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").