In a Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003 file photo, the city of Cleveland sits in the dark except for emergency lights in the Federal Courthouse, left, and the SBC building, far right, after a massive power outage struck the eastern United States and parts of Canada. Ten years after a blackout cascading from Ohio affected 50 million people, utilities and analysts say changes made in the aftermath make a similar outage unlikely today, though shifts in where and how power is generated raise new reliability concerns for the U.S. electric grid system.

He added that while some believe China’s promise not to fire first, there are key U.S. officials who don’t buy it. For example, he cited February 2020 testimony from the chief of U.S. Strategic Command, Adm. Charles Richard, who said that he could “drive a truck through” China’s no-first-use policy.

Pry has helped awaken the nation to the threat posed by an EMP attack, either from a military foe or solar event. Once a concern that resulted in eye-rolling by officials in Washington, the Pentagon and President Trump take the threat seriously and are slowly moving to build protections from an attack.

Those efforts come as China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran move to build and deploy the weapons, which, essentially, launch a nuclear weapon into the atmosphere to explode and disable electronics below, including flying aircraft.

A report done while Pry was a key member of a congressional EMP commission years ago found that an EMP attack on the East Coast electric grid could lead to the death of 90% of the population within a year from looting, a lack of food and water, and desperation attacks. Even short electric blackouts, such as the one in New York in 1977, resulted in looting.

In his new 14-page report, he outlined China’s weaponry.

First is a “super-EMP” weapon, built with stolen U.S. military technology. It is a nuclear warhead on a missile that could be used against ships and on the battlefield, he said. He cited a Chinese Army news article that said an attack would be like a 21st-century “Pearl Harbor.” It said, “A highly computerized open society like the United States is extremely vulnerable to electronic attacks from all sides. This is because the U.S. economy, from banks to telephone systems and from power plants to iron and steel works, relies entirely on computer networks.”

Second are hypersonic weapons, including missiles, that can send a warhead at 5 times the speed of sound to a target.

And third is the development of EMP satellites armed with nuclear weapons that can float for years in the sky. Said Pry, “The U.S. should be very concerned about a scenario where China uses nuclear space weapons, perhaps ICBMs and IRBMs with specialized warheads, to quickly sweep the skies of U.S. satellites, even at the risk of losing PRC satellites, which could then be replaced with a surge of satellites launched by China to capture the ‘high frontier’ and cripple U.S. military capabilities.”