Recent Alert Change to DEFCON 5

You're not looking hard enough. There were two separate Iskander (virtual) launch drills in the Kaliningrad region in May alone - a highly unusual pattern in itself. On one occasion this also involved units of the Baltic Fleet, which (at least according to official info) practiced "operating in conditions of radiation and chemical contamination"; an obvious way of signaling nuclear drills.

RU nuclear forces have also been drilling in other regions, but it's hard to say whether such drills are routine or not. In general - I don't buy the idea that a nuclear strike would necessarily be preceded by some grandiose last-minute drills.

Also - it's a mistake to equate Russian TV presenters with their American counterparts. In Russia, TV presenters (certainly the prime-time ones) should be viewed as an extension of the Russian government: for the most part, what they say is what the government wants them to say.

(Edit: typo)
I was just trying to get across that there are ways of telling whether nukes are about to fly, I wasn't going into specific events.
One example, is a sudden change in communication frequencies and encryption.
Another is lots of nuclear submarines leaving port at once.
Another is troop movements.
Another is American leadership going underground. (And Russian ones too, but probably easier to tell if the US leaders have gone underground than their Russian counterparts).

There are lots of signs to look out for. One or two on their own, it's probably fine. But if you get lots of signs & signals of certain stuff happening, mixed with increased tensions then you're probably witnessing a shitstorm brewing.
 

Socom7

Active member
One example, is a sudden change in communication frequencies and encryption.
Are you sure of this? It's the first I've heard.
Another is lots of nuclear submarines leaving port at once.
Only for a strategic exchange; won't necessarily happen with tactical use.
Another is troop movements.
This is super vague. Care to elaborate?
Another is American leadership going underground. (And Russian ones too, but probably easier to tell if the US leaders have gone underground than their Russian counterparts).
Again, only where a strategic exchange is anticipated. And we (the general public) might not get sufficient advance warning to take any action.

I recall that this question, i.e. "How do we know a nuclear attack is about to happen?" has been asked in the recent round of "submit questions to the staff"; sadly, the staff appears to have quietly dropped this project. :'(
 
Are you sure of this? It's the first I've heard.

Only for a strategic exchange; won't necessarily happen with tactical use.

This is super vague. Care to elaborate?

Again, only where a strategic exchange is anticipated. And we (the general public) might not get sufficient advance warning to take any action.

I recall that this question, i.e. "How do we know a nuclear attack is about to happen?" has been asked in the recent round of "submit questions to the staff"; sadly, the staff appears to have quietly dropped this project. :'(
OSINT people don't know when an attack will happen or even if one will happen. What we can do is look for clues, perhaps I should've been more clear in my message, I'm not telling you that if these things happen it means nukes are going to fly. I shouldn't have used the wording "there are ways of telling whether nukes are about to fly", instead I should've said "gauge the possibility that serious events are happening behind the scenes, whether a false alarm is happening or a realistic drill is going on or something serious" (although drills are usually announced to minimise the likelihood of Able Archer incidents happening). However I stand by wording of the rest of that statement.
A lot of the time in OSINT we don't have a clear picture of what's going on, instead we piece together evidence and come up with likely scenarios. Now, if you pieced together signs and signals that you've been gathering with inside information (rare but valuable when verified), global tensions at that time, recent sabre rattling then you can have a good guess as to what's happening.
Now, referring to your individual points about my statement:
1 - If you're going to start important military campaigns, you know that the enemy has been listening to your encrypted stuff for a while now, and its possible that they may have broken your code. It is therefore logical to change your frequencies and encryption to something completely different to make it harder for the enemy to know what you're saying.
It is documented from the Warsaw pact's Operation RYaN, I refer you to the following declassified Soviet document pertaining to Operation RYaN: " Committee for State Security (KGB), 'Indicators to Recognize Adversarial Preparations for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'," November 26, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, HA II, Nr. 11792, S. 25-38. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119338 "
I refer you to the following points:
2.1. Significant modifications in operation of military communication networks of the United States and NATO (putting reserve channels into operation; launch of the mode “Minimize”).
2.1.5 Restriction of work with means of communication and introduction of “Minimize” mode in national communication networks and in NATO communication networks
2.4.1. Change of secret codes and ciphers of government and military institutions, in NATO staff, and in the armed forces; introduction of additional measures to protect communication lines from eavesdropping.


