A few months ago, I read Dr. William Forstchen’s new novel, One Second After, in which he describes in Tom Clancey-esque style what could happen if the United States were crippled by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) caused by a “rogue nation” like North Korea or Iran detonating a nuclear warhead in the atmosphere over the United States.
His thesis is as chilling as it is simple: A container ship parked out in international waters in the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific or the Atlantic could launch a cheap but effective Scud-type missile with a cheap but effective nuke payload (according to the info he presents, it wouldn’t have to be a significantly large one) up into the atmosphere above the U.S., where it detonates. Boom. The resulting EMP would be enough to take down our nation’s electrical grid. And if that happened, he argues, the U.S. would be hurled back into the 18th century, technologically speaking, and daily life here would become a true nightmare with folks just trying to find (or steal) enough food to say alive. Check it out.