Nuclear Football

nuke case

The Nuclear Football (also called ‘The Button’) is a black briefcase, the contents of which are to be used by the President of the United States of America to authorize a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers, such as the White House Situation Room. It functions as a mobile hub in the strategic defense system. Russia and the United Kingdom have similar briefcases. Reputedly, there are four things in the Football: the ‘Black Book’ containing the retaliatory options, a book listing classified site locations, a manila folder with eight or ten pages stapled together giving a description of procedures for the Emergency Broadcast System, and a three-by-five inch card with authentication codes.

The ‘Black Book’ is 9 by 12 inches and has 75 loose-leaf pages printed in black and red. On the ‘vital’ page listing possible responses to a nuclear attack, retaliatory options appear in red and were labeled: ‘Rare, Medium or Well Done.’ The book with classified site locations was about the same size as the Black Book, and was black. It contained information on sites around the country where the president could be taken in an emergency.

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