U.S. Intelligence on the Middle East, 1945-2009
Since 1945, the U.S. intelligence community has had to cover a half-dozen major wars and several dozen smaller but equally bloody armed conflicts in the Middle East, as well as innumerable civil wars, border clashes, armed insurgencies, and terrorist attacks. This comprehensive document set sheds light on the U.S. intelligence community’s spying and analytic efforts in the Arab world, including the Middle East, the Near East, and North Africa. It covers the time period from the end of World War II to the present day, up until the 2002-2003 Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) assessments, the Global War on Terror, the Iraq War, and Iran’s nuclear program.
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Blood and Sand
The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Misadventures in the Middle East: 1945-2013
by: Matthew M. Aid
- Sins of Omission and Commission
- Hard Beginnings
- The Intelligence Community’s Track Record in the Middle East
- U.S. Recognition of Israel and the 1948 Middle East War
- Overthrowing Mohammed Mossadeq in Iran (1953)
- 1956 Middle East War
- 1967 Middle East War
- Israel and the Atomic Bomb
- Muammar Qadhafi’s 1969 Coup in Libya
- 1973 Middle East War
- 1973-1974 OPEC Oil Embargo
- The Fall of the Shah of Iran and the Rise of Ayatollah Khomeini (1978-1979)
- Iran-Iraq War (September 1980- August 1988)
- Lebanon (1982-1984)
- The Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait (1990)
- The Iraqi WMD Intelligence Fiasco (2002-2003)
- The Abortive Syrian Nuclear Program (2006-2007)
- The Iranian Nuclear Program (1970s - present)
- The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism
- The U.S.-Israeli Intelligence Relationship
- Spying on Israel
In dozens of interviews of active duty and retired American intelligence officers conducted over the past two decades, it is clear that no part of the world has been cause of more frustration and heartache for the U.S. intelligence community than the Middle East.
When one examines the history of the region over the past 68 years since the end of World War II, it is not hard to imagine what a difficult operating environment the Middle East has been for America’s spies. Since 1945, the U.S. intelligence community has had to cover a half-dozen major wars and several dozen smaller but equally bloody armed conflicts in the Middle East, as well as innumerable civil wars, border clashes, armed insurgencies, and terrorist attacks.
For many American intelligence officers, their careers in the Middle East were oftentimes a deeply painful experience. At least three Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chiefs of station and almost two dozen CIA officers have been killed by terrorist attacks in the Middle East, and several dozen military intelligence specialists were killed by insurgent attacks in Iraq between 2003 and 2010.
Given this history, it is understandable that many of those members of the U.S. intelligence community who spent most of their careers working in the region do not look back on those days with the same sense of fond nostalgia that officers who served elsewhere around the world do.
To be sure, the U.S. intelligence community has enjoyed some notable successes in the region since the end of World War II, such as its prediction that Israel would win the 1967 Middle East War; the intelligence support provided to U.S. and allied coalition military forces taking part in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm) against Iraq; and more recently, the U.S. intelligence community’s effort to monitor Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
Unfortunately, as one will see in the documents contained in this collection, the U.S. intelligence community’s efforts in the Middle East have failed more often than they have succeeded since the end of World War II sixty-eight years ago.
Some of the mistakes made by the U.S. intelligence community were sins of omission, i.e. failures to pay sufficient attention to certain countries or transnational subjects, such Muammar Qadhafi’s 1969 coup d’etat in Libya in 1969 or the global economic crisis caused by the OPEC oil embargo in 1973-1974. Other failures can be characterized as sins of commission, which were the result of faulty judgement calls by well-intentioned intelligence analysts, who looked at all the available raw data and drew erroneous conclusions, as was the case in the 1948 and 1973 Middle East Wars.
A few of the failures by the U.S. intelligence community in the Middle East have had calamitous results, such as the now infamous 2002 national intelligence estimate (NIE) on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs, which British journalist and military historian Max Hastings described it as “the greatest failure of western intelligence in modern times.”1. The 2002 NIE is unique in American intelligence history in that not only were all of its major conclusions wrong (Iraq did not possess any nuclear, chemical and biological weapons), but it also served as an important justification for the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. By the time the last U.S. troops left Iraq on December 18, 2011, more than 4,400 American soldiers had been killed in combat in Iraq and over 15,000 wounded.
But there have also been instances where the U.S. intelligence community read the portents correctly, but their reporting was ignored by the president of the United States and his top national security advisors, as was the case prior to the outbreak of the 1956 Middle East War. There have also been a few instance where both the intelligence community and the White House have both been responsible for intelligence failures, the most notable of which was the 2002 Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) intelligence failure. Another example is the events leading up to the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1978-1979, where the intelligence community held that the Shah’s hold on power was solid. But when the intelligence community changed its opinion in the weeks before the Shah was forced to flee Iran, the White House refused to acknowledge that the Shah’s situation had become untenable right up until the Iranian monarch boarded the airplane to leave his country forever.
The U.S. intelligence community’s efforts in the Middle East and North Africa have evolved dramatically since the end of World War II in 1945, when the region received almost no attention despite its vital importance. During the Cold War (1945-1990), only 6% to 8% of all U.S. intelligence resources were dedicated to the Middle East and North Africa, a pitifully small amount given the vital importance of the region to U.S. national security.2. Today, sources indicate that somewhere between 30% and 40% of all collection and analytic resources available to the U.S. intelligence community are focused on the region, depending on how you tally up the numbers.3.
In the period immediately after the end of World War II, the U.S. intelligence community’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa was minimal, at best. when collection and analytic resources devoted to the Middle East were sparse, sources of hard intelligence were few, and the amount of intelligence information being produced was far below that which was available for higher priority targets, such as the USSR or China.4.
This meant that initially the U.S. intelligence community had to depend on information provided by British intelligence sources for much of what it knew about what was transpiring in the region.5.
At the end of World War II, signals intelligence (SIGINT) coverage of the Arab states in the region was reasonably good, thanks in part to the cryptanalytic acumen of America’s codebreaking allies in Great Britain, coupled with the poor communications security practices and the weak cryptographic protection offered by the Hagelin cipher machines used by most of the Arab states at the time. This meant that the U.S. Army and Navy codebreaking agencies were able to read the enciphered diplomatic communications of most of the key states in the Middle East, such as Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Iran.6.
At the time of the 1948 Middle East War, much of what the U.S. intelligence community knew about what was going on in the region was being derived from decrypts of the diplomatic radio traffic of the major Arab states, and even the communications of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who was one of the key movers driving forward the effort to destroy the nascent state of Israel.7. The U.S. Army and Navy codebreaking organizations were also reading the encrypted diplomatic communications of the Israeli government at the time.8. But perhaps the most reliable reporting from the region coming from SIGINT came from reading the communications traffic passing between the Quai d’Orsay in Paris and the French embassy in Israel. The French government maintained particularly close relations with the Israeli government, and as such, much of the material being transmitted to Paris far exceeded the quantity and quality of the reporting being sent to Washington by the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.9.
Compared with SIGINT, the U.S. human intelligence (HUMINT) effort in the Middle East and North Africa was at a very low level of accomplishment. America’s wartime clandestine intelligence service, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), was forced to disband most of the stations that it had built up during World War II. By the spring of 1946, the old OSS stations in the Middle East had been reduced to almost nothing because of budget cuts and wartime personnel returning to their prewar civilian careers. The agents that remained on the payroll were producing little information because their identities were well known to the local security services.10.
By the 1948 Middle East War, there had been substantive improvements in the CIA HUMINT capabilities in the Middle East, but the capabilities that existed were still far below what were needed for the volatile region. CIA HUMINT reporting from Egypt, Transjordan, and Syria was relatively good before, during, and after the war. So too was the intelligence reporting by State Department diplomats and military attaches stationed at the embassies in Cairo, Damascus, Beirut and elsewhere in the region.11. Even the CIA’s intelligence estimates on developments in the Arab states, although based largely on State Department reporting, were fairly succinct and accurate assessments of what was happening on the ground.12. By comparison, intelligence reporting about what was going on inside Israel was grossly deficient, and consumer agencies in Washington, D.C. were not happy about the quantity or the quality of the intelligence information they were getting about the situation in Palestine.13.
Looking through the declassified intelligence reporting about pre-independence events taking place in Palestine, one is struck by the substandard quality of the HUMINT reporting emanating from the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, which was the only State Department presence in the Holy Land. Not only was little hard intelligence information being produced, but the reporting that was being produced was slanted in favor of the Arab perspective. Consulate staff was overtly pro-Arab, with free access to Trans-Jordan army officials and reporting only derogatory information about Israeli efforts.
The CIA’s reporting about events taking place in Palestine was equally poor. Prior to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the CIA had virtually no on-the-ground presence in Palestine. As of 1946, the fledgling agency had only one person, a U.S. Army officer named Major Nicholas Andronovitch, who had been stationed in Palestine since 1944 as the Office of Strategic Service’s resident officer. His cover position was as a military observer attached to the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. Andronovtch had a single American field agent on his payroll, a freelance journalist living in Jerusalem who supplemented his meager pay by moonlighting as a spy. But his intelligence reporting was so poor that in August 1946 the SSU decided to terminate his contract and find someone more competent to fill his place.14. The CIA sent its first trained clandestine case officer, Richard Crosby, a former Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer who served with distinction in Switzerland during World War II, to Palestine Israel in September 1947 to open up the first Agency station in the Holy Land, which was situated within the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. Crosby’s cover was as the consulate’s security officer.15.
A November 1947 CIA estimate warned President Harry S. Truman and his advisors against supporting the creation of the state of Israel because, the CIA warned, it would severely damage U.S. diplomatic relations with the Arab world, including those Persian Gulf nations upon whom the U.S. depended on for its petroleum supplies. President Truman ignored the warning and supported the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. Though this action by the Truman administration complicated U.S. diplomatic relations with the Arab world in the years that followed, it did not lead to the rift between the U.S. and the Arab world that the CIA’s analysts thought would occur.16.
In February 1948 the CIA assessed that if war broke out between the newly created state of Israel and its Arab neighbors, which the CIA concluded was almost certain to happen, that the Arab states would almost certainly prevail militarily because they possessed far more soldiers, better equipment, and plentiful supplies and material needed to prosecute a war.17.
It would appear that this view originated with British intelligence, whose sources in the Arab states surrounding Israel were far superior to those available to the U.S. For instance, the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem was getting much of its intelligence information about the Arab-Israeli war from the British officers serving with Jordan’s Arab Legion, who not surprisingly were of the view that their better trained and equipped forces would sweep the tiny Israeli army off the battlefield without too much trouble.18.
Not surprisingly, the success of the nascent Israeli Defense Forces on the battlefield came as a shock to the U.S. intelligence community, and a cause of more than a little embarrassment for the CIA. CIA director Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter had to tell President Harry S. Truman that his agency’s estimates proved to be wrong because the analysts overestimated the combat capabilities of the Arab forces, especially the British trained and led Arab Legion in Transjordan. He also admitted that the IDF prevailed militarily because Israel received vast amounts of modern military equipment, including tanks and modern fighter aircraft, that were smuggled into Israel despite the efforts of the U.S. government to shut down this clandestine arms pipeline.19.
The documents contained in this collection reveal some heretofore undisclosed aspects of the U.S. intelligence community’s involvement in the 1948 Middle East War:
* On July 12, 1948, at the height of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Chester H. Vincent, a CIA agent assigned to the tiny CIA station in the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, was wounded in the back by mortar fragments. With shell fragments lodged in his chest, Vincent had to be flown to Beirut for emergency medical treatment at the American University Hospital.20.
* Much of the U.S. intelligence community’s efforts before and subsequent to the creation of the state of Israel in May 1948 centered on the peripheral issue of trying to prevent the clandestine smuggling of men and weapons into Israel, especially by aircraft from Italy and Eastern Europe. A number of the documents contained in this collection detail the substantial efforts by the CIA and the U.S. military to monitor and interdict these clandestine transport flights carrying weapons from Czechoslovakia to Israel.21.
* The activities of the two most violence-prone Israeli groups, the Stern Gang and the Irgun Zvi Leumi and it's leader, future Israeli prime minister Menachim Begin, were closely monitored by U.S. intelligence beginning in 1946 because of their occasional lapses into terrorism. For example, on July 22, 1946 Irgun terrorists blew up the West Wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 95 people, most of whom were British.22. Over the next two years, the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem and the CIA filed a number of intelligence reports with Washington about the activities of the Stern Gang and the Irgun, with most of the reports focusing on their terrorist activities.23. In particular, scrutiny of the Stern Gang's activities by the U.S. intelligence community were intensified after the murder of United Nations mediator Count Folke Bernadotte on September 17, 1948 by operatives belonging to the group.24.
* One little known aspect of the 1948 Middle East war was that there were several armed clashes between British and Israeli warplanes shortly after the end of the war. Beginning in the summer of 1948, RAF 13 Squadron based at Fayid airfield in Egypt, which was equipped with PR 34 Mosquito high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, began conducting clandestine reconnaissance overflights of Israel. The Israelis knew all about the overflights, suspecting that the British were passing the intelligence derived from these reconnaissance missions to the Egyptian army. But there was little that the nascent Israeli Air Force could do to stop these overflights because they did not possess the aircraft that could take on the RAF spitfires.
Then in the fall of 1948, the Israeli Air Force acquired its first American-made P-51 Mustang fighters, allowing the Israelis for the first time to go after the RAF photo reconnaissance overflights. On November 20, 1948, an IAF Mustang shot down a RAF Mosquito aircraft over the port city of Ashdod. Then on January 7, 1949, on the day that the war officially came to an end, Israeli fighters shot down four RAF Spitfires from RAF 208 Squadron and a Hawker Tempest fighter in a major dogfight over Egyptian-held territory in the Sinai Peninsula, prompting a diplomatic incident that was quickly diffused.25.
There are some examples of early CIA covert action operations that appear in the documents, such as the 1948 Department of Defense plan to blow up the Saudi Arabian oil fields and refineries in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Soviets if World War III ever broke out.26. Then there was a 1951 program proposed by the State Department to, for lack of a better word, buy the friendship of the Syrian government headed by Colonel Shishikli with a generous supply of American-made weapons. It is not known, however, if the proposed operation was ever implemented.27.
But the grand-daddy of all CIA covert action operations ever mounted in the region was Operation TPAJAX, the 1953 operation that succeeded in deposing Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq, who had been elected on March 15, 1951.
Declassified documents show that the operation can trace its origins back to October 16, 1952, when Mossadeq’s Iranian government broke off diplomatic relations with Great Britain. This led the British government and its foreign intelligence service, MI6, to begin planning a covert operation to oust Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq. Joint planning with the CIA began in November-December 1952.28. A November 1952 National Security Council document contains the preliminary blueprint put together by the CIA and the State Department of a program to undermine and subvert Mossadeq’s authority, which it was hoped would lead to his eventual overthrow.29. A March 1953 NSC report describes the progress that the CIA and State Department had made in their efforts to undermine the Iranian government.30.
After a series of misadventures which are described in the CIA’s official history of the operation, on August 19, 1953 the Iranian military staged a coup d’etat with the backing of the CIA and MI6. Mossadeq was arrested and imprisoned, and replaced as the head of the Iranian government by General Fazlollah Zahedi.31.
On December 21, 1953, Mossadeq was convicted of treason and sentenced to three years in prison. After his release from prison, he spent the rest of his life under house arrest in Teheran until his death.
Declassified documents reveal that from an estimative point of view, the U.S. intelligence community’s performance before and during the 1956 Middle East War was nothing short of dismal. Not only did the U.S. intelligence community fail to predict that Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser would nationalize the Suez Canal in July 1956; but the agency’s analysts failed to predict that Israel would shortly thereafter overrun Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula and that America’s allies, Great Britain and France, would follow suit and seize the Suez Canal by force. Moreover, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his top advisors refused to believe the raw intelligence data that was available which clearly indicated that Great Britain and France intended to seize the Suez Canal by force.
