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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

The Performance of the Intelligence Community Before the Arab-Israeli War of October 1973: A Preliminary Post-Mortem Report

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394457
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1973-12-20-CM.pdf487.07 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

The Yom Kippur War of October 1973 (from Harold Fords William E. Colby as Director of Central Intelligence, 1973-1976

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394462
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1993-01-01.pdf1.33 MB

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To WHSR from HAK -Confirmation from Israelis of potential for attack

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394458
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1973-10-06D.pdf110.05 KB

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United States Intelligence Board Memo: Discussion of Post Mortem on Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394492
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1973-12-13-CM.pdf83.68 KB

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War Powers Bill

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394490
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1973-10-19B-CM.pdf273.39 KB

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Weekly Summary: Arab Harmony

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394454
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1973-09-14.pdf131.73 KB

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Weekly Summary: Arab States

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d83943fb
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1973-05-25.pdf322.37 KB

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Weekly Summary: At Arms Length in Syria

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394406
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1972-09-08.pdf92.22 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

Weekly Summary: Egypt-USSR: Ivan Go Home

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394431
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1972-07-21.pdf185.63 KB

SPECIALCOLLECTION

Weekly Summary: Egypt-USSR: Withdrawal Symptoms

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394419
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1972-07-28.pdf160.83 KB

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