WIN 15-01 dated 16
WINs are produced by Editor Roy Jonkers for AFIO members and
WIN subscribers, for educational purposes. Associate editors
Don Harvey and John Macartney also contribute articles to the
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I -- CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
EP3e NAVY RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHT --
The released crewmembers on the Navy EP3e reported that they
had fifteen minutes to complete their destruction checklist of
the equipment related to their ISR
(intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance) mission before they
left the aircraft. This is as it should be -- presumably slim
pickings for Chinese intelligence exploitation.
One aspect of this mission is particularly relevant to public
discussions on the topic by AFIO members. That is the frequent
use of the term "SPY PLANE" by our media talking heads and
press reports, now echoed by Chinese Government officials.
AFIO members might do well to protest the use of this
erroneous terminology in each case where it occurs. This was a
reconnaissance flight, like those flown for more than fifty
years off the coasts of the Soviet Union, China, North Korea
and in the Middle East, providing important information used
to save American lives in recent cases (e.g. Iraq, Yugoslavia)
whenever our forces are called upon to execute national
security war missions. These reconnaissance flights are
perhaps analogous to the cavalry scouts of another era.
General Lee was without his cavalry scouts during the battle
of Gettysburg, for example --
it left him 'blind'
and it showed in the results. Spies and spying are quite
another -- important but different -- means of obtaining
information on actual or potentially hostile forces.
Reconnaissance and spying may both try to gather information,
but their modus operandi are dramatically different -- overt
versus covert. Educate them! Let them hear from you!
Chinese officials have clearly been aggravated by the growing
frequency of the US recce flights. But even US domestic
critics say the reconnaissance flights provide critical
intelligence, particularly about other countries' radar
defense systems. This kind of intelligence helps the Defense
department to figure out how to disrupt communications and
disable missile batteries that could endanger American troops
and pilots. Even though China is at a relatively early stage
in modernizing its armed forces, it has been buying submarines
and planes from Russia. The reconnaissance flights help
discover how and where China plans to position them. Much of
China's buildup is aimed at Taiwan. And in 1996, when China
fired three unarmed missiles into the Taiwan Strait in an
attempt to intimidate the Taiwanese before their first
presidential election, the EP-3E planes made almost daily
flights over the strait, soaking up radio messages, radar
beams and other electronic signals. In a typical mission off
China, the planes carry 14 intelligence specialists. They
include some who speak Chinese, who eavesdrop on the
military's radio traffic, and others who record the radar
signals emitted by antiaircraft batteries. In addition, the
presence of reconnaissance planes often stimulates Chinese
defense forces to light up their radar systems to track the
flights. And as the Chinese fighter jets scramble to intercept
the spy planes, the American intelligence officers record the
radio chatter between the pilots and their bases and note
their flight tactics.
But the dangers in the mission are evidenced by this EP3e
incident. Still, the action is nowhere near as heated as
during the cold war, when many American reconnaissance
missions were flown along (and sometimes penetrated to provoke
a reaction) the borders of Communist countries. From the
1950's through the early 1970's, the Soviet Union, China and
North Korea all shot down American reconnaissance planes.
Declassified records indicate that more than 30 planes were
lost, and at least 150 airmen were killed or reported missing,
some of whom are only now being recognized and honored,
leaving their families in the dark for decades.
(Reconnaissance Fund of the Intelligence Scholarship
Foundation ) Those missions were more dangerous, but the EP3e
incident serves as a reminder of dedication required by those
engaged to serve in the ever-ongoing "silent
intelligence mission. "In
God we trust. All others we monitor."
(Jonkers) (NY Times 14 April01//C. Drew)
CHINA SIGINT CAPABILITIES --
While attention focuses on the captured US Navy aircraft and
its personnel, China's own electronic networks continue their
work out-of-sight. The focus of China's electronic collection
activities is on its immediate neighborhood. According to
Professor Desmond Ball of the Australian National University,
writing some ten years ago, "There are several dozen
SIGINT ground stations deployed throughout China concerned
with monitoring signals from Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Southeast
Asia and India, as well as internal communications .... The
two largest SIGINT stations are, first, the main Technical
Department SIGINT net control station on the northwest
outskirts of Beijing; and, second, a large complex near Lake
Kinghathu in the extreme northeast corner of China."