The 1956 Middle East war can trace its origins to the July 26, 1956 announcement by Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser that he had nationalized the Suez Maritime Canal Company, which owned and operated the Suez Canal, in order to produce revenue so that he could construct the Aswan Dam. Not only did the CIA fail to predict Nasser’s seizure of the Suez Canal, but weeks after the event the CIA’s intelligence estimators were still trying to make sense of the Egyptian leader’s actions, which the Agency thought were illogical and counterintuitive.32.
Nasser’s action set in motion a series of events which led to the Israeli offensive into the Sinai Peninsula on October 29, 1956, followed by the invasion of the Suez Canal by British and French forces on October 31, 1956. These events, and those that followed, have become known to history as the Suez Crisis of 1956.
On the face of it, U.S. intelligence collection coverage of the region in the months prior to the war was relatively good, although there are admittedly still huge gaps in our knowledge of U.S. intelligence collection efforts in the Middle East prior to the 1956 Middle East War .
For instance, it is extremely difficult to accurately gauge the CIA’s human intelligence (HUMINT) performance prior to the 1956 Middle East war because the agency has declassified no documentary material on this subject. We do know that the American military attaches in Israel provided some of the best intelligence reporting on the Israeli military’s preparations. But as far as can be told, neither the CIA nor the Pentagon’s corps of military attaches were able to accurately discern that Israel intended to attack Egypt until literally 48 hours before the war began. This clearly suggests that HUMINT penetration of the Israeli government and military was, for all intents and purposes, non-existent.
SIGINT coverage of the Middle East, especially the communications of Egypt and the other key Arab states in the region, was relatively good. SIGINT coverage of the region was also intensified beginning after Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal on July 26, 2956, with August 1956 intercepts revealing that a conspiracy was afoot amongst and between Britain, France, and Israel to attack Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt. NSA’s ability to exploit French communications traffic was reportedly an important source of information in the months prior to the Middle East war.33.
In early August 1956, fearing that Great Britain and France would resort to the use of force to take back control of the Suez Canal and punish Nasser, first the State Department, then the rest of the U.S. intelligence community, began covertly monitoring British and French military naval activities, with particular focus on the movements of British and French warships in the eastern Mediterranean and the buildup of combat aircraft and ground troops on the islands of Malta and Cyprus. U.S. military attaches were also keeping a close watch on intensified Anglo-French troop training taking place in the UK and in French North Africa for the invasion of Egypt.34.
Aerial reconnaissance coverage of the region was also quite good. CIA U-2 spy planes began conducting weekly surveillance overflights of the Middle East, including Israel and the British-controlled islands of Cyprus and Malta, beginning on August 29, 1956. Over the next five years, CIA U-2 aircraft conducted 152 reconnaissance overflights of all entire Middle East countries, including Israel, until these missions were halted after Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 was shot down over the USSR on May 1, 1960.35.
Despite intense efforts by the British and French governments to hide their military preparations to attack Egypt a secret from the U.S., which included instances where officials from these governments, lied to their American counterparts about what they were up to, the intelligence community was successful in monitoring the preparation of these countries to invade Egypt. A recently declassified State Department post-mortem study included in this collection provides for the first time a detailed chronological listing of all the intelligence information (except for SIGINT) that was reaching the U.S. government during the crisis, which taken together clearly indicated that France and Great Britain intended to attack Egypt.36.
And yet, despite the preponderance of evidence indicating that an invasion was forthcoming, CIA intelligence estimates steadfastly concluded that war in the region was unlikely, with the last CIA intelligence estimate before the war began stating that it was unlikely that Britain and France would attack Egypt. The Watch Committee, the intelligence community organ responsible for warning government officials of impending hostilities around the world, also felt that was in the Middle East was unlikely until literally hours before the Israeli military invaded the Sinai Peninsula on October 29, 1956.37.
The U.S. intelligence collection efforts against Israel were less successful because of Israeli obstruction. Former Israeli chief of staff Moshe Dayan revealed in his memoirs of the 1956 war that Israel deliberately lied to the U.S. government about its intentions right up the day that they invaded the Sinai because if Israel had told Washington what it was going to do, Washington would have prevented Israel from invading the Sinai.38. The Israeli deception campaign directed at the U.S. was also far more effective. General Dayan confirmed that in the weeks leading up to the October 1956 Israeli attack on Egypt, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, spread false rumors that Israel intended to attack Jordan. These false-flag rumors were duly picked up and reported to Washington by the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. This deception campaign was so effective that Dayan later recalled that some of his own subordinate commanders were convinced that they were about to attack Jordan, not Egypt.39.
U.S. intelligence detected the first signs that the Israeli Defense Forces were mobilizing their reserves in preparation for war beginning on October 25, 1956, four full days before the 1956 Middle East War began on October 29th.40. But right up until the day before Israeli invasion of the Sinai on October 29th, U.S. intelligence analysts thought that Israel was preparing to attack Jordan, not Egypt.41. This is clear in cables that President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent to Israeli prime minister David Ben Gurion on October 27th and 28th, in which he indicated his concern that Israel was about to attack Jordan, and that the U.S., Britain and France were opposed to any form of Israeli military action.42. Israeli chief of staff General Moshe Dayan in his memoirs stated that these cables revealed just how poor the U.S. government and intelligence community’s information was, stating that “How uninformed he [Eisenhower] is of the situation!”43.
From a post-mortem standpoint, the 1956 Suez Crisis was very revealing. First it starkly showed how deeply divided the autocratic Arab regimes were and how difficult it was to achieve the ideal of “Arab unity,” even against Israel. Second, the Suez Crisis marked the beginning of the steady and irremediable erosion of the power and influence of the West, including the U.S., in the Middle East, and the rise of Soviet influence amongst the Arab states of the region. According to a NSA historian, “The Suez crisis helped set the stage for years of conflict-by-proxy between the United States and the USSR in the Middle East.”44.
The U.S. intelligence community properly came in for some very harsh criticism based on its deficient performance during the 1956 Suez crisis. But President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his top national security advisors were probably equally culpable because they refused to believe, right up until the final moment, that their wartime friends in London and Paris would deceive them and attack Egypt behind their backs.
According to a NSA historian, “Intelligence is valuable only to the extent that those in power not only have access to it but use it wisely. Those at the highest levels of the Eisenhower administration did receive intelligence data warning them of the Anglo-French-Israeli conspiracy. This information was either ignored, mistrusted, or covered up for the sake of political expediency. Despite public denials and disavowals in the aftermath of Suez, the fact remains that the intelligence data was made available to top U.S. policymakers. The intelligence community fulfilled its commitment to provide timely and accurate information. Beyond this, intelligence officials relinquish their authority to political decision-makers. However, as the Suez crisis showed, intelligence is not an end in itself but a tool to be wisely employed, badly mishandled, or simply ignored.”45.
The 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or the so-called Six Day War, was one of those all-too-rare instances where the CIA’s performance was, in most regards, excellent. The CIA not only predicted that Israel would attack its Arab neighbors, almost down to the day and time of the attack, but also predicted who would win the war and why, and that the Soviet Union could not, or would not, intervene militarily in the war.
The CIA can correctly hold out its performance, both before and during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, as one of its finest hours.46. According to CIA historian David S. Robarge, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War was “one of those rare instances when unpoliticized intelligence had a specific, clear-cut, and immediate impact on foreign policy. The CIA was right about the timing, duration, and outcome of the war; the judgements quickly reached US leaders in an immediately useable form; and the Agency did not temper its analysis when faced with policymaker resistance. The whole 1967 war intelligence scenario demonstrated that well-substantiated findings advocated by a respected DCI with access to the White House could win out over political pressures and policymakers’ predilections.”47.
But the publicly-released hagiography coming out of the CIA misses some important points. The intelligence community’s collection and analytic coverage of events prior to the outbreak of the 1967 Middle East war was, in most respects, excellent. But once war began, the intelligence community’s coverage of breaking events on the battlefield left much to be desired. Because of technological issues, spy satellites were unable to provide realtime coverage of the battlefield. The CIA’s vaunted U-2 could not be used to conduct aerial reconnaissance missions over the Middle East because of diplomatic obstacles until after the war was over. SIGINT coverage of the battlefield was uneven and oftentimes sparse, made worse by the Israeli attack on the NSA spy ship USS LIBERTY on June 9, 1967.48.
Declassified documents reveal that the CIA was consistently wrong in its intelligence assessments during the 1960s about whether Israel would build a nuclear weapon.
In early 1958, a CIA U-2 overflight of southern Israel detected the Israelis beginning to construct what would turn out to be a nuclear reactor complex on the grounds of an Israeli Air Force bombing range near the settlement of Dimona south of the city of Beersheba in the Negev Desert. But this imagery was apparently taken at an early stage of construction, so it was not readily apparent to the CIA’s imagery interpreters that it was a nuclear reactor. Beginning in 1958 and continuing through early 1960, the CIA’s human intelligence (HUMINT) sources and SIGINT reporting from NSA indicated that Israel was building with secret French technical assistance a nuclear reactor complex in the Negev Desert, but the information was either dismissed or not given the degree of attention that it deserved.49.
Despite the accumulation of evidence indicating that the Israelis were indeed building a nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert, the CIA’s intelligence analysts dismissed the information. A 1960 CIA intelligence estimate concluded that it was unlikely that Israel was developing nuclear weapons because there was no evidence that the Israelis possessed a nuclear reactor capable of producing the raw materials needed to make a bomb. A few months later in August 1960, a U.S. military attache took a clandestine photograph of the Israeli nuclear reactor complex at Dimona, proving that the estimate’s conclusions were wrong.50.
In January 1968, six months after the end of the 1967 Middle East War, a CIA report stated that “Israel has most of the facilities necessary for a small nuclear weapons program. The French-designed 26-megawatt reactor at Dimona, if operated for the maximum production of plutonium, could provide enough plutonium for about two weapons a year. Israel has imported and stockpiled a large quantity of uranium unencumbered by the usual international agreements restricting its use to peaceful programs. Moreover, Israel has domestic reserves of low-grade uranium ore.” What the CIA did not know was that Israel had already built its first operational nuclear weapons.51.
The CIA failed to predict the September 1969 bloodless coup d’etat that overthrew the U.S.-backed Libyan government headed by monarchy of King Idris and brought Colonel Muammar Qadhafi to power. Despite the fact that Libya was one of the world’s largest petroleum producers (ranked third in 1969 after the U.S. and the USSR) and the fact that America’s largest military air base (Wheelus AFB) was located outside Tripoli, the U.S. intelligence community paid scant heed to events in Libya prior to the 1969 revolution. CIA intelligence analysts devoted so little time and resources to the country that a CIA report later found that “it is difficult to support a judgement that… the prospects for US interests in Libya received commensurate analytical attention,” which is a polite way of saying that the CIA intelligence analysts largely ignored Libya.52.
Contrary to its generally excellent work during the lead-up to the 1967 Middle East war, the performance of the U.S. intelligence community in the weeks and months leading up to the October 1973 Middle East War was nothing short of abysmal, ranking among the worst failures in the history of the U.S. intelligence community.53.
Intelligence information indicating that Egypt and Syria intended to attack Israel was, in the words of a CIA post-mortem study, was “plentiful, ominous, and often accurate.”54. Declassified documents show that comprehensive intelligence collection coverage of the Middle East, especially SIGINT coming from NSA, provided copious quantities of highly reliable information which clearly revealed Egyptian and Syrian military preparations to attack Israel. There was even some surprisingly accurate human intelligence coming from Cairo and Damascus indicating that war was coming.55.
The problem was that all of the data coming from the intelligence collectors was ignored or not believed by U.S. intelligence community’s analysts, who were firmly locked in a mindset which held that the Arab states could not possibly be foolish enough to attack Israel knowing that they could not win the war.56.
The American intelligence analysts were apparently influenced by the thinking of their Israeli intelligence counterparts, who had concluded in April 1973 that the Arab states - Egypt in particular - would not dare to attack Israel. The Israeli intelligence community stuck by this assessment event as evidence accumulated during the summer and fall of 1973 that Egypt and Syria intended to attack.57. The following month, the U.S. intelligence community issued its own assessment which largely mirrored the Israeli conclusions. This estimate became the intelligence community’s final word - written in stone - right up until the day (October 6, 1973) that Egypt and Syria attacked Israel.58.
No amount of evidence could shake the certitude of the U.S. intelligence community’s analysts that the Arabs would not dare attack Israel. By late September 1973, NSA began picking up clear indications that both Egypt and Syria were preparing to launch a largescale offensive against Israel. According to a congressional post-mortem study that was leaked to the press, “NSA’s warning escaped the serious attention of most intelligence analysts responsible for the Middle East.”59.
As further evidence piled up in late September and early October 1973 from reliable intelligence sources (mostly SIGINT), the intelligence analysts remain firmly convinced that there would be no war in the Middle East. Here are a few examples as reflected in the declassified documents contained in this collection:
* September 23, 1973: NSA intercepts revealed that key Syrian Army armored units were moving from their garrisons outside Damascus towards the Golan Heights, Syrian commando forces had been placed on alert, Syrian Air Force flight activity had slowed to almost nothing, and that the Syrian Army was rapidly building up its supply depots along the Golan Heights. The next day, NSA reported that the Egyptian Army was conducting division-level live-fire training exercises for the first time ever, ammunition stockpiles along the Suez Canal were being rapidly augmented, that the Egyptian military had cancelled leaves and reserves had been mobilized, and that a special command post had been activated outside Cairo that in the past had been used only for crisis situations.60.
* September 26, 1973: Egyptian air and air defense forces moved to a higher state of alert readiness.61.
* September 30, 1973: State Department issued an intelligence report which concluded that “There are reports that Syria is preparing for an attack on Israel, but conclusive evidence is lacking. In our view, the political climate in the Arab states argues against a major Syrian military move against Israel at this time.”62.
* October 3, 1973: DIA Intelligence Summary reported that “The movement of Syrian troops and Egyptian military readiness are considered to be coincidental and not designed to lead to major hostilities.”63.
* October 3, 1973: Sensitive SIGINT revealed that Moscow had ordered all Soviet diplomats and their dependents out of Egypt and Syria. According to information provided to Congress by the CIA, “By 3 October the Kremlin thought the prospects for hostilities sufficiently serious to evacuate Soviet dependents from Syria and Egypt. That evacuation, by a hastily arranged air and sealift, began the next day.64.
* October 4, 1973: Two days before Egypt and Syria attacked Israel, the official judgement of the U.S. intelligence community was that hostilities in the Middle East were unlikely.65.
* October 4, 1973: An NSA analyst briefed CIA assistant director General Daniel Graham on what she thought were clear signs of an impending war in the Middle East. According to a leaked congressional report, “two days before the war, an NSA briefer insisted to General Daniel Graham of CIA that unusual Arab movements suggested imminent hostilities. Graham retorted that his staff had reported a “ho-hum” day in the Middle East.66. General Graham’s recollection is somewhat different. He recalled that the NSA briefers “discussed the movement of Egyptian bridging units towards the Suez Canal, forward positioning of anti-aircraft units, etc. The briefers were quite intense. I asked the briefers “You are convinced that the Egyptians are about to attack across the Suez Canal, right?” NSA people are not supposed to draw conclusions - just present their evidence. But this briefer said, “Yes sir.”67.
* October 5, 1973: The CIA’s Central Intelligence Bulletin reported that “The exercise and alert activities underway in Egypt may be on a somewhat larger scale and more realistic than previous exercises, but they do not appear to be preparing for a military offensive against Israel.”68.
* October 5, 1973: NSA reported that Soviet military transport aircraft had begun flying into Cairo and Damascus to take Soviet diplomats and their dependents out of these countries “apparently in anticipation of imminent conflict.”69.
* October 6, 1973: DIA Intelligence Summary reported that “The current, large-scale mobilization exercise [in Egypt] may be an effort to soothe internal problems as much as to improve military capabilities. Mobilization of some personnel, increased readiness of some isolated units, and greater communications security are all assessed as parts of the exercise routine… There are still no military or political indicators of Egyptian intentions or preparations to resume hostilities with Israel.”70.
