DOD Suicide: Scuttling America’s Best Expertise on Threats to the Grid
At a time with nuclear-capable North Korea threatens the United States daily with the prospect of a high altitude nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack (which they have been rehearsing for much of the past decade), as the sun continues to produce technology
-killing geomagnetic solar storms, and as both state-sponsored and non-state hackers continue to penetrate our grid with malicious and potentially devastating cyberattacks, the House Armed Services Committee and Department of Defense have, as of 31 July 2017, dismantled the only honest arbiter working to get the dysfunctional federal government to address these growing threats – The EMP Commission.
On 30 October 2000, the U.S. Congress established by law the “Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack” – which is otherwise known as “The EMP Commission.” Congressional commissions, like the Congressional EMP Commission, are instruments of last resort, established when departments and agencies and the U.S. Congress cannot achieve agreement on a controversial issue vital to our national interest. Typically, commissioners are senior statesman and nationally recognized scientists or experts, selected on a bi-partisan basis, so that their findings will be respected by all regardless of party affiliation. Congressional commissions typically are invested with broad legal powers to carry out investigations, compel departments and agencies to provide any and all relevant information, hold hearings to air all points of view, and to conduct research.
In 2004 and again in 2008, the Congressional EMP Commission provided Congress reports that included a blueprint for protecting both U.S. military forces and the U.S. homeland from EMP attack as well as recommendations for the mitigation of EMP effects on the Nation’s critical infrastructure. These reports pointed out that 99% of the U.S. Military is dependent on the civilian electric grid and that a nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill 90 percent of the U.S. population from starvation and societal collapse.
The EMP Commission was re-established in 2016 by the U.S. Congress due to the lack of implementation of the 2008 EMP Commission’s recommendations to protect the electric grid and other critical infrastructures, the growing threat of nuclear EMP attack from North Korea and other potential adversaries, the ever present risk from extreme solar weather, and the increasing threats from cyber warfare and physical attack. The Department of Defense stalled re-establishing the Commission for almost a year before this congressionally reinstated commission could hold its first meeting in January 2017.
The (2017) Congressional EMP Commission was chaired by Dr. William Graham, the foremost EMP expert in the Free World, who served as President Reagan’s White House Science Advisor, was Director of NASA, and was on the defense science team that first discovered the EMP phenomenon during the 1962 STARFISH PRIME high altitude nuclear test. The EMP Commissioners and staff included some of our greatest scientists and strategic thinkers, including Dr. John Foster (designed most U.S. nuclear weapons currently deployed), Dr. Lowell Wood (formerly Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the most inventive American in history, holds world record for inventions), Ambassador Henry Cooper (former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative), Dr. Peter V. Pry (formerly with the CIA, currently the Executive Director of Task Force on National and Homeland Security, author of numerous books on national security issues) and many others.
As of 31 July 2017, this Commission, and these experts, are no longer employed in the vital work necessary to address threats to the U.S. Electric Grid. Moreover the House Armed Services Committee’s proposed 2018 NDAA disestablishes the Commission before it can review the final draft of its final report, and reestablishes another— a recipe for disruption and further delay while new commissioners are appointed. At the same time the Department of Defense is withholding from public distribution (and has even overly classified) important data and technology that underlies protection against EMP, including the U.S. version of key test results provided in the 1990s by Russian scientists to U.S. scientists and engineers.
These actions by the HASC and DOD, whose own military personnel depend almost entirely on the U.S. electric grid for their own survival, can only be judged as suicidal.
(Update: The EMP Commission was given a 60 day extension to complete and submit its report and supporting documents for review. The EMP Commission was officially disestablished on September 30, 2017. The Secure The Grid Coalition would like to thank all of the EMP commissioners for their diligent service to our Nation.)