The potential of a devastating attack to the US power grid by nuclear states such as North Korea or Iran has prompted the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to return to its former location inside Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs, Colorado, two former Reagan-era government officials write in The Wall Street Journal. “Why the return?” write Henry F. Cooper and Peter Vincent Pry. “Because the enormous bunker in the hollowed-out mountain, built to survive a Cold War-era nuclear conflict, can also resist an electromagnetic-pulse attack, or EMP.”

While the Pentagon is moving to shield its global air defense command from being knocked out by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, the Obama administration has failed to act on urgent recommendations to protect the country’s civilian electronic infrastructure from a similar catastrophe, they write. “An EMP strike, most likely from the detonation of a nuclear weapon in space, would destroy unprotected military and civilian electronics nationwide, blacking out the electric grid and other critical infrastructure for months or years,” Cooper and Pry write. “The staggering human cost of such a catastrophic attack is not difficult to imagine.” The likeliest source of such an attack would be North Korea or Iran, according to Cooper, former director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, launched by the late President Ronald Reagan, and Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security and a veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. FULL REPORT