Call of Duty/Headscratchers

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Note to Tropers: Check the rest of the page before asking a question, as we've had several repeats. We only need the one topic about the Russians getting so much hardware across the Atlantic.

Call of Duty 4

SAS/Force Recon Ranks

  • Not exactly an expert at military ranks, but is there a reason why the SAS and Marine Force Recon ranks are filled with Privates and Corporals? Force Recon I could somewhat understand, but why would the SAS have privates and corporals as the primary fighting ranks? From what I read, in most special forces units, the common rank of the soldiers would be Sergeant, since you already have to be in the military to become special forces, and I wouldn't expect somebody in their first year in the military to already be in the special forces.
    • Depends on performance, really; if you come out of Selection with high enough marks, you can potentially sign up for the SAS. Theoretically, a Private could make it into the SAS, but he would have to be damn good. Marine Force Recon is somewhat different, as, even though they are the elite of the elite among Marines, they aren't picky on rank; a Marine can sign up for Force Recon straight out of Boot, though whether he makes it is a harder question, as Recon school is tough and Force Recon is very demanding.
    • Also, I believe that all soldiers admitted to the SAS are automatically demoted to the lowest rank, so that they would have to work back up.
    • The SAS is a separate regiment, so your rank there isn't necessarily the same as your rank in your "day" regiment. After all, it makes no sense to have a platoon made entirely of sergeants - who'd give the orders? However, the lowest rank is called "Trooper", not "Private". It's functionally the same thing but they like to point out the fact that they are definitely not grunts (a few other British regiments do this too).
    • It's been a while, but IIRC, your SAS squad is made up of a Captain, a Leftenant/Lieutenant (you), 1 or 2 enlisted men, and Gaz, who's too cool for a rank. That sounds about right for a small squad.
      • Soap is actually a Sergeant, not a lieutenant.
        • Which leads me to presume Gaz is the Lieutenant. (Also, you don't write it as "leftenant", you just pronounce it that way if you're not American.)
          • The SAS does not have lieutenants. The 2nd in command in an SAS team would be a Chief Warrant Officer, the highest Other Ranks rank a soldier can attain.

Extra SAS Troopers in "Hunted"

  • In the level "Hunted", there are five people in your team: Soap (the player), Captain Price, Nicolai, Gaz and a generic SAS trooper. In the next level ("Death from above"), the team on the ground consists of eight people. Where did the other three come from?
    • Weren't they Loyalist soldiers that joined up?
      • There was no sign of them at the end of "Hunted", and given that they were obviously deep in enemy territory (witness the sheer number of soldiers in the village during "Death from above"), it is exceedingly unlikely that loyalists would be nearby.
      • We are also assuming that Price's team was the only SAS team operating in the area.
      • I feel the need to mention that there were only six men in the helicopter at the end of "Blackout" (Soap, Gaz, Price, Nikolai and the two pilots), yet at the start of "Hunted" there are eight (Soap, Gaz, Price, Nikolai, the two pilots "Paulson" and another Red Shirt.).

Missing Loyalist Soldier

  • When the SAS takes Al-Asad's hideout, they are assisted by Loyalist forces. Yet when they defend the area against the counter-attack, the Loyalists are nowhere to be seen. Where did they go? If they were extracted, how come the SAS wasn't extracted at the same time?
    • This one is wankable; you don't see all of the SAS troops while fighting in the village. At least one group is off to the east when you start that mission in the house with the SAW covering that end. The single Loyalist trooper who helped the SAS earlier could have been with that group.
    • Alternatively, any Loyalists backing you up tried (and failed) to escape the village and were killed by the Ultranationalist forces encircling the village.


  • Why is it that your enemies in the SAS levels can repeatedly be heard to refer to "Amerikantsi"? Was it deliberate from the designer's side that the bad guys would automatically assume that you are Americans, or is it a relic of an earlier stage of development where you actually played as an American soldier?
    • Well, if someone was intervening in your civil war, wouldn't you assume they were American?
    • Probably justified, as I mentioned on the other page. Most of the Ultranationalista are probably a hodge podge of mercenaries, young fanatics, and conscripts, most of whom are relatively uneducated. At least some of them can probably tell the SAS are speaking English, but they probably can't identify British English as separate from American English, and since the US is the dominant partner in the alliance, they might have just assumed. A similar inversion occured during the historical Russian Civil War, when the American, British, Canadian, Indian, French, Belgian, Greek, Italian, etc. forces were all called "British" because London was the dominant force in the intervention
    • Actually, some of the enemy soldiers recognize your allies' accent and can be hear shouting "SAS". It can be pretty jarring the first time you hear it.

Russian Guy with Arabic Name

  • The design of the Russian bad guys seem a bit confusing. "Imran" is an Arabic name; if a person from Russia is named thus, it would imply that he belongs to a predominantly Muslim minority. Some of the foot soldiers wear shemags and beards that seem typical of Muslim militants. Yet the faction is called "Ultra-nationalist"?
    • What? Just because a Russian citizen might be of Arabic descent, doesn't necessarily mean he isn't going to be a die-hard Soviet fanboy. As for the shemags, they're guerillas who work closely with Arabic militants. They might have just picked up the idea from Al-Asad's troops; half the Russians also wear gasmasks too, for no apparent reason except they like them.
      • This Troper thinks Al-Asad's troops started to mingle with the Ultranationalists. After all, they were working together.
      • Thing is, even some of the soldiers in the Chernobyl section have such headgear. Not to mention that their uniforms and equipment are identical to what they use fifteen years later.
      • Zakhaev may have been getting some of his troops from Islamic portions of the former USSR (Central Asia, for instance), possibly as mercenaries.
      • If I recall, that level takes place in Azerbaijan, a country consisting mainly of Turks and Shi'ite Muslims. If they're local boys, it makes sense, and if the local boys go to Russia, it also makes sense.
      • Bear in mind it's not just Arabs that use the shemagah. A lot of traditional Arab clothing--including turbans and keffiyeh/shemagah's--is worn by NATO units in both Afghanistan and Iraq and were also worn in Desert Storm, WW 2 and many other wars taking place in desert environments. The Soviet GRU Spetznaz also wore traditional headgear in Afghanistan. You can even buy "military" shemegah's on the internet and from military surplus magazines. So, for all we know, they bought them online just to look cool.

G36 in Chernobyl?

    • Why are the Russian Ultranationalists carrying the G36 as one of their standard rifles? In 1996, no less? If memory serves, the G36 hadn't even been adopted by the Germans at that time, let alone a rebel faction of Russian thugs.
      • Zakhaev is an arms deal with connections. He probably had more than a few of them. And all logic about the mission (an assassination in the middle of a massive defensive force) indicates a good number of those we are fighting are the "elite guard" of the parties in the arms deal, who would be more likely to have a G36 than the average goon.
      • There's no evidence that the Chernobyl mission took place in 1996, except for Price's offhand comment that "even a decade later, the bad guys were still using it to get their hands on nuclear material." It could have been plus or minus a couple of years.
      • Price could have just rounded up (or down). And the game is implied to take place in the near-future (according to Wikipedia, at least), so it's really impossible to tie it down to a precise date. I always assumed it took place in 1992 (2007 take place 15 years, at least eight after Chernobyl.) but if the G36 only began production in 1996, then the mission must have taken place after 1996.
        • Modern Warfare 3 has another flashback of the attempted assassination of Zakahev and it states the date as 1996. A G36 would be possible in this year.
        • The G36 was prototyped in 1996, but didn't enter the Bundeswehr unti '97. Unfotunately, the G 36 C that is present in Pripyat wasn't introduced until 2001. So developer error, which isn't exactly unprecedented in these games.

British Troops, American Air Support

  • All air support is always American. With the sole exception of Mosin Two-Five (which is Russian), every aircraft in the game is piloted by an American. Given that most of the game is played as a British character, this makes little sense - at one point, a pair of Britons doing wet-work for the SAS are extracted by Americans!. It makes sense on some levels, where it's a joint operation, but that example REALLY irks me. Even Captain Price's superior seems to be American.
    • Truth in Television - America's military airlift command, and our special operations helicopter wing, spends a substantial amount of time giving rides to our allies. We not only own the best planes and helicopters, we own substantially more of them than everybody else on our side. Besides, riding in our stuff means we're paying the fuel & maintenance costs.
    • I don't think there's any point in the game where Price's superior is an American except for the final missions, which is a joint USMC-SAS operation anyway.
    • The RAF has also been going through a lot of cutbacks in the last decade, and they don't have airbases in the regions where Price and his team tend to operate. It's entirely natural that they would use American air transport as a result.
      • It is not like the US has airbases in Russia either, and I doubt they were close enough to the coast to operate from a carrier. Most likely, they would temporarily be stationed at a Russian loyalist airbase, but this does not explain why the SAS are carried around by US helicopters before the joint mission. Either they should be in RAF helicopters or they should be transported by the Russian loyalists.
      • The Americans do have airbases established close to Russia in Germany, and Turkey, and another close to Russia in Afghanistan. Also, it is established that American and British forces are working with the Loyalists, so they could very well have established air bases inside Russia to suport the Loyalists' war effort.
    • Wackily enough, in Blackout (the mission where you rescue Nikolai), the helicopter that comes to evac you has "Royal Air Force" written on the side, Loyalist pilots with American voices, and evidently the ability to materialize men inside, namely Paulsen and the other Red Shirt.


  • In the level "All ghillied up" Captain Price is still only a Lieutenant. So why on earth do the subtitles then say "Leftenant"? It makes no sense seeing that "Lieutenant" is still his rank but the British army pronounce it correctly as he states in the dialogue.
    • Because the subtitles are telling you what the character is saying, and Price is pronouncing it "leftenant," not "lieutenant."
    • The above answer could be right, except why don't they spell z as zed in the subtitles if they are spelling what the characters say?
      • Which is the British English pronunciation.
      • Friend tells me it's because the British slang for "bathroom" is Loo, and a tenant is someone who watches over something. I don't think anyone would want a high rank to sound similar to a bathroom I've been told.
        • "Friend" is wrong. Lieutenant is a French loan word ("lieu" - place, "tenant" - holder: the Lieutenant, the lowest comissioned rank, would hold a "place" in the absence of his superior), and in old French, "lieu" could be spelled "luef," which is the likely root of the British pronunciation. Spelling it "leftenant" was probably another Philospher's / Sorceror's Stone type of thing.

Anti-Air Weapons vs AC-130

  • In real life, the AC-130 is supposedly relatively vulnerable to anti-air defences owing to being much bigger and slower than your typical strike craft, and is therefore only deployed in circumstances where such defences are limited in extent and sophistication. Given that the helicopter the S.A.S. team were travelling in was shot down with an anti-air missile, why didn't anyone shoot at the gunship when it entered the region?
    • Probably because Soap and Co. took out the only anti-air missiles in the area when they captured the Stinger base in the barn.
    • The helicopter got shot down by a MANPADS stinger missile (probably), the AC-130 would probably be flying too high for stingers. It could probably be brought down by vehicular AA, but they probably didn't have those in the area.
    • Don't be so sure. An AC-130E was shot down in 1991 by a Strela-3 missile.

Troops Guarding the TV Station

  • What were all those soldiers doing defending a TV station that was broadcasting a tape of Al-Asad? I can understand having a handful there on to keep an eye on things, but there seemed to a freaking battalion hiding in various edit suites, just waiting for the Americans to attack. Some of them had rocket propelled grenades, for crying out loud. Did they really go to all that trouble just to distract half a dozen marines for a few minutes?
    • [1]. Recon had already confirmed Al-Asad was there visually before the Marines arrived to take him down. The soldiers there kept the Marines busy while Al-Asad escaped. And the troops present were, at most, a company-sized force, roughly equal to the Marines being deployed. A dozen Hueys, each carrying a single squad, adds up to a dozen infantry squads, which comes out to about three platoons, which results in a company-sized Marine force. The TV station itself held a roughly platoon-sized element (three dozen to forty infantrymen) which is reasonable for a structure of that size, especially if they're planning on ambushing American troops inside.
    • Also, the battle in the TV station is completely consistent with the tactics of jihadist insurgents and Iraqi feyadeen, who have been known to hurl company-sized elements in ambushing platoon-sized American forces with the intent of simply trying to inflict as many casualties as possible. Al-Asad's troops know the Marines' entire purpose in attacking that itty-bitty piece of crap town was that they were trying to get Al-Asad, so they know the TV station is going to be a target. Also, luring the Americans inside the TV station negates several critical advantages American troops have, including their firepower and fire support, again enabling them to kill more Americans. This was a common tactic used by Al-Queda-affiliated insurgents in Fallujah.
      • Come to think of it, the Al-Asad's entire strategy for this battle is reminiscent of Fallujah - suck US forces into urban warfare and hit them with greater numbers of his own infantry to offset their quality advantage, meanwhile, pulling out the valuable targets (himself), so that the Marines wind up taking all those casualties for nothing. The main difference is that Al-Asad does a better job of it than at Fallujah, largely because of the massive Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb at the end of the battle.

SAS vs Spetsnaz

  • Why is it that, in multiplayer, the SAS face off against the Spetsnaz? I thought the Russian government was on the same side as the Americans and British (or, at least, not trying to kill them)?
    • Because it's multiplayer. Multiplayer doesn't necessarily have to make sense. Halo comes to mind...
    • Britain and Russia are both miserable places with lousy weather, rampant alcoholism and boners for empires that don't exist any more. We're made for each other.
    • Some theorize a Hand Wave - its a training session between the two forces. Obviously, there's no explanation for the actual bleeding and dying that comes out of it... Hand Wave.
    • They're Ultra-nationalists. "Spetsnaz" is just the best term for them, because they're special forces who happen to speak Russian.
      • They could be former Spetsnaz troopers who hired out to the Ultra-Nationalists as mercenaries.
    • Similiar to how "OpFor" isn't like "al-Qaeda" in that it's not the proper name for the faction. It stands for Opposing Force, or the "other" team in military battle simulations.

Mile High Club

  • Okay, how did the SAS get into an airplane while it was still in the air?
    • Boarded it while it was still on the ground.
    • It's a level where you start directly under a nameless, faceless hostage's location in a double-decker airliner which has more terrorists than civilian passengers and escape from a bomb with a smiley face on it by jumping from the plane without any visible parachutes. If you're looking for common sense, you're looking in the wrong place. Recite your mantra and enjoy the level.

SAS Raid Op Planning in "Safehouse"

  • So, the SAS attack Al-Asad's hideout in "Safehouse". They come in stealthily and start out near a river, so they were propably infiltrating with canoes or kayaks which they disposed of before the player takes control. Okay. It is planned that they be exfiltrated with a helicopter, and a friendly forward air base seems to be within range, as an allied helicopter repeatedly gives fire support. Obviously, there are no anti-air missiles in position yet, as the Mi-28 can circle the area without problems. Yet, instead of arresting Al-Asad and being extracted by helicopter five minutes after, they have to execute him and wait for the chopper - longer than it takes the Ultranationalists to summon an entire ARMY with tanks, helicopters, mortars, lots of infantry and anti-air missiles. What the fuck? One single extraction helicopter is needed, that should be a matter of minutes, and if it takes longer, you could just send it on the way before the objective is fulfilled. Sounds like shitty planning to me.
    • From the dialogue in "Heat," it sounds like the SAS/Marines intended to extract immediately after capturing al-Asad, but the Ultranationalists brought in AA batteries that cut down on the air units' ability to get there. That's why there was a delay in the extraction.
      • But they got the Ultranationalists by surprise and wiped them out completely, then seized control of the entire village - could the Ultranationalists get new troops and anti-air missiles in within - literally - five minutes? Because that is what I'd expect as a realistic amount of time until the extraction chopper arrives, considering the speed at which the Mi-28 always shows up. Also, they find out about the anti-air positions only after they have already retreated to the barn and the Harriers have made their fly-by, before, they had thought the chopper could just as easily land at the barn. And even if the anti-air positions had been the problem all along (dialogue says no!), they could have just gotten Al-Asad down to the river and extracted from there, because the marines' helicopter doesn't seem to be in danger there. Which would have had the advantage of not having to fight a few hundred soldiers before extracting...And, of course, they would have had a living Al-Asad with them.
      • But they got the Ultranationalists by surprise and wiped them out completely, then seized control of the entire village - could the Ultranationalists get new troops and anti-air missiles in within - literally - five minutes? Exaggeration. It was more likely about twenty minutes; that mission takes a while, and there is some implied time between Price grabbing Al-Asad and the subsequent interrogation.
      • The simplest explanation is likely reflected in a line from the second game. "Bollocks! The skies are clear! Send the chopper now! ....Command's got their head up their arse. We're on our own." There was likely a serious command fuckup somewhere along the line that delayed extraction.
      • Alternately, air extraction could have been delayed by the simple fact that thirty thousand US Marines just got nuked. Having a quarter of the United States Marine Corps get wiped out in a single flash, along with all the materiel in the region, would cause a terrifyingly epic clusterfuck across every single United States military command. Everything that could fly would likely end up getting tapped very quickly. Price's team were able to get into the region and go after al-Asad within hours of the nuclear detonation, so while they're slogging through the mud and fighting Ultranationalists house to house, there's a massive clusterfuck of pure chaos running through the US military command that should be getting them their air extraction. By the time a helicopter and extraction team could be tapped, mobilized, and dispatched to rescue the SAS team, the Ultranationalists had already brought their chums over for tea and genocide.
    • The most likely answer is that the forces surrounding the village was the enemy's Quick Reaction Force. You're deep in enemy territory and there're probably thousands of soldiers ready to deploy. The AA is probably a combination of mobile launchers and shoulder-fired MANPADS (like the SA-8 Gecko, the SA-7 Grail or the SA-6 Gainful).

Griggs' Survival

  • How did Griggs survive the nuke?
    • See the above headscratcher regarding whether Vasquez's squad could have gotten out if they hadn't stopped to rescue Deadly. Given that Griggs is evacced very early in the assault, one can assume that his helicopter was out of the city very early, as there's little reason to keep Recon units in during a heavy assault (Jackson doesn't count because he's the Player Character). Again looking to the math above, we can see that it took at least 2 minutes just to rescue Deadly, and you can add to that about 30 seconds. At 196 MPH(3 miles per minutes, and then some), Griggs could have gotten about 7.5 miles further than Jackson's squad did and even they were right on the edge of the blast radius.
      • To add to the above point: Griggs is nowhere to be found by the beginning of "Shock and Awe", and there's at least five or so minutes between the start of that mission and the nuke going off; we can presume that he was extracted at the end of "War Pig", and add another 15 miles or so to his distance from the explosion.

"We Want Al-Asad Alive"

  • In "Safehouse", Captain Price says, "We want Al-Asad alive. He's no good to us dead." Okay. THEN, when Zakhaev calls Al-Asad on the phone, Price turns around and shoots Al-Asad with his M1911. Um...
    • They wanted Al-Asad alive so he could tell them who gave him the nuke, because they pretty much knew he was a pawn of someone else. Once Price got the name of the man who supplied the nuke, Price had no further use for a cowardly mass-murderer like him and put a bullet in him.

NATO Bombing the Nuclear Silo

  • Why didn't NATO just bomb the crap out of the captured nuclear facility, instead of putting the fate of a DAMN lot of people in the hands of a small spec ops team?
    • All indications are that the facility was deep inside Russian territory and was heavily-guarded by Ultranationalist forces. It's also implied that Loyalist forces are trying to get close enough to hit the facility as well, judging by how close Kamarov's men were at the end. Also, a small spec-ops team can get inside the perimeters of the facility and assault it without being detected (Bravo Six managed to make it all the way to the gates before Zakhaev launched), whereas a massive NATO strike mission would be spotted well before it reached the launch facility and triggered an immediate launch of all the nukes.
      • Also, remember. This was a facility designed to launch nuclear weapons at the West. It--like many other silos--was probably a hardened bunker designed to survive anything short of a very close nuclear strike, so it could retaliate in the event of nuclear attack. Most munitions would probably just cause surface damage.

Griggs' Actions in "Game Over"

  • So, in the final level, after the tanker explodes, all your squadmates are knocked down except Griggs... who then proceeds to drag you out from cover into the open, then stops and sits in the open to fire at the approaching troops, and naturally gets himself shot. What exactly was he trying to do?
    • It looked like he was trying to drag you to better cover; the vehicle he was pulling you away from was on fire, and it might suffer the classic COD issue with burning vehicles. He got you partway there, saw more badguys approaching, and had to drop you to pull out his SAW. Things got worse from there.

Modern Warfare 2

Toad and Archer

  • What exactly happens to Toad and Archer? The last you hear of them is "supposed" line, referring to them, from Shadow Company. They seemed to be able to handle their own, seeing as they covered the house without being spotted and such. Did they get shot and killed as well, or did they somehow escape, without mention anywhere else?
    • They were most likely killed. Shepherd's force had air superiority and had interdicted the area, on top of Makarov's nearby troops. Even if they got clear, they'd be disavowed like the rest of the 141 but would be unlikely to survive long without Nikolai's support.

Allen Just Shooting Makarov

  • One way that the war with Russia and America could have been avoided is if Allen had just killed Makarov's group during the mission. Although this would have been hard to do while they were scattered, he could have activated a grenade in the elevator, which would kill the entire group surely, along with himself. This would have been the best way to take out the entire group, but if he didn't want to kill himself, couldn't he have just waited in the elevator while they got out and then shoot all of them in the back? This would have allowed him to live, but it would have possibly let a few civilians die. Even though both of these methods require people to die, they're better than starting a war and letting millions, maybe even billions of people die. Why didn't anyone think of doing this?
    • Because killing Makarov and preventing a war with Russia and the US wasn't Allen's job. Allen's job was to infiltrate Makarov's organization and provide information on the group's activities. He doesn't have any reason to kill Makarov or his crew because those are not his orders. Not to mention that Allen has no way to know a war would result from what happened at the airport; he doesn't know that Makarov is going to kill him or that the Ultranationalists are going to use his corpse as an excuse to attack the US. You're ascribing knowledge to Allen that only the player would possess in hindsight.
      • I can accept the fact that Allen wouldn't have known it was going to start a war, but it was also an oppurtunity to take out the world's biggest terrorist leader. If you read some of the random newspaper clippings in some levels, they mention that Makarov bombed a lot of different targets in the time that he was active. Wouldn't that be a good reason to kill him? If he dies, the Russians no longer have their main military leader.
      • Again: it's not his job to take out Makarov. He's under orders to infiltrate the organization and gather information on the group. If he's that close to Makarov, do you honestly think he hasn't had other opportunities prior to the airport massacre to take Makarov out? His orders are to stay close to Makarov and gather information, not to move against him. Allen's not going to compromise his position by attacking Makarov.
      • Just another last thing to hit the nail on the head:If you shoot at makarovs squad once you are warned, and if you do it again you may be warned but ussually you will be marked as a traitor, and all the currently alive members of your squad will attack you and kill you.However most of them CAN die, but not Makarov.(Also if you go to 2nd warning, next shot WILL mark you as a traitor.
      • You have to remember, Shepard was planning all of this. The whole war thing, of course. If Allen killed the group, he still would have been blamed, and Russia would have become angry, once again, that an American killed their people. The war WAS going to start, one way or another.