* October 6, 1973: CIA Central Intelligence Bulletin reported that “Both the Israelis and Arabs are becoming increasingly concerned about the military activities of the other, although neither side appears to be bent on initiating hostilities… For Egypt, a military initiative makes little sense at this critical juncture… Another round of hostilities would almost certainly destroy Sadat’s painstaking efforts to invigorate the economy and would run counter to his current efforts to build a united Arab political front, particularly among the less militant, oil-rich states. For the normally cautious Syrian president, a military adventure now would be suicidal, and he has said so.”71.
* October 6, 1973: At 2:00 p.m. local time (8:00 a.m. Washington time) the Egyptian and Syrian militaries launched a surprise attack across the Suez Canal and into the Golan Heights against the unprepared Israeli military. Not only were the Israelis caught entirely by surprise, but so was the U.S. intelligence community, which had failed to anticipate the possibility of a war in the Middle East.
As can be seen from the above, the performance of the U.S. intelligence community’s analysts was nothing short of dismal. A classified congressional study was highly critical of the performance of the U.S. intelligence community’s analysts, as was the CIA’s upper management.72. As the CIA’s classified post-mortem study of the 1973 Middle East War put it, the conclusions of the American intelligence analysts were “quite simply, obviously, and starkly - wrong.”73.
It was small comfort for the humiliated American intelligence analysts, but declassified State Department cables reveal that Israeli intelligence analysts, who were seeing exactly the same raw intelligence reporting that Washington was getting, also shared the assessment of their American colleagues that Egypt and Syria would not dare to attack Israel.74.
The CIA failed completely to anticipate the dramatic December 1973 oil price increase that was imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which was imposed by the Arab states in retaliation for U.S. support for Israel during and after the October 1973 Middle East war.75.
The OPEC price increases dealt what one CIA study described as “a crushing blow to the world economy. The subsequent recession, debt crises for LDCs [less-developed countries], and rampant inflation were directly related to the OPEC action.” The reason the intelligence failure was because the CIA’s intelligence analysts paid virtually no attention to OPEC. According to a CIA post-mortem study, “This view of OPEC as a relatively unimportant element in the world oil scene was identical with contemporary conventional wisdom in government and business.”76.
The abject failure of the CIA to predict the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini between November 1978 and January 1979 was the subject of much hand-wringing by the CIA.
The mindset within the U.S. government as a whole, and the U.S. intelligence community in particular, was that the Shah’s hold on power in Iran was absolute and that there was little, if any, danger to his rule because there was no viable political opposition to the Shah.
* Surprisingly little analytic coverage of Ayatollah Khomeini and fundamentalist Iranian mullahs prior to the Iranian revolution. CIA focused solely on civilian opposition politicians - Bakhtiar, Bazargan, and dismissive of the potential political influence of the conservative and anti-western Iranian clergy.
Years later, the CIA would claim that it had assessed that the Shah’s hold on power in Iran was not as firm as some believed, which is contradicted by numerous CIA reports that said exactly the opposite. It was a weak argument, but it was the best the CIA analysts could come up with at the time.77.
Because the CIA’s Iranian analysts were convinced that the Shah’s hold on power was firm, the agency’s analysts did very little detailed analytic reporting on the internal political dynamics of Iran in the months leading up to the 1978 revolution. Moreover, the CIA’s warning intelligence analysts did not rate the threat posed by the increasing number and intensity of public protests as posing much of a threat. The last CIA warning assessment, dated October 30, 1978, issued the month before the Shah was forced to abdicate and flee the country ranked Iran dead last in terms of potentially threatening situations facing the U.S. in the coming months.78.
A serious problem facing the CIA analysts in Washington was that the quantity and quality of the intelligence reporting from the U.S. embassy in Tehran was gravely deficient. The quality of the political reporting about the strength and stability of the Shah’s regime was a matter of particular concern.79. So serious was the problem that on several occasions in the late 1970s, Washington felt compelled to prod the U.S. embassy in Tehran for better political reporting on what was actually taking place in Iran.80. Only in early November 1978 did the U.S. intelligence community and the State Department realize that the Iranian regime was in a state of crisis and that the Shah’s control of the situation was slipping rapidly. But by that point, it was too late. The Shah’s regime was doomed.81.
Even if the intelligence community’s reporting had been better, it is doubtful that it would have altered in any meaningful way U.S. foreign policy towards Iran. Right up until the final moment, senior national security officials within the Carter administration refused to concede that the Shah’s position in power was in peril. An important reason why was because Washington did not want to lose the large number of intelligence collection facilities that the U.S. intelligence community was secretly operating at the time inside Iran. These bases, which had been built at great expense and in great secrecy during the mid- to late-1960s, were incredibly important to the U.S. intelligence community.82. They included two vitally important bases at Behshahr and Kapkan in northern Iran that intercepted the telemetry emitted by Soviet ballistic missiles launch from Tyuratam and Soviet manned and unmanned space launches. There was also a vitally important nuclear test detection station located outside Tehran, as well as an important intelligence communications center inside the U.S. embassy compound in Tehran. The U.S. government wanted to retain access to these sites at all costs, which partially blinded them to what was taking place throughout Iran.83.
As late as November 1978, with even American newspapers reporting that the Shah’s power base inside Iran was unraveling, the U.S. government would not budge from its fixed mindset that the Shah’s hold on power was absolute and secure. When CIA director Admiral Stansfield Turner sent a memo to the White House on November 29, 1978 warning that the Shah might be removed by the Iranian military, the CIA’s assessment was attacked by senior officials in the Carter administration and within the intelligence community because, as a CIA study delicately put it, “the credibility of the first [Alert Memorandum] was challenged in policy circles.” On January 16, 1979, the Shah and his family fled Iran, never to return home.84.
To add insult to injury, two months later in March 1979, the CIA was forced to evacuate its staff from its intelligence collection bases inside Iran, and was never able to reopen them despite repeated efforts to do so right up until the U.S. embassy in Tehran was seized by militants in late 1979.85.
The CIA’s analysts vacillated back and forth throughout the eight year-long Iran-Iraq war about who was winning the war and what the outcome of the conflict would be. Some of the CIA’s predictions came to pass. For example, the CIA correctly predicted five months in advance that Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi military would invade Iran with the goal of unseating the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini. The invasion took place on September 22, 1980, exactly as the CIA predicted it would.86.
When the Iraqi offensive bogged down early on, the CIA in October 1980 correctly predicted that the Iran-Iraq war could degenerate into a lengthy and bloody stalemate. This prediction also came to pass.87. Thanks to excellent current intelligence report from HUMINT and SIGINT, in July 1982 the CIA correctly predicted that Iraq was rapidly building up a capacity to deploy chemical weapons, including nerve agents, and that Saddam Hussein’s regime intended to use these lethal weapons against the Iranians. This prediction also came to pass, with the Iraqis using mustard gas for the first time against Iranian forces in August 1983, then nerve agents (Tabun) in March 1984.88.
But many of the CIA’s predictions during the course of the Iran-Iraq war proved to be wrong. For example, in May 1982 the CIA reported that “Iran is on the verge of a military breakthrough that may result in the collapse of Iraqi resistance and the downfall of Saddam Hussein. An Iraqi retreat from Khorramshahr followed by Iranian advances into Iraqi territory and attacks on vital targets such as al Basrah, could precipitate a rapid military and political unraveling.” The anticipated Iranian military breakthrough and the unraveling of Iraqi resistance never happened.89.
In a move that many in Washington would later come to regret, on August 20, 1982 the Reagan administration announced that it had decided to commit 800 U.S. Marine Corps troops to monitor a fragile ceasefire in Beirut and supervise the evacuation of PLO forces from Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force. Five days later the first American Marines landed in Beirut, marking the beginning of a tragic two year U.S. military intervention in Lebanon that cost the lives of several hundred American lives.90.
Despite the passage of nearly thirty years since the last U.S. troops withdrew from Beirut, Lebanon remains a deeply painful subject for many veterans of the CIA’s Clandestine Service (now known as the National Clandestine Service) because of the heavy losses they suffered at the hands of Hezbollah and a coalition of leftist Lebanese militias comprised of lightly armed Druze and Shi’ite fighters backed by Syria.
Three incidents in particular still resonate with CIA veterans:
* On April 18, 1983, a member of Hezbollah detonated a 500-lb. car bomb next to the U.S. embassy in Beirut. The bomb destroyed the central seven-story section of the embassy, instantly killing 63 people, including 17 Americans, and wounding 120. Among the dead were eight CIA officers, which was most of the staff of the embassy’s CIA station, including the CIA’s top Middle East expert, Robert C. Ames, and the CIA station chief, Kenneth E. Haas.91. Decrypted Iranian diplomatic cables showed that the Iranian ambassador to Syria was aware that an attack was being planned, that senior Iranian intelligence officials in Teheran had approved the attack on the embassy, and that Teheran had transferred $25,000 to the Iranian Embassy in Damascus to finance the Hezbollah operation.92.
* On October 23, 1983, a Hezbollah operative rammed a truck loaded with equivalent of 12,000-lbs. of high explosives into the U.S. Marine Barracks at Beirut International Airport, killing 241 American servicemen and wounding 70 more. On the same day, a second suicide bomber detonated an equally large car bomb outside the barracks housing French military forces in Beirut, killing 58 French troops.93. Once again, the evidence from SIGINT decrypts of Iranian diplomatic communications traffic of Iranian government complicity in the suicide bombing of the Marine Barracks seemed pretty clear, but a recently declassified CIA memo admitted that the evidence, such as it was at the time, did not constitute a “smoking gun” and was not sufficient to justify a retaliatory attack against Syria.94.
* On March 16, 1984, the CIA chief of station in Beirut, Lebanon, William F. Buckley, was kidnaped by Hezbollah as he left his apartment building in West Beirut. Buckley was later murdered by his kidnappers on or about June 3, 1985 of a heart attack after undergoing almost fifteen months of torture at the hands of his captors. CIA officials believe that Buckley gave his captors all the information he possessed about CIA operations in Lebanon.95. In a desperate effort to find Buckley and the other American hostages being held in Beirut by Hezbollah, the CIA and the U.S. military threw whatever intelligence collection and analytic assets they had available into the effort, but to no avail. One singular result of the U.S. intelligence community’s year-long search for Buckley was that it learned that the CIA station chief and over a dozen other Americans abducted in Beirut since 1983 were being held by Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed radical terrorist group based in the Shi’ite slums south of Beirut that was then little known or understood by U.S. intelligence. Documents contained in this collect include two dozen CIA intelligence reports describing the organization, which became progressively more detailed as the U.S. intelligence community’s knowledge of the group improved over time. The irony is that not only did Hezbollah survive the Lebanese civil war, it emerged from the war possessing a militia that was larger and better equipped than the U.S.-backed Lebanese army, as well as the dominant force in Lebanese politics 96.
The CIA’s analytic efforts with regard to Lebanon were far better than the efforts of their Clandestine Service colleagues.
For example, the CIA accurately predicted almost six months in advance that Israel would invade southern Lebanon because of the growing threat posed to northern Israel by PLO forces together with the buildup of Syrian forces in the Bekaa Valley.97. On June 6, 1982, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon after two days of heavy air strikes and artillery bombardment.98.
After the Reagan administration decided to deploy 800 U.S. Marine Corps troops to Lebanon in August 1982, the CIA’s analysts expressed concerned that the security situation in Lebanon could easily deteriorate and spin out of control, but there were no warnings, implicit or explicit, contained in the CIA’s reporting that suggested that the Marines could themselves get sucked into the vortex of the Lebanese civil war.99. According to interviews with two retired senior CIA intelligence officials, the agency was not asked to prepare an intelligence estimate of the situation in Lebanon prior to the deployment of the Marines to Lebanon because the Reagan administration, determined to show U.S. strength and resolve in the Middle East, prop up the weak Lebanese government, blunt Syria’s growing influence in Lebanon, and deter the USSR from becoming involved in the conflict, was not interested in what the CIA thought.100.
Three days after the April 18, 1983 suicide bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, the CIA predicted that “More attacks on the MNF [Multi-National Force], especially the Marines, seem likely.” The CIA’s warning proved to be prescient. Attacks on U.S. Marine positions in and around the Beirut International Airport quickly escalated throughout the spring and summer of 1983, culminating in the October 23, 1983 Hezbollah suicide bombing attack on the Marine Barracks, which killed 241 American servicemen.101.
The CIA correctly assessed that the April 18, 1983 Hezbollah suicide bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut had been inspired, planned, directed, and financed by the Iranian government to promote instability in the Middle East and at the same time strike at the U.S., who Tehran saw as its mortal enemy and chief supporter of Israel.102.
The CIA’s analysts were to first to recognize in the summer of 1983 that the Reagan administration’s efforts to try to alter the security situation in Lebanon were doomed to failure. By August 1983, the CIA concluded that Lebanon was headed towards full-blown civil war because all sides in the conflict refused to moderate their militant sectarian views or work towards restoring a semblance of the Lebanese national unity. By early September 1983, CIA reporting showed that Lebanese president Amin Gemayel had lost all his support from amongst the various warring factions, including his father’s Phalangist militia. Only the weak Lebanese army stood by Gemayel, and the CIA did not rate their support as being sufficient to stave off disaster.103.
War was formally declared on August 28, 1983, when the Christian-dominated Lebanese government of Amin Gemayel committed three brigades, made up entirely of U.S.-trained Christian troops, to try to reestablish government control over West Beirut.104. The next day, Shi’ite and Druze artillery began shelling U.S. Marine positions at the Beirut International Airport, indicating that the Muslim commanders believed that the U.S. was behind the Lebanese government offensive in Beirut. This fact was confirmed by the CIA on September 2, 1983.105.
The CIA understood that civil war in Lebanon meant that the Reagan’s administration’s policies of restoring peace and security in the country had failed. In a August 16, 1983 memo to CIA director William J. Casey, the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, Graham E. Fuller, stated that “The events of the past few weeks and days present us with a singularly bleak outlook for US interests in Lebanon. I believe we must face the prospect that our current policies towards Lebanon are not going to work… All the indicators are now moving the wrong way on our policy commitment to a unified, confessionally reconciled Lebanon.”106.
Unfortunately, the Reagan administration did not heed the warnings from the CIA because the White House, fixated on Cold War politics, refused to admit defeat because it did not wish to appear weak to the Arab states or allow the Soviet Union to expand its influence in the region.107.
Most, but not all, of these judgements appeared in the first CIA national intelligence estimate written about Lebanon since U.S. troops were deployed there in September 1982. The estimate was devastating in its conclusions. Dated October 11, 1983, the estimate concluded that “The prospects for a lasting political reconciliation among Lebanon’s confessional factions are extremely bleak.” The stalled national reconciliation talks, which were essential to patching up the differences amongst the warring factions, were, according to the CIA, “most likely to [end in] stalemate and eventually break down, resulting in heightened confessional intransigence, renewed factional fighting, and a prolonged partition of Lebanon… As a consequence, the prospects of achieving a sovereign and politically stable state free from foreign occupation are virtually nonexistent.”108.
Most of the U.S. intelligence community’s reporting on the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait remains classified, and as such, is not included in this collection. Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait led the U.S. to deploy several hundred thousand U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia to protect that nation from attack (Operation Desert Shield), then in 1991 launch a massive offensive (Operation Desert Storm) which succeeded in decisively defeating the Iraqi military and liberating Kuwait.