2 - See following points in linked document:
1.2.7. Rushed preparations and departure of nuclear missile submarines from rearward bases and into forward deployment areas (in this context: working intensity increases concerning these aspects, daily routines are changing, and security gets tightened).
1.3.10. Start of nuclear ballistic missile submarines from their base Holy Loch in Great Britain – 2 to 3 nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles.
1.3.15. Preparation of warships for going to sea


3 - Operation RYAN doesn't discuss troop movements as it focused on indicators of nuclear warhead use, but if you're going to war its generally advisable to have your troops lined up on the enemy's border ready to go.

4 - I refer you to the following points in the linked document:
2. Uncovering the implementation of mobilization measures to secure operations of the US leadership under conditions of a nuclear war.
2.2. Evacuation of people close to the highest political leadership of the United States from areas of increased risk on US territory and in foreign countries.
4.3. Relocation of the highest political leadership and leading people from government institutions of the NATO states to protected command centers to continue government.

For more, I refer you to the points under section Special indicators of immediate preparations for a nuclear missile attack in the political area:
1.1.3, 1.1.4, 1.1.5, 1.1.7, 1.2.1. There are more points on this subject, but you can sift through RYaN documents and find them if you want.

Please bear in mind Operation RYaN was made by the Soviet Union to predict when/if the US was going to initiate a first strike. Now, some of the assumptions made for a first-strike scenario don't ring true for a retaliatory strike, but a lot do. Mainly the ones I've listed.
 
Last edited:

Socom7

Active member
OSINT people don't know when an attack will happen or even if one will happen. What we can do is look for clues, perhaps I should've been more clear in my message, I'm not telling you that if these things happen it means nukes are going to fly. I shouldn't have used the wording "there are ways of telling whether nukes are about to fly", instead I should've said "gauge the possibility that serious events are happening behind the scenes, whether a false alarm is happening or a realistic drill is going on or something serious" (although drills are usually announced to minimise the likelihood of Able Archer incidents happening). However I stand by wording of the rest of that statement.
A lot of the time in OSINT we don't have a clear picture of what's going on, instead we piece together evidence and come up with likely scenarios. Now, if you pieced together signs and signals that you've been gathering with inside information (rare but valuable when verified), global tensions at that time, recent sabre rattling then you can have a good guess as to what's happening.
Now, referring to your individual points about my statement:
1 - If you're going to start important military campaigns, you know that the enemy has been listening to your encrypted stuff for a while now, and its possible that they may have broken your code. It is therefore logical to change your frequencies and encryption to something completely different to make it harder for the enemy to know what you're saying.
It is documented from the Warsaw pact's Operation RYaN, I refer you to the following declassified Soviet document pertaining to Operation RYaN: " Committee for State Security (KGB), 'Indicators to Recognize Adversarial Preparations for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'," November 26, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, HA II, Nr. 11792, S. 25-38. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119338 "
I refer you to the following points:
2.1. Significant modifications in operation of military communication networks of the United States and NATO (putting reserve channels into operation; launch of the mode “Minimize”).
2.1.5 Restriction of work with means of communication and introduction of “Minimize” mode in national communication networks and in NATO communication networks
2.4.1. Change of secret codes and ciphers of government and military institutions, in NATO staff, and in the armed forces; introduction of additional measures to protect communication lines from eavesdropping.


2 - See following points in linked document:
1.2.7. Rushed preparations and departure of nuclear missile submarines from rearward bases and into forward deployment areas (in this context: working intensity increases concerning these aspects, daily routines are changing, and security gets tightened).
1.3.10. Start of nuclear ballistic missile submarines from their base Holy Loch in Great Britain – 2 to 3 nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles.
1.3.15. Preparation of warships for going to sea


3 - Operation RYAN doesn't discuss troop movements as it focused on indicators of nuclear warhead use, but if you're going to war its generally advisable to have your troops lined up on the enemy's border ready to go.

4 - I refer you to the following points in the linked document:
2. Uncovering the implementation of mobilization measures to secure operations of the US leadership under conditions of a nuclear war.
2.2. Evacuation of people close to the highest political leadership of the United States from areas of increased risk on US territory and in foreign countries.
4.3. Relocation of the highest political leadership and leading people from government institutions of the NATO states to protected command centers to continue government.

