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 Memo: DCI Briefing of the Full Senate Armed Services Committee

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394502


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

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394567


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

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394510


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

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394589


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

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394552


DI Memo: Arab Oil Available After the Lifting of Restrictions

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839453d


DI Memo: Arms Supply Considerations for the Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394506


DI Memo: CIA Assessment of Purported Syrian Military Preparations

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839452c


DI Memo: Continuing Strains in Soviet-Egyptian Relations

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839453f


DI Memo: Current POL Situation in Israel and Jordan

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394515