What is known is that the U.S. intelligence community had plenty of warning that Iraq perhaps intended to invade Kuwait. Here is the chronology of events:
|July 12, 1990||Saddam Hussein gave a speech accusing Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates of cheating Iraq out of billions of dollars in oil revenues.109.|
|July 19, 1990||American spy satellites detected the first movement of Iraqi Republican Guard combat units from their garrisons around Baghdad southwards towards Kuwait. DIA received reports of two Iraqi divisions now deployed near border with Kuwait.110.|
|July 21, 1990||Satellite reconnaissance confirmed that two Iraqi Republican Guard armored divisions had moved to positions along the Kuwaiti border.|
|July 21, 1990||U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Norman Schwarzkopf ordered CENTCOM to move to a higher readiness level - WATCHCON Level III viz Iraq.111.|
|July 24, 1990||After the failure of diplomatic initiatives and the detection of new Iraqi troop movements towards Kuwait, CENTCOM moved to WATCHCON II.112.|
|July 25, 1990||Satellite reconnaissance imagery revealed that Iraqi forces were ready to invade Kuwait.|
|July 27, 1990||Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officials inform the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. that “Iraq is going to invade Kuwait.”113.|
|July 29, 1990||CIA’s intelligence analysts concluded that an Iraqi attack on Kuwait was “highly likely” in a few days.114.|
|July 31, 1990||CENTCOM’s chief of intelligence informed General Schwarzkopf that two Iraqi Republican Guard armored divisions were leaving their concentration areas and moving to forward tactical deployment sites only four miles from the Kuwaiti border, signaling that an attack on Kuwaiti was imminent.|
|August 1, 1990||DIA moved to WATCHCON I condition for the first time ever. DIA analysts confirmed the movement to forward assembly areas of Iraqi artillery units. DIA assessed that there were now 8 Iraqi Republican Guard divisions, 10 artillery battalions, 150,000 troops, and 1,000 tanks along border with Kuwait.115. CIA sent out a warning message stating that “Baghdad almost certainly believes it is justified in taking military action to reclaim its ‘stolen’ territory and oil rights. It is also possible… that Saddam has already decided to take military action against Kuwait.”116.|
|August 2, 1990||1:00 a.m. local time. Three divisions of the Iraqi Republican Guard Corps invaded Kuwait. In a couple of hours the Iraqi forces overran the weak Kuwaiti Army brigade deployed along the border, and by the end of the day had occupied most of Kuwait. The next day Iraq formally annexed Kuwait and declared it to be the 19th province of Iraq.117.|
Despite all the clear indications turning up in intelligence reporting indicating that Saddam Hussein’s military intended to invade Kuwait, the CIA’s intelligence analysts in Washington took the position in late July 1990 that Hussein was bluffing and that he would dare invade Kuwait. They based this conclusion, in part, on information they received from the Kuwaiti government, whose view was that this was a flagrant attempt by Saddam Hussein to extort more money from the Kuwaiti government.118.
It was another hard lesson for the U.S. intelligence community that one should not overly depend on the assessments of friendly foreign governments or their intelligence services for your information, a lesson the intelligence community should have learned after the 1973 Middle East War when it was determined that the U.S. had depended on Israeli judgements for its conclusion that war in the Middle East was unlikely.
Then there is the granddaddy of all intelligence failures, the October 2002 CIA national intelligence estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.119. This infamous document, only a portion of which has been declassified to date, will go down in history as one of the most calamitous documents ever produced by the U.S. intelligence community.
On the basis of virtually no current intelligence information (most of the information used by the analysts was dated prior to 1998), the 2002 NIE stated with “high confidence” that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program and could have an operational nuclear weapon by the year 2010; the Iraq had a stockpile of biological weapons as well as mobile labs capable of producing biological weapons; the Iraq had resumed production of chemical weapons and had a stockpile of up to 50 metric tons; and that Iraq was in the process of developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) intended to deliver biological weapons to targets in the U.S. But a post-mortem report found that all of these conclusions were wrong in their entirety.120.
Not only were all of the NIE’s central conclusions later found to be completely and utterly wrong, but the document’s conclusions were shamelessly used by the Bush administration and its allies in order to justify the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.121. According to the distinguished American military journalist and historian, Tom Ricks, “As a professional intelligence product it [the NIE] was shameful. But it did its job, which wasn’t really to assess Iraqi weapons programs but to sell a war.”122.
No intelligence failure has been as well documented as the 2002-2003 Iraqi WMD matter. A series of investigative reports produced by Congress and an outside panel (the Robb-Silbermann Commission) appointed by President George W. Bush excoriated the performance of the U.S. intelligence community.123. But that was not the end of it. A separate congressional investigation found that the Bush administration knowingly and willfully distorted or mischaracterized the available intelligence information in order to publicly justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.124.
For its own part, the CIA conducted a series of internal investigations and post-mortem studies of its performance in the runup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. These reports, only a few of which have been declassified to date, were also highly critical the agency’s performance, finding that the Iraqi WMD intelligence failure was due to a combination of poor collection efforts, a host of analytic shortcomings, and a series of profound systemic failures within the intelligence community itself.125. The Pentagon also conducted a series of reviews of the performance of the Department of Defense’s intelligence components, which, like the CIA, found that intelligence information about Iraqi WMD programs had been misinterpreted and misused in the runup to the invasion of Iraq.126.
On September 6, 2007, Israeli Air Force warplanes destroyed a clandestine Syrian nuclear reactor in the eastern desert region of the country near a town called al-Kibar. According to the U.S. intelligence community, the Syrian reactor was being built with North Korean technical assistance.
According to a State Department cable, the reactor complex at al-Kibar was first detected by American intelligence at some point in the fall of 2006, a year before it was destroyed by the Israelis. According to the cable, “We have long had indications of Syrian covert nuclear-related interaction with North Korea, and identified the al-Kibar facility in the fall of 2006 as an enigmatic site. In Spring 2007, we acquired information that enabled us to conclude that the Al-Kibar facility was a reactor. Information was brought to our attention at that time by Israeli officials who had conclusive intelligence that a reactor was being constructed at that site.”127.
Most of the documents on this still very sensitive subject remain highly classified. But a few papers have been released or been leaked to the public, which allow us to look inside the U.S. intelligence effort against Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
The U.S. intelligence community has closely monitored Iran’s nuclear program since the 1970s when the Shah was still in power, when the first concerns were raised about whether Iran might wish to develop a nuclear weapon to cement its role as a regional superpower.128. But the fall of the Shah in 1978 and the assumption of power of the Ayatollah Khomeini led the U.S. intelligence community to redouble its efforts to determine if the Iranian regime would move forward with a nuclear weapons development program. The CIA produced its first report in August 1985 detailing the steps that the Iranian government had just undertaken to ramp up its nuclear program, including building new nuclear reactors and processing facilities, as well as increasing the number of scientists and engineers working on the program.129.
Unfortunately, the U.S. intelligence community has not declassified any documents since President Barack Obama became president in 2009 about what we know about the Iranian nuclear program. Some information is available in the public real. For example, on September 27, 2009, based in part on the information provided by Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, as well as information provided by Israeli intelligence, President Obama and the leaders of Great Britain and France publicly accused Iran of building a secret underground uranium enrichment facility one hundred miles south of Tehran on the grounds of an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps base at Fordow, located outside the holy city of Qom. At the time of the announcement, the Qom site was far from complete, but the analysts believed that at the rate construction was going it would be ready by 2010.
A year later in August 2010, the National Intelligence Council issued a draft National Intelligence Estimate that reversed some of the conclusions of the November 2007 estimate on the Iranian nuclear program. Based in part on information provided by Iranian defector Shahram Amiri, the 2010 intelligence estimate concluded that Iran was still working on developing nuclear weapons components and secretly enriching nuclear material which could be used in a nuclear weapon. But the estimate added that it was not known whether the Iranian government had made the decision to actually build a nuclear weapon.
But the most interesting documents in this collection are dated after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, when the Israeli government began to put pressure on the Bush administration to do something about the Iranian nuclear program, which the Israelis felt was a direct threat to Israel. The pressure was intense, and kept increasing as time went by. For example, a March 2005 cable from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv reported that the Israelis were threatening to hit the Iranian nuclear facilities with air strikes, a threat which was the source of much concern within the U.S. government at the time.130. Two months later in May 2005, Meir Dagan, the director of the Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, told a visiting American senator that the U.S. government must stop the Iranian nuclear program, which in the estimation of Israeli intelligence proved that Iran intended to build a nuclear weapon.131. A December 2005 cable from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv records a conversation with Ariel Sharon, who told a group of Americans at a meeting that the U.S. could destroy the Iranian nuclear program in a few hours, if it wanted to.132.
Throughout 2006 and 2007, the cables show that Israeli government officials used the visits to Israel by virtually every high-level delegation of U.S. government officials and legislators to press their case, backed by the latest Israeli intelligence assessments, that the U.S. had to adopt stronger measures to ensure that Iran did not build a nuclear weapon.133. The Bush administration was clearly sympathetic to Israel’s concerns, agreeing that Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons was unacceptable.134.
A November 2007 national intelligence estimate concluded that Iran had ceased work on building a nuclear weapons, adding that there was no evidence that the Iranian government had decided to move forward with a program to build a nuclear weapon.135. The Israeli reaction to the publication of the intelligence estimate was muted, with the Israelis continuing to urge Washington to place more pressure on Tehran in order to get the Iranian government to stop its nuclear program, as well as put pressure on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to step up its inspections of the Iranian nuclear facilities.136.
By the spring of 2008, the cables reveal that a fissure had developed between the Israeli and U.S. governments on question of whether Iran intended to build a nuclear weapon or not. The Israelis, as they always had, strenuously argued that Iran intended to build a nuclear weapon. Washington, backed by its own intelligence assessments, was not so sure that the Israeli argument was correct.137. The frustration level of the Israelis reached the point where in September 2008, a senior Israeli defense official told the Americans that Israel “would not live with a nuclear Iran.”138.
After President Barack Obama moved into the White House in January 2009, the Israelis reverted back to their former tactic of trying to convince the U.S. government about the dire threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program with their latest intelligence assessments.139. But by mid-2009, the gap between Israel and the U.S. over whether Iran intended to build a bomb had apparently widened, with the head of Israeli military intelligence, Major General Amos Yadlin, telling a visiting U.S. congressional delegation that “Israel is not in a position to underestimate Iran and be surprised like the US was on 11 September 2001.”140.
Even before the 1979 Iranian revolution, the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community was generally dismissive of the potential political power and influence of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East. Arabic leaders with strong Islamist religious leanings, such as Muammar Qadhafi in Libya, were characterized as zealots who used religion to justify their radical actions.141. Non-governmental groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria, were viewed outright as dangerous and one-step removed from being terrorists.142.
Even after the 1978-1979 Iranian revolution, the CIA continued to characterize groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood as violent and anti-Western in their orientation. One 1982 CIA report stated that “the fundamentalists’ fragmentation and lack of leadership will prevent them from overthrowing the [Egyptian] government in an Iranian-style revolution.143. Another 1982 CIA report characterized the Muslim Brotherhood as having the potential to become “a seriously destabilizing force in the region.”144. Over time, the analysts at the CIA began to more fully appreciate the growing power and influence of Islamist fundamentalism in Middle Eastern politics, especially with Muslim young men under the age of 30, but it clearly was not a subject which the analysts were comfortable with because it could not be empirically measured, quantified, or dispassionately evaluated using traditional sociological analytic methods.145.
It was not until after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 that the CIA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community began to take a long and serious look at how Islamic fundamentalist was reshaping the political landscape of the Middle East, as well as the growing hostility towards the United States that it was breeding. But much of the reporting that has been declassified to date was simplistic and, in many cases, fundamentally flawed in its appreciation of the importance of Islamic fundamentalism in the Arab world, or what could be done to combat it.146.
But old habits die hard. As late as 2007 the deputy director of the FBI, John Pistole, was being told by Egyptian government and intelligence officials that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was a violent extremist organization opposed to the West and the Arab-Israeli peace process. Five years later in 2012, the tables were turned when a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, was elected president of Egypt after former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak was forced from office in February 2011.147.
Telling the story of the U.S.-Israeli relationship is an extremely difficult task given the fact that the U.S. intelligence community has consistently refused to declassify most of the classified intelligence reporting and assessments about Israel, and has declassified virtually nothing about the U.S.-Israeli intelligence sharing relationship itself. For example, the official in-house 1993 CIA history of the tenure of Richard Helms as Director of Central Intelligence was declassified a few years ago with the sole exception of the section on Israel and the relationship of CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton with the Israeli intelligence community, which remains classified to this day.148.
The lack of transparency from the U.S. intelligence community has not stopped popular nonfiction writers from trying to spin the story of the U.S.-Israeli intelligence relationship. Up until now, it has been standard fare for writers to describe the U.S.-Israeli intelligence relationship as one of extreme intimacy, with some writers suggesting that the intelligence-sharing relationship between the two countries is now closer than the relationship that the U.S. has enjoyed with Great Britain.149.
But the declassified documents in this collection paint a far different picture of the intelligence relationship between the U.S. and Israel than that contained in more popular works on the subject. Today U.S. and Israeli intelligence openly differ on a wide range of topics, such as whether Iran intends to build a nuclear weapon ot whether the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad used the nerve agent sarin in a chemical weapons attack on Syrian insurgent forces on March 19, 2013 near the city of Aleppo.
Documents in this collection reveal that the U.S. intelligence relationship with Israel was oftentimes antagonistic, especially during the twenty year period from 1947 to 1967, when the U.S. government viewed Israel as a thorn in its side. During this time period there was no formal intelligence sharing relationship, and the Israelis kept the Tel Aviv-based U.S. military attaches and CIA station staff on a very short leash, strictly controlling the flow of information. Things were so bad that in 1949, the newly arrived U.S. Air Attache in Tel Aviv complained to Washington that he was receiving no cooperation from the Israeli Air Force because the Israelis distrusted the motives and intent of the U.S. government.150.
The relationship between the intelligence services of the two countries slowly changed during the 1950s. The Israeli intelligence services, especially the Israeli military intelligence service (AMAN), would periodically brief the U.S. military attaches posted to Tel Aviv on those rare occasions if and when there was something specific the Israelis wanted to give Washington.
For example, prior to Israel’s invasion of the Sinai Peninsula in October 1956, the usually reticent Israeli military intelligence officials suddenly opened up and began passing to the U.S. Army attaches in Israel selected information that was to lead the Americans to believe that the military threat posed by Israel’s Arab neighbors was increasing dramatically, and that the increasing number of Palestinian guerrilla attacks on Israeli border settlements was being inspired by the Soviet Union. The underlying message behind these briefings was always the same - the threat to Israel posed by the Arab armies had reached the point that Israel may have to do something preemptively about it.151.
The same thing happened prior to the Israeli attack on Egypt, Jordan, and Syria on June 5, 1967, which marked the beginning of the so-called Six Day War. Much of the information was flat-out wrong. For example, on May 19, 1967, the Mossad gave the CIA an intelligence report stating that they had determined that the Egyptians had deployed canisters of poison gas with their forces in Sinai Peninsula. This turned out to be completely untrue.152.
But the biggest problem was that the Israeli intelligence distorted the true state of the military balance in the Middle East, exaggerating the strength and combat capabilities of the Egyptian, Jordan and Syrian armies while at the same time painting the state of the Israeli military as dire. In fact, the U.S. intelligence community (correctly) assessed that the Israeli military was far superior to those of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in virtually every category except in terms of raw number of men under arms.153.
For instance, in May 1967, several weeks before the beginning of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Mossad passed to the CIA an assessment which concluded that the Israeli military was badly outmanned and outgunned by the combined armies of its Arab neighbors. A CIA analysis of the Mossad report concluded that not only was the Israeli analysis faulty, but that the true purpose of the document was to alter the opinion of the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson and get the U.S. government to approve arms sales to Israel.154.
The U.S.-Israeli intelligence relationship changed dramatically after the 1967 Middle East War, when America replaced France as Israel’s primary ally and supplier of advanced weaponry. Suddenly the intelligence-sharing relationship between the intelligence agencies of the two countries became more formalized and routinized, and the amount of intelligence information being passed back and forth between the two countries increased dramatically. Visits of Israeli intelligence officials to America suddenly increased, and invitations were extended to U.S. intelligence officers to visit Israel to exchange documents and share views on the strength and capabilities of the Arab military forces and their Soviet-made equipment.155.
Shortly after the end of the 1973 Middle East War, the first of several formal intelligence sharing agreements was signed by the Israeli government, marking the beginning of what would become a flourishing intelligence relationship between the U.S. and Israel.156. But the extreme sensitivity of the U.S.-Israeli relationship meant that special communications channels and dissemination limitations had to be put in place in 1973 in order to ensure that the number of U.S. government officials and military commanders with access to Israeli intelligence was held to a minimum.157.
