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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®

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White House Memo: Aid for Israel and Cambodia

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394463
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1973-10-18A.pdf190.57 KB

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White House Memo: Bipartisan Leadership Meeting, 8:30 am

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d839449e
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1973-11-27-CM.pdf387.13 KB

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White House Memo: Emergency Oil Contingency Program

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d839445a
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1973-10-14A.pdf294.42 KB

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White House Situation Room Memo: Evening Notes

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394573
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1973-10-17B.pdf206.09 KB

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White House Situation Room Memo: Evening Notes

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394474
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1973-10-29A.pdf154.83 KB

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White House Situation Room Memo: Evening Notes

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d839445f
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1973-10-17B.pdf206.09 KB

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White House Situation Room Memo: UN: Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d839446c
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1973-10-08B.pdf74.4 KB

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White House: Report on Brezhnev Visit

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394469
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1973-07-03.pdf948.21 KB

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William Quandts Response to CIA Paper on Israeli Thinking on a Peace Settlement with the Arabs

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394543
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1972-12-04.pdf79.77 KB

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WSAG Meeting on Lebanon and the Middle East Hostilities

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839458f
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1973-05-14B.pdf1.79 MB

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