Also, a long session with cybersecurity expert Schneier on the future of the security industry at CAPSDESI:
On Friday, May 30th (2008) Craig Silverstein hosted a panel and an exclusive screening at Google of the 1983 suspense film, WarGames, in honor of the 25th Anniversary DVD. The panelists included Walter Parkes (Academy Award Nominated Writer, Producer), Lawrence Lasker, (Academy Award Nominated Writer, Producer) and Peter Schwartz (Cofounder and Chairman, Global Business Network). The panelists gave Googlers a behind the scenes peek into the making of this film and its resulting legacy.
A defense readiness condition (DEFCON) is an alert posture used by the United States Armed Forces. The DEFCON system was developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and unified and specified combatant commands. It prescribes five graduated levels of readiness (or states of alert) for the U.S. military, and increase in severity from DEFCON 5 (least severe) to DEFCON 1 (most severe) to match varying military situations.
DEFCONs are a subsystem of a series of Alert Conditions, or LERTCONs, that also includes Emergency Conditions(EMERGCONs). DEFCONs should not be confused with similar systems used by the U.S. military, such as Force Protection Conditions (FPCONS), Readiness Conditions (REDCONS), and Watch Conditions (WATCHCONS), or the Homeland Security Advisory System used by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
The preparations that take place under the five DEFCONs are difficult to describe because they vary between many commands, they have changed over time as new weapon systems were deployed, and the precise details remain classified. Additionally, during nuclear / normal tests, exercises, or drills, the United States Department of Defense uses exercise terms when referring to the DEFCONs. This is to preclude the possibility of confusing exercise commands with actual operational commands. The current exercise terms have been used since at least 1960, when they were used in a North American Aerospace Defense Command(NORAD) exercise.
Movies and popular culture often misuse the DEFCON system by "going to DEFCON 5" during a state of emergency. In fact, DEFCON 5 is the lowest state of readiness. DEFCON 1 has never been called for.
In November 1959, the Joint Chiefs of Staff created the DEFCON system so that a uniform readiness posture could be prescribed in the various military commands. Since the system was introduced, portions of the U.S. military have been placed at higher readiness levels on numerous instances.
- The highest confirmed DEFCON ever was Level 2. During the Cuban Missile Crisis on October 22, 1962, the U.S. armed forces were ordered to DEFCON 3. On October 23, Strategic Air Command (SAC) was ordered to DEFCON 2, while the rest of the U.S. armed forces remained at DEFCON 3. SAC remained at DEFCON 2 until November 15.
- For much of the Cold War, U.S. ICBM sites were at DEFCON 4, rather than 5.
- The U.S. armed forces were technically at DEFCON 3 status during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
- The third time the United States reached DEFCON 3 was during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered the increased DEFCON level.
- In September, 2002, US Marines stationed in the Persian Gulf were put on DEFCON 2 prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The five DEFCONs, their exercise terms, and their general descriptions are shown below.
|Defense condition||Exercise term||Description||Readiness||Color|
|DEFCON 5||FADE OUT||Lowest state of readiness||Normal readiness||Blue|
|DEFCON 4||DOUBLE TAKE||Increased intelligence watch and strengthened security measures||Above normal readiness||Green|
|DEFCON 3||ROUND HOUSE||Increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness||Medium readiness||Yellow|
|DEFCON 2||FAST PACE||Next step to nuclear war||War readiness||Red|
|DEFCON 1||COCKED PISTOL||Nuclear war is imminent||Maximum readiness||
From the Department of I Just Couldn't Resist:
My friend Matthew "Whiz" Buckley, former Navy F/A-18 Hornet fighter pilot, graduate of TOPGUN, who has had over 400 carrier landings and flew 44 combat sorties over southern Iraq, and is now the head of a leading investment and risk management firm, has this to say about risk at 10 feet off the ground:
Here's a youtube video of Whiz at 20,000 feet off the ground:
A great talk. Note that in her talk and in her own words, Ms. Klein advocates for the precautionary principle.