CurrentNational Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan
CurrentNational Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan
Thearticle was prepared by a body tasked with the examination of thethreats that could face America in the event of an EMP attack,whether accidental, deliberate or natural. In that case, it was thefinal product of a commission that was working under legislationeffected by the passing of Floyd D. Spence`s bill on nationalsecurity into law in the American judicial systems. The commissionwas expected to access the weight of the threats of an EMP that couldbe launched above the American soils by hostile groups or as a resultof naturally occurring phenomena (Foster et al., 2008). The team wasalso supposed to access how vulnerable the nation is towards theramifications of such an unfortunate event. Moreover, it was to bringforth the recommendations that it deemed befitting for prevention,protection, and recovery. The article is a product of many years ofhard work and dedication by a team of experts and its effectivenessin covering the magnitude, vulnerability, feasibility, andrecoverability from an EMP attack in America extensively andcarefully sparked an interest that eventually triggered the currentanalysis.
Thereport gives the ultimate assessment of the consequences of an EMPattack on America, the proneness of the nation’s systems to such anoccurrence, its capability to recover from such a misfortune, and theestimated cost matched with the feasibility study of theprecautionary, preventive, and recovery measures that would beestablished (Foster et al., 2008). The commission was founded on theunderstanding that most of America`s systems are interconnected, andtheir harmonious functioning is pivotal in the smooth flow of manytransactions, activities, and kinds of information (Foster et al.,2008). Besides, it was based on the clear understanding of thedetrimental impact that a high altitude EMP could have on theelectric and electronic system in any nation affected by such anattack. Thus, the reporters believe that America’s systems ofsystems could face an unprecedented damage in the event of an EMP.
Centralto the heightened fears in the governments and the civil society isthe fact that the effects of an EMP attack have never been testedunder the modern systems where electronics and electric systems havebecome highly sophisticated and common (Foster et al., 2008).Therefore, the commission’s involvement in a series of analytic andtest activities is clearly documented in the report. The articlepresents the commission’s review of the vulnerability of thevarious sectors in the American systems, including telecommunication,petroleum and gas, banking, space systems, water, and transport amongothers. The underlying electric and electronic features of thesystems found in each sector are examined and all vulnerabilitieshighlighted. After the discussion of each sector, the report offersspecific recommendations that could be followed to mitigate theundesirable implications of an EMP attack.
Despitethe technicality of the subject under examination, the article triesto accommodate a broader audience by embracing a language that isfairly simple for the understanding of the typical reader. On thatnote, it only uses sophisticated terms when it is very necessary todo so, or when such a usage is inevitable, especially when explainingsome scientific phenomenon that can only be expressed in suchtechnical terms. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) occurs when nuclearexplosions trigger rapid radiations that spark astronomicalturbulences in the electric and magnetic fields of the earth, whichcan end up injuriously infiltrating the infrastructural electricaland electronic systems in the affected region (Lecklider, 2015).
Thearticle’s content is professionally and effectively presented, witha multifaceted approach that directs keen attention to the analysisof the EMP under each sector separately. It is hard to picture anybetter presentation of the EMP situation than the one given in thisarticle. For example, the examination of the implications that an EMPcould have on the various systems in America is exceptional andreveals the depth of research and dedication that the team had to theachievement of the assigned tasks. The only other report that hadsimilar comprehensiveness and careful examination of the underlyingconcepts had also been delivered by the same commission some yearsearlier before this second version was released. Both are undeniablyreliable for utilization in the mitigation of the effects of EMPattacks on the American soil.
Thereport supports the findings of Maize (2013), who also establishesthat a nuclear weapon released at an altitude of 31 kilometers, ormore, is capable of triggering a radiation that can substantiallycollapse the power grid. Moreover, it can lead to the failure ofelectronics and other critical infrastructures in America- leading toa series of negative implications to the lives of all people livingin the affected regions. Lecklider (2015) also harbors similarfindings after delving deeper into the examination of the series ofatmospheric nuclear tests that the American government conducted in1962, popularly known as the Starfish Prime explosion. Schnurr’s(2013) findings are also coherent with this commission’s reportbased on the information gathered about the ramifications of the 1962explosion.
Moreover,thearticle is overly compelling, and most of its content can areagreeable. Foster et al.’s (2008) assessment of the vulnerabilitiesis accurate. For example, Crowley (2009) reveals that most ofAmerica`s electric systems are unshielded. Therefore, in the event ofan EMP attack, the radiations could easily infiltrate the electriccables and cause a disastrous collapse of the systems. Foster`sarticle clearly articulates all these ramifications and theirexpected magnitude. In fact, it echoes Timmerman’s (2001) findingsthat though there might not be direct temperature shocks on theground, the outages and distortions created in the electric systemscould have far-reaching effects that could ultimately lead to manycasualties in the nation. Maize (2013) echoes the fears of Pentagonthat even a less powerful country could capitalize on thesophistication of America`s electric systems and launch an EMP onthem, ending up in a destabilization that could take up to a decadeto recover from.
Apparently,the research and evidence presented in the article can beinstrumental in the journey toward the understanding and mitigationof the implications of an EMP attack. Ashby (2015) believes thatgaining a substantial understanding of the concepts and factorssurrounding electromagnetic pulses is the first step toward theexecution of a mitigation plan. The world is increasingly becomingconnected in many facets. Consequently, the impact of an EMP attackon the electric systems of one country might end up being felt in theneighboring regions (Lecklider, 2015). The only way to address suchan issue is by first creating sufficient awareness among the relevantgovernment institutions so that the necessary measures can beimplemented.
TheEMP commission’s article effectively covers the magnitude,vulnerability, feasibility, and recoverability from an EMP attack inAmerica and presents some recommendations that could be followed tomitigation the impact in the nation’s systems. As such, theyinclude telecommunication, petroleum and gas, banking, space systems,water, and transport among others. Due to the sophisticated electricand infrastructural systems, America can be highly vulnerable to anelectromagnetic pulse attack. The article successfully evaluates alldimensions that could be affected by such an attack throughscientific analyses and tests. Overall, it offers a discourse that isundeniably reliable to be utilized in the mitigation of the effectsof EMP attacks on the American soil.
Ashby,B. (2015). EMP vulnerability a serious problem for America.IndustrialHeating,14.
Crowley,M. (2009). The newt bomb. TheNew Republic,240(9),7-9.
FosterJr, J. S., Gjelde, E., Graham, W. R., Hermann, R. J., Kluepfel, H.M., Lawson, R. L., & Woodard, J. B. (2008). Reportof the commission to assess the threat to the United States fromelectromagnetic pulse (emp) Attack: Critical nationalinfrastructures.Electromagnetic Pulse (Emp) Commission Mclean Va.
Lecklider,T. (2015). Acknowledging the HEMP threat. EE:Evaluation Engineering,54(11),30-33.
Maize,K. (2013). EMP: The biggest unaddressed threat to the grid. Power,157(7),50-52.
Schnurr,A. (2013). The vulnerability of national power grids toelectromagnetic threats: Domestic and international perspectives.EnergyLaw Journal,34(1),1-53.
Timmerman,K. R. (2001). U.S. Threatened with EMP attack. Insighton The News,17(20),16.