Purpose of Statement
This report deals with the issue of “Intelligence factors leading up to the 1973 Arab-Israeli War”. It provides a brief review of the intelligence activities of the US intelligence agencies regarding the war and its role in the War. Moreover, it gives the reader insights of intelligence agencies in particular the American CIA`s clandestine activities.
Statement of Problem
The core issue whether the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 is affected by the Intelligence agency`s role or it could be useful to understand the major role played by the contemporary intelligence agencies.
Thesis Statement/Significance of the Study
This report clearly shows the impacts of the intelligence agencies regarding Arab-Israeli War in 1973. The failure of American and Israeli agencies to identify the imminent war led to its escalation. If the intelligence were aware of the ensuing dangers of the war, it should have pre-emptive measures.
“Intelligence factors leading up to the 1973 Arab-Israeli War”: An Introduction
For intelligence analysts, the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War is much related to the “intelligencefailure.” On 6[th]October the armed forces of Egypt andSyria attacked Israel, which caught the Israeli and American Intelligence bodiesasa bombshell(Mathew, 2013).
Later theAmericanintelligence body showed in a 2009 report that whilst the data of an Arab-launching of war hadnot been found to beirrefutable, the intelligence proved to be ample, threatening, and generallytrue (Mathew, 2013).
The study in this present reportshows that, for several months prior to the war, the American Intelligence bodies had gotten reports indicatinggrowing Egyptian and Syrian war preparations (Mathew, 2013).In contrast tothe traditional perception that the war researchers had not correctlydeliberated upon the intelligence dataabout the imminentwar, the recordsprove that the Intelligence bodiesgot thesereports and deliberatedupon themcircumspectly.
The war researchers did take into view that the Egyptian andSyrian military movements might be more thanjust pretension. Moreover, the researchers did consider the notion that the Egyptian Government might launch an attackthat it knew would lose.Nevertheless,finally, the war researchersthought that there would be no attack. Or as the December investigationshowed, the conclusions “were — quitesimple, obviously, and starkly — wrong” (Jerome, 2001, 1190).
A Literature Review
With the Intelligence officialsstudied the Arab-Israeli War the outside analysts did also take part in the analysis. No less than four bookson the Arab-Israeli conflictwere written in 1974. These bookstried to analyze the years of negotiation before the war and the timeline of the war itself. The deficiency of warning was one of the major themes, and it continues today. Edward R. F. Sheehan(1976) statedthat “The October warwas a surprise to Dr. Kissinger — and to Israel — though it should not have been…. He did not ignore the evidence. Like the Israelis, and like the C.I.A., he misinterpreted it” (Mathew, 2013, p. 32).
This has been provenand shows once-classifiedintelligence has affirmed that statement. However,though some fineexplanations of the Arab-Israeli War were available at the time, the many pointscontinued to bedisputed, and ever since then the war`s inheritance has remained to be a topic of review and re-interpretation. It is to be noted that all American Government intelligence records have been publishedbutthe majority of the Israeli intelligenceis yet to be disclosed to the public (Avraham, n.d).
Certainly with the passage of time, the present Middle East conflict and the alterations in the leadership of the countries of this region would be conditional to various intelligence reinterpretation about thekey events of Middle East history have generated(Kumaraswamy, 2000, p. 43)
Given that much of the research and many ofthe newly declassified data in this research report affirm to the intelligence failure, this paper motivates on that subject. The intelligence researchers acknowledge the fact that the intelligence failures can be of different forms. As such intelligence services globallycould be started by some major events or incidents.
An intelligence failure of a country could be a strategic event,the planning and implementation of which prevented the intelligence compilationendeavorsdespite the fact the agencies were cautioned and well-aware of the developmentsofsuch eventsdespite the factthe country had organized intelligenceresources to pick them. As such any event anywhere in the world could be necessarilyan intelligence failure. Hence,the judgment for Arab-Israeli war was in fact the consequence of Intelligence failure.
There has been classified documents regarding the War which show the Intelligence agencies dealing with reports that the war might be imminent (Jerome, 2001, p. 1991). Onmany occasions, these researchersnoted the signsthat Egyptian and Syrian military forces might be doing more than just military exercises or maneuvers to bring about a completion. As well, human intelligence studies in 1973 showed that the American CIA had had accessibility to some of Syrian plans to attack the strategic Golan Heights (Isbella and Remez, 2010). Anotherintelligence report shows that Egypt poses threats of an attack. The intelligence reports further acknowledged that Egyptian Government`sfirst preference wasfor a politicalsettlement through negotiations and diplomacy. However, if such diplomatic efforts failedit would resort to war with Israel.
In 1973, the American CIA disseminated areport titled, “Possible Egyptian-Israeli Hostilities:Determinants and Implications,” revealed that if the Egyptian Government decided to start war, it would do so regardless of military gains (C.I.A, 1973).Indeed, Arie and Uri (n.d) considered this as one notable document, which that showedthe Syrian build-up on theborder of the Golan Heights to Israel. In contrast tothe above-mentioned intelligence reports, thesewere from the days just beforethe starts of Arab-Israeli War. One intelligence report stated thattheSyrian military buildup in the Golan Heights region as the preparation of an attack on Israelwhich was disguised astraining exercises by the Syrian forces. It also mentioned that top Egyptian and Syrian military brass had discussed and planned “a joint operationfor which the deployment of troops would take place under the disguise of training of troops. Moreover, the intelligence report suggests not only the Syria`s plansto attack Israel however also her preparations for anIsraeli- counteroffensive when the war was launched.
Another intelligence CIA report, on 29 September gave an account:
`… A Syrian plan for a massive assault uponIsrael involving at least four Syrian divisions. Theproposed assault was to be launched upon theGolan Heights along a broad front 80 kilometerswide, and was aimed at occupying the GolanHeights up to the pre-June 1967 borders…. AllSyrian units are expected to be in position bythe end of September. Infantry Divisions 5, 7,and 9 have completed their deployment in theirallocated sectors. Brigade commanders have theoperations order now, and are briefing battalioncommanders at their headquarters in secrecy`Robarge, 2001, p. 22.
The 5-page intelligence report stated the plans of Syrian forces at the Divisionandat the Brigade level.These studies, and the othersshow thatwar might break out anytime and that warwas imminent.
According to Isbella and Remez(2010), the declassified records from the crisis-management in 6 October show the material on the period of the Arab-Israeli War and the range of various accompanying issues, namelystrategic intelligence of the belligerent countries, US diplomatic efforts, the state and conditions of Middle Eastern militaries, the USA and the USSR interest in the war, the worldwide Muslims opinion,the global strength of the US dollar, and the potential consequences of US interests in the region.
Indeed, these CIA intelligence documents could not resolve everyaspect of the War. A lot of these intelligence materials were not publicizedbecause being highly sensitive to American diplomatic efforts. The intelligence data in the report do not show theforeign sources from which CIA and the otherIntelligence bodiesgottheir data. These intelligence reports do not show all of thesecretmeetings of the State Department officials with various Arabs and Israeli heads of states (Arie and Uri, n.d).
One intelligence report states that thewar had “greatly strengthened Egyptian President`s political position in Egypt and in the Arab Worldgenerally,” and that the President had “a respect andpopularity that he never knew before”(Avraham, n.d, p. 21).
It should be noted that the Middle East region as had long been a great interest forUS legislators as a result of huge oil wealth of the countries. These countries struggled hard against various American interests and as a result of continued support for Israel`s Zionist policies (Jerome, 2001, p. 50).
At the outset, the American CIAhad warned of the dire consequences in the MiddleEast should the UScontinued to supportJewish land in the heart of the Arab countries. On 28 November 1947, few weeks afterits establishment of the CIA, itpublished a key analytical note that stated “[I] in the event that partitionis imposed on Palestine, the resulting conflict will seriously disturb the social, economic, andpolitical stability of the Arab world, and UScommercial and strategic interests will bedangerously jeopardized”(Jerome, 2001, p. 55).Anyhow, the Gulf region was quite significant to US Government for many reasons namely its hugeoil and energy resources, its strategic placement on the land and sea transportation routes lying between East and West, and the emergence ofPalestinian activism for a separate homeland etc (Uri Bar-Josepht, n.d)
The report shows clearly that there was an intelligence failure in the Arab-Israeli War in 1973 that resulted in major consequences for the Arabs to gain a strategic surprise over Israel.
Other researchers have supported this stance. For instance, Jerome (2001, p. 1991) positioned that there had been classified documents regarding the War which showed that the Intelligence agencies dealing with reports that the war was imminent. Suimilarly, the C.I.A (1973)revealed that if the Egyptian Government decided to start war, it would do so regardless of military gains. From these contexts, it is clear that the Israeli authorities clearly laid the blame on its intelligence agencies and pointed out that some intelligence loopholes existed.
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