USA Target List

Looking for a safe place?

Nuclear targets in the USA….really?

I first added the original nuclear targets list to the SurvivalRing website in 2001, after the events of 9/11/01. Why? Well, the US had just been attacked again, on our own soil (just like Pearl Harbor). We didn’t see it coming. We were marked and painted for targets, for very specific reasons, first by the Japanese, and then by zealots of Al Qeuda sixty years later.

The Cold War was different. Trillions spent on nuclear weapons, development, targeting systems, silo systems, mobile systems, training in all areas of offensive and defensive weaponry, and the like. Mobile nuclear launch systems made sense, because moving targets are harder to hit. Silos full of MIRV warhead missiles were sitting ducks for incoming, first strike weapons from our long-feared enemies in the old Soviet Union and then China as well. For decades, it remained a standoff from all sides. Accidents, mishandling, loose nukes, lost nukes, and aircraft crashes carrying nukes really added a little spice to our evening news casts.

Our guys…the ones who developed the offensive weapons systems that turned into nukes in the 40s, had to do some research. Where would we put our nukes, first to keep them safe, and then to keep them hidden, and yet again, when we started downsizing our inventory?  What about our defensive systems to protect them? Our infrastructure that, first gave us the tools to build nukes, then the tools to rebuild afterwards, then the bases to launch first strikes, or return strikes, or post strike bonus hits, and so on. They turned the old ideas of World War III, into Survivable Armageddon…IF you knew where to be, and what to do, just in case WE got hit… sooner or later.

Yet, it was all just a gamble. Several close calls, halted ONLY by men on gut instinct, could have started nuclear annihilation in an instant. Here we sit, years and decades later, and none of us having perished in a hellish fiery death match.

And, to top that all off, some  moron in the highest echelons of government administration of war decided to set the codes on ALL nukes to ONE code … 00000000 … so there would be NO delay in launching ANY weapon ANYWHERE on the planet, should the need to retaliate with nuclear weapons become…shall we say…an enviable option? The entire nuclear use paradigm stayed that way, with that code, for over 20 years.

If someone had let the nuclear genie out of the bottle, during those early years, or during the Reagan or Bush years, what would you and I have been able to do, to take care of ourselves, feed and nourish our bodies, and avoid as much trauma and illness that would have followed?

Not much, unless you were one of the precious few that knew where to look for nuclear survival information. The government, from the early 1950’s onward, wrote, printed, and dispersed millions of how to pamphlets, fliers, booklets, and manuals for citizens all across the nation.  Some cities even sent a full package of nuclear preparedness information to every address in town, in a nice little bundle of useful, but mostly understood, cheap paper information. Still, it wasn’t enough.

The US fallout shelter system was a joke. It got a good start under Kennedy, but Congress, being the evil selfish bastards that they have always been, instead opted for “Continuity of Government”. They built multiple secret shelters across the nation for themselves, their families, and their key staff members.

The rest of America…you and me and everyone we knew…were on our own.  Sure, Russia and China continued their nationwide shelter projects for another decade or two, building entire cities and key industrial areas under mountains and plains. The Swiss had fallout shelters in nearly every home and business…mandated by LAW. American community shelters?


So…after the Bad Guys got the plans for nukes, and started testing them for potential US targeting, a few smart people said “Hey…it might behoove us to think about what MIGHT be targeted in our own country, so we can plan what do to, JUST IN CASE.”

These guys created the first US nuclear target lists to work through multiple strike scenarios. They ran statistical analyses of industry, population, fallout models based on historical weather patterns, known thermal, blast, and fallout effects, figured in geological cartographic information, and after a few years of genius level work, produced highly classified, high level reports, on what would make great nuclear targets in the US for the Bad Guys to hit to do us the most harm.

Once they had that out of the way, then they could start planning where to move industries, bases, infrastructure, key personnel, and so forth in a never ending game of Red Rover. It stayed that way for years.

Hidden, classified, top secret maps…of places no one would dare to live, if they knew that real Russian nuclear warheads sitting on top of real Russian missiles in silos throughout the USSR were already PROGRAMMED to strike…for whatever military or political reason.

Not good. Not good at all.

It all comes down to this.  What *were* nuclear targets in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, for the most part, could still be so, even in this “enlightened”, post-Soviet Union, “feel good” democratic/socialist society that tells all of us that “the bad guys are just misunderstood”.