For more, I refer you to the points under section Special indicators of immediate preparations for a nuclear missile attack in the political area:
1.1.3, 1.1.4, 1.1.5, 1.1.7, 1.2.1. There are more points on this subject, but you can sift through RYAN documents and find them if you want.

Please bear in mind Operation RYaN was made by the Soviet Union to predict when/if the US was going to initiate a first strike. Now, some of the assumptions made for a first-strike scenario don't ring true for a retaliatory strike, but a lot do. Mainly the ones I've listed.
Thank you, this is quite thorough and informative.
 

RiffRaff

Deputy Director
Staff member
I was just trying to get across that there are ways of telling whether nukes are about to fly, I wasn't going into specific events.
One example, is a sudden change in communication frequencies and encryption.
Another is lots of nuclear submarines leaving port at once.
Another is troop movements.
Another is American leadership going underground. (And Russian ones too, but probably easier to tell if the US leaders have gone underground than their Russian counterparts).

There are lots of signs to look out for. One or two on their own, it's probably fine. But if you get lots of signs & signals of certain stuff happening, mixed with increased tensions then you're probably witnessing a shitstorm brewing.
Strategic bombers leaving their bases en masse is impossible to hide from the public and is also not a good sign.

I have also seen people use unusual activity in the Pentagon parking lot as an indicator of something unusual going on, but this wouldn't necessarily be strategic in nature.

Lastly, and this is a worst-case scenario, you can't hide ICBM launches from the public either. Social media will be flooded with reports of missile launches seconds after they leave their silos, which gives us approximately 30 minutes warning on the incoming.

OSINT is mostly about scouring social media and local news media for pieces of the strategic puzzle and figuring out which pieces actually fit in your puzzle and which ones don't. You don't need a completed puzzle to figure out what the picture is.

Basically, anyone whose first indication of a nuclear exchange is the bright flash of a detonation wasn't paying attention to the warning signals.
 

Onoya

Active member
Strategic bombers leaving their bases en masse is impossible to hide from the public and is also not a good sign.

I have also seen people use unusual activity in the Pentagon parking lot as an indicator of something unusual going on, but this wouldn't necessarily be strategic in nature.

Lastly, and this is a worst-case scenario, you can't hide ICBM launches from the public either. Social media will be flooded with reports of missile launches seconds after they leave their silos, which gives us approximately 30 minutes warning on the incoming.

OSINT is mostly about scouring social media and local news media for pieces of the strategic puzzle and figuring out which pieces actually fit in your puzzle and which ones don't. You don't need a completed puzzle to figure out what the picture is.

Basically, anyone whose first indication of a nuclear exchange is the bright flash of a detonation wasn't paying attention to the warning signals.
tbh, one thing that "scares" me, is this event happening while i'm sleeping ( so i don't see the news speaking about a launch etc... )
or any event in general XD
That's why i have a friend living in USA that have my phone number, since he's on different continent, we don't sleep at the same time, and if event like this happens, we call each other
 

DEFCON Warning System

Director
Staff member
Lastly, and this is a worst-case scenario, you can't hide ICBM launches from the public either. Social media will be flooded with reports of missile launches seconds after they leave their silos, which gives us approximately 30 minutes warning on the incoming.
Less than that for certain area. Six minutes for sub launches to reach certain targets.
 

Dr Arthur

Active member
As much as I hate to say it, I don't think that John Q public will get any type of a warning at all. I don't trust the current government anymore and I certainly don't trust main stream media.
I am afraid you are right. The government will be scared of mass panic so saying nothing suits their agenda better. It is better to stay alert and aware with review of sites like this one. Also prepare just in case. I am lucky I live in a location with no nearby targets with closest potential at least 1000km away. The jet stream here will blow things off shore and across the pacific towards South America reasonably quickly. The only issue will be lower level winds and these mostly follow similar patterns so should avoid fall out. Being in southern hemisphere the amount of targets should be less and overall potential fallout is likely to be much less. The only issue will be other desirable humans.

The hemispheres only have a slow cross over of air flows so as the clouds mix the immediate radiation levels should have started to abate a little before heading south. The only caveats are that the current atmospheric mixing cycles do not break down and there are minimal equatorial targets. I saw a show on the summer failures from 534 to about 538 AD that resulted in a world wide cessation of tree growth as captured by trees. This was recorded in old growth trees and historic wood samples from all over Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, USA and South America. This was due to ash clouds causing sun block outs with a reduction in summer light and crop failures. Has been documented in various cultures. The show went through the discovery process and then how they tracked it down to an explosion of Mount Krakatoa in 534 approx. This caused a hugh dust cloud that would serve as a good model of a nuclear winter. Wikipedia has a good summary article on it.
 