That is not to say that there were not problems with the relationship. Here are a few examples of problem areas in the U.S.-Israeli intelligence relationship found in the documents contained in this collection:
* The CIA and the Pentagon frequently found themselves at odds with the Israelis about the strength and capabilities of the Arab militaries. The Israelis continued to use their own inflated intelligence assessments concerning the Egyptian military as justification for demanding more and better American-made fighter aircraft, tanks, and other military equipment. The CIA was frequently forced to rebut the Israeli assessments in order for the U.S. government to deny the Israelis some of the weaponry they wanted.158.
* Some senior CIA officials argued forcefully against depending so heavily on Israeli intelligence information and intelligence assessments on the Middle East, pointing out that the unquestioning acceptance of Israeli intelligence assessments by U.S. intelligence analysts prior to the 1973 Middle East War contributed to the failure of U.S. intelligence to predict that Egypt and Syria would attack Israel.159.
* There were instances where American intelligence officials found themselves frustrated by the Israeli propensity to demand that the U.S. pay a steep price, usually in the form of more tanks or fighter aircraft, in exchange for any intelligence information or captured Soviet-made equipment that they wanted from the Israelis.160. For example, hard bargaining was required in order to get the Israelis to agree to give to the U.S. a Soviet-made radar station that the Israelis captured from the Egyptians in 1970.161.
* The Israelis on occasion asked for top-of-the-line intelligence collection equipment, such as unmanned drones and signals intelligence (SIGINT) equipment, which the U.S. would not provide.162.
* The U.S. government, at times, found the behavior of Israeli intelligence operatives a little too brash for their tastes. For example, in 1964 State Department officials made it clear that they were more than irritated when Israeli intelligence operatives were caught trying to recruit Norwegian United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) officials who were trying to monitor the ceasefire between Israel and Syria along the Golan Heights.163.
* A secret 1979 CIA study on the Israeli intelligence and security services revealed that Israeli counterintelligence operatives repeatedly tried to penetrate the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv in an apparent effort to find out who the CIA and State Department diplomats posted in Tel Aviv were getting their intelligence from.164.
* The 1985 case of Jonathan Jay Pollard, the U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who passed to Israeli intelligence was a source of considerable friction between the U.S. and Israeli intelligence communities in the mid-1980s, although the details remain classified. The Department of Defense and the CIA have recently declassified three documents concerning the case, which reveal that between June 1984 and November 1985, Pollard gave the Israelis 800 classified publications and more than 1,000 highly classified cables which compromised virtually every U.S. intelligence collection effort producing information on the Middle East. Pollard was arrested on November 21, 1985 and pleaded guilty to passing classified information to Israel in June 1986. He was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.165.
It must be pointed out that the U.S. intelligence community has intensively spied on Israel since the day it declared its independence in 1948. The problem for historians is that almost everything about U.S. spying on Israel remains a tightly kept secret. For example:
* CIA has declassified mission summaries for all U-2 reconnaissance overflights of the Middle East beginning with the first mission on August 29, 1956, but deleted from these summaries all references to intelligence derived from these missions about Israel despite the fact that the Israeli government has declassified documents showing that it radar tracked these overflights.
* The U.S. intelligence community has consistently refused to declassify all but a few of its classified intelligence reporting and assessments about Israel. For example, the CIA has not declassified any of the National Intelligence Survey (NIS) reports as well as virtually all of the National Intelligence Estimates on Israel.
Still, some examples of Anglo-American spying on Israel have found their way into the public realm and are included in this collection. For example:
* As early as 1946 U.S. counterintelligence reports revealed that British intelligence had begun spying on Jewish emigration organizations seeking to promote a Jewish state in Palestine almost as soon as World War II ended. Beginning in 1946, GCHQ and MI-6 began intercepting all commercial telegraph communications of the various branches of the Jewish Agency from around the world. As of 1946, MI-6 was intercepting and recording all local and long-distance telephone calls made to or from the Jewish Agency’s main office in Vienna, Austria, as well as intercepting all Jewish Agency incoming and outgoing telegrams.166.
* In May 1946, two years before the creation of the state of Israel, the U.S. Navy SIGINT organization began intercepting the international telephone calls and international cable traffic of Jewish Agency officials in the United States and elsewhere around the world who were engaged in raising money and buying arms for the Jewish underground in Palestine. The Israeli SIGINT intercept program was known as Project Gold. According to a former Army intelligence official, the Gold intercepts proved to be highly informative. “We knew who was shipping the arms, who was paying for them, who was being paid in this country, every illegal thing that was going on in this country.” But the official added that: “Because of politics, very little was ever done with [this intelligence].”167.
* The U.S. Army and Navy codebreaking organizations began intercepting and decrypting the diplomatic cable traffic immediately after the state of Israel was declared in May 1948. A selection of some of these Israeli decrypts are included in this collection.168.
There is much more to the story of U.S. espionage against Israel, but the documents detailing these activities will almost certainly remain classified for the foreseeable future.
1. Max Hastings, “The Iraq Intelligence Fiasco Exposes Us to Terrible Danger,” The Guardian, September 20, 2004.
2. Memorandum, Lynn to Secretary of State et al., Options Paper for the President on Organization and Management of the Foreign Intelligence Community, December 16, 1975, Secret, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan; U.S. Senate, Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities, Final Report, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, 1976, Book I, p. 348.
3. Confidential interviews.
4. Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, Strategic Services Unit as of 1 October 1945, October 9, 1945, Top Secret ⇗; Office of Strategic Services (OSS), Memorandum, Continuity Report: 1 August to 1 October 1945, October 17, 1945, Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Untitled Memorandum re Middle East Division, February 26, 1946, Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, Tentative Personnel Assignments SSU, NETO, on 15 April 1946, February 27, 1946, Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, Value of SSU Activities, March 11, 1946, Top Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, Monthly Activity Report - April 1946, May 1946, Secret ⇗.
5. Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, Relations with British Intelligence, October 9, 1945, Top Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, Relations with British Intelligence, October 26, 1945, Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, Monthly Intelligence Review - Middle East: 1 June 1946 to 1 July 1946, July 31, 1946, Top Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, Monthly Intelligence Review - Middle East: 1 July 1946 to 1 August 1946, September 10, 1946, Top Secret ⇗.
6. See for example U.S. Army, Decrypt, H 195616, Washington to Tehran (Iranian), July 7, 1945, Top Secret Ultra DOI:B01002 ⇗; Great Britain, Report, Intelligence Summary - Red No. 51, Supplement 1, August 1, 1945, Top Secret Ultra ⇗; Great Britain, Report, Intelligence Summary - Red No. 56, September 12, 1945, Top Secret Ultra ⇗; U.S. Army, Report, “Magic” Diplomatic Summary, December 31, 1945, Top Secret Ultra ⇗.
7. U.S. Army, Report, Reported Attempts of the Mufti to Establish an Arab Guerrilla Force, August 18, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Bethlehem to Cairo (Arab League), October 14, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Beirut to Paris (Lebanese), November 4, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Cairo to Damascus (Arab League), November 16, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Washington to Cairo (Egyptian), December 23, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Cairo to London (Egyptian), January 23, 1949, Top Secret Glint ⇗.
8. U.S. Navy, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to New York (Israeli), September 18, 1948, Top Secret Glint; U.S. Navy, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to Paris (Israeli), December 1, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Navy, Decrypt, Rome to Tel Aviv (Israeli), December 14, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Navy, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to Washington (Israeli), December 20, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗.
9. U.S. Army, Decrypt, Haifa to Paris (French), September 27, 1948, Top Secret Glint; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to Paris (French), November 6, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Report, France: Movement of STERN GANG Members in Western Europe, November 8, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Jerusalem to Paris (French), November 27, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to Paris (French), December 7, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to Paris (French), January 2, 1949, Top Secret Glint ⇗.
10. Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Report, SSU Missions and Stations in Europe, Near East and Africa, April 22, 1946, Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, SI, Semi-Overt Installations and Personnel in the Near East, May 7, 1946, Secret ⇗; Memorandum, Douglass to Galloway, Mr. Penrose’s Plan for the Proposed Organization of Special Operations Located in Foreign Countries, July 9, 1946, Top Secret ⇗; Strategic Services Unit (SSU), Memorandum, List of Field Personnel in the Near East to be Carried Over from SSU to CIG, September 12, 1946, Top Secret.
11. Central Intelligence Group, Report, Arab Para-Military Groups, December 13, 1946, Secret ⇗; Central Intelligence Group, Report, Arab League Meetings, January 24, 1947, Secret ⇗; Central Intelligence Group, Report, Mufti’s Declaration on Palestine Situation, January 27, 1947, Secret/Control ⇗; Central Intelligence Group, Report, Grand Mufti’s New Arab Organization, February 18, 1947, Secret/Control ⇗; Central Intelligence Group, Report, Grand Mufti’s Views on Arab League, February 18, 1947, Secret/Control ⇗; Central Intelligence Group, Report, Dissension in the Arab League Regarding Arab Plan of Action in Palestine, October 30, 1947, Secret ⇗; Central Intelligence Group, Report, Activities of the Arab Higher Executive, October 31, 1947, Confidential ⇗;
12. Central Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Estimate, The Current Situation in Egypt, October 16, 1947, Secret ⇗; Central Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Estimate, The Current Situation in the Mediterranean and the Near East, October 17, 1947, Secret ⇗.
14. Memorandum, Monthly Activity Report - August 1946, September 1946, Secret ⇗; Memorandum, FBV to Director, List of Field Personnel in the Near East to be Carried Over from SSU to CIG, September 12, 1946, Secret ⇗.
15. Memorandum, Department of State to American Consular Officer in Charge, Jerusalem, February 20, 1948, Secret.
20. Cable, 1071, Jerusalem to Secretary of State, July 12, 1948, RG-59, Decimal File 1945-1949, Box 83, File: 101.6102/7-1248, NA, CP.
21. Memorandum, Handy to President, Unauthorized Flights to Palestine, March 8, 1946, Top Secret ⇗; Memorandum, Inglis to Unknown, Illegal Shipment of Arms and Ammunition to Palestine, March 19, 1948, Secret ⇗; Memorandum, Hillenkoetter to Secretary of Defense, Clandestine Air Transport Operations, May 28, 1948, Top Secret; Memorandum, Norstad to Chief of Staff, Daily Activity Report, June 14, 1948, Top Secret ⇗; Memorandum, Hillenkoetter to President, August 5, 1948, Top Secret; CIA, Information Report, Haganah Supplies to Palestine, January 3, 1949, Secret ⇗; CIA, Intelligence Memorandum No. 114, Uncontrolled International Air Traffic Endangers US National Security, January 6, 1949, Secret ⇗; CIA, Intelligence Memorandum No, 120, Possible Sale of Transport Aircraft by Israel to Czechoslovakia, January 12, 1949, Secret ⇗; CIA Intelligence Memorandum No. 122, Imminent Reinforcement of Israeli Air Force, January 14, 1949, Secret ⇗.
23. Central Intelligence Group, Report, Stand of Jewish Agency Regarding Terrorism; Strength of Irgun Zvi Leumi, February 11, 1947, Confidential ⇗; Central Intelligence Group, Report, Statements Concering Arrests of Revisionists; Resignation of Member of Jewish Agency Executive; New Irgun Zvai Leumi Explosive, September 5, 1947, Secret/Control ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Jerusalem to Secretary of State, May 31, 1948, Top Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Jerusalem to Secretary of State, June 24, 1948, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Activities of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and Stern Gang in Palestine, June 28, 1948, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Jerusalem to Secretary of State, June 28, 1948, Confidential ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Jerusalem to Secretary of State, July 23, 1948, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Haifa to Secretary of State, October 19, 1948, Confidential, NARA ⇗.
24. For reporting on the murder of Count Bernadotte and Stern Gang involvement in the affair, see Department of State, Cable, Jerusalem to Secretary of State, September 17, 1948, Unclassified ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Jerusalem to Secretary of State, September 17, 1948, Unclassified ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Jerusalem to Secretary of State, September 18, 1948, Unclassified ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Haifa to Secretary of State, September 19, 1948, Confidential ⇗. For U.S. intelligence tracking of the Stern Gang murders of Count Bernadotte, see U.S. Army, Decrypt, Jerusalem to Prague (Czechoslovakian), October 27, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to Paris (French), November 6, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Report, France: Movement of STERN GANG Members in Western Europe, November 8, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Army, Decrypt, Jerusalem to Paris (French), November 27, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗.
26. Note by the Secretaries to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Preparations for Demolition of Oil Facilities in the Middle East, January 30, 1948, Top Secret ⇗; Report by the Joint Strategic Plans Committee to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Preparations for Demolition of Oil Facilities in the Middle East, March 20, 1948, Top Secret ⇗; Memorandum, Leahy to Secretary of Defense, Preparations for Demolition of Oil Facilities in the Middle East, April 8, 1948, Top Secret; SANACC 398/4, State-Army-Navy-Air Force Coordination Committee, Preparations for Demolition of Oil Facilities in the Middle East, May 25, 1948, Top Secret.
31. CIA, Memorandum, Assessment of the Iranian Situation, August 17, 1953, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, August 20, 1953, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, August 21, 1953, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Intelligence Estimate, The Current Outlook in Iran, August 26, 1953, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, The Situation in Iran, August 26, 1953, Top Secret ⇗.
32. CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, July 12, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, July 27, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, July 28, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified]; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, July 29, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Intelligence Estimate, Nasser and the Middle East Situation, July 31, 1956, Secret ⇗.
33. National Security Agency, Report, The Suez Crisis: A Brief Comint History, 1988, Top Secret Umbra ⇗; Matthew M. Aid, The Secret Sentry: The Untold Story of the National Security Agency (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009), pp. 48-49.
34. See for example U.S. Navy, Cable, ALUSNA London to CNO, August 3, 1956, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, London to Secretary of State, August 9, 1956, Top Secret ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Memorandum, Military Preparations by France, U.K. and Egypt in Connection With the Suez Crisis, Report No. 2, September 6, 1956, Secret ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Memorandum, Military Preparations by France, U.K. and Egypt in Connection With the Suez Crisis, Report No. 3, September 7, 1956, Secret ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Memorandum, Military Preparations by France, U.K. and Egypt in Connection With the Suez Crisis, Report No. 4, September 10, 1956, Secret ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Memorandum, Military Preparations by France, U.K. and Egypt in Connection With the Suez Crisis, Report No. 5, September 11, 1956, Secret ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Memorandum, British Aircraft Carrier Characteristics and Present Locations, September 13, 1956, Secret ⇗.
35. The CIA 36 overflights of the Middle East in 1956, 18 in 1957, 58 in 1958, 37 in 1959, and 3 missions in 1960. Idealist Mission History, March 31, 1970, Top Secret/IDEALIST, CREST.
37. CIA, Intelligence Estimate, Probable Repercussions of British-French Military Action in the Suez Crisis, September 5, 1956, Top Secret ⇗; Watch Committee, Report, Conclusions on British-French Intentions to Employ Force Against Egypt, September 12, 1956, Top Secret ⇗; CIA, Intelligence Estimate, The Likelihood of a British-French Resort to Military Action Against Egypt in the Suez Crisis, September 19, 1956, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Allen Welsh Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence: 26 February 1953 - 29 November 1961: Vol. V Intelligence Support of Policy, July 1973, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗.
38. Major General Moshe Dayan, Diary of the Sinai Campaign (NY: Harper & Row, 1965), p. 73.
39. Dayan, ibid., p. 67.
40. Department of State, Cable, Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, October 25, 1956, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, October 26, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, October 26, 1956, Secret ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Cable, JCS to CINCAL et al., October 26, 1956, Top Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, October 27, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Letter, Dulles to Hoover, October 27, 1956, Top Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, October 27, 1956, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, October 28, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; Department of State, Cable, USARMA Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, October 28, 1956, Secret ⇗.
41. CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, October 16, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Cable, JCS to CINCAL et al., October 17, 1956, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, October 18, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Memorandum, Middle East Roundup (Week Ending 19 October), October 19, 1956, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Current Intelligence Bulletin, October 27, 1956, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗.
42. Department of State, Cable, Secretary of State to Tel Aviv, October 27, 1956, Top Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Secretary of State to Cairo et al., October 27, 1956, Top Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Secretary of State to Tel Aviv, October 28, 1956, Secret ⇗.