Right. I call it Bullshit.

To make it short and sweet, and easily understandable…this website exists, because thousands and thousands of Americans across the nation are proactively going out on the internet, LOOKING for safe places to live, and knowing enough about our country to start looking for the places that AREN’T safe, first.  The government made the weapons, lost the plans, and had to develop survival ideas for trying to stay alive, should the Cold War turn into a HOT war…and we citizens have had to learn about any chance of nuclear survival from book authors, overnight radio shows, right and left wing fanatics, word of mouth, and magazine and newspaper articles…instead of from our government’s huge legion of emergency management offices at city, county, state, and federal levels. Why? Why not share what THEY knew, with those of us actually paying the bill, in taxes taken from us in every dollar we earned in our lives?

Somehow, we got the message…by watching how our government reacted to OTHER real regional catastrophes, such as Katrina, Sandy, Andrew, the 2011 tornado outbreaks, the recent nationwide drought and many huge wildfires, and so on and so forth.

The government never quite accomplished any worthy responses to help, assist, halt, or even mitigate potential damage,  immediately after those incidents, taking weeks, or in some cases (such as Sandy) months to get recovery systems in place, while people were (and still are) living in tents, tarps, or neighbor’s overcrowded homes. Always responding, never preventing, never more than pitiful attempts to assuage the injured and aggrieved citizens caught in those horrible and desperate situations.

We precious few, we Americans who pay attention, and want to help others be less concerned with fear, and more concerned about everyday living, dug out the information hidden in dark places.

We placed Freedom Of Information Act requests and got these kinds of documents UNCLASSIFIED. We then digitized these documents, so we could see just what the hell our fearless, feckless leaders were thinking, while playing their little war games, over our overtaxed and overworked bodies…living, breathing human beings.

Now, you too, will know what both the Bad Guys, and our own Good/Bad guys, were thinking about where we might have had thermonuclear warheads dropped on us in our sleep, like addled pets.

Sure, the original list is over 20 years old, approaching possibly 30 years in age, in the case of the Nuclear Attack Planning Base 1990 report (NAPB-90), printed in 1987. We had to start somewhere…but…we HAVE started.

Yes, yes…I know…most targets were military bases of some kind, and many have closed. Guess what?  We have those lists of ACTIVE and CLOSED bases right here on this site, viewable via Google Maps, with extreme ability to view details and see for yourself if anything exists in any old target zones.

This site EXISTS to UPDATE the lists, from people who live where targets USED to be, and who might know where new targets MIGHT be worth knowing about.  This site is and will be completely interactive in every way. Have updates to share? Use the comments forms, the contact page, or email us.

And don’t forget this. Look at terrorist events on US soil in the last 17 years, SINCE 9/11/01. The Fort Hood massacre and Hasan. The Washington Navy Yard shootings and Aaron Alexis. The underwear bomber. The shoe bomber. The DC snipers. The Sikh temple shootings. And so, so many more. They’re targeting large groups of people, military bases (from the inside), sporting events, marathons, and so much more. Where will it stop? We have to think ahead of these selfish and moralistic assholes who want to kill us so they can get 72 virgins (sadly, all male…boy, are THEY going to be surprised).

We want to know the truth…nothing more…nothing less.

We, the people, need to help each other, and dig into it all, until we ALL know what we really need to be worried about. Let’s use the brains God gave us, the tools and technology provided to us with  the experience of MILLIONS of man-hours of all of us in the real world, and the beating heart and caring souls that we all have…to come up with real, viable, usable information that adds up to this…  is IT a TARGET…or not?

Thanks for visiting.


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List of 106 cities, towns and military bases thought to be at risk of attack contained in documents shared by National ArchivesWel­come to our National Tar­gets page…

  • The Guardian
  • Thursday 5 June 2014 10.16 EDT
Saxa Vord radar base on Unst in Shetland was believed to be a probable nuclear target in the 1970s

Saxa Vord radar base on Unst in Shetland
was one of the more remote UK regions
believed to be a probable nuclear target in
the early 1970s. Photograph: Murdo
Macleod for the Guardian

The UK government drew up a top secret list of 106 cities, towns and bases across the country seen as “probable nuclear targets” in the early 1970s, according to documents released by the National Archives.

During the cold war, a list of the places thought likely to come under nuclear attack by the Soviet Union was agreed by military commanders, the intelligence services and the Cabinet Office under Conservative prime minister Edward Heath.

