Weekly Intelligence Notes #09-03
WIN 09-03 dated 5 March 03
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs.
The Winter/Spring AFIO National luncheon will be held on Monday, 17 March.
It features a discussion on the Middle East by the President of the Middle East Policy Council
former Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Chas. W. Freeman, Jr.,
a well-informed, dynamic speaker. Given the US invasion or occupation of Iraq, this will be a highly topical and interesting session.
Adding to the interest is former Director of the White House Situation Room,
who will talk about his experiences in the "Sit" room at the White House. See Section V below.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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COUNTER-TERRORISM INTELLIGENCE -- Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, an "operations manager" of Al Qaeda, along with some of his colleagues, have been arrested in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Interrogation is proceeding, probably either in Pakistan or in Baghram, Afhanistan. Substantial documentation also appears to have been found. Several implications are of interest.
(1) Our political leadership has told the media that the arrest is of major importance and could lead to further arrests of members of 'sleeper' cells in the US and elsewhere, and disruption of planned terrorist operations. One hopes that the terrorists do not read or listen to the media, else they might take action, either speeding up their operations or escaping. Politicians' and leadership announcements may not make our professionals' job easier.
(2) Both Pakistan and the FBI were said to have taken credit for the arrest. Although on the face of it this is juvenile posturing, Pakistan needs the credit for national pride and credibility, and the FBI needs credit in the always-continuing resource battle in Washington, and also to repair some of the battered image of the bureau in the media. One may rest assured that behind the volumes of critical political and media comments stand thousands of dedicated FBI professionals and impressive databases and analytical talent, and continuing unsung great accomplishments.
(3) One may assume that Khalid was planning an action. Interrogation may reveal his plans and lead to the arrest of others. Interrogation may be stressful, either in Pakistani facilities or at Baghram in Afghanistan under US auspices. It may be noted that the US Army is investigating two instances of alleged killing of prisoners by blows to the head during interrogation at Baghram.
(4) Any connection Khalid may have with reports in the media of a planned al Qaeda action against Pearl Harbor is speculative.
(5) We now operate in an environment of numerous intelligence reports of terrorist planning and targeting. It is not clear what is paranoia to create support for the invasion of Iraq or what is publicity related to the war on terrorism. Whatever the reason, we must expect periodic higher alert stages.
(6) The terrorists can get to us by Talking (they know we intercept) as well as by Doing. (Jonkers) (WashTimes 3 Mar03 p. 1)
NORTH KOREAN INTELLIGENCE -- A US RC-135S Cobra Ball intelligence collection mission over the Sea of Japan, about 150 miles from North Korea, was intercepted by four North Korean MIGs (two MIG-29's and two MIG-23s) on Saturday 1 March (Sunday morning in Korea). They shadowed the plane for 22 minutes, and came within 50 ft of the aircraft. The fighter pilots gestured to the US crew to leave the area, and when this did not occur, it appears that one of the fighters "locked on" to the RC-135 with his fire-control radar (preparation for firing an air-to-air missile). The US mission was then aborted and the aircraft returned to Kadena AFB in Japan.
It is depicted as the most serious aerial confrontation between the countries since North Korea shot down an American reconnaissance plane during the Cold War some 34 years ago, in 1969, killing 31 American airmen. During the Cold War, of course, US fighters shadowed Soviet reconnaissance missions along our US Pacific coast, and our US peripheral reconnaissance flights along the Soviet coasts were always at risk. A number of our colleagues lost their lives in this part of the 'silent war.' The current incident was also reminiscent of the more recent intercept and collision of a Chinese fighter aircraft and a US Navy surveillance plane, which was on a similar intelligence collection mission, in April 2001.
The RC-135S, a military version of a Boeing 707 jet, is essentially a flying monitoring post, orbiting at the edge of its target area above 30,000 feet. Cobra Ball is equipped to collect electronic and optical data on ballistic missiles and their re-entry vehicles. This Cobra Ball's presumed mission therefore was to monitor North Korea's missile activities.
Underlying this action are fundamentally opposing views of reality in Pyongyang and Washington. As North Korea sees the world today, the Americans are menacing and untrustworthy. To America, the North Koreans are provocative and slightly crazed.
North Korea regards the steps it has taken to revive its nuclear program as the logical reaction to an American decision to break a deal in which it promised to give aid and pledged never to attack. It also believes the U.S. may have North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as the next target on its "regime change" list (axis of evil etc) . In Washington's eyes, North Korea's nuclear cheating is the reason diplomacy and aid promises have fallen apart. Talking directly to the North Koreans now would only endorse what the U.S. regards as nuclear blackmail.