Russian Military Objectives

  • What were the goals when the Russians attacked the United States? I mean, long term plan. Was it kill a ton of people and evacuate, collect tribute and Red Dawn.
    • There were three main objectives for the Russians when they invaded the US: Kill Americans, kill Americans, and also kill Americans. The Russians are being led by a collection of psychotic, extremist Ultranationalists who hate the US.
      • But in that case, wouldn't it have been better to just send in the Russian air force and bomb the crap out of everything, rather than risking the lives of hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers in an unlikly-to-suceed attempted invasion?
        • What Russian Air force? The Russians have about 300-400 planes total, where as the US has over 21,000 fighter planes alone. If they'd sent the air force, they would've been destroyed in minutes, even if the Russians had cracked the DSM.
        • Close but no cigar. While the number difference is pretty big, the Russian airforce has around a thousand aircraft, and a little more than five hundred fighters. The USAF has just a little more than 2000 fighters on the books, and those aren’t all in the US, never mind on the East Coast. The Russians would get thrown out eventually, but with the DSM hack there’s nothing that would stop them sending a couple dozen Tu-95s to carpet bomb some major cities and then call it a day. And that’s assuming that they don’t just nuke a few cities instead.
      • The Russians probably do have a stronger airforce in this timeline, but they likely don't have anywhere near as many planes as the USAF, USN, and USMC put together. Probably enough to achieve temporary local air superiority but not enough to flatten the landscape. It is implied by the events of Whisky Hotel that the US has managed to regain control of the skies over the East Coast.
    • Remember that as indicated in the third game, Makarov is covertly in charge of the Ultranationalist military. He'd likely be the one who gave the general order to massacre every American in sight, mostly because it rocks his rocks to see dead Americans.

Makarov's Plan and Circumstantial Evidence

  • A few things about Makarov's Xanatos-style False-Flag Operation during Modern Warfare 2's "No Russian" level really annoy me, mostly because of how unbelievable and circumstantial the evidence is that blames American troops for the airport massacre. Here we have Makarov and his gang, already infamous for their very anarchic and merciless fighting style, randomly killing innocent civilians in Zakhaev International Airport in a very strict and disciplined manner, completely unlike what Makarov would consider the whoop-it-up fighting style of, say, the Marine corps. Not only that, Private Allen's body is still presumably dressed in his undercover getup, and there would be no way to immediately distinguish him as a CIA agent at first glance aside from an ID check. Thirdly, it took four men, three of whom are world-renowned for their efficiency and almost god-like battle skills, to massacre one airport and several waves of counter-terror police. And Makarov expects the world to believe that one CIA agent was responsible for all this?! Additionally, were Americans really responsible for the atrocities at Zakhaev, killing civlians would make no sense since it is not the Russian government itself they are fighting, but Makarov.
    • Good point. My only theory is that the Russians were expecting something, because they launch a full scale invasion a day later. Leaving out the fact that most international incidents take a little while before war begins earnestly (if at all), no nation on earth has the capability of moving from "peace" to "Full scale war footing" in 24 hrs. I suspect the Russians were waiting for an excuse. I also wonder if this has something to do with the fact Zakhaev has somehow become a Russian national hero in the past 5 years (despite being an enemy of the Russian government).
    • See a few points below in the discussion about why America never tries to prove its innocence. The answer is exactly the same; it's because Russia is no longer an ally of the United States, and the Ultranationalists have, through martyring Imran Zakhaev, gained considerable, if not absolute, influence over the Russian government. Makarov doesn't expect anyone to believe one CIA agent was responsible for all of this, there are plenty of witnesses to the attack, they'll just assume the three who got away were other Americans. As far as Allen's cover goes, because Makarov can influence the government, he can easily have the red tape sidestepped to start playing the blame game as fast as possible without actually gathering any of the evidence; it's not like he's lying, the body is American, if anyone ever does try to call the government out on not conducting a proper investigation, the result will just be the government saying "Fine, here's your investigation. Oh look, we weren't lying, it's an American." As far as why the Russian people would believe Americans would do this; the Russian populace doesn't know that the Ultranationalists are bad people; it's Zakhaev International Airport, for crying out loud. This is why the intro spends so much time telling you that Zakhaev has been turned into a national hero. To the public, the Ultranationalists are a political party, and this was actually established back at the end of the first game, before they even came to power. To the public, the attack looks like what it would look like to Americans if a gang of Russians shot up an American airport as a statement against the Democratic party.
      • Another thing that bugs me is the fact that since at least one of your teammates does not have the Gameplay Ally Immortality in that mission, he can also die and be easily identified as an international terrorist. However, everyone's attention is focused on Allen. Though, maybe it's the simple fact that CIA assisted the terrorists in committing the massacre (which is 100% true, no matter how you look at it) that drove the Russians bonkers...
        • I'd actually be more willing to chuck that part up to writing snafu than the rest of it; I think they wanted to paint us a picture of how cold and pragmatic Makarov is in his work, which further cements him as the Big Bad before the reveal that he's actually not. While they were thinking of pulling that on us, it didn't occur to anyone in the writing room that this also happened to conflict with another part of the plot. For completeness' sake, my best shot at a handwave: the one who dies is a Loyalist by day who works undercover for the Ultranationalists on the political side of things, so his body lets the Ultranationalists vilify the extremely-Western-sympathetic loyalists as well.
      • Since the Ultranationalists effectively control the government and probably the media, it would be trivial for them to downplay the presence of other Russians in the massacre and play up the presence of an American. After all, since when, exactly, has a biased, extremist government ever played things straight? Any media spindoctor worth a tenth his paycheck could turn that into an anti-American fiasco.
        • It's implied that the whole invasion of the US was planned LONG before the airport shooting (likely from the moment Zakhaev got killed... possibly even after he got his left arm blown off by Price), since they were able to slip under the American radar (literally), which is implied to be from them cracking the ACS module (or so this troper read). The airport shooting was just the thing they needed to rally the Russian troops. As for the dead Russian, the public was probably told that he was working with the CIA as an inside man.
      • Imagine if, say, a KGB agent had been involved in 9/11. The fact that the rest of the men were middle-Eastern terrorists would have been immediately swept under the rug.
      • And, to end the matter, if the Ultranationalists were somehow too incompetent or lacked THAT much clout with the regime to do any of those aforementioned things, the airport was absolutely secure, and probably would have been for an hour of so. They could have simply carted off any casualties they took and left Allen to take the fall for it.
    • Modern Warfare 3 strongly implies that Makarov's covert influence and power over the Russian military and government is strong enough that he could push Ultranationalist Russia to war himself. He just needs a tipping point. In effect, he was supplying his own fulcrum to let him lever Russia into war; the only one who could stop him in MW3 is Vorshevsky, and we know what happened to him.

All-Out War

  • The absurdity of the invasion aside, how did the Russians ever expect to accomplish anything but sparking an all-out war that would likely lead to disaster for all parties involved?
    • That's exactly what they want. As has been said many times in the answers to these problems (it seems to be the one plot point everyone misses, for some reason), the Ultranationalists now exert heavy control over the Russian government. A disastrous war that brings America to ruin is their goal. That they don't care about any political or physical backlash is not at all out of character for them; unlike the Russian populace, we know that behind whatever face they put on to influence politics, they're all completely insane and genocidal.
      • When I think about, I think the reason for most of the Plot Hole Fridge Logic is because people expected to see MW2's story as something that feels like a realistic possibility. The problem is, of course, it obviously isn't (it doesn't help that there were claims that it would be...) - but when we bring in the how the precursory material from the last game affects this one, it manages to make a bit more sense. Modern Warfare 2 just hasn't made it clear that it has made a fictional universe that's veering off from real life's events; when compared to our own world, its story is just impossible; when we see its story as the followup to the last game's, its more justifiable. So, Modern Warfare 2's story works as a Modern Warfare sequel's story, just not as a sort of realistic fiction which it was expected to be.
    • MW2's story was rather obviously supposed to directly reference the War On Terror; group A launches a terrorist attack on country X. Group A has some ties to country Y. Country X invades country Y on this pretext. Of course, the result is entirely retarded when country Y is a nuclear-armed superpower rather than a dustbowl full of rusty AKs, hence the silly Hand Wave of the "ACS Module" which is apparently the on / off switch for the entire US nuclear arsenal, Navy and Air Force.
      • The ACS module only allowed the Russians to bypass the NORAD early warning systems. It wasn't an on/off switch for the entire Navy, Air Force and nuclear arsenal. Also, remember that while the US has access to nukes, so do the Russians, and both governments operate under a policy of second resort. If the US nukes Russia in retaliation for a land invasion, Russia responds in kind, and a fairly contained ground war on the East Coast becomes a substantial part of the planet turning into a parking lot.
        • So, where's the US Air Force during the invasion, and where's the Atlantic fleet? And regarding nukes: if you don't use them in response to a genocidal attack on your homeland, when are you going to use them? The entire reason there was no conventional war between the Soviet Union and NATO was that neither would dare launch a conventional attack due to the risk of nuclear escalation by the other. Either Russia is, for some reason, damn sure the US won't escalate (which, in real life, they almost certainly would if you started slaughtering civvies and trying to annex their capital) or the US nuclear arsenal vanished into a plot hole around the time the first nukes launched in MW1.
      • US Air Force: assraped in the initial wave of assaults on the East Coast. We don't exactly keep the entire Air Force on scramble, and a rapid blitz on the airfields could inflict heavy losses. Ditto for the Atlantic Fleet, which could also have been caught with its pants down. And again, mutually assured destruction. You do not need to resort to nukes when you can win conventionally. The Russian attack was pretty much doomed to failure from the start, so nuclear retaliation - especially when it will result in mutually assured destruction - was unnecessary.
        • Ah, so a hundred or so transport planes and some apparently transatlantic helicopters and jets manage to do that how, exactly? Remember, we go straight to the initial landings. If anything else is going on, it's never passed on to us. Same goes for the Navy. And you have a very strange idea how MAD works if you think slaughtering the population of the enemy capital wouldn't lead to an immediate nuclear reprisal. Hell, the nukes would be launched as soon as it was clear the US was being invaded, since an attack on DC would be assumed to be a Decapitation Strike.
      • And you have a very strange idea how MAD works if you think slaughtering the population of the enemy capital wouldn't lead to an immediate nuclear reprisal. Considering the assault on Washington is a limited, unsustainable ground operation that can be stopped and contained, it makes no sense to launch a nuclear reprisal that will end in the complete destruction of your entire country. The moment the nukes fly, it's game over on both sides, whereas if the nukes are kept in reserve, the US can recover. Sorry, I don't see the strategic rationale behind letting your entire country be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust because one city - even if it is the capital - gets assaulted. If the invasion was of a larger scale that actually threatened to destroy the US government and result in foreign occupation, yes, a nuclear reprisal would be warranted, but the Washington assault is too small-scale to warrant Armaggeddon. They can recover from the Russian invasion; they can't recover from a nuclear apocalypse.
        • With the ACS module cracked, the US military had no idea what was attacking them. You're evaluating with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight; for all anyone knew during the event, the Russians might have already launched nuclear weapons as part of their assault, might be shipping over nuclear IRBMs on hovercraft to establish a Cuba-like nuclear presence in the US, etc, etc, etc. With no way to tell what was attacking them, they wouldn't assume the threat was something they'd easily be able to repel, they'd assume the existence of the US itself was under threat.
          • And under either assumption, they were prepared to retaliate with a horrific amount of force by the end of the Whiskey Hotel missions. "Can D.C. be salvaged? Yes: send more supplies/personnel. No: sanitize the area."
      • The Fridge Brilliance entry on the main page actually brings up a pretty good justification for not using nukes. Since the US has already suffered thirty thousand casualties to nuclear fire only five years ago, it might make a civilian government hammered by the nuclear weapons taboo even more hesitant to use nukes than normal. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a disarmamant campaign underway to remove nukes, or, at least, one being pushed by lobbyists.
        • Or they'd be more willing to do it, since the enemy had already nuked American forces once and tried to launch missiles at America itself. The disarmament lobby would have trouble fighting plans to expand nuclear capability in such an instance.
        • But they didn't nuke US forces, they nuked their own country which was occupied by US forces. After radioactive fallout fill the middle-east, US relations with it's allies in region would be strained at best. If occupation wasn't sanctioned by the UN, it would cause massive diplomatic backlash. Add the loss of thirty thousand US soldiers, just because "some guy killed another guy in some desert country". Heads would roll in goverment.
        • What's the point of having a huge conventional millitary if you don't at least try and use them before you destroy the world in nuclear war? I assume that's what the Russians are thinking, otherwise they'd have just nuked the US. Push has finally come to shove and neither side has the guts to actually do it.
    • Nukes aside, are we supposed to believe that every US base and ship between Russia and the East Coast decided to collectively ignore their RADAR systems? Okay, the ones nearest to Russia might have been caught by surprise, but they didn't have time to send out a warning? The UK, France, Spain, Germany, and countless other NATO members, who are obligated by treaty to inform the US of something just like that, didn't think a massive aerial movement of Russian forces was anything to worry about? Okay, they're pissed at the US, but there's no way in hell that they would allow Russian military craft in their airspace. And in this age of information, are there no civilians? Is nobody in Europe blogging, tweeting, or otherwise informing the world of the masses of Russian forces moving overhead? Not even a YouTube video? What. The. Hell.
      • You need to remember that the Russian invasion occurs the next day after Makarov massacres Zakhaev International. It's entirely possible that the planes took off immediately after Allen's corpse was identified. As for why the invasion wasn't detected, remember that there's a giant zone that Europe can't see called the NORTH POLE! Seeing as Russia knocked out America's detection systems, all the Ruskies had to do was send their entire fleet of planes North and then swinging them back around to attack the East Coast. It's a relatively simple strategy that would only take several hours of flight time in order to completely bypass America's allies and hit the U.S.
      • And it is never said in-game that missions are so close, its more like that developers did not want to give dates so each mission is a marked as Day(insert number) for references. Remember they not only find out who Allan was but the 141st also has the ballistics report and managed to track a shell to a lott and a dealer. The ballistics for a shooting like that would take weeks or months to analyse and then make a report. Tracking illegal ammo lotts is also time consuming.
      • Possible handwave: NATO forces use the same ACS system as we do?
      • Launching an airborne invasion of a country halfway around the world is not something you can do in a day. Supplies and aircraft need to be prepped and moved, and troops need to be standing by for a significant amount of time due to the inherit ambiguity of the time for an invasion of that magnitude. Okay, they were planning it. Fine, but do you honestly expect us to believe that we heard nothing about it? We don't need to know the exact date, but the US and allies should at least be aware that something bad is about to happen. As for the North Pole thing, sound plan, but it isn't what happens. Cutscenes show that Russian forces go straight accross Europe and the Atlantic. And if they did bother to go across the pole, they would be spotted by Canada well before they could hope to reach Washington DC, which is more towards the middle on the East Coast. If anything, US forces should be fighting in Maine. Or IW could have gone the awesome route and made the story about liberating Canada.
      • Regarding how the Russians made it to the Coast undetected: In the Tom Clancy novel Red Storm Rising, the Russians disguise a naval vessel as a civilian ship. Given that there are so many freight ships by ocean and so little of it is checked, tt is possible that the Russians could have smuggled aircraft, B.T.R.s and troops on container ships.
        • Ok, then how are fully-loaded cargo planes taking off from a ship? We see the transport planes dropping paratroopers and BTRs at the start of Wolverines!
      • It's very possible that the Ultranationalists had been planning such an invasion for a while, and had a strike force ready and waiting to go the moment Makarov started his false flag operation. Remember, Makarov was an Ultranationalist as well, and most likely had a very close relationship with the leadership.
      • The Clancy-esque explanation makes sense, in a way. The loading screen for "Wolverines!" handwaves any water transport being undetected by saying SOSUS, which guards any Russians coming through the Norwegian Sea into the Atlantic, is offline.
    • In Modern Warfare 3, Vorchevsky seems to have realized that the war is really pointless and is pushing for peace after the Russians are pushed out of New York. I get the impression that he doesn't have as tight a control over the new Russia as he would like, and that he was forced to declare war by circumstance, popular demand, and maybe some serious prodding by an Ultranationalist/Makarov-controlled military. From what I gather, he was only able to move for peace when the Russian Navy was decimated and the ground forces were mauled and driven back, showing everyone back home how pointless and futile the war was in the first place. Of course, Vorchevsky doesn't seem to realize how tightly Makarov is actually controlling the military, which leads to the events of Modern Warfare 3 when Makarov grabs him.

Price Launching the Nuke

  • Why did Captain Price launch the nuke anyway? Sure, it destroyed most of the Russian air power over DC, but, then again, without supplies (which would be almost impossible for Russia), the DC invaders would have been destroyed within the week thanks to any number of assaults by American forces. Not to mention the fact the nuke would have knocked out most of the American satellites in the area, most of the power plants on the Eastern Seaboard, and would dump the entire East Coast of the United States into the dark ages for years to come.
    • Price had cracked during his time in the Gulag - even his superiors comment on how twisted his mind seems to be now. Chances are, he was thinking more "how do I stop this shit right now", rather than "how will I stop this later". A big theme of the game is good people doing terrible things for what they see as the greater good.
      • Also, in a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment, that EMP would have knocked out all the American helicopters and jets in the area too, including the hundreds of medevac copters flying out civilians.
    • He was also probably trying to prod the rest of the world to side with the United States, which, at the time, was very unpopular due to being framed for Makarov's terrorist attack. The United States could be played as the victim of yet another aggressive nuclear attack, and the Ultranationalists couldn't say anything unless they wanted to admit their nuclear security was compromised by a couple of commandos.
    • It's also shown in MW 3 that the EMP effect was a lot more localized; New York is still up and running, at the very least. The spreading blackout seen from space is more likely the effect of an overload on the electrical grid, like the real-life blackout that affected the Northeast and Canada in 2003; it's more of a domino effect, so once they get things re-routed, they can bring the rest of the grid back online.
      • Wait, isn't that just another version of General Shepherd's plan?
    • Furthermore, where is it implied that the Russians are having logistics problems? Sure, they used Javelins on the civilian evac site in "Of Their Own Accord," but other than that, it's implied that they're winning. It's made abundantly clear that Price's insistence on firing that nuke wasn't without merit. Besides, it seems odd to say it would be "impossible" for Russia to keep its troops on the Eastern seaboard supplied when they were able to launch a successful and devastating initial invasion in the first place.

Raptor and the VIP

  • Who was Raptor? And what was the deal with the dead VIP you find in the Safehouse?
    • It's implied Raptor was the president. You see a crashed helicopter near the diner which looks a lot like the helicopters the president flies around in.
      • I'm going to have to call bull on that. The crashed helicopter is an ordinary MH-53 "Pavelow" and dosen't carry any HMX-1 markings.
        • Invasion, remember? They might've had to bundle the President into whatever was nearby. And how many other white guys in suits can you think of who would rate a platoon or two's worth of protection?
          • The Vice President, Secretary of State or Defense, or Speaker of the House to name a few. All of which are pretty high up in the presidential line of succession which would probably get them a platoon of Army Rangers to help them get away from an untold number of pissed off Russians...
      • This Troper holds the theory that the dead HVI is someone high-up in the CIA, presumably the person who signed off on the Makarov mission. The level does take part in the Langley commuter belt (which is itself in the DC commuter belt), and the house is rather nice. Presumably, Shepherd gave Makarov the names of some people involved in the mission, making him do a lot of the dirty work, hence why you see one of Makarov's men outside the panic room.
      • That's the most likely interpretation. Remember, when looking at the events of the game, you have to look at everything that happens in the game from the perspective that Shepherd is working with Makarov and manipulating everyone. Shepherd is cleaning house, so to speak; hell, it's likely that Shepherd sent both Makarov's men there and ordered the Rangers to rescue him to make sure somebody got there to make sure the man wouldn't run off anywhere.
    • The dead VIP was most likely one of Shepherd's agents or someone else associated with Shepherd. He appeared to be in possession of intelligence data on Makarov, and the dead Russian soldier with the strange tattoos is Viktor, one of Makarov's cronies. We can probably assume that Makarov sent him to either shut up the agent or to recover whatever intelligence he had. If that's the case, then the Russian soldier you shoot downstairs is probably also one of Makarov's men, though the question remains as to whether or not there were any other of Makarov's men and if so, where they went. Foley does note that there are "no signs of forced entry" which indicates that perhaps Viktor and his men were there to meet with the agent and things went sour between them.
    • Here is a bit more Fridge Brilliance for you, kinda literally. The Russians kill the HVI, and then the Rangers show up. You remember that guy who was raiding the fridge? He was in all likelihood one of the members of the assassination team, who probably got in with the password and the handy American accents they showed off in No Russian. You or your allies kill him. Until that point, he is just another Russian soldier. You just killed the only person who knows who sent him and why. Shepard must have sent the Rangers there not to rescue the HVI, who he knew would likely already be dead, but to kill the Russians to cover up his involvement. Even if the mook only knew that Makarov was involved, the very fact that they could have known code-phrases to get a trained agent to lower his guard means that there was a traitor giving out information to Makarov. The smoking gun may not have been placed in Shepard's hands immediately, but the list of suspects would be awful thin. The assassins were a loose end, and we all know what Shepard does to loose ends.

EMP Disabling Russian Equipment

  • In Modern Warfare 2, after the nuke blows up over Washington, the EMP supposedly disables both Russian and US electronics. However, IIRC, all Soviet and Soviet-derived military machinery were built with minimum electronics and maximum shielding (unlike their American counterparts), designed specifically to withstand (reasonably distant) nuclear blasts, which was a pressing concern in the Cold War era. Also, don't get me started on shockwaves in space.
    • According to the main page, one theory is that they used stolen American equipment, which explains why they have Barrett rifles and Javelin missile launchers.
      • That doesn't explain how the EMP knocks out the Havocs and BMPs, which are Russian.
        • Havocs may have been blown down by the atmospheric shockwave (the nuke blew in the stratosphere, so it may have reached the lower layers but I'm no physicist, somebody please confirm), but the BMPs, at the very least, must have stayed operational.
          • Were there any BMPs actually near Whiskey Hotel? Even if they were still working, how could they get through the suddenly debris-choked streets? Even the player, on foot, was having trouble.
          • There was one BTR disabled in the streets outside, where the three soldiers are trying to get them out, but it looks like that vehicle was damaged in combat, not by the EMP.
            • This troper wants to call bull on that. He made a point of looking closely at the BMP after reading this post and didn't find a scratch on it. He is curious why it seemed like the crew inside needed help from the soldiers outside to exit, since he doesn't think hatches like that are electronic.
              • I think you're looking at that it the wrong way around. There's been a huge explosion, lots more explosions, and then dead silence. Their BTR doesn't want to move, they have no idea what's going on, their radio's probably fried. If you were the commander of that IFV, wouldn't you stay buttoned up until someone outside told you what the hell was going on?
        • And as regards the main question; the idea that Russian combat equipment is made from bailing wire and string to protect it from nukes is deeply absurd. The Havoc uses LCD cockpit displays, the whole battle management system is electronic, and a combustion engine tends to dislike it when the entire ignition system spontaneously stops functioning. Also, EMP hardening is designed to protect from reasonably distant detonations of battlefield tactical nuclear weapons, not a strategic weapon that produces an EMP intense enough to shut down the entire Eastern seaboard.
        • Especially not one that goes off right overhead...