Although most major cities were included, there were some notable omissions. Cambridge was on the target list but not Oxford; Bristol but not Brighton; and Edinburgh but not Aberdeen.

The list of “probable nuclear targets in the United Kingdom”, approved by the Cabinet Office, was circulated to defence chiefs marked “top secret” by Air Commodore Brian Stanbridge on 2 May 1972. “It is not a comprehensive list of all targets likely to be attacked in the event of general war,” he wrote. It included 38 towns, cities and centres of government, 37 UK and US air bases, 25 control, communications and radar facilities and six naval sites.

An annex to his memo quoted an estimate from the joint intelligence committee that the Soviet Union could launch an initial nuclear strike against Britain with 150 land-based missiles, plus an unknown number of submarine-launched missiles. “They are unlikely to be inhibited by the question of overkill,” it warned.

Estimates of Soviet nuclear strikes used “similar planning assumptions to those which we ourselves might use,” the annex stated. “Thus, it is likely that the enemy would aim to achieve a minimum of 50% damage expectancy with a 90% or more assurance factor.”

London was expected to be devastated by two to four bombs of up to five megatons each exploding over the city. Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester were each said to be in line for one or two “airbursts” of up to five megatons. That’s 333 times more powerful than the 15-kiloton US nuclear bomb that flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in August 1945, killing 140,000 people.

See the full map of nuclear targets (pdf)

There were disputes about some of the estimates, with one memo pointing out that Home Office scientific advisers “find it difficult to see why an enemy would wish to deliver a three-megaton attack on Swansea and on Leicester when, in their view, one megaton on each target would be sufficient to cause almost complete destruction of those cities.”

According to military planners, some of Britain’s remoter regions could also be blasted. A radar station at Saxa Vord, now a holiday resort on the UK’s most northerly populated island of Unst in Shetland, was down to be hit by a three-megaton bomb.

Another target was Orford Ness on the Suffolk coast, which was involved in an experimental US radar system known as Cobra Mist and is now a nature reserve. Nuclear submarine bases on the Clyde near Glasgow were on the list, along with nuclear airfields like those at Greenham Common in Berkshire and Machrihanish on the Mull of Kintyre.

Other high-level memos from 1971 said that the target list was drawn up for military planning purposes and to help “contingency planning particularly in the field of home defence”. Home defence meant protect and survive measures such as shelters to help civilians under nuclear attack.

But according to the researcher who found the documents, formernuclear weapons design engineer Brian Burnell, the real aim was not to defend civilian targets. Military planners wanted to try to ensure that UK-based nuclear bombers survived to launch a counter-attack against the Soviet Union, he said.

He argues that the Whitehall planners were confused about Soviet military intentions. “I’m baffled by the omission of targets like power plants, or other major infrastructure.”

A nuclear historian from Aberystwyth University, Kristan Stoddart, said Britain was a priority target for the Soviet Union in the 1970s because it was the only state in western Europe that was part of Nato’s military structure. France had left in 1966. He said: “For a country the size of Britain there was no civil defence against large-scale nuclear attack – anything else was a myth. Whitehall knew this and most of the population knew it.”

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  •            By: Pamela Geller 
  •           Published: February 3rd, 2014

Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami

I have long warned that Obama was working to dismantle American hegemony and her status as the superpower of the world. And he did it in part by turning over power and money to our mortal enemies.

He gave Iran sanction; he signed off on their nuclear centrifuges, and they gave Obama (aka America) a kick in the head.

Iranian commander: We have targets within America,” By Reza Kahlili, Daily Caller, February 1, 2014

A top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards boasted Saturday that his forces have plans in place to attack the United States from within, should the U.S. attack the Iran threatens AmericaIslamic Republic.

“America, with its strategic ignorance, does not have a full understanding of the power of the Islamic Republic,” Brig. Gen.Hossein Salami said in a televised interview. “We have recognized America’s military strategy, and have arranged our abilities, and have identified centers in America [for attack] that will create a shock.”

Reports indicate that terrorist Hezbollah forces — allies of Iran — have infiltrated the U.S. and have mapped out targets.

“We will conduct such a blow in which they [America] will be destroyed from within,” Salami said.

