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Weekly Intelligence Notes
24 March 2000

WINs are produced by Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and for WIN subscribers. WINs are protected by copyright laws and may not be reproduced except with the permission of the producer/editor <>.

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, after four weeks many of these websites [especially newspaper and other media sites] remove items or shift them into fee-only archives.  This underscores the benefit of receiving the WINs as they are released.

FORMER INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR ELECTED PRESIDENT - No, not George Bush Sr., but Vladimir Putin, former Soviet KGB foreign intelligence professional.
Who is Putin? Commentator G.A. Geyer, writing in the Washington Times, states that Putin, a former "spook" operating out of East Germany during the Cold War, is a proud KGB agent, but far from the image of KGB thugs who did the dirty business in the US stereotype, Mr. Putin conforms to an image fashionable among Russians of KGB personnel as part of an" intellectual elite of informed agents." John Lloyd, a UK correspondent writing in the New York Times magazine, states that KGB men had been heroes of Soviet fiction since the 1920's - a la "James Bond." By the time Putin joined the KGB's first directorate (foreign intelligence) in 1975, the KGB was well established in the Russian public mind as an elite unit of sophisticated men, who, in the so-often gray and cloddish world of the Soviet Union, had the exceptional privilege of living in foreign lands and experiencing other cultures while accomplishing patriotic tasks.
In this vein, and not surprisingly, Putin has already appointed a number of former intelligence personnel to key government positions. Three men who stand right behind the president at the top level of Russian state security are from his Leningrad KGB. One of these, Victor Chereskov, is now reported to be forming a special military or paramilitary unit of 16,000 men to serve Putin's direct security interests and purposes.
As president, Putin will grapple with two central issues from which flow essential policies. The first will be to take control of the economy and direct what capital there is into meaningful economic activity. This, in turn, will require the capabilities of the State -- the Government apparatus -- enlisted to co-opt opponents, if possible, and frighten them if necessary. The second will be to infuse a new nationalist spirit into the population, to restore pride and confidence and to keep the Federation from falling further apart.
The central problem facing Russia is the need to transform vast pools of "off-shore" money into domestic investment capital. Because Russia lacked a functional legal system, both the internal privatization system and the foreign investment process extracted money from the economy to the sole personal benefit of clever managerial and financial manipulators, criminal organizations, carpetbaggers and assorted corrupt crooks and exploiters. Some of them became fabulously rich -- including the "oligarchs" who seized control of key state assets and who propped up Yeltsin. Much of the money was directed out of Russia, and most of the rest was used to purchase and maintain a system of political protection. Investments in media, real estate, and luxury goods were central. Serious capital investments have been marginal at best. Investment outside of the major cities is nearly non- existent. Political control and influence at the village level makes investment there too expensive and uncertain. As a result, Russia is experiencing a massive depression. Life expectancy has declined and much of the countryside has been reduced to barter. In the cities, Western currencies dominate. Russia is not facing catastrophe - - it is in catastrophe.
When the market doesn't operate to turn money into investment capital, the logical alternative is to use the State. The hypertrophied Russian state apparatus has become decrepit - but it remains in place. And it is more likely to function than the legal system. However, getting the state to allocate capital poses a problem of Enforcement. The traditional solution is to use the state security apparatus. The apparatus has no experience in enforcing legislated property rights, but it does have a "culture" attuned to enforcing state bureaucratic edicts. More important, it is the only force in Russia that could seriously threaten the oligarchs. It is therefore no accident that Putin, former head of the FSB (successor to the KGB), has surrounded himself with former KGB operatives. He is reaching into the one working element of the Russian state to jump start not only the state, but society as well.
In addition, Putin has done everything possible to revive Russian nationalism and to create an image of himself as spokesman for Russian national interests. Chechnya was critical, a case study in halting the disintegration of the Russian Federation. He now needs to find additional means of fostering a nationalistic spirit. Quite possibly this means that he will confront the West, and particularly the United States, politically.
Two issues are obvious candidates for such a political confrontation - NATO expansion and, more immediately, American plans for a National Missile Defense. The US argues that since the Cold War is over, the U.S.-Russian "balance of terror" is defunct, and Russia should have no objection to abrogating the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in order to defend against "rogue nations. The Russians have resisted this abrogation of previous commitments and treaties - at times quite loudly. An American missile defense upsets the strategic equation with Russia. Russia could not possibly afford to build its own national missile defense in a quest for relative parity.
Confronting the US on this issue may also be useful in terms of global politics and strategy. Europe has nothing to gain from a US National Missile Defense. It doesn't protect the European continent and is not desired by Europeans. The Germans do not want to see a replay of the Cold War, in whole or in part. Also, Germany is heavily exposed financially in Russia. Berlin would rather work with the Russians in repairing their economy - even by authoritarian means - rather than confront them. The Russian leadership will want to exploit issues between the United States from its European allies to prevent future episodes of unbridled American power, like last year's U.S. (NATO) attack on Yugoslavia over Kosovo and its concomitant humiliation of Russia.
To avoid going the way of Yeltsin, Putin has to get the country's economy going and to do that he must get control of the oligarchs. To get control of the oligarchs, he must both entice them and frighten them. To frighten them, he may create a sense of national embattlement that both strengthens his regime and puts them at risk.
Putin does not seem driven by ideology. If, like Putin, one analyzes at the current situation dispassionately and non- ideologically, there is a road map to follow. Part of the map runs through tense times with the West.
Clearly, this is a time for renewed INTELLIGENCE priority attention to Russia - - which is the only REAL threat to US physical security, even if Russia is greatly inferior to us - but it still far exceeds the other potential threats, aside from transcending environmental or moral pollution issues. (Sources: STRATFOR.COM Weekly Global Intelligence Update. 27 March 2000,  (courtesy George Dothyl); Georgie A. Geyer in WTimes, 27Mar2000, P. A19; see also George Soros in NY Review of Bks) (Jonkers)