CIA telling the Kremlin about Allen

  • Another one for Modern Warfare 2. Why didn't the CIA let the Goddamned Kremlin know that they had a mole? Yes, that would be idiotic, but even then - why couldn't the CIA claim that Allen was a rogue operative co-operating with Makarov, and why didn't Russia get more info on the American before they started invading? Yeah, the US had done something similar (cough, Gulf War II), but still.
    • Because the Ultranationalists have spent the past five years using Zakhaev as a martyr to turn Russia against the west; Russia is no longer an ally of the United States, they may not even have any diplomatic ties left (this is why the intro spends time showing the dramatic unveiling of a statue of Zakhaev in all his glory; we, as the viewer, know how awful the man was, the Russian populace as a whole think he was a saint gunned down by the West.) It's possible the Ultranationalists even have direct influence in the Russian government by that time.
      • Yup. It's even said that the Russian civilian population is whipped up into a massive frenzy over it, wanting 'a thousand Americans dead for each of their own'. Couple that kind of public strength with Ultranationalist manipulation and, well...
      • I have the game though I haven't played it yet, due to college, so I didn't see the intro. Regardless, even if the government is largely Ultranationalist by this point, there appear to be Loyalist holdouts.
      • On the wall of Makarov's safehouse in Loose Ends, there are newspaper clippings that show that almost the entirety of Russia is anti-West, the Ultranationalists are no longer just a small faction, but essentially the entire country.
      • They also show that Makarov is anti-Ultranationalist...he HATES the Ultranationalist government, and hates the US because they backed the loyalists and lost...
      • Or to be more specific, he hates Vorshevsky and his administration, not the least because they're actually the only thing stopping him from total takeover of the Russian military.

Shepherd's Actions

  • I felt that the campaign seemed to be missing some pieces here and there that could have made the plot clearer. Shepherd may have wanted, and helped to start, the US-Russian war, but the player isn't presented with much evidence pointing to this fact. Stranger, I have little idea why Shepherd betrays the 141 near the end of the game; they seem to have compatible goals (finding Makarov) until he decides to betray them. If he didn't betray them I don't see how they specifically would've been a threat to him, and if they had just recovered incriminating evidence from Makarov's estate, I'm not sure how killing them would've covered it up.
    • Well, here's my theory: Shepherd thought he was going to get Makarov either at the safehouse or in the scrapyard, tying up that loose end. Assuming that the hard drive had evidence that would incriminate him on it; anybody who's loyalty Shepherd wasn't sure of could not be allowed to know that said hard drive even existed; because someone might look into it and see his connection to Makarov. From what I've gathered, Shadow Company was more or less fanatically loyal to him, whereas TF-141 was a joint US-British Taskforce, presumably he felt Soap or Ghost may not be completely trustworthy, and especially after Price's stunt with the nuke, he couldn't trust TF-141. As for killing Ghost and Roach, they knew about the hard drive. Gunning them down could probobly be explained away as the work of Makarov's cronies, covering up their deaths; and, presumably, the only person who knows about the drive now is Shepherd.]] But yeah, I thought they could be a bit clearer on this.
    • Well, Soap and Price contacted Ghost and Roach literally seconds after Shepherd shot them, warning them that he can not be trusted. If Shepherd wasn't there to shoot them and they learned the truth, they could have fled with the hard drive or even made the details public.

Allen Infiltrating Makarov's Group

  • How did Pvt. Allen get into Makarov's group so quickly and get into a high enough position to tag along with Makarov himself on his little airport massacre? Allen gets recruited by Shepherd during Day 1, and the Airport attack takes place on Day 3. So you mean to tell me that it took them TWO DAYS to gather up a credible background for Allen, get him into contact with Makarov, get him accepted into his group with whatever initiation that entails and be given his first mission, which, conveniently enough, is with Makarov himself. Sure, you can say they already had a background filled out and just needed to fill in the blanks with Allen, but there's still the two other steps that surely couldn't have taken just a day or two....
    • From the Modern Warfare page Foreshadowing example: "A creepy bit of Fridge Brilliance sets in when one re-plays "No Russian." Shepherd introduces Makarov by noting repeatedly that he's in it for the money. And then he says "You have no idea what it cost to put you next to him." The Player assumes this means dead informants or whatnot, but Shepherd could just as easily be referring to the literal financial cost and/or the cost to his own soul." If we assume it is actual foreshadowing then Shepherd had set this up with Makarov beforehand.
    • Well, in that case, how the hell is Allen going into this without questioning anything? First, I don't think Army Rangers make the best people to go undercover in terrorist organizations, and I think Allen himself would think that as well. Seriously, wouldn't he find it kinda odd that Shepherd picks a buck private, whose apparent sole qualification for this mission is that he just happened to be a good shot, to go inside a very dangerous organization and get close to it's leader? Hell, they don't even ask if he speaks Russian. Also, if it's true that Shepherd managed to speed him through by paying Makarov on the downlow as mentioned above, wouldn't Allen, I dunno, think it's strange that he just managed to get right into this little organization without much of a fuss? Surely there had to be some alarm bells saying that something wasn't right about this ringing in his head before Makarov blew his brains out at the end of "No Russian."
      • Allen may have been carefully chosen for this: they may already know he speaks Russian, that he's unusually likely to trust higher authority, and so on. If he's been vetted in advance as a guy who won't ask awkward questions and already has skills or experience that make him a plausible candidate (say, experience working with Loyalist Russian forces during the civil war), this particular Just Bugs Me becomes less of a big deal.
      • Allen may have been a low-ranking enlisted man, but he was part of an elite military unit. Whether or not those alarm bells were going off in his head, he'd follow his orders. We don't get much characterization for Allen, for all we know, Shepherd was touring his units for people who could fake a native Russian accent and Allen was the best shooter of that group. Though, admittedly, your main point is right, the timeline is too compressed. If nothing else, Allen's tattoos wouldn't even be healed yet. The 75th Rangers go from combat in Afghanistan to being home in Virginia in only a few days. TF141 has missions in Russia, then Brazil, then back to Russia, then they split up and have joint missions in Russia and Afghanistan, and then finish wherever Hotel Bravo is in the span of a week.
        • What makes you say the operations take place in one week? For all we know, Day One takes place in August, Day 2 is in mid-December, Day 3 and 4 take place around March, and so on. There is nothing stating that the days are consecutive.
          • Hell, even if this wasn't the intent, this handwave is perfect.
            • This mentality fixes a LOT. Day 1 and 2 are separated by a few weeks, Day 2 and 3 by a few months, Day 3 and 4 by a few days, Day 4 and 5 by a few more days, Day 5 and 6 by potentially months (thus justifying how they dug in so quickly in DC - they didn't, it took them weeks), and 6 and 7 by a couple of days.
              • Or it could be days that they have missions on, like day 1= 1st mission, day 2= 2nd mission, etc.
                • Then why label them as "days" with sequential numbers rather than just calling them "Mission 1," "Mission 2" and so on, providing the actual dates they happen on underneath? With no other information to go on, the natural conclusion of "day X" where X is a rising sequential number is that the missions represent sequential days. Sure, it's stupid, but then, so is the idea of Russia invading America.
            • What makes you say the operations take place in one week? IW labeled the missions Day 1, 2, 3, etc, implying they are consecutive days. They should have dropped that.
            • "The Only Easy Day...Was Yesterday"-"Endgame" appear to be consecutive. Before Loose Ends, Price says "Strange. I coulda sworn we ended this war yesterday" (I.E. when he launched the nuke). The time gap between "The Enemy of My Enemy" and "Just Like Old Times/Endgame" also doesn't appear to be longer than a day, as how long could it possibly take them to get from point A to point B in Afghanistan?
    • In hindsight, it's pretty glaringly obvious that Shepherd and Makarov set everything up together. It's way too convienient that Allen ended up a member of Makarov's team that quickly, and the only reason that Shepherd would have betrayed TF141 is to make sure no one knew about the intel they'd recovered from Makarov's safehouse - which doubtlessly would have implicated Shepherd. Shepherd probably also interfered with the US early-warning systems; I don't think Soap and Roach recovering the ACS module after the Russians cracked it was bad luck as much as malicious design. And the biggest selling point that Makarov and Shepherd were working together, the thing that absolutely cinches it, is that Makarov knew about Hotel Bravo. He knew about Shepherd's secret, hidden base in Afghanistan. That's very strong evidence that Shepherd was in cahoots with Makarov the whole time.
      • Nope, all of that is circumstantial. Allen is sent in with so little set-up because Shepherd wants his cover to be blown, he's not using an internal co-conspirator, he's being sloppy on purpose. The intel from the safehouse doesn't need to say "Shepherd + Makarov = :D," it can implicate Shepherd through much more obtuse means; if we assume Shepherd and Makarov aren't working together, it doesn't mean we also must assume that Shepherd's machinations didn't leave a followable paper trail, and considering the scope and who he would need to be manipulating, it's a given that all of Makarov's operational data would, eventually, set someone analyzing it on the path to Shepherd's name somewhere. As for Makarov knowing about Site Hotel Bravo, Makarov doesn't know about it, the Ultranationalists have intel on it (Soap even calls it as such). Considering that the Ultranationalists are the Russian government and the Russian government is invading the United States, it's not at all a stretch to assume that their intel operations would come across Shepherd, a high-profile officer. All of this is just the other side of the coin for how the original points aren't set in stone, but the kicker is, it is infinitely more ridiculous to assume that Makarov, who we know is fighting for a Russian-dominated world even if it means getting a few Russians killed (for chrissakes, he says "God is with us" when No Russian opens) to willingly participate in a plan that involves a Russian invasion of the United States turned back to galvanize the United States against Russia. Did Shepherd just tell him "Eh, you can have Texas" or something? The only way this is true is if Makarov somehow doesn't know who Shepherd actually is right up until Shadow Company attacks him.
      • We don't really know what Makarov wants. He clearly has no love for the Russian government, even if it is Ultranationalist. In "No Russian," he and the other terrorists seem most excited to shoot the FSB agents that arrive in the middle of the mission. If Makarov is truly mercenary, as Shepherd claims, then Makarov just has to take a giant sack of money and disappear in the confusion of a world war. He could just be spouting that hardline stuff to his troops in order to motivate them. Also fueling the speculation that they are in cahoots is that Makarov sets an ambush for you outside his estate along the exact route where you approach (note that there are no mines along the way you use to escape).
        • Sorry, don't buy it. This universe has fairly solidly established that Zakhaev = Lenin and Makarov = Stalin, and while Stalin was a roguish bank robber, he wasn't exactly just in it for the money or even the power by a long shot. And who is to say that Makarov and Shepherd wouldn't work together because they realized their end games are mutually exclusive? The simple fact of the matter is that such gambles have happened before (see WWII West + USSR), and who is to say that both Makarov and Shepherd don't both know that they are using each other for their own ends and plan to backstab each other when the time comes?
        • I dispute your contention that Zakhaev = Lenin and Makaron = Stalin. Makarov has no role in the Ultranationalist government at present. He led Zakhaev's terrorist wing, and was kicked out of the party following the events of the first game (remember the "leadership struggle" the newscaster mentioned? It's further clarified by newspaper clippings in the level "Loose Ends"). He now hates the current Ultranationalist government, believing they've abandoned Zakhaev's ideals. If anything, he's some sort of bizarre combination of Trotsky and late-stage Hitler. They both want a massive, cataclysmic war between the U.S. and the Russians, Shepherd, so that America will be patriotic again, and Makarov, to cause as much damage as possible to the two places he hates most. The war was what they both wanted, and they both knew that they'd turn on each other (boneyard showdown). Also of note is the fact that Makarov knows where Shepherd's super-secret base, staffed by his "more secret than his top secret task force PMC", is. That's usually not something you tell your enemies.

The Nuclear Missile

  • Everything about the nuclear missile bugs me
    • 1) How the hell did Soap launch it properly? He had to calculate a precise trajectory, fuel the rocket and time the explosion. One tiny slip up in the differential calculus and the rocket does one or more of the following things, blows up right there, falls into the Atlantic, destroys Washington DC, blows up Arizona or somewhere else, or just plain burns up in the atmosphere. Ok, assuming Soap is quite literally a rocket scientist, or more likely shoved a gun the face of someone who was...
      • Price launched the missile, not Soap. But to answer your question, he didn't have to re-program anything. It was a Russian missile boomer, so it would have already had it's missiles pointed at the United States. All he needed to do was launch the one marked "Washington D.C." It doesn't answer your question #2, I admit.
    • 2) How the hell did Price get the nuclear missile launch codes? Seriously, doesn't he need alternate universe Putin's go ahead to launch Soviet nukes? If one SAS soldier can launch a nuke anytime he damn well pleases, then the entire Modern Warfare 1 was a waste. The bad guys could have just waltzed over to their nearest Soviet sub pen.
    • Don't Russian subs only need the launch keys, or am I confusing this with how the Brits protected their nukes with nothing but bicycle locks until recently because it was insulting to the officers in charge of them to say they were untrustworthy enough for better security to be necessary? In any case, the way Price has been acting, the idea that he forced the sub's officers to do it at gun and torture-point makes perfect sense.
    • An angry, screaming British guy stormed into the sub, waved a gun around, and ordered them to fire a nuclear missile at the country they're currently invading and having a massive hate-on for. I'm betting the general response of the crew was to first cower, then realize what they were being ordered to do, look at Price funny, and then shrug and do what they'd been prepared and ready to do anyway.
    • Except that they probably were going to actually nuke the surface. Price could have forced the crew to detonate it in the atmosphere instead.
    • Remember, 20 years before the events in Modern Warfare 2, Price is already considered skilled enough to be sent to assassinate an enemy leader in a radioactive ghost town filled with mercenaries with helicopter gunships and APCs with exactly one guy to support/supervise him.
    • 3)How is the astronaut able to see the missile? I haven't done the math, but to me it looks like the missile is following the curvature of the earth. It's visible from hundreds of kilometers away making the rocket trail several dozen kilometers long at least, which brings me to the final part of my rant...
      • Technically, the rocket trail shouldn't be there at all since by the time it got close to Washington the booster rocket for the missile should have already fallen off.
    • 4)WHY IN GOD'S NAME DOES THE ISS BLOW UP THAT WAY?!? The ISS is in a vacuum, yet it disintegrates like it was getting picked up by a Kansas tornado. I would like to state again that it is in SPACE, there's nothing for the shock wave to propagate through, nor is there enough material expelled to break apart the ISS like that, we should at least see chunks of nuclear missile casing hitting, but there is simply nothing! In fact, we see atmostphere like distortion before the devastation. Did Soap fire the Ruskie's prototype graviton bomb? Space Does Not Work That Way!
      • I actually talked to a guy who is bomb at physics and who currently attends MIT. He said the scene was accurate because the heat from the nuke could break apart the ISS. The explosion comes from a flammable material that the ISS uses in great quantities (Oxygen).
        • Except that oxygen doesn't burn. It oxidizes.
        • Except for the fact that burning is oxidization, is burning, is oxidization...
        • I think your 'guy' is off-base considering what we actually see; there aren't a series of discrete explosions that break the ISS apart, the entire station disintegrates with all the wreckage being propelled directly away from the blast, as if it was hit by a pressure wave.
        • In order for the nuke to have seriously damaged the ISS, it would have to detonate within a kilometre of the station at most, beyond that, the gamma radiation (the only effect component that propagates through space) would not be intense enough to cause enough thermal shock to damage the station at all. Never mind the fact that it clearly detonates thousands of miles away.
      • Note that originally, the game was intended to have a level with US-Russian fighting aboard the ISS, which goes a long way to explaining all of this AND gives credence to the idea that the Russian invasion was over the period of several weeks; enough time for the situation to degrade aboard the ISS. It was (or so it goes) supposed to have been destroyed from the inside because of the fighting, but when the level was scrapped for being "too sci-fi", it was switched to a single sequence where the nuke destroys the ISS. So it's less of a single bad decision and more a rather unnecessary level being cut and some content from it being salvaged.

Price in the Gulag

  • How exactly did Captain Price get locked up in a Gulag? Also, I don't get why Makarov hates Price so much; sure, Price shot Zakhaev's arm off, but Soap is the one who actually put him in the ground.
    • Ultranationalist sympathizers/infiltrators could have diverted him, especially if he's reported dead. Note that the guards at the prison are Ultranationalist troops, and not Russian regulars. Also, Makarov may not have known that Soap was the one who killed Zakhaev; the mission was under Price's command, after all.
      • That last part is especially true. The only person who knows who actually killed Zakhaev is Soap himself. Kamarov's men arrived too late to witness the last shots, and Price had passed out. Everyone else was dead. Naturally, Makarov would assume that the ultimate badass of all badasses, Captain Price, killed Zakhaev instead of the Red Shirt Soap.
      • It's also possible that Price was involved in some missions "off screen" that really screwed Makarov over personally. He had to be doing something in the time between Chernobyl and the events of Modern Warfare 1, after all.
    • According to some of Makarov's wall clippings, he appears to have blamed all the members of Bravo-Six for Zakhaev's death, including Gaz, Griggs, Soap, and Price, the latter of which were the only survivors out of the entire operation. Price was probably easiest to snatch after he and Soap were seperated.
    • Operation Kingfish gives a Broad Strokes explanation of what happened. Essentially, Price and the 141 went after Makarov, but during the mission to take him out, Makarov's men laid an ambush and Price was captured during the attempt to fight their way out. Since Modern Warfare 3 shows that Makarov was in control of much of the Russian military, we can presume Makarov had Price locked up in the gulag and tortured regularly for his own amusement.
      • If Kingfish is canon, then Price's 1911 becomes a Plot Hole.
      • As I said before, Broad Strokes. Kingfish only works as a general adaptation that shows what happened, not as a precise retelling of those events.
      • You can't Broad Stroke your way around it. Either Price rejoined the team or he didn't. If he did, then Soap had no reason to hold onto his 1911 and the whole Prisoner #627 subplot makes no sense.
      • ....yes, you can. That's the whole point behind Broad Strokes in the first place. Broad Strokes means that the details aren't really important, it means that what generally happened was important: Mission to take out Makarov, Price got left behind. Somewhere in there, Soap ended up in possession of Price's 1911. Bam, all plot holes reconciled.
      • At the finale of Co D 4, Price tosses you his 1911 and then appears to "die" when the Russian performing CPR on him starts pounding his chest. When Prisoner #627 is mentioned, Soap and TF141 have absolutely no idea who he is - because they think Price is dead. That's what gives the scene in the Gulag its dramatic weight, because it ties directly back to the finale of 4. If Kingfish happened, then Price inexplicably didn't take back his sidearm (even though you see him using it as he is overrun [dead link]), and TF141 has every reason to conclude or at least suspect that #627 is Price. It's also not mentioned in Soap's Journal (see Page 31 at the COD Wiki, direct link doesn't work). It's a well made fan video, but it just doesn't work in the canon.
      • Which is, again, why I said it only works as a Broad Strokes part of the canon. Assume that the general events of Kingfish happen, but that the details are different, and it is much easier to reconcile. As for the issue with #627, why would they have any reason to believe he's Price? Why would they even believe Price is alive after they retreated during Kingfish, as opposed to simply killed in the field? They have no other information on 627 beyond the number, so surprise at him being Price would be understandable; I would consider it stranger if they did think it was Price as opposed to some nameless Russian who Makarov has a hate-on for. More importantly, Kingfish explains the much larger plot question of how Price ended up in the gulag in the first place. If Kingfish is accepted as the general explanation for what happened, with relatively minor details like Price's 1911 glossed over, it can work within canon.
      • Again, there is absolutely no mention of Price in Soap's Journal between the finale of CoD4 and breaking him out of the gulag in MW2. You'd think such an important operation would have garnered some mention, but, hell, the journal indicates Soap doesn't see any real action at all between the two games. If Kingfish really happened, it's looking like Soap wouldn't have been involved.
        Unrelatedly, the sidearm Price has in the linked image above looks more like a SIG Sauer pistol to me. So, again assuming Kingfish happened, that's the explanation for why Soap still had Price's 1911 - he never gave it back. For whatever reason.

Why Attack Over the Atlantic?

  • Of all the places to invade America through, why cross the Atlantic Ocean? During WWII, America needed to do some serious "Island Hopping" throughout the Pacific to keep up a stable supply line as they got closer to Japan and further from home. How are the Russians able to feasibly transport a full-scale invasion force...including heavy land vehicles like BTRs and short range aircraft like helicopters into America's heartland? Especially since the Russian Navy in real life has only one aircraft carrier to speak of? Easy Logistics at its finest.
    • Russia only has one aircraft carrier now. That doesn't mean they won't have more in the future. With the Ultranationalists in charge and gunning to attack the US, it's reasonable to expect they'd engage in some serious military build-up.
      • It takes years to build an aircraft carrier: HMS Queen Elizabeth was laid down in 2009 and is expected to be completed in 2014-16 (double that, when adjusted for Murphy's Law). The ultranationalists were in control of Russia for five years, tops, and before that, the country was in the state of permanent civil war. It just doesn't add up.
      • Eh, HMS Queen Elizibeth is being constructed in a time of relative peace, with the UK Navy having a low priority in terms of its need to build ships. There's been some squaking in the UK Navy about budget cuts, too. If the UK Navy was on a wartime footing, and had access to both the fanaticism and the resources of Mother Russia, they could possibly build an aircraft carrier much faster.
      • Alternate Universe.
      • They don't necessarily need aircraft carriers. If they cut deals with NATO countries to position airbases in Europe, they could have launched marathon flights across the Atlantic using tanker planes - or hell, they could have cut deals with countries in Africa to use their airspace. Once they get aircraft across the Atlantic, they could airdrop paratroopers onto US airbases, seize the airfields and airports, and begin landing heavy-duty aircraft with armor and helicopters. A single aircraft carrier - possibly two, if the Ultranationalists have been funneling tons of funds into naval buildup - could possibly handle local air support until the airbases are seized. It would require serious speed, coordination, and preparation, and the war is still likely to end up a complete failure, but it's possible to pull off, if the Ultranationalist government could get enough boots on the ground to take the airfields and had enough momentum to keep the US military from responding and the airspace clear until they could get the main legs of the invasion force on the ground.
        • Unfortunately, this is assuming that NATO would turn on the US, when IRL, Russia is one of their larger worries, particularly for their new members in the East. I don't see that happening.
      • In wartime, military production speeds up. Remember the truly massive amount of material the the Nations were able to build during WW 2? Additionally, the Russians wouldn't have to come over the Atlantic, they'd come over the Arctic Circle, follow the coast down out of visual range, then turn towards D.C.
      • You forgot they managed to crack the ACS. As such, NORAD became useless in detecting them. So, a probable answer is they decided, rather than alert their position before taking down the capital by invading at an easy point, they'll just hit them now. Not only do they get their "1000 to 1" civilian death toll, they also take out the capital city, crippling most of the nation.
    • Keep in mind that, aside from the Alternate Universe nature of the setting, the Russians have had five years to build up and expand their navy and army after the Ultranationalist takeover. Five years is a long time and more than enough time to really mobilize a powerful army if you've got your industry geared towards it. The US in WWII went from having a relatively weak military in 1936 to a respectable force in 1941, and that was before they hit war footing, at which point the US military became the most powerful in the world in a couple of years. If the Ultranationalists poured a lot of money and resources into their military, and damned the consequences, they could have a very powerful military.

