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AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #32-99, 12 August 1999

WINs are protected by copyright laws and may not be disseminated without approval by the Editor. WINs are produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and subscribers. This WIN includes several articles by Associate Editor RADM (ret) Don Harvey (DonH) . Next week's WIN #33-99 will be produced by Associate Editor Dr. John Macartney.

Warning Notice: Perishability of Links:  WINs, sent weekly to members, often contain numerous webpage links to fast-breaking news, documents or other items of interest; unfortunately, many of these websites after four weeks remove items [especially newspaper and other media sites] or shift them into fee-only archives.  This underscores the benefit of receiving the WINs as they are released.

ANNOUNCEMENT: We welcome new member William G. Brown who will be #1030 on our email WIN distribution list, and thank AFIO member John R. Shaffer, who sponsored him. A book is on the way as a small token of our appreciation for his support. Thanks John!

Our thanks and appreciation also go to the AFIO members who sponsored new members (WIN subscribers #1021 through 1029).

Forthcoming WINs will announce the #1040 & #1050 book award winners already selected. We need only 45 more new members to reach 1100 WIN readers by 1 September - but we can only do it with YOUR help! Sponsor a new member!

ANNOUNCEMENT: We have been informed that NORTH FLORIDA Chapter President John GUENTHER (SES USMC ret), a fine leader, superb contributor and longtime supporter of AFIO, has had to resign his post due to serious health problems. Our best wishes go out to John for a full recovery. John can be reached at

Bill Webb (BGEN ret) () has taken over as acting president of the Chapter.


KGB VETERAN APPOINTED PREMIER - Russian President Boris Yeltsin has appointed an intelligence officer, KGB veteran Vladimir Putin, 46, a political non-entity, as the new premier, replacing Sergei Stepashin who lasted only three months in office. All this is part of the game of Presidential politics underway in Russia - for next year's Presidential elections. In this game Yeltsin tries to undermine anyone he does not control -- and who might investigate corruption in his entourage (the "family" as it is know in Russia, led by his daughter Tatiana Diachenko, and financed by Boris Berezovsky) or during his tenure. The current target is the threatened combination of mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, an astute and successful politician, with former Premier Primakov, a combination that could be successful. The struggle centers on control of television stations that play a great role in electoral politics in the vast territories and relationships with the nation's 89 governors, who exercise a great deal of autonomy from the center.

Putin served 15 years in the KGB, most of them handling espionage from the East Germany base. Most recently he headed the Russian Security Service and was chairman of the Kremlin Security Council, which coordinates military and police activity. He was trained as a lawyer. His principal virtue is said to be his extreme loyalty to Boris Yeltsin. He is also disposable at no cost, and is considered by Kremlin insiders to be tougher than Stepashin His first task is to deal with the invasion / insurrection in Dagestan, in the northern Caucasus region, where some 2,000 Moslem militants invaded Dagestan from neighboring Chechnia. Rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Khattab may have miscalculated in this bold attempt -- -they were successful at their terrorist guerrilla campaign featuring kidnappings, murders and hit-and-run attacks on isolated police posts (similar to the successful KLA terrorist campaign in Kosovo during the past ten years). The so-called ' Islamic Peacekeeping Army' succeeded in their surprise seizure of several towns, where they are now besieged by Russian forces.

All is not what it seems in this fight either - e.g. the Russian border guards were withdrawn just prior to the invasion, leaving the rebels a free run into Dagestan -- but now the border has been sealed again; and the whole enterprise of Islamic militants (terrorist) actions and Russian military responses is connected to the politics of negotiations between the Czechen government and Moscow, and inevitably, to Presidential elections. (Wpost Aug10,99, p.A16; Richard Pipes in Wstr Journal 13 Aug 99, p. 10; Coker in Bus. Wk, 30Aug 99, p. 66; Stratfor Commentary#9, 15/08/99) (RoyJ)

