter Huessy, "Electronic Doomsday For The U.S.?--The Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)" Gatestone, January 13, 2016. 

[20] Sam Webb, "Paranoid Putin: Russia Holds Massive Nuclear War Exercise Involving 40 Million People As Military Tensions Rise With U.S." The Sun, October 4, 2016; "40 Million Russians Involved In Annual 4-Day Defense Drills" RT, October 4, 2016.

[21] Bret Stephens thinks Turkey might join Russia, China, and Iran in what he calls "The New Dictators' Club" Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2016.

[22]According to U.S. Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley "U.S. Military Not Ready To Take On Russia, China, Iran or North Korea" Newsmax, March 17, 2016;  2016 Index Of U.S. Military Strength, op. cit., also supports what appears to be the consensus view that the U.S. is unprepared for more than one major regional conflict.

[23]See: Ted Koppel, Lights Out, 2015; Jim LeBlanc, Real Risk Management For The Electric Grid, Center for Security Policy 2016; Pry, Apocalypse Unknown, op. cit., Part Three: NERC Gets It Really Wrong.     

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both Congressional Advisory Boards, and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA. He is author of Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle To Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe and Electric Armageddon, both available from and



blog comments powered by Disqus

FSM Archives

10 year FSM Anniversary