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During a surprise nuclear attack drill, many United States Air Force Strategic Missile Wing controllers prove unwilling to turn the keys required to launch a missile strike. Such refusals convince John McKittrick and other NORAD systems engineers that missile launch control centers must be automated, without human intervention. Control is given to a NORAD supercomputer known as the WOPR (War Operation Plan Response, pronounced "whopper"), programmed to continuously run war simulations and learn over time.
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