Weekly Intelligence Notes #12-03
WIN 12-03 Dated 26 March 2003
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.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We honor our young military men and women killed, maimed or wounded in the invasion of Iraq. They were doing their duty, as we did in earlier wars. Veterans of war are never far from our personal sense of good fortune of survival, and sense of loss for those left behind. A special sadness is felt for those killed and wounded (by grenades) in Kuwait by a fellow US soldier, a sad reminder of the despicabe 'fraggings' in Vietnam. To the dead, we render our final salute, to the wounded, a helping hand. (RJ)
CONTENTS of this WIN
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SECTION I - CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
HOMELAND SECURITY INTELLIGENCE -- Paul Redmond, the former CIA chief of counterintelligence (and an AFIO member) , has been nominated to become the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Information Analysis, the department's intelligence unit. There are challenges galore on how this new unit will interact with the CIA, FBI and the other agencies of the Intelligence Community, including the newly created Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). Said Mr. Redmond, "Having flunked retirement, I'm very much looking forward to being back in the fray, facing all these challenges."
The creation of the Homeland Security intelligence unit and the Terrorist Threat Integration Center are part of a sweeping reorganization of the government's counter-terrorist operations. The TTIC, which will begin operations on May 1, will bring analysts from the CIA and FBI together to scrutinize intelligence on potential terrorist threats. The TTIC is headed by another CIA officer, John Brennan, who envisions his center as the hub of the government's efforts to integrate terrorist-related information gathered by the Intelligence Community and other Government entities.
The decision to create the TTIC, along with the other noteworthy decision -- to co-locate the new TTIC with the current FBI and CIA counter-terrorism units at a single site in Virginia, is remarkable. The move to a single location for both threat analysis and counter-terrorism operations leads to the question of whether this reorganization is a precursor of a new, independent counter-terrorism agency, separate from both CIA and FBI, perhaps somewhat along the lines of MI5 in the UK. Mr. Brennan commented on this point that the intelligence community needs to be willing to "continually evolve and grow" in order to keep up with the threats facing the United States.
Alternatively, cynics may view the TTIC/ FBI /CIA terrorist unit co-location move as a bureaucratic response to the creation of a potential rival power center, namely the Homeland Security Department. However that may play out, on the organization chart Mr. Redmond's Intelligence Analysis unit will be in charge of processing and analyzing intelligence provided by the TTIC and other agencies, in addition to processing intelligence collected by agencies within the Homeland Security Department, like the Coast Guard, Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service. The real world and the Washington bureaucratic one remain interesting. There is no doubt that Mr. Redmond will rise to the challenge of both. (Jonkers) (NYT 25 Mar 03 // J. Risen)
SECTION II - CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE
NORTH KOREA INTELLIGENCE -- The US and South Korean armed forces are conducting military exercises. US reconnaissance and intelligence surveillance of North Korea is at a high level. North Korea has, for the first time, cut off talks with the South, citing US-South Korean military exercises and mock tank battles along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and a fear of an attack. Pending conclusion of the war in Iraq, the US is pursuing a sanctions and containment policy. The logic rests on solid ground: North Korea is in dire straits, its economy vulnerable and its livelihood increasingly dependent on outside largess. Roughly half of North Korea's energy supplies come from imports -- the bulk of it from China, as well as some from the Middle East. The Administration cut fuel shipments upon learning that North Korea has a program to create enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. Perhaps feeling the pain, the North now denies it has a secret uranium program, accusing US intelligence of "floating misinformation."
Containment makes life more miserable for millions of North Koreans, but does not necessarily translate into sufficient pressure on the regime. The people may starve, but the regime's leadership lives in relative luxury. The key remains nuclear weapons. The Administration takes the position that a solution must be arrived at in concert with the regional powers. As in the case of Iraq, that may not be easy to achieve, given the different national interests at play.
