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

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394457


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

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394462


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

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394458


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

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394492


War Powers Bill

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394490


Weekly Summary: Arab Harmony

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394454


Weekly Summary: Arab States

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d83943fb


Weekly Summary: At Arms Length in Syria

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394406


Weekly Summary: Egypt-USSR: Ivan Go Home

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394431


Weekly Summary: Egypt-USSR: Withdrawal Symptoms

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394419