Iranian Mujahedeen Base Near Baghdad. As part of its continuing campaign to counter critics who claim UN sanctions on Saddam Hussein's regime cause widespread suffering in Iraq, the Administration has declassified satellite imagery showing a military headquarters in Iraq being constructed for the use of the anti-Iranian terrorist organization, the People's Mujahedeen. Hussein has supported the Mujahedeen movement for years in his war against the Tehran Islamic theocracy. Created in the 1960's as an armed opposition group to overthrow Shah Riza Pahlevi, the avowed socialists of the Mujahedeen also turned against the Iranian ayatollahs and continues armed attacks to this day. Although reportedly the murderers of Americans in the past, the Mujahedeen currently attacks targets in Iran and assassinates Iranian officials when possible. It is believed to have 15 to 20 Iraqi-provided bases in Iraq today. The complex in the city of Faluja, about 40 miles west of Baghdad, is not yet operational and was begun in late 1998 at the site of a military area. Reportedly, it includes barracks, administrative buildings, lakes and farms and can accommodate 3,000 to 5,000 people. Although the government officials declassified the imagery and briefed the press, they declined to say how they could be certain the site was intended for Mujahedeen use. The Mujahedeen, although proficient in America at lobbying Congress and conducting door-to-door campaigns raising donations for their cause, have never been successful in their law suits to overturn the State Department's designation of them as a terrorist organization.  The officials briefing the press said the Iraqis had used profits from the smuggling of oil to build the military complex for the exclusive use of the Mujahedeen.( NY Times 24 March '00) (Harvey)


