Talk:Able Archer 83

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Former featured articleAble Archer 83 is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on February 11, 2007.
Article milestones
March 12, 2006Good article nomineeListed
July 14, 2006Featured article candidatePromoted
June 22, 2009Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article

NATO First strike doctrine[edit]

I haven't found anywhere in the article a mention that in 1982 NATO, unlike the URSS, had a first nuclear strike doctrine. I think it is an important thing that may help understand this fear of Soviet politicians. (talk) 20:07, 6 July 2008 (UTC)Gero

I can think of at least one very good reason for that, but if you have some RELIABLE sources for such a claim, then perhaps you should post them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:13, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Stanislav Petrov[edit]

You guys should really think about adding in a bit about the hero Stanislov Petrov. It really adds a valuable dimension to the discussion about Near Nuclear Incidents in 1983. He may have saved the world, and he was recently honored by the UN with a prize. Here is the link: Thanks for the consideration. Marcwiki9 03:58, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

- "Despite his correct call, Petrov was disciplined and dismissed from the service." This appears to be wrong. Here is a more recent report with some more details, the author talked to Petrov: "In addition, virtually all falsely claimed Petrov had been dismissed from the army. In this direction is simply that originally failed to be headed action planned religious ceremony, as had been found as the cause of the vulnerability of the system, subject to supervisor before the secrecy to protect their own face. However, he later received a medal for other services to the construction of the facility and was eventually promoted even. He left the military in the following year for purely family reasons, but returned as a civilian, eventually returning to his former post." (sorry, Google Transl.) (talk) 19:54, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I would be surprised if the Petrov event was NOT related to Jeffrey Carney warning East Germany that there will be exercises which will look like the real thing. Petrov received an award in Dresden maybe 2 years ago. Anybody who can read German might check him out in the German transcription Stanislaw Petrow. 2001:8003:A0B9:C400:9C53:EEA:67ED:488E (talk) 05:44, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

NATO's Able Archer script[edit]

The Channel 4 programme mentioned above gives a description of the NATO script. I think this would be a valuable addition, however it doesn't make total sense. Does anyone have a source with a better description?

  • Day 1 - Nov 3 - Diplomatic incident leads to military reactions.
  • Day 2 - Nov 4 - The Soviet Union invades West Germany, Greece and Norway.
  • Day 3 - Nov 5 - NATO predicts imminent use of chemical weapons by Soviet Union.
  • Day 5 - Nov 7 - The Soviet Union employs chemical weapons
  • Day 6 - Nov 8 - Supreme Allied Commander approves a nuclear response, targetting 25 sites in Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
  • "Throughout the night of the 8th of Nov the entire Soviet war machine waited for the nuclear signal"
  • "At dawn the following day.." [Nov 9] "..the Soviets intercepted the NATO signal that nuclear missiles had been launched"
  • "On the last morning..." [Nov 10] "...350 imaginary nuclear weapons were launched at targets in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union"
  • Then the exercise suddenly stopped, it was Armistice Day.
  • Why is "Day 1" the 3rd. Should that not be the 2nd?
  • Is the 25 target attack different from the 350 missile attack? It has to be, 350 missiles wouldn't be used for 25 targets?
  • It says the NATO signal that nuclear missiles had been launched was picked up on Nov 9, why would the exercise leave a day between signal and actual launch on the 10th? Mark83 (talk) 20:34, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Split Article[edit]

This article should be split into Able Archer 83 and Able Archer war scare or 1983 war scare. Because while there was an incident talked about in this article labeled the Able Archer war scare the actual war game Able Archer 83 was only one part of the war scare. Thus there should be two articles. If I don't see any feedback I will split them. -- Esemono (talk) 02:03, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Split as reasoned. -- Esemono (talk) 12:38, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Looks like a bad split, the new article is riddled with grammatical and MoS errors, and if not improved, will need to come to WP:FAR. I suggest undoing this damage, which appears to be based on a consensus of one. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:35, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

This looks like a bad move, this article is not featured quality, and there are grammatical and MoS errors throughout. Unless this is reversed and correctly quickly, the article should come to WP:FAR. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:34, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Does anyone know where the FAC, article history, and featured article diff went ? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:41, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Esemono, please stop moving these pages and ask for assistance. Where is the featured artile, and where is the FA history? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:35, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
And where is the move request? (talk) 22:36, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Wasn't a move request it was a Split request. I posted almost month ago about Splitting the article into the war game itself and the actual events that lead to the Nuclear scare of which the war game was apart of. -- Esemono (talk) 01:30, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

