AFIO Intelligence Notes Issue 22

15 June 1998

AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are a 1998 initiative to enhance services to AFIO members and to encourage them to recruit new members. We need new members!

WINs are produced by Editor Roy Jonkers, and includes adaptations of articles produced by RADM Don Harvey (USN ret) and AFIO members. WIN re-transmission is not permitted except without concurrence of the WIN Editor.

AFIO SPECIAL Luncheon - 21 July 1998 - 12:30 - 2:30 a
Fort George G.Meade, Maryland, O'Club.
Tour of National Cryptologic Museum follows.
Send check for $22 (AFIO members and guests), or $29 (others) to AFIO.
(703) 790-0320

WIN re-transmission is not permitted without specific concurrence of the WIN Editor, Roy Jonkers, (or stand-in, John Macartney,

NOTE: Roy Jonkers is off on his annual walking vacation in Europe and I will (try to) carry on with WINs until his return. --John Macartney,

NO E-MAIL TO AFIO PLEASE!!! While Roy Jonkers is on vacation, AFIO will not be reading e-mail. If you need to communicate with the AFIO office, call them at (703) 790-0320)


INDIA FAILURE ATTRIBUTED TO "MIRROR IMAGING" & DECEPTION. The Jeremiah Report and statements from DCI George Tenet and others attribute the Intelligence Community's failure to warn of the impending Indian nuclear tests last month to "mirror imaging." That is, intelligence analysts and policymakers alike shared a mind-set that assumed that India would not test -- this despite the fact that the BJP had declared during the Jan-March election campaign that if elected they would "go nuclear." According to reports, the analysts were mistakenly attributing to the Indians the AMERICAN view that (1) going nuclear would be bad, and/or (2) campaign promises can be taken with a grain of salt. In this regard, analysts are now worrying about another BJP campaign promise: to retake Kashmir by military force if necessary or, at least, to engage in "hot pursuit" of Kashmiri insurgents into Pakistan. Admiral Jeremiah also gave equal weight to successful Indian concealment and deception as another cause of the failure.

Because of the mirror imaging and reassurances by Indian govt officials that they would not test, American analysts got it wrong. One result of that was that a relatively low priority was given to collecting against nuke test "indicators." The test range, according to press reports, was being imaged only every 3 days.

Meanwhile, DCI Tenet has stated, "We did not get it right. Period."But what has not come out in the media are reports of what exactly the intelligence community did tell its policymaking customers. Obviously, no "tactical" warning was given. That is, policymakers were not told that a test was imminent. But we do not know about "strategic warning," a longer range estimate that testing was or was not likely. We can infer, however, that since the Indian test range was given a relatively low collection priority (imaged every 3 days), that the IC had not issued strategic warning.

HIDING FROM SATELLITES. One of the ways India evaded detection of its test preparations, of course, was by knowing exactly when a US spy satellite was due overhead and temporarily stopping work until it passed by. For a good article on that technique see:

"INTERNATIONALIZATION" OF US INTELLIGENCE. UNSCOM head Richard Butler gave two days of lengthy briefings to the UN Security Council which were illustrated, according to press reports, with US intelligence imagery and other "sensitive intelligence information." All this was to make the case that Iraq was still not complying with the UN arms inspection regime. It is also a good example of what is being called the "internationalization" of US intelligence. That is, the US Intelligence Community is more and more serving consumers at the UN, the IAEA, SFOR and other intergovernmental organizations.

MICRO RECCE. We've all heard about how the Predator and other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) are providing remarkable IMINT support in Bosnia and elsewhere. Well, the next thing seems to be Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAV's) which will be tiny reconnaissance UAV's -- only 5 or 6 inches in length but with real time video capabilities. Stealthy and small enough that an infantryman could carry them in his back pack. I'm not making this up -- see story in Aviation Week. <>

