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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WSAG Meeting on Mid East Tensions

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394587


WSAG Meeting, 5:30 pm

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839457b


WSAG Meeting, 5:55-6:25 pm

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394578


WSAG Memcon, 1:05-2:42 pm

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394570


WSAG Memcon, 9:16-11:00 am

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839457e


WSAG Memcon, Principals Only, 4:00 pm

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839458e


WSAG on Middle East, 2:00 pm

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394588


WSAG Summary of Conclusions, 10:04-10:57 am

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394581


WSAG Summary of Conclusions, 10:08-11:06 am

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839458b


WSAG Summary of Conclusions, 10:08-11:08 am

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d839458c