President Trump became the first national leader to call for protecting the U.S electric and communications grid against an electromagnetic attack like one practiced in North Korea.
Deep in his new national security strategy released this week, he made good on a campaign promise to move quickly to make the fixes that proponents have long called for.
Two of the chief advocates, William R. Graham and Peter Vincent Pry, executives of the nation’s first Congressional EMP Commission, said in a statement, “President Trump understands, even if everyone in his administration does not, that ‘strategic stability’ and ‘longstanding strategic relationships with Russia or China’ are best maintained — not by a policy of mutual vulnerability — but by a policy of ‘Peace Through Strength.’ Protecting the nation from all missile threats and EMP should be the cornerstone of a ‘Peace Through Strength’ policy.”
The duo claim that protecting the grid would not be expensive and could done fast and with commercial products, a solution Trump endorsed in his strategy.
An attack, according to a past EMP Commission report, could lead to the deaths of 90 percent of the population in a year.
Laying out the issue, Trump’s paper said, “Critical infrastructure keeps our food fresh, our houses warm, our trade flowing, and our citizens productive and safe. The vulnerability of U.S. critical infrastructure to cyber, physical, and electromagnetic attacks means that adversaries could disrupt military command and control, banking and financial operations, the electrical grid, and means of communication.”
His solution: “We will use the latest commercial capabilities, shared services, and best practices to modernize our Federal information technology. We will improve our ability to provide uninterrupted and secure communications and services under all conditions.”
The threat of an EMP attack, either naturally from a solar flare or delivered in the type of atmospheric nuclear explosion promised by North Korea and Iran, became a much greater concern due to North Korea’s successful recent missile launches.
“The inclusion of EMP in the new National Security Strategy comes just in time. Mr. President, thank you for your leadership!” said Graham and Pry.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org