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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #26-99, July 1, 1999

WINs are commentaries on intelligence-related news items produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and subscribers, with contributions by associate editors RADM (ret) Don Harvey and Dr. John Macartney. WINs are protected by copyright laws and re-transmission is not permitted without specific AFIO concurrence (

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NASA's COMPUTER NETWORKS READILY PENETRATED. The General Accounting Office has announced the results of its inspection of NASA's cyber security. GAO concluded hackers could easily disrupt command and control operations, including the tracking of earth-orbiting spacecraft.

GAO teams penetrated systems that process and distribute NASA's scientific data and could have modified or destroyed system software and data. The GAO arranged with NASA to have NSA experts try to break into systems vital to NASA's mission at one of NASA's 10 field centers. The teams "initially penetrated these systems using easily guessed passwords" that provided limited access, then used that access to find ways of breaking through to deeper, more damaging areas, the report said. "Worse still, some accounts had no passwords at all," it said.

Among other of the reports findings:

- - One hundred and thirty-five of the 155 mission-critical systems reviewed did not meet NASA's own risk requirements.

- - NASA's systems are extensively interconnected through the Internet and can be an attractive target for not only hackers but for industrial spies and foreign intelligence agents as well. (Source: Wash Times 23 May '99, p. C10) (DonH).

FBI COUNTERINTELLIGENCE REORGANIZATION - Attorney General Janet Reno has approved a plan to respond to the COX report by reorganizing the FBI, creating a separate Counterintelligence Division. Currently the National Security Division has responsibility for counterintelligence along with other tasks, including combating international terrorism.

The Department of Energy is also contemplating a restructuring of its counterintelligence function. Reorganization is one of bureacracy's favorite ways of dealing with critcism or plans for improvement. (WPost 26Jun 99 p. A5) (RoyJ)

NORTH KOREA MISSILE PROLIFERATION - As North Korea prepares for another possible test launch of a multi-stage intermediate range missile -- its Taepo Dong II -- US intelligence must focus on technology transfer and proliferation implications.

Iranian-North Korean cooperation was forged during the Iran-Iraq war. North Korea needed capital; Iran needed technology. It began with Iran financing North Korea's Scud re-engineering program in the early 1980s. In return, Iran received 100 Scud-B missiles in the eighties, and another 100 Scud-C missiles in 1992, along with the infrastructure necessary to assemble more missiles. The Japanese press reported that in 1996 Iran provided North Korea funds to equipment to produce counterfeit $100 bills, and, more credibly, provided oil shipments, in exchange for No Dong missile technology. The Iranian Shahab-3 missile, test fired 22 July 1998, resembles the North Korean No Dong (no pun intended) in size, shape and performance.

Pakistan began its efforts to gain missile technology to offset India's progress in the early 1980's. By 1991 China had provided Pakistan with more than 30 complete M-11 missiles. Pakistan also nurtured its relations with North Korea and was present at the No Dong's first test flight in May 1993. The Pakistani "Ghauri" missile, test fired on April 6, 1998, again bears a remarkable resemblance to the No Dong. By itself the North Korean missile development is just the tip of the iceberg. (Denis Dragovic in DefNews, July 12,99, p.15) (RoyJ)

LATIN AMERICAN INTERVENTION FORCE - The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo described a recent US proposal to the OAS to create a multinational intervention force for Latin America. The proposal was presented at a meeting of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS). It calls for a "group of friendly countries," who are linked politically or economically, to intervene in internal conflicts threatening democracy in Latin American countries, and to guarantee the security of the Western Hemisphere. The proposal was opposed at the OAS by seven countries, but the US representative said that the "topic is not dead."