43. Major General Moshe Dayan, Diary of the Sinai Campaign (NY: Harper & Row, 1965), p. 74.
44. Robyn G. Winder, The Suez Crisis: A Brief COMINT History (Ft. George G. Meade, MD: Center for Cryptolgic History, 1988), Top Secret Umbra, p. 24.
45. Robyn G. Winder, The Suez Crisis: A Brief COMINT History (Ft. George G. Meade, MD: Center for Cryptolgic History, 1988), Top Secret Umbra, p. 32.
49. For U-2 discovery of the Dimona reactor under construction, see Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (New York: Random House, 1991), pp. 52-53; Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), p. 83. For HUMINT and SIGINT coverage of Dimona and French assistance in the construction of the reactor, see U.S. Navy, Cable, ALUSNA Tel Aviv to CNO, May 25, 1959, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Letter, Williams to Farley, September 9, 1959, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Paris to Secretary of State, November 24, 1960, Confidential ⇗; Great Britain, Letter, Wiggin to Farley, January 13, 1961, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Letter, Macomber to Ramey, January 19, 1961, Secret ⇗; Great Britain, Letter, Wiggin to Farley, January 13, 1961, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, The French-Israeli Relationship, January 26, 1961, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Post-mortem on SNIE 100-8-60, January 28, 1961, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Post-mortem on SNIE 100-8-60: Implications of the Acquisition by Israel of a Nuclear Weapons Capability, January 31, 1961, Secret/NOFORN ⇗; CIA, Report, Israel: Nuclear Engineering Training/Large Nuclear and Electric Power Plant Near Beersheba, February 9, 1961, Confidential ⇗; CIA, Report, Israel: Atomic Reactor Site Near Beersheba, February 17, 1961, Secret/NOFORN/Continued Control ⇗; CIA, Report, Analysis of the Discrepancies in Information on the Israeli Reactor Complex Near Beersheba, February 20, 1961, Secret/NOFORN ⇗.
50. U.S. Army, Photograph, Dimona Nuclear Reactor, August 30, 1960, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Post-mortem on SNIE 100-8-60: Implications of the Acquisition by Israel of a Nuclear Weapons Capability, January 31, 1961, Secret/NOFORN ⇗.
55. CIA, Report, Middle East: Rising Tensions, May 11, 1973, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Views deleted on the Probability that Egyptian President Sadat Seriously is Considering Launching Hostilities Against Israel, May 14, 1973, Secret ⇗.
56. CIA, Memorandum, CIA Assessment of Purported Syrian Military Preparations, September 30, 1973, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Syrian Military Intentions, September 30, 1973, Top Secret Umbra/NOFORN/GAMMA-Controlled ⇗.
57. CIA, Memorandum, Israeli Estimates of Egypt’s Present Military Intentions, April 16, 1973, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Views deleted on the Probability that Egyptian President Sadat Seriously is Considering Launching Hostilities Against Israel, May 14, 1973, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Judgement deleted That Syrian Military Preparations are Defensive in Nature, October 3, 1973, Secret ⇗.
59. CIA: The Pike Report (London: Spokesman Books, 1977), p. 143.
60. CIA, Memorandum, CIA Assessment of Purported Syrian Military Preparations, September 30, 1973, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Syrian Military Intentions, September 30, 1973, Top Secret Umbra/NOFORN/GAMMA-Controlled ⇗.
66. CIA: The Pike Report (London: Spokesman Books, 1977), p. 143.
67. Daniel O. Graham, Confessions of a Cold Warrior (Fairfax, Virginia: Preview Press, 1995), p. 77.
68. CIA, Report, Egypt, October 5, 1973, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, The Performance of the Intelligence Community Before the Arab-Israeli War of October 1973: A Preliminary Post-Mortem, December 20, 1973, Top Secret/Sensitive ⇗.
74. Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, October 1, 1973, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Judgement deleted That Syrian Military Preparations are Defensive in Nature, October 3, 1973, Secret ⇗.
77. CIA, Report, Analysis of NFAC’s Performance On Iran’s Domestic Crisis, Mid-1977 - 7 November 1978, June 1979, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Post-mortem, July 17, 1979, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Earlier Estimates on Iran, July 18, 1979, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Comments re “Analysis of NFAC’s Performance on Iran’s Domestic Crisis, Mid-1977 to 7 November 1978" dated 15 June 1979, July 23, 1979, Secret/Eyes Only ⇗.
81. Department of State, Memorandum, The Gathering Crisis in Iran, November 2, 1978, Secret/NODIS ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, PRC Meeting on Iran, 6 November 1978, November 3, 1978, Top Secret Umbra [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Briefing, Briefing Book for 9 November PRC on Iran, November 7, 1978, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; Department of State, Letter, Precht to Sullivan, December 19,1978, Secret.
82. Department of State, Letter, Holmes to Rusk, May 20, 1964, Top Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Secretary of State to U.S. Embassy Tehran, August 25, 1965, Top Secret/Sensitive ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Embassy Tehran to Secretary of State, August 28, 1965, Top Secret/Sensitive ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Embassy Tehran to Secretary of State, September 10, 1965, Top Secret/Sensitive ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Secretary of State to U.S. Embassy Tehran, September 11, 1965, Top Secret/Sensitive ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Embassy Tehran to Secretary of State, September 13, 1965, Top Secret/Sensitive ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Secretary of State to Amembassy Tehran, September 20, 1965, Secret ⇗; White House, Memorandum, Rostow to President, Untitled, May 27, 1966, Top Secret/Sensitive ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Your Conversation with the Shah of Iran, June 12, 1968 at 12:30 P.M., June 7, 1968, Top Secret/Sensitive ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Meeting With the Shah of Iran, October 22, 1969, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Iran, April 16, 1970, Secret ⇗; White House, Memorandum, Memo from Mr. Helms on Iran, September 2, 1970, Secret/Sensitive ⇗.
83. Department of State, Airgram, Ambassador’s Goals and Objectives in Iran, January 11, 1978, Secret ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Report, (Extract) The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Development of US Policy Toward Iran: 1946-1978, March 31, 1980, Top Secret ⇗.
85. Defense Intelligence Agency, Cable, USDAO Tehran to DIA, March 3, 1979, Secret/NOFORN ⇗; Department of State, Letter, Sullivan to Entezam, March 13, 1979, Confidential ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Policy Towards Iran, September 5, 1979, Secret/Sensitive ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, LWSURF - Official Informal, October 29, 1979, Secret ⇗.
86. CIA, Memorandum, Possible Iranian-Iraqi Conflict, April 11, 1980, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Alert Memorandum: Iran-Iraq, September 17, 1980, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, National Intelligence Daily, September 18, 1980, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗.
88. CIA, Report, Iran-Iraq Situation Report No. 27, July 29, 1982, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, Iran’s Likely Reaction to Iraqi Use of Chemical Weapons, November 4, 1983, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Prospects for the Use of Chemical Weapons by Iraq Against Iran Over the Next Six Months, February 24, 1984, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Monthly Warning Meetings for February 1984, March 13, 1984, Top Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, Iraq: Use of Nerve Agent, March 23, 1984, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, The Islamic Bomb: Chemical Rather Than Nuclear?, September 6, 1984, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, The Iraqi Chemical Weapons Program in Perspective, January 1985, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗.
89. CIA, Memorandum, NIO/W Contribution to Watch Committee, May 12, 1982, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Possible Outcomes and Implications of the Iran-Iraq War, May 17, 1982, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Report, The Aftermath of Iranian Victory, May 18, 1982, Top Secret Umbra/NOFORN ⇗.
90. Department of State, Cable, Secretary of State to Amembassy Beirut et al., August 19, 1982, Secret ⇗. The tragic history of the U.S. military intervention in Lebanon from 1982 to 1984 is ably told in Benis M. Frank, The U.S. Marines in Lebanon: 1982-1984 (Washington, D.C.: USMC History and Museums Division, 1987.
91. CIA, Report, National Intelligence Daily, April 19, 1983, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Chronology of Anti-US Terrorist Attacks by Iran or Iranian Supported Groups (1979-1985), June 26, 1985, Top Secret [Umbra] NOFORN ⇗; Benis M. Frank, The U.S. Marines in Lebanon: 1982-1984 (Washington, D.C.: USMC History and Museums Division, 1987), p. 150.
92. Jack Anderson, “U.S. Was Warned of Bombing at Beirut Embassy,” Washington Post, May 10, 1983, p. B15; Jack Anderson, “Syria Supported Terrorism, Say U.S., Britain,” Newsday, November 7, 1986; R.W. Apple, Jr., "U.S. Knew of Iran's Role in Two Beirut Bombings," New York Times, December 8, 1986, p. A16.
93. CIA, Cable, CIA to unknown, October 23, 1983, Secret/Sensitive ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Chronology of Anti-US Terrorist Attacks by Iran or Iranian Supported Groups (1979-1985), June 26, 1985, Top Secret [Umbra] NOFORN ⇗; Benis M. Frank, The U.S. Marines in Lebanon: 1982-1984 (Washington, D.C.: USMC History and Museums Division, 1987), p. 152.
95. Buckley was sent to Beirut in 1983 to replace Kenneth E. Haas, the CIA station chief who was killed in the April 18, 1983 Hezbollah suicide bombing of the U.S. embassy. Prior to his deployment to Lebanon, Buckley had served in served in Zaire (1970–1972), Cambodia (1972), Egypt (1972–1978), and Pakistan (1978–1979). CIA, Report, Comments on the Taking of Western Hostages in Lebanon, June 14, 1985, Secret/NOFORN ⇗; CIA, Report, Lebanon’s Hizballah: The Rising Tide of Shia Radicalism, October 1985, Top Secret [multiple codewords not declassified] ⇗.
96. CIA, Report, The Terrorist Threat to US Personnel in Beirut, January 12, 1984, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, Lebanon: The Hizb Allah, September 27, 1984, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Prospects for Increased Terrorism Against the United States in the Wake of the Latest Bombing in Beirut, September 29, 1984, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, National Intelligence Daily, November 8, 1984, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, The “Islamic Jihad”, 1985, Top Secret [codeword not declassified]; CIA, Report, Terrorism Review, March 25, 1985, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Iranian Involvement With Terrorism in Lebanon, June 26, 1985, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Chronology of Anti-US Terrorist Attacks by Iran or Iranian Supported Groups (1979-1985), June 26, 1985, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] NOFORN ⇗; CIA, Report, Iran’s Role in Closing Days of the Hostage Crisis, July 3, 1985, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, Lebanon’s Hizballah: The Rising Tide of Shia Radicalism, October 1985, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, Iranian Support for International Terrorism, November 22, 1986, Top Secret Umbra NOFORN NOCONTRACT ⇗.
97. CIA, Memorandum, Monthly Warning Meeting - January 1982, January 25, 1982, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, NIO Monthly Warning Assessments: January, January 29, 1982, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Monthly Warning Meeting - February 1982, February 22, 1982, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, NIO Monthly Warning Assessments: February, March 1, 1982, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Monthly Warning Meeting - March 1982, March 23, 1982, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, NIO Monthly Warning Assessments: March, March 31, 1982, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, NIO Monthly Warning Assessments: April, May 3, 1982, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, NIO/W Contribution to Watch Committee, May 12, 1982, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, NIO/W Contribution to Watch Committee, May 19, 1982, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, NIO Monthly Warning Assessments: May, May 28, 1982, Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗.
98. CIA, Memorandum, Talking Points for the DCI on Lebanon and Israel, June 7, 1982, Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Observations on the Lebanon War, June 14, 1982, Top Secret [codewords not declassified], CREST ⇗.
99. CIA, Memorandum, Israel-Lebanon: Talking Points for the DDCI, August 19, 1982, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Monthly Warning Meeting - August 1982, August 24, 1982, Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗.
100. Confidential interviews with former CIA intelligence officials.
103. CIA, Memorandum, Talking Points: Syrian and Soviet Options in Lebanon, August 29, 1983, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, US Policy Concerns if Amin’s National Reconciliation Collapses, September 2, 1983, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Downward Spiral in Lebanon, September 11, 1983, Secret ⇗.
105. Benis M. Frank, The U.S. Marines in Lebanon: 1982-1984 (Washington, D.C.: USMC History and Museums Division, 1987), p. 150; CIA, Memorandum, Talking Points for the DCI: Prognosis on Lebanon, September 2, 1983, Secret ⇗.
111. Charles Francis Scanlon, In Defense of the Nation: DIA at Forty Years (Washington, D.C.: DIA, September 2001), p. 195.
113. ibid., p. 196.
115. Defense Intelligence Agency, Report, A Chronology of Defense Intelligence in the Gulf War: A Research Aid for Analysts, July 1997, Unclassified ⇗; Charles Francis Scanlon, In Defense of the Nation: DIA at Forty Years (Washington, D.C.: DIA, September 2001), p. 196.
117. CIA, Report, CIA Support to the US Military During the Persian Gulf War, June 16, 1997, Unclassified ⇗; Defense Intelligence Agency, Report, A Chronology of Defense Intelligence in the Gulf War: A Research Aid for Analysts, July 1997, Unclassified ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Baghdad to Secretary of State, August 2, 1990, Secret ⇗.
122. Thomas E. Ricks, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (NY: The Penguin Press, 2006), p. 53.
123. U.S. Senate, Report, Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 7, 2004, Top Secret [codewords not declassified) ⇗; Robb-Silbermann Commission, Report to the President of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, March 31, 2005, Unclassified ⇗; U.S. Senate, Report, Postwar Findings About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments, September 8, 2006, Top Secret [codewords not declassified) ⇗; U.S. Senate, Report, The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress, September 8, 2006, Top Secret [codewords not declassified)⇗;
124. U.S. Senate, Report, Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information, June 2008, Top Secret [codewords not declassified)⇗.
125. CIA, Report, Intelligence and Analysis on Iraq: Issues for the Intelligence Community, July 29, 2004, Unclassified ⇗; CIA, Report, Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD, September 30, 2004, Unclassified ⇗; CIA, Report, Misreading Intentions: Iraq’s Reaction to Inspections Created Picture of Deception, January 5, 2006, Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗.
128. CIA, Cable, CIA to White House Situation Room, August 7, 1974, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; Defense Intelligence Agency, Report, Nuclear Proliferation Watch, 1976, Top Secret ⇗; CIA, Briefing, Iran’s Foreign Policy, April 28, 1976, Top Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗.
133. Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, April 21, 2006, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, December 20, 2006, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, February 22, 2007, Secret ⇗.
136. Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, December 4, 2007, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, December 28, 2007, Secret ⇗.
139. Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, November 18, 2009, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, November 19, 2009, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, December 22, 2009, Secret ⇗.
145. CIA, Memorandum, Prospects for 1983 in the Near East and South Asia, January 18, 1983, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Forecasting and Warning Meeting Report, 19 July 1984, July 20, 1984, Secret [codeword not declassified] ⇗; CIA, Report, Near East - South Asia: Regime Responses to Islamic Fundamentalist Demands, July 23, 1984, Secret ⇗; National Security Agency, Report, Cryptolog, January 1992, Top Secret Umbra ⇗.
146. U.S. Central Command, Memorandum, Response to 18 June Paper, July 16, 2004, Secret/Close Hold ⇗; Joint Chiefs of Staff, Briefing, Strategy for the Long War: 2006 - 2016, September 27, 2006, Secret/Predecisional/Close Hold ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, April 24, 2008, Secret ⇗.
149. Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship (NY: Harper Collins, 1991); Stephen Green, Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (NY: Morrow, 1984).
151. Department of State, Memorandum, Conversation With Colonel NEEMAN, Deputy Chief of Intelligence, Israel Defense Forces, February 29, 1956, Confidential ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, February 29, 1956, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Conversation With Colonel Harkabi, April 25, 1956, Secret ⇗; U.S. Army, Cable, Tel Aviv to ACSI DEPTAR WASH DC, May 21, 1956, Secret ⇗; U.S. Army, Cable, Tel Aviv to DEPTAR for ACSI, August 27, 1956, Confidential ⇗.
