AFIO Intelligence Notes are a new initiative to provide added value to AFIO membership. Please use it to recruit new members!
EIN's are commentaries derived from public media and open sources.
Back issues of the report are stored on the AFIO Homepage under the
"Intelligence Notes" heading.
EIN re-transmission is not permitted except with concurrence of the EIN Editor, Roy Jonkers.
REGISTER NOW and assure a seat.
Take a colleague. Recruit and bring a new member for AFIO. Send in your name, telephone number and check for $24 (members and their guests) or $29 (non-members - spread the word) to the AFIO office at 6723 Whittier Ave, Suite 303a, McLean VA 22101-4533.
NATO EXPANSION POSES CHALLENGE FOR INTELLIGENCE: US Administration officials have concluded that there has been enough house-cleaning of the Polish, Czech and Hungarian intelligence establishments since the end of communism to insure their acceptability. The structure of the Polish Office of State Security has been largely unchanged, but about 600 out of 1000 agents in the foreign branch have been let go. The Poles demonstrated their usefulness when they rescued CIA agents stranded in Iraq before the Gulf War. The Czech Republic basically destroyed its old secret services and have hired inexperienced people. The present head of the military intelligence agency is an architect by profession. "Clean but not competent" said a Western diplomat. In Hungary the five different foreign and domestic secret services are still headed by officials from the communist era. It would seem that US intelligence working within the NATO framework will not have their lot made simpler by the addition of the former Bloc countries.
CIA-KGB HOTLINE: In the early 1980's, a secure hotline between CIA and KGB headquarters was established to arrange neutral ground meetings of KGB and CIA officials on short notice.The "Gavrilov" channel (named after dead Russian poet) allowed both parties to address common problems and was occasionally used to inquire about missing agents, defections etc., until the early 1990's when it became the basis for open, official contacts.
UNDERCOVER AFFAIR: A decorated, covert CIA official is suing the agency, claiming he is being forced out because of false allegations that he had an affair with a Russian intelligence operative. He claims in the suit that the 1993 FBI report of the allegation of his extramarital affair was a fiction created by an opposition intelligence service. He was removed from his job and placed on administrative leave with pay after a third "unsuccessful" polygraph.
IRAQ BOMBING: Intelligence targeting for the impending US bombing campaign should benefit from the years of inspections of Iraqi facilities. The President stated that the political objective of the strikes was to reduce or delay Iraq's capabilities to develop "weapons of mass destruction" or to deliver them on their neighbors. The media target list attributed to White House sources includes suspected weapons facilities - a category that may include anything from research laboratories to fertilizer producers to actual weapons plants - air defenses, command bunkers and presidential palaces, in addition to Republican Guard assets, to be taken out in a three-day campaign. A considerable number of collateral civilian casualties can be expected. Commentaries on the planned targeting strategies reflect the usual allegations of quarrels among the military services about who should do what and when.
Reports from Iraq indicate that the long years of US/UN sanctions have had a destabilizing effect on the secular Iraqi middle class and has caused much deprivation among the lower classes. There is a resurgence of Islam, as desperation drives people to religion. In addition, almost inconceivable after their bloody war between them, the first steps towards a reconciliation between Iran and Iraq have been reported. Iran is backing Iraq in its confrontation with the US. Huge barriers remain between the two states, but Middle East intelligence sources are quoted as stating that Iraq now needs such an alliance, and that Iran has given up on the US changing its "dual containment" policy. (Sources: WPost & WTimes 1 - 7 Feb98, The Economist).
MEXICO DENOUNCES LEAKED CIA DRUG REPORT - The alleged CIA findings, purportedly leaked to and reported by the Washington Times cast allegations of accommodation with drug crime lords on the newly appointed Mexican Minister of the Interior, Francisco Lasbastida Ochoa. LtGeneral Barry McCaffrey, Director of the White House Office of Drug Control Policy, responded that he had no "compelling" information of the drug connection in a statement in which he also defended US intelligence, which, he said, was "as good as we can make it, and we pay a lot of attention to it." He also mentioned "corruption exists on both sides of the border..."
The context for all of this includes the new cooperative US-Mexico Counter-Narcotics Strategy announced the same day, and the coming decision on certifying Mexico as a cooperative partner in the struggle against drugs. In the Washington political hardball game, intelligence was once again used as a throw-away tool by contending domestic political sides. (Sources WT 5 Feb pA1, 7 Feb pgA1, WP 7 Feb 98 p A24)
UK INVESTIGATES INTELLIGENCE LEAKS TO IRA - The British Army has started an investigation into charges made publicly by Raymond Seitz, former US envoy to Britain, that the White House leaked classified information about Northern Ireland to IRA sympathizers during the period 1991- 1994. Some of these documents, classified secret, were published in Dublin during the past week. The documents on "Operation Vengeful" deal with monitoring movements of suspected IRA terrorists. Yet another leak from the top?
US SPACE RECONNAISSANCE SYSTEM - A new generation of small imagery reconnaissance satellites is being planned, to be launched after 2003, providing a capability for almost uninterrupted surveillance of target areas and much greater launch flexibility. This contrasts with today's situation where imagery reconnaissance satellites are heavy and few in number, their orbits known, so that timely concealment measures can be taken. According to the article by Walter Pincus, some of these space reconnaissance systems may be equipped with stealth technology so that they cannot be tracked.
The National Imagery and Mapping Agency, NIMA, is reportedly overseeing a coordinated effort within the intelligence community to standardize transmission and display equipment so that future ANALYSIS of the imagery will be able to keep up with the new collection capability. Judging from precedence, success will be problematical, but there is a first time for everything! (Source WPost, 1 Feb98, pA9)
- 9 March 1998 - Mini-symposium and luncheon at Fort Myer, Virginia. See details above.
- 20 May 1998 - National Intelligence Priorities Status (NIPS) Symposium - from 0730 - 1600, at Tysons Corner Marriott, Va., - -covering priorities outlined by the DCI such as non-proliferation intelligence, international crime syndicate intelligence, narcotics intelligence, economic espionage, financial intelligence, computer/cyber espionage, counterintelligence.
NIPS REGISTRATION FEE: AFIO members and their guests $99, non- members $129. Quality guaranteed. Seating limited to one hundred. First come first served. Spread the word. Take a guest. Send your name, address etc. and check to AFIO, citing symposium title.
19-21 November - AFIO - NATIONAL CONVENTION AND SYMPOSIUM - Miami Convention Center, Miami, Florida. Mark your calendar - plan to attend!