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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #45-99 13 Nov 1999

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FBI RESTRUCTURE - Deputy FBI director Robert Bryant commented on a sweeping reorganization of the FBI now underway, describing it as a "sea change" in information sharing among its divisions and reflecting a fundamental shift in emphasis.

The major operating divisions at the bureau will increase from the current two - - the Criminal Division and the National Security Division - - to four, including two new divisions:

(1) A new Counterterrorism Division will include the National Infrastructure Protection Center (under Michael Vatis, who spoke at the AFIO National Symposium) and its computer crimes unit.

(2) A new Investigative Services Division will consolidate analysts who had worked in separate divisions, and will also include the bureau's hostage rescue team and negotiators.

The objective is to enhance information sharing between the divisions, and improve communication between analysts and senior officials. Because analysts were specialized, a suspect could be investigated separately for being a possible spy, terrorist or criminal, and information gathered would not necessarily be shared. Also, the failure to share intelligence between divisions sometimes resulted in senior officials being 'out of the loop' on critical information under investigation.

The new structure is intended to support the growing FBI role in fighting terrorism worldwide, but also addresses an associated problem - - that senior officials got so preoccupied with the focus on terrorist threats that they neglected counterintelligence. By separating the Counterterrorism unit from the the National Security Division, the latter can focus more consistently on espionage threats and other foreign intelligence matters - in which the FBI works closely with CIA and DoD.

The goal is to bring a fundamental change in the bureau, transforming the FBI from a law enforcement agency with a structure and culture that revolve mostly around investigating crimes 'after the fact,' to one that places greater emphasis on 'identifying threats and preventing' crimes. The new organization is linked to the FBI strategic plan that creates three tiers of priorities for the bureau, with greatest emphasis on several Tier One programs: foreign intelligence and combating terrorist and criminal activities that affect national and economic security.

Deputy Director Bryant noted that the FBI's aggressive efforts to provide better predictive and anti-terrorism capabilities will raise concern about civil liberties. He stated his conviction that the bureau can accomplish its new mission while holding fast to traditional standards and respect for the public's rights to privacy.

The FBI budget has doubled since 1993, from $1.5 Billion to $3 Billion. - - while its counterterrorism budget has tripled during the past three years. Additional funding was said to be required in future years to help the FBI catch up with fast-moving changes in technology. The proper balance between security from terrorist incidents and individual liberty and privacy as enshrined in the Constitution, is obviously one of the great challenges we face, as it is not at all clear that we (Congress and Executive) have not gone overboard on terrorism at the expense of privacy and individual liberty. (D. Vise and L Adams in WashPost 11Nov99, p. A2) (RoyJ)

CONGRESSIONAL INTELLIGENCE - RECON SATELLITES - Congress directed that the NRO program for a new generation of reconnaissance satellites must be scaled back next year - - unless additional funding is also budgeted for the necessary computers and communications gear to process and disseminate the information. The House passed the FY2000 intelligence authorization conference report on 9 November, and it is expected to gain Senate approval soon. The report contains language directing the NRO to reduce its program unless it can include a processing system in FY2001.

The highly classified program is alleged by press sources to cost over $4.5 Billion over the next 10 years, and an additional $1 to $3 Billion is said to be needed for the processing suite. The capabilities of the new high-resolution optical and radar imagery satellites are classified, but a spokesman for the Federation of American guessed that these new photo reconnaissance satellites will circle the globe at twice the altitude of current satellites, enabling them to stay over targets significantly longer (greater 'dwell' time). A Congressional source indicated that the new system could provide field commanders target area coverage within one hour after the images were taken.

By way of comment, budget tactic of separating reconnaissance Collection system funding from the Processing system to enable expensive new systems to get funded by Congress - and then counting on the momentum of funds already expended plus industry lobbying to carry the system forward - - is not unprecedented in the tough Washington budgetary battles. The Congressional FY2001 mandate will put strains on next year's budget battles. (V. Loeb and W. Pincus in WashPost 12Nov99, p. A7) (RoyJ)

CONGRESSIONAL INTELLIGENCE - CLANDESTINE AGENTS - The House and Senate FY 2000 intelligence authorization conference report referenced above also contained a provision making it a crime to identify publicly, by name, any retired covert CIA or Defense Department employees within five years after their Government service. It is already a crime to divulge the name of current operatives. (as above Wpost 12 Nov) (RoyJ)

