In May 2015, Peter Pry of the National Force on National and Homeland Security testified before Congress that a terrorist or rogue state could attack with a weapon that could “kill up to 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse.”
The weapon in question? An electromagnetic pulse. Now the Air Force has confirmed that such weapon isn’t just in the works, it is already in use in the tactical air force.
CHAMP, which stands for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, theoretically can pinpoint buildings and knock out their electric grids. Appropriately, it is being called the “Lights Out” weapon. CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works said, “In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive.”
Digital Trends hails the weapon as a device which can deliver the power of a nuclear weapon “but without the death and destruction to people and infrastructure.”
This is just one of the 6th Generation Warfare (6GW) weapons which is being worked on by the military. The term 6th Generation Warfare was coined by the late Major-General Vladimir Slipchenko and refers to the “informitization” of warfare through precision strike systems. One major feature of 6GW weapons is that they would be able to deprive the enemy of information needed to carry out attacks or respond to attacks. The EMP weapon fits the bill as it would put enemy’s in the dark and disconnect them.
With the war on ISIS going on without an end in sight, and rising tensions with China and North Korea, it would seem like citizens should rejoice over the news of a powerful EMP weapon. Yet, there is also the disconcerting fact that many American weapons have the tendency to land in the hands of the very people we are fighting against – like the 2,3000 armored vehicles, 40 battle tanks, 74 thousands machine guns, and 52 mobile gun systems which have fallen into ISIS’s hands, according to Reuters.
It is only logical that our enemies could end up with an EMP weapon. Citizens may not be able to prevent this from happening, but they can take steps to prepare themselves for an EMP attack. This not only means protecting devices from EMP blasts, but taking steps towards self-sustainability so they can feed themselves in the chaos which would undoubtedly follow a massive grid outage from the EMP attack.