TRANSCAUCASUS OIL -- Royal Dutch Shell Group signed a strategic alliance with Turkmenistan and joined a US-backed pipeline project to pump Turkmen gas to Turkey in another daring step of the Great Game - the struggle for the hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian Sea basin, a replay of the oil baron's wars in Azerbaidjan in pre-WW I days, but with a new spin - US policy objectives and interests in the area. Shell will be a 50/50 partner in the trans-Caspian pipeline project with General Electric's GE Structure Finance Group and Bechtel Group's Bechtel Enterprises Holdings Inc. When tough outfits like these get involved, the credibility of the South-Caucasus pipeline goes up. The line will cost $2 to 3Billion, and will run 1,250 miles across Turkmen deserts, under the Caspian Sea and through Azerbaidjan, Armenia and Georgia to the Turkish border. Politically fraught with problems, but big money (reinforced by US policy and actions) can buy the transit.

The competition is Russia's RAO Gazprom, which is well advanced with its planning for their "Blue Stream" project to build a pipeline under the Black Sea to Turkey, in partnership with Italy's ENI SpA. As noted before, the Great Game is in play, along with the extension of US influence and power - and the Intelligence Community will play its role. (WStreetJ, 9Aug99, page A13) (RoyJ)

RAGGED OPERATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT IN KOSOVO -- Off-the-record comments of military officers regarding target intelligence support in the Kosovo 78-day bombing campaign indicate that the flow of targeting data to tactical war planners showed improvement when compared with Desert Storm. Still, there were bureaucratic snags limiting sharing with NATO allies, and the familiar transmission delays in relaying imagery to the bombing squadrons. Imagery from the Predator UAVs reached the Combat Air Operation Center in Italy but, "we were hardly ever able to get it into the squadrons. Planners could use it. Some squadrons were able to use it."

The US is reported to have dominated the flow of intelligence during the campaign and to have provided practically all surveillance photos, maps, intercepted communications and spy-on-the-ground reports. Although slow at the outset, NIMA eventually, "got better in delivering satellite imagery to squadrons so they could study it. If you're going to drop a laser bomb, you want to look at the imagery."

Intelligence assembled at the JAC in England was withheld from allies as personnel worried over who should see what. "It's not that the information is so secret. It's that we have a bureaucracy, and the way we transfer from 'US secret' to 'NATO secret' takes a little bit of time." While there will undoubtedly be more complaints in the coming days, the initial batch seem to an outsider to be a bit less strident than those heard after previous conflicts, along the usual lines but not quite as heartfelt. (W Times 28 July'99, p. A11) (DonH).

(Ed. Note: A British RAF general said publicly that US " intelligence bureaucracy" imposed such delays on the flow of current intelligence that it was next to useless for tactical operations. Another report, indicating that only nine Yugoslav tanks were destroyed during the entire campaign, unfortunately seems to corroborate this statement.) (RoyJ).

PREDICAMENTS OF A DECLINING NUCLEAR POWER - -. The units of the Strategic Missile Troops and the Air Defense of the Russian Defense Ministry have not paid their bills for electricity in the Khabarovsk territory in the Russian Far East for the past three years. The region's air defense forces, for example, owe electricity suppliers $5.6 million. As a result of these unpaid bills, electric power was temporarily cut off to the 11th air defense army in July, affecting radars and strategic missiles in the Khabarovsk region. Power was also cut intermittently to units of the Strategic Missile Forces, which control nuclear weapons in the area. The Central Command of the Strategic Missile Forces blamed the government for the payment problems, pointing out that the Defense Ministry had received only 10 percent of funds allocated in this year's budget for electricity payments.