Read more at:


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Source: (Nuclear Threat Innitiative)

Jan. 29, 2014

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody receive a safety briefing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., on Jan. 21 from deputy missile combat crew commander 2nd Lt. George Statzell, 12th Missile Squadron. Close to 70 missile-launch officers at Malmstrom have been sidelined as part of a probe into cheating on a proficiency exam, unidentified officials said.Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody receive a safety briefing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., on Jan. 21 from deputy missile combat crew commander 2nd Lt. George Statzell, 12th Missile Squadron. Close to 70 missile-launch officers at Malmstrom have been sidelined as part of a probe into cheating on a proficiency exam, unidentified officials said. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Roughly 14 percent of all U.S. Air Force nuclear missile-launch officers have been pulled off alert duty as a test-cheating probe remains under way.

Unidentified officials on Tuesday told the Associated Press that close to 70 missile-control personnel at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana are now being investigated by the Air Force for possible participation in — or knowledge of — a fall 2013 scheme to cheat on a routine Minuteman 3 proficiency test. Earlier this month, the service said it was investigating 34 officers for involvement in the cheating incident.

All the Malmstrom officers under investigation have been removed from launch duty and had their security clearances frozen, said Lt. Col. John Sheets, spokesman for Air Force Global Strike Command. The organization oversees the nation’s arsenal of approximately 450 Minuteman 3 silo-based ballistic missiles. He would not comment on the specific number of officers that have been swept up in the cheating investigation.

The sidelining means that at the Malmstrom base, more than one-third of missileers currently are unable to man the underground missile-firing centers. It was not obvious on Tuesday how the shortfall in personnel was affecting the Montana facility’s nuclear mission, other than forcing the remaining launch officers to stand watch for additional shifts.

The cheating scandal and other recent problems with drugs and professional conduct in the missileer corps played a major part in Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s decision last week to order a comprehensive review of personnel issues in the military’s entire nuclear workforce, which includes both Navy and Air Force service members.

Find other great articles on this and similar topics at

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By  on November 1, 2013 

( source @ )

What is the real military threat from China?

 Chinese targets on the west cost would really mess up the midwest

Chinese targets on the west cost would really mess up the midwest

Look at the above map. It was released by state-run Chinese media to demonstrate the “awesomeness” of the Chinese military capacity. It is supposed to demonstrate that Bejing’s nuclear submarines can attack Western American cities to “counterbalance US nuclear deterrence” in the Pacific.

According to The Washington Times, the article features 30 images detailing damage projections for West Coast cities after being struck by a Chinese Nuclear warhead.

In bone-chilling detail, the article discusses strategy for inflicting maximum damage.

“Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans,” the article states.

For decades, we have been warned about the rising China threat. Now it seems to be coming to pass. What – if anything – is the Obama Administration doing to counter this threat?

Follow us on twitter: @DowntrendCom

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From the National Security Archive at George Washington University @

The Able Archer 83 Sourcebook

Posted – November 7, 2013

For more information contact:
Nate Jones – 
202/994-7000 or

A slide from the unclassified September 9, 1983, commander airlift forces briefing shows the expansive “footprint” of the Autumn Forge war games.

Washington, D.C., November 7, 2013 – Today marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of Able Archer 83, a NATO exercise that utilized “new nuclear weapons release procedures” to simulate the transition from conventional to nuclear war with the Soviet Union.  Although US officials saw Able Archer 83 as a routine exercise, it resulted in an “unprecedented Soviet reaction” which US intelligence eventually inferred “was an expression of a genuine belief on the part of Soviet leaders that US was planning a nuclear first strike,” according to the largest collection of declassified documents on the 1983 War Scare compiled and posted by the National Security Archive,

The climax of Able Archer 83 was on November 9, 1983 when NATO war gamers at Supreme Headquarters Allied Power Europe (SHAPE) realized they could not halt a simulated Soviet conventional advance and requested “initial limited use of nuclear weapons against pre-selected fixed targets.”  This limited strike was not enough, and on the morning of November 11, a “follow-on use of nuclear weapons was executed.”

While NATO was practicing a drawn-out transition from conventional to nuclear war, Soviet leadership feared a decapitating first strike.  The imminent European deployment of western Pershing II and cruise missiles which could reach the Soviet Union in ten minutes led Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov to warn in June of 1983 of the “the dangerous ‘red line'” of nuclear war through “miscalculation” four times during his “first real meeting” with an envoy from the Reagan administration.  A KGB report from May of 1982 describes the creation of the largest peace-time human intelligence gathering operation in history, Operation RYaN, in an attempt to “prevent the possible sudden outbreak of war by the enemy.”

