Okay, to begin with I recently finished reading the book, One Second After, which details a future in which high-yield EMP weapons are detonated over the continental US by asymmetrical means. The book is downright frightening in detailing the subsequent collapse of the country in very short order.
So, what is an EMP strike, and what would it entail?
An electromagnetic pulse (sometimes abbreviated EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation. The abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation usually results from certain types of high energy explosions, especially a nuclear explosion, or from a suddenly fluctuating magnetic field. The resulting rapidly-changing electric fields and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.
In short, a properly delivered EMP weapon system would fry all electronic devices within line of sight. That would effectively send us back to the dark ages, especially since so many Americans are utterly reliant on electronics, including power plants, most vehicles manufactured after 1980, communications of all kind, and pretty much anything else you could think of that has a piece of electronics in it.
But surely we're safe from such a weapon, right? Wrong.
Surely, none of our enemies is working on such weapons, right? Wrong.
We spend billions on national defense, but how safe are we from weapons like that?
After reading that book, you may feel as I now do.