This article was moved from Able Archer 1983 to 1983 nuclear war scare with no consensus for the move (thus it never should have happened in the first place). The article is also not needed, the original title included 83 to disambiguate the exercises named Able Archer with this particular exercise so as to aviod any confusion between the two. Moreover, in this form the article should not be designated featured, as only part of the original article was moved to this new title. Therefore, I propose moving this page back to Able Archer 83 to restore the material originally in the article, to maintain the article's FA-status, and to comply with the MoS requirements that a page be listed under only one title.

  • Support: As I said above, the absence of any consensus to move the page should be justification enough to return it, but the fact that both articles now discuss what is essentially the same incident means one of the two must go, and with all do respect to theis article Able Archer 83 was here first. TomStar81 (Talk) 18:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Nothing would be gained from merging these two articles. Able Archer 83 was only part of the 1983 nuclear war scare. I believe it is correct to have larger sections split off from the main article into their own articles. Also there is a lot more to the 1983 nuclear war scare than just this one exercise. They deserve to be two separate articles. Gaia Octavia Agrippa Talk | Sign 19:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment Whatever the merits of the move, it does look as though Esemono left a note here on 12 April, and then waited more than long enough (until 1 May) before making the move that he/she had proposed. It was a bold move, perhaps, but it didn't go against consensus, and there had been an attempt to initiate discussion. Is this article on nobody's watchlist? --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 19:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I suspect the issue is that TomStar81 (talk · contribs) is tied up with school. At any rate, until this is sorted, we need to have an FA articlehistory somewhere, and for now, that's here, since 70% of the content was moved here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:25, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: Per "Moreover, in this form the article should not be designated featured, as only part of the original article was moved to this new title. Therefore, I propose moving this page back to Able Archer 83 to maintain the article's FA-status" and "one of the two must go, and with all due respect to this article, Able Archer 83 was here first" although not because of the "here first" bit, but coz "Able Archer 83" got FA, not "1983 nuclear war scare". Ryan4314 (talk) 19:48, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • No Able Archer 83 is a war game only. What got FA was a mislabeled article describing how close the world came to nuclear war NOT an article about one war game. Look at the article that got the FA what is about? The Able Archer war game OR a series of events that that INCLUDES the Able Archer war game?-- Esemono (talk) 00:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The editing history is at Able Archer 83. That history should end up wherever most of the article is (if it stays split). Anyone can restore the article to its full former state at Able Archer and leave this a redirect. Gimmetrow 21:00, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • There was nothing to rectify, and I wish you would stop moving things around. Gimmetrow 23:04, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Should all go back at Able Archer 83. Buckshot06 (talk) 22:28, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Able Archer was part of the 1983 war scare. I have now moved the article so that the history talk page etc has been moved with the new article -- Esemono (talk) 22:39, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
What you have done here is created a train wreck and a logistical quagmire for at least three wikiprojects and two editers. If, as you postulate, this was part of a large war scare, why did you create what is essentially another Able Archer 83 article under a different name? Have you even done any research into the other war scares? And if we do in fact need an article about all of the nuclear scares in 1983 MoS certified summary style should be used to add a paragraph or two about able archer 83 into the new article rather than have the new article copy ver batim 70% of what had been until today a Featured Article. More over, why wasn't this move brought up with the MILHIST project or the Cold War project, and why would you not request a move for a featured article? Did it even occur to you to go out and seek input from others before creating this train wreck? (talk) 22:45, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I've left Esemono several messages asking him to stop, and I've been trying to enlist someone to fix all of this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:50, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
The article history still exists, I did broach the subject before I did the split. -- Esemono (talk) 22:52, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm talking about {{articlehistory}}. We now have an article name that breaches MOS, questions about which article is the featured article (and which will now have to go to WP:FAR), and an articlehistory detailing a featured article missing somewhere in these moves. Please leave repair to someone who knows how to sort this out. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:59, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Pieces: from Gimmetrow, the original featured version, and Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Able Archer 83. Still haven't found the {{articlehistory}}, and not sure where the other article went, and article title uses incorrect upper case. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Found the ah, still need to get the article to a title that conforms with MoS, and fix WP:FA listing. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:30, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Found the rest of the original featured article, which was Able Archer 83, now at Able Archer 83 (war game). Still not sure if something needs to go to WP:FAR after this. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:38, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This article is on my watchlist, but the talk page edit in which Esemono suggested a move was hidden by a simultaneous archiving. I didn't notice that a split was on the table until it happened. It was poorly conceived and should be reversed. Melchoir (talk) 00:25, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
    I believe that this is the talk page edit to which you meant to refer, no? On 12 April. --jbmurray (talkcontribs) 00:30, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
    Right, thanks! Melchoir (talk) 00:39, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • My intention wasn't to "sneakily" hide my broaching the subject of splitting the article, I was just being efficient. And while you didn't see me open the discussion on the talk page you should have seen me add the "Split" tag on the article itself. -- Esemono (talk) 00:57, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Yes, I should have seen that edit (and you should have provided an edit summary). The problem we now have is that a consensus wasn't reached before the split. As long as we agree on that, we can forget the why. Melchoir (talk) 01:19, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not trying to blame anyone for not responding to this issue for almost a month. Most of the opposition to this Splitting of the article seems to be a knee jerk reaction to the move itself which for various reasons, of which I'm partly to blame, wasn't discussed. I just hope people take a step back and look at the logic of the article split. Able Archer was a war game only. The 1983 war scare was a series of events of which Able Archer was one part. Thus there should be one article for Able Archer and one article for the series of events that lead up to the 1983 war scare. -- Esemono (talk) 01:35, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I'd like to get a correct article name (which we don't have now, the title shouldn't be uppercase), so we can submit to WP:FAR (no need to submit the wrong article to FAR); this is not featured quality. I'm hoping Kirill and other MilHist folks will weigh in on the correct article name and the split, and make sure we have all the history pieces intact now. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:45, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The article states that "The threat of nuclear war abruptly ended with the conclusion of the Able Archer 83 exercise on November 11". It sounds to me as if the scare is exactly scoped to the exercise, both logically and temporally. Therefore, an encyclopedic article on the 1983 nuclear war scare is the same thing as an encyclopedic article on Able Archer 83. And of course such an article will cover background material whether or not it happened to take place in the calendar year 1983, such as Pershing II deployments, Operation RYAN, and PSYOPs. Melchoir (talk) 05:58, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • It ended with Able Archer because the nuclear war scare was many events that culminated,peaked and finished with the Able Archer. Able Archer was a war game that was part of the 1983 nuclear war scare. Reverting it back to Able Archer is like renaming the World War II article Japanese bombing of Nagasaki because World War II abruptly ended with the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- Esemono (talk) 07:41, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
    • If this article were at 1983 nuclear war scare (without caps), would it or wouldn't it include the September 1983 incident with Stanislav Petrov? Or is that a different war scare from 1983? Perhaps the article needs to be at Able Archer because simply calling it "1983 war scare" is ambiguous? Gimmetrow 07:52, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
      • Calling it Able Archer is ambiguous because what do you mean? Able Archer the war game only or Able Archer the war scare of which the Able Archer war game was a part of? The name isn't important as long as it isn't Able Archer as Able Archer was a just a war game that was part of many events that made up the 1983 nuclear war scare. Able Archer war scare, 1983 nuclear war scare are all good. -- Esemono (talk) 09:08, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
        • "1983 nuclear war scare" seems ambiguous to me. But if you accept a title like "Able Archer war scare", how is that substantially different from the title "Able Archer 83 war scare"? or "Able Archer 83"? Also the Followup and Reaction sections focus heavily on the military exercise. Gimmetrow 09:21, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
          • I'm fine with the title Able Archer 83 war scare as it tells the reader that this article is about the nuclear war scare not the war game that took place in 1983. But I think 1983 nuclear war scare is better as Able Archer was only part of the war scare. The Able Archer war game was part of many events that made up the nuclear war scare. The title the article was called before the split, Able Archer 83 is just the name of the war game, one event of many events that made up the 1983 nuclear war scare. If the article is called Able Archer 83 it confuses the reader who thinks that it is about the war game only not the Nuclear scare of which Able Archer was apart of. The Followup and Reaction sections focus heavily on the military exercise because it was part of the Nuclear War Scare. -- Esemono (talk) 09:41, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
The comparison to WWII is misplaced. "It ended with Able Archer because the nuclear war scare was many events that culminated,peaked and finished with the Able Archer." is an empty tautology. And the difference between an article "about" the war scare and "about" the military exercise is a technicality.
These dubious theoretical arguments don't justify the practical consequences. You've created a new article which still takes place half in February and October and has more to do with Soviet reactions than the mechanics of the exercise, which was ostensibly your goal. Much of the remainder, in the Reaction sections, is still centered around Able Archer, and not because it was "part of the Nuclear War Scare". Note that it's not describing reactions to KAL 007 or the SDI. It's talking about Able Archer.
All of the material was written to discuss Able Archer specifically, and it needs to stay together. This is not to say that you can't take a broader lens and write about large timespans on Wikipedia; see Cold War (1979-1985). But here, we once had a comprehensive article on Able Archer, and we should restore it. Melchoir (talk) 11:14, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • If that's the conclusion (that this title is fine), then it needs to go back, from 1983 Nuclear War Scare to 1983 nuclear war scare. I'm indifferent on the title, but whichever it is needs to conform to MOS. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:14, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, my conclusion is that it's pointless to have two articles on one topic. The split should be reverted and the FA "Able Archer 83" that existed two days ago should be restored. Melchoir (talk) 18:18, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Move. I don't see a good reason to split the article given the current content. The article wasn't that long, and did not need to split off a subarticle. If (and only if) someone expanded the details of the Able Archer exercise to include an hourly or finer timetable could I see it justified. Recombine the article. I see this split now involves *four* pages. Don't make any more pages or someone is likely to get indef blocked. Gimmetrow 22:40, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I did some cleanup in here, so I hope it's not lost. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:29, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
    • This is (currently) where the edit history can be found, so any changes here will be kept. I hope we won't have to preserve any changes from the text of Able Archer 83 (war game), though. Gimmetrow 03:12, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
      • OK, I won't do anything over there. I'm going to unwatch; I hope someone will ping me when it's settled, so we can see if FAR can be avoided, and make sure all the FA pieces are in the right place. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:25, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. While I will defer to the more experienced editors, I feel that the events should be included in one article. I am open to changing the title of the article to better reflect the large number of factors which contributed to the war scare, but I believe that since Able Archer 83 played a substantially larger role than any other factor, it should be in the title. As an aside, I have never seen a reference to a NATO Able Archer (83) exercise without reference to the nuclear war scare. (Not that this trumps wiki conventions)Natebjones (talk) 03:09, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support This article is on my watchlist, although I have been away for a while, so have not noticed this move until now. Excercise Able Archer is an extremely important event during the Cold War and I would not add it to the War Scare article by completely subsuming it. Able Archer was the key event for this scare and as such should be left alone as a separate article. The article on Able Archer was also featured, and should therefore be preserved as much as possible, particually so since it is an extremely notable one. Although Able Archer was part of the scare it was the culminating event, and the most likely to lead to a possible war, as the origional article noted. This makes it vital that the origional article is preserved in its previous format. Apologies if this sounds rather over the top, but I feel that this should have been left for a much longer time before being moved. --J.StuartClarke (talk) 01:24, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Er, I think that's a "support" !vote to move back to the previous state? Melchoir (talk) 01:59, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
      • Er, yes. Sorry... Got confused as to whether I was supporting the move back or opposing the origional move. Thanks. --J.StuartClarke (talk) 15:28, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Okay, that's plenty of time; I'm pulling the trigger. Melchoir (talk) 00:53, 7 May 2008 (UTC) ...done. Melchoir (talk) 02:06, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Section Break I[edit]

