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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #44-99 6 Nov 1999


WINS are protected by copyright laws and may not be diseminated without permission from the Producer and Editor, Roy Jonkers Associate Editor Dr. John Macartney contributed to this WIN.

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CAUCASUS - The 'Great Game' continues - - An agreement to build a multi-billion pipeline from the Caspian Sea region through Turkey, a major US objective in the region, is likely to be signed in Istanbul in the very near future according to John Wolf, the President's special advisor on Caspian Basin energy resources.

The proposed 1,240 mile pipeline, which would run from Baku via Georgia to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, is the focal point of a battle for Caspian oil and regional influence between the US and Russia, each with their cast of supporters, another chapter in the 'Great Game' dating back to the last century. For the Administration, construction of the pipeline constitutes a crucial step towards its prime objective of reducing Moscow's influence in the energy-rich Caspian region and the Caucasus, and its corollary objective, to contain and diminish Iran. As noted in a previous WINs, the agreement to establish a NATO ASOC (Air Support Operations Coordination center) in the region was an earlier-announced building bloc for regional US/NATO power projection through air power, along with US support for the buildup of the armed forces of Georgia.

It is not beyond reason to view the problems Russia is having in Chechnia etc. in the context of the Great Game, as it not only weakens Russia in the region but also detracts from the value of (and interferes with) the current oil pipeline through Russia / Chechnia. The Turkish pipeline agreement is important as it aligns Big Oil (BP-Amoco) money and muscle with US policy objectives. One might hazard a guess that US intelligence operations are also playing a significant part in the Great Game. (Wpost 6Nov 99, p. A19) (RoyJ)

CIA STOPS MEDIATING BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY - - The Israeli-US-Palestinian committee on security cooperation, whose establishment was agreed upon in the Wye agreement, has not met since Ehud Baraq was elected. They were to meet every other week, according to the agreement. A senior Israeli source said that the need for US involvement had stemmed from the rupture between Israelis and Palestinians during Netanyahu's administration, but that today the relations are satisfactory. CIA Tel Aviv station officers continue their joint work with the Palestinian security organizations in such areas as arms collection and monitoring of terrorism, as stipulated in the Wye accord. (Tel Aviv Ha'aretz, 3 Nov99) (RoyJ)

IRAQI INTELLIGENCE CHIEF REPORTEDLY LIQUIDATED - - The London-based newspaper 'Al-Hayat' on 18th October reported that intelligence chief Rafi Dahham al-Tikriti's "liquidation" will be the start of new serious and radical changes in the centers of power on which President Saddam Husayn relies to reaffirm his rule.

Rafi Dahham al-Tikriti, whose previous assignment was as Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, had allegedly been charged by Saddam with three directives:

The first dealt with putting an end to the collapse of the intelligence organ by lifting its morale and halting corruption and the spread of growing tribal allegiances. Secondly, Saddam advised Tikriti to supervise the negotiations with the Kurds, deepening as much as possible the disagreement between the two main parties, and facilitating their signing of agreements (separately) with Baghdad. Widening the "communication channels with Russia" was the third key objective, given that economic agreements with Moscow could extend to the rebuilding of the military arsenal and supplying the air defenses with new equipment that would enable Baghdad to down one or more planes in the no-fly zone, thus strengthening its bargaining position on the lifting of the sanctions.

However, according to the sources, what did actually happen was the opposite of what President Saddam had ordered. With regard to reorganizing and improving the intelligence organ, Rafi Dahham suffered a setback when five prominent staffers defected to "hostile quarters" . These were the head of the Prague station, the head of the Athens station, and the head of the west Asia station in New Delhi, in addition to two prominent members of the intelligence organ in Iraq. The normalization steps with the Kurds also failed, and this increased doubts that the intelligence organ was "infiltrated" in its dealings with the Kurdish issue. The Russian opening also did not succeed. Saddam came to believe that his intelligence service had been " infiltrated" more than once.

Members of the special security organ supervised by Qusay have reportedly begun questioning three prominent intelligence service staffers, including Ahmad al-Ja'fari, on how information was leaked from the intelligence organ to "hostile quarters" . The internal politics of Iraq, a web of tribal and clan relations, loyalties and betrayals, compulsion and corruption, along with external intrusions (US, Iran), are truly Byzantine. (Source: 'Al-Hayat', London, in Arabic 18 Oct 99) (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 10-20-99) (Heibel) (RoyJ)


AFIO SYMPOSIUM '99 - - - The AFIO National symposium, the second in a series initiated last year, started Thursday afternoon October 21st at the Marriott, and continued all day Friday at the new National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) facility in Chantilly, near Dulles airport. Among the speakers were DCI George Tenet; the current and former NRO directors Keith Hall and Jeffrey Harris; General (ret ) Paul Gorman, former CINCSOUTHCOM; LTG-ret Pat Hughes, just retired Director of DIA; Richard Kerr, former DDCI; John Lauder, director of the DCI Non-Proliferation Center; Michael Vatis, Director of the FBI National Infrastructure Protection Center; and Colonel Michael Haenchen, Vice Commander of the UAF Information Warfare Center.