“Report of the Work of the KGB in 1981,” May 10, 1982.

The American intelligence community did not initially perceive the risk of nuclear miscalculation that Able Archer 83 involved.  Only “in response to British concerns” were intelligence reports drafted on the War Scare, the most ominous of which — from CIA Director William Casey to President Ronald Reagan and other cabinet officials — warned of “a dimension of genuineness” and “high military costs” to the Soviet actions.  A summary of a still-classified retrospective 1991 intelligence report showed an “ominous list of indicators” pointing toward genuine Soviet fear of a Western first strike,” which caused the Soviet military to ready its forces for a preemptive strike on the West.  “If so,” the report understated, “war scare a cause for concern.”

Despite the dangerous ramifications of this possible nuclear miscalculation, the history of the Able Archer 83 war scare has remained largely unavailable to the public. This dearth of primary sources has even led critics — with some justification — to describe the study of the war scare as “an echo chamber of inadequate research and misguided analysis” and “circle reference dependency,” with an overreliance upon “the same scanty evidence.”

In an attempt to fill this “echo chamber,” the National Security Archive has posted, the largest collection of documents about the incident available. These documents come from Freedom of Information Act releases by the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State, research findings from American and British archives, as well as formerly classified Soviet Politburo and KGB files, interviews with ex-Soviet generals, and records from other former communist states.

Among the revelations in these documents are:

The unclassified NATO summary of Able Archer 83, kindly provided by SHAPE chief historian Gregory Pedlow, provides a chilling narrative of how the Cold War could have turned nuclear.
    • U.S. notes of the “first real meeting between the United States and the Soviet Union since the start of the [Reagan] Administration” in June of 1983 between General Secretary Yuri Andropov and U.S. envoy Averell Harriman, in which Andropov warned of nuclear war through miscalculation four times. Harriman, who had negotiated with Stalin during the Second World War, concluded that Andropov, “seemed to have a real worry that we could come into conflict through miscalculation.”
    • KGB annual reports for the years 1981 and 1982 corroborating the creation of Operation RYaN (RYaN was the Russian acronym for Raketno-Yadernoye Napadenie, “nuclear missile attack”), the largest peace-time intelligence gathering operation in history to “prevent the possible sudden outbreak of war by the enemy.”
    • CIA memo providing evidence of the “Warsaw Pact Early Warning Indicator Project” – the U.S. intelligence community’s analogue to Operation RYaN.
    • An unpublished, declassified CIA Studies in Intelligence article (different from the well-circulated CIA unclassified monograph) that provides a narrative of the War Scare and concludes that Soviet fears of a preemptive U.S. nuclear strike, “while exaggerated, were scarcely insane,” and discloses that the United States also had an intelligence source in Czechoslovakia partially corroborating the British intelligence asset Oleg Gordievsky’s reporting that Soviet leaders feared an imminent war.
    • Volume four of the National Security Agency’s previously classified history, American Cryptology during the Cold War, 1945-1989 (volumes one through three can be found here), which chronicles the years 1980-1989, and asserts that “the period 1982-1984 marked the most dangerous Soviet-American confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
    • Declassified backchannel discussions between Reagan advisor Jack Matlock and Soviet sources who warned of “growing paranoia among Soviet officials” whom the source described as “literally obsessed by fear of war.”
    • Interviews with high level “unhappy Cold Warriors” in the Soviet military, conducted in the early 1990s, in which they explain their recollections and experiences during the War Scare.
    • An official summary of Able Archer 83 produced by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), which conducted the exercise, which presents for the first time a detailed chronology of the war game, lists the participants in the exercise, and gives the reader a chilling glimpse of how NATO envisioned World War Three could begin. After Orange (a thinly disguised Warsaw Pact) invaded Yugoslavia, Finland, and eventually Norway, Blue (NATO) defended its allies and conventional war descended into chemical, and eventually nuclear, war. After Orange gained further advances, “SACEUR requested initial first use of nuclear weapons against fixed targets in Orange satellite countries.” However, “Blue’s use of nuclear weapons did not stop Orange’s aggression.” Then, “a follow-on use of nuclear weapons was executed on the morning of 11 November.” At that point, the exercise ended.
    • The first declassified after-action reports of exercise Able Archer 83. The most extensive of these, written by the US Strategic Air Command, provides a detailed chronology of Able Archer 83 and shows that the exercise lasted from November 7 to November 11, 1983. It also reports that there was a SACEUR decision before the exercise began “to reduce the level of nuclear exchange between Blue and Orange,” and reveals the “sensitive, political issue” of “slips of the tongue” in which B-52 sorties were referred to in communications as “strikes.” This was important, the after-action report noted, because eavesdropping Soviets may have asked, “if B-52 aircraft are present in a nuclear scenario exercise, are they being used to perform strike missions?”
    • Other briefings and after action reports clarify that Able Archer 83 was one of several (at least six) exercises under the “umbrella” of Autumn Forge 83, which simulated a war with “Orange Pact” forces in Europe. The largest exercise under the “umbrella” of Autumn Forge 83 was Reforger 83, short for “return of US forces to Germany,” a radio-silent, 170-flight airlift of troops from the US to Europe to simulate a land war against “Orange” (Warsaw Pact) forces. When this land war turned nuclear, Able Archer simulated “command and control procedures with particular emphasis on the transition from purely conventional operations to chemical, nuclear and conventional operations.”

