The US Congress passed into law the Federal Civil Defense Act, in reaction to the first Soviet tests of nuclear weapons in 1949. Duck and Cover is perhaps the most memorable of a variety of civil defense efforts to raise awareness of nuclear attack. Ironically, such films may have assisted in increasing the possibility of nuclear war by making the possibility of such a conflict “thinkable” by the general public.
Time: Early War
Removed after event: No
One of two excellent Early War US events for the USSR, the other being Five Year Plan. As the USSR, you will frequently find yourself in a position where you want to simultaneously place influence but also drop DEFCON down to 2 to prevent an American battleground coup. For instance, you can headline De Gaulle Leads France, and then follow it up with Duck and Cover to take France while simultaneously dropping DEFCON down to 2. If you had instead used some other 3Ops card, the US would at least be able to respond by couping one of your battlegrounds.
Alternatively, it is sometimes more important for you to coup a non-battleground than a battleground, but you still don’t want to give the US a chance at one of your battlegrounds. For instance, a common Turn 3 AR6 play by the US is 1 influence into Colombia, reasoning that on the next turn, you must either coup Colombia (thereby allowing him to coup one of your battlegrounds) or coup a battleground (thereby allowing him access into Venezuela). Respond to this dastardly play by couping Colombia with Duck and Cover, thereby denying him both a coup and access to Venezuela. Similarly, a US player that has put all his Middle East eggs into the Lebanon basket can be couped out easily with Duck & Cover.
Finally, when DEFCON is high (generally only on Turn 1), the USSR can use Duck and Cover to drop DEFCON by two levels in one play. Timed correctly, this can effectively shut the US out of an opening coup altogether.
It goes without saying, though, that Duck and Cover is a serious liability for the USSR if DEFCON is already at 2. It is unplayable and one of the DEFCON suicide cards. Luckily, it is easy to play on the Space Race.
Generally played for operations, though later on the DEFCON drop and 3VPs makes for a strong headline by denying the USSR its coup and earning a sizable chunk of VPs to boot. It is slightly risky to headline in the Mid War, because the USSR can headline We Will Bury You (or, more rarely, Soviets Shoot Down KAL-007 in the Late War), dropping DEFCON to 2 and thus causing you to lose by thermonuclear war.