NATO Turning Its back on the US

  • Also, why is every country in the world so quick to turn its back on America after the airport massacre? Sure, a massive cry of public outrage will sweep the world's populace, but a lot of those countries have a lot of business ties with us. As our business relations with China and Saudi-Arabia show, governments generally aren't going to immediately cut all ties with a cash cow over some serious human rights abuses.
    • Because of scary Ultranationalist Russia. I mean, the Ultranationalists have the stones to invade the United States and demonstrate the force projection to pull that off. Even if the US isn't an international pariah by that point in time, the fact that there's a gaggle of completely insane psychopaths with their fingers on the nuclear button and have a military powerful enough to deliver a major punch against the US would be enough to dissuade immediate response, especially when they demonstrate that the most powerful military in the world is not enough to dissuade them from attacking. If they're strong enough and insane enough to attack the US, that could scare a lot of countries from stepping in. Also, if the Ultranationalists have been preparing to invade for this long, they could have cut backroom deals with the US' trade partners.
      • Also, one of the messages in the game is that the US doesn't have many real friends. Then again, neither does Russia.
        • In large part because it is in nobody's interest save that of the US (and maybe the more extended West in the long, long run) to widen the war. The Russians have GOT to realize that there is no way they could possible take a naval task force sufficient to attack Washington DC to the Atlantic intact with NATO's European members dominating the coast. As such, unless the amphibious attack is some strange kamikaze mission, Moscow is going to avoid antagonizing NATO until after the US is gone (after which NATO will likely be dead anyway). And NATO has to realize that going into war for a nation implicated in an incident like what we see in No Russian would be a public disaster regardless of what the government and military commands would think, and besides, the Russians are transporting an invasion force right PAST them to try and attack the mainland. Now, in the long run, it would probably be beneficial for NATO and the EU to attack Russia while the Russian military is trying to invade the US, but that requires strategic foresight in excess of what our average elected official probably has, so they see no downside in hanging out until the battle of the titans is over.
      • Also, the Russian surprise attack, combined with the fact that the entire battle for DC barely lasted a week, likely meaning that NATO did not have time to send any support. Remember, in World War II, it took years for America to even step a foot in Europe because they were spending all that time building up and mobilizing their armies. However, we'd have to wait for the US retaliation against Russia to see if any of its treaty partners decide to back out or not.

Soap moving With a Giant Knife In His Chest

  • In the final mission, Soap is stabbed into the stomach or chest, with the knife remaining in his wound. OK. He then falls down on his back. OK. Then, he turns face down and crawls on his stomach towards Shepherd's revolver. Shouldn't that, you know... hurt an unbelievable amount? Or, perhaps, leave a furrow of tilled earth sowed with his blood and entrails behind him?
    • He might've been crawling on his side.
    • This is Soap we're talking about here.

ACOG Sights and the EMP

  • In Washington DC, the ACOGs on all the rifles should still function fine after the EMP, because ACOGs use a little fiber-optic cable to direct external light into the scope, illuminating the tritium that the crosshair is made out of. They work fine unless they're in total darkness. In fact, depending on its design, the Red Dot Sight might work as well; only the Holographic and Thermal Sights should be malfunctioning.
    • The ACOG (reticle illumination, at least) works fine even in total darkness. The tritium itself is mildly radioactive and glows sufficiently to illuminate the reticle in darkness. The more annoying issue with the game's ACOG is that the sight picture through it lacks magnification; the ACOG model used in-game is, in reality, a magnified optic.
      • I've been hit with an EMP in multiplayer, and my ACOG scope worked just fine. Now, if they don't in the campaign, that's less of a research issue, and more of a "someone forgot to program that right" issue.

Navy Flying F 15 E

  • In Modern Warfare II, the US Navy is shown operating a pair of F-15Es in a Wild Weasel (Anti-Anti-Aircraft) Role based off of a carrier, including having Navy Markings. The F-15E isn't carrier capable, nor does the navy operate them in a combat role, but rather as an aggressor at the Top Gun School.
    • However, the F-15Es may have been launched from Yokota Air Force base in Japan, well within range of the Kamchatka Peninsula that the Gulag is located at. As for why Shepherd only refers to the Navy, it may be because the Navy were the ones overseeing the operation, even if the Air Force was involved as well. However, there is no excuse for the jet pilots saying "Fox-3" when firing air-to-surface missiles. "Fox-3" is for air-to-air missiles; the proper brevity code for firing HARM air-to-ground missiles is "Magnum".
    • Fox Three indicates launch of an active radar guided missile.
    • "Fox" is only used for Air-to-air missiles.
    • For all the Infinity Ward talk of making everything accurate, there are some unusual oversights and errors in some of the weapons that just don't make sense. Most of them can be dismissed as a way of improving game balance, but one of them is an attachment called "Full Metal Jacket", which increases bullet penetration through thin objects. In reality, all military personnel use FMJ rounds, with expanding rounds banned for use in wars by international law. It would have been accurate to call the attachment "Armor Piercing Rounds" instead, and it wouldn't have affected game balance at all.
    • IW have never used 'accurate' in the sense of meaning 'realistic'. They've always gone for movie accuracy, as if you're in your own action film.

Oil Rig Hostages

  • Why were the Russian soldiers on the oil-rig taking civilians hostage? Unless they were American workers or something, taking Russian civilians hostage is hardly going to stop the Americans and British from firing freely.
    • That's exactly what it did. That's why you have to sneak up the oil rig with a Navy SEAL team instead of just blowing out the support towers with the submarines. Additionally, the US was already on the hook for a civilian massacre, no point in actually going out and giving the Russians another PR victory.
      • I understand that it did in-game, I'm just saying that that makes no sense. They are at a state of total war with Russia - firing upon military installations with civilians aboard at this point shouldn't be a problem.
      • It's a PR win that can be used to help jostle the UN into favoring the US in the war. Prove to the world that the US is not actually killing civilians even when given a situation where they could without repercussion.
      • The TF141 mission at the time was to get Prisoner #627, use him to get Makarov, and prove that he was responsible for the massacre. The US doesn't want to cause another one on the way that would undercut the "We're the victims here" message they need to convey.
      • The fact that it works and forces the US to clear out the oil rig on foot is irrelevant, the Russians have no reason to believe that it would work. The hostages would have to be international or American. The Russians believe the US was willing to kill thousands (?!) of civilians in a terrorist attack, and they'd have no reason to believe the US wouldn't just take the easy route and blow up the oil rig with the civilians as collateral damage. Not to mention the occupying soldiers seem to rough up the hostages a little, so either the workers aren't Russian or the Russian military/Ultranationalist government is just Stupid Evil, and the latter doesn't seem unlikely.
      • There's a difference between what would be perceived as a covert terrorist operation and publically destroying sites with civilian hostages. Besides, when faced with outright assault by the US Navy, the local Russian commander would likely be grasping at any straws that would prevent him from being cruise-missile'd. If he thinks that using the workers as hostages might deter an air strike, he would jump at the opportunity. There are few things that worry infantry commanders more than being killed by artillery or air power that they can't fight back against, so anything that would deter that would be an option, no matter how "unlikely". Also keep in mind that Makarov is the one who's really in control of the Russian military at this point, and he knows exactly what happened. He could have easily ordered the troops on the rigs to take the workers hostage because he knows that the US would hesitate to destroy them outright.

Nuclear Option

  • Why didn't the assorted nuclear powers in MW2 just Nuke'Em? Russia wants to kill as many Americans as possible - nukes are pretty good for that sort of thing. America wants to counter Russia's Easy Logistics ground invasion. Gee, if only we had some kind of way to respond to a war with Russia... By all rights, any game with MW2's storyline would quickly turn into a Fallout 3 clone.
    • The Ultranationalists are psychotic, but they're not suicidal. Mutually assured destruction doesn't have the word "mutual" in there for nothing.
      • Yeah, they'd never do a thing they already tried to do once at the end of the previous game.
      • Zakhaev did what he did more because of his sheer batfuck insanity combined with grief over the death of his son. Judging by their actions in-game, the Ultranationalists controlling Russia are at least a little less insane. There's also the fact that, at this point in time, they control all of Russia; in COD4, the Ultranationalists were still in a civil war with the Loyalists, so they could have gotten away with nuking the US without risking MAD. Now? Not a chance. Launching a nuke at this point is instant MAD.
        • MAD is launch-on-launch. They had no way to know that US missiles wouldn't be in the air as soon as the flare of an ICBM launch was detected.
      • ......did everyone forget that the US knew that the nuke silo Zakhaev controlled was rogue? The entire reason Soap and Co. were in there was because Zakhaev sent a video saying "Now I have a nuke silo, neener neener, GTFO of Russia, capitalist pig-dogs." The US is not going to nuke Russia when they know the nukes being fired at them are rogue. In MW2 all of Russia is under the Ultranationalists' control. They're not going to fire nukes and risk MAD.
        • How on Earth would Zakhaev know that's how the US would react, though? For that matter, how did he know they'd get the tape at all, or believe it if they did get it?
          • You know that part at the end where he said that "All US and British forces will leave Russia immediately or suffer the consequences"? That's what we call a "demand". When you're a terrorist who is issuing demands, it's fairly important that you make sure your target gets the demands. And since Price and Co. are responding to the video, it's fairly clear that they did get the demand. Zakhaev makes it very clear that Ultranationalists are controlling this nuclear silo and what he wants the US and Brits to do. The situation is laid out in a very clear manner with unquestionable intent, to the point that it's pretty easy to guess what the rational response would be.
            • Assuming they take him seriously. You could probably dig up two dozen videos on Youtube of people threatening to launch nuclear weapons at the US. Regardless, apparently the Russians not only agree with the man and his actions, they regard him as a hero and martyr. He was martyred trying to nuke America, meaning they approve of such a course of action by default. Hence, they are just as batshit insane as he was.
              • That's assuming the Russian populace even knows the Ultranationalists are batshit loopy. It would make more sense that the Ultranationalists put on a clean, happy face to the public for however much influence they have in the government. It's not like the US and UK can just tell Russia that the orginization is committing acts of terror, because if the Ultranationalists exist as a legitimate political party un-blamed for their crimes to begin with (that the Russian people know who Zakheav is well enough for him to function as a martyr suggests this), they're in a position of public trust, and they can just say, "You see? You see what the west does? They accuse your kindly old leaders of heinous crimes because they can't save their own people from terrorists and need someone to blame! We have to fight back!"
                • I find it rather hard to believe that Zakhaev had a whole PR department running. What, he'd convinced everyone he was a really nice arms dealer back home? The whole deal of him being a martyr doesn't make a lick of sense unless the general population of Russia is either colossally thick or just randomly evil.
                  • Why the hell not? The man is fighting a massively bloody civil war, and he has EVERY REASON to crank out the propaganda. That, and my personal, WMG-worthy theory is that what we see in Chernobyl is Zakhaev selling weapons TO the Ultranationalists before he was part of them. I mean, where is the other party if this is not the case, and Britain could have put him on the $hit list for another reason. He might have become converted to the Ultranationalist cause after they probably healed him up during recovery after the botched wet job, thus converting him from freelance for-profit thug to fanatical Ultranationalist revolutionary. Stranger things have happened.
                  • I find it rather hard to believe that Zakhaev had a whole PR department running. What, he'd convinced everyone he was a really nice arms dealer back home? The PR "clean-up" of Zakhaev's public image was done well after he was killed, FYI.
                    • Since the games never make it clear what the hell happened (what Zakhaev is supposed to be a hero for actually doing, how anyone even knows who he is, etc), I find that claim rather difficult to justify.
                    • Again, why would it be difficult to believe he would have spindoctors on the staff? The man has the allegiance of at least millions of followers throughout the old USSR and is fighting a savage conventional war to dominate the rest. This was no small, uneventful coup, so there is every reason to believe that he WOULD have quite a chunk of resources devoted to PR/propaganda. And as for the Arms Dealer issue, even if we assume that he was ever truly mercenary (just another two bit thug) rather than a revolutionary to begin with, he could simply state that he has reformed and is now serving Mother Russia or some such tripe. Or he could simply gloss over that point in its entirety. I mean, how many people really know Zakhaev's background or life story to begin with? And how many would be in his intended audience?
                      • But the trouble is we know nothing about Zakhaev or the Ultranationist takeover / civil war at all, so all of that is utter conjecture. You would have thought, however, that if they were going to manufacture a hero, they'd find someone more photogenic to make a hero of than the one-armed Bitores Mendez lookalike.
                • At the risk of Godwin's Law....neither Hitler nor Stalin were terribly nice fellows either, but they were viewed as heroes by their people, even while they were committing absolutely horrendous acts. All it takes is perception, propoganda, and appealing to the right kinds of people using the right kinds of buttons. Any decent PR engine can make anyone into a martyr, and the Ultranationalists aren't just an army, they're a legitimate political party. A key component of any political party is their PR engine.
          • Assuming they take him seriously. You could probably dig up two dozen videos on Youtube of people threatening to launch nuclear weapons at the US. Considering there are piles of Loyalist corpses inside the nuke facility and several destroyed APCs outside, it's quite clear there was a battle going on at the nuke silo. That means the Loyalists likely knew one of their silos was either captured or under attack by the Ultranationalists. Zakhaev sends a video to the US showing his troops killing Loyalists and moving through a nuke silo, and the US rings up Moscow to verify it, at which point bricks are shat.
            • That, and we are forgetting that the West KNOWS WHO Zakhaev is. I mean, they knew him well enough to try and kill him for some reason in the nineties, and a video of him saying this on Youtube or in videos mailed to the major news organizations of the world would be taken VASTLY more seriously than Johnny B. Krazie ranting to the camera in a straightjacket, PARTICULARLY after authentication.

ISS and Nuclear Missile Positions

  • When Captain Price launches the nuke at the US, it appears to detonate above Washington DC. The ISS appears to be somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, about level with the equator. Not even taking into account the fact that there's no medium in space for the shockwaves to propagate, the ISS is blasted apart at this range, yet the troops in DC, right below the blast, suffer nothing worse than the effects of the EMP. Am I the only one that thought that was ridiculous?
    • Also, shouldn't a missile fired at the eastern US from Kamchatka be flying over the North Pole or the Pacific, not the Atlantic as seen here?
    • A) The ISS is over South America, because you can clearly see Florida and the East Coast "above" the ISS's position. B) It does fly over the Northern Hemisphere past the North Pole. You can see this by the missile trajectory when Price launches it and the direction it takes when Sat1 is watching it.

Computer Files in Makarov's Safehouse

  • When Makarov's safehouse is invaded, the computer files are treated like regular files. "Come on, take the files and get out! Without taking the time to delete the files on the computer to make sure we've got the only copy! Even though it would be quicker and more effective to just take the hard drive! Yeah!"
    • Without taking the time to delete the files on the computer to make sure we've got the only copy! Yeah, it's not like Makarov would have a backup of his files anywhere....
    • In the latter case, it's concievable that the files were encrypted but the computer left on with the decryption key entered, so pulling them off the drive would get decrypted files but yanking the entire drive out would not (since the program decrypting them would presumably not save the key between sessions). Of course, that's conjecture, and they ought to have explained just why the hell they needed to copy the files. Another line of reasoning might be that the portable hard drive used is a military ruggedised version designed to withstand mishandling, while the computer's regular hard drive might be damaged or destroyed accidentally during transit.
    • Have you ever tried yanking a hard drive out of a computer? It's not as easy as it looks, as you first have to crack open the computer without damaging said hard drive, remove it, and make sure you don't accidentally break it while carrying it. Now, imagine trying to do all of that while you're being shot at by angry Russians.
      • Hard drives are extremely tough. Several suspects have tried to pre-empt police searches of their drives by chucking their computer out of the highest window of their property only to find all the data was still readable afterwards. The simple act of smashing the casing and yanking the drive out is unlikely to result in data loss.
      • But smashing the casing and yanking the disks exposes the disks to the myriad dangers of the environment, i.e. mud, dust, and angry Russian mercenaries with assault rifles, machineguns, grenades, and mortars. I seriously doubt that most hard drives are rated to survive mortar fire, especially when the hard disks removed. A ruggedized DSM built to take that kind of abuse is a lot safer to transport than a hard drive or exposed disks. The fact that the Russians can open up on the DSM and shoot it repeatedly without damaging the contents indicates that it is armored.
        • Yes, because of all the literally limitless personnel at Gen. Sheppard's disposal, he didn't think to hire a techie or two. Hell, just take it to the nearest computer shop.
      • The best technician in the world cannot repair a hard drive that has been shot repeatedly, blown up, or set on fire. The intelligence is too valuable to risk a stray bullet or fifty damaging the information, especially when they've got an armored, ruggedized DSM on hand.
    • There's also the fact that grabbing the hard drive and running wouldn't help them much. Extraction was more than five minutes out, and if they simply grabbed the hard drive and ran, Makarov's goons would have hit TF 141 out in the open with no cover while they waited for extraction. Remember the final leg of the escape, where you're being bracketed by mortar fire, and how hard it is to simply get down the hill? Better to hold position inside the hardened and much more defensible house until extraction arrives.
    • That whole mission was a setup. For all we know, that hard drive you attached was doing nothing but delete the files on Makarov's PC, buying time for his forces and 141 to kill each other.
      • Not buying that; there's obviously some way of telling it's copying files since it tells you how many it's done (presumably it's using a wireless connection to give you the data on what it's doing as well as to connect to the PC), and Shephard would just have a Predator destroy the house with everyone inside if he didn't need the hard drive, or would have had the helicopters strafe the guys from 141 as they were leaving the house. Placing himself in harm's way just to recover a drive full of nothing seems a ridiculous action.
        • Placing himself in harm's way at all is ridiculous. He wanted to make sure you got dead, because 141 are the best soldiers on the planet. He trusted a crapton of his men (and Makarov's men) to kill Price and Soap and they both escaped.
          • I don't think so: people tend to assume he's working with Makarov, but it seems more like he's using Makarov. It's quite likely he believed that one or other 141 team would actually find the guy, since there's no way Mak himself wouldn't be part of Shephard's "cleaning house;" he probably really did need the intel to find out where Makarov had fled to and how much he knew. I see Allen's death as being more or less what Shephard said, a way to buy Makarov's trust; the way, however, was 'tipping him off about a CIA mole in his organisation.' It was probably only right at the end that he realised who Shephard actually was.
            • "Using" and "working with" are not mutually exclusive. Certainly, in the end, they would inevitably turn on each other and both know it, but for now, they both have very compelling reasons to work together at least until they can kill each other.
          • Regarding the danger factor, this is the same general who personally attended a firefight alongside the shooters wearing an ACU and beret, carrying first a revolver, then later, personally wielding a M4A1 when pinned down with Hunter Two-Three, and near the end, ordered a helicopter attack on a location less than a hundred meters from his own position. His standard of "placing himself in harm's way," like his sense of right and wrong, is quite skewed...

Shadow Company Corpses

  • So, nobody noticed the two dead Shadow Company troopers Price and Soap left lying outside the cave?
    • Seconded. I was able to let most of the game's little slip-ups here and there go, but this one really stuck with me. "Hey boss, we just found two of our guys dead outside the cave. Knife wounds in the chest, sir." "Probably just the sandstorm."
      • According to the Call of Duty Wiki as of late January 2010, if you manage to follow the patrol going out from inside the cave without alerting them to your presence, they eventually do discover the two bodies.
    • The other patrol out there was killed, and sandstorms can screw over radio communications pretty easily. Price and Soap get discovered not too long after they enter the place anyway; chances are, the corpses were discovered, it just didn't make any difference.
      • That's the most plausible explanation. The Shadow Company soldiers were reporting radio trouble at the beginning of the level. They probably found the corpses, tried to report in and secure the area, and then realized they couldn't get through. They sent runners back into the tunnels, got on the horn, and shortly afterward, we get the squad breaching the room Soap and Price are in as they move to secure the tunnels. That's actually a pretty quick OODA loop considering the situation.
        • As mentioned above, if you follow the patrol out, they do eventually find the bodies.
    • Also, once you engage the Shadow Company troops in the steam room, which is supposed to be the first real firefight in the level, their response is "It's them!". They are not surprised to see you. Couple that with the fact that they breach and clear the room. Add in that mere moments afterward, as you step out onto the cliff overlooking the river, you can see Shepherd's helicopters already lifting off and evacuating, and its clear that they did find the bodies and are aware of intruders; its just that until you kill about twelve Shadow Company soldiers in a minute flat that they don't know it's Soap and Price they're dealing with.


  • After the EMP in Washington, why didn't all of the helicopter pilots simply autogyro to safety. Autogyroing being one of the simplest and easiest ways to keep your helicopter flying in the case of catastrophic power failure, and it isn't even an advanced skill, literally ALL helicopter pilots have to be able to autogyro to so much as get close to having a flying license.
    • Because then we wouldn't have a scene where the player has to dodge a falling chopper.
      • Unfortunately, the scene is, like the game itself, way too short.
    • I'd like to see you go from sudden absolute engine and electronic failure to safe autorotation when you started below roof level. You'd barely have time to even realise you had a problem before you hit the ground.
      • Yeah, that was going to be my response as well. It wasn't as if they were expecting their engines to cut out when they were about twenty feet off the ground.
      • To say nothing about issues with the controls themselves not working, which could very well happen depending on the helicopter.