152. Department of State, Memorandum, Rostow to The Secretary, May 20, 1967, Top Secret - Sensitive.
154. CIA, Office of National Assessments, Appraisal of an Estimate of the Arab-Israeli Crisis by the Israeli Intelligence Service, May 25, 1967, Top Secret, in Foreign Relations of the United States 1964-1968, Vol. XIX, doc. 61.
155. Department of State, Letter, Thacher to Davies, October 21, 1967, Confidential ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Sample of IDF Thinking About UAR, November 19, 1969, Confidential ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Secretary of State to Amembassy Tel Aviv, April 8, 1970, Secret/NODIS ⇗; Defense Intelligence Agency, Cable, USDAO Tel Aviv to DIA, May 5, 1970, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Israel Offers to Send Air Intelligence Chief for Clarifications, May 6, 1970, Secret/EXDIS ⇗; Department of State, Cable, USDAO Tel Aviv to CNO et al., July 19, 1970, Secret ⇗; Defense Intelligence Agency, Cable, USDAO Tel Aviv to DIA, October 28, 1970, Secret ⇗; CIA, Memorandum, Israeli Estimates of Egypt’s Present Military Intentions, April 16, 1973, Secret ⇗; Department of State, Cable, Amembassy Tel Aviv to Secretary of State, October 1, 1973, Secret ⇗.
158. Department of State, Memorandum, Israeli Intelligence and Military Assessment: Israel’s Arms Requirements, September 18, 1970, Top Secret/NODIS ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Memorandum of Conversation (Moshe Dayan), September 19, 1970, Secret/EXDIS ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, Israeli Defense Matters, October 26, 1971, Secret/NOFORN ⇗; Department of State, Memorandum, DOD Examination of Israeli Requests: Mechanics, July 12, 1974, Secret ⇗.
159. CIA, Memorandum, Correction of Deficiencies Shown by Analytic Shortcomings in the Period Before Outbreak of Hostilities in the Middle East - October 1973, September 6, 1974, Administrative Internal Use Only ⇗.
162. Department of State, Memorandum, Israel Wants Sophisticated Drones for Reconnaissance and Other Intelligence Applications, June 10, 1970, Secret/NODIS ⇗; National Security Council, Memorandum, Israeli Military Requests, October 7, 1975, Secret/Sensitive ⇗.
165. Department of Defense, Memorandum, Sentencing Affidavit for Jonathan Pollard - Action Memorandum, January 7, 1987, Top Secret Umbra ⇗; Department of Justice, Affidavit, Government’s Reply to Defendant’s Sentencing Memorandum, March 3, 1987, Secret ⇗; CIA, Report, The Jonathan Jay Pollard Espionage Case: A Damage Assessment, October 30, 1987, Top Secret [codewords not declassified] ⇗.
167. Matthew M. Aid, The Secret Sentry: The Untold Story of the National Security Agency (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009), p. 10.
168. U.S. Navy, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to New York (Israeli), September 18, 1948, Top Secret Glint; U.S. Navy, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to Paris (Israeli), December 1, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Navy, Decrypt, Rome to Tel Aviv (Israeli), December 14, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗; U.S. Navy, Decrypt, Tel Aviv to Washington (Israeli), December 20, 1948, Top Secret Glint ⇗.
Aid, Matthew M., The Secret Sentry: The Untold Story of the National Security Agency (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009)
Aid, Matthew M., Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2012)
Andrew, Dr. Christopher, For the President’s Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush (New York: HarperCollins, 1995)
Bill, James A., The Eagle and the Lion: Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1988)
Blitzer, Wolf, Territory of Lies: The Exclusive Story of Jonathan Jay Pollard (New York: Harper & Row, 1989)
Bolger, Daniel P., Americans at War (Novato, California: Presidio Press, 1988)
Cockburn, Andrew and Cockburn, Leslie, Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship (New York: Harper Collins, 1991)
Cohen, Avner, Israel and the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998)
Copeland, Miles, The Game of Nations: The Amorality of Power Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1970)
Dayan, Moshe, Diary of the Sinai Campaign (New York: Harper & Row, 1965)
Depuy, Trevor N. Depuy, Col. (USA, Ret.), Elusive Victory: The Arab-Israeli Wars, 1947-1974 (New York: Harper & Row, 1978)
Emerson, Steven, Secret Warriors (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1988)
Eveland, Wilbur Crane, Ropes of Sand: America’s Failure in the Middle East (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1980)
Ford, Harold P., Estimative Intelligence (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1993)
Gates, Robert M., From the Shadows (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996)
Green, Stephen, Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: Morrow, 1984)
Hersh, Seymour M., The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House (New York: Summit Books, 1983)
Hersh, Seymour M., The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (New York: Random House, 1991)
Kissinger, Henry A., Years of Upheaval (Boston: Little, Brown, 1982)
Livingstone, Neil C. and Halevy, David, Inside the PLO: Covert Units, Secret Funds, and the War Against Israel and the United States (New York: Morrow, 1990)
Neff, Donald, Warriors at Suez: Eisenhower Takes America Into the Middle East (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981)
Powers, Thomas S., The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (New York: Knopf, 1979)
Ranelagh, John, The Agency: The Rise and Fall of the CIA (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987)
Richelson, Jeffrey T., A Century of Spies (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)
Richelson, Jeffrey T., The Wizards of Langley (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2001)
Richelson, Jeffrey T., Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006)
Ricks, Thomas E., Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (NY: The Penguin Press, 2006)
Roosevelt, Kermit, Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979)
Scanlon, Charles Francis, In Defense of the Nation: DIA at Forty Years (Washington, D.C.: DIA, September 2001)
Sick, Gary, All Fall Down: America’s Tragic Encounter with Iran (New York: Penguin, 1986)
Woodward, Bob, Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987)
|SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE|
|James V. Forrestal||September 17, 1947 - March 28, 1949|
|Louis A. Johnson||March 28, 1949 - September 19, 1950|
|George C. Marshall||September 21, 1950 - September 19, 1950|
|Robert A. Lovett||September 17, 1951 - January 20, 1953|
|Charles E. Wilson||January 28, 1953 - October 8, 1957|
|Neil H. McElroy||October 9, 1957 - December 1, 1959|
|Thomas S. Gates, Jr.||December 2, 1959 - January 20, 1961|
|Robert S. McNamara||January 21, 1961 - February 29, 1968|
|Clark M. Clifford||March 1, 1968 - January 20, 1969|
|Melvin R. Laird||January 22, 1969 - January 29, 1973|
|Elliot L. Richardson||January 30, 1973 - May 24, 1974|
|James R. Schlesinger||July 2, 1973 - November 19, 1975|
|Donald H. Rumsfeld||November 20, 1975 - January 20, 1977|
|Harold Brown||January 21, 1977 - January 20, 1981|
|Caspar Weinberger||January 21, 1981 - November 23, 1987|
|Frank C. Carlucci||November 23, 1987 - January 20, 1989|
|Richard B. Cheney||March 21, 1989 - January 20, 1993|
|CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY|
|Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, USN||January 23, 1946 - June 7, 1946|
|Lt. General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, USAF||June 10, 1946 - May 1, 1947|
|Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, USN||May 1, 1947 - October 7, 1950|
|Lt. General Walter Bedell Smith, USA (ret.)||October 7, 1950 - February 9, 1953|
|Allen W. Dulles||February 26, 1953 - November 29, 1961|
|John A. McCone||November 29, 1961 - April 28, 1965|
|Vice Admiral William F. Raborn, Jr., USN||April 28, 1965 - June 30, 1966|
|Richard Helms||June 30, 1966 - February 2, 1973|
|James R. Schlesinger||February 2, 1973 - July 2, 1973|
|William E. Colby||September 4, 1973 - January 30, 1976|
|George H.W. Bush||January 30, 1976 - January 20, 1977|
|Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN||March 9, 1977 - January 20, 1981|
|William J. Casey||January 28, 1981 - January 29, 1987|
|William H. Webster||May 26, 1987 - September 1991|
|Robert M. Gates||November 6, 1991 - January 20, 1993|
|DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY|
|Lt. General Joseph F. Carroll, USAF||October 1961 - September 1969|
|Lt. General Donald V. Bennett, USA||September 1969 - August 1972|
|Vice Admiral Vincent P. de Poix, USN||August 1972 - September 1974|
|Lt. General Daniel O. Graham, USA||September 1974 - December 1975|
|Lt. General Samuel V. Wilson, USA||May 1976 - August 1977|
|Lt. General Eugene F. Tighe, Jr., USAF||September 1977 - August 1981|
|Lt. General James A. Williams, USA||September 1981 - September 1985|
|Lt. General Leonard H. Perroots, USAF||October 1985 - December 1988|
|Lt. General Harry E. Soyster, USA||December 1988 - September 1991|
|Lt. General James R. Clapper, Jr., USAF||November 1991 - August 1995|
|NATIONAL RECONNAISSANCE OFFICE|
|Dr. Joseph V. Charyk||September 1961 - March 1963|
|Dr. Brockway McMillan||March 1963 - October 1965|
|Dr. Alexander H. Flax||October 1965 - March 1969|
|Dr. John L. McLucas||March 1969 - December 1973|
|James W. Plummer||December 1973 - June 1976|
|Dr. Charles W. Cook (Acting)||June 1976 - August 1976|
|Thomas C. Reed||August 1976 - April 1977|
|Dr. Charles W. Cook (Acting)||April 1977 - August 1977|
|Dr. Hans Mark||August 1977 - October 1979|
|Dr. Robert J. Hermann||October 1979 - August 1981|
|Edward C. “Pete” Aldridge, Jr.||August 1981 - December 1988|
|Jimmie D. Hill (Acting)||December 1988 - September 1989|
|Martin C. Faga||September 1989 - March 1993|
|NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY|
|Rear Admiral Earl. E. Stone, USN||July 15, 1949 - July 15, 1951|
|Major General Ralph J. Canine, USA||July 15, 1951 - November 4, 1952|
|Lt. General Ralph J. Canine, USA||November 4, 1952 - November 23, 1956|
|Lt. General John A. Samford, USAF||November 24, 1956 - November 23, 1960|
|Vice Admiral Laurence H. Frost, USN||November 24, 1960 - June 30, 1962|
|Lt. General Gordon A. Blake, USAF||July 1, 1962 - May 31, 1965|
|Lt. General Marshall S. Carter, USA||June 1, 1965 - July 31, 1969|
|Vice Admiral Noel Gayler, USN||August 1, 1969 - July 31, 1972|
|Lt. General Samuel C. Phillips, USAF||August 1, 1972 - August 24, 1973|
|Lt. General Lew Allen, Kr., USAF||August 25, 1973 - July 4, 1977|
|Vice Admiral Bobby R. Inman, USN||July 5, 1977 - March 31, 1981|
|Lt. General Lincoln D. Faurer, USAF||April 1, 1981 - April 1, 1985|
|Lt. General William E. Odom, USA||May 8, 1985 - August 1, 1988|
|Vice Admiral William O. Studeman||August 1988 - 1992|
|FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS|
|J. Edgar Hoover||March 22, 1935 - May 2, 1972|
|L. Patrick Gray (acting)||May 2, 1972 - April 27, 1973|
|William D. Ruckelshaus (acting)||April 30, 1973 - July 9, 1973|
|Clarence M. Kelley||July 9, 1973 - February 15, 1978|
|William H. Webster||February 23, 1978 - May 25, 1987|
|John E. Otto (acting)||May 26, 1987 - November 2, 1987|
|William S. Sessions||November 2, 1987 - July 19, 1993|
List of Abbreviations▴
|AIRA||U.S. air attache|
|ALUSNA||U.S. Navy attache|
|CIA||Central Intelligence Agency|
|CREST||CIA Records Search Tool, database of declassified documents at NARA|
|DDEL||Dwight D. Eisenhower Library|
|DOD||Department of Defense|
|DTIC||Defense Technical Information Center|
|FOIA||Freedom of Information Act|
|FRUS||Foreign Relations of the U.S., Department of State publication series|
|GRFL||Gerald R. Ford Library|
|HSTL||Harry S. Truman Library|
|JCL||Jimmy Carter Library|
|JCS||Joint Chiefs of Staff|
|JFKL||John F. Kennedy Library|
|LBJL||Lyndon B. Johnson Library|
|NARA||National Archives and Records Administration|
|NOFORN||No Foreign Dissemination|
|NPIC||National Photographic Interpretation Center|
|RNL||Richard Nixon Library|
|RRL||Ronald Reagan Library|
|UAR||United Arab Republic (Egypt)|
|USARMA||U.S. Army attache|
Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) - AFSA was the U.S. government’s first centralized SIGINT organization from 1949 to 1952. After a turbulent three year lifetime that was marred by systemic organizational problems and a number of costly operational failures, AFSA was disestablished in November 1952 and redesignated as the National Security Agency (NSA).
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - Successor to America’s wartime clandestine intelligence gathering organization, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA is today the U.S. intelligence community’s principal human intelligence (HUMINT) gathering organization. Created by the National Security Act of 1947, the CIA then had three primary functions: serving as the U.S. intelligence community’s lead producer of finished intelligence analysis; conducting clandestine HUMINT collection; and managing all covert action operations on behalf of the U.S. government. Between 1947 and April 2005, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) was also responsible for managing and coordinating the efforts of the entire U.S. intelligence community until that responsibility was transferred to the newly created position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI). For most of its history, the CIA has operated its own SIGINT collection organizations which operated largely autonomously from NSA’s jurisdiction.
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) - Created in October 1961, the DIA is the intelligence arm of the Defense Department, producing tailored foreign military intelligence reporting for the Secretary of Defense’s office, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and military commanders in the U.S. and overseas. It is an important consumer of NSA’s SIGINT product.
Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) - Created in 1935 under the direction of its first director, J. Edgar Hoover, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) can trace its history back to 1908, when Attorney General Charles Bonaparte created a small force of Special Agents to investigate violations of federal law on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 1935, the FBI grew dramatically both in size and in power. Today, the FBI’s 31,000 personnel investigate potential terrorist threats at home and abroad; closely monitor the activities of foreign intelligence agencies and their operatives inside the U.S.; investigate violations of federal criminal and civil statutes; and coordinate their intelligence and investigative activities with other federal, state, and local intelligence and law enforcement agencies and departments.
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) - GCHQ is the British SIGINT and information security agency based at Cheltenham, England. GCHQ is the successor to the Government Communications & Cipher School (GCCS), the famed British codebreaking organization which solved the German Enigma cipher systems during World War II. After the end of the war, GCCS was disbanded and replaced by a new peacetime cryptologic organization called the London Signals Intelligence Centre (LSIC), which existed from September 1945 until it was formally renamed as GCHQ in June 1946. GCHQ’s operations have historically been closely coordinated with those of NSA and its predecessor organizations, first by virtue of the March 1946 British-USA COMINT Agreement (the BRUSA Agreement), followed in 1954 by the signing of the UKUSA Agreement, which expanded BRUSA to include the SIGINT activities of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) - Formed on September 6, 1961, the NRO is a joint DOD-CIA intelligence organization that designs, builds and operates all reconnaissance satellites on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community, including SIGINT satellites on behalf of NSA. The NRO’s headquarters is located in Chantilly, Virginia. NRO is a pure collection agency, with the intelligence product from the satellites that it operates being processed, analyzed and reported by other agencies. For example, NSA is responsible for processing and analyzing all COMINT, ELINT and telemetry intelligence produced by NRO satellite systems in conjunction with other members of the U.S. intelligence community.