  • OK, so would everyone be happy with putting the pieces back together and having the article as it was originally, but named "Able Archer 83 nuclear war scare", with a redirect from Able Archer 83? Gimmetrow 02:38, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
    • Why add "nuclear war scare" to the title? The way I see it the "83" advertises the fact that this was a nuclear war scare because a generic article on able archer would discuss the general overview of the exercise, not the resulting nuclear war scare. Moreover, "Able Archer 83 nuclear war scare" fails the google test: 175,000 result for Able Archer 83 vs 59,400 for "Able Archer 83 nuclear war scare", and as noted at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), an article should be listed under the name that people are most likely going to type in to find it. How many people are going to type in "Able Archer 83 nuclear war scare"? My guess: not many. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:46, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
      • I agree with 75.31. If you include quotes the numbers on Google are 21,000 vs. 0. A long title provides little benefit to the reader, who is still going to have to read the intro section to find out what the topic is. And I think all sides on the split debate would probably agree on the following principle: If we do stay at one article, that article's scope should be kept wide. Editors should feel free to contribute interesting information about Able Archer 83 even if it doesn't strictly concern the war scare; adding "nuclear war scare" to the title might discourage such edits. Melchoir (talk) 04:17, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
        • Well I personally prefer the shorter name, but this was an attempt to solve Esemono's concern. Gimmetrow 06:34, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
          • Fair enough; obviously I can't speak for Esemono either. Melchoir (talk) 08:37, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
            • The article should just be called "Excercise Able Archer 83" since this is it's name. People looking for Able Archier 83 under NATO exercises would therefore be able to find it. It's not really a war game, since to most people that would imply actual people moving about a simulated battlefield, whereas Able Archer was entirely conducted on paper, and never actually imvolved any people outside command centres, other than occasional radio operators. --J.StuartClarke (talk) 15:32, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
              • Not sure what you mean there. The original FA, "Able Archer 83", never referred to Able Archer as a war game, instead calling it a "NATO exercise", so you don't have to worry about that. And unlike some of the "Exercise X" articles in Category:Military exercises and wargames, Able Archer 83 doesn't necessarily have the word as part of its name. If you run this search, the word "exercise" is never capitalized or taken into the quotation marks; it's used only as a description or epithet. On this search, you do see a few capitalized instances of "Exercise Able Archer", about 10-20% of hits. "Able Archer 83" without the "Exercise" is still the most common name. Melchoir (talk) 16:50, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Subsequent events[edit]

