This is the DEFCON Warning System. Alert status for 8 P.M., Thursday, October 20th, 2016. Condition code is Blue. DEFCON 4.

There are currently no imminent nuclear threats against the United States at this time, however there are events occurring in the world theatre which require closer monitoring.

The United States suffered major embarrassment and a strategic setback when its plans for a cyber-attack on Russia were exposed prematurely.  While the plan seems to have been called off or at least delayed, plans of the attack confirmed Russia's paranoia about an aggressive United States. Of course, Russian cyber-attacks on the U.S. continue.  It is unknown how significant a U.S. attack on Russia would have been. Russia has made it clear that any cyber-attack against it would be met with a military response, including nuclear.  It is difficult to assess how much of the nuclear threat is bluster, however recently there have been a large number of Russian subs spotted off the U.S. coasts.  The U.S. military is having a difficult time finding and removing them.

Russian attacks in Syria continue unabated. Additional sanctions have been threatened against Russia, but Russia is playing from a strong hand, feeling that the West is too weak to carry out any significant action against it, and this assessment currently seems correct.  At this time, it appears that Russia will continue to act without opposition. It remains to be seen what Russia will do after the U.S. election results. It appears Russia fears a Clinton presidency, and it is always possible that they may take steps while a weak U.S. president occupies the office.

Russia has suspended an agreement to eliminate weapons-grade plutonium, citing U.S. aggressiveness. Additionally, Russia has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its western-most region, Kaliningrad, which borders on NATO members Poland and Lithuania and within striking distance of Western capitols.  Russia also plans a permanent naval base in Syria, adding another warm-water port to its Navy and is working with China to counter U.S. missile defense systems.

The Philippines continues to move away from the United States as it seeks arms from Russia, while the United States is to expand its presence in Black Sea, an area close to and widely seen by Russia as a Russian area of influence.  The U.S. also plans to send detachment of Marines to Norway, which is certain to anger Russia.

The DEFCON Warning System is an analytical reporting organization which focuses on nuclear threats against the United States and offers an alert code to the public based on current events. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.

If this had been an actual attack, the DEFCON Warning System will give radiation readings for areas that are reported to it. Your readings will vary. Official news sources will have radiation readings for your area.

For immediate updates, go to Breaking news and important information can be found on the DEFCON Warning System message board and on the DEFCON Twitter feed DEFCONWS. You may also subscribe to the YouTube channel DefconWarningSystem and the DEFCON Warning System mailing list. Note that Twitter and YouTube updates may be subject to delays. The next scheduled update is 6 P.M. Pacific Time, November 10th, 2016. Additional updates will be made as the situation warrants, with more frequent updates at higher alert levels.

This concludes this broadcast of the DEFCON Warning System.