RUSSIAN SUBMARINES - Russia is faced with the problem of disposing of 107 nuclear submarines left over from the Cold War. Moscow has announced that some 18 subs will be dismantled next year. New technologies are being worked on to speed up the process. The US has pledged millions to help get rid of subs built to carry nuclear missiles targeted at the US. (Interfax/ Wpost 10Nov99, p. A34) (RoyJ)

CHINA FORCE MODERNIZATION - The Commander of China's Air Force, Lt. General Liu Shunyao, said on 8 November that the force would be slowly transformed from a strictly territorial defense force to one that represents "a combination of defense and offense." China's air force, however, has had longstanding problems in developing aircraft that can match international standards, forcing them to rely on Russian-developed aircraft. In 1996 they purchased a license from Russia to build 200 Su-27's in China. China also signed contracts to buy 40 Russian Su-30 'state-of-the-art' multipurpose fighters, with delivery expected to begin next year.

The Chinese Navy also has announced plans to transform itself slowly from a coastal defense force to a blue water navy, with a potential for force projection in the out-years.

Chinese missile forces, although minute in comparison with the US, received a boost this summer from the succesful testing of the Dong-feng-31, a 5,000 mile range ICBM.

China's announcements and programs are intended to warn Washington about promising military support to Taiwan, considered a breakaway province of China, in any possible future conflict. China is said to be seeking limited deterrence through the purchase of Russian equipment, such as anti-ship missiles and fighters (about $1Billion per year), and the development of indigenous missile systems and satellite and cyber warfare capabilities. (New China News Agency/WPost 9Nov99, J. Pomfret) (RoyJ)

ISRAEL WEAPONS INVESTMENT - - Israel will invest more than $1Billion during the next five years to develop air superiority and missile defense weaponry. Investments will continue to be made in active missile defense systems, such as HOMA, based on the US-Israeli ARROW missile interceptor . This system passed a successful test on 1 November and will become operational in mid-2000. However, most of the funds will be channeled into new counterforce and air attack options. This includes the US-Israeli Tactical High Energy Laser, to handle not only incoming Katyusha-like rockets and artillery rounds, but medium range Scuds and similar missiles like the Iranian Shihab and the North Korean Taepo-dong. Other funds will go to develop a UAV with anti-missile systems aboard, designed to destroy missiles over enemy territory, and to the 'Boost-Phase Launcher Intercept' system, involving UAV's loitering over enemy territory to strike launchers that have fired ballistic missiles. The Israelis view a response to the ballistic missile threat as key to security. That is where the bulk of the money will go. (DefNews 15Nov99, pp 6 &.26) (RoyJ)

COLOMBIA - - The guerrilla insurgents in Colombia are said to be receiving arms from Eastern Europe, according to US, Colombian and Russian intelligence officials. At the scene of recent peacetalks with the government, parading rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, for decades a rag-tag bunch of have-nots, surprised US observers by showing off their new AK-47 assault rifles, Dragunov sniper rifles and machine guns. There are also consistent intelligence reports on possible SA-14 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles being available to FARC. That would change the equation for both Colombian and US aircraft in the area, but so far there is no demonstrated evidence. FARC also has upgraded its communications, including Japanese and European voice encryption technology, scramblers and other technology, complicating the intercepts of their communications.

FARC gets its money by taxing the cocaine producers in Colombia. The arms purchases are said to be financed by increased profits for enlarged cocaine consumption in Europe, which this year consumed between 80 and 120 tons of cocaine, a sharp increase from last year. Some of the cocaine goes to Russia, where Russian criminal cartels are said to be profiting enormously. Russian criminals are said to be seeking alliances with Colombian cartels and are facilitating arms sales. Colombian intelligence reports indicate that weapons are delivered via Ecuador by river or small airdrops into southern regions of Colombia.

The criminal syndicates profit doubly in that Colombian paramilitary groups, who fight on the side of the Government against the FARC and who reportedly terrorize the rural population, are directly involved in drug trafficking according to the DEA. The paramilitaries operate cocaine laboratories and are partners of important international drug-trafficking organizations, according to DEA intelligence.