I notice that the "subsequent events" section has been lost. (diff) Here is its text in a stable version after the article went on the main page. Perhaps someone can provide references and restore the section?

  • Able Archer 83 was the last nuclear scare of the Cold War. By 1983 the United States, under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan, was in the middle of a massive arms build up, one which would last throughout the mid and later half of the 1980s. United States policies of the 1980s, such as the 600-ship Navy, drove home the US desire to continue opposition to the Soviet Union by any means necessary. In the Soviet Union, the declining health of then General Secretary Konstantin Chernenko led to the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. Gorbachev's policies and programs within the Soviet Union, intended to maintain and secure the union — notably glasnost and perestroika — set into motion the events that ultimately and unintentionally led to its dissolution in 1991.

Melchoir (talk) 01:40, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Are we not deleting the new redirects at 1983 nuclear war scare, 1983 Nuclear War Scare, Able Archer 83/Archive1 and Able Archer 83 (war game)? Gimmetrow 02:14, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I figure they're not hurting anyone. (Are they?) Melchoir (talk) 02:17, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Gimmetrow, I'll fix WP:FA. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:22, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
HA! You already did :-) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:23, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
(and ec here :-) Well, there was another "nuclear war scare" in 1983: see Stanislav Petrov, so if we're leaving that redirect this page should either mention that incident or have it in see also. The (war game) one doesn't matter to me. Gimmetrow 02:25, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, in that case, deleting would be safer. You want to take them to RfD? Melchoir (talk) 02:47, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
See also works for me. Gimmetrow 02:58, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Good enough to avoid FAR, so I'm unwatching again; hope TomStar81 gets back soon ! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:33, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

How about Reagan's (in)famous "We begin bombing in five minutes" remarks just a few months after Able Archer? The article gives the impression that Reagan became very concerned about a possible nuclear escalation while actually he was able to joke about it. I think that incident and the public outcry it caused would be important enough to be mentioned in the subsequent events section of this article here if anyone dares to sort out this thing and the apparent contradiction to a concerned Ronald Reagan after Able Archer. -- (talk) 07:46, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to remove date-autoformatting[edit]

Dear fellow contributors

MOSNUM no longer encourages date autoformatting, having evolved over the past year or so from the mandatory to the optional after much discussion there and elsewhere of the disadvantages of the system. Related to this, MOSNUM prescribes rules for the raw formatting, irrespective of whether a date is autoformatted or not). MOSLINK and CONTEXT are consistent with this.

