First, Pry gives his background and shares how he picks up pertinent knowledge regarding EMP weapons. Despite his multiple doctorate degrees, his time at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) proves to be the most fruitful source of his knowledge. Pry comments that he "basically spent [his] professional life working in the field of national security."
The expert continues that his stint at the CIA allows him to learn from nuclear weapons designers, physicists and electrical engineers. However, one thing that sets him apart from his colleagues is his knowledge of how enemy nations will utilize these nuclear armaments against the United States. Pry also adds that his background of adversary countries' military doctrine and military exercises gives him an edge.
Happel then asks about what EMP weapons are and what are the government's "lapses in planning" against these weapons. "With one electromagnetic pulse weapon, [enemy nations] could really hurt the U.S.," the Connecting the Dots host comments.
Pry defines EMP weapons as those that generate high amounts of electricity upon detonation. "[The EMP] is so powerful, we're talking about thousands of volts per meter," he says. According to Pry, volts per meter (VPM) means that targets will receive 1,000 to 3,000 volts depending on how long they are in meters. For example, a vehicle that measures five meters long that gets 3,000 volts will have 15,000 VPM injected into it at the speed of light.
Pry continues that a computer cord measuring two meters long might have 6,000 VPM injected into it at the speed of light. He points out that computers and other electronic devices are designed to operate on 120 volts or less. "If you get a little bit above that voltage, it will fry things and short [them] out."
The expert elaborates that EMP weapons, whether nuclear or non-nuclear, can generate powerful electrical fields. "Even a crude, first generation atomic bomb … [that] terrorists could cobble together will generate an EMP," Pry says.
He adds: "That would be enough to do something like collapse the eastern electric grid of the U.S. if you fire that thing off a freighter [or] use … a meteorological balloon to get it up above to 30 kilometers. We're talking about a high-altitude burst for a nuclear EMP attack, by the way."
Pry tells Happel that when an EMP weapon is dropped from an altitude of 30 kilometers, the resulting electric field will have a radius of 600 kilometers. Higher altitudes result in a larger area of effect, he adds. Pry says: "If you go [up] to 300 kilometers, you can cover all 48 of the contiguous [U.S. states] plus most of Canada and a good chunk of Mexico with a single weapon.
The expert nevertheless warns that an EMP weapon attack will bring about the collapse of society. Despite the existence of three grids in the mainland U.S. – the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection and the Texas Interconnection – an attack on just the eastern grid will spell doom for the country. According to Pry, 75 percent of electricity nationwide comes from the eastern grid – with most of the population living off the power it produces. (Related: Russia's "super electromagnetic pulse" weapon could destroy U.S. grid, expert warns.)
Pry calls EMP weapons "anti-technology weapons" that "can subtract in the equation of our modern civilization." Many vital aspects of civilization such as telecommunication, transportation and industry fall after an EMP attack, he adds.
Pry also elaborates on the effects of an EMP attack on the food supply. According to the expert, foods spoil immediately after the electric grid fails because temperature control systems and refrigerators no longer function. Stocks in grocery stores can only last for about three days, while those stored in big regional warehouses can only feed people for 30 days. (Related: Tips for surviving an EMP attack in America.)
Even bringing in food becomes a problem due to the transportation system being knocked out. "The grocery stores are resupplied by the transport system, which won't work because trucks and cars … are paralyzed. We wouldn't be able to import food because the ports won't work. All those heavy cranes require vast amounts of electricity," Pry tells Happel.
The expert continues: "Even if the world was generous enough to send food to our shores, they would end up piling [at] the ports. You can't offload it off the ships. And then, how are you [going to] transport it to the interior of the country … where it's needed?"
Pry says an EMP attack "would replicate the conditions for a nationwide famine" such as the one in Somalia. He cites the African country being unable to deliver food to different regions due to the lack of a transportation system. "Even though the United Nations sent huge quantities of food … [for] the starving Somalian population, [it] would pile up at the docks because there was no transportation system adequate to get the food where it was needed," the expert adds.
EMP.news has more articles about the dangers of an EMP attack by the U.S.'s enemies.