Franks Urges Shielding Against EMP Threat

With each passing year, the United States is “growing more and more vulnerable” to a potentially devastating attack from an electromagnetic pulse weapon, said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). “With growing proliferation, we have more and more people capable of exploiting that vulnerability,” Franks told the audience at his July 18 talk on Capitol Hill that AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association sponsored. It is the “ultimate cyber security threat” and hardening the nation’s electronic grid is probably the most important step that the United States could undertake, said Franks, who co-chairs the congressional EMP caucus and is a House Armed Services Committee member. In June, Franks introduced H.R. 2417, legislation dubbed the Shield Act that he said would “put hardware-based solutions” in the grid. He characterized this as “a very reasonably cost solution,” yet one that “might be one of the most significant things that we can do to interdict one of the most significant national security threats that we face.” (For more coverage of Franks’ talk, see Beware of Iran.)