Side-by-side images from the CIA’s Top Secret “Implications of Recent Soviet Military-Political Activities” (left) and a Secret 1984 State Department memo (right) reveal that the United States hid all references to Soviet reactions to Able Archer 83 in the report provided to their NATO allies.
  • A previously unpublished interview with Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev that points to the importance of the distinctions — and interrelation — between Autumn Forge 83, Reforger 83, and Able Archer 83. Akhromeyev stated that he did not remember “Able Archer 83” but that, “we believed the most dangerous military exercises [were] Autumn Forge and Reforger. These [were] the NATO exercise in Europe.” Akhromeyev finds unlikely support in another previously unpublished interview. Caspar Weinberger who served as US Secretary of Defense during the War Scare said, “the difference between a realistic exercise or maneuver and what could be preparations for an attack, that line is sometimes quite blurred.”
  • A Department of State memo recounting that the United States “sanitized” the Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) on the War Scare, removing all mentions of Able Archer 83 and the Soviet reaction to it, before providing it to NATO. Thus, the U.S. hid the danger of Able Archer 83 from the very allies who participated in the exercise.
  • memorandum from Director of the Central Intelligence Agency William Casey to President Reagan and other Cabinet-level officials warning that “The [Soviet] military behaviors we have observed involve high military costs … adding thereby a dimension of genuineness to the Soviet expressions of concern that is often not reflected in intelligence issuances.”
  • A contemporary (December 1983) CIA analysis entitled, “Soviet Thinking on the Possibility of Armed Confrontation with the United States,” that asserted Moscow was “playing up the ‘war danger'” and that the Soviets did not “anticipate a near-term military confrontation with the United States.”
  • A formerly unpublished summary of the most extensive (and still classified) analysis of Able Archer 83, a 110-page President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board report to George H.W. Bush in 1990. According to the report’s summary, provided by one of its authors, the “war scare was an expression of a genuine belief on the part of Soviet leaders that US was planning a nuclear first strike, causing Sov[iet] military to prepare for this eventuality, for example by readying forces for a Sov[iet] preemptive strike.”

Although the National Security Archive has compiled and posted more than 1,000 pages of declassified documents on Able Archer 83, much more remains classified and unavailable to the public.

Film from President Reagan’s meeting with “KGB Defector” Oleg Gordievsky on July 21 1987.

The continued classification of significant documents related to Able Archer 83, 30 years after the fact, is very difficult to defend. Documents that deal with this exercise — including the most comprehensive report ever written about it — contain information of interest not only to scholars of the Cold War, but also to all concerned about the danger of nuclear weapons. If, as some within the US intelligence community have claimed, there was an increased danger of nuclear war through miscalculation in 1983, the documents detailing the danger of Able Archer 83 could help government officials avert future nuclear standoffs and reduce the probability of accidental war. Revelations about the risk and possibility of nuclear miscalculation complicate the argument that nuclear deterrence has gifted humanity with a “long peace” and undermine the contention that the danger of worldwide nuclear war ended with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

Soviet SS-20s and American Pershing IIs have been removed and retired, the Cold War has ended, and the Soviet Union no longer exists. After the fact, a fuller picture of the dangers of Able Archer 83 has emerged. But due to failures of the US declassification system, many more important documents about this potentially dangerous nuclear episode remain unavailable to the public, locked in secure facilities, under the rubric that their release “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.”  In fact, their declassification could help protect the United States and the rest of the world from the gravest of all security threats: nuclear war.