Tattooed Terrorists

  • So, about that "No Russian" thing... clearly the work of Americans. Clearly.
    • Uh, a number of Americans have Nazi swastika tattoos. That doesn't make them German. Plus, y'know, the Ultranationalists are in control of a great deal of the Russian media in Modern Warfare.
      • Except the hammer and sickle is on the Ultranationalist flag, and the pictured terrorist dies (likely scripted) out on the tarmac. If Makarov was half as ruthless and clever as he was supposed to be, he wouldn't take the risk of that image getting out even with a complicit media. Considering the same level also has people that fly sideways or backwards towards you if you shoot them before the other terrorists do, I'm more willing to chalk this up to a silly technical oversight.
        •'s a hammer and sickle. People get that sort of stylised tattoo all the time. Just because it's on a flag doesn't mean it's ultimate proof of membership in an international organisation.
        • Mild note: It's actually possible to prevent his death, though, of course, extremely difficult to do so.
      • Yeah, it's not like a "CIA" agent would tattoo on a symbol of the Soviet Union while engaging in a False-Flag Operation where he is "pretending" to be Russian. If the investigators found the symbol, they would probably just dismiss it as an attempt to make the "CIA" agents seem more authentic.
        • Allen himself has a tattoo of Saint Basil's Cathedral across his chest; the Russians saw past that. I'd assume that they'd overlook/ignore the hammer and sickle on the Russian dude.
    • And we are also forgetting the simplest explanation: if all else failed, Makarov could simply have whatever casualties he took carted off while he had control of the airport, and stowed somewhere. You can't deduce JACK from a tattoo on a body that isn't even at the scene.
      • The airport that was full of extremely unfriendly riot police who were trying to kill Makarov? Yeah, real control there. It's pretty hilarious that Mak would spend all that time and effort trying to look like an evil westerner and then have guys with commie tattoos on the team.
        • Yes. The extremely unfriendly riot police that had been TRYING to kill Makarov and who were now lying in various pools of blood courtesy of Allen and the other members of the strike team. Certainly, more would arrive, and the surviving members of the garrison might regroup, but after the showing they were given in the level, that would have taken time, during which they probably would have fallen back to fall back positions either just inside or just outside the airport, and would have waited there for the regulars and Law Enforcement. There is no reason to believe Makarov wouldn't have time to cart away or otherwise dispose of his casualties while the survivors of the massacre were regrouping and waiting for backup, particularly if he had connections within the government itself (which, by all reasoning, he almost certainly did). As for looking like an evil Westerner, they were probably counting on any survivors hearing him speak in English (likely after they thought that they had assumed they were dead) and thus immediately jump to the conclusion that it was the US. That, and the Communist tattoos are not anything you won't see on "veterans" of the Russian prison system or the Gulag, many of whom would have joined Makarov's ranks or who would have been hired by same for his various misdeeds. They could simply claim that it was a Western spy's attempt to pass himself off as one of those who as enlisted by Makarov.
          • Did you play the same level I did? The riot police didn't need to regroup, they were moving in as Allen's vision was fading.
            • Which in and of itself means absolutely nothing. For one, there is always the possibility that the rest of the strike force would have simply driven them back again. And even if we can agree that that isn't the case, any tactical leader worth their salt would tell you that moving forward does not equal launching an attack. For all we know, the riot police saw Allen go down and so they move forward to try and reach cover in order to establish a tighter perimeter and wait for backup (which would be what most units in their situation would do), thus giving Makarov time to do whatever he needs to do regarding the bodies, be it simply leaving them where they are and counting upon the Kremlin's fanatical anti-Americanism to make the difference, to disposing of them (say, by dousing them in any of the many flammable things that are readily available in airports and lighting them up), carting them away via sending one of his henchmen through a fairly little known backdoor, or just stuffing them under an out-of-the-way desk and telling his people involved in the cleanup where they are so THEY can deal with it.
            • There isn't a rest of the strike force, they died or left. There's no evidence Mak left anyone behind alive or that anyone else was operating in the airport; he escaped in the ambulance, leaving nobody of his behind to do anything. You're just making things up in a futile attempt to make sense out of nonsense.
              • Now you are just getting plain insulting, rude, and idiotic. As was REPEATEDLY shown in game, the Ultranationalists are not the united uniform bloc they like the world to think they are. The fact that the airport massacre HAPPENED AT ALL is absolute proof of that. You are extrapolating with NO EVIDENCE whatsoever that Makarov had no time to do anything, and that the police we see advancing when the PC dies are advancing to take the airport once and for all, when, in fact police, tactics tend not to work like that, nevermind the severe losses they had to have taken in attempting to attack Makarov. There is little reason to believe Makarov could not have dealt with the bodies after the mole died, and there is even less reason to believe that even if he couldn't have or didn't, that he could not have sympathizers within the first responders help dispose of the issue after he and the others had fled. Grow up.
                • So, you're ignoring what we see (that Makarov busts through a police line in part of the airport and leaves immediately) to claim that he didn't leave? We saw the ambulance drive off with him in it, and your talk of sympathisers in the police has no grounding in anything that happens during the game. I repeat, you're just making things up in a futile attempt to make sense out of nonsense.
                • No, he's saying those 5 guys aren't the only guys siding with Makarov. Just because you're not personally introduced to the 9001 different members of Makarov's gang doesn't mean they don't exist.
                  • So we're back to outright guesswork again, claiming some of the guys shooting at Mak's guys were actually on their side?
      • Ironically, the third game implies that yes, Makarov actually does have enough influence in the Russian government/military that he could likely have evidence like corpses carted off without anyone noticing.
    • It's not like the presence of a Russian would completely absolve the US of guilt in the eyes of Russia. There have been US-born agents and terrorists attacking America as long as there's been an America, but we still look at who's pulling the strings.
    • Have you guys read any of the newspaper cuttings in Makarov's safehouse? Not only does it show that he is no longer associated with the Ultranationalists, but he is also considered a terrorist to most international communities, including Russia. Those police you see? They're basically modern KGB. It's most likely that the Ultranationalists know it was the work of Makarov, but consider that he was funded and aided by the Americans, or that they hired him, which would explain to them how he was capable of causing mass destruction as a terrorist and why there was an American body and some dead Russians.

Where is Kamarov?

  • Out of curiosity, what the hell hapened to Kamarov from the first game? I mean, the man leads a Big Damn Heroes style assault in order to save the main characters at the the end of the first game... and then we hear precisely jack shit about him afterwords.
    • That really bothered me, too, especially since Kamarov had potential to be an interesting character, given that he's the only important member of the Loyalist army besides Nikolai and apparently has a history with Price and Gaz. Unfortunately, given that the Ultranationalists have full control of Russia by the time of MW2, things aren't looking good for him. The biggest hope for him is that, as I said on the WMG page, he and the rest of the Loyalist holdouts are hiding at the "place" Nikolai mentions at the end of the game.
    • Kamarov reappears in 3. He's one of the Loyalist holdouts/rebels and heads up the Prague resistance after the Ultranationalist invasion.

Ghost's Balaclava

  • How the hell does Ghost speak so clearly with his balaclava on?
    • Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Players like to hear things they're familiar with.
      • We could also chalk his radio dialogue up to being spoken through a throat mike, which would transmit his words before the balaclava could muffle his voice. No real excuse beyond the above point for non-radio dialogue, though.

Humvees with Miniguns

  • Why are all the Humvees equipped with miniguns and none has the more commonly used M2 or Mk. 19? The minigun drains the Humvee's power and the combination of the lack of ironsights and extremely high rate of fire makes it useless in the roles portrayed in the game. While I'm not against the idea of riding a Humvee through the battlefield while going to town on exposed enemies with a weapon that fires 3000 rounds a minute, anyone who claims that using the much more common M2 opposes the Rule of Cool is obviously new to the franchise and has never played the United Offensive expansion pack.
    • Most likely reason is the M2 model from the previous game would require actual work to be featured so extensively (invisible hands still steer it when it's briefly seen on a technical) and the Shock and Awe Mk. 19 model looked terrible. Plus, the same "it's more tacticool" thinking that got things like the WA 2000 and Desert Eagle put in the game.

What Happened at the Boneyard?

  • What did Soap and Price find in the air junkyard? They found Makarov's men, and some dudes they didn't know in black.. How did they find out they were Sheperd's men?
    • Shepherd's men started shooting at Price and Soap. Soap probably recognizes Shadow Company, seeing how they worked directly under Shepard too - Shadow Company troops extracted Soap and Roach when they bombed the airbase, for example. When Shadow Company soldiers showed up and started firing on them, they pretty quickly figured out what was going on.
    • Remember that Price was already suspicious of Shepherd's motivations (see the cutscenes before Contingency and Loose Ends, respectively). Price probably figured out pretty quickly that a bunch of American men who are trying to kill both the 141 and Makarov are from Shepherd. They may also have mentioned Shepherd at some point, or seen a lieutenant of Shepherd's. Alternately, Captain Price's omniscient moustache did it.

Rojas In General

  • So, out of all of the things Rojas might know about Makarov, the only thing you get out of him is that Makarov really hates a guy called Prisoner #627, who's in a Russian Gulag in Eastern Russia. Seriously? No Bank account numbers, no transfer points, no addresses, no names of other associates, nothing that an Arms Dealer would logically be expected to know about a particular client. Instead, we get a really obscure tidbit about some guy locked up halfway around the world. Does Makarov just casually mention during arms deals that, "You know, I really hate Americans, but do you know who I hate more than them? Prisoner #627 in a gulag in Eastern Russia."?
    • They might've gotten other bits of intel from him, but those are already known and has failed to lead them towards Makarov. Also, Rojas might not have heard about Prisoner #627 from Makarov himself, but rather from a not particularly bright contact or something like that. If Makarov trusts Rojas enough to meet him by himself, then he might've discussed Prisoner #627 with him, assuming Rojas is at least partially sympathetic towards Makarov's Ultranationalists.
  • For that matter, Brazil seems like a really out of the way place to get his weapons from. Particularly considering Russia itself has quite a large weapons black market.
    • The most likely explanation is that the ruling Ultranationalist regime, considering Makarov and his men dangerous, combs Russia's underworld for him extensively, forcing him to buy weapons from foreign dealers. Of course, if that is the case, then participating in the airport massacre isn't very smart, but as far as we know, he doesn't have any plans for other acts of terrorism inside Russia after the massacre, allowing himself to leave the country without ever needing to return. Or maybe he predicts that the Russian government will be too busy with invading the US to search for him (not that they'd want to, since Allen's body allowed them to put the blame on the US). Besides, there doesn't seem to be many pictures of him apart from CIA's mugshots. Or maybe he's just craaaaaazy!!!
      • This doesn't make any sense as Makarov is portrayed as being an Ultranationalist himself who seemed to be very close to Zakheav and is probably fairly influential in the Ultranationalist government.
      • Makarov is not influential in the Ultranationalist government. He's a psychotic terrorist who's been conducting a campaign of terror since '01 that's left literally thousands dead; you can see as much if you read carefully over the list of thing he's done in the pre-mission briefing screens. The Ultranationalists want him dead just as much as TF141 and the US does.
    • Makarov wants the US to take the fall for the massacre. Any way he can distance Russians from the attack is a benefit to his goal. Perhaps Rojas had supplied the CIA in the past, which could explain how the SAS found him so easily.
    • Rojas was not just some random arms dealer. There's a blink-and-you'll miss it bit of text in the opening cutscene for "Takedown" that mentions that he's a major weapons supplier and that he frequently serves as both a dealer for governments and mercenaries and also serves as a buffer between them. So he's definitely not a minor player, especially considering the number of militiamen he appears to have backing him up. He's a big gun runner.

Foley and the Countersign

  • How the heck did Foley ever make Sergeant?! It's been a while since I played the game, but just taking the word of someone who doesn't know the countersign at face value should be enough to have someone put on latrine duty until judgement day.
    • Do the US marines routinely deal with EMP strikes that wipe out the entire coastline during Russian invasions?
    • The only people to mention the sign and countersign are Cpl. Dunn, who shouts out "star" and the Ranger runner, who is the one who doesn't know the countersign. Later, either Foley or Dunn shout the sign out to a group of passing Russians and then open fire. If Foley in fact doesn't know the countersign, there's nothing in the game to indicate it.
      • The OP isn't suggesting Foley doesn't know the countersign, he's suggesting he's dumb for just trusting what the runner had to say despite the runner not knowing the countersign.
    • Actually, editing myself here, Foley DOES tell the runner that the countersign is "Texas", and that he should do well to remember it. Soooo, I'm not sure what your original argument is directed at, but it shouldn't be Sgt. Foley.
      • My point was this: Foley is in a combat zone, where hostiles are everywhere. He encounters a runner who does not know the countersign, i.e. may or may not be a friendly (one of the things I remember from my Army days is the phrase "That someone speaks our language and wears our uniform doesn't mean he's one of us). He gives this unidentified person the countersign, which will allow him to identify himself to any American forces in the area as a friendly, even if he isn't. The unidentified then instructs Foley to proceed to a certain location, and Foley takes this at face value, without knowing who this person is, asking if the orders are legit, if the other guy knows anything about what's between here and there, or even to see an ID or a dogtag to get SOME form of confirmation that this guy is who he claims to be. Even allowing for EMP, disrupted comms and general chaos, that is bordering on Too Dumb to Live in my book. My first reaction to the situation was "This is a trap..."
        • You're not a soldier in the middle of a Russian invasion where a massive EMP explosion has just wiped out basically all forms of communication, technology and equipment on an entire coastline. You're a troper sitting on his arse at home playing a computer game. Congrats for playing pretend soldier, I guess, but within the context of the game, Foley's reaction is pretty understandable to a clearly American soldier.
          • To be fair, the above troper said they were a real soldier. That said, Foley had to make a judgment call in a chaotic situation.
          • A real soldier who's never had to deal with that situation, which is my point.
        • Foley's got one squad with no comms and no support. If the Russians know where he is (which they'd obviously need to know in order to send him a fake) then they don't need a subtle trap to lure him and his men anywhere, they can just roll on in and get him. The runner's behavior only makes sense if the dude is genuinely American and genuinely stupid.
      • Which you obviously did and therefore know that such behaviour makes sense. Your point makes no sense, the other comments do. You don´t just give some random passerby in an American uniform speaking English YOUR FUCKING CODE and then GO WHERE HE TELLS YOU TO! You first MAKE SURE he is one of yours, I dunno, let him show his ID or something. Especially in the middle of an invasion! That is standard procedure that is hammered into your brain during basic training. Sure, you could argue he might have forgotten it because of the circumstances, but he shows clear professionalism everywhere else. Exept for the part where he keeps the crew of a BMP alive and when someone asks "What´s with the crew inside?", his response is just "What about them?" and then it is dropped..."What if they manage to get out and fuck us up from behind, sarge?". I dunno, Foley makes alot of dumb decisions for a Ranger Sgt. and squadleader. The fact that his men stayed alive is more proof of their skill then his.
            • No, my point makes perfect sense - you've never been in that situation, nobody has, there's no historical, military or civilian precedent for it. Stop pretending you're some major OORAH military expert. You're a grunt trying to impress people by dealing with fictional hypotheticals in ways that, as shown below, are easily broken.
        • Maybe Foley knew the soldier but didn't recognise him till he was closer.
        • As for that guy, he's in an American uniform, with an American accent, and as I recall, is completely unarmed. Why doesn't he check for identification? Conservation of Detail and the fact that throughout the entire invasion, the Russians' battle plan is "shoot as many Americans as possible." At no point do they try any sort of underhanded trick, or try and pass themselves off as Americans to get in a cheap shot. And the EMP was a complete suprise to them on account of all their helicopters falling out of the sky. He (correctly) assumed that the Russians, having not predicted a situation where all troops would be cut off from radio contact, would not have a soldier conviently ready in an American uniform with a flawless accent to run around telling Americans who are also cut off from command to head into a trap, especially considering you run into the soldier no less than three minutes after the EMP wave hit. So he didn't check the guy for ID because the odds of the Russians being able to have such an elaborate ruse set up that would only be useful in a situation that they had no way to predict and completely destroyed their air support and armour capabilities were so astronomical that it wasn't worth considering.
        • Part of the fun of being in command is getting to be the guy who has to make judgement calls on zero seconds' notice, with insufficient information to be certain about anything, and with the prize for guessing wrong being 'you and everybody with you dies'. Still want to be squad leader?
        • ^ This, so much. Foley made a judgment call on the situation based on what he knew. Guess what? He was right.
        • Funny thing, you'd think operation security would be more important in a shooting war.

"30,000 Men in the Blink of an Eye"

  • Just how did Shepherd lose 30,000 men in the blink of an eye? It was a fairly small nuke that went off in the middle of a city - if an entire corps worth of men was caught in the blast, they must have been absurdly densely packed. Maybe if there were other bombs that went off elsewhere at the same time, but no mention is made of anything like that. 3,000 seems more plausible in those circumstances.
    • Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed about 100,000 people per blast. Only the U.S Soldiers who died are ever talked about as casualties in the explosion meaning that many thousands of civilians could have also died. All it takes is a nuke in the kiloton range to be powerful enough to destroy a city. I could realistically imagine that many people dying in the explosion seen in the game, especially given the fallout radiation and debris that would fill the air.
    • The casualties likely weren't entirely due to the blast; Shepard probably also lost a lot of people to fallout and other radiation, and more than a few people were probably permenantly blinded by the initiation, making them casualties as well.
    • Why would the people who got their eyes fried by the flash be counted as dead? They're blinded, sure, but not dead. Then again, they'd probably have to quit the military because of their incapacitation, and Shepherd seems like the type to think that anyone who quits the military might as well be dead.
      • Because "casualty" does not equal "dead". "Casualty" is an individual so badly injured they can no longer continue combat in any capacity. Blindness would count.

Price Shooting Down the Pave Low

  • Endgame, Modern Warfare 2. How the hell does Price manage to shoot down Shepherd's Pave Low - a heavily-armored 21-ton giant - with only an assault rifle? I've watched the Youtube video (see 3:00): he's not using using the attached M203, he's not firing into the hold from the cargo hatch, and he sure as hell isn't duplicating his trick with the Barrett .50cal from MW1. Instead, he knocks out the helo with three shots into the belly armor, which somehow causes an engine explosion. Huh?
    • See those four pipes connecting the rotor to the fuselage? Those adjust pitch. You could knock one of those out and completely mess with the heli's pitch. That could help explain HOW it goes down, and IIRC, the last shot goes towards the rotorbox.
      • I just want to point out that that kind of a shot is a once in a lifetime shot that would be pretty friggin' hard to do, with the movement of the boat, movement of the chopper, rotor wash, etc. Why they couldn't have used the M203 is beyond me, and I think the M203 would have been a hell of a lot cooler, watching in slow motion as a grenade lobs out and smashes into the cockpit, blowing up the pilots and sending the thing down.
    • Don't forget, Price took out a chopper in "One Shot, One Kill" with a regular rifle (not the Barrett, I'm talking about the chopper that crashes on McMillan). He's done it before.
      • Yeah, it's the same way they take out the Hinds in the first MW - a pretty subtle shout out given the rest of the game.

Dunn and the EMP

  • When the EMP shit is falling from the sky, Cpl. Dunn is being completely awesome at dodging the falling shit. Someone shouts out "What the hell is goin' on?!" and Dunn is the one to answer back "EMP!!!". Then, later on, after shit has stopped falling, Dunn asks "Hey, is your Red Dot working? Mine's out." "Mine's down too. This is weird, bro." Dunn shouted that they had an EMP, but somehow forgets that it takes out Red Dot Sights? Why?
    • The only answer this trooper can come up with is, how often does one experience an EMP? Best as he can recall, it might have been a moment of disbelief over the whole situation. I mean, on one end you could argue he should not be surprised, on another, how many times does one walk on War torn streets of Washington DC? He might have been going through some moments of disbelief before continuing on. But that is just my guess, I could be wrong.
    • I was under the impression that Corporal Dunn was simply trying to confirm that what just happened was the result of an EMP, for if it was, then all of their electronic sight mechanisms on their guns should be short-circuited. What you should be bugged about is that Dunn has a freaking thermal sight on his gun and not a red dot sight.
    • The best I figured was a bad script. Maybe they meant for another character to read that line, and Dunn to reply with something else. I also don't think he had a moment of disbelief because he seems quite clear headed and knows the situation up until he forgets that his Red Dot/Thermal Scope doesn't work after an EMP.
      • A raise of hands of tropers who have lived through a live EMP blast caused by a nuclear weapon and then trying to use a red dot sight afterward? When you hear of EMPs and such, you think of the larger electronics that get zapped with sophisticated components and such. The radios, televisions, computers, and helicopters are affected. One does not expect simpler devices like your coffee maker or red dot sight to crap out.
        • Sounds plausible. I mean, they are only Rangers. Except for Ramirez, he's something else that's better than the rest of the squad. I guess I should expect that the Rangers wouldn't know what was going on compared to S.A.S. or TF 141, who are the best of the best in terms of war in these games.

Soap's Promotion to Captain

  • Is it realistic for Soap to be promoted all the way from Sergeant to Captain in 5 years? Even if he received a battlefield promotion as a result of the events of Co D 4, that does seem pretty quick. Or is it a thing like the Navy where every SAS unit commander is referred to as "Captain"?
    • Soap is not part of any conventional military force at that point, and therefore is not subject to the usual limitations on advancement. With Shepherd in command, he could just have arbitrarily said "MacTavish, you're Captain now. Paperwork will be on your desk tomorrow." and that would be that.
      • The Brits have an accelerated O.C.S. equivalent for promoting people "from the ranks". This is all guesswork, but I would estimate the time line as follows: One year at O.C.S., leaving as a 2nd lieutenant, then 2 years to make 1st Lieutenant and another 2 years to make Captain. That would be very quick, but not impossible. Then again, Soap has seen a LOT of combat, which would help him climb through the ranks quickly.

Treason Charges

  • How the hell are Price and Soap wanted for treason by the end of the game? They're British.
    • Why would that matter? Task Force 141 is an international initiative, the UK and US are tightly interlinked politically, and General Shepherd is a hero beyond reproach. If he says that Soap and Price betrayed his team and their country, the UK will declare them traitors pretty quickly.
      • General Shepherd is not a hero to the British, to whom he is simply a (respected, admittedly) soldier. If David Petraeus accused two officers in the SAS of being traitors by virtue of something they did during combined operations in Afghanistan, the UK would absolutely not go "okay, they must be traitors then". There would, at the very least, be a serious investigation into the matter, which would take weeks. The idea that the UK would simply take the word of a senior American general is utterly absurd.
      • They're still part of a joint, international task force made up of troops from multiple countries. If their CO reports that they've gone rogue and can fabricate evidence that they have, then it stands to reason that it would be accepted.
      • In addition, we only know that Soap and Price are wanted for treason due to the loading screen for the last mission, the timeframe for which we don't actually know, as it is a recording. It could have been weeks or months after they went rogue and killed Shepherd.
      • Remember that Price led an unauthorized mission into Russia and fired a nuclear warhead at the United States. Yes, we the players know he did it to defeat the invading Russians but the Americans don't know that. Sheppard could have easily spun him as working with Makarov.
      • He did spin it as being caused by Makarov. When the missile launches, he's talking with the SecDef and appears to be spinning the thing as Makarov's fault. All Shepherd would need to do then would be to reveal that TF 141 members went rogue and fired the missile (absolutely true) and pin it on Makarov, and Price is now guilty of collaborating with international terrorists and launching a nuclear missile at the United States, which is an ally of the UK. Treason would ensue instantly.

Foley As Platoon Leader

  • This troper doesn't know if the Rangers are organized differently from the regular army, but is Foley the platoon leader? Shouldn't a Lieutenant be in charge?
    • He specifies that he's "Acting commander of Hunter Two-One". There was presumably a Lieutenant commander at some point, but he was promoted/transferred/killed, which left Foley in charge.
    • No, Foley is not a platoon leader. He is a squad leader. A platoon leader's callsign in this case would be Hunter 2 as for 2nd platoon, "Hunter" company. Foley's callsign is for 1st squad, 2nd platoon, "Hunter" Company. I am not sure about the "Actual" part. If he is an E-5 Sergeant rather than an E-6 Staff Sergeant, that would be why he is only the acting squad leader rather the original squad leader.
      • From what I understand, "actual" means you are speaking directly to the commander of the whatever unit. "Hunter 2-1" would be the radioman. "Hunter 2-1 actual" would be Foley, the commander, himself.

Russians Knowing About Allen

  • How did the Russians know that Allen was an American? He was dressed the same as the other memeber's of Makarov's squad, and, to my knowledge, American corpses don't suddenly sprout neon signs reading "Hello, I am an American". And why couldn't the FSB just tail the ambulance that clearly shot Allen until it reached its destination to ask them what had just happened?
    • Presumably, they investigated. Like, say, took his facial features and ran a search based on their databases. Shepherd would have every reason to let it be known that Allen was a CIA agent. The Russians look through their databases, find a match for a recently promoted field agent assigned to Makarov's group, and go from there. And the FSB doesn't know immediately that the ambulance's crew shot Allen; all they know is that there's a ton of chaos at the airport, terrorists are running around, they've got dozens of corpses of their own men and hundreds of dead civilians, and there's an ambulance pulling out right in front of them, and look, there's a corpse. The situation is too violent and chaotic to organize a tailing of a suspicious vehicle; by the time the FSB agents who've found Allen's body have made the connections, gotten on the radio to their superiors, and the superiors organized a pursuit, the ambulance is going to be long gone and Makarov's likely going to have switched vehicles. It won't help that the radios are going to be clogged with a horrific slew of conflicting reports and radio traffic as everyone tries to report in, people call for help and medical support, morons on certain channels will be hot-miking and locking up that entire channel, and their superiors are going to have to coordinate multiple teams of agents, EMT vehicles, regular police, and likely military. The communications situation in any disaster or terrorist attack like this is a mess no matter how well-trained your operators are, so I see why Makarov is able to escape before the FSB can arrange a pursuit of the suspicious ambulance.
    • How did they know Allen was American? Well, Makarov knew and the only reason he killed Allen in the first place was so there would be a dead American for the police to find. Two possibilities: either the police/FSB/newspapers do their job well enough to trace Allen back to the States, or Makarov simply makes a phonecall to prod them in the right direction. There's also a third possibility: that the New Russian government doesn't give two shits and was planning on using the massacre as a pretext for invasion no matter what (hence "No Russian"), Allen landing in their lap being just the cherry on the cake. Saves them the trouble of manufacturing evidence for the benefit of the international community.

