FAS | Nuke | Guide | USA | C3I |||| Index | Search |

The Football

The Football is a secure briefcase that contains the information needed to enable the President to authorize and initiate a nuclear weapons strike. It follows the President where ever he goes and is never more that a few steps from his side. A military officer carries the Football and undergoes the nation's most rigorous security background check, "Yankee White". The contents of the Football are believed to include:

The concept of the football came about in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Kennedy was concerned that some Soviet commander in Cuba might launch their missiles without authorization from Moscow. After the crisis, Kennedy ordered a review of the U.S. Nuclear Command and Control system. The result was the highly classified National Security Action Memorandum that created the Football.

Sources and Resources

FAS | Nuke | Guide | USA | C3I |||| Index | Search |

Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Originally created by John Pike
Updated January 15, 2004