In Kamchatka, criminals have been stealing communications equipment from coastal units of the Russian Pacific Fleet, disrupting communication between the fleet command and several nuclear submarines, according to Itar-Tass. Cases of theft have become so widespread in the peninsula that Rear Admiral Yuri Kirilov, acting commander of the nuclear submarines squadron, had to ask Governor Vladimir Biryukov for help. "We are desperately losing this war [with thieves], and many units are on the brink of losing their fighting efficiency," Kirilov said. Thieves steal kilometers of cable, break into warehouses and depots. "This vandalism damages extremely valuable weapons and military equipment," he added. Naval officers cannot put up adequate resistance to the thieves as they cannot put guards all along cable lines or fire for effect, the admiral said.

Kamchatka police registered 30 cases of theft and arrested 12 thieves in the past two weeks. Many of the criminals are teenagers and homeless people. (Intercon International, 21 Jul 1999) (RoyJ)


WHITE HOUSE Y2K CENTER PLANNED -- A special White House Y2K assessment center, called the ' Information Coordination Center' will be created, and conduct round-the-clock operations during the last week of 1999, according to Administration officials testifying at a Hearing by the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. The proposed Y2K center will have a budget of about $40 million. It will initially operate with a core staff of 40 employees, but by the last week in December it will draw on the expertise of about 200 staffers, on loan from several federal agencies. The center will monitor five major areas: (1) Federal agencies (safety and health programs, aviation, satellites, weather, US postal service); )2) States and localities - mostly from FEMA reporting; (3) Private sector industry groups, such as electric power; (4) International events, provided by DOD, State and Transportation; and (5) Cyber incidents, including inputs by the FBI Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office and other agencies, watching for malicious activity around Y2K, including outside cyber attacks and insider malfunctions secretly installed through "trap doors." The Y2K ICC will not be a command bunker, but will coordinate and send assessments to top-level government officials responsible for responding to Y2K problems. (WPost 30Jul99, p. A27) (RoyJ)

BRITAIN'S GCHQ STARTS COMMERCIAL SUBSIDIARY -- GCHQ (British NSA) has established a commercial firm, the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), that will operate in the private sector to provide technical expertise for safeguarding computer and telecommunications systems operated by private business and firms. The services to be offered by the new enterprise include the production of cryptographic systems and methods, analysis of existing systems, consultation on training, guidance on procurement of equipment, and examination of the companies' vulnerabilities through simulated attacks on the company systems.

The new venture will be located in Cheltenham, the GCHQ headquarters location. Initial development stages will be routine marketing to include exhibits at trade shows, some advertising in appropriate trade publications and the distribution of promotional publications and brochures. The schedule calls for full service to commence in October '99. Any revenues in excess of CESG expenses will be applied toward the cost of operating GCHQ. Since the expertise the GCHQ will be selling was acquired at taxpayer expense, it will be interesting to read of the reaction of business executives who sell comparable services. Cryptologic allies such as the NSA presumably will be very interested in the details of the technology and knowledge being purveyed. (Global Intell. Resources July '99, p. 1.7. 15) (DonH)

JUSTICE INSPECTOR GENERAL SAYS FBI NEEDS EXTERNAL WATCHDOG -- Leaving office after five occasionally stormy years, the Justice Department Inspector General, Michael R. Bromwich, spoke in an interview recently regarding his belief the FBI needs a permanent outside watchdog rather than investigate its own misdeeds and missteps. During his tenure, the Dept of Justice IG office for the first time took on systematic problems in large special investigations, such as the FBI lab problems and the FBI's handling of secrets about Chinese spy activities.

Bromwich's 400 investigators have unlimited authority to probe other Justice agencies, like the Marshals Service, Bureau of Prisons, Immigration and Naturalization Service and department lawyers for conduct other than legal work. But the FBI and the DEA have internal investigative arms with primary authority to investigate their agents. The IG conceded that the FBI's internal investigations office has become more professional under Director Freeh but said, "Our doing an investigation has a greater deterrent effect, and it has more credibility with the public than the FBI and DEA policing themselves." The FBI did not respond to the IG's remarks, but it is probably safe to guess it did not support his beliefs. ( Assoc.Press 29 July 1999, Michael J. Sniffen, Washington) (DonH)


A BETTER WAR: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam, by Lewis Sorley, Harcourt Brace, 1999, ISBN 0-15-100266-5. This is a "revisionist" view of the last phase of the Vietnam war - revising some of the verities that became commonplace in the media, universities and public mindset during the late sixties and seventies, and the extraordinary process whereby the communist dictators in North Vietnam were glorified and left the spoils of their ruthless invasion of the south (as well as Laos and Cambodia).