National Security Agency (NSA) - Created on November 4, 1952 from the assets of the former Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA), NSA’s is the U.S. government’s principal cryptologic organization, responsible for both SIGINT collection and analysis, as well as protecting the communications and computer systems of the U.S. government and military. Its headquarters is located at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. In addition to its headquarters staff, NSA also controls the activities of the three military SIGINT organizations, referred to as Service Cryptologic Elements (SCE), who historically have performed the majority of NSA’s SIGINT collection activities: the U.S. Army Security Agency (USASA); the Naval Security Group (NAVSECGRU), and the U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS). Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. Coast Guard has developed a small independent SIGINT organization of its own within its intelligence staff in Washington, D.C., which also reports to NSA for direction and support.
|July 22, 1946||Jewish Irgun terrorists blew up the west wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 95 people, most of whom were British.|
|May 15, 1948||Israel declared its independence. Five Arab armies crossed the border and invaded Israel. Egyptian warplanes bombed Tel Aviv.|
|September 17, 1948||United Nations mediator Count Folke Bernadotte and his military aide, Col. André Serot, were murdered in Jerusalem by a group of Jewish Stern Gang operatives opposed to the U.N.-brokered peace agreement.|
|February 24, 1949||Armistice agreement between Egypt and Israel ending the Arab-Israeli War was signed on the Greek island of Rhodes.|
|July 1951||King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated. His successor, his mad son Talal, was removed from the throne in 1952 in favor of his son Hussein.|
|October 11, 1951||The Egyptian government abrogated the 1836 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty which gave Great Britain control of the Suez Canal until 1956.|
|July 22, 1952||A group of Egyptian army officers calling themselves the Free Officers overthrew King Farouk in a bloodless coup d’etat.|
|June 18, 1953||General Muhammad Naguib, a leading member of the Free Officers, became the first president of Egypt.|
|February 1954||Egyptian army units loyal to Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew Muhammad Naguib in a bloodless coup. Naguib reinstated as president after widespread public demonstrations in Cairo. Nasser named prime minister.|
|October 26, 1954||Failed attempt to assassinate Nasser by Moslem Brotherhood members. Naguib subsequently forced to resign and Nasser named president of Egypt.|
|December 1954||Egyptian government put eleven Egyptian jews on trial for espionage and sabotage activities on behalf of Israel.|
|July 26, 1956||Egyptian President Gamel Abdul Nasser announced that he had decided to nationalize the Suez Canal Company in order to finance the construction of the Aswan Dam.|
|August 29, 1956||CIA flew the first two U-2 reconnaissance overflights of the Middle East. These missions covered military targets in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Syria.|
|October 29, 1956||Israeli forces invaded the Sinai Peninsula and attacked Egyptian forces, marking the beginning the 1956 Middle East War.|
|October 31, 1956||Military forces from England and France invaded Egypt, seizing the Suez Canal.|
|February 1958||The governments of Egypt and Syria are merged into the United Arab Republic. Gamal Abdel Nasser named president of the UAR. Nasser ordered the dissolution of all Syrian political parties.|
|July 15, 1958||U.S. Marines troops landed in Lebanon at the request of President Camille Chamoun, who feared that he was next after the Iraqi government was overthrown by a leftist military coup d’etat.|
|July 17, 1958||British paratroopers land in Jordan.|
|August 30, 1960||First photographs of the Israeli Dimona nuclear reactor complex covertly taken by a U.S. military attache while driving between Tel Aviv and Beersheva.|
|September 1961||A group of disgruntled Syrian military officers seized control of the Syrian government and tore up Syria’s political union with Egypt.|
|June 5, 1967||At 0745 hours local time, Israeli forces launched a surprise attack against Egypt, marking the beginning of the “Six Day” Middle East War.|
|October 27, 1967||Twenty-six years after ascending to the thrown, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi crowned himself Shah of Iran.|
|January 1968||Great Britain terminated its treaties of protection with nine Persian Gulf sheikhdoms and announced its decision to withdraw all British troops from the Persian Gulf by the end of 1971.|
|August 8, 1970||U.S.-sponsored ceasefire took effect along the Suez Canal..|
|September 28, 1970||Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser died of a heart attack.|
|October 15, 1970||Anwar El Sadat became the president of Egypt.|
|November 1970||Syrian minister of defense Hafez al-Assad overthrew the civilian government headed by president Nur al-Din al-Atasi. In March 1971, Assad was elected to his first seven year term in office as president of Syria.|
|July 17, 1972||Egyptian president Anwar Sadat announced that he had ordered all Soviet military advisors and technicians to leave Egypt immediately, and that all Soviet military facilities in Egypt were ordered closed.|
|September 13, 1973||The Israeli Air Force shot down 13 Syrian aircraft over Syria and Lebanon. According to EUCOM, this event “was the key military event which hardened the Arab determination to renew the fighting.”|
|October 3, 1973||Sensitive SIGINT intercepts revealed that Moscow had ordered all Soviet diplomats and their dependents out of Egypt and Syria.|
|October 6, 1973||At 2:00 p.m. local time the Egyptian and Syrian militaries launched a surprise attack across the Suez Canal and into the Golan Heights against the unprepared Israeli military.|
|October 10, 1973||First intelligence indications received that the USSR was airlifting military supplies to Egypt and Syria.|
|October 22, 1973||First ceasefire declared in Middle East War. Israeli forces violated the ceasefire by further expanding the size of their bridgehead across the Suez Canal. Israeli forces captured Mount Hermon on the Golan Heights.|
|May 1974||Israel and Syria sign a United Nations-brokered disengagement agreement.|
|April 1976||Syrian troops intervened in the Lebanese Civil War to ensure that the political status quo in Lebanon was maintained and to ensure that the Lebanese Maronite Christian community remained the dominant political power in the country.|
|March 14, 1978||Israeli forces invaded southern Lebanon as part of Operation Litani.|
|September 18, 1978||Camp David Accord signed in Washington by Israeli prime minister Menachim Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.|
|September 16, 1980||Two Libyan Air Force MiG-23 fighters attacked an American RC-135 SIGINT aircraft more than 200 miles off the Libyan coast over the Mediterranean.|
|September 17, 1980||CIA director Admiral Stansfield Turner sent an Alert Memorandum to the National Security Council warning that all intelligence indicators showed that the increasing volume of border clashes between Iraqi and Iranian forces had reached the point “where a serious conflict is now a distinct possibility.”|
|September 22, 1980||Iraqi forces invaded Iran. By November 1980, the numerically superior Iranian forces had brought the Iraqi offensive to a standstill well short of its objectives despite the fact that radio intercepts showed that the Iranians had suffered massive casualties in doing so.|
|June 7, 1981||Israeli warplanes destroyed the Iraqi Osirak research nuclear reactor at the Tuwaitha Research Center outside Baghdad.|
|October 6, 1981||Egyptian president Anwar El Sadat was assassinated at a military parade in Cairo by fundamentalist army officers.|
|October 18, 1981||Anwar Sadat’s vice president, Muhammed Hosni El Sayed Mubarak, assumed the position of president of Egypt.|
|December 1981||Israel annexes the Golan Heights, which had seized during the 1967 Middle East War.|
|January 25, 1982||CIA warned that “A clear consensus exists that a significant Israeli incursion into South Lebanon, aimed at inflicting major damage on the PLO, remains probable.”|
|February 1982||The Muslim Brotherhood begins a large-scale popular uprising in the Syrian city of Hama. The revolt is put down by the Syrian military, with news reports indicating that tens of thousands of civilians had been killed.|
|June 6, 1982||Israeli forces invaded Lebanon after two days of heavy air strikes and artillery bombardment. The ground assault proceeded northward along multiple axes, supported by amphibious and airborne operations at key points along the coast and inland.|
|June 24, 1982||U.S. closed its embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Hundreds of US, Europeans and Lebanese civilians are evacuated.|
|August 20, 1982||President Reagan announced that an agreement had been reached on a plan to evacuate PLO forces from West Beirut. He ordered 800 USMC troops to participate in Lebanon peacekeeping operation.|
|August 23, 1982||Bashir Gemayel was elected president of Lebanon. Muslim members of Lebanese parliament boycotted the election.|
|August 25, 1982||800 U.S. Marine combat troops from the 32nd Marine Amphibious Unit, commanded by Colonel James M. Mead, landed in Beirut as part of a multinational peacekeeping force to supervise the evacuation of PLO forces from Lebanon along with 400 French and 800 Italian forces.|
|September 14, 1982||Massive car bomb explosion outside Phalangist headquarters in East Beirut killed Lebanese president Bashir Gemayel. His brother Amin Gemayel replaced him as president of Lebanon.|
|April 18, 1983||First recorded Hezbollah terrorist attack. A member of Hezbollah drove his van next to the U.S. embassy in Beirut and detonated a 500-lb. car bomb. The bomb destroyed the central seven-story section of the embassy, instantly killing 63 people, including 17 Americans, and wounding 120.|
|May 1983||Israel and Syria agree to end hostilities in Lebanon. A large contingent of Syrian forces, however, remained in Lebanon.|
|August 16, 1983||NIO for NESA Graham E. Fuller wrote a memo which stated “The events of the past few weeks and days present us with a singularly bleak outlook for US interests in Lebanon. I believe we must face the prospect that our current policies towards Lebanon are not going to work; we should begin to develop a new policy outline based on the fall/assassination of Gemayel, the collapse of any pretense of an effective central government and the return of confessional fiefdoms dominating local areas.|
|September 27, 1983||NSA sent a warning message to the White House, the CIA stations in Beirut and Damascus, and the 2nd Marine Radio Battalion SIGINT detachment in Lebanon indicating that on the basis of the September 24, 1983 intercepted telephone conversation between the Iranian ambassador in Damascus, Mohammed Mohtashami-Pur, and the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Teheran, a radical offshoot of the radical Shi’ite organization Hezbollah intended to “undertake an extraordinary operation against the Marines” in Beirut. The warning, however, was ignored.|
|October 23, 1983||Second Hezbollah terrorist attack. Suicide bombing attack (truck loaded with equivalent of 12,000-lbs. of explosives) on the Marine Barracks of BLT 1/8 at Beirut International Airport killed 241 American servicemen and wounded 70. On the same day, a second suicide bomber detonated an equally large car bomb outside the barracks housing French military forces in Beirut, killing 58 French troops.|
|March 16, 1984||CIA chief of station in Lebanon, William Buckley, was kidnaped in West Beirut by Hezbollah. Later murdered by his kidnappers.|
|July 3, 1984||In a discussion with President Reagan’s national security advisor Robert McFarlane, a weapons-for-hostages deal is first proposed by David Kimche, director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Beginning of the Iran-Contra Affair.|
|August 2, 1985||President Ronald Reagan approved the first covert arms shipment to Iran through Israel.|
|November 21, 1985||A U.S. Navy intelligence analyst named Jonathan Jay Pollard was arrested outside the gates of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. after the Israelis refused to grant him political asylum inside. Between June 1984 and November 1985, Pollard gave the Israelis 800 classified publications and more than 1,000 highly classified cables.|
|October 5, 1986||The Sunday Times of London published frontpage story quoting former Israel nuclear weapons technician named Mordechai Vanunu stating Israel had been building and stockpiling nuclear weapons at Dimona for twenty years.|
|February 1987||Syrian troops intervene for a second time in Lebanon to enforce a ceasefire in Beirut.|
|July 19, 1990||American spy satellites detected the first movement of Iraqi Republican Guard combat units from their garrisons around Baghdad southwards towards Kuwait.|
|August 2, 1990||Iraq invaded Kuwait. The next day, Iraq formally annexed Kuwait and declared it to be the nineteenth province of Iraq.|
|August 7, 1990||President George H.W. Bush ordered American military forces deployed to the Persian Gulf to protect Saudi Arabia.|
|January 17, 1991||U.S. and allied forces begin the air campaign (Operation Desert Storm) against Iraqi forces in Kuwait and southern Iraq, including military installations in and around Baghdad.|
|January 18, 1991||Iraqis begin firing 42 Scud missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia, targeting Tel Aviv, Haifa, and the Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona in the Negev Desert. None of the missiles came close to hitting any military targets.|
|February 24, 1991||U.S. and allied ground offensive to liberate Kuwait begins.|
|February 27, 1991||President Bush declared a cease fire, ordering U.S. and coalition forces to cease hostilities against Iraqi forces.|
|March 2-3, 1991||U.S. and Iraqi generals signed a cease fire signed in a tent near the Iraqi village of Safwan, ending the Persian Gulf War.|
|June 25, 1996||U.S. military housing complex at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia was struck by a terrorist bomb, killing 19 American military personnel.|
|December 1998||United Nations weapons inspectors forced out of Iraq. U.S. intelligence collection coverage of Iraq quickly deteriorates. NSA’s ability to collection SIGINT from inside Iraq declines drastically starting in 1999, when Chinese companies begin laying a network of buried fiber-optic cables. As the cables are laid, the Iraqi government and military shifts their communications traffic from radio circuits to these fibre-optic links.|
|June 10, 2000||Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad died. His successor was his son Bashar al-Assad.|
|October 12, 2000||al Qaeda suicide bombers drove a speed boat loaded with high explosives into the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole as it lay at anchor in the port of Aden, Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed and another 39 wounded. On the same day, NSA issued an intelligence report based on intercepts warning that terrorists were planning an attack in the region. However, the NSA warning message reportedly was not received by consumers until well after the attack had taken place.|
|June 2001||Under enormous political pressure, Syrian troops evacuated Beirut, but remained deployed inside Lebanon outside the capital city.|
|September 11, 2001||al Qaeda terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. kill 2,973 Americans and wound thousands more, surpassing the death toll from the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.|
|October 7, 2001||U.S. military offensive military operations against Afghanistan began with air strikes against 31 targets, including major Taliban military units, command posts, communications sites, and early warning radar and air defense units.|
|August 29, 2002||President Bush approved the final version of a U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) war plan for the invasion of Iraq.|
|Late September 2002||Senior U.S. intelligence community officials, including NSA director General Michael V. Hayden, approve a CIA-produced National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq’s WMD program entitled Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Top Secret Codeword NIE is formally disseminated on October 1, 2002. This highly controversial document, which served as the underlying justification for the invasion of Iraq, may be unique in the annals of U.S. intelligence history in that virtually all of its major conclusions and many of its minor judgements were later found to be wrong.|
|October 7, 2002||President Bush gave the ‘Axis of Evil’ speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, in which he stated that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq posed an “urgent” danger to the United States.|
|February 5, 2003||Secretary of State Colin L. Powell makes a formal presentation to the United Nations Security Council alleging that Iraq continued to develop weapons of mass destruction in contravention of various United Nations resolutions.|
|March 20, 2003||U.S. and allied ground troops crossed the border from Kuwait and began the invasion of Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom).|
|April 9, 2003||Baghdad falls to U.S. military forces.|
|August 19, 2003||Suicide bombing of the United Nations headquarters compound in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 people, among them Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Iraq. This incident marks the beginning of the insurgency in Iraq, which would last almost seven years and claim the lives of more than 4,400 American soldiers.|
|March 13, 2005||In a meeting in Israel, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan told a congressional delegation headed by Senator John Corzine (D-NJ) that “Israeli and U.S. thinking on Iran largely tracks, adding that he believes the EU dialogue with Iran will ultimately fail. Dagan said that Israel has evidence that some foreign fighters have returned home from Iraq, perhaps indicating that the tide may be starting to turn in the U.S. battle against the insurgency there. He worried however, that these militants' countries of origin -- in particular Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria and Sudan -- are ill-equipped to control the returning jihadis, who might then pose a threat to stability in the region and, ultimately, to Israel.”|
|February 22, 2006||Iraqi insurgents bombed the al-Askari mosque in the Iraqi city of Samarra, one of the holiest shrines for Iraqi Shi’ites. The bombing unleashed a wave of sectarian fighting which produced carnage on an unprecedented scale never seen before in Iraq.|
|September 6, 2007||Israeli Air Force warplanes destroyed an alleged clandestine Syrian nuclear reactor in the eastern desert region of the country near a town called al-Kibar. The reactor was allegedly being built with North Korean technical assistance.|
|August 19, 2010||Last U.S. combat brigade in Iraq, the 4th Stryker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division, crossed the border into Kuwait, officially ending U.S. combat operations in Iraq. Six U.S. Army “advisory” brigades (50,000 troops) remained in Iraq.|
|February 11, 2011||Egyptian vice president Omar Suleiman announced that president Mubarak had resigned his post and that control over the Egyptian government had been assumed by a group of Egyptian military officers calling themselves Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.|
|December 18, 2011||The last American military unit in Iraq, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division, left the country and crossed into Kuwait.|
|June 2, 2012||Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life imprisonment.|
Cite this page
U.S. Intelligence and the Middle East, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013 <http://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/us-intelligence-on-the-middle-east>