STRATCOM Cancels Controversial Preemption Strike Plan

The controversial preemption strike plan CONPLAN 8022 has been canceled and the mission instead merged with the main U.S. strategic war plan.

By Hans M. Kristensen

The U.S. military has canceled a controversial war plan designed to strike adversaries promptly – even preemptively – with conventional and nuclear weapons. The strike plan was known as Concept Plan (CONPLAN) 8022 and first entered into effect in the summer of 2004 to provide the president with a prompt, global strike capability against time-urgent and mobile targets.

CONPLAN 8022 was the first attempt to operationalize the “Global Strike” mission assigned to U.S. Strategic Command in January 2003. The mission was triggered by new White House guidance following the terrorist attacks in September 2001 and fear of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Lack of leadership and definition has since placed Global Strike in limbo, with little progress and prompt effects instead being incorporated into other existing strike plans. “Global Strike” is now described as a much broader mission synonymous with the “New Triad” first articulated by the Bush administration’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review.

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FAS Launches OTA Archive

Today the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) launched the Office of Technology Assessment Archive, The site allows the public to access over 720 reports and documents produced by OTA during its 23 year history, including many that have not been available to the public previously. OTA served as an independent branch of the U.S. Congress that provided nonpartisan science and technology advice from 1972 until it was defunded and forced to close in 1995. Continue reading

The RISOP is Dead – Long Live RISOP-Like Nuclear Planning

Launch control officers at Minot Air Force Base practice launching their high-alert ICBM. But the hypothetical Russian nuclear strike plan that originally led to the requirement to have nuclear forces on alert has been canceled. So why are the ICBMs still on alert?

By Hans M. Kristensen

The U.S. military has canceled the Red Integrated Strategic Offensive Plan (RISOP), a hypothetical Russian nuclear strike plan against the United States created and used for decades by U.S. nuclear war planners to improve U.S. nuclear strike plans against Russia.

The cancellation appears to substantiate the claim made by Bush administration and military official, that the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review removed Russia as an immediate contingency for U.S. nuclear strike planning. But implementing the shift was not a high priority, lasting almost the entire first term of the administration.

Despite the shift, however, declassified documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act also show that RISOP-like and “red” analysis continues, and that that the cancellation was necessary to allow STRATCOM to broaden nuclear strike planning beyond Russia. Continue reading