Sorley, a graduate of West Point, retired CIA officer, and holder of a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, examines the course of the Vietnam War during the years 1968 - 1975, and particularly during the years when General Abrams (1968 - 1972), working with CIA's Bill Colby and Ambassador Elsworth Bunker, crafted the "clear and hold" pacification strategy to replace General Westmoreland's search and destroy campaign. Sorley describes successes - the positive side of our efforts - the increases in South Vietnamese military capability, the number of villages and hamlets secured, the effectiveness and bravery of our troops, the improvements in intelligence during these years - but also the fact that while successes were achieved on the ground, the game was being lost in the media, at the "peace" table, on the streets, and in Congress. For those detached from a commitment to the war protesters and draft evaders of yore - probably another generation away - this book contributes a balancing view to the many self-serving apologia ubiquitously available, and is worthwhile and recommended reading. (RoyJ)

BETWEEN SILK AND CYANIDE: A Codemaker's War, 1941 - 1945, by Leo Marks, Free Press, 1999. Reviews by Richard Bernstein (NYT) and Ken Ringle (Bk World, WPost) indicate that this is a book worth reading in spite of the mountain of books that have already been published pn the topic. It is a personal memoir of a bright young mind overlooked by the code-cracking center wizards of GCHQ at Bletchley Park, who instead became part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), and served as their head of communications, supporting allied agents and resistance operations in Europe.

"Silk and Cyanide" is full of previously undisclosed details of the secret war waged in the occupied countries, reflecting not only Marks' own contribution as part of the SOE, but a testament to those who risked their lives behind enemy lines and whose precarious communications with the home base were to be protected by Marks' office. The book is also an anecdotal history of the SOE agency and its operations, and contains a good many tales of the men and women sent out on missions of information collection, organizing resistance, or supporting or conducting sabotage. There are some flaws - including a "get even with the dumb old men who ran the SOE" flavor, sections of narrative that are muddled and difficult to follow (in need of a good editor), and the author's predilection to witticisms and flippancy. On the whole, however, the two reviewers are united in saying that "Between Silk and Cyanide" is a valuable addition to knowledge and an interesting "read." (Bernstein, NYT 21 Jul99, p. B8; Ringle, Book World, Wpost 25 July99, p. 4) (not reviewed / RoyJ).


VITAL INFO FOR Y2K CHANGES TO WINDOWS -- There are some manual changes to be made on Windows 95, 98 and NT to make them Y2K compliant. The following procedures are reported to come from Microsoft:

  • Double click on "My Computer".
  • Double click on "Control Panel".
  • Double click on "Regional Settings" icon.
  • Click on the "Date" tab at the top of the page.
  • Where it says, "Short Date Sample", look and see if it shows a "two digit" year. Of course it does. That's the default setting for Windows95, Windows 98 and NT. This date RIGHT HERE is the date that feeds application software and WILL NOT rollover in the year 2000. It will roll over to 00.
  • Click on the button across from "Short Date Style" and select the option that shows, mm/dd/yyyy. (Be sure your selection has four Y's showing, not two)
  • Then click on "Apply" and then click on "OK" at the bottom. Easy enough to fix. (NOTE: We tried this in the AFIO office - it works. ) (Source:

AFIO SEPTEMBER LUNCHEON, Monday 1030 - 14:00 hrs, 13 September, Fort Myer, Va. -- - Two outstanding speakers: At 11 a.m., Rick Francona, retired intelligence officer, point man for US covert assistance to Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war, and interpreter for General Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War, will speak on intelligence and policy issues concerning Iraq's transition from ally to adversary.