CHINA MISSILE TECHNOLOGY HEARINGS. Congress has been holding hearings on the latest of charges against President Clinton (that his administration has been allowing missile technology to be leaked to China -- possibly as a repayment of campaign contributions.) Well, the most interesting thing I have seen that came out of these hearings was testimony last week to the Senate intelligence committee by Gordon Oehler, former Director of the CIA's Nonproliferation Center. Oehler said, essentially, that despite overwhelming evidence that China had transferred M-11 missile technology and the unanimous agreement of the entire US intelligence community on the subject, the Clinton Administration said "the evidence wasn't good enough." Why? Because if the missile transfer was confirmed, that is acknowledged by Clinton Administration, they would have been required by law to impose sanctions on China -- sanctions that would disrupt the US-China relationship and cost US business and jobs. What evidence was ignored? Well, we don't know exactly, but apparently there was imagery of M-11 packing cases being delivered to a Pakistani military base. There may also have been some corroborating HUMINT and SIGINT. What the US Intelligence Community did not have was imagery of the missiles themselves -- just their boxes. That allowed Clinton Administration policymakers to maintain they still didn't know for sure what was inside the M-11 crates.

This is interesting to me because it is a familiar story of how policymakers often find intelligence reports "inconvenient" because the reports conflict with preferred policy options. Congress has exacerbated this matter in recent years by passing a number of laws that require the President to "certify," for example, that Mexico is doing its part in the drug war, or Pakistan doesn't have nukes, or China is not shipping missile and nuclear technology abroad, and so on. When it comes time for the President to make those certifications, he is often embarrassed by intelligence assessments that contradict his preferred policy. And it isn't just this President. Lyndon Johnson complained bitterly about this problem, which also bedeviled others including Reagan and Bush. Washington Post, 6/12, pA20. Washington Times, 6/12, pA1.

MORE FROM HEARINGS. In another story generated by these hearings, Walter Pincus of the Washington Post writes that China's launches of American commercial satellites as well as the Chinese military's (illegal) use of American communication satellites helped US intelligence. According to Pincus, US intelligence were able to learn about Chinese ICBM's from their Long March launch rockets. Also, he wrote, the use of US commercial communication satellites by the Chinese military made it easier for NSA to intercept or jam their communications. Maybe. Another, perhaps more relevant issue was mentioned in the article. According to Pincus, the US has intelligence sharing arrangements with China that allow among other things US monitoring posts on Chinese soil that collect against Russia and perhaps other 3rd countries. In order to protect that valuable intelligence relationship, a special amendment was attached to the 1995 Intelligence Authorization bill (and renewed in 1996 & 1997) which gave the President authority to waive sanctions on a foreign government if the President believed the sanctions would "compromise an ongoing criminal investigation or an intelligence source or method." Although not mentioned in the law, Pincus's "sources" said China is the reason for the provision. Washington Post, 6/13, pA18.


HAROLD FORD BOOK. The CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI) has just published a new book by AFIO member and former senior CIA officer, Harold Ford. The book, "CIA and the Vietnam Policymakers: Three Episodes 1962-1968." Dr Ford, one of the most respected of CIA analysts, knows his subject. He was a Naval officer in WW2, earned a PhD from the University of Chicago and joined the Agency in 1950. Later, was a postdoctoral scholar at St Antony's College, Oxford. At the Agency he served on various Vietnam working groups, was staff chief of the Office of National Estimates and also served abroad as a Chief of Station. After leaving the CIA, Ford served five years with the Church Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In 1980, he rejoined the CIA and helped form the new National Intelligence Council, serving as Acting Chairman before his retirement in 1986. The study shows how the pessimistic (and most times accurate) assessments of mid-level CIA analysts were softened at best and completely obscured at worst in deference to the preconceived views of the situation as seen by key Administration officials.

This looks to be an important book -- covering such intelligence controversies as the Sam Adams OB dispute, the 1968 Tet offensive, long range estimates about Vietnam, and so on. Rueters says "CIA study blasts own Vietnam-era performance" by slanting views to suit policymakers (see below). <>.

