It would have been the 103rd birthday of Ronald Reagan, an American president known for his frankness, and for possessing the courage to confront those countries who would threaten the freedom and security of the United States and her allies. Thursday (Feb. 6) was an auspicious occasion, then, for EMPact America’s latest symposium, entitled “American Security and the Iranian Bomb: Analyzing Threats at Home and Abroad.” Political leaders and persons of influence from the Beltway and beyond gathered at the Reserve Officers’ Association – a mere stone’s throw from the Capitol building—to hear a public conversation with former CIA Director James Woolsey and rising GOP star Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), moderated by Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy. Following the dialogue with Woolsey and Cruz, Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) delivered his own remarks, and was honored with EMPact America’s “Guardian of the Grid” award, for his efforts to raise awareness of the looming EMP threat.
Gaffney, an renowned expert on national security affairs, kicked off the gathering by briefing those in attendance on the nature of the threat. In a grim but poignant assessment, he explained the various ways in which an Electromagnetic Pulse weapon (or even a naturally-occurring solar storm) would most likely devastate our nation’s energy infrastructure, leading to death tolls projected in the millions – as many as 9 out of every 10 Americans. “This is a catastrophe that we can not fix after it happens,” said Gaffney, “…the good news is that we can prevent it.” He went on to explain the various ways in which the United States could “harden” its electrical grids against attack or natural disaster. Indeed, Henry Schwartz, prominent New York-based entrepreneur and founder of EMPact America, raised this very issue, maintaining that EMP countermeasures are neither a recent development, nor are they out of America’s financial reach. More