-- JAPAN -- Based on dissatisfaction with periodic restrictions that the US places on sharing satellite intelligence, and delays in notifying Japanese officials of a 1998 missile launch by North Korea, Japan will launch its own reconnaissance intelligence satellites (one optical imagery and one radar) this week, with more promised for the future. Significantly, it will mark Japan's first military use of space. Japan is quietly taking steps away from the pacifist constitution imposed on it by the US after WW II that in theory prohibits the country from having a military, and from a 1969 pledge that Japan's space role would be only for "peaceful and nonmilitary" use. Japan is reacting to the threat of Korean instability and North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles, and also takes note of the growing economic power of China. The US has an active intelligence-sharing program with Japan, but events are nudging Japan toward a more independent military and intelligence role.
-- SOUTH KOREA -- The Government is split between advocates of close ties with the US and increasing anti-American sentiment and unrest, mostly from the lower levels of society, 'intellectuals,' and students. The government has embraced engagement and dialogue as the best way to address their reclusive northern cousins. President Kim Dae Jung has rejected containment as a failed doctrine. South Korean entrepreneurs have responded to some economic reforms in the North in recent years and have shifted manufacturing to factories outside Pyongyang. Just north of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula, at a newly minted free trade zone called Kaesong, a South Korean entrepreneur is playing a central role in North Korea's grandest experiment with capitalism -- a $9 billion industrial park that will include thousands of factories, homes and hotel rooms. About 500,000 South Koreans have visited Mount Kumgang, a walled-off scenic area developed for tourism inside North Korea. The entrepreneurs have routed much of their business through other countries, principally China to circumvent sanctions. Thus economics, trade, kinship, and intellectual and class ferment are slowly changing the landscape in Korea and in respect to the US.
-- CHINA - The Government fears that if North Korea is in turmoil, lots of refugees will crowd into China. The country now provides North Korea with food and fuel, and appears unlikely to support the U.S. approach of containment or war. China is not only North Korea's largest external source of food and fuel, but also its largest trading partner and its gateway to the rest of the world. A Peking university academic speculated that if North Korea collapses, then the Korean Peninsula "would be wholly controlled by the United States and its coterie. North Korea's existence protects China from American military domination."
-- RUSSIA - The country now sells military equipment to North Korea, an important trade for both countries. The Russian government has been critical of the US Administration's handling of the confrontation. "Attempts to isolate North Korea can only lead to a new escalation in tension."
-- BOTTOM LINE -- This is a high stakes poker game, where form is as important as substance, and time is fungible, at least for the North Koreans. But Secretary of State Powell has said that if the North starts reprocessing some 800 spent plutonium fuel rods, "it would make .... finding a diplomatic way forward much more difficult." In view of what is happening to Iraq, that is not an idle comment. The reality of US willingness to use 'pre-emptive' force (precision intelligence and targeting and use or threat of weapons of mass destruction) may make North Korean 'concessions' possible. (Jonkers) (Christian Sc. Monitor 25 Mar 03 / R. Marquand) (St Louis Post Dispatch / WashPost 31 Dec 02, p. 1/ P. Goodman)
RUSSIAN BORDER RECONNAISSANCE and OIL -- On 23 March Russia protested recent U.S. intelligence flights along the Russian-Georgia border in the trans-Caucasus (missions on February 27th, and March 7th and 22nd). "We ... brought to the notice of the American side our concern over such collection of intelligence near the Russian borders, which can hardly be of real use for the purpose of combating international terrorism and is more reminiscent of a practice that one associates with the Cold War times." This is not the only aspect of some current US-Russian 'dynamic tension.’ Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently opposed U.S. policy over Iraq, saying the war puts the rule of international law in question. There are also US accusations, attributed to US intelligence, that Russian private firms sold GPS jamming equipment, night vision devices and anti-tank devices to Iraq. Russia has denied this (and the accuracy of US bombing provides no confirmation of it), and the Russians have drawn attention to similar US exports of sensitive items. In context it may be noted that Russia is building up its financial reserves (based on high world oil prices) and becoming more self-reliant, no longer completely in Washington's pocket.
