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Opinion: The threat of EMP attack

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8/15/2014

A little known fact about nuclear weapons is that in addition to the concussive, thermal and
of course radioactive forces, there is also an intense release of electromagnetic energy.
Despite the fact that it's the least visible and least well known component of a nuclear blast,
it has the potential to be the most devastating.

While most nuclear nightmares focus on the sudden destruction of a city, those in the know
have nightmares of a much different flavor. A specifically turned nuclear weapon, detonated in
near space would have a devastating and final effect on our national infrastructure.
Simulations performed by the military suggest that a device triggered at a distance of only
200 miles from the surface of the earth would permanently disable nearly all modern
electronic devices and deactivate the national electrical grid.

While our new military has been described as "agile" and "digital", there's another word that
could be used to describe it - "fragile". This administration needs to take seriously the
threat of an EMP attack, by generating emergency plans, hardening key sites like power
plants, and ensuring that our military is capable of withstanding such an attack. It's a
challenge that in order to face we must have imagination and courage and the willingness to
sacrifice in order to protect our future.

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