Lunch 12:00 - 13:00

At 1 pm, Kenneth Knaus, who spent four decades as an operations officer in CIA, will speak on his participation in the planning, directing and execution of America's covert attempts to aid Tibetan resistance.. This luncheon occasion again promises to be an exceptionally interesting event. Introduce AFIO to a guest -- members and their guests $26, others welcome at $29. Send check to AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303A, McLean, VA 22101-4533.


--- The AFIO National Symposium, INTELLIGENCE 2000, will start on Thursday 21 October, with presentations 12:30 until 4 pm at the Marriott Hotel at Tysons Corner, Virginia, and continuing on Friday 22 October from 0800 until 1700 hrs., hosted by the Honorable Keith Hall, Director NRO, at the NRO Auditorium in Chantilly, Virginia.

A stellar cast of speakers has been invited to participate in AFIOs "Intelligence 2000" symposium, including, beside the host, the Hon. Keith Hall, (in alphabetic order):

Mr. Lee Hamilton, Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars;

Mr Jeffrey Harris, former Director NRO and President of Remote Sensing, Inc.;

Lieutenant General Patrick Hughes, USA, Director DIA;

Mr. Richard Kerr, former Deputy DCI;

the Honorable Warren Rudman, Chairman of the President's Foreign Advisory Board;

the Hon. Ted Stevens, US Senator - Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee;

Colonel Richard Stotts, Commander of the USAF Information Warfare Center;

and the Hon. George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence.

RADM (ret) Don McDowell. is the Symposium Chairman.

- - The AFIO National CONVENTION, held in conjunction with AFIO's "Intelligence 2000" Symposium, will convene on Thursday at 4 pm with a general membership meeting, and continue with a Reception and the Awards Banquet on Thursday evening. The awards will include presentations to an outstanding author and a selected member of the public media, and to exceptional AFIO members. Special tours may be arranged on Friday, and conferences with Board and Chapter members will continue on Saturday morning.

Programs and full information will be mailed out shortly and also provided via email (

NOTE: For out-of-town members and guests, arrangements for LODGING may be made with the Tysons Corner Marriott hotel, To qualify for the SPECIAL RATE of $84 per night (good for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only) you MUST mention ASSOCIATION OF FORMER INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS.

Early hotel reservations are recommended (soonest), as the Marriott is expected to fill rapidly and early due to other events in the area. Call hotel at 703 734 3200 (fax 703 442 9301) or 1 800 228 9290.


---- AFIO member with private detective agency primarily concerned with intellectual property investigations and "gray market" work, is looking for someone in southern New Jersey area with an intelligence background to work on complex cases. Interested individuals contact and reference File E-15.

---- Young Associate Member, MA National Security Boston University, with graduate courses in counterintelligence, intelligence and policy, weapons proliferation and information warfare, basic Russian language ability, familiar with Internet search engines, junior analyst with National Republican Senatorial Committee, seeks entry level position. Interested parties ref. File J-123.

(ED NOTE: will the member who send this request to AFIO pls identify himself with another email

WINs are now sent to 1,060 AFIO members and subscribers - about 35% of the total membership. We need 40 more new members in August to reach our goal of reaching 1,100 WIN readers by the end of the month.


Talk to friends, acquaintances, civic association groups. Let us know to whom we can send a membership application. If a gift, you may fill out the membership application, and we will send the recipient a membership along with a card announcing your gift.

If you need membership brochures to hand out, let us know. You know where to find us -- email , or tel 703 790 0320 - - or AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303A, McLean, VA 22101-4533 (Mrs Gretchen Campbell)

The editor thanks AFIO members George Dothyl, Tom Hart, and Carl Griffith for frequently contributing raw material for use in the WINs.

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