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Schroeder is an interesting man. A google alert came up today with this news story.  Verifies some info I was already aware of…


FARGO (KFGO-AM) – Etain-Rouvres Air Base, France, 1953. A young air force pilot from Davenport, ND was chosen to fly on the first nuclear mission in Europe. Retired Major-General Darrol Schroeder was a specially-trained F-86 pilot who had a job he couldn’t talk about until now.

Schroeder’s top-secret mission was to drop a 12-kiloton nuclear bomb on select targets inside the Soviet Union. Schroeder says he’s still reluctant to talk about his personal targets, but he says generally, the mission was to take aim at railroad yards, dams, and large infrastructure.

Schroeder says looking back, he realizes that if a nuclear war had materialized, he may not have been able to return to friendly territory. “Some of our landing spots weren’t on airports, they were on the Autobahn.” Schroeder said. “We had certain spots on the Autobahn that were good enough to use for a runway.

Schroeder has never before publicly discussed the mission due to national security reasons. He was recently given clearance to talk about his assignment, six decades later.


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…would be first target of nuclear attack


DEBKAfile Special Report April 12, 2013, 9:00 PM (GMT+02:00)

US and Japanese sources reported Friday, April 12,  that North Korea has warned Japan that Tokyo would be the first target if Pyongyang decided to launch a nuclear attack. This was in response to Japan’s orders to its armed forces to shoot down any North Korean missile that heads toward its territory. Taking the threat seriously, Japan has deployed Patriot interceptors around its capital.

Japanese defense officials refused to confirm reports about their naval alert saying they do not want to “show their cards” to North Korea.
On arrival in Seoul Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “We will stand with South Korea and Japan against these threats. And we will defend ourselves,” he said. He rejected the Pentagon’s assessment that Pyongyang had probably developed nuclear weapons which could be mounted on ballistic missiles, saying that North Korea had still not developed or fully tested the nuclear capabilities needed for this step.

The White House again insisted Friday that North Korea had not demonstrated a capability to deploy a nuclear-armed missile, evidently intent on having the last word in the debate with the Pentagon on this matter.

DEBKAfile reported earlier Friday:

Friday, April 12, the US raised its nuclear alert status to DEFCON 3, Condition Yellow (out of 5 levels), stating “There are currently no imminent nuclear threats against the United States at this time, however the situation is considered fluid and can change rapidly.” Many believe that North Korea will launch their test missile on or about April 15. Japan has instructed its armed forces to shoot down any North Korean missile that heads toward its territory.

Read More Here:

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…New Photos Reveal ‘US Mainland Strike Plan’

North Korea has threatened the United States, yet again, following yesterday’s American led B-2 stealth bomber drills over South Korea. This time, Pyongyang claims to be targeting the U.S. mainland.

According to photographs taken of a recent meeting involving Kim Jong-un and military officials, North Korea may be preparing its nuclear forces to strike a number of U.S. targets, including Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; Austin, Texas; and Hawaii.

“He has finally signed the plan [for] technical preparations of strategic rockets, ordering them to be on stand-by to fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland,” the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency reported.

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The Problem..

First of all, yes, I know, the original full list of US Nuclear Targets is based on decades old data. However, the target lists did come directly from government publications produced over many years before this site and list went online.

Many pages still in work...stay tuned

Most State pages are still in work and being written, and maps still need to be updated for most. Stay tuned. If you see this logo above on a page, it means that page is NOT yet done. Please check back later on these pages.

This website project has been ongoing for many years now. As web technology and time allowed, commenting ability was added to the original single page version of the target list. Hacks and spam attacks were rampant for some of those years, resulting in on-again, off-again posting ability for on-page commenting.  I did receive many emails over the years from interested individuals inquiring on why some areas were targets (such as defunct and shut down military bases), and why some were not targets (locations known to be high value for any number of reasons).

The Threats

Nearly all of the historically accurate maps on this website (they were created by our government, after all) are based on potential global thermonuclear war. Estimated exchanges of upwards of 6,000 megatons during and throughout a nuclear world war, were the basis for nearly all nuclear attack and civil defense planning by the US and other nations.

