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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 Memo: DCI Briefing of the Full Senate Armed Services Committee

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394502
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1973-10-08.pdf44.69 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

DCI Memo: Egyptian-Saudi Arabian Coordination Pertaining to Your Visit to the Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394567
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1973-10-30A.pdf63.26 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

DCI Memo: Intelligence Support During the Middle East Crisis of October 1973

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394510
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1974-05-01.pdf101.05 KB

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DCI WSAG Briefing: Lebanon and the Middle East: The Prospects

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394589
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1973-05-14A.pdf538.57 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

DI Memo: Analysis of Recent Statements by Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Yamani

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394552
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1973-12-11B.pdf127.45 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

DI Memo: Arab Oil Available After the Lifting of Restrictions

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839453d
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1973-12-26-CIA.pdf140.08 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

DI Memo: Arms Supply Considerations for the Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394506
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1973-10-30B.pdf257.4 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

DI Memo: CIA Assessment of Purported Syrian Military Preparations

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839452c
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1973-09-30A.pdf250.79 KB

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DI Memo: Continuing Strains in Soviet-Egyptian Relations

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839453f
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1973-09-18.pdf109.59 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

DI Memo: Current POL Situation in Israel and Jordan

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394515
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1973-11-28A.pdf279.51 KB

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