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

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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.

View the OPA Press Release and Collection Booklet

Documents in this Collection

Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®

SPECIALCOLLECTION

DCI Briefing for 15 October WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394586
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1973-10-15A-WSAG.pdf162.56 KB

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DCI Briefing for 19 October WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839457f
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1973-10-19A-WSAG.pdf86.67 KB

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DCI Briefing for 24 October WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839458d
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1973-10-24A-WSAG.pdf171.58 KB

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DCI Briefing for 25 October WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394572
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1973-10-25B-WSAG.pdf406.95 KB

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DCI Briefing for 29 November WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394577
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1973-11-29A.pdf267.96 KB

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DCI Briefing for 6 November WSAG Meeting

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839457d
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1973-11-06A.pdf184.12 KB

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DCI Briefing for House Armed Services Committee

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394504
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1973-10-23A-CIA.pdf687.44 KB

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

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839451c
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1973-10-10A-CIA.pdf309.35 KB

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DCI Cover page: Critique of Middle East Crisis

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394520
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1973-10-29A-CIA.pdf66.35 KB

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DCI Memo to Admiral Thomas H. Moorer

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839450a
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1973-10-29B-CIA.pdf21.72 KB

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