At the same time, the US is reportedly trying to support Colombia's neighbors with aircraft and intelligence in their efforts to contain Colombia's guerrillas. (Stratfor Jun 10, El Tiempo 9 June) (RoyJ)

TUDJMAN RE-APPOINTS SON TO HEAD CROAT INTELLIGENCE SERVICES - - Croatian President Franjo Tudjman has again appointed his son Miroslav Tudjman to head the Croatian Intelligence Service (HIS) and serve as the deputy chief of the umbrella National Security Bureau (UNS), giving him essential control over all of Croatia's half dozen secret services. Tudjman's appointment was made on Friday night, hours after the U.S. government said it was ``concerned by the continuing assertions of official political use of the security and police services against the broader society'' in Croatia.

The appointment followed revelations in the influential political weekly Nacional, which published a series of alleged secret service documents in June containing minutes of wiretapped telephone conversations of various public figures. Nacional said a powerful rightist authoritarian faction in the ruling party had used the security services to place under surveillance a wide range of Croats, from journalists and opposition leaders to soccer coaches and referees.

Elections in Croatia are scheduled for the end of the year, amid signs of declining support for the right-wing nationalist HDZ party that steered the former Yugoslav republic to independence in 1991 and has ruled without interruption since then. The whole episode is a reminder that dominant right-wing nationalist parties are not peculiar to just Serbia in this region. (Zoran Radosavljevic / Reuters 4 Jul 99/ courtesy BobHeibel, Mercyhurst College) (RoyJ)


'MORE INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU THAN JAMES BOND." According to a London newspaper, a report produced by the "Works Council" that represents the 4,200 agents employed by the Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE) pictures French foreign intelligence officials as oafish, egotistical and hard up. The council's president denounces "increasing individualism and a declining sense of responsibility" among spies who appear to resemble not so much James Bond as Inspector Clouseau. With its budget under threat and its style cramped by the domestic intelligence service (DST), the DGSE's agents are described as having succumbed to petty in-fighting. They are lost in the modern world "without landmarks or a frame of reference." They put their own careers before the overall interests of the agency or the state. The report says, "They are offended when they are not promoted even when a careful analysis of their dossier shows they do not deserve to be." Although their salaries remain one of the few secrets they have managed to guard, they clearly feel underpaid.

Calling for urgent action to improve its members' morale, the Works Council gives an implicit warning that they may be prone to lucrative offers to work as double agents. Given the description the president of their union paints of his union members, it is not clear that an outside intelligence agency would be tempted to utilize his people as agents, let alone as double agents - even though some of these characteristics do not sound unfamiliar . . . (Source: The Times 12 May '99, by Adam Sage in Paris) (DonH).

KOSOVO AIR OPERATIONS REVIEWS - - NATO and US studies are underway on "lessons learned." The Pentagon's initial study on the most critical lessons learned is headed by Deputy Secretary of defense John Hamre and Air Force General Joe Ralston, Vice Chairman of the JCS. This study is primarily focused on intelligence support and on weapons effectiveness and joint operations, and is due out on 15 July. The findings from this report will be used to modify the six-year defense plan submitted in May. A more detailed study is underway at the request of General John Jumper, CINC USAFE, and will report in October.

The NATO study has not reported out, but the study chairman, Italian Adm Guido Venturoni, stated recently that " in a crisis prevention, crisis management scenario such as Kosovo, it was the broader aspects of intelligence, specifically those in non-military fields, which can often hold the keys to success or failure." NATO, he said, must ask its members for "considerably more" intelligence assets. The Europeans are clearly impressed by their (to them shocking) deficiencies in ISR -- intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance - as well as electronic warfare. (Def Nws 12 Jul p1) (RoyJ)

COMMENTS ON THE COX REPORT - The Economist devoted four pages of analysis to the Cox report in late May - including the following too-cursory extracts:

". . .the report is disturbing for three reasons: because of what it suggests about China's military capability; because of its timing; and because of what it reveals about American failures to safeguard nuclear secrets. These go back many years, but have become considerably worse during the Clinton administration."

". . . The details of precisely which secrets it has got remain unknown. All the same, the range of options available to Chinese military planners has increased..."

