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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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Central Intelligence Bulletin: Arab States-Israel-USSR

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d83943ef
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1973-10-26A.pdf197.31 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: Arab States-Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394438
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1973-10-19B.pdf253.4 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: Arab Summit

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394446
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1973-11-26.pdf293.09 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: EC-Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d839440a
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1973-11-08.pdf57.86 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: EC-Oil Policy

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394413
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1973-10-27B.pdf104.22 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: EC-US

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394445
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1973-10-31A.pdf75.83 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: Egypt, Libya, USSR-Syria

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d83943f5
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1973-10-05.pdf225.59 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: Egypt-USSR

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d839444b
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1972-07-19.pdf111.3 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: Egypt-USSR

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d839442f
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1973-12-22.pdf89.34 KB

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Central Intelligence Bulletin: Egypt-USSR

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d83943f0
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1972-07-18.pdf234.09 KB

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