The view from North Korea on the RC135 recce mission incident is that "All these espionage flights and air war games clearly indicate the desperate efforts of the U.S. to start a war against the North." The US response is muscular, but thus far rhetorically relatively restrained. US reconnaissance missions along the North Korean coasts may henceforth be accompanied by US fighter escorts, and two dozen B-1's and B-52's have been placed on alert for deployment at Guam and operations in Korea. One may assume that, no matter the progress of the coming invasion and occupation of Iraq, substantial US intelligence, policy and defense attention is being given to North Korea. (Jonkers) (NYTimes 4 March 03 //E. Schmitt) Wall Street Journal, 5 March, 2003 Pg. 1 //D. Cloud & J. Solomon)
US INTELLIGENCE COVERAGE OF UN OFFICIALS -- A British newspaper has printed a seemingly authentic internal National Security Agency memo ordering stepped-up eavesdropping communications intercepts against countries on the U.N. Security Council whose votes are crucial to the U.S. effort to build support for an invasion of Iraq. "As you've likely heard by now, the Agency is mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council members .... for insights as to [how] membership is reacting to the on-going debate Re: Iraq," says the paper's version of the memo. Specifically, it asks the recipients to target Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea, while putting "extra focus" on Pakistan, and to report "the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to US goals or to head off surprises.".
U.S. eavesdropping at the United Nations is said to be routine. U.S. eavesdropping on foreign delegations to international bodies goes back virtually to the invention of electronics. The NSA's predecessors listened in on foreign delegations to the United Nations' founding conference in San Francisco in 1945 and pushed for its permanent location in New York to make listening in more convenient. Other states are deeply involved in similar activities at the UN in New York. Seasoned UN diplomats are well aware that they may be monitored . The publicity nevertheless is not helpful with states that are sensitive, such as Pakistan. It is unpleasant to mention the unmentionable.
What is most shocking, however, is the leak itself. It drives a dagger of suspicion into the body of the very security-conscious cryptologic community. There is media finger-pointing at the British GCHQ, one of the memo's recipients, since it was a British newspaper revelation, and since opposition to the planned US/UK invasion of Iraq runs deep and wide in the UK. A Senate intelligence committee panel will probably investigate. Jonkers) (WashTimes 3 March03, p 1) (Baltimore Sun 4 Mar03 //S. Shane & A. Sabar)
IRAQ WAR PLANNING -- Media reports recently announced that the US war-plan for the invasion of Iraq will be innovative and remarkably different from precious military efforts, combining tank-heavy armored fists like the Gulf War with the speed of the overnight take-over of Panama and the precision-bombing of the Afghan campaign. A devastating bomb and missile attack is still part of the alleged package. Without much public notice, of course, the first phase is already well underway. CIA and military Special Operations troopers are executing missions inside Iraq. US/UK warplanes have increased the number and intensity of air-strikes against an expanded target list. And Psychological Warfare operations are in full swing. Enough said. (Jonkers) (WashPost 2 March 03, p. A1 &A20 )
NEW DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE OFFICE EXPLAINED . Recent nomination testimony before the Senate Armed Forces Committee by the prospective new Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD/I) , Steven A. Cambone, spelled out the intended role of the new defense intelligence position, dubbed the defense intelligence "czar."
One goal of the office will be to encourage the collection and distribution of "predictive intelligence," intended to give the upper hand to US military forces engaged with the enemy. Another function is to ensure that the large amounts of information collected in routine operations that currently does not filter back into the national intelligence community is provided to the collective community.
Almost as important as the functions that are planned for the office were the items the job would not entail, i.e. USD/I was not created to challenge the authority of the DCI, and the office will not "seek to direct the processes by which intelligence is collected, analyzed and disseminated."
Mr. Cambone, currently the OSD Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation, and a trusted aide to Secretary Rumsfeld in previous roles, assured the senators the USD/I would improve coordination between the DCI and the DOD. "It is not an office whose purpose is to do the work of -- or substitute for the work of -- the DCI and the intelligence community as a whole," he said. "To the extent that it will be engaged with the Director of Central Intelligence, it will be through the Secretary of Defense, who is responsible for all intelligence matters within the department. And it is designed to enable the DCI, when he has needs that can be satisfied by the Department of Defense, to enable us to respond with alacrity."