Ground stations oriented toward Russia include those at
Jilemutu and Jixi in the northeast, and at Erlian and Hami
near the Mongolian border. Two sites in Xinjiang, at Qitai and
Korla, are in a special category. These have reportedly been
operated by China jointly with the US Central Intelligence
Agency's Office of SIGINT Operations since the late 1980's.
These sites were originally tasked to monitor Soviet missile
tests and space launches, but their current status is
SIGINT operations covering India are controlled from a large
station at Chengdu, supplemented by the nearby facility at
Dayi and "numerous" smaller posts along the Indian
border. A major complex at Kunming mainly covers Indochina,
and most notably Vietnam. Other significant facilities are
located near Shenyang, near Jinan and in Nanjing and Shanghai.
Additional stations are in the Fujian and Guangdong military
districts opposite Taiwan.
China has at least two major SIGINT facilities on Hainan: a
large complex mainly monitoring signals activity in and around
the South China Sea; and a ground station, together with
decryption capabilities, for intercepting signals transmitted
through US and Russian communication satellites. Ships and
aircraft under the South Sea Fleet, headquartered at Zhanjiang
immediately north of the island, supplement these to link with
a far-reaching electronic intelligence (ELINT)-gathering
The Chinese network of ground stations is supplemented by
"half a dozen ships, truck-mounted systems, airborne
systems and a limited satellite collection capability,"
according to Professor Ball. Little is publicly known of
China's airborne systems. Ball identified the four-turboprop
EY-8, an indigenous development of the Russian An-12 'Cub,'
as China's main ELINT and reconnaissance aircraft a decade
ago. This role was subsequently assumed by at least four
locally modified Tu-154Ms, which some analysts compare with
the Il-20 ELINT aircraft deployed by Moscow in the 1980s.
Naval SIGINT capabilities appear more extensive. At least
eight such specialized ships were operational a decade ago,
and their number has since grown to at least 10
intelligence-gathering auxiliary vessels.
To reiterate, the focus of China's electronic collection
activities has been on its immediate neighbors. For example,
US sources in Honolulu noted three years ago that Chinese
submarines had never sought to mirror Soviet surveillance of
US Pacific Command facilities in Hawaii. In the near future,
however, China's SIGINT operations against US assets could
well expand as the controversy about Taiwan brings US and
Chinese interests in conflict. (Jonkers)
((Jane's Defence Weekly 24 March 1999; // 'Signals
Intelligence in China,'
by Desmond Ball, Jane's Intelligence Review 1995; // Jane's
Defence Weekly, April 11, 2001 //R. Karniol).
II -- CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE
A CONGRESSIONAL VIEW OF INTELLIGENCE --
The Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, Senator Bob Graham, is an articulate proponent
of a sound US intelligence capability in the Senate. "I
personally think . . . that intelligence is . a 'force
multiplier,' because it allows you to use your existing forces
Indeed, with terrorism replacing a host of Cold War targets
atop the national security threat list, Graham noted,
"the only real defense is preemptive, so intelligence is
more than just a part of a strategy -- it is the strategy."
Graham actually reached the eight-year limit on committee
membership last year. But he secured a waiver from Democratic
leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) to serve another tour, knowing
that he would be a single seat away from the chairmanship in a
chamber split 50-50. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) now holds
that post. Now in his third Senate term, Graham, a centrist,
has built a reputation as a consummate insider, eschewing
partisanship and ideology for the intricacies of government,
from Social Security outlays to intelligence authorizations.
Dramatic reforms should be contemplated across the
intelligence landscape, Graham said, because the nation has
entered the information age with an intelligence community
forged in the aftermath of World War II. But the reform
process itself becomes ever more difficult, Graham said, with
the world changing as fast as it is. In the 1970s and the
1980s, with the South American drug cartels organized
hierarchically like General Motors, Graham said, U.S.
officials believed that cutting off the heads of the
organizations would bring the cartels down." And there
was a lot of U.S. intelligence involved in those successful
takedowns in Medellin and Cali," Graham said. "But
what we found to our distress was that the drug trade didn't
go away, but reorganized itself in a Silicon Valley form;
instead of having a vertically integrated organization, you
now have many cells of entrepreneurs.. . . So we need to be
thinking about the over-the-horizon consequences of
these" intelligence successes, he said, "because
frequently they aren't what you anticipate."
