There has been a lot of controversy from the public on the recent lowering of the DEFCON alert level. It should be noted that this was a controversial decision among the DWS staff, and we acknowledge that it will most likely be debated by those who follow our updates. We also acknowledge that this could easily be a temporary situation, with future developments in the Russia/Ukraine War requiring us to change back to DEFCON 4 or even DEFCON 3 with little or no notice. We welcome discussion and dissenting viewpoints and will do our best to address concerns. For those who post on our community forum and other social media, please keep comments and discussions civil and professional.
We want to assure everyone that we will continue to monitor and analyze the war in Ukraine with the same attention to detail and urgency that we have been for the past three months. We are by no means attempting to minimize or ignore what is happening in Ukraine, nor are we completely ruling out the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons at some point in the future. Our mission statement in that regard remains unchanged.
However, with all of that being said, we also need to acknowledge the following:
1: The tactical situation in Ukraine has more or less stabilized, with Ukraine’s military experiencing surprising success in pushing the Russian military out of Central Ukraine to the southeast Donbas and Luhansk regions. We expect the current front to remain more or less unchanged for the near future as Russia alters its strategic plans for Ukraine and regroups in that area.
2: Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons have not materialized, nor has there been any observable major change in their nuclear posture. While it is certainly still possible for nuclear weapons to be deployed at some point in the future, we do not foresee this being an “imminent” threat at this time. Again, we acknowledge that this could change with little or no notice, and we will be monitoring the region very closely.
3: Ukraine is not the only region of interest at this point in time. There are developments in other parts of the world that also require monitoring and may possibly require a DEFCON update of their own.
Taking these points into account, along with other discussions among the DWS staff, the DEFCON Warning System has, therefore, made the decision to drop the DEFCON alert level to 5 (Green) until new developments warrant a change. We want to emphasize one more time that this will not alter the amount of time and resources we are focusing on Ukraine, nor are we attempting to diminish the hardships the Ukrainian people are currently experiencing. Since our focus is solely on global nuclear threats, this is simply a notification to the public that – at this point in time – we do not believe a nuclear conflict to be imminent. We sincerely hope we are correct in that analysis.