The Passing of Dr. Peter Vincent Pry,
Executive Director of the Task Force on National & Homeland Security
It is with deep sadness and much regret that the Task Force on National and Homeland Security announces the passing of our longtime Executive Director and one of America’s greatest unsung heroes, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry. Over the course of his lifetime, Dr. Pry made many friends, including several who served in prominent positions in the U.S. government too numerous to list here, who have lauded his life’s legacy as well as his passion, courage and devotion to the cause of fighting and winning what he referred to as “the EMP War” to get U.S. policymakers to fully fund the hardening of the grid against the existential threat of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack. Sadly, his dream to do so was not realized before he passed.
Peter often expressed frustration that U.S. leaders had not done more to protect and safeguard over 300 million U.S. citizens against this threat despite the fact that they became aware of it following the Starfish Prime nuclear test six decades ago. Nevertheless, he helped achieve a number of victories in the ongoing “EMP War.” While working on the House Armed Services Committee, he persuaded former Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA) to sponsor the legislation that would set up the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, for which he served as Chief of Staff beginning in 2000, that published a number of very important reports warning about the grave danger of EMP attack by our adversaries upon the U.S. homeland.
In 2009, when asked to establish the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressionally authorized board, in order to further the work of the Congressional EMP Commission, Dr. Pry rose to the challenge, serving as its Executive Director for the past thirteen years. He was also instrumental in helping to achieve a number of important victories including the signing of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) by in 2017, the issuance of an Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses and another executive order prohibiting bulk power system equipment from foreign companies, most notably Communist China in the U.S. electrical grid
Peter was one of America’s most brilliant national security strategists of our time and may well have been the most knowledgeable expert on the U.S. nuclear arsenal in the country, championing the modernization of America’s nuclear arsenal and warning that the three-decade long U.S. strategic nuclear weapon and delivery system procurement holiday and nuclear test moratorium must come to an end. In addition to serving as Executive Director of the Task Force on National & Homeland Security and as a senior staffer on the House Armed Services Committee, Peter served as a senior analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, as President of EMPact America and as President of the Nuclear Strategy Forum.
Dr. Pry was incredibly prolific. Asked how many books he had written and published, he replied that he had lost count. The number of his books is likely in the range of two dozen, the first of which he wrote in the early 1980’s shortly after graduating with his PhD and the most recent “Blackout Warfare” having been published just this past year. He displayed what seemed like boundless energy in the cause of defending America from nuclear and EMP attack publishing hundreds of articles and giving hundreds of interviews warning of this existential threat. He was singularly dedicated to helping to ensure America’s survival as a nation. Peter once acknowledged with a rare, wry smile that he was “a glass half full kind of guy,” meaning that he was apt to look at national security issues from the perspective of a worst-case scenario, sensing windows of vulnerability America’s enemies could potentially exploit to destroy America, if provoked, with little to no warning. He did not pull any punches and displayed amazing courage, refusing to bow to political pressures to water down his assessments of the grave threats facing the country which he loved.
In his last several months of life, Peter was tireless in his warnings of the existential threat posed by the Sino-Russian alliance and expressed great concern that U.S. leaders would stumble into a nuclear/EMP Third World War against two or even three nuclear adversaries. He dedicated himself to the cause of peace, writing articles advocating for the U.S. to stay out of great power wars with the Russian Federation over Ukraine and the People’s Republic of China over Taiwan. He believed that doing so would prove essential to provide us sufficient time to rebuild America’s strategic deterrent including our increasingly obsolescent and undersized strategic nuclear arsenal, deploying thousands of space-based ABM interceptors modeled on the Cold-War era “Brilliant Pebbles” program and most importantly hardening the U.S. electrical power grid against the clear and present dangers of EMP and cyber attack as well as super geomagnetic storms. Peter will be sorely missed by all who had the great honor and privilege of knowing him and serving with him.
The Task Force on National and Homeland Security stands resolute in its determination to honor his legacy by continuing his life’s work as he would have wanted us to do.