The book is available for purchase from the National Technical Information Service (1-800-553-6847) and should be posted on CSI's web site in the near future (but it's not there yet). <>

CIA RELEASES DOCUMENTS ON "BAY OF PIGS" OPERATION. On June 4, the CIA announced the declassification and release of over 3,200 pages of Agency documents related to the "Bay of Pigs" operation. This historically relevant material was transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration and is part of an ongoing effort over the past five years to make available for public and scholarly review important records of intelligence information pertaining to high-profile events. This latest release includes the following documents: CIA Inspector General's assessment of the Bay of Pigs operation and the Directorate of Plans' response (previously released as part of a 1988 FOIA request); the CIA History Staff's Studies in intelligence article entitled "The CIA's Internal Probe of the Bay of Pigs Affair;" "Record of the Paramilitary Action Against the Castro Government of Cuba - 17 March 1960 to May 1961;" CIA Clandestine Services History Monograph based on the after-action report by Colonel Jack Hawkins; finished intelligence on developments in Cuba to include NIEs, Special Estimates, and relevant current publications; briefing notes for the DCI prepared by the CIA staff prior to NSC meetings; training records of the 2506th Brigade (in Spanish); and graphics (to include 560 photographs and six diagrams related to the Brigade's training).

The documents are available to individual requesters in hard copy and CD-ROM from the College Park facility of the National Archives. The documents are also available on the Agency's internet site at

URL'S FOR FY 1999 INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION BILL REPORTS. In the last WIN, I gave you the URL for the House intelligence committee report: <>

Here's the Senate counterpart: <>


Events of interest to AFIO members and intelligence scholars. NOTE: If you know of an event coming up in the next 12 months that should be added to the expanded monthly list, PLEASE ADVISE John Macartney, <>

JUNE 1998:

JUNE 18. Potomac Chapter NMIA luncheon at the Bolling AFB Enlisted Club. Guest speaker at the noon luncheon will be Professor Daniel T. Kuehl, Chairman of the Information Operations Department at the National Defense University, where he teaches strategic uses of the Internet and information warfare strategy. While on active duty with the US Air Force, Dr. Kuehl helped develop the INSTANT THUNDER plan for the 1991 air campaign against Iraq. He also authored the "Air Campaign" chapter in DoD's Final Report to Congress on the Persian Gulf War.; Speaker at the morning program, starting at 1030, will be Chapter President and President of INTAC (security thinktank) Richard F. Forno. He will offer his observations on "The Asymmetric Information Warfare Environment" and some of the challenges facing the intelligence community on this issue. For reservations call (703) 379-7177.

JUNE 17-19 in Washington. Aviation Week "Space Technology and Business" conference and exhibition.

JUNE 25, Washington. DIA's Joint Military Intelligence College will host an academic conference at the DIAC building on Bolling AFB. Contact LCDR Pete Clanton (202) 231-8538, fax (202) 231-2171, or e-mail

JUNE 26-27, Chicago. AFIO Midwest Chapter's 8th Intelligence Seminar at Great Lakes Naval Station, Chicago. Contact Angelo DiLiberti at (847) 931-4184, or Don Clark (630) 834-2032, or

JULY 1998

JULY 1. New deadline for 1999 ISA paper and panel proposals. Also, you should info Jim Wirtz who is the Intelligence Program Chair at the Dept of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School, 408-656-3483;

JULY 10-11, Vermont. AFIO New England Chapter at the Bromley Lodge with speaker Joseph Goulden. Peggy Adler, (860) 669-7706.

JULY 15-19, Washington, DC. Marine Corps Intelligence Association Convention. Includes a ceremony at the Iwo Jima Memorial, trips to USMC intelligence facility at Quantico and the USMC Museum at the Navy Yard, and the evening retreat ceremony at the Marine Corps barracks. Distinguished speakers include the DCI, the Marine Corps Commandant, Gen Charles Krulak, CINCSOUTH, and former DIA director LtGen Clapper. Contact MGySgt John Asbery, USMC (Ret), Tel: (703) 494-3894;

JULY 21, Washington. AFIO Special Luncheon, Ft Meade, Maryland, O'Club, 12:30 - 2:30, with presentation by Jack Ingram (Curator & Historian, National Cryptologic Museum), and special TOUR of the Museum. Send check for $22 (AFIO members and guests), or $29 (others) to AFIO. (703) 790-0320.

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