Because Russian said that those nations joining NATO would trigger "military" reaction.
Unless i'm wrong, even if Russia lied a lot, they never lie about their threat, so i this could go wrong.
Even if Russia tries a bold move of attacking them before they are accepted into NATO, several NATO nation already said they would defend them.

That's why i believe this is an "hot" situation
in russia there is this term military technical, this term is greatly enjoyed as it has a very large range of meaning, most certianly they mean they will stage more forces near the finnish border ( when they have forces to spare ) using this term they want you to keep the images of airstrikes, etc in the back of the head however.
 
All this talk of warning signs, as it applies to tactical use it is a great question as to what the standing of strategic forces would look like in preparation for such use, would they be stood down to signal to the opponent that it is 'limited' action or would they be on red alert given the uncertianty of the opponents response? hard to guess with much certianty
 

DarkNoon

Dedicated Moderator
Staff member
Why are we still at level 5!
The DEFCON level is discussed almost everyday between staff. We just don't see a "imminent" threat to global security. Yet.

Please refrain from criticizing the DEFCON level in such a manner. Members are aloud to have productive discussions and give sound/logcial reasons as to why you are disagreeing with alert status.

But screaming "why" or "should" without reasons behind your exclamations isn't acceptable. Thank you.
 

intel-bank

Active member
reply to deleted comment, delete too if needed
Nobody wants is going to start a nuclear war, as it looks right now. It will likely be updated, as it usually is, if the situation changes rapidly.
China wouldn't want Taiwan at the cost of nuclear annihilation. Russia wouldn't want Ukraine if they expected or wanted to become a nuclear wasteland. Iran may get nukes, but as it stands, there is very little risk there unless a major war breaks out and Iran is backed into a corner for survival.
Keep in mind China has a habit of talking big.
You have to be careful, because if we go to defcon 4 or 3, then its harder to go lower if the situation becomes more problematic. Thats why it was raised in regards to the Ukraine war IIRC. This level of activity is more like a 4.5, but 5 works better because people have a habit of panicking and/or developing alarm fatigue.
 
N

NervousSpeck

Guest
We just don't see a "imminent" threat to global security. Yet.
Level 4 does not mean any threat to global security.
Level 4 is an All Quiet Peacetime level. (Source)
So respectfully those words are not an explanation against Level 4.
And thus they do not answer Peace's question at all. I don't mean to come across offensive. Clarity and consistency in communication is valuable.
 

Train

Well-known member
Level 4 does not mean any threat to global security.
Level 4 is an All Quiet Peacetime level. (Source)
So respectfully those words are not an explanation against Level 4.
And thus they do not answer Peace's question at all. I don't mean to come across offensive. Clarity and consistency in communication is valuable.
Alert fatigue is real.

People don’t worry when we’re at 5. People do worry when we’re at 4.

When you’re worried for a long time you start giving less of a shit. Especially when there’s not really much changing.
 

DarkNoon

Dedicated Moderator
Staff member
Level 4 does not mean any threat to global security.
Level 4 is an All Quiet Peacetime level. (Source)
So respectfully those words are not an explanation against Level 4.
And thus they do not answer Peace's question at all. I don't mean to come across offensive. Clarity and consistency in communication is valuable.
There are no particular issues going on in the world theater right now that would require above average observation from a normal Joe. Yes a lot is happening right now but nothing that requires your average Joe to be more alert of a particular situation right now.

Turns out nuclear powers have big mouths with no substance/intentions to back up their big talk.

I think we are pretty clear in our analysis/report that comes out every month and our input on threads covering topics of interest on the world theater.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Yingyang

Power Poster
Personally 5-4 means bugger all. For me three is pee and 2 is poo. In other words 3 has my alert level and 2 is oh shit its go time. 🤣😂😅😅😅😉👍 oh and 1 is none ,as in no-one comes near me.
 
Personally 5-4 means bugger all.
I think there's a very subtle difference between 5 and 4
5 means that whilst stuff might be happening it, in all likelihood, won't lead to world war 3
4 means that stuff is happening, but we're looking more closely at certain stuff even though it, in all likelihood, won't lead to world war 3
 
Last edited:
Top