Now, here in the second decade of the 21st century, the threat of all out nuclear war is a mere fraction of what it used to be. However, nuclear terror threats are the latest and greatest fear of our current government leaders.

Dirty bombs, terrorist nukes, radiological threats of a hundred different directions and delivery methods…all are on the table now. Just last week (mid March 2013) North Korea threatened to attack the US with nuclear weapons.  Insanity at the highest levels still exist in most governments, again, as always, leaving the protection of the average citizen in the hands of, well…the average citizen…you and me. That’s the reason you’ll also find fallout shelter plans,shelter and preparedness planning, civil defense documents, and many other education materials also on this site.  Take some time to read them all. Download them all if you wish. They’re here for you.

The Goal…

The ultimate goals of the SurvivalRing US Nuclear Targets website is to provide the following…

  • Historical comparison of known US target areas, as provided by US government unclassified publications
  • Updates of target areas by visitors, professionals, average citizens, and retired or ex-military veterans who know or can share why an old target is no longer a target
  • Fast and easy feedback from knowledgeable individuals on any page of this site to help fine tune the list and create a NEW and UPDATED open source intelligence list of future *potential* targets
  • Visitor ability to zoom into the highest magnification maps available from Google Maps, to see for themselves why an area might, or might not, be a current target
  • The ability to provide markers of specific design for each map to help focus on what kind of target the marker is
  • The ability to produce larger maps of regions or the entire nation, using all potential targets in all states
  • Frequent and direct updates on target info, as it is verified and validated.
  • Ability to add photographs and video of target areas as technology, law, and availabilty allow
  • Planned publication of these final state maps and target background info into printed hardcopy and digital documents.
  • Potential expansion of this website into a members only, more secured package of information to keep the data and information safe and archived.
  • Potential creation of DVDs and CDs with multimedia presentations for students at all academic levels.
  • Courses for students to help understand that threats at all levels of government, and humanity, are always present every day.

The Concept

Using one of the most popular website content management solutions, along with some premium web tools and custom web development technology, this site intends to be the most direct, most informational, and most valiant effort to provide real, historically, and potentially accurate information on this topic online.

The site is NOT here to help bad guys find targets or get ideas.

This website is for individuals and families who understand history, who pay attention to the news of the day, and know and worry about the threats that have always existed all around us with the potential to intrude into the small spheres of influence that make up our lives, and to educate and enlighten those that seek answers to the big questions that cross their minds, or pick up in passing conversations.

In other words, the answers to many questions about “Where are the safe places to live?” can start with the information presented here.

The Solution

You. YOU are the solution. Look at this website. Find your state. Look at target map for your local area. Is a target marked near you?  Does it make sense?  Do you know why the target MIGHT be a target?  Can you help us update our list, with info about THAT target you’ve become knowledgeable about? Has the THING that made that location a target in the past, been decommissioned, disassembled, destroyed, or replaced with something completely different?

Think about Lowry Air Force Base  in northeastern Aurora/Denver, Colorado that was decommissioned in 1991. Lowry AFB was built in 1938. The runways were literally chopped up into little pieces and hauled away.  Lowry was permanently closed by actions of the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC II) commission in 1994. The land is now being used for commercial and residential development, though many of the old military buildings are still in use.  Most of the buildings were torn down, while those left standing were re-purposed. Any tactical remnant of the original base was removed. Large subdivisions of tract homes and neighborhoods and schools and small shopping malls were built over the land that used to be that base. THAT is an example of the kinds of updates we are looking for. What WAS a target decades ago, is now NOT a target…or so we hope.

We can only hope and pray that the old Soviet Bloc nations that had those MIRV warhead nuclear weapons aimed specifically at that Denver neighborhood have since been reset to a newer target, decommissioned, or sold…we won’t know until it’s too late, unfortunately.

How you can help

Contact us. Email us. Comment about specific targets in specific states on THAT states page. All pages have comment enabled. USE THEM. Help us education the rest of us…your neighbors…your family…your community…and the nation at large.

Remember, like every other thing that affects every aspect of our lives…ALL things are transient. Goals, guidelines, rules, expectations, and potential outcomes are ALWAYS moving targets. Historical nuclear targets can also be transient…shifting…even mobile. Help us keep things up to date, corrected, and even expanded.

I’ll be glad to add more data to each state regarding potential threats, such as natural disasters, historical incidents, population movement, storm hazard areas, crime rate data, and on and on…the possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned…




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