by WorldTribune Staff, March 27, 2019
President Donald Trump on March 26 signed an executive order aimed at protecting the U.S.’s vital infrastructure from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.
Officials and analysts have long warned that the U.S. electric grid is vulnerable to an attack from countries with EMP weapons, including Iran, North Korea, China and Russia.
“The federal government must provide warning of an impending EMP; protect against, respond to, and recover from the effects of an EMP through public and private engagement, planning, and investment; and prevent adversarial events through deterrence, defense, and nuclear nonproliferation efforts. To achieve these goals, the federal government shall engage in risk-informed planning, prioritize research and development (R&D) to address the needs of critical infrastructure stakeholders, and, for adversarial threats, consult Intelligence Community assessments,” the president’s executive order states.
Related: Technologically advanced nations called most vulnerable to EMP attack, January 29, 2019
A congressional report warned that an EMP attack on the U.S. East Coast would kill 90 percent of those in the area over a year due to a lack of food, money, fuel, electricity, and medical care caused by power grid failure.
Trump called on his administration to forge a plan to detect EMP, protect critical infrastructure like water and electric sources, and also to recover if a hit does occur.
“It is the policy of the United States to prepare for the effects of EMPs through targeted approaches that coordinate whole-of-government activities and encourage private-sector engagement,” said the executive order released by the White House.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “President Trump will always do what it takes to keep Americans safe. Today’s Executive Order – the first ever to establish a comprehensive policy to improve resilience to EMPs – is one more example of how the administration is keeping its promise to always be vigilant against present dangers and future threats.”
See the full text of the president’s executive order here