“Operation Dark Winter” A 2001 Andrews Air Force Base Exercise About a Major Outbreak in The United States

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From the 2001 Exercise:


Randy Larsen, Deputy National Security Advisor
Taiwan-China Tensions

• Angry rhetoric between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has reached an all time high.

Potential Origin of Outbreak: Slide 6

• Accidental or intentional release of virus
• Only two labs in world permitted to have virus – CDC and Vector in Russia
• Illicit diversion of virus plausible
• Once viral stocks in hand, no major technical problems to grow, disseminate virus

Borders Closed to US Trade, Travelers
• Many countries have closed their borders to persons traveling from the US unless they can show proof of recent smallpox vaccination. The possible economic impact
of lost international trade may reach billions of dollars.

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Food Shortages in Some Cities; Many Restaurants Close

• Due to slow downs in transportation and reluctance of drivers to make deliveries to areas with smallpox cases, some cities are beginning to experience shortages of milk,
bread and other staples. Panic buying has begun
 to occur in parts of Philadelphia.

Civil Liberties: (42 U.S.C. § 264, called the “Federal Quarantine Law”)
• Public health law is primarily a State concern.
• Judicial decisions indicate that forcible inoculation and quarantine of infected patients may be constitutional.

Link to PDF:


A staged News broadcast From 2001 shown during the exercise:

Now 20 years later…


h/t Hot Dog Harry (The Dude)

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