In The Matrix, EMP (electromagnetic pulse) was used to stop the Machines during the Machine War. Even Agent Smith used EMP to take out the Hovercrafts. It all sounds like the work of science fiction and Keanu Reeves, but the real threat of electromagnetic pulse isn’t fiction at all—but a growing threat that Congress and the Administration have failed to take seriously.
If used effectively by an adversary, a nuclear weapon detonated high in the Earth’s atmosphere could generate a radio frequency capable of destroying all of the electronic devices and the electric system within a 700 mile radius. Enough countries currently have ballistic missile capabilities that such a “weapon of mass disruption” is well within the capabilities of many nations, including ones that do not like the United States very much.
Tomorrow night, the National Geographic Channel is exploring the EMP threat in its Explorer series. Dubbed, “Electronic Armageddon,” the show will talk about the real threat of EMP, and how an effective EMP attack could set the United States back several hundred years. Check it out: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, at 10:00 p.m. EST. In the meantime, check out The Heritage Foundation’s work on EMP.