"But if America bears a grudge, it has only itself to blame. The single most shocking fact revealed by the Cox report is not the extent of China's spying, but America's failure to prevent it. The broad details of the operation were known as long ago as 1995, yet, on two occasions, the Department of Energy refused to act on investigations by its counterintelligence officials."

"To the White House, it seems, everything depends on the definition of "Chinese spying during my presidency." To the rest of the world, such Clintonesque wordplay palls in the face of massive nuclear theft."

"The most striking lesson of the Cox report is that Mr. Clinton needs to get his China policy straight ... To engage -- to trade, talk, consult -- is essential. To drop one's guard, even for a moment, could prove fatally wrong." (Economist 29 May 99, p. 23) (DonH)


CIA AND THE VIETNAM POLICYMAKERS: Three Episodes 1962-1968, by Harold P. Ford (National Technical Information Service, $44). Mr. Ford joined CIA in 1951 and held numerous high positions before retiring in 1986. His book describes policy debates with consummate skill, but does not spare CIA in his criticism, "noting particularly how some ranking agency officers skewed estimates to tell President Johnson what he wished to hear." On the other hand, DCI John McCone was not afraid to provide candid advice. When Mr. Johnson agonized over committing more combat troops, McCone argued that for them to be effective, harsh airstrikes must be carried out against far more targets in North Vietnam than LBJ approved." LBJ disagreed, and McCone was held at arms length until he resigned.(Ed Note: But for all of us who fought in that war, how right he was!)

Another most painful episode concerns the overthrow of President Ngo Dinh Diem, advocated by a cabal in the State Department led by undersecretary Averell Harriman. William Colby, then heading the clandestine services' Far East division, advocated caution. He said, the action " appears to be throwing away bird in hand before we have adequately identified birds in the bush, or songs they may sing." But the caution was disregarded, the coup proceeded, Diem was murdered, and the South Vietnamese government became a de-stabilized and de-legitimized revolving door of nobodies. (Ed. Note -- I remember how, as a mid-level analyst, I was dumbfounded by the stupidity of this proposed action when I saw the traffic authorizing it) (from book review by AFIO member Joseph Goulden, WTimes 6 June 99, p. B6) (RoyJ)


EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE: Former Intelligence Officer seeks position. Served in the CIA as a NOC as well as a declared CIA Intelligence Officer with the Domestic Collection Division. Experienced helicopter pilot with combat experience in Vietnam. Completed the CIA DDO/CT course and the SOG Paramilitary course as well as the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officers Advanced Course. Degrees in Business Administration and Aeronautical Science. Potential employers contact AFIO Ref File# J-120

ASSISTANCE NEEDED: SEA COVERT OPERATIONS VETERANS - The Counterparts Association is looking for former members of the intelligence community who were involved in, or have researched, covert operations in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, as possible participants and speakers for their Symposium in 2000. The Counterparts Association, consisting of former Southeast Asia Advisors and their erstwhile foreign counterparts, is working together with the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University on a Symposium in the year 2,000 entitled "The Advisory Experience, " as a follow-on to their very successful 1999 Symposium. If interested, contact AFIO (RoyJ)

ASSISTANCE NEEDED: RUSSIAN GENERALS IN AFGHANISTAN - Researcher is looking for list of Russian commanders during the Afghan War. If anyone can assist, contact (RoyJ)

IN MEMORIAM : WILLIAM ALBERT TIDWELL, Brigadier General, US Army Reserve, WorldWar II and Vietnam veteran, CIA-retired (1969) as Chairman of the DCI Committee on Imagery Requirements and Exploitation (COMIREX), co-author (with James Hall and Dave Gaddy) of the award-winning "Come Retribution" (on Confederate clandestine service operations), author of "April 65" (on President Lincoln), vineyard operator, and longtime AFIO member (1975), died of cancer on June 16 at his home in Fairfax at the age of 81. A full life well lived. We salute an honored colleague. (RoyJ)

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