Canada vulnerable to major EMP attack: Ex-CIA analyst

Canada and the United States are currently vulnerable to an imminent threat that could “topple the pillars of civilization”, says the executive director of the EMP Task Force on National Homeland Security, a U.S. Congressional advisory board.

In a recent trip to Toronto, Dr. Peter Pry discussed the importance of protecting North American infrastructure from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack the effects of which would be devastating.

A well-planned attack would be “a mortal threat to the West,” says Pry, who’s studied the issue since doing his doctorate in strategic studies and then becoming an analyst with the CIA, where he was their EMP point man.


Some background on EMP… The effects of Starfish, however, were puny compared to the havoc wreaked by Test 184, a Soviet nuclear test conducted on October 22, 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis showdown between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. The Kremlin cold-bloodedly decided to test the effects of an EMP on a heavily populated, developed area in Kazakhstan. As this article by Jerry Emanuelson details, the 300-kiloton blast 180 miles over the region knocked out a 600-mile long underground power line running from Astana to Almaty, and ignited another fire in a power plant in the city of Karagandy by frying a shielded, buried electrical cable. According to Emanuelson, the E3, a component phase of the pulse, was more than twice as intense as that from a solar flare that crashed the entire Quebec electrical grid in 90 seconds in 1989.

  • marty_p

    The odds are pretty good that after an EMP attack – we would see a situation much like what was depicted on the TV series Jericho.

    • People were getting worried about Toronto when the power was out for 3 days. It will get ugly real fast in a real emergency.

      • V10_Rob

        They say civilization is nine missed meals from anarchy.

        I’d say your mileage may vary depending on your local culture of self-reliance vs. gimmedat.

  • Millie_Woods

    We’ll get right on that as soon as the last refugee has been resettled.

  • Gaylord Ponce

    And that’s why I’ve stocked up on guns, ammo and MREs.

  • canminuteman

    I think we defend ourselves against an EMP attack by being prepared to wipe anyone of the planet who might be capable of doing it before they get a chance to do it. If they are prepared to launch an EMP attack against you, your electrical grid going down is the least of your worries. Lets stick with the mutually assured destruction with the big boys and keep the little boys in the stone age so they don’t become a threat.

    Of course there is a good chance that either France or Britain will become the first Islamic state with a proper nuclear arsenal, so we should probably start by doing something about that.

    • V10_Rob

      That presupposes they fear the retaliation. Iran’s leadership, for instance, frequently makes prayers/pronouncements about how awesome holy armageddon is and that they wish it would hurry up. Even assuming we had the means, or more importantly the will, to strike back overwhelming, it doesn’t give a mindset like that any pause.

  • Minicapt

    Fortunately, here in BC, we are upwind of the problem.