Special praise goes to Mr Timothy Sample, Deputy Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who stepped in at the last moment to replace Senator Ted Stevens, who could not break away from the budget battles on the hill. Mr. Sample's presentation made us forget missing the Senator.

The speakers were superb - - and, assured of AFIO's "not for attribution, background use only" policy, they were especially candid and forthcoming with us. below is some of the substance of the symposium.

From John Macartney's Notes - - Symposium information tidbits:

+ The NRO Westfields facility where the AFIO symposium was held, is large, modern and attractive. Personnel of NRO, we were told, are mostly on detail from other agencies-- mostly Air Force, CIA, Navy, Army - - along with NRO careerists.

+ Combatting the proliferation of WMD (weapons of mass destruction -- nukes, poisons, germs and missile technology) remains one of the highest priorities of US foreign policy and therefore of the IC (Intelligence Community).

+ Would be proliferators ("rogue" states plus some 60 potential proliferator states or organizations), are practicing more and more denial and deception as awareness of US intelligence sources and methods grows.

+ Whereas the worry used to be that the industrial countries, or firms in those countries, would act as WMD suppliers to "rogue" regimes, increasingly the so-called rogues have developed their own WMD manufacturing capabilities and are themselves becoming suppliers to other rogues. Moreover, several of those countries are known to support and harbor terrorists -- one of the most chilling matters discussed at the symposium.

+ Because of interest in WMD as well as in IW (information warfare), the CIA and other US intelligence organizations are recruiting more and more biologists, computer scientist and other technical experts to be both analysts and intelligence collectors.

+ NGO's (private, nongovernment organizations such as the Red Cross or the French NGO, "Doctors without Borders," and hundreds of other such) are increasingly the folks on the front lines of the world's hotspots. As a result, these volunteer organizations are often those most in the know about what is going on in places like Rwanda or Bosnia or East Timor and also the ones most exposed to danger and, sometimes, the sources of ideas about what is to done in a policy sense -- call it the "globalization of foreign affairs." Thus the NGO's are often both sources and consumers of US intelligence information.

+ Several speakers opined that the US military has been over-used in recent years -- too many humanitarian interventions. The result is the tremendously high "ops tempo" that is draining military resources and morale. It also results, for intelligence, in a great deal of SMO, or support to military operations, at the expense, of course, of intelligence support to national decisionmakers as well as attending to long term data base maintenance. More funds are needed.

+ Several speakers lamented the imbalance between collection and analysis where results in a situation where we take in far more information with our technical collectors than can ever be reviewed by analysts, passed on the policy makers or otherwise used.

+ There was discussion of the CIA silicon valley initiative, "In-Q-it," a non-profit entity set up recently by the DDS&T to provide grants of seed money to promising high tech ideas. The NRO has a similar program. The IC leadership provided, I think, convincing rationale and explanation for these outreach initiatives. Basically, they said, that whereas the cutting edge of technology used to be in house, that is within the government, these days government agencies are often months or years behind in high tech developments. And while the contractor community still brings in fresh ideas, even they may be overlooking the ideas that are being developed in universities, in small hi tech firms and in garages.

+ The CIA is looking to use more "platforms" other than US embassies from which to mount their operations. That means more NOC's, non official cover case officers. High tech collection is similarly moving away from government facilities where it can.

+ Case officer training at "the farm" has been totally revamped and military collectors in the new Defense Humint Service (DHS) now train there along with their CIA brethren.

+ CIA is in the biggest recruiting and hiring drive in years. They are doing well at recruiting young people but biggest problem is retaining top people, especially scientists and engineers who can make big bucks on the outside. Who do they want to hire? TALENT (that is sharp individuals) most of all, but they are specifically seeking native speakers of hard languages plus info tech scientists and engineers.

+ Intelligence gets a lot of support on the Hill, but it needs more support from the Administration and the Pentagon.

+ Money is a problem. Apparently, Congress provided more funds than the President requested this year (as usual), but still, leaders say, they need more, about $1,5 billion more. (Last year, intelligence got a plus up of some $1.5 billion during the last minute budget negotiations between Speaker Gingrich and the White House. Not likely this year.

Instead, the proposed 1.4% across the board cut in all federal programs will cost the IC about $400 million. Salaries take up more than 50 percent of all intel spending.

+ The Information War will become big threat in future years especially as IW technology proliferates to non-state actors.

+ PDD-63 in 1997 established NIPC, the National Infrastructure Protection Center, an FBI based inter-agency focal point charged with defense IW (Information Warfare). NSA operates FIDNET, the Federal Intrusion Detection Network and the Air Force now has operational Information Warfare units which, according to the Washington

Post (10/24) were active in the Kosovo campaign -- launching cyber attacks that tied up the Serbian air defense system and largely took down their civilian telephone system.

+ There were some 418 cyber attacks on DOD info systems last year and more than 60 of those actually gained entry.

+ While senior intel officials agreed there was too much expenditure on Support to Military Operations (SMO) they also said there is no choice. As long as US military is involved in numerous ongoing military operations -- Bosnia, Iraq, E Timor, Kosovo -- SMO was required and would be the order of the day.

