Protecting and Preparing the Homeland Against an EMP and Geomagnetic Disturbances
Extreme electromagnetic incidents caused by an intentional electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack or a naturally occurring geomagnetic disturbance (GMD, also referred to as "space weather") could damage significant portions of the Nation's critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, communications equipment, water and wastewater systems, and transportation modes. October 9, 2018 EMP-Geomagnetic Strategy Report
In this Post I will breakdown and try to make sense of the proverbial Double-speak in this Report, and explain how it will actually work. Click Here for your copy from DHS
Text in Boxes will be straight from the Report and will be the topic of my thoughts that follow the Text-Box.
Vision: The United States is prepared for extreme electromagnetic incidents and capable of quickly restoring critical infrastructure and supporting communities to fully recover.
To me, in this context, the word Vision has connotations of a plan or hopeful outcome. The Report goes on the outline the goals for DHS and what can be done to realize this vision. The realization of this vision would be a very good thing in the event of an EMP/GMP because many lives would be saved.
Unfortunately, due to the complexity of our Power Grid, and the structure of the US Constitution the reality of this “DHS Strategy”, or vision may not ever be feasible.
GOAL 1: Improve risk awareness of electromagnetic threats and hazards. Objectives
- Improve EMP-related intelligence gathering, technical analysis, and information sharing to improve DHS and critical infrastructure stakeholder understanding of the EMP threat.
- Increase coordination of intra-Departmental, Federal interagency, and civilian scientific research on EMP and GMD and their effects on critical infrastructure.
- Provide timely distribution of information on credible electromagnetic threats and promote greater EMP and GMD awareness.
GOAL 2: Enhance capabilities to protect critical infrastructure from the impact of an electromagnetic incident.
- Identify the national critical functions and associated infrastructure that need to be protected against an extreme electromagnetic incident, assess the systemic risk to these functions and infrastructure from such incidents, and determine whether existing plans meet the requirements for an effective recovery.
- Increase the rigor and volume of analytical efforts to support advanced capabilities development for EMP-GMD protection, response, and recovery measures.
- Identify and promote technological advances likely to significantly enhance resilience or reduce vulnerability of critical infrastructure to electromagnetic incidents.
GOAL 3: Promote effective electromagnetic-incident response and recovery efforts. DHS supports national response and recovery efforts following an electromagnetic incident, including government continuity operations and mission-essential functions.
- Establish and maintain the capability to compile, analyze, and share electromagnetic incident information to enable appropriate response and recovery operations across all levels of government and with other non-governmental, private sector, and international entities, as appropriate.
- Establish and maintain effective public risk communication plans to promote consistent messaging and address public uncertainty.
- Develop, maintain, and exercise preparedness plans to enable effective and efficient recovery operations across Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial (FSLTT) governments, critical owners and operators, and, as appropriate, with international, non-governmental, and private sector partners.
- Provide recovery support and conduct long-term mitigation actions to promote resilience.
- Ensure DHS is able to preserve the continuity of operations of primary mission-essential functions following an electromagnetic incident.
These Goals should be called the Kumbayah Goals, because we all know how the government loves to share information once they gather it, I mean squirrel it away. But it is a noble goal if achieved, but, you know as well as I that the timely distribution of information on credible electromagnetic threats would become as guarded as Area 51.
Given that the majority of critical infrastructure potentially vulnerable to electromagnetic threats and
hazards is privately owned, DHS does not have direct regulatory authority over these critical
infrastructure sectors, and so realization of the goals, objectives, and end-states described in this
strategy will not be possible without close and continued collaboration with the private sector and
As established in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended:
- DHS is responsible for "recommending" measures necessary to protect the critical infrastructure of the United States in partnership with Sector-Specific Agencies.
- The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for "deterring and preventing" foreign adversaries from using nuclear weapons against the United States as part of an EMP attack.
Here's the Rub
Objective 3.5: Ensure DHS is able to preserve the continuity of operations of primary mission-essential functions following an electromagnetic incident.
Take a look at what government agencies now fall under the Department of Homeland Security. 22 different federal departments and agencies fall into a unified, integrated Department. DHS critical infrastructure protection efforts are largely centered on voluntary partnerships and heavily depend on information sharing. The Department actively supports vulnerability mitigation but "does not generally have authority to compel it". BUT, if we get hit with an EMP, these Unelected Directors over these Unconstitutional agencies will be in charge.
Kinda like this, if FEMA is part of DHS then it stands to reason that if there's an EMP they could come in and seize all of your food because FEMA is part of DHS. This is how the FEDS will impose their authority on all aspects of our lives and Freedoms. But don't take my word on this, they are writing an Executive Order to mandate it if we get hit.
Additionally, a draft executive order on coordinating national resilience to electromagnetic pulse incidents is currently being developed under the auspices of the National Security Council staff in coordination with Federal departments and agencies. Upon issuance, the executive order will obviously inform—and potentially alter—the Department’s approach to the EMP-GMD threat that is articulated in this DHS Strategy.