“The reason I began focusing on this a decade ago is there are very few events you can’t recover from. You can recover from 9/11, you can recover from Pearl Harbor. This is really different,” Gingrich said. “This creates such a collapse of our fundamental productive capacity that you could literally see a civilization crash and tear itself apart fighting … internally.”

A science fiction novel called “One Second After” told a cautionary tale of the doomsday scenario that would unfold if such an attack hit the U.S., frying electrical circuits and knocking out power. In the introduction to the book, Gingrich suggested that an EMP attack would “throw all of our lives back to an existence equal to that of the Middle Ages.”

“Millions would die in the first week alone,” he wrote in the foreword of the novel released in 2009.

And he told attendees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference that the U.S. was facing “some catastrophic problems” because of the specter of an EMP attack on the United States, and that the United States lacked a national security strategy to counter those threats. In the May 2009 speech, Gingrich suggested a pre-emptive attack on Iranian and North Korean missiles that he believed could be used to position a nuclear weapon above the United States and trigger an EMP attack.