Why we should listen to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry has impressive credentials. He served for 10 years with the as an Intelligence Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency responsible for analyzing Soviet and Russian nuclear strategy. He served on the staff of the on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), and on the staff several congressional commissions, including the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. He has testified numerous times before Congress and is one of the nation’s foremost experts in the threats to the electric grid posed by electromagnetic pulse weapons.
In an op-ed to the Washington Times, Dr. Pry again warns us how the electric grid has been compromised by the expiration of the EMP Commission. Yet, not only did the U.S. government let the EMP commission expire, there has still bee no meaningful legislation in the past two decades to protect the electric grid from a myriad of threats. Even if you don’t believe that China, Russia, North Korea or Iran (all of whom consider EMP in their war doctrine) pose a threat to the U.S., there are numerous threats to the U.S. electric grid:
- Geomagnetic disturbance (solar flare)
- Cyber attack
- EMP weapon
- Human / computer error
- A tree branch (Great Northeast Blackout of 2003)
Some scenarios, such as a solar flare, have a 100% likelihood of happening in the future. And in some scenarios, we could have a nationwide outage for an extended period of time.
It is an indisputable fact that the United States cannot support even a fraction of her human population without the electric grid. Without it, everything that makes life possible stops. Food stops, water stops, fuel and transportation stops and medical services stop. Also consider that without electricity for an extended period of time, law and order evaporates. We saw this in the New York City blackout of 1977 as well as Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Katrina. And these were short-term regional events. The fact remains that the government does not have a plan for a large-scale, long-term power outage.
So, since a threat to the electric grid is an existential threat to the United States, why isn’t the government (and the rest of us for that matter) listening to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry?