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.
AFIO EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS IN SECTION III
OUTSIDER TO BE CIA INSPECTOR GENERAL: The first non-intelligence officer for the position has been selected by the DCI to be CIA's inspector general to replace the current former case officer who has held the job for seven years. L. Britt Snider, a former colleague of the DCI on the Senate Intelligence Committtee staff, will replace, when confirmed, Frederick P. Hitz, who is to leave early in 1998 to take a teaching position at Princeton. No confirmation difficulties are anticipated.
DECLASSIFICATION PROGRESS REPORTED: In the 1996 fiscal year, 196 million pages of documents were declassified, more than in the previous 12 years combined. According to Stephen Garfinkel, who, at the National Archives, oversees the drive to declassify, it costs nine times as much to keep classified papers than unclassified ones. The additional cost is incurred by vaults, chain-link fences and guards as well as background investigations. A current directive specifies the automatic declassification by the year 2000 of all documents of historical value that are more than 25 years old, unless specifically exempted. Other considerations can lead to accelerated declassification. For example, when there was pressure to know more about the Swiss acquisition of gold seized by the Nazis from their victims, the Treasury Department sent a few million pages to the National Archives for rapid declassification.
RUSSIAN BALLISTIC MISSILE MODERNIZATION: At a Christmas Eve celebration presided over by Russian Defense Minister, Marshal Igor Sergeyev, the first two SS-27's went on combat alert at the Taman Missile Division in Tatischevo. The activation followed four successful flight tests of the megaton-class intercontinental nuclear missiles. The first SS-27s are being deployed in silos.
Training is also underway for a mobile SS-27, mounted on an eight-axle mobile launcher built to carry the new missile. In addition to building the new ICBM, the Russians began in 1996 a new, improved class of ballistic missile submarine, to be armed with a new SLBM, the SS-NX-28, now in flight testing. Although relatively minor comparted to US modernization, it seems clear where Russian priorities lie in spite of the continuing deteriorating status of their general purpose forces.
INTELLIGENCE WHISTLE-BLOWERS TO BE SANCTIONED - On 11 February 1998 the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved, with leadership support and over the strenuous objections of the Administration, a bill to authorize individual members of Defense Agencies to contact Congressmen with sensitive classified information if they perceive or suspect Agency wrongdoing, without fear of retribution. The proposed legislation requires that the President inform employees of CIA, DIA, NIMA, NSA and the FBI within 30 days that they are entitled to disclose to members of Congress any perceived violation of law, false statement to Congress or "other abuse."
The legislation is an apparent show of Congressional hubris in reaction to the Torricelli affair. This involved a State Department official, Richard Nuccio, who told Congressman Torricelli about presumed CIA complicity in human rights abuses in Guatemala - a true political football - and who thereafter lost his clearances - no longer trusted. It will have the effect, if upheld as constitutional, of loosening the bounds of trust and exposing the internals of our intelligence agencies to Washington political fashions, trends and political posturing, thus weakining our intelligence posture. (WTimes 16Feb98, p A4)
ISRAELI ASSASSINATION REPORT - An Israeli government committee report, leaked to Israeli newspapers, censured Danny Yatom, chief of the Mossad, for failing to properly coordinate or plan the (botched) assassination of Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal in Amman, Jordan, and blamed Prime Minister Natanyahu for failing to consider the political ramifications of the operation. Two Israeli agents were caught in the 25 September poison-weapon murder attempt, which caused a crisis in Israeli-Jordanian relations. In the aftermath Israel was forced to free dozens of prisoners to secure the release of its agents. (Wtimes Feb16, p A13)
CHINESE MISPERCEPTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES - The Pentagon's Office of Net Assessments has released a report entitled "Dangerous Chinese Misperceptions: the Implications for the Department of Defense." The report, based on a review of Chinese military literature, concluded that "China's leadership holds dangerous misperceptions that may well cause serious political friction or even military conflict with the United States. . ." Said one officer, "They call us a paper tiger. Good equipment, but no stomach for a fight." On the other hand, Chinese officials maintain that Americans have serious misperceptions about the Chinese threat to US interests in the Pacific. Differences in perceptions and strategic interests are normal; the ongoing exchange programs and good intelligence can keep these differences within tolerable limits.(WTimes 15Feb p.A10)
RUSSIAN NUCLEAR WEAPON SECURITY - General Eugene Habiger, Commander in Chief of the US Strategic Command, visited Russian Strategic Rocket nuclear weapons storage sites, and demonstrations of security procedures, hosted by Colonel General Vladimir Yaklovev, the Commander in Chief of the RSRF. They agreed that a follow-on program would be established to exchange security specialists from their respective commands. This would have an American crew following their Rusians counteparts for a week, and vice versa. Said General Habiger "We have a lot more work to do, but I was impressed and have confidence that the Russians, from what I saw at that one base, have a program which is ensuring safe, secure processes regarding nuclear weapons. " He further stated that he had confidence in the safety and security of the nuclear weapons stockpile of the strategic rocket forces.
General Habiger further noted that "we now need to start looking at long-range aviation, the bomber folks, and the submarine folks, to make sure that these kinds of measures are in place at the other nuclear weapon legs of their triad." He said he believed the Russians would like to get down to START II levels quickly, for some of their ICBM's, like the SS-18, are running out of service life. Force modernization is proceeding very slowly. In context it is to be noted that the US and Russia each have about 8,000 nuclear warheads (after a 20% reduction over the past years), and roughly 4,000 delivery vehicles (ICBM, SLBM, Bomber). (Source Air Force Magazine, Feb 1998)
Send in your name, telephone number and check for $24 (members and their guests) or $29 (non-members) to the AFIO office.
20 May 1998
AFIO NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PRIORITIES (NIPS) SYMPOSIUM from 0730 - 1600, at Tysons Corner Marriott, Va.
Limit one hundred seats, at $99 for AFIO members, $129 for others.
1 June 1998
LUNCHEON at Fort Myer
AFIO - NATIONAL CONVENTION AND SYMPOSIUM
Miami Convention Center, Miami, Florida.
ANNOUNCEMENT: A three part TV special called SPYTEK (covering "secrets of the spy trade") is to be shown Monday February 23 from 8 - 11 pm. on the Discovery Channel. The show will be repeated on Sunday March 1 from 4-7pm. This will be followed by SPYWATCH, featuring encore presentations of spy planes and satellites, also on the Discovery Channel, February 24 through 26 at 10pm, and repeated Sunday March 1 from 1-4pm.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The venerable Walter Pforzheimer has suffered a second stroke. Board member General Jack Thomas is slow in recovering from his back problem. Members inquiring about their health may call Mrs Gretchen Campbell at the AFIO office.
JOBS AND SERVICES: The AFIO Web site carries
information on members seeking jobs and offering services, such
- Albano Ponte specializes in arranging US dollar loans in developing countries (minimum request $5 M) . Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- David Bedenbaugh is a financial advisor who focusses on retirement planning. Call 301 897 5999 or email email@example.com
- Goal-oriented project manager, polished briefer, former speechwriter for DCI Bill Casey, looking for post-retirement position in June 1998. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org