The Russians may have good reason to be concerned about US reconnaissance and the US conquest of Iraq. The US strategic plan reportedly includes a push for control of oil and gas reserves and pipelines in Central Asia, along with pressure on Iran (one of the pre-designated 'axis of evil' target states). This will be enhanced by the prospective new US military base(s) in occupied or newly compliant Iraq. Potentially, US control of both Iraqi and Kuwait oil reserves (plus possible leverage on Iranian and Central Asian oil) will enable the US to drive down world oil prices and could make Russian prosperity (and some of its presumed freedom of action) a transient phenomenon. (Jonkers) (CNN 23 March 03 /12:04GMT //J. Dougherty) (WPost 23 March 03) http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/03/23/sprj.irq.russia.reaction/index.html
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP HOMELAND SECURITY NETWORK -- A public/private partnership in Oregon focused on homeland security information-sharing this month became one of the first grassroots efforts to move from concept to reality -- and is already planning for an expansion to other states. Oregon's Regional Alliance for Information and Network Security (RAINS), a partnership of more than 60 technology companies and government agencies, on March 14 officially launched a secure data-sharing network called RAINS-Net. The network is the first by-product of an effort to accelerate the adoption of cutting- edge homeland security information technologies. (Levine 26 March03) http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,79777,00.
FBI SEEKS INTERNET TELEPHONY SURVEILLANCE -- The Justice Department and the FBI ask regulators for expanded technical capabilities to intercept Voice Over IP communications... and anything else that uses broadband. The FBI and Justice Department are worried that Voice Over IP (VoIP) applications may become safe havens for criminals to communicate with one another, unless U.S. regulators make broadband services more vulnerable to lawful electronic eavesdropping, according to comments filed with the FCC this month. (Levine 26 Mar 03) (http://www.securityfocus.com/news/3466)
EMAIL TRAFFIC PATTERN ANALYSIS -- Observing patterns in email traffic can quickly identify online communities and the key people in them. Terrorists or criminal gangs can give themselves away even if they are communicating in code or only discussing the weather. (Levine 26 March 03) (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993550)
PASSWORD-STEALING EMAIL SCAMS -- Beware any e-mail, however professional in tone, that asks for personal account information. Internet users continue to be flooded with legitimate-looking e-mails that ask recipients to enter account numbers, passwords, and other data. A new con aimed at Discover Card holders is just the latest in a long line of scam e-mails sent by con artists trying to hijack accounts at AOL, PayPal, eBay and other online firms. (Levine's Newsbits 13 March 03, (firstname.lastname@example.org) (http://www.msnbc.com/news/884810.asp)
INFORMATION WAR GETS ROUGH WITH AL-JAZEERA -- Hackers wreaked electronic havoc on Internet sites operated by the Arab television network Al-Jazeera, diverting Web surfers to pornography and to a page with a U.S. flag and the message "Let Freedom Ring." Hackers impersonating an Al-Jazeera employee tricked one of the Internet's most popular Web addressing companies, Network Solutions Inc., into making technical changes that effectively turned over temporary control of the network's Arabic and English Web sites. (Levine's Newsbits 26 March 03) http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/5496265.htm
PAKISTAN CREATES CYBER CRIME AGENCY -- A Pakistani security agency has launched a special unit to combat cyber crimes, in part because the country had to rely on U.S. investigators to trace e-mails sent by the kidnappers of American journalist Daniel Pearl a year ago. "The purpose of establishing the 'National Response Center for Cyber Crimes' is to stop misuse of the Internet and trace those involved in cyber-related crimes," said Iftikhar Ahmad, spokesman for Pakistan's Interior Ministry. (AP)(Levine 13 March 03)(Levine 13 March 03) (http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/03/13/pakistan.cyber.ap/index..html)
ANTICIPATING SURPRISE: Analysis for Strategic Warning, by Cynthia M. Grabo (edited by Jan Goldman), with Index and foreword by LTG James Williams (USA ret), former Director, DIA. Published by the Center for Strategic Intelligence Research, Joint Military Intelligence College, Washington DC, December 2002, ISBN 0-9656195-6-7, Library of Congress Number 2002115175. US government officials can obtain copies through liaison channels from DIA. Members of the public can purchase the book through the Government