This new office is intended to be "small, probably under 100 people," according Richard Haver speaking in an interview in his role as the Special Assistant to the new Under Secretary for intelligence. The new position will be "focused on what comes out of the sausage machine, not how the sausage machine works." But that simplification is not the whole story. . If confirmed, Dr. Cambone said, his office would initiate an evaluation of "the timeliness, relevance, and utility" of current military intelligence products. "That evaluation would be used to recommend, as appropriate, changes in policy, plans, programs, requirements, and resource allocations to meet the needs of DoD officials." (Harvey) (InsideDefense.com 27 Feb '03 // R. Lardner; Wash. Post 10 Feb '03 // V. Loeb; Aerospace Daily 16 Dec '02 // S. Trimble)
PHILIPPINE OPERATION ON HOLD -- What was reported as fact last week -- namely the start of a US operation involving some 1700 military personnel to attack Abu Sayaff, a designated terrorist organization, is no longer correct. The US - Philippine operation was put on hold until the two governments could agree on the terminology for the planned operation. There is no disagreement at the technical or tactical military level, but a Pentagon spokesman insisted on describing it as a US "operation," disregarding the fact that the Philippine government can tolerate no more from its former colonial masters than to have he operation designated as "training" and "exercise." If we really want to do this, a little more understanding and fine-tuning of Pentagon wording and discipline on the part of spokesmen would seem to be in order. Meanwhile, while the fig-leaf is being repaired, the operation is on hold. (Jonkers) WashPost 3 March03//p. A12)
CENTRAL AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE -- Corruption has taken on new life under the region's fledgling democracies and is more pervasive and corrosive than at any time in recent memory. For the most vulnerable countries -- such as Guatemala, barely six years after civil war -- the corruption problem is making it more difficult to consolidate law and order and gain popular trust in government (or democracy). For the United States it is undermining once-reliable allies in the fight against drugs, other contraband and illegal migrants through an increasingly popular route to the U.S. border. In January, Washington "decertified" Guatemala as a cooperative partner in the anti-drug effort, a step that jeopardized millions of dollars in foreign aid and further tarnished Guatemala's image with investors. Half of Central America's countries are listed in the worst 20 percent of Transparency International's annual rankings of the most corrupt countries in which to conduct business.
This assessment is an interesting perspective on our Government's vision of assuring world peace through Western or US-style democracies everywhere. One might remember the words of George Washington "Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness." It applies to us as well as to Central America and elsewhere. (Jonkers) (Seattle Post Intelligencer - 25 February 03) (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/109995_camerica25.shtml) (GW (courtesy D. Truax)
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SECURITY POLICY RELEASED -- DoD released an information assurance policy today that sets specific controls and standards for how users should secure Defense Department networks. Directive 8500.2 is the second part of a strategy to address the changing security needs in the department. DOD issued the first part, 8500.1, last October. It supplied a framework for DOD to follow to protect its information systems, said Robert F. Lentz, Director of Information Assurance for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence. (Levine's Newsbits 27 Feb 03)
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SECURITY HAMPERED BY FRAGMENTATION -- Fragmentation of the information security services market is preventing many private and public organizations from deploying essential security policies, industry experts have warned. In its latest report, 'The Shifting Landscape: US Information Security Services, 2002', analyst firm IDC said that the global IT security services market will be worth $23Billion annually by 2006, but is categorized by immaturity which leaves it fragmented and highly dynamic.(Levine 27Feb03)
UNPUBLISHED CIA ESTIMATE ON NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS -- The unclassified CIA estimate was previously reported by Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, but the text has not been generally available. Most notable is the conclusion that North Korea's uranium enrichment plant would not be fully operational before "mid-decade" -- a fact that has been overlooked in some journalistic accounts -- and then could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two weapons per year. North Korea at present, of course, has a more direct path to nuclear weapons through the production of plutonium. For the CIA estimate, see: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/nuke/cia111902.html (Secrecy News 28Feb03)
Monday, 17 March 2003
Enjoy two views of the fast-paced, tense, and charged duties demanded of these two professionals
[both are confirmed speakers].
The morning speaker at 11 a.m. is
Michael K. Bohn
-- former Director of the White House "Sit" Room under President Reagan
He is also the author of a newly released book
Nerve Center: Inside the White House Situation Room
- giving a surprisingly detailed look at the President's sometimes frenzied intelligence and alert center.
The luncheon speaker at 1 p.m. is
Ambassador Chas. W. Freeman, Jr.,
former Amb. to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield
[and now President of Middle East Policy Council]
analyzing the complexities we face in maintaining valuable allies who face ambivalence at home
over support of U.S. peace-keeping missions.
Doors will open for the luncheon at 10:30, [badge-pickup starts at 10:30 a.m.],
at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Tyson's Corner
(Rte 123 & International Drive) McLean, VA.
Full directions can be found on AFIO website
at www.afio.com and click on Luncheon Directions under announcement.
Generous covered parking in adjoining Hotel garage.
This promises to be another great session.
A three-course lunch will be served at noon.
The Luncheon meeting will close at 2 p.m.
Cost: $27.50/person. No payment at door. Deadline: 13 March.
Send credit card registrations now to email@example.com or by fax to 703 790-0264.
Voice registrations taken at 703-790-0320.
Checks to: AFIO Luncheon, 6723 Whittier Ave Ste 303A, McLean, VA 22101.
Remember to supply names to go on badges for self and any guests.
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