NATO Air Targeting Plans in Kosovo Leaked. After a myriad of rumors and denials and speculation, a DoD spokesman has publicly acknowledged that NATO suffered security breaches in the early days of the Kosovo bombing campaign. The spokesman said NATO authorities believe that the Serbs somehow gained access to portions of the air tasking order, the blueprint for the bombing missions. The theory is that parts of the order were sent by facsimile machine from representatives to NATO headquarters in Brussels back to their home capitals. Another possible explanation might be that "too many of the allied aircraft sent their transmissions in the clear," allowing the Serbs to intercept the pilots' radio traffic. Despite British news stories of a Serbian spy in NATO's ranks, the DoD representatives denied any reports of indications of a spy in NATO. "We have no concrete evidence of any spy operating during Allied Force," the spokesman said. Leaked information apparently enabled the Serbs to move surface-to-air missile batteries in anticipation of NATO flight the early days, but there is no indication that either of the two US aircraft downed during the air war was hit because of a leak. When the allied air forces changed their procedures, "the problem went away." He added, "The analysts who looked at it in our building think it was mainly a problem of sloppy communications." Older observers are probably moved to wonder if the US has ever been involved in a shooting war in which one of the earliest lessons learned did not point to non-existent or sloppy operational security. (Harvey)

HACKER-CONTROLLED TANKS, PLANES AND WARSHIPS? - Speaking this month at the annual Army Directors of Information Management Conference in Houston, Army Maj. Sheryl French, a program manager responsible for the Army's Information Assurance Architecture for the Digitized Force, said the potential exists for hackers to infiltrate the computer systems used in tanks and other armored vehicles. Unlike in the past, today's modern tanks and ships are almost entirely dependent on computers, software and data communications links for functions such as navigation, targeting and command and control. One trusts that this articulated vulnerability and concern is translated into action for operations security for our weapons and C3I systems -- sometimes simple is better, and best is the enemy of good.  (R. Levine, Newsbits
(courtesy Larry Sulc) (Jonkers)


MACARTNEY REPORTS ON ISA CONVENTION. The International Studies Association met in Los Angeles last week, and the sub-section on Intelligence Studies, ably led by Prof Jeff Adams (Sarah Lawrence College), fielded 10 panels on intelligence. Those were assembled by Program Coordinator, Dr James Wirtz (Naval Postgraduate School). 
Roy Jonkers, AFIO Executive Director was there as were many other scholars and practitioners of the intelligence craft. Aside from great fellowship and renewing old acquaintances, there were a number of important papers presented and some very useful give and take discussions. See 
While I can't relate all of that here, let me provide one interesting "tidbit."
In his paper, "Books on US Intelligence: A Retrospective and Forecast," Dr John Hedley (retired CIA, President of The Write Place, Inc and an adjunct professor at Georgetown as well as an AFIO member) told us that there are THREE NEW textbooks on intelligence.
(1) Art Hulnick, FIXING THE SPY MACHINE: PREPARING AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE FOR THE 21st CENTURY, Praeger/Greenwood, 1999. (Art, who attended the L.A. conference, is a retired CIA DO officer and AFIO member who now teaches at Boston U)
(2) Mark Lowenthal, INTELLIGENCE: FROM SECRETS TO POLICY, CQ Press, 1999. (Mark, also an AFIO member, is an adjunct at Columbia and has been, among other things, Staff Director of the HPSCI and Deputy Asst SecState for Intelligence.)
(3) Bruce Berkowitz & Allen Goodman, BEST TRUTH: INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY IN THE INFORMATION AGE, Yale U Press, March 2000. (I haven't seen this book, but Berkowitz & Goodman wrote the excellent 1986 book, STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE, and both are academics who have seved at CIA. I am eagerly awaiting my copy).
These join several existing books suitable as texts.
(4) Michael Herman, INTELLIGENCE POWER IN PEACE AND WAR, Cambridge U Press (UK), 1996. (Herman, a retired senior British GCHQ officer who has taught at King's College, Cambridge, is an active member of the ISA Intelligence Studies section, although he did not make it to Los Angeles this year.)
(5) Loch Johnson, SECRET AGENCIES (Yale U Press, 1996) and AMERICA'S SECRET POWER (Oxford U Press, 1991). Loch, of course, was with us in Los Angeles where he chaired a panel, "Roundtable in Honor of Harry Howe Ransom." Loch, University of Georgia Regents Professor of Political Science, served on the Church Committee as well as both the SSCI and HPSCI and was on the staff of the 1996 Aspin-Brown Commission. He's a prolific author as well as an AFIO member.
(6) I would also add to this list Jeff Richelson's 4th edition of THE US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY (Westview, 1999). (Dr Richelson, an associate member of AFIO who has authored many books and articles on intelligence was with us in Los Angeles where he chaired the panel I was on and presented an excellent paper on MASINT.)
(7) Forthcoming, and last but not least, is Abram Shulsky, SILENT WARFARE: UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD OF INTELLIGENCE, 3rd Edition, Brassey's, 2000?. (Dr Shulsky now with Rand, is an active member of ISA and was with us in Los Angeles. He is also an AFIO member, and his SILENT WARFARE has been the standard in intelligence textbooks for some years but is now out of print. A third edition, being updated by Gary Schmitt (who did the revised 2nd ed), is coming but as yet there is no ETA.)

NEXT YEAR'S ISA MEETING will be held in Chicago, February 20-24, 2001. The deadline for paper and panel proposals is June 1st. If you have a proposal, I recommend you first consult with the Intelligence Studies program coordinator, Jim Wirtz, at  Then submit your proposal on appropriate forms to ISA at  (Macartney)


>From Dr. Clifford Kiracofe -- Subject: Re: WIN #11-00 dtd 17 March 2000.
Per the Sobell article, I would point out that Feklissov, in the memoir I reviewed for you (Alexandre Feklissov, Confession d'un Agent Sovietique, Paris: Editions du Rocher, 1999), is very specific about Sobell (codename: SENIA) and how he handled Sobell. According to Feklissov, Sobell passed "thousands of documents" considered "very precious" by the Centre. Materials included information on sonar and infra-red sights for artillery, etc.. Feklissov recalls that he furnished Sobell with specialized camera equipment and film so that Sobell could make microfilms of the documents. Feklissov states that Sobell passed the exposed film back to him every thirty to forty days. Perhaps Sobell might wish to read his case officer's memoir in order to refresh his memory some.Sobell's case is discussed in detail in Chapter 16, pps. 161-167 and passim.
I queried Oleg Kalugin several months ago about Feklissov. Oleg told me
Feklissov is still alive and active and that Feklissov was one of his old"teachers" on matters U.S., etc . Best, Cliff. 

From Bob Kerr -- Regarding the WIN article "US Chemical Warfare in Columbia", I have not seen any information regarding the chemicals being used in this operation. Does anyone know? FYI, I was involved in the chemical testing for Operation Ranchhand and still try to follow developments within the aerial chemical and biological operations. Thank you for your assistance. Sincerely, Robert Kerr 

From Professor Richard Cummings -- My dues are in and my biography of Allard Lowenstein, "THE PIED PIPER," is back in print. AFIO members might like to check out my web site, 
The book is available from, Barnes and Noble, Borders or  Lowenstein's CIA supported missions to South Africa are explored in detail. The goal was to defeat apartheid AND communism in South Africa, an operation that succeeded admirably. It is a triumph we should celebrate.
Thanks for the great newsletter. I have served on the Board of the New England chapter and all my papers from the Lowenstein book are available at the chapter's special collection in the library of the University of New Hampshire. Incredible, but so many operations that were critical just a few years ago are now part of Cold War history. Understanding the role of intelligence in winning the Cold War should be given a priority, a real plus for the intelligence community.
Richard Cummings

Commentary and opinions included are those of the Producer/Editor Roy Jonkers or the associate editors RADM (ret) Don Harvey and Prof (ret) John Macartney or the contributor listed in the tagline.

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