Without reference to these paramilitary groups, the US is rapidly escalating aid to the Colombian army - - $239 Million in 1999, some $2 Billion over the next three years - - not to mention special operations and reconnaissance and intelligence support - - to prevent the FARC from gaining the upper hand. (Farah in W. Post 4 Nov99, p. A1;& Chr. Sc. Monitor 3Nov p.9) (RoyJ)

DEFENSE SECURITY SERVICE CHIEF APPOINTED - - Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has appointed retired Lt. Gen. Charles J. Cunningham Jr.(USAF ret) as the director of the Defense Security Service, effective Nov. 8, 1999. He has been the acting director of DSS since June 7, 1999. The Defense Security Service is responsible for personnel security investigations within the Department of Defense, managing the defense portion of the national security industrial program and conducting personnel security research activities. (DOD News, Release. 531-99, Nov12, 99, media 703)695-0192 ) (RoyJ)


CYBERWAR DEVELOPMENTS - - A fullscale cyber attack on Yugoslavia, aimed not only at military operations but to disrupt basic civilian services, was not executed because of operational and legal considerations surrounding the emerging field of cyber warfare. Midway through the operation, the top Defense legal office issued General Guidelines (which were not a formal legal assessment in terms of this war), warning that misuse of cyber attacks could subject US authorities to war crimes charges.

The guidelines, entitled "An Assessment of International Legal Issues in Information Operations," advised commanders to apply the same "law of war" principles to computer attacks that they do to bombs and missiles.

Cyberwarfare has potential capabilities to disrupt an opponent's civic infrastructure, to invade networks, to shut down electrical facilities, interrupt phone service, crash trains, open floodgates of dams, explode oil refineries and disrupt financial systems. But such capabilities raise legal, ethical and practical problems. Defense officials have commented that the legal concern was only one of the reasons for inhibiting a fullscale cyber attack in the case of Yugoslavia. Other reasons included untested or embryonic state of the US cyber arsenal and the fact that the decentralized Yugoslav system did not lend itself to computer assault.

US cyberwar (or "information operations" in DoD terminology) capabilities are classified. Open source reports indicate that a broad range of weapons are under development, including computer viruses or "logic bombs" to disrupt enemy networks, the feeding of false information to sow confusion, and the morphing of video images onto foreign television stations, among others. The importance of the program is indicated by the recent Pentagon announcement that it was consolidating offensive as well as defensive cyber operations under the four-star general who heads the US Space Command in Colorado Springs.

In the end, of course, cyberwar, or information warfare, depends on specialized intelligence (collection and analysis as well as operations) to provide the basis for assessing (and manipulating) foreign computer networks, systems, components and capabilities. An extraordinary amount of detailed intelligence about a target country's computer and networking hardware and software systems is needed. The same can be said for foreign attacks on US networks. The government has substantially boosted its intelligence capabilities against hacking, strengthened detection systems, and called on the private sector to develop solutions. (B. Graham, W. Arkin, Wpost 8Nov99, p. A10) (RoyJ)

COMPUTER SECURITY - - A new and more dangerous type of computer virus, nicknamed Bubbleboy, is capable of affecting users of Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express email programs on Windows 98 or 2000. Exchange and Lotus Notes are also vulnerable, but Netscape is said to be immune - thus far.

Bubbleboy is a new development - - a quantum step-up in lethality - - it can transmit a virus by email message alone - - WITHOUT requiring the recipient to open an email atttachment. Previously computer users would be safe from self-replicating viruses (also called worms) if they did not open email attachments. Bubbleboy is much more devious - it can infect a computer system without the user even opening the email that contains the virus.

Bubbleboy, although not yet widely dispersed, illustrates the increasing vulnerability of the US government, corporate and civic infrastructures because of its reliance on computer networks, a vulnerability that extends to individual computer owners on the Net. Although software fixes and firewalls are developed and adapted to keep up with advances, when one gets hit, it can lead to great loss. One is reminded of the old-fashioned, mundane and manual means of computer security - - having one computer for entry to the net, another (unconnected) for private records and operations, with a manual interface only.

An anti-Bubbleboy software patch may be downloaded from Microsoft's website (WPost 11 Nov99) (RoyJ)

CHECHNYA IN CONTEXT - - During the previous war in Czechnya, the Russians were deeply divided. The war was unpopular. The Czechens won in 1996. However, during the past three years their solidarity has disintegrated in the face of traditional clan rivalries. A pre-modern society, the Czechens proved themselves incapable of rapidly constructing a nation-state. According to Professor Robert Ware, they fell back on three expedients.

First, Chechens exulted in their national warrior mythology - each fighter proclaimed more powerful than a Russian tank. Warrior mythology can be self-destructive, an altar that demands human sacrifice. This mythology may be one of the explanations for the invasions of Dagestan by Chechen clanleader and warlord Shamil Basayev in August and September.