Russians Only Attacking the East Coast

  • Why in God's name did the Russians only attack the East Coast? There's a HUGE piece of American territory literally next door to Russia. Why the hell didn't they just invade Alaska, occupy it, and then use it as a launching point to attack the West Coast and other states?
    • They did. There are massive fleets of aircraft visible on both the East and West coasts. The ones on the west coast didn't see them because they weren't close enough yet. That's also why the east coast station didn't detect them until they were already there.
      • Weren't those just phantom dots caused by the Russians cracking the ACS, though? Really, if they were invading the US through somewhere other than Virginia and New York there should have been some mention of it in either the second or third games.

Operation Kingfish

  • How exactly does one reconcile the events of Operation: Kingfish with normal Call of Duty canon? The principal problem is that it shows Price working with the 141, even though that would've given Soap more than enough time to return his M1911. Watch here (you have to be signed in to watch it):
    • Kingfish is not canon at all.
    • Well, that sure simplifies everything. But then why show it at CoD XP? Fanon FTW
      • Because it's a really well-made fan-film, maybe?
        • The principal problem you are talking about can easily be reconciled by saying that Price wanted Soap to keep the gun that killed Zakaev and that Soap, out of guilt for holding on to it after he saw Price get left for dead/captured by the enemy, wanted to give it back to make amends. Anyway, it actually makes plenty of sense for Price to have been in command of the Task Force 141 before he was captured and here is why: 1) Price was airlifted to safety by the Russian Loyalists, it doesn't make sense that Price would be captured by the Ultra-nationalists and Soap wouldn't be caught too. Besides, after the Americans and British stopped Zakaev's plans and killed the man himself, the Ultra-nationalists wouldn't exactly be in a state to immediately capture Price literally hours or even days after the fact. 2) Price is immediately given command of the 141 after he is rescued from the Russian Gulag, it wouldn't make sense to do that unless Price had seniority over Soap as commander of the unit as both of them have the rank of Captain. Captain Price could never have been a former commander of the unit if he had been imprisoned for the entire 5 years between Modern Warfare 1 and 2. Also, 3) Captain Price's voice actor provides some Word of God on the matter. He said that Price had been imprisoned for 2 years by the time of Modern Warfare 2, so this sets the date of Operation Kingfish (if canon) at 2014.
      • Okay, apparently Kingfish is canon, and it took place in late 2013.
      • What about Soap's journal, though? He says he "lost" Price at the bridge in "Game Over" and that Price was in the gulag for five years. Also he doesn't mention Operation Kingfish at all.
      • I don't think that picture would technically count as canon, as it contradicts the journal. Its probably just a Shout-Out to the guys who did Kingfish.
      • Okay apparently it actually isn't canon at all. People on the Call of Duty Wiki need to make up their goddamn minds and stop pissing me off.
      • Price, and a few others, refer to him as Kingfish in the game a few times too...StarWars here we come.
    • The problem with Operation Kingfish: it's confirmed canon, yes. And the six people there were Frost and Sandman on the sniper team, and Roach, Soap, Ghost, and Price on the assault team. This means Price knows and has worked with Roach before the events of 2. But him decking Roach in the Gulag level seems to imply that he doesn't know who Roach is, only Soap.
      • Price decked Roach because he was an armed and armored soldier blasting through a wall a few meters away, and he was in the middle of choking a guard to death and taking his weapon. He wasn't even looking at Roach when he decked him; the choked Russian soldier blocked his view of Roach's face.
      • The photo at the end of the game doesn't show Frost and Roach, therefore if the operation even happened at all (which hasn't actually been officially confirmed as far as I'm aware) they likely weren't part of the operation.

Nikolai's Mobility

  • How did Nikolai manage to get to Rio/Afghanistan on such short notice? Soap calls him on a payphone and viola, there he is. How does he do that?
    • Nikolai is either just that damned good, or, more likely, Soap and TF141 has him on standby as an emergency extraction resource. The fact that he knows where "the sub" seems to be indicates that Soap has him attached to the 141 as some form of plausibly deniable resource for these sorts of occasions. Soap knows he is going to Rio, so he calls up Nikolai, who heads to Brazil just in case he is needed.

Victor's name

  • In CoD 4, where does it actually say that Zakhaev's son's name is Victor? It only ever refers to him as "V. Zakhaev", and none of the characters actually call him Victor, yet everyone and everything in the fan community calls him Victor/Viktor. What gives?
    • Word of God.
    • Also confirmed by the Field Journal included in the Hardened edition of the game. Soap specifies that his name is Victor.

Black Ops

Reznov's status

  • Wait just a minute. Reznov isn't actually real? He's shown actually KILLING enemies. You could make the argument "The specific Spetznatz and VC he's killing are also products of Mason's hysteria". Maybe in the scripted events. But in non-scripted combat, he can kill bad guys, and those same enemies can kill you...
    • Yes. Hudson appears to be partially lying in an effort to break through the brainwashing. It is implied that Reznov was actually there at several points in the game. He's also listed in the intel files as alive in documents dated post-Vorkuta, he's listed as a HUMINT defector in one of the pre-mission loading screens (Rebirth Island) and there are other hints scattered throughout the game that he is still alive, including the secret messages and the emails on the terminal.
    • These implications aside, most of the times we see Reznov contributing in battle is when there's lots of other soldiers on both sides also running around shooting at people; and in these situations, whenever Mason mentions or speaks to 'Reznov' the usual reaction from the people around him hearing this is often along the lines of "Mason, what the fuck are you talking about?" The implication here seems to be that either Mason is just hallucinating Reznov joining in and the people's killing or is mistaking another combatant for Reznov in the chaos; at the very least, while Reznov might indeed be alive he's certainly not pitching in as often as Mason thinks he is.
    • Assuming Reznov is some sort of dissociation hallucination made up by Mason's fucked up brain, then he could simply be Mason killing people himself and "seeing" Reznov doing the killing. After all, that's what happens on Rebirth Island. Which would also explain why Mason is kept on active duty despite being quite insane: he's two badasses' worth of kill tally ! :)

Dragovich's true intentions

  • What is Dragovich actually trying to achieve?. He's put hundreds(!?) of sleeper agents in the U.S who will be ordered to utilize Nova 6 to commit mass terrorism, and when the U.S is in disarray he plans to militarily invade it. Why? We understand that he's an evil commie bastard, but it's explicitly stated that the U.S is preparing a nuclear response should he go forward with his plans. So what's the point?. Does he WANT that to happen?
    • Yes. Dragovich is that fucking crazy. For fuck's sake, he ordered his men to perform tests on NOVA 6 using infants and had them cutting people up after exposure just to see how long they could keep them alive by removing infected tissue. Dragovich is a complete lunatic and psychopathic monster who manages to out-evil Makarov, which is pretty damned impressive.
    • Don't forget that Dragovich is basically a James Bond supervillain in all but name. He has thousands of mooks, a convoluted plot to invade the US with a massive superweapon, a Dragon, an Evil Genius, and multiple Supervillain Lairs, up to and including a secret underwater base! All he needs is a cat and a Femme Fatale lieutenant to round out the classic insane Bond villain role.
    • Okay. I get that. Robert McNamara said, 'He has no fear. No conscience. No weakness." That's one thing, but having no COMMON SENSE is another. His plan to conquer the U.S would be brilliant if it weren't for the fact that it will result in total nuclear war and The End of the World as We Know It, including the U.S.S.R. You could argue that he doesn't care about what happens to Russia, but it begs the question, what does he plan to get out of this whole scheme? And MOREOVER, why does he have ARMIES of henchmen who share his ridiculous suicidal ambition? Wouldn't Kravchenko or even some low-ranking Spetznaz mook think, "Gee, I want to slaughter Capitalists as much as the next guy, but maybe this whole sleeper cell/chemical weapons/conventional invasion strategy won't do anything besides turn the Warsaw Pact into a glass parking lot.."
      • Again: Dragovich is completely fucking nuts.
    • But also, Mason didn't really have any part in Dragovich's original plan. In Cuba, he seemed to be like, "Okay I got this plan to gas America. Oh, cool, I found an American black-ops agent. I'll have him kill Kennedy while I'm at it." Now, I can understand the brainwashing bit, conditioning Mason so he's all "MUST KILL KENNEDY". But why program him with the numbers that indicate where all the sleeper cells are? What good would that do Dragovich? If Dragovich had just killed Mason, his plan, as fucked up as it might have been to begin with, would have worked.
    • All of the prisoners that Steiner programmed in Vorkuta are able to decode the orders and messages being relayed through the number stations. That's how they were able to follow orders like Mason's command to kill Kennedy in the first place. Reznov appears to have altered how Mason may have interpreted the kill orders to extend them to the three he also wanted dead.
    • The number's broadcasts' are the way that the sleepers are controlled. The sleepers themselves don't know that they are being controlled unless ordered. It makes sense to teach them how to understand the numbers, or they can't hear their own orders. And about Dragovich's plans: he probably told his men that he could stop the nuclear retaliation. And if you think about it, are we absolutly sure that he can't?

Clarke's torture

  • Clarke is repeatedly punched in the face after glass is shoved into his mouth. He can talk just fine. Mason and Woods are tortured by the Vietcong. They are more or less in perfect physical condition. The game seems to be ignoring that torture can actually leave someone physically/mentally injured at best and utterly crippled at worst.

The logistics of the Soviets

  • How did the Soviets sneak so many Spetsnaz and a helicopter into Hong Kong?
    • This was before the heights of the Sino-Soviet split, so the Chinese were probably more than happy to help them sneak dozens of Spetsnaz into the notoriously lawless Kowloon, especially if it could help them get some Nova-6.
      • In the 1960's, Hong Kong was ruled by the British, who presumably would have some objection to that plan.
      • Yeah, I know. And up north is the Chinese, who presumably knew the situation pretty well.
    • From what it looked like, the majority of the Spetsnaz were wearing rain-clothes with some tactical gear thrown in. It looks like most of them arrived as plainclothes infiltrators, probably through paying off Triads or other criminal groups. The helicopter was probably a recent arrival, brought in shortly before the mission started. Remember, Black Ops is dramatically exaggerating the capabilities of the Soviet special forces and intelligence to get around and get troops everywhere. A helicopter is small potatoes compared to what else they were able to sneak around in the game.
      • If China is friendly, then they could always just "fly" the helicopter over the border.
    • The game exaggerates everyone's capabilities to get special operations units around. Hudson's team was able to smuggle multiple BTRs onto Rebirth Island. Think of this setting as a grittier version of James Bond, with all the associated ridiculous espionage and special operations exploits.

Anachronistic Weapons

  • Why did the developers include so many anachronistic weapons when they could have had unusual 1960s ones instead, like Gyrojets?
    • Rule of fun.
    • Treyarch originally wanted to go balls-out with the tech of the era, but felt it wouldn't have been seen as 'authentic' (not realistic before anyone catches that).
    • It makes more sense if you consider the setting to be more of a James Bond secret agent-esque setting instead of an ultra-realistic one. In that case, the oddly high-tech weaponry makes a lot more sense.
    • Fridge Brilliance : In Kowloon, when "rescuing" Clarke, he has stashes of weapons, correct? Notably, the Spectre M4, the G11, and the PSG-1. All three designed later than '68. BUT, pehaps, because Clarke is just that insane, he designed and built several of these weapons because he's Crazy Prepared for being killed. They WEREN'T the weapons, but they were later found and shipped to Italy/H&K (for the G11 and PSG-1) to be reverse-engineered.
    • Mason is trippin' balls during the entire game. Everything we see or do is questionable, including the guns. This goes doubly for the flashbacks involving Reznov and Hudson, as Mason is apparently relating what he remembered them told him.

Mason: Then I picked up an AK-47 that had a flamethrower attachment....
Interrogator: Uh, okay. You did. Then what happened?

    • Seeing how much the game relies on the Rule of Cool, they better have a really good reason to not include this.
      • Well, if you view the events of Nazi Zombies as a canon behind the scenes story going on while Black Ops is taking place, then we can safely establish that all of these anachronistic weapons in the single player campaign are just a drop of water in the ocean. In Nazi Zombies, the technological achievements include atomic battery powered ray guns, a hand-held cannon that fires high powered waves of compressed air, a gun that can shoot waves of freezing ice, a lightning gun, a machine that can convert regular guns into laser guns/plasma weapons, a black hole generating bomb, teleporters, flying saucers, and a base on the surface of the Moon. If you take all of that as canon then you can simply explain that all the anachronistic weapons were something they created along with everything else way ahead of schedule and simply didn't release it to the public.

Why is Clarke's hair grey?

  • Clarke is in his forties yet is grey. Steiner is in his sixties but is still blond. Not impossible, but very odd.
    • The strain of Nova 6 Clarke developed had the unfortunate nonlethal side effect of greying him, while the strain Steiner developed was more raw and for some reason preserved his hair color. Or Steiner dyes his hair.
      • Since Nova 6 is repeatedly shown to be instantly lethal, it's unlikely they got a dose of their own poison.
      • It is stated to include Rhenium, which may be toxic in large doses.
    • The dye part is probably the most likely; look closely at Steiner in his close-ups in "Rebirth", and he has a lot of visible veins and liver spots on his face. He's definitely aged visibly since "Project Nova".
    • Plus, some people grey quite early in life.
  • He was harassed for being a communist for most of his life in England, then started working for a James Bond villain, and then spent at least several months being (correctly) paranoid about Spetnaz coming after him. I would say that would be more than enough stress to cause early greying.

Mason's Burn Notice, and his rogue status

  • Why did Mason, Hudson and Weaver go rogue (or appeared to) after the final mission, as stated in the intel document?
    • The last cutscene implied that Mason killed JFK. Hudson and Weaver may have had to go rogue to protect him.
      • I think we can all agree Mason did kill JFK, but that was in '63.
    • IIRC, Mason went after some other people, possibly because he was still partially brainwashed, and the lady say the numbers was broadcasting orders from another station. If so, he was deemed a threat to the CIA and Hudson/Weaver may have become close to him. If Mason was taken out they'd be angry and try to get revenge (like Woods with Bowman). I may be wrong though.
    • Other intel documents suggest that Frank Woods is alive as a POW in Hanoi. That would be another potential reason: going rogue to rescue him.
      • It is because the CIA had a burn notice out on Mason where he was viewed as a threat to national security and a hunt and kill order was put on him. His friends are protecting him.
  • Or, Mason might be involved in the "other" Kennedy assassination, which took place four months after the numbers station incident.

Mason and Woods' skills

  • How are Mason and Woods trained to be able to fly Russian aircrafts?
    • Real reason: Rule of Cool. In-universe justification: The Mi-24 was developed from the earlier Mi-8. Perhaps they were trained on captured examples of that type and the controls are similar enough. Of course, it is even stranger that there are early versions Mi-24s available in 1968 when the first evaluation models were delivered to the Soviet armed forces in 1971.
    • Being highly-trained CIA operatives whose entire role involves actions deep inside enemy territory, I'd imagine at some point they were given some training in operating enemy vehicles.
      • Besides this, the Hind is not some weird unique wonderweapon, it's a helicopter. It's flown just like any other helicopter - a pair of pedals, a pair of sticks and a throttle. Once you've learned how to fly one, you can more or less fly them all, just like you don't need to learn how to drive every different kind of car. Presumably Woods & Mason have learned how to fly choppers at some point in their training as elite high-speed hooah badasses. They also both speak Russian fluently enough to be mistaken for locals during the Baikonur mission, which implies they also read it, so figuring out which dial, indicator and gauge is which wouldn't be a problem to them.

Mason's sanity and reliability as a soldier

  • Furthermore, why do they let Mason, someone they know was driven nuts in Soviet prison, punched out his handler, and may still be under the influence of that programming, participate in an *extremely* important mission? Why do they let him fly the chopper too? What if he goes nuts again and decide to down the other Hueys and sabotage the mission?
    • Mason is the main protagonist, and dramatic convention demands that he would have to be the one to face down the Big Bad. Of course, in a more realistic scenario, he would be in psychiatric care and probably will never go on a mission in the field again.
    • Just to clarify, Mason's only manning the guns; if you turn to the left, you can see Hudson is right next to him, piloting the helicopter. One can assume that Hudson is keeping a close eye on Mason's actions throughout the mission and is ready to react appropriately if Mason flips out.
    • I just thought that due to the general state of chaos that the US is in (Weaver mentions heading down to bunkers presumably with a lot of other important military people), Hudson's gut feeling that Mason was not a traitor was enough to get him on the helicopter along for the mission. I'm still not sure that totally justifies putting him up front in charge of the guns and whatnot, but I guess sitting in the helicopter being taken along as a human decoder ring for the mission wouldn't have been much fun for the player.
    • Hudson clearly trusts Mason (it was probably an I Owe You My Life thing for saving him in Khe Sanh) but also, as the interrogation showed, Mason is still one hell of a badass. Considering the final level takes place as the US reaches DEFCON 2 and we're still presumably engaged full bore in Vietnam, there might not have been a ton of other men to send.
    • The above might ring true were it not for the fact that as you're swimming up from the evil underground Soviet doomsday base, there's a giant flotilla of US ships ready and waiting. Although it was cool to board the ship and then dive down to the submarine station thing, one can't help but think that blowing up the ship followed by dropping a dozen or so depth charges would have saved a lot of time.
    • Along with some of the other reasons for why Mason was allowed to go on the mission and even try to go down to stop the broadcast as the station was being bombarded, Mason said it himself that he needed to be sure Dragovich was dead for real. Besides what had already happened, more so after his failed attempt at Baikonur 5 years prior to the last mission, he had some justification, even with the coming assault on the underwater station. He had to be very sure, Dragovitch might have otherwise somehow escaped, key word being somehow.
    • Remember also that Mason is the very best, as noted throughout the game. I mean, he manages to attack Rebirth Island by himself and do as much damage as Hudson and his entire CIA/Marine team put together. Mason may be mentally unstable one-man army, but he's also your mentally unstable one-man army.
    • Building on the above, also keep in mind the kind of capabilities Mason has - in terms of sheer skill, experience, ingenuity, and sheer lethality. If Hudson and Weaver left Mason behind, the first thing he'd do would be to break out, grab a helicopter, and head straight for Dragovich. Bringing Mason along ensures that they can control Mason's actions. Leaving him just invites trouble and antagonizes him.

Clarke's compliance with the CIA

  • Why did Clarke help the people that were torturing him literally 5 minutes before the Spetsnaz came? Why not ditch them or shoot them in the back?
    • Short-term advantage. The CIA want him alive, the Soviets want him dead. Probably he was hoping that they would fend off the Spetsnaz, after which he could ditch them at his earliest convenience.
    • Clark also points out that while he may be a "dead man" due to Dragonovich, he will do whatever it takes to stay alive for as long as possible. While ordinarily Clarke would not want to be a CIA prisoner, when his immediate alternative is being killed by the Spetsnaz he's more willing to look on the bright side.
    • As above, plus the fact that on an immediate level, sticking with the CIA guys during the firefight means that the Russians have two other targets besides him to shoot at. 'One out of three is better odds than one out of one' is what Clarke would be thinking at that moment.
      • This also explains Clarke being so eager to lend you his heavy weapons collection. In addition to the part where the faster you can kill Russians the more likely he is to escape, the larger and more obvious threats you are the more likely the Russians are to shoot at you and not him. Notice that he sticks with a machine pistol or SMG for the entire level, despite walking past at least three racks full of assault rifles, squad automatic weapons, rocket launchers, etc.

The Russian Intelligence beating the CIA's

  • In the campaign, they make a huge deal about the Russians knowing about their plans ahead of time and also being one step ahead of the CIA/Black Ops. They also suspect someone is leaking intel but this massive plotpoint is never addressed again in the campaign. I haven't read any of the intel so it may be revealed in there but it seems strange how this was a focal point for half the campaign and suddenly, they just drop it.
    • I thought it was Mason. Reznov sabotaged your brainwashing, but he apparently wasn't completely able to stop the effects considering that Mason shoots JFK. I figured Mason was an unwitting double agent.
      • Actually, someone tipped the Ivans off as far back as the Bay of Pigs. Sequel Hook?
        • There's already a sequel hook in the intel files. As for the Bay of Pigs, they worked with any number of Cuban rebels who could have turned on them.
    • This is Truth in Television, but taken Up to Eleven. The KGB was generally better-informed about American activities than vice-versa. In Black Ops, they just took it further, with the Russians knowing everything about the US's plans.

Dragovich's plans for the numbers

  • At the end, after the big reveal when Mason stumbles through the Pentagon, Hudson has him listen to the numbers sequence one last time. From that, Mason is able to decipher that the transmitter is aboard the Rusalka, leading to the last mission. Why would they transmit that information in their hidden broadcast? Why would they plant that information in the head of their sleeper agents? Those agents don't need to know it, and, indeed, anyone important enough to need to know it wouldn't need it transmitted all over the airwaves to remind them.
    • It could be Drago's idea of a taunt, broadcasting exactly where the station was in a way that his enemies would never be able to understand. The last thing he ever says is a taunt, so it fits with his character. He just got off on putting the US in a situation where they could hear exactly what they needed to know but in a way where they were powerless to understand it.
      • Dragovich's brain is a bag of cats.
  • During the mission on Rebirth Island where you play as Mason, he mentions to Reznov that the CIA is trying to get Steiner alive. How exactly does he know this? Hudson and Weaver got the intel on Steiner during a period where Mason was a prisoner, and I doubt there was any contact between the two from Mason's escape to his arrival on Rebirth.
    • It was a guess. Resnov put the idea in Mason's head that his own goverment might not have noble intentions, and Mason also knew how the CIA worked. Not to mention it wouldn't have been the first time the US goverment tried to cut deals with ex-Nazis.
    • At that point, it was Reznov's part of the brainwashing taking hold. Reznov says something to the effect that no government would be willing to sacrifice the power of the Nova 6 gas. Remember, the British show up in Reznov's mission and he interprets their presence as an attempt to seize it for themselves.
    • Also, in the interrogation, Hudson specifically states that Mason disobeyed orders regarding Rebirth, and Hudson and Mason appeared to be on the same frequency. It's not a stretch to say that Mason was listening in to their comm chatter before the mission begins or may have been aware of why they were there. He's not at all surprised when the explosions start, and says that it is the CIA.