There are at least six disadvantages in using date-autoformatting, which I've capped here:

Disadvantages of date-autoformatting

  • (1) In-house only
  • (a) It works only for the WP "elite".
  • (b) To our readers out there, it displays all-too-common inconsistencies in raw formatting in bright-blue underlined text, yet conceals them from WPians who are logged in and have chosen preferences.
  • (c) It causes visitors to query why dates are bright-blue and underlined.
  • (2) Avoids what are merely trivial differences
  • (a) It is trivial whether the order is day–month or month–day. It is more trivial than color/colour and realise/realize, yet our consistency-within-article policy on spelling (WP:ENGVAR) has worked very well. English-speakers readily recognise both date formats; all dates after our signatures are international, and no one objects.
  • (3) Colour-clutter: the bright-blue underlining of all dates
  • (a) It dilutes the impact of high-value links.
  • (b) It makes the text slightly harder to read.
  • (c) It doesn't improve the appearance of the page.
  • (4) Typos and misunderstood coding
  • (a) There's a disappointing error-rate in keying in the auto-function; not bracketing the year, and enclosing the whole date in one set of brackets, are examples.
  • (b) Once autoformatting is removed, mixtures of US and international formats are revealed in display mode, where they are much easier for WPians to pick up than in edit mode; so is the use of the wrong format in country-related articles.
  • (c) Many WPians don't understand date-autoformatting—in particular, how if differs from ordinary linking; often it's applied simply because it's part of the furniture.
  • (5) Edit-mode clutter
  • (a) It's more work to enter an autoformatted date, and it doesn't make the edit-mode text any easier to read for subsequent editors.
  • (6) Limited application
  • (a) It's incompatible with date ranges ("January 3–9, 1998", or "3–9 January 1998", and "February–April 2006") and slashed dates ("the night of May 21/22", or "... 21/22 May").
  • (b) By policy, we avoid date autoformatting in such places as quotations; the removal of autoformatting avoids this inconsistency.

Removal has generally been met with positive responses by editors. Does anyone object if I remove it from the main text in a few days on a trial basis? The original input formatting would be seen by all WPians, not just the huge number of visitors; it would be plain, unobtrusive text, which would give greater prominence to the high-value links. Tony (talk) 08:58, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

FA status[edit]

After trying recently to get another article to FA, I'm seeing some issues here around this article's current FA status:

  • Able Archer exercises took place regularly, not only in 1983 - what happened in the other years?
  • The coverage of the KAL 007 incident is missing key points, and its signifance is underplayed
  • Andropov's deteriorating health is mentioned only briefly in passing
  • The (hawkish) Republican US government is mentioned only indirectly via references to Reagan
  • No mention of record US military expenditure at the time
  • FleetEx '83, including associated violations of Soviet airspace by USN reconnaisance aircraft, was at the time the biggest naval exercise conducted in the Pacific.
  • Issues with referencing that have caused other articles I've worked on to fail GA. (e.g. Minor page formatting & lack of citations for controversial facts)

Socrates2008 (Talk) 11:27, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

    • Good points. I did a bunch of the original edits in 2005 (i believe) and have watched the page for a long time (but havent contributed much). I just finished my MA history thesis on Able Archer 83 and now will likely have some free time in the future. Hopefully I can work more to improve the article and incorporate the above suggestions. Natebjones (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:15, 20 May 2009 (UTC).

Scribble pad[edit]

  • Able Archer exercises took place regularly, not only in 1983 - what happened in the other years?
  • The coverage of the KAL 007 incident is missing key points, and its signifance is underplayed
    • Pull info from our article? 100+ citations available, could be used to cite info here.
  • Andropov's deteriorating health is mentioned only briefly in passing
  • The (hawkish) Republican US government is mentioned only indirectly via references to Reagan
  • No mention of record US military expenditure at the time
    • Gao reports may be able to fix this. Eyeball budgetary reports online if possible.
  • FleetEx '83, including associated violations of Soviet airspace by USN reconnaisance aircraft, was at the time the biggest naval exercise conducted in the Pacific.
    • naval history books?
  • Issues with referencing that have caused other articles I've worked on to fail GA. (e.g. Minor page formatting & lack of citations for controversial facts)

Mil Hist project assessment[edit]

I have just completed assessing this article for the Military History project. I have assessed it as a Start class article, although the only point it fell down on was referencing. The project currently requires all paragraphs to have in line citations for a B class assessment. As the article doesn't quite make it to B class yet, and the project doesn't use C class, unfortunately it must be rated as a Start. When you feel it is ready for a re-assessment, please list it at WP:MHA. Thanks. — AustralianRupert (talk) 05:45, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

