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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CIA, DIA and State INR Paper: Another Arab-Israeli War: Motives and Capabilities

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d839448b


CIA: Middle East Communications Support Summary

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394537


Combined Watch Report of the United States Intelligence Board: Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394493


COMIREX-M-180, Section III, paragraphs 1-3

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394473


Corrected page 9 from WSAG Meeting Minutes

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394579


Cover page Memorandum for Admiral Moorer from Samuel M. Hoskinson

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394486


Critique of Middle East Crisis

Document Number: 51112a4b993247d4d8394530


Critique of Studies on Syria and Iraq

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d83944a6


Current Need for GIANT REACH Photo-Reconnaissance of the Middle East

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394489


Current Need for Middle East Photo Reconnaissance

Document Number: 51112a4a993247d4d8394491