You have already read all 208 pages of the 2008 report? I'm impressed. How did you stay awake?
How about the classified reports? They might be really interesting!
I got through about half of it a couple years back. What can I say, I was bored and I find governments' planning for nuclear armageddon eerily fascinating. The section about effects on space systems is pretty interesting. As a mere civilian, I would have some trouble getting access to classified reports, and I doubt I'd admit to doing so on the internet.
The much ballyhooed 2008 EMP Commission report can be misleading if you do not read it thoroughly (which I am trying to do but it is mind numbing!). Just like the video, you can easily misinterpret what is being presented. I'm guessing that you did not have time to read the reports and you Googled someone else's assessments (just like most of us would. LOL
Actual 2004 report: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/empc_exec_rpt.pdf
Actual 2008 report: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473 ... on-7MB.pdf
If we are just cherrypicking things like page 115 of the 2008 report, the EMP "tests" employed pulse field strengths less than a quarter of what modern "super emp" weapons could hit us with. The comissions' published report was based on 1994 unclassified US Army data.
I've read pretty much everything I can get my eyes on about nuclear weapons and their effects, EMP included. My interpretation of the 2008 report is consistent with all of the hard data I've managed to find elsewhere. I've seen mentions of enhanced-EMP weapons, including allusions to field strengths topping 300 kV/m, but I can't find anything on those beyond rumor and hearsay. If somebody can even explain to me how they get around the atmospheric ionization self-screening effect, I'll take those rumors more seriously.
Or how about the old cars the EMP Comission used? 1986 through 2002 models? Many 80's cars had "computers" that were really just closed loop analog servos. The mean age of vehicles has moved forward (about 10 yrs old now) and thus the infestation of the fully digital electronics in them has increased. No matter what, if only 5% of the nations cars go dead all at once, the traffic jams will make Los Angeles freeways look like the Indy 500. Heh...
Deeper in that report and others can be found why Hawaii fared pretty well from the unintended Starfish prime damage: relatively short runs of power lines. Compared to the mainlands thousands of miles of transmission lines, the lines in Hawaii were much smaller "antennas" and coupled less EMP energy into that grid.
I agree it would be much better if they had broken down the results by model year, so we could get an idea of how much more vulnerable modern cars are, or at least used a more recent sample of vehicles. I won't argue the point about traffic jams, but that's a separate issue from the inaccuracy of the usual "EMP WILL KILL YOUR CAR DEAD NO MATTER WHAT" idea portrayed in popular media.
The matter of transmission line length is important for the E3 pulse (i.e. geomagnetic heave) effects on the grid, but pretty irrelevant to discussion of E1 effects on electronics. There are two big reasons Starfish Prime didn't mess up Hawaii's electronics too badly: it was an inefficient warhead for E1 generation (low prompt gamma yield fraction and preionization from the primary) and early 60s electronics were big, clunky, and hard to burn out.
Upshot is, is there a chance that China or North Korea will lob an EMP device over us? Sure is, even if small. Do we factor it into our communications plans? Sure, why not?
This is another reason I don't bother with hypotheticals about super-EMP bombs too much -- the only plausible attack scenarios involve rogue states with rather primitive nuclear technology. I don't even think of China as a possibility; they have the weapons, but not the crazy.