BBC Radio announcement[edit]

Myself and a colleague in the UK were working at the time on or around the 8th November 1983 and we both remember a very formal radio announcement during the day to the effect that another announcement would be made sometime later that was of great importance. This was on BBC Radio 2 IIRC, and we both looked at each other and, to put it mildly, a chill went down my spine. It was fairly obviously something like an announcement for war, and my colleague thought the same. When the stated time for the announcement came there was no mention of it, and we realised then that there was something very strange going on. That initial statement about a forthcoming announcement was all there was, and it was never mentioned again, not even on the evening news. I have spoken to my colleague about it several times since and we both remember it, so it wasn't something imagined. We both thought at the time that it was probably World War III starting, and it wasn't a nice feeling I can tell you. Funny thing is, I don't think many other people even noticed it, or at least if they did, didn't put two-and-two together. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

New Evidence and documents on The 1983 War Scare[edit]

Just a heads up, the National Security Archive has posted new documents on the Able Archer 83 War Scare that add (and sometimes contradict) this page. I've done a couple of very minor additions and I'll try and update more when I have time, but I figured I'd leave the link for you guys if you beat me to the punch.

More new documents — Preceding unsigned comment added by Natebjones (talkcontribs) 16:20, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Natebjones (talk) 18:40, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

And the third segment of more new documents.

And a note: The dates in the very first sentence are wrong. I'll work to fix them (and cite to the newly released documents as the source) when I can. Natebjones (talk) 21:48, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

“Autumn Forge 83” as how the Soviet Leadership referred to the exercise?[edit]

The following looks like a pretty good Master's thesis:

“One Misstep Could Trigger a Great War”: Operation RYAN, Able Archer 83, and the 1983 War Scare
By Nathan Bennett Jones A thesis submitted to The Faculty of The Columbia College of Arts and Sciences of The George Washington University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for degree of Master of Arts May 17 2009

'1. It is important to note that the exercise was not known as “Able Archer 83” to Soviet intelligence as it was being conducted. Soviet analysts referred to it as “Autumn Forge 83,” the name for the larger, months-long, umbrella exercise in which Able Archer was the conclusion. “Able Archer 83” came into vogue with the first public exposé of the incident in a 16 October 1988 Sunday Telegraph article entitled “Brink of World War III: When the World Almost Went to War.” Hence, “Able Archer 83,” the term most used by the historical community was not the term most commonly used by actors as the event transpired. . . '

This is someone's thesis for a master's degree. And it looks pretty good. And on the thinking of having a variety of sources, this might be well worth including.
And we should probably also include the name “Autumn Forge 83” in our article. FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 21:39, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Geoerge Washington University
The National Security Archives
Edited by Nate Jones
Assisted by Lauren Harper
With Document Contributions from Svetlana Savranskaya

' . . . President Reagan zeroed in on the essence of this debate in March of 1984 when he asked his ambassador to the Soviet Union, Arthur Hartman, "Do you think Soviet leaders really fear us, or is all the huffing and puffing just part of their propaganda?" The evidence presented here, and in two forthcoming electronic briefing books in this series, suggests that the answer to the president's question was "both." . . . '

' . . . Before reviewing the documents, it is important to note that the NATO exercise was not known to Soviet intelligence as "Able Archer 83" at the time it was being conducted. Soviet analysts referred to it as "Autumn Forge 83," the name for the larger, months-long, series of NATO maneuvers, of which Able Archer was the conclusion.[4] Most American military and intelligence analysts would have known the exercise as "Reforger 83," which occurred during the final phase of Autumn Forge with a momentous "show of resolve" by air-lifting 19,000 troops and 1,500 tons of cargo from the United States to Europe to simulate a conventional war. Able Archer 83, sponsored by the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR) and conducted from 7 to 11 November 1983, simulated the transition from conventional to nuclear war. . . '

Both these sources, although including references, are from the same guy. As always, I'd like a variety of good sources. FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 16:03, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Practice attack on Moscow was anything but routine, New documents reveal that a mock U.S. nuclear strike in 1983 was more realistic than previously known, Center for Public Integrity, by Douglas Birch, May 24, 2013.

