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EMP Bombs as WMDs

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posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 04:03 PM
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Would it be possable to "set of" a large enough electro-magnetic pulse bomb in space to effect all of North America? This thought came to me after seeing Perfect Disaster: Solar Storm on the Discovery Channel. Somthing like that would fry all of the electrical transformers in the U.S. and possably Canada and Mexico. It would take years to replace all of those electrical transformers.




posted on Jun, 4 2006 @ 09:27 PM
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I think most of what you want to know can be found here:

Effectiveness of EMP Weapons

The effects of EMP have been known and studies since the darkest days of the Cold War. Military planners have known that, eventually, EMP devices would eclipse conventional nuclear detonation systems as the "real" WMD's of the 21st Century.

Today's EMP weapons now have the potential to re-write the rule book on modern war. It's only a matter of time 'til we see one nation threatening another with the virtual destruction of it's chip-driven infrastructure.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 03:05 PM
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Thanks for the link. The one thing not really mentioned was ICBM launched E-bombs. I was thinking that a powerful enough E-bomb detonated in the upper atmosphere would not only cover a larger area but take out some satelites as well.
What do you think?



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 03:22 PM
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Using such a device could easily be seen as a direct WMD attack and warrant a nuclear response from who ever you used it on. Seeing that military nuclear command systems and centers are protected from EMPs and have been for awhile you would likely be in for a world of Atomic hurt.

You might as well send nukes instead. Whats worst taking out civilian electronic systems or having your cities turned to rubble.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 07:12 PM
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You would be technically correct. However, there might be a chance that world opinion could influence the traumatized leaders of the affected nation. Genuine EMP weapons generate virtually no fallout. Future EMP projectors will generate none at all.

Not all countries have shielded military command and control communications networks. In thouse that don't, the results of an EMP attack result in total loss of authority as the government loses its ability to talk to...anyone.

As a military planner, or as a politician, I think I would prefer to use EMP weapons instead of nukes.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 07:32 PM
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Let me just add an angle that I don't think too many people have thought of as far as political effects of using EMP on another nation. In theory a nuclear bomb is completely indiscriminate of who it kills, just so long as they're in the blast radius.

EMP bombs on the other hand would kill only about two groups of people. The first is those on aircraft within the effected area. These aircraft would all basically loose all control seeing as most aircraft are flown via electronic control. If the sparkplugs aren't firing then engines will just shut down, causing airplanes and helicopters to literally start falling out of the sky. Perhaps on to major cities, and perhaps even hitting tall buildings. Due to the horrors expirienced by the US during 9/11, this would be a huge no-no since we know the pain of aircraft hitting populated areas. Sure this would be extremely effective against an enemy air force base, but dropping an EMP bomb on a civilian city would be disasterous.

The second group of people that would be killed by an EMP assualt would be those on life support. Normally hospitals have backup generators to prevent a power failure from causing any casualties, after all that would be unprofitable. But alas, EMP has the tendancy to fry all unshielded electronics. And I very strongly doubt most hospitals have even their backup generators shielded from EMP. So basically you drop an EMP on an area with a hospital and you're guaranteed that the most helpless of all civilians will die. EMP kills all electronics, meaning there is no salvation for those on life support.

I'm not against the use of EMP on military targets, or the use of a tactical EMP on a very specific area away from hospitals and air traffic routes. The point I'm trying to get across is that EMP isn't the wonderweapon that kills nobody.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:48 PM
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The consequences of just one EMP attack could be truely catastrophe. Millions could die. Imagine the follwoing after-effects:

1. Medicine. Anyone on life support would be at risk. A quick check of the internet shows that most pharmaceutical factories are automated. Anyone on any serious precription meds might not live long enough to see refills, once their existingsupplies ran out. This could also mean that babies born afte the event would not have access to innoculants. You might be looking at an entire generation that is much more prone to disease. This says nothing about the many who die for conditions contracted later in life, who will not be cured due to a lack of detection technology or medicine.

2. Commerce. In a more developed country, affected persons would no longer have access to electronic money. Buying anyting becomes a problem. Exchanging labor for good and services would not be efficient, and many would not have low-tech skills that would suddenly be in very high demand. Starvation would be a seriousp problem.

I don't advocate any of this, but it's clear from a brief examination of the facts that whole societies could be doomed, if this happens.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:48 PM
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The consequences of just one EMP attack could be truely catastrophe. Millions could die. Imagine the follwoing after-effects:

1. Medicine. Anyone on life support would be at risk. A quick check of the internet shows that most pharmaceutical factories are automated. Anyone on any serious precription meds might not live long enough to see refills, once their existingsupplies ran out. This could also mean that babies born afte the event would not have access to innoculants. You might be looking at an entire generation that is much more prone to disease. This says nothing about the many who die for conditions contracted later in life, who will not be cured due to a lack of detection technology or medicine.

2. Commerce. In a more developed country, affected persons would no longer have access to electronic money. Buying anyting becomes a problem. Exchanging labor for good and services would not be efficient, and many would not have low-tech skills that would suddenly be in very high demand. Starvation would be a seriousp problem.

I don't advocate any of this, but it's clear from a brief examination of the facts that whole societies could be doomed, if this happens.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by Justin Oldham
You would be technically correct. However, there might be a chance that world opinion could influence the traumatized leaders of the affected nation. Genuine EMP weapons generate virtually no fallout. Future EMP projectors will generate none at all.

Not all countries have shielded military command and control communications networks. In thouse that don't, the results of an EMP attack result in total loss of authority as the government loses its ability to talk to...anyone.

As a military planner, or as a politician, I think I would prefer to use EMP weapons instead of nukes.


No ruler of any country would bow to world pressure to not respond after a WMD attack in their country like this. If as you said there were millions of casualties from an EMP attack then they would HAVE to respond in kind. Not to mention that the response would probably be almost immediate. Especially if it's an ICBM device.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 11:27 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
. Not to mention that the response would probably be almost immediate. Especially if it's an ICBM device.


Good point no country is going to wait to see if the ICBM contains a Nuclear, Chemical or EMP based warhead. They are going to react as if it was a nuclear weapon.



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 01:37 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58

No ruler of any country would bow to world pressure to not respond after a WMD attack in their country like this. If as you said there were millions of casualties from an EMP attack then they would HAVE to respond in kind. Not to mention that the response would probably be almost immediate. Especially if it's an ICBM device.


The nuclear club is still relatively small. Of 189 nations, fewer than 20 are nuclear powers. This relationship would suggest that a first-world nuclear power might deploy an EMP weapon against a lesser nation, and possibly get away with it.

The current design of EMP weapons would allow for non-ICBM deployment. Most can be carried by cruise missile. Others could be land-based. The land-based EMP test range in New Mexico is 56 miles in length. The "groundshot" of their best known installation-based weapon is 35 miles.

Any first-rate power could make it hard to prove that they were the culprit. Delivery by ICBM has a certain elegance to it--and it would be convenient for the super-power on the go--but would almost certainly be the case that lesser nations would resort to more "off-the-shelf" alternatives if they felt the need to be so...cranky.



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 08:02 AM
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Due to the potential nuclear retliation by nuclear weapons it would be strictly sub based. This way it would take along time to figure out who launched the missle or never find out at all before the main assualt. Also the colateral damage is nessary; the military would be called in to start taking control of the situation.
Ex. With hospitals non-operational military MASH units would need to be set up in city parks. The police would be underpowered to fight the looting an panicing that would follow and the military would have to be called in to control the situation. The military would have it hands full and would not be to appropriately handle an invasion.




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