This was all a new one on me. Perhaps devoted readers to the blog the same for them too?
Able Archer I had heard of.
RYaN I had heard of.
Proud Prophet I had never heard of.
In isolation, the Soviet response [RYaN] to Able Archer seems strange.
Within the context of Proud Prophet and Able Archer BOTH The Soviet response makes much more sense!
The Soviet response [RYaN] a fear of a pre-emptive nuclear strike by the United States atomic assets seen as a possible and not out of the question? From the standpoint of the Soviet this seems at least more than reasonable. Atomic attack and full scale thermonuclear war was imminent!
Proud Prophet [June 1983] a war game, a simulation, a "command post exercise" [CPX] at the national level with the National Command Authority actually participating, the results of the simulation frightening.
"In a major classified war game played in 1983, 'Proud Prophet,' in which the secretary of defense [SECDEF] played a part, a U.S. limited first-strike during a crisis led to a massive Soviet retaliation, a massive U.S. response, and more than 500 million dead."
"a June 1983 war game, codenamed Proud Prophet . . . This war game differed from earlier exercises in that . . . actual war-fighting plans were used."
"The result was a catastrophe that made all the wars of the past five hundred years pale in comparison. A half billion human beings were killed in the initial exchanges and at least that many more would have died from radiation and starvation. NATO was gone. So was a good part of Europe, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Major parts of the northern hemisphere would be uninhabitable for decades."
. . . .
"after Proud Prophet, there was no more over-the-top nuclear rhetoric coming out of the United States. Launch on warning, horizontal escalation, early use of nuclear weapons, tit-for-tat nuclear exchanges – these were banished, conceptually and rhetorically."
["The Proud Prophet war game has not been disclosed before. Phillip Karber promised Secretary Weinberger that he would not discuss any aspects of the simulation for twenty-five years, that is, until 2008."]
Able Archer [November 1983] the NATO level CPX again a simulation, a war game, an exercise an escalation of hostilities notionally the result of which was a nuclear war with devastating and far reaching consequences.
"Able Archer 83 was a ten-day NATO command post exercise [CPX] starting on November 2, 1983 that spanned Western Europe . . . Able Archer exercises simulated a period of conflict escalation, culminating in a coordinated nuclear release."
"This scale shows what DEFCON 1 would look like, implying that nuclear war is imminent
The 1983 exercise [Able Archer] incorporated a new, unique format of coded communication, radio silences, participation by heads of government, and a simulated DEFCON 1 nuclear alert."
The Soviet Union the command structure civilian and military making those pertinent observations that quite reasonably might allow them to infer that war with the United States/NATO was not only imminent but perhaps inevitably close at hand.
Soviet paranoia and concern during that period WAS NOT WITHOUT FOUNDATION! Again Able Archer by ITSELF not so significant but within the context of Proud Prophet Soviet reactions very reasonable!!