Secondly, clan leaders sought to compete for legitimacy by staging appeals to Islam. This was further complicated by the introduction of Wahhabite Islamic fundamentalism, which spread rapidly through Chechnya recently with the help of supporters in the Persian Gulf, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and as a response to the deepening impoverishment of the region. Apart from subsistence farming and barter, income is earned by organized crime, such as the widespread tapping of the petroleum pipeline bound for the West, by kidnapping and, evidently, by counterfeiting $100 bills.

The third fact, therefore, was the creation of an economy of violent criminality. Since 1996 kidnapping, murder and slave trade have become Chechnya's principal industries. More than 1,300 Westerners and Russians, including women and children, were taken hostage in the past three years--more than one a day. Hostages are held under brutal conditions for exorbitant ransoms, which are extorted with the help of Chechen-produced video documentation of their torture and dismemberment, including that of the children. Once taken, hostages are also bought and sold among the Chechen clans, in much the same way as another culture might exchange money or securities. The result is a contemporary slave trade from which many Chechens have directly or indirectly benefited, and in which many are more or less accomplices. The reason there have been no international observers or relief workers helping inside Chechnya is that the Chechens long ago murdered or kidnapped them all - or caused them to depart.

The current Russian effort, based on deep perceptions of Czechen criminality and terrorism, faces some extraordinary problems, even the war is 'successful'. (based on art. by Prof. Robert Bruce Ware, Southern Illinois U., LA Times 8 Nov 99) (RoyJ)

CIA RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN - Wanted, smart, clean-living college and graduate students, fluent in non-Romance langues. Minority group members and Turkish and Iranian citizens especially welcome. Rather than Ivy League males, the call is out to women and ethnic minorities, particulary Asian and Arab Americans. Advanced degrees and foreign language proficiency are a big plus. Experience living abroad helps. A tast for foreign intrigue is required. That's the pitch.

This past year some 39,000 applications were received, overwhelming CIA's background checkers and thereby failing to meet the hiring target. More checkers have now been added. Thirty percent more jobs will be offered during the year 2000. The agency even reaches into highschools, offering college scholarships of up to $15,000 per year. The recruiting brochure features a high-stepping model. Inside the cover it says "Our business is the future. Your workplace is the world." Things do change.

The CIA will start accepting applications over its internet site early next year. Currently applications can be sent by letter with a resume and unofficial transcript, to Personnel Representative, Box 12727, Arlington, VA 22209-8727. Referrals by former CIA professionals are solicited. (Phil. Inq.12Nov99 p. A3) (RoyJ)


THE RUSSELL J. BOWEN COLLECTION on Intelligence, Spying and Covert Activities, probably the largest such collection in an American university library, now numbers near 18,000 titles. The closely related Spy Fiction Collection, also in large measure a gift of Colonel Bowen, now numbers nearly 4,000 titles. These totals have been reached thanks to the extended effoprts of the members of the Georgetown Cataloguing Department, who have also all but completed the cataloging of the large gift of intelligence-related works donated in 1998 by Elizabeth Bancroft. (courtesy Prof. John Madigan, GU Library Associates Newsletter) (RoyJ, Georgetown SFS '52) .

BOOKS OF INTEREST - - to be reviewed in the future:

THE SECRET WAR AGAINST HANOI: Kennedy's and Johnson's Use of Spies, Saboteurs, and Covert Warriors in North Vietnam, by Richard H. Shultz, Jr., Harper Collins, to be published December 1999, 412 pages, ISBN 0-06-019454-5. The author is a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Discusses the clandestine operations conducted against Vietnam, launched in 1964 under the jurisdiction on the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group, known as MACVSOG. This looks like a 'must-read.' (RoyJ)

PHOTO FAKERY: The History and Techniques of Photographic Deception and Manipulation, by Dina A. Brugioni, Brassey's, Dulles, Virginia, 1999 ISBN 1-574888-166-3. Photo fakery is everywhere - looks like another winner for the founder of CIA's NPIC. (RoyJ)

PSYCHOLOGY OF INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS, by Richards J. Heuer, Jr., Center for the Study of Intelligence, 1999. It may be available from the National Technical Information Service. The author had a distinguished career in CIA for 45 years. Many chapters were originally written for the Directorate of Intelligence. Should become a textbook support to teaching intelligence. (RoyJ)

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