' . . . The Western maneuvers that autumn, called Autumn Forge, were depicted by the Pentagon as simply a large military exercise. . . '

' . . . The problem with this brinksmanship was that it increased the risk of a nuclear exchange due to miscalculation, according to Nate Jones, a Cold War historian with the National Security Archive who edited and published the collection of more than 50 documents, totaling more than 1,000 pages, in three installments beginning May 16 and ending Thursday.

'Ranging from presidential note cards to previously secret CIA reports, the documents describing Able Archer 83 offer fresh insight into a much studied but incompletely understood episode in the U.S.-Soviet rivalry. “This episode should be studied more because it shows that U.S. leaders might not have learned as much from the Cuban missile crisis [about avoiding accidental conflict] as they should have,” Jones said. . . '

' . . . The Soviets — in a characteristic mirror-image — feared a U.S.-initiated attack, and certainly made no secret about it at the time. One key document, held by the Library of Congress, describes how Andropov repeatedly warned that the U.S. was approaching the “red line” leading to nuclear war when he met with veteran U.S. diplomat Averell Harriman in June 1983.

'But President Reagan was unsure if the Soviets were really convinced that the U.S. was preparing a sneak attack on them, or were merely “huffing and puffing,” as Reagan asked his ambassador to the U.S.S.R. in 1984. . . '

Press report on AA83[edit]

LudicrousTripe (talk) 09:27, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

A personal experience[edit]

Refer to the "Scribble pad" paragraph 8,1 above: Able Archer exercises took place regularly, not only in 1983 - what happened in the other years ? From December 1973 through November 1977 I was posted to U.S. Army Element, HQ's Central Army Group NATO, (CENTAG) in Hammonds Barracks, Mannheim-Seckenheim. Alerts known as Able Archer occurred frequently. There were other alerts with different names, but I do not recall the designations.

From August 1981 through August 1987 I was posted to 6th Bn 10th FA and later 1st Bn 75th FA in Warner Barracks, Bamberg Germany with a concurrent special duty assignment at U.S. Army Fire Department Bamberg. I do not remember anything about the 1983 Able Archer incident. Tjlynnjr (talk) 02:22, 4 November 2013 (UTC) .

"Most powerful naval armada[edit]

Referring to FleetEx 83, the article says this collection of 40 ships with 23,000 crewmembers and 300 aircraft was arguably the most powerful naval armada ever assembled. (no source indicated). Compare with this statement from the D-day article: "The invasion fleet was drawn from eight different navies, comprising 6,939 vessels: 1,213 warships, 4,126 landing craft of various types, 736 ancillary craft, and 864 merchant vessels. There were 195,700 naval personnel involved." Unless the writers are implying that FleetEx 83 carried nuclear armaments, the statement as written is silly.Moioci (talk) 21:56, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

> "Unless the writers are implying that FleetEx 83 carried nuclear armaments"

To be fair, it could. Ships at that time did carry nuclear weapons routinely. For example, Royal Navy vessels during the falklands war in 1982 had WE177 nuclear depth charges aboard. (talk) 07:26, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Possible new information[edit]

The National Security Archive at The George Washington University has released a report on their website. It contains some newly released information, and may be of help to editors of this article. (talk) 18:49, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

NATO War Games Unwittingly Put Soviets and U.S. on ‘Hair Trigger’ in ’83, Analysis Suggests.Ameen Akbar (talk) 18:32, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

No Soviet response according to 2013 studies?[edit]

"In response, the Soviets readied their nuclear forces and placed air units in East Germany and Poland on alert.[7][8] The apparent threat of nuclear war ended with the conclusion of the exercise on November 11.[9][10][11] Some historians have since argued that Able Archer 83 was one of the times when the world has come closest to nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Others argue the only incident that brought the world closer to such a war was the Norwegian rocket incident of 1995.[12]'"

According to the German Wikipedia that's a myth. Newer studies (2013) show that there was no response and no real threat of a war. Please check the the German Wiki and their sources. Either this article or the other one is wrong. :) --StYxXx (talk) 02:13, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Media beat up[edit]

Who actually believes that the Soviet Union thought that a NATO threat was imminent? It seems from the article that only a handful of people - mostly American politicians - actually believe this. Soviet military and intelligence leaders seem to refute the alarmist conclusions. Shouldn't this be reflected in the article?Royalcourtier (talk) 22:47, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

The Americans[edit]

Did the "The Day After" episode actually mention Able Archer? HughesJohn (talk) 13:53, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

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