Nova Six's status as a unique weapon

  • Did anyone else think it was odd that Nova 6 was treated as such a revolutionary new weapon? Nerve gas and chemical weapons were by no means new things in the 1960s, and while I don't know of any nerve gas that can turn your skin green and make it fall off, Sarin gas is quite capable of incapacitating and killing a human being with a small dose in a short space of time. Admittedly, Sarin gas has some problems with 'shelf life' and this fictional Nova 6 might be very cheap to produce/store, but that's never explained in-game. Personally I think some kind of biological weapon would have been much more appropriate for the kind of role they wanted Nova to play in the story. Though, I guess then we wouldn't have been able to see Petrenko die in such a dramatic fashion.
    • It wasn't that the weapon was revolutionary in and of itself, but it was part of Dragovich's overall plan. Mainly, he wanted to have sleeper agents release it at once within all the State capitals. Here, Nova 6 can be used in many different ways. It is lethal within 60 seconds in small doses, such as in the clinical tests when they gave diluted samples to test-subjects (human and animal) and in Rebirth, but once you start to concentrate, it is instantly lethal. Kravchenko mentions lethality statistics on infants, so they were clearly planning for an attack on civilian targets. Evidently, the role of Nova-6 is that it was the best Dragovich had at the time he was formulating his plans, which is likely to be in the 40s. Everything I've seen of Nova 6 indicates that it is easy to disperse over a large area, it stays there for a long time (like in the last section of Rebirth), and evidently stays only in the target area or isn't affected strongly by the wind. In Redemption, it hints that the Russians were going to mount a land invasion after the Nova-6 attacks, but the dossier mentions that not even Moscow is sure of his plans. Even if there were better options, Dragovich probably made sure that his chemical would be used since he's described as a control-freak.
    • I think the real kicker here with Nova-6 is that staying power it has. It doesn't appear to be affected by wind very much, judging by its behavior in Rebirth, which makes it an incredibly useful tool for tactical deployment and area denial. If you don't have to worry about your chemical weapon drifting too much and it can stay in an area of effect for prolonged periods, Nova-6 goes from a strategic weapon to a tactical weapon. That makes it incredibly useful in combat - moreso than even Sarin or VX.
    • Don't forget that it was introduced in the '40, when it was revolutionairy. And even in the late '60's, weapons like these were either not invented yet or not yet capable to be weaponised (too dangerous/spoils/hard to produce/etc.). It doesn't seem all that special nowadays, but back then, it would have been massive.
  • Poison gas was not revolutionary in the 40s or the 60s. Look up "World War I" sometime. Not only does Nova 6 seem to be nothing more than fancy mustard gas, it also seems rather expensive to produce. The three stated elements in it are sulfur (okay, kind of easy to come by), neodymium (a rare and expensive metal used in superconducters), and rhenium (an even rarer metal with the highest boiling point of any element. Where the hell would the Soviet Union get the rare metals needed for this, and how would the gaseous particles even float? If gas masks couldn't stop it then maybe I could understand, but since hazmat suits are shown to block it I can't really think of any benefit it provides.
    • As noted above, Nova-6 lingers. However it operates, it stays in the area for a prolonged period of time, turning it into an effective area-denial weapon. Also, mustard gas exposure is survivable, while Nova-6 isn't. It looks to be an alternate-universe version of sarin gas, based on the timeline in which it was developed. (in fact, you could replace all instances of "Nova-6" with "Sarin" and they'd fit pretty closely.) This matches observed effects and data notes in-game, which matches nerve agent effects as opposed to the vesicant/blister agent effects emblematic of mustard gas. In addition, the Soviet version of Nova-6 is instantly lethal. It can kill someone before the body hits the ground. Overall, it makes for a very, very efficient and potent example of a nerve agent, nastier even than sarin gas.

The nature of Nova 6

  • Related question: what is Nova 6 exactly? It's introduced as a chemical weapon, and the speed with which it kills supports this, but many terms dropped in the game (strain, infections, infected tissue, bio-lab) are only used for bio-weapons. This is most notable in the rebirth island mission, where the complex is called a bio-lab.
    • Furthermore, it is stated to be made of sulfur, neodymium and rhenium, the last two being rare earth metals which have no function in biological processes. I say they just added "bio-" to it because bio-weapons sound more menacing than green blister gas.
    • Nova-6 is an extremely fast-acting chemical weapon that inflicts damage roughly comparable with nerve gas, with sufficient lethality to kill someone before their body hits the floor. Symptoms are largely consistent with nerve agents but also have elements of choking/pulmonary agents as well and also causes skin necrosis.

CIA knowing the Vietnam War was going south before the Pentagon does?

  • This is more of a historical point, but in the cutscene after the Tet offensive, the interrogator tells Mason that Tet was when America really started losing the war. At the time of the interrogation, maybe a month has passed since Tet. In the short term, Tet was a failure for the Viet Cong. Sure, there must have been doubts in the American high command, but how did they know that the war was going to go so far south just four weeks later when, tactically, Tet was a victory for the allied forces in South Vietnam?
    • The CIA/MACV-SOG has better knowledge in the universe than the US Army commanders? Might be a stretch, but...
      • Yeah, pretty much. The higher-ups at that point were aware that after Tet, things were swinging badly for the US/SV forces. It's not a real stretch to assume that the CIA realized that things were utterly fucked by that point, with the media response to Tet and the issues they were having back home.
      • This is probably less about intel and more about insight: the SOG and CIA gave all their intel to the top brass, but they also had the insight to see where this was going. Almost all military leadership is notoriously oblivious to their own troops and strategies' weaknesses, however, and probably refused to believe the spooks that the war was going south.
        • From what I could tell about the war from history books, before Tet the war was going fine on every single front (majority support at home, large US presence, heavy NVA casualties in every battle, no major US defeats). Tet, from a military standpoint, was a major US/SV victory. The Viet Cong took so many casualties they never truly recovered as a fighting force. The NVA had to handle almost everything after that. South Vietnam doubled the size of its military and all lost positions, including Hue, were retaken. If Hudson were speaking after the war, he might have a bit of a point. However, he is talking in the middle of the battle or right after the situation is resolved. Even with plenty of data, there is very little chance that Hudson could fully grasp the fallout after the battle. Interestingly, Hudson's statement is colored as much by current popular opinion and modern perception of the war as the average Vietnam War film. The US technically didn't lose Vietnam. It got what it wanted, a Peace Accord that ended the war with South Vietnam as an independent country. However, North Vietnam violated the Paris Peace Accords by invading South Vietnam in 1974, conquering the country in 1975. The US refused to enforce the peace agreement, undoing everything the Vietnam War could have accomplished. To quote one veteran "We didn't lose Vietnam. We left."

Why didn't the CIA try to triangulate the source of the broadcast if they had the numbers?

  • Short question: Why did the CIA need Mason's help in order to locate the origin of the numbers transmission? Technically, well, it's radio and the CIA are obviously able to receive the broadcast. So, why don't they use a little bit of simple triangulation in order to find the beacon?
    • Any halfway-competent communications engineer could easily set up a large number of radio stations to transmit the signal from multiple points across the globe, which would foul up any attempts to find it via triangulation. There's a reason why the CIA needed to know what the broadcast was saying, not simply where it was being transmitted from.
    • And that brings up another question: Why is the Rusalka still in the Gulf of Mexico? It was there seven years ago during Operation 40. Either it has been moving around a lot and that was some really lucky timing on Mason's part, or Dragovich isn't as intelligent as he seems.
    • In case you didn't notice, the Rusalka was parked on top of the underwater submarine base that was the actual numbers station. That's why it didn't move.

The nature of Dragovich's standing with the Soviets

  • I can stomach the idea that Dragovich was able to create all this Nova-6 with the help of Dr. Steiner at his side. The problem I have is wondering how in the hell he found all the funding for all these research facilities and sleeper agents all across the USA, a Soviet General does not make enough serious cash to fund such endeavors without the support of the Russian government.
    • Which is why he was supported by the Soviet government. He's not a rogue agent or anything. He was acting with the approval of his government.
      • Reznov, or at least Mason's interpretation of Reznov (things are still a little sketchy on whether Reznov is still alive), told Mason that even the Kremlin doesn't know Dragovich's intentions. This gave me the impression that Dragovich may have been a part of the Soviet Military but he still had his own aims outside of the interests of Russia, or at least he had a vision of Russia that was far from what any sane leader would have sanctioned since his plans would have brought on a nuclear counter-attack from America.
      • Honestly, we can't really trust that. Reznov isn't exactly omnipotent, and this is Mason's interpretation of Reznov we're dealing with here. He's not exactly the most trustworthy resource, especially considering everything else Dragovich is shown to possess. He at least has to have some sanction by the Soviet military to do what he's done.
      • It's very likely that Dragovich lied to his superiors about what he was working on. He had the funding and support, but Moscow thought he was doing something entirely different.

How Dragovich viewed Reznov

  • Why would Dragovich view Reznov as a "thorn in his side" fit only for disposal? A General Officer in any given military usually does not become familiar with their troops unless they messed up badly or achieved remarkable victories befitting of a war hero. Reznov being the latter given all the major victories Dmitri and him achieve in the events of World at War should have been of interest for Dragovich to keep as a friend rather than a foe.
    • Reznov was a war hero who held a vicious grudge against Dragovich (Dragovich abandoned Reznov's men to die during Stalingrad). Being a war hero with a grudge, he could easily incite resentment among the enlisted against Dragovich. Better to step on that fire early.
      • In Reznov's own words, he may not have liked Dragovich but he was still a loyal soldier who followed orders. That kind of soldier isn't likely to do anything you wouldn't like. Did Stalin really hate war heroes that much? Did he think that they would rob him of his own personal glory?
      • Yes. Stalin did fear Red Army war heroes and had a lot of Red Army soldiers who fought on the Eastern Front sent to gulags for precisely that reason.
        • That is a very terrible Military hierarchy, damned if you do, damned if you don't. What incentive would a soldier have to follow orders if he is punished regardless of whether he fails or succeeds in winning the battles he fights?
          • If you don't follow orders you will die, and immediately. If you follow orders, you may die, and after the campaign is over. Therefore, follow orders and at worst you'll live a little longer than if you didn't, and maybe you'll live long enough to even retire! Welcome to Communist Russia.
      • Ask Stalin. As was noted above, this is very much Truth in Television.
      • It's likely that they had no idea any of that would happen if they succeeded. For all they knew, they would have been welcomed home as heroes.
        • "That is a very terrible military hierarchy" -- welcome to Stalinist Russia. It was a crappy place, in large part because it was run by a paranoid psychotic who built a Cult of Personality around himself, so that the people adored him even as he was sending a huge portion of them to gulags. The returning war heroes would have expected nothing less than a hero's welcome. And Stalin would have been determined that all of them were planning to overthrow him and to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Nukes as an option rather than Nova 6

Animation issues with the M1911's reloading

  • Is the dry-reload animation for dual M1911's really necessary? Apparently Treyarch had actually been trained how one would reload a pistol with one hand, but from what I can guess it seems that the intent of the method used is supposed to be "one-handed because your other arm is too injured to move" rather than "one-handed because you're holding another one in your other hand".

Davis Family Vacationing in the middle of a war

  • "Davis Family Vacation" seems like it belongs in MW 2, before the Russians invade. Why would a family of American tourists be skipping around London without a care in the world 6 weeks after an invasion of the US Mainland? We are at DEFCON 2, people!
    • It is entirely possible that the invasion is the reason they went to the UK, to get away. Stranger events have happened in times of war.
    • Plenty of foreign tourists were vacationing in Egypt during the middle of the revolution in Jan./Feb. 2011. Stranger things have happened, indeed.
    • Black Tuesday/Hunter-Killer take place on August 17th. That's when the Russian fleet booked it out of the US. Mind the Gap/Davis Family Vacation take place on October 6th. There's nearly a two month gap between the missions. The world was starting to thaw it's fervent war efforts, and as such the Davis's went to the UK. Makarov knows the war is slowing and instigates the chemical attacks to basically stage II the ordeal.
    • That, and they could have been Canadian.

Mr. Davis just ignoring the suspicious truck

  • "Davis Family Vacation": The dad sees the truck stop in the middle of the road and two men book out of the seats, and he doesn't get suspicious? Not even tell his daughter "Don't go near the truck"?
    • He probably didn't even notice what was happening in the background, being focused on his wife and daughter.
    • It's also funny how they were touring London at half six in the morning (6:22am).
      • They probably wanted to explore London early before it got too crowded. Maybe if they slept in, they could have lived?
        • Unless they liked getting up really early and long hikes, probably not. That they were on foot still a couple blocks away from where they were going (Big Ben) implies that they were walking all the way there, which implies that their hotel is relatively nearby. So they'd still be within the radius of the gas cloud.

Civilians in the last level

  • In "Dust to Dust" who are the people evacuating the hotel when you're attacking?. They seem to be Russian, and they certainly aren't Arabs. And why would there be so many civilians inside of a hotel filled with Ultranationalist militia (including the most wanted terrorist in the world)? They're not hostages: the enemies never use them as shields as they're frequently depicted as doing. The primary explanation that I can think of is that they are unarmed, non-military civilian supporters of the Ultranationalists who are are hiding out in Dubai. With the war over and Vorshevsky purging the Ultranationalists, they're probably worried about reprisals.
    • They're likely just guests of the hotel that Makarov controls and is using as his base. Occom's Razor and all that.

Makarov getting the Russian President, but missing Alena

  • How did Makarov not get the Russian President's daughter when he got the President? His men had them surrounded and he controlled all of the "rescue" aircraft. How did she escape?
    • He didn't control all of the "rescue" helicopters. The ones coming in immediately after the crash were not under Makarov's control. You can overhear on the radio shortly before Makarov shoots Harkov that they managed to evacuate Alena to safety. The only helicopter that had Makarov's men on it was the one carrying Makarov himself.
      • Also, if Spec Ops missions are canon, an FSO agent managed to get her out of the immediate danger zone.

Why does the war end just because the Russian President was rescued?

  • Why does the game try to portray the war as over just because the Russian President was rescued? You don't invade a powerful country like the United States (implausible as it may be as stated above) ransack Washington D.C and New York and fight across the continent of Europe and everything is just fine and dandy. What happened to men like Corporal Dunn and Sergeant Foley who said that they wanted to burn Moscow down to the ground for what the Russians did to America? A World War is not resolved in a matter of weeks, the previous two lasted over 4 years.
    • Wars don't last long when neither side wants to prolong them. Wars only last as long as one side feels it has something to gain by prolonging it. Neither Vorchevsky nor NATO wants the war to go on any longer, so when they go for a peace conference, they're pretty quick to declare a ceasefire. Wars in real life have ended just as quickly.
      • So are we to assume had General Shepherd survived and stayed as Supreme Commander of the United States Military (receiving the blank check from the Secretary of Defense more or less would have secured him that position) then a full scale war with Russia would have occurred? Since Shepherd manipulated the war into existence in the first place I guess it would be reasonable to assume cooler heads would prevail as far as peace talks go. However it would be absurd to assume that there wouldn't be a public backlash from the American people and Europeans abroad to seek out some sort of punishment against Russia for their aggression, Germany never got away with crap like that. Also at least some portion of the Military must have been thinking on the same lines as Dunn on burning Moscow down to the ground. It would seem logical that Shepherd's plan succeeded, the war will make the United States Military and the American people more involved with affairs abroad and a new world order of American control will come from this motivated by the desire to prevent another disaster of that scale.
      • It's likely that Vorchevsky and the Loyalists agreed to massive amounts of reparations and reconstruction efforts, as well as downsizing their military by a significant amount and maybe even ceded some territory. The US and their NATO allies are in a position to dictate whatever they want by the end of the game, and lots of blood money would diffuse the bloodthirst somewhat.

It's just Price and Yuri going after Makarov?

  • So WW 3 has ended and Task Force 141 has been reinstated and Price has been cleared yet when he goes after Makarov all he has is the support of Yuri and Nikolai. The world knows Makarov is behind everything, so why the hell isn't Makarov's hotel being stormed by Delta Force, The Navy SEALS, GIGN, SAS, and god knows who else instead of Price and Yuri in bomb squad suits being backed up by superhacker Nikolai?
    • Captain Price's name may have been cleared or at least forgiven by Western special forces but at that point killing Makarov was more than just a mission, Soap's death made it very much personal for Price and he wasn't going to let anyone else claim his revenge. It is very much Honor Before Reason for Price.

Can the war really be called World War 3?

  • Is it really fair to call the war in Modern Warfare 2 and 3 World War III? I mean the war is mainly between America and Russia even when they battle across Europe, and there isn't a group of allies on both sides like America, Britain, Russia, and Germany, Italy, and Japan like during World War II, meaning the scale of how many parties are involved is no where on the scale that we came to expect from the previous two World Wars. I mean sure Military technology and tactics may have improved greatly in the last 70 years but a large scale technologically sophisticated war does not automatically make it a "World War" in any sense.
    • The Russians didn't have any outright allies, but they sure as hell had a lot of enemies. Every single European capital and the mainland United States were hit with WMDs. Even though we don't see them that frequently, the European powers were definitely fighting back, you fight alongside them in Bag and Drag and Goalpost. And aside from the actual slugfest between Russia and NATO, in the hunt for Makarov TF141 has battles in Brazil, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, India, Somalia, the Czech Republic, and Dubai. The civilian casualties from Makarov's chemical attack could easily stretch into the millions. I think it is certainly fair to call it WW 3.
    • WWI was fought almost entirely in Europe, with a sideshow in the Middle East. MW3 covers an equivalent geographic scope and almost all of the same players.
      • You forgot the East African campaign of World War I, which was not insubstantial, and the Brazilian naval conflict. World War I was named thus precisely because it did legitimately involve substantial military forces from every inhabited continent on Earth.

Why doesn't MI 6 just arrest all of the suspicious truck drivers straightaway?

  • So the British intelligence agencies discover that there are dangerous things being smuggled into the country and send the SAS to investigate. Why the hell didn't they arrest all the truck drivers and henchmen at the port and instead let them drive away?
    • By the time they got anyone to the port, they were already loading up and moving. British intelligence was tracking the other vehicles, as shown when they ambushed the one headed for the subway station, and sending squadcars and police to arrest the drivers might cause them to trigger any explosives or whatever they were carrying. The SAS were hoping to get inside, secure the port, determine what was inside the trucks, and then they could act, but they were expecting maybe a couple dozen hostiles at most, instead of the two hundred plus troops Makarov had inserted. The operation only became overt when Makarov's men started pouring out of the woodwork and firing RPG and assault weapons.
    • The police were chasing the trucks though. The one making for Westminster is shown being pursued by police shortly before the SAS stop it. Also the bombs were wired to go off at precisely 6:22 and not by remote detonation so for all we know they were stopped but it didn't matter (you see the location of the truck you personally stopped is on fire in the cutscene following it).

What were the Czech Rebels trying to do?

  • So were the Czech Rebels only rebelling to get Price, Soap, and Yuri into position to kill Makarov or were they really trying to expel the Russians. Because their plan was very poorly thought out if they were trying to expel the Russians, considering how a couple of tanks is all the Russians needed to put them down.
    • Yeah, a few tanks were all it took to take down the rebels. When all you have are light infantry armed with small arms and molotovs, they tend to get put down when they run into tanks. That's how these things tend to work.
    • The point of an insurgency like that is not to expel the occupiers in direct conflict but to make it too expensive to maintain a presence and to stretch enemy resources and manpower. If you destroy enough material and kill enough men, an occupying force may consider withdrawing, especially when they're engaging in a conventional war on another front and need the resources there. If they insist on holding that area, destroying their war materiel can further hurt their operations on the front as they have to stretch their troops and equipment across a wider area, weakening them overall. That's one of the basic ideas of an insurgency. In addition, the insurgency fighting to help Price's team take down Makarov can hobble the entire war, so they definitely have a vested interest in helping Price kill him.

Frost's location in the mine

  • Where was Frost when the rest of Team Metal died?
    • From a story standpoint, my best guess would be that he was in another part of the mine. Of course, the real reason he isn't there seems likely to be that the developers simply didn't want you to see him, the same way they never show you the face of the American player characters in the previous MW games.
      • They showed you Soap, Price, and Yuri. Why would they make an exception for the Americans?
        • Because the developers didn't want to make a character model and hire a voice actor for Frost
          • But there's been files ripped from the game of things said by Frost. The already hired a voice actor for him.
            • Where?
              • You do see Frost at the beginning, in a folder during the first missions loading scene. Hes wearing a balaclava and goggles so no actual face. They could have easily made him a NPC without revealing anything, just don't make him talk.
    • The last time you see/play as Frost is in the mission where you try and fail to rescue Alena, right? This troper likes to imagine that Frost made a jump for the helicopter as it pulled away, caught the rail, and promptly gets an SMG to the face for his trouble (with or without a Taking You with Me moment, perhaps literally), in a subversion of that trope where someone single-handedly hijacks a helicopter.

Much ado about Makarov "knowing" Yuri

  • Why was it such a big deal that Yuri 'knows' Makarov? Price and Soap both know him too, and they even convinced him to work with them long enough to take down Shepard. Better yet, how is this revelation in any way a surprise to Price or Soap? They were both aware of Yuri's extensive knowledge of the inner workings of Makarov's gang. Is there some sort of burned spy code where you don't ask a man where he's getting his very useful intel? It's not like Yuri was reticent about revealing his part in Makarov's plot once someone finally bothered to ask him about it.
    • Consider the missions that Price and Soap had gone on with Yuri: Price and Nikolai medevac Soap to India (where Yuri is) - it is attacked by Makarov's forces immediately. Price, Soap, and Yuri head to Africa - Makarov escapes with all the weapons just before they arrive. Price, Soap, and Yuri head to Prague - Makarov immediately sniffs out Kamarov, and plants a bomb in the exact spot that Soap and Yuri chose for a sniper nest. Price would have to be silly not to suspect a rat, and when Soap tells him that Makarov knows Yuri, Price immediately focuses his suspicion on him. We the players know the context of Makarov's transmission and the placement of the bombs prove that Yuri wasn't working with Makarov, but Price didn't at the time.
    • Also keep in mind that Price hasn't exactly been stable since he got out of the gulag, and he'd just lost Soap, who seemed to be both a comrade and one of the closest friends he still had. He'd also lost Kamarov, who was probably the only other person present who could explain the connection. Price probably just snapped and assumed the worst. The whole thing still might have been avoided if Yuri/Kamarov had filled Price and Soap in on the whole deal.

Shepherd victorious?

  • So is Shepherd a case of The Bad Guy Wins? Shepherd's role in orchestrating the events of the war are never even really brought up and we actually learn that he was buried in Arlington Cemetery which is reserved for veterans who have been recognized for a long and meaningful service to their country. A vague reference is made when Sandman tells Price the Western Special Forces community is obligated to capture or kill Price for his acts of treason and violence against the government, even though no specific mention to Shepherd being the one the violence was done against, but explaining that he trusts Price and is willing to listen to his advice. Hell Price is forgiven simply for helping to save the Russian President with no mention of justifying why he killed Shepherd and explaining to the international community what crimes he committed. It just seems in this perspective Shepherd may not have lived to see his plan reach its conclusion but even in death he won.
    • Sheperd's goal was to reinspire the American people into becoming more patriotic and flooding the armed forces with new recruits. Since NATO and Russia declare peace almost immediately following the President's rescue I would say that no, he did not win. America (it seems) isn't going to invade Russia in response which is presumably what Sheperd wanted (Russia invades -> Gets beaten -> Americans flood to join the military to get revenge ALA post-9/11 -> America invades Russia and shows themselves to be the top dog). Also don't forget Sheperd had made a very big deal over Makarov being responsible for World War 3, Price and Co. being shown to have been actively fighting him, rescuing the Russian President (and therefore bringing about peace), not to mention they continue to hunt him, I would say it was all shoved under the rug rather quickly.
      • In that sense it seemed to me that Shepherd did succeed. There is no way in hell the previous 5 years of terrorist attacks from a Russian-Arab alliance that escalated to 30,000 casualties from a nuke and an attempted nuclear strike on the East Coast, and a full scale invasion of the mainland United States and a conflict across Europe isn't going to get a reaction from the American people and the Military especially. First off during the peace talks there should be a huge campaign from European countries and America demonizing Russia for their very overt acts of aggression for the past few years, and secondly if you thought the patriotic fever and Militarization abroad after 9-11 was bad, a full-scale war would make the American government and people go ape-shit, this will cause an increased Military presence abroad that will make America expand outward in order to maintain security around the world. Shepherd surely planned for that to happen, though of course with him alive to see it, so it seems to me that he won and at the very least he is remembered as a hero by the American public.

