Your submission is now in Draft mode.

Once it's ready, please submit your draft for review by our team of Community Moderators. Thank you!

Submit Essay

Once you submit your essay, you can no longer edit it.


This content now needs to be approved by community moderators.


This essay was submitted and is waiting for review.

DEFCON Levels by 2024


The U.S. has five levels of alert increasing in severity, called DEFCON, which is short for "defense readiness condition". These levels could be described simply as:

  • DEFCON 5 - Lowest state of readiness
  • DEFCON 4 - Increased intelligence watch and strengthened security measures
  • DEFCON 3 - increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness
  • DEFCON 2 - next step to nuclear war, and
  • DEFCON 1 - nuclear war is imminent or has already begun.

The U.S. is publicly known to have entered DEFCON 3 three times - during the Yom Kippur War, during Operation Paul Bunyan in 1976, and after the September 11 attacks. It has reached DEFCON 2 twice, during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Gulf War. It has never been reported to have entered DEFCON 1.

Will the US be credibly reported to have gone to DEFCON levels 3, 2 or 1 before 2025?

This question will resolve as Yes the US is or was at the relevant DEFCON level at anytime between January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024, according to credible media reports.

Note that DEFCON level is not typically made public. If there are no credible media reports published by January 1, 2025 stating that DEFCON levels have been lowered, this question will resolve as No for the respective DEFCON level(s).

Resolution will be based on media reports which are not based in speculation, but on some source that has confirmed the DEFCON level, though the source doesn’t need to be named (e.g., it could be sourced to "an official who wishes to remain anonymous").

Make a Prediction


Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

Current points depend on your prediction, the community's prediction, and the result. Your total earned points are averaged over the lifetime of the question, so predict early to get as many points as possible! See the FAQ.