+ The NATO operation over Kosovo was said to be a "soft" (easy) target for Serbian SIGINT -- mostly because coalition operations precluded the use in most cases of sophisticated encryption for tactical operations.

+ MASINT needs more high tech people and above all it needs to be better understood by intel managers as well as by consumers.

+ Counterintelligence, one speaker opined, is all screwed up. We need to start over but there is too much resistance to change, too many rice bowls.

+ Jeffrey Harris, former NRO director, is now President of Space Imaging, Inc, a leader in commercial imaging. Space Imaging has just launched, IKONOS, the first high resolution commercial imaging satellite. Images are now available on the web. Designed to take digital images of the Earth from an orbit of 400 miles, its 1-meter resolution is believed to be about 1/3 of what US spy satellites can do but 20 times better than Comsat and other commercial imagery. (Actually, it's 1-meter out to a 26 degree arc and about 0.8 meter straight down.) It simultaneously collects one-meter resolution panchromatic (color or black and white) images and four-meter resolution multispectral images. Just as computers and cell phones have gotten smaller and cheaper, the Ikonos satellite is small, much smaller than recent NRO satellites. It weighs just 1600 pounds, much less than current NRO satellites which are believed to weigh in the neighborhood of 30,000 pounds. Since it costs about $25,000 a pound to launch an object into orbit, that is a remarkable advantage. (JdMac)

+ UAV imagery is the primary surveillance source in Bosnia and Kosovo, but like aerial imagery (exception: Guardrail) it does not contain geographic positioning data. So national (satellite) imagery is used, which need not be recent for this purpose, to provide the needed positioning data.

+ About 75% of the NRO budget goes for future systems, and among other things NRO launches one "demo" satellite each year that involves revolutionary new sensor technologies -- some of which make their way into future operational reconnaissance satellites. (JdMacartney)


THE CODE BOOK, by Simon Singh, Doubleday, 1999, 402 pages. This book offers a fascinating glimpse into the mostly secret competition between codemakers and code breakers. They've been at it since humans invented writing. This is a competition populated by brilliant, and often eccentric, individuals. When Winston Churchil visited the Bletchley Park code and cipher facility during the war, after speaking to a representative genius - friendly, approachable, but unshaven, with nails "stuffed with dirt, and in rumpled clothing, the muttered to his intelligence chief:"I told you to leave no stone unturned but I didn't expect you to take me so literally." Singh makes it all very readable, from Ceasar Shift to Vignere ciphers, from homophonic substitution to public key cryptography. And as a kicker, the book offers a complex 10-stage cipher challenge that will reward the first person to solve it (by October 2000) with a $15,000 prize.

Cryptography has a growing relevance to our daily lives, from ATM transactions to purchases online. Read this entertaining book. Solve the puzzle and make $15K! (based on a review by W. Nicholson, USA Today 1 Nov 99, p. D5) (Roy J)

THE BLACK BOOK ON COMMUNISM, by Stephane Courtois, Nicholas Werth, Jean-Louise Panne, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek and Jean-Louis Margolin; foreword by Martin Malia. Harvard University Press. $37.50, 858 pages.

Most sensible adults are aware of communism's human toll in the USSR and elsewhere-- the forced starvations in The Ukraine, the Great Purge of the 1930s, the Gulag, the insanity of China's Great Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot's murder of one of seven Cambodians etc. etc. All these horrors are now brought together in what the French scholar Martin Mali, in his foreword, calls a "balance sheet of our current knowledge of communism's human costs, archivally based where possible and elsewhere drawing on the best available secondary evidence."

Because it is an encyclopedia of horror, The Black Book is not pleasant reading. The materials derived from Soviet archives eventually become mind numbing. The Soviets kept statistics with Nazi precision: one report notes that of the 608,749 persons deported from the Crimea in 1944, 44,887 were dead within four years; 40 to 50 percent of them were less than 16 years of age. So say the Soviet records. Or read the 1933 memorandum in which Genrikh Yagoda, the head of the GPU, successor to the KGB, urged medical experiments on prisoners as a "true service to humanity. Hundreds of human guinea pigs are required."

The contributing scholars are associated with the Center for the Study of Communism, which works with younger Russian historians to exploit material coming from Soviet archives. The Black Book has sold more than 100,000 copies in Europe. Editor's comment: Some contributors in this book sought to explain the brutality of the communist regime as caused by the brutal 'nature of the Russian people' - - in my mind a big mistake. Lenin and Stalin's brutalities take their place along those perpetrated by other leaders and groups in recent history - - the Japanese and the Germans, of course, but also the British who cold-bloodedly starved a million Irish and who invented the concentration camps in South Africa starving Boer women and children, the Spanish who purposefully and completely exterminated the native Indians in countries like Uruguay, the Australians who hunted and exterminated (in Tasmania) Aborigines for sport , etc. etc.the list goes on. There are no simplistic answers and one must guard against prejudice and egocentric hypocritical arrogance in examining the "why." (Not read - Excerpted from review by Joseph C. Goulden, who is working on a book on the modern world of attorneys) (Ed. Roy J)

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