President Nixon and the Role of Intelligence in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War

This collection highlights the causes and consequences of US Intelligence Community’s (IC) failure to foresee the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War, also known as the October War or the Yom Kippur War. A coalition of Arab nations led by Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 6, the day of Yom Kippur. Prior to October 6, the CIA concluded that the Arabs would not attack, so the offensive surprised US policymakers as well as Israel. Directorate of Intelligence (DI) analysts believed that Arab military inferiority would militate against an attack on Israel. DI analysis did not explore the possibility that leaders might go to war--even at the risk of losing--to pursue political objectives. According to an internal postmortem, Agency analysis was impaired by preconceptions about Arab military capabilities, information overload, rational actor modeling and groupthink.

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Documents in this Collection

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DCI Briefing for 15 October WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394586


DCI Briefing for 19 October WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839457f


DCI Briefing for 24 October WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839458d


DCI Briefing for 25 October WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394572


DCI Briefing for 29 November WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394577


DCI Briefing for 6 November WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839457d


DCI Briefing for House Armed Services Committee

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394504


DCI Congressional Briefing: The Middle East (Highlights of the Middle East Situation)

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839451c


DCI Cover page: Critique of Middle East Crisis

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394520


DCI Memo to Admiral Thomas H. Moorer

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839450a