One of his priorities, Graham said, is helping the National
Security Agency re-engineer itself in the face of rapidly
changing telecommunications technology that threaten its
capability to intercept communications. Counterintelligence is
another area badly in need of reform. But even as the FBI
comes to grips with the Hanssen case, Graham said, the entire
intelligence community needs to reassess the nation's
counterintelligence vulnerabilities in new ways. While the
community needs to understand the espionage "wrecks"
of the past, it now must also "refocus out the front
window on what is coming at us" in a spy world, he said,
that's been changing far faster than America's spies.
(Jonkers) (Wash Post, //V. Loeb)
CIA ATTEMPTS TO DEAL WITH DATA DELUGE --
A "volume challenge of staggering proportion" was
the recent description, probably a large understatement, of
the "digital monsoon engulfing" situation
confronting the CIA analysts. Of course, the problem impacts
all intelligence community analysts, not just the Langley
cloister. A recent press item based on a CIA interview session
says video and audio signals pour in from around the world at
a million new pages each day pace. The efforts to cope with
this data fire hose have cost millions of dollars in recent
years in a search for "data mining" technologies
that produce "knowledge" from raw information. [ It
may be noted parenthetically that the usual construct for the
assimilation process is from data to information to knowledge
It could be argued that data to information is about all that
could be reasonably expected from machines, with knowledge
coming within the human mind. That could be an old-fashioned
view of course.] The answers to the problem rest with the
computers, programmed to automatically transcribe audio
signals and translate Web pages in Chinese, Russian and
numerous other languages.
Smart new search engines use "natural-language
processing" instead of key words to answer complex
queries. The head of the CIA Office of Advanced Information
Technology said, "There is so much information coming in
now in so many different formats -- audio, imagery,
geo-spatial, text. If you add language to that, you see how
complex the data field is." CIA analysts can perform
"cross lingual" searches in English of Web sites in
Chinese and ten other languages, from Russian to Japanese,
using software called "Fluent." The software
translates results almost instantaneously into English. This
system of "machine translation" has been in
development and experimentation since the 1950s and is
credited with becoming increasingly accurate and more powerful
[ what that means in absolute accuracy terms is not known]
when combined with Web-based search capabilities. A Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called
"Oasis" uses automated speech recognition to turn
audio feeds into formatted, searchable text. Thus far the
computer understands American English only but is being taught
English accents, Chinese and Arabic. Other recently developed
software is designed to enable teams of analysts to quickly
search, assess and reassemble large quantities of "open
source" information - a "surge tool kit" - when
a quick report within hours is required.
It is ironic that at a time when "expert" outsiders
are critical of the intelligence community for not using more
open source data, rather than relying too much on classified
matter, that the actual problem is that the analysts are
straining to winnow out more pertinent open source data from
the gushing fire hose of incoming raw data. (Harvey) ( Wash.
Post 26 Mar '01, p.23 // V. Loeb )
III -- CYBER
RUSSIAN FSB CHARGES US WITH RECRUITING
HACKER -- A Federal Security Service officer
confirmed a report by the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper
Tuesday that said a 20-year-old hacker was offered $10,000 to
hack into the FSB network in January, but he changed his mind
after a sleepless night and turned himself in. The U.S.
Embassy declined to comment on the allegation. The alleged
recruitment attempt comes as Russia and the United States are
embroiled in a spying scandal that kicked off in February when
the FBI charged veteran agent Robert Philip Hanssen with
spying for Russia. Then in March, the United States threatened
to expel 50 Russian diplomats for espionage. Russia said it
would respond in kind. (Levine's Newsbits)
NEW PROCESSOR SPEEDS ENCRYPTION --
Intel Corp's new Itanium processor increases encryption speed
by a factor of six. Michael Fistner, Intel's general manager,
said that the net result of the faster chip is faster
encryption and decryption of data. In fact, Itanium will
perform 1,250 RSA 1024-bit decrypts per second on a single
processor or 1,376 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) decrypts per
second on four processors. Comparatively, the survey showed
that Sun Microsystems Inc.'s 900-MHz UltraSPARC III
workstations can do 192 RSA decrypts per second and the Sun
UltraSPARC II hardware SSL accelerator can decrypt 232 per
(M. Levine Newsbits)
IV -- BOOKS AND SOURCES
TALKING WITH HARRY:
Candid Conversations with President Harry S.