Team Metal just sitting there as another Special Forces team is killed

  • When Team Metal is aiding another Special Forces team to retrieve the Russian President's daughter, they watch as the team is killed. The team was dropped on the hotel by a helicopter, but Team Metal has to rappel down their building, fight their way to the hotel, and eventually lose the girl. Why didn't they get the helicopter to come back and transport them 500 feet? The German army had mostly ground superiority so there wasn't really a threat of any heavy AA.
    • Actually after the building collapses Overlord says that the German Army are pretty much getting their arses handed to them (because AMMEERRICCAAA obviously needs to save another European capital in fiction). You raise a good point but considering the other team got ambushed or killed by an explosive trap I doubt it was the best idea at the time. That and how else were they going to fit in a fancy scripted event with an explosion?
      • Give Team Metal a break. The US Army spent the last two games getting their asses handed to them.
      • To be quite blunt the entire German Army currently has fewer than 75,000 men total. Russia probably has quite a few more men than that in the Modern Warfare universe, most of which are concentrated on pounding Europe into rubble. What is so surprising about a nation that doesn't even bother to keep an army at post WW 1 treaty levels (100,000) geting pounded into the ground? Its not like the US reenforcements were doing any better.

How did Price get a sample of the gas?

  • In the mission in Somalia, Price gets Warrabe to rat out on Volk in Paris using a grenade loaded with what is apparently the gas agent that was used in Europe. How the hell did he get his hands on even a small sample of it?
    • The gas was shipped from the Somalian compound (notice all the Fregata Industries crates around) which would explain it. Where Price got such a small sample of it is a bit odd though.
    • When you miss the shipment in Sierra Leone, there's a little bit of it remaining in the church, which likely included the grenade.
    • Or it's simply a clever ruse where Price just pulled out a smoke grenade and used the gas masks to make it seem like it was the nerve gas. The team does seem to take them off rather quickly after Waraabe is shot.
    • I think it was the gas seeing as how it looks exactly like it and how Waraabe reacts just to Price pulling the 'grenade' out.
    • If you go back into the green-smoked-filled office after you remove the mask, you find that Price was not bluffing about it being poison gas.
    • Note that this is after the massive gas attack was launched. Price was probably able to either get a sample from somewhere in Europe or he hit another shipment before it reached the European mainland.

Why was winning the Battle of New York so important?

  • Why was not losing New York so important? The Russians were getting their asses kicked everywhere else but Overlord makes it sound like losing New York loses them the war.
    • New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street are the most prestigious financial districts in all of America, and it is where the international community conducts business (Trillions of dollars flow in and out of these markets). It would be like cutting out the financial heart of America and would severely cripple them. America may spend more money on its Military than the rest of the world combined (about 700 billion dollars annually), but funding all of those men and equipment consumes money, especially when you transport them across the world, and therefore without a constant money flow coming into the country funding their Military would face problems over the long run. On top of that New York has cultural significance for America, all these international cultures blend and mix and it is a symbol of wealth and technological progress. New York is a place of strategic value as it would affect our financial and morale situation.
    • On a more material note, NYC, the Manhattan area, and the Jersey coastal area have what is easily one of the biggest, best, and most extensive port areas in the world. If you're going to be committing an amphibious invasion of the continental US, you have to have the New York/Jersey port facilities to supply your troops. If the Russians could take that port they would be able to flood troops and equipment all over the East Coast.
      • This is why the assault on Washington D.C and Virgina failed. As implausible as it is to transport that much men and equipment over the Atlantic Ocean and into America in the first place (Russia got there too quickly and they shouldn't have gotten by American coastline defenses, but that is covered up above), no long term invasion can last without a logistical supply line where more men and equipment can come in as the war progresses. When Russia got hit by the EMP in Washington D.C all of their Military hardware was ruined with no way to have it resupplied like the American forces that had their equipment all over the nation ready to be shipped to them to counteract the Russian threat. New York has to be taken if Russia wants to maintain a presence in America.

Why did Vorshevsky's plane crash?

  • How did the President's plane crash? Were the pilots killed? Were they traitors? Did the hijackers shoot out important equipment? I felt that the agents had responded fast enough to stop the hijackers.
    • If you listen closely, you can hear a report that the hijackers breached the cockpit.
      • Other background chatter indicates that the FSO agents managed to retake the cockpit, though whoever was left to pilot the plane probably had to make an emergency landing after whatever the hijackers had done. Arguably the point of the hijacking was to crash the plane so that Makarov's fake rescue chopper could grab Vorshevsky.
  • I was glad that they showcased a member of the Executive Office so that the plot point of what happened to the government of the United States wasn't completely ignored. However what in the hell was the Vice President of the United States doing in Europe?
    • He was going to meet with Vorshevsky for the peace negotiations.
    • Yeah, Vorshevsky and the other delegates were meeting in Hamburg to handle the negotiations for a ceasefire, and the VP got caught in the Russians' lightning invasion before they could evacuate.
    • Which presents an interesting point as to why Team Metal were not ordered to help evacuate other NATO delegates?
    • Maybe they had other Delta or SEAL or GSG-9 etc. teams on hand to help with that.
    • It's cool, Sgt. Foley had Ramirez save all of the other delgates.
    • The ones that survived the motorcade attack are likely dead. The troops who snatched the VP executed at least one other official before you can reach him.

Where'd the German and French troops go?

  • Where were all the German and French troops during the European missions? You help the GIGN in Paris and their lack of numbers is handwaved as the chemical attacks having been aimed at their headquarters, but during the missions in Germany you help a couple of their tanks which last all of five minutes and the GIGN vanish about as quickly as they appear. Even better is how after the (American) airforce destroy the Effiel Tower the reinforcements you see flying into Paris and American and not French after having been (and for all we know still) fighting a war in the United States. I realise the United States have bases over here but come on.
    • The invasion in the US may have begun and been beaten back in a short enough time that they did not have time to redeploy their forces in Europe back to the US. Also, they may have decided to keep their forces in place in Europe and Asia in case the Russians decided to open a second front where they could launch an overland invasion.
    • Also how was 3 tanks and a couple dozen men considered a division?
      • If the Russians targeted major military installations in addition to special forces units (or, indeed, if those special forces units were based at the major installations), three tanks and a couple dozen men might actually be the entire division now.
      • Because when a division is deployed, they tend to be spread out along a fairly wide area. You're not seeing the whole division, you're seeing a small part of that division because everyone else is engaged elsewhere in the city.
    • The German and French troops are fighting elsewhere. Germany and France are big countries, and Paris, Hamburg, and Berlin are big cities. You're part of small units generally operating deep behind enemy lines.

Russians being able to mobilize a massive invasion force of Europe

  • As an extension of the russian military managing to stage a full invasion of Washington secretly, how the hell did they manage to move a second full army into continental europe without notice? The first warning anyone gets is an american airbase in Germany getting hit by conventional forces. Within hours the russians have pushed through germany and are seigeing Paris as well. How the hell did they manage to sneak armored divisions through a half dozen countries? No-one noticed huge numbers of tanks and bmps rolling through their country? Namely the german and french militaries, who are virtually unaccounted for.
    • Russians in the MW games are hypercompetent. If they can get an entire invasion force across the Atlantic into the US, then they can thunderbolt through Europe if given an opening. It is worth noting that the Russians appeared to have tried to attack the UK too, but they got Royal Navy'd, thus keeping up the MW tradition that the only ones more competent than the Russians are the Brits.

Team Metal's sacrifice

  • What was the point in Team Metal's sacrifice? They stood there shooting for about five minutes, covering Yuri (fair enough), but once he and the President are aboard they continue to do so, calling for the helicopter to take off despite them being about a metre from the bloody thing if that. Why didn't they just take a couple of steps backwards and hop on? It wasn't like the ruskies were hitting anything.
    • They were going to step back into the chopper before it was hit and the pilot bugged out.
    • Did you actually bother playing that sequence and seeing what happened? The moment Yuri got on the helicopter and turned around, it was hit and the pilot had to bug out. They were too busy shooting to retreat across the ten feet between their position and the helicopter.
    • From their dialogue it seems like they meant to make a last stand, with Sandman more than once telling Price to just get out of there rather than wait for them. Given the masses of Russian troops descending on them they probably felt that even the few seconds it'd take for them to get aboard could be enough for the chopper to be shot down (like the other one they sent down) or for the Russian president to otherwise be killed. Given that the rescue chopper gets hit and as you pull out the whole mine seems to collapse down, they were probably right.

The gas attacks not triggering MAD

  • So when the Russians hit London, Berlin and Paris with chemical WMDs, how is that not finally justification for nuclear retaliation, if not by the US then at least by the UK and France? I understand Mutually Assured Destruction is a bad thing, but the entire premise is that WMDs in an arsenal are supposed to deter attacks with those same weapons. If your country is wholly unwilling to use nuclear weapons in retaliation to a WMD strike on your capital then you should never have built them in the first place. After all, the only thing worse than Mutually Assured Destruction is "Assured Destruction For Only Your Side."
    • They actually hit every NATO capital in Western Europe. Anyway, I think it was because initially they all assumed it was a terrorist attack.
    • I think the sheer chaos of the attack disrupted immediate WMD response, and the subsequent lightning assault further disrupted attempts to creatre organized resistance. The swift rescue of Vorshevsky probably also contributed to it as well.
    • Um, I don't see how that would be possible. Fifty odd years of Cold War means that the various NATO and Warsaw Pact countries have institutions and procedures in place in case of a WMD attack where the Command Authority is disrupted. That's the whole point of deterrence after all. The only thing stopping the Russian Federation from using their still ridiculously large chemical and biological weapons stockpiles in the event of war is the fear of escalating to nuclear.
    • Yes Minister has a brilliant bit where the Prime Minister discusses nuclear deterrence. Long story short, it boils to the notion that protocol is worthless if the person in charge doesn't have the will to use the nuclear capabilities. I suspect the same here. The attacks were initially believed to be terrorist attacks, which would not warrant a nuclear counterstrike. By the time the Russians were rolling around Europe, it was likely too late for either side to be in the mindset for a nuclear strike option. Also, the key word is "deterrence". Cold War was a game of chicken on who would launch nukes first. If NATO saw that Russia was willing to invade, instead of using nuked, they might have figured conventional war might be enough to resolve the war.
    • Not to mention the fact that, at the time of the attacks, the U.S and Russia were negotiating a peace accord. Once one side uses nukes on the other, brokering a peace deal would be impossible. Team Metal's priority for most of their time in Europe is saving VIP's that are not only essential to the continued functioning of their governments, but also ones that are a must for negotiating peace.

Location of Sgt. Foley's team

  • Sgt. Foley's team is nowhere to be seen in this game. This is a minor thing, as they could simply still be cleaning up in D.C. or regrouping to lick their woudns when this game takes place, but it seems particularly jarring given how little personality any of the new characters seemed to have. Maybe Keith David was unable to find time to voice-act for this game?
    • You do see Foley's 75th Ranger Regiment on the map in the "Black Tuesday" cutscene. They are apparently in Midtown Manhattan. My guess? They don't appear in the game because they are all trying to get tickets to The Book of Mormon.

Saving both Alena and her dad

  • What was the point of saving Alena if you were heading to save her dad? Why not just stop wasting time and go save her dad since you do it RIGHT AFTER SHE GETS KIDNAPPED.
    • Delta and 141 only know where Vorshevsky is because they tracked the transport carrying Alena to his location. And if Makraov has Alena, he can force her father to give up the codes simply by possessing her. They both have to be rescued.
    • Note that even if Vorschevsky is rescued, if Makarov has Alena he can still use her as leverage against her father. So even if they know where Vorschevsky is first, they'll need to secure Alena to keep Makarov from using her.

Why can't the Russian president just order the troops to stop attacking Europe and the US?

  • The Russian President is the commmander-in-chief of the Russian Armed Forces. How can he not simply just order his military to stop attacking the US? And as for Europe, why not his Vice President?
    • It's implied that the military might be under de-facto control of Makarov, so while in practice the president is commander-in-chief, he might not actually be able to do anything.
    • He...did...order his men to stop attacking the US. I mean, the Russian military withdrew entirely from the US eastern coast. They didn't return due to a sudden loss of vodka and caviar. You'd need an executive order from the CIC to essentially abandon an entire theater of war. And he was on his way to a peace conference in Hamburg, so it should have been obvious that he did order a withdrawal. Vorshevsky's VP is probably in Makarov's pocket too, so he could keep the war ongoing.
    • Most likely, the Russian Government keeps fighting the war because they feel they have to. Nobody knows what happens to the President until you rescue him. For all we know, the VP and any immediate successors were on that plane. The command structure is probably doing what it was told to do until it is told otherwise. It's not like they can say "Hey guys! Our President is missing! Time out!"
      • Hell, for all the Russian military knows, the Americans or the British took out the Russian President's plane and kidnapped him.
    • They did more than continue the war, the expanded it into Europe, which at that time hadn't shown much sign of helping America out - and they did so immediately in the wake of the gas attacks. Whoever took over military command was obviously in league with Makarov and willing to indulge in his crazy plans.

Who is Overlord?

  • Is Overlord the same character throughout the 3 games or is it just the result of different voice actors?
    • "Overlord" is simply a callsign for a command unit, so it is entirely possible that you'd end up talking with more than one officer under that callsign. You're not actually going to be talking with the actual Overlord general officer in overall command unless you're speaking directly with "Overlord Actual."

Who took Shepherd's place in the command structure?

  • Shepherd was issued a blank check (in financial terms this means unlimited funds) by the Secretary of Defense, which means that he was slated to be head commander of the upcoming war with Russia and the eventual capture or kill order on Makarov. Who took his place in the command structure? Overlord is the only other General Officer we know of in the series (he has issued orders to all American protagonists throughout MW 1-3) and as far as I could tell he was only a unit commander. A war needs a Supreme Commander, there doesn't appear to be one directly involved in the plot.
    • True, but that character doesn't necessarily need to speak with Sandman directly. He's got a lot on his plate.
    • Remember, Shepard was not given a blank check to fight the whole of the war, but just to find and kill Makarov. The actual war is probably being handled by the President and whatever unseen remains are there of the traditional command structure.
    • Overlord is a callsign, which could end up being used by multiple people over any given time period. Sherperd's position as commander of a temporary anti-Makarov force is easily fillable by another officer, probably from SOCOM, assuming the task force isn't shut down and its component units returned to their original commands. If this route were taken, SOCOM probably had a small, temporary group created to hunt down Makarov set up to pick up where Sheperd left off.

Why don't Yuri and Soap just shoot Makarov?

  • Yuri and Soap identified Makarov in one of those cars and had him in their scope. Why didn't they take the shot? Even if the window on the car was bulletproof that kind of glass can't last against multiple rifle shots so they could shoot through it if they fired simultaneously.
    • This was their one shot. If the glass held or they missed, the car would drive off and they'd blow their opportunity.
      • Shooting Makarov would have had an excellent book ends for the series (the Russian Ultranationalist threat would begin and end with a sniper shot at its leader), but unlike Zakahev who was out in the open Makarov was in a car so he was less vulnerable to a sniper shot than his predecessor. Still it would be nice if the player could decide to make the shot and end the story right then and there.
      • Have you tried shooting Makarov at that point? Your shot just bounces off the glass. Definitely bulletproof.
    • They also wanted to get other members of Makarov's command structure, since they planned of killing him at a meeting. Knowing how much of a Xanatos gambler Makarov was, they probably felt that even if he was dead, Makarov might have some plan for his lieutenants to follow should he die unexpectedly. By the time you actually kill Makarov, most of his support is gone and it's implied you destroy what's left right there.

China's involvement

  • Kind of strange that China was never mention at all throughout all three games, no? Aren't they allies of Russia?
    • For the same reason that Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Djibouti, and the Vatican weren't mentioned. They sit outside the scope of the war (and China is a massive US trading partner and would want to avoid war if at all possible).
    • Also, China and Russia have had an on-again-off-again love hate relationship since World War II or earlier. They even fought a proxy war or two with each other in the 70's. It's entirely possible that the Ultranationalists and the current (in the games) Chinese government simply aren't very warm towards each other, and China is warily sitting this round out, waiting to see which of their potential enemies is left weakened and which one is left bleeding on the floor.
    • One of the biggest ultranationalist panic buttons in present day Russia is the so-called Yellow Tide caused by the Chinese migration around the less populated parts of Siberia. I wouldn't be surprised if the Ultranationalist racism has chilled relations with China.
    • Given the fact that they launch assaults on both the mainland U.S and most of Europe, there is a good possibility that Russia is also fighting China at the same time and it's simply not mentioned.

Using jeeps to get to the extraction point

  • When Nikolai's helicopter is downed and they save him and are picked up by men in jeeps, why don't they continue doing this? It seems that air extraction is not on their side as they are always being shot down. Why not just get picked up by jeeps and then get to a safe place AND THEN have Nikolai pick them up?
    • You're doing that thing where you apply meta logic to characters whose thinking is limited to in-universe knowledge. Air extraction is still the fastest way to get out, generally speaking, and most of the time ground extraction is just as, if not more, risky than air extraction.
      • Also, in order to reach the jeeps, you had to walk across half the village. The village full of hundreds of bad guys. The only reason you survived at all was because of the sandstorm. So, given a choice between 'take a helicopter ride and skip this whole thing', and 'deliberately wait for the sandstorm to arrive, then navigate several blocks through zero visibility, all the while being a One Man Army'... its not surprising that your first choice was 'helicopter'. Pity it crashed.

Lack of Russian bulletproof vests

  • This is a pretty minor one, but in Modern Warfare 2 the Russian VDV forces wear thick ballistic vests, while in Modern Warfare 3 they've switched to thinner tactical vests that don't look like they provide any protection from bullets. In contrast, both Delta force and the GIGN operatives wear thick ballistic vests that look similar to ones from previous games, so it's not just an advancement in bulletproof vests. Why the change?
    • Most likely because we're fighting the regular Russian military. In the second game, many of the Russian troops we're fighting are generally elites, especially the troops paradropped into DC, because they were expected to land and hold out for a while. The regular Russian infantry probably just have shrapnel-proof vests because the ultranationalists are trying to expand and equip their armed forces in five years and can't afford to give everyone heavy vests.

Makarov's Hotel Oasis reservations

Russian Nuclear Secrets

  • Why would the Russian President know the nuclear launch codes? Certainly he would be needed to give authorization, but Makarov states he wants the codes. Shouldn't there be something like a nuclear football with the codes?
    • Considering that this is the Ultrnationalist government and the degree of power that Makarov apparently has within the Ultranationalist government, it is entirely reasonable that Vorshevsky would want to make sure that he has total control over nuclear launches. Especially considering that Russian nuclear security has been compromised three times already int he series.

Shepherd was Right

  • Does anyone else think that Shepherd was 100% right and justified in Modern Warfare 2? The Ultranationalist Russians were going to attack the United States no matter what, as they were willing to kill their own President they elected when he wanted to back down from the war, so it makes sense that airport massacre or not they were already planning on invading the United States (Which is proven by the fact they invade the United States literally THE NEXT DAY, something impossible to do as a response unless they were planning on attacking the US beforehand) Shepherd was secretly controlling Makarov and lulling him into a false sense of security, the airport massacre allowed Makarov to think he was above Shepherd when really he was still pulling the strings. By the end of Modern Warfare 2 Shepherd now had Makarov on the run, and if he hadn't had betrayed Task Force 141 would have most likely killed Makarov and ended the war right then and there. In fact, Price and Soap killing Shepherd inadvertently doomed Western Europe leading to millions of deaths with Makarov was able to reorganize and launch his attack on Europe. If Shepherd had been allowed to cash his blank check, Modern Warfare 3 would not have happened.
    • Did you miss the part where Shephard deliberately allowed Makarov to go through with an airport massacre that lead to the start of a war which resulted in countless military and civilian casualties for both sides? Which he wanted to happen so he could write himself into history as a war hero, I might add. And then, once his task force got the data from Makarov's safehouse, he betrayed them for no reason other than they might not have gone through with blindly fighting against the Russians without questioning why it's necessary at all. Also, note that Makarov is not in the same sort of position within Russia as Shephard is within the US - if his death would have immediately ended all East vs. West hostilities no matter when it happened, why not order Allen to kill him before the airport massacre and avoid the war entirely? Modern Warfare 3 and the war presented in it was going to happen either way, but if Shephard had been around for it instead of Makarov, it would have just been mindless revenge-driven fighting until one or both sides were completely ruined.
      • A Russian army just finished burning Washington D.C. to the ground. I highly doubt that, regardless of people knowing how the war started, there is any hope for peace at that point. Anyway, I highly doubt Sheperd would have been dumb enough to continue a war his commanders ordered him to stop fighting. He wanted a war to fix what he saw as a shortage of patriots. War started, check. Win war, on his to-do list. Pounding your enemy into the ground where they can't launch revenge strikes is how you win a war. Lt. General Sheperd is ruthless, not stupid.

TF 141's money

  • So where does Task Force 141's money come from? It's a disavowed unit, yes? No one pays its soldiers, and yet they move around the world with full weapons all the time.
    • With the assistance of the illictly-funded band of Russian Loyalists who they join up with almost immediately and who constantly and visibly support them for the entire rest of the game. Monetary issues do come up at the end of the second game when Soap and Price are disavowed, but Nikolai's group is well-funded enough to maintain a transport plane, a Pave-Low, and a Little Bird on top of the other equipment they have.
    • That raises further question. Loyalists are ousted by Ultranationalists after MW 1. They may still exist, but then they must be short in cash themselves. It's not cheap to maintain an SF like TF141, most especially when you are on the run yourself.
    • The Loyalists presumably have access to some resources, likely supplied by sympathetic elements within Ultranationalist Russia, possibly supplemented by other government agencies in other countries that are opposed to the Ultranationalists. It's implied that prior to being disavowed, Task Force 141 supported Nicholai's group as well. Also worth noting is that as the Loyalists take damage over the course of the game, their resources dwindle. They start out with a base, some armored vehicles, the unmanned armored gun-tank, several helicopters, and a lot of troops, but none of these resources get replaced by the endgame, and by the end its just Price, Yuri, Nicholai, and whatever small arms, armor, and explosives they can carry. It mostly looks like they're fighting with acquired and stockpiled resources, but as the war rages on and they take losses, they get reduced further and further until they're just down to whatever they can carry on their backs.
      • The COD wiki also mentions that the Loyalists have been supporting themselves by operating as a PMC.