Definition Edit

EMP attacks are

nonselective attacks using nuclear weapons to generate an intense electromagnetic pulse that can destroy all unprotected electronics and electrical components within a large area, although a tactical EMP weapon intended to selectively target such components on a small scale is possible to imagine.[1]

Overview Edit

"EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power."[2]

"The common element that can produce such an impact from EMP is primarily electronics, so pervasive in all aspects of our society and military, coupled through critical infrastructures. Our vulnerability is increasing daily as our use of and dependence on electronics continues to grow. The impact of EMP is asymmetric in relation to potential protagonists who are not as dependent on modern electronics."[3]

"It will not be possible to reduce the incentives for an EMP attack to an acceptable level of risk through defensive protection measures alone. It is possible to achieve an acceptable level of risk and reduced invitation to an EMP attack with a strategy of:

  • Pursuing intelligence, interdiction, and deterrence to discourage EMP attack against the U.S. and its interests.
  • Protecting critical components of the infrastructure, with particular emphasis on those that, if damaged, would require long periods of time to repair or replace.
  • Maintaining the capability to monitor and evaluate the condition of critical infrastructures.
  • Recognizing an EMP attack and understanding how its effects differ from other forms of infrastructure disruption and damage.
  • Planning to carry out a systematic recovery of critical infrastructures.
  • Training, evaluating, "Red Teaming," and periodically reporting to the Congress.
  • Defining the Federal Government's responsibility and authority to act.
  • Recognizing the opportunities for shared benefits.
  • Conducting research to better understand infrastructure system effects and developing cost-effective solutions to manage these effects.[4]

References Edit

  1. Letter Report for the Committee on Deterring Cyberattacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy, at 2-3 n.4.
  2. Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, Abstract.
  3. Id.
  4. Id. at 11.

See also Edit

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