Truman, by Ralph E. Weber (ed), SR Books,
Wilmington DE, March 2001, ISBN 08420-2921-4 (paperback
and hardcover), index, bibliography.
For a change of pace - and not without relevance to
Intelligence - read this book by Professor Ralph Weber of
Marquette University (and, as a side note, a member of the
AFIO Board of directors).
The essence of this book is straight Harry Truman, warts and
all, our remarkable President during the end of World War II,
the atom bomb, the turbulent beginning of the Cold War, the
creation of the CIA, the Korean War, and many other
exceptional events - and decisions. Professor Weber provides
an introduction and a prologue of the Atom Bomb, then lets the
interview takes its course, faithful to the original
interviews - a Presidential oral history, but with the
trimmings of biographies and notes etc.
This is what Truman had to say about creation CIA in his
retirement recollection: "You
see, the Central Intelligence Agency was organized at my
direction by Admiral (William) Leahy and Admiral (Sidney W.)
Souers, who is now the head of the General American Insurance
Company in St. Louis, and two or three other very able and
distinguished men like that. We finally wound up by having
Allen Dulles, who was the brother of (John) Foster Dulles, in
charge of it, and he is a very able public servant . You
know we have four or five departments - State, every branch
of Defense, Agriculture and Commerce - all with foreign
connections. They used to get stacks of messages three feet
high, and the President had no way of finding out what was in
those messages unless he read them all. That couldn't be
done, so the Central Intelligence Agency coordinates the
information that comes to every department, as well as to the
President and to the State Department, and that way the
President has a viewpoint that no other man in the world has,
or can get."
The perspective gets even more interesting in respect to
clandestine operations. Truman wrote several letters in the
1960's stating that the sole purpose of the agency was to
gather all available information for the President, and that
it was not "intended
to operate as an international agency engaged in strange
Director Allen Dulles visited Truman on April 17, 1964, to
remind him of CIA activities done under Truman's authority,
including CIA activities in support of the Truman doctrine in
Greece and Turkey, covert steps to suppress the Huk rebellion
in the Philippines, and the creation of Radio Free Europe.
Evidently the President, a straight-stick Midwesterner,
disliked the aspects of international power politics, and
suppressed his cognizance and memories.
As to his retirement reading, President Truman said he
read the papers "in
which I had very little confidence when I had a Central
Intelligence Agency ... "
The book is interesting reading and suitable for
sampling -- an
insight on an American decision maker at a critical time, who,
however little the intelligence profession might have occupied
his mind, was a happy consumer of intelligence and was the
authority in which it was employed in the interests of his
national security policies. Recommended reading. (Jonkers)
V -- LETTERS
COLONEL (ret) James Cox writes:
night I read the article about COL Ryszard Kuklinski in the
Winter 2000 edition of your Intelligencer
I want to thank you - and especially the author, Benjamin
Fischer - for a wonderful story very well told.
I was the US Defense/Army Attach� in Poland from 1997-2000.
As a result, I was on the periphery of the Kuklinski
business during that period. I remember how various groups
conspired to get me (in uniform) in the same room with
Kuklinski for a photo to help them "prove" one
side or the other of his loyalty or treason. (I avoided it
because I knew how many things get twisted when the name of
Kuklinski is brought up.) I remember also attending (in a
suit) a closed session in an MFA "guest house" in
which Kuklinski responded to historians about the
information he turned over to the US. After Ryszard's
answer, Zbig Brzezinski stood and in the most pointed simple
declarative sentences ticked off the "list" of
information Kuklinski turned over. The amazing thing was I
didn't even know.
Brzezinski was in the audience until he stood up to speak.
Talk about a significant historical event!
I have added your article to my scrapbook of my service in
Poland. It was a supremely rewarding time for me - an old
Cold Warrior - to serve in Poland. I worked harder than I
ever have before to assist them in joining the North
Atlantic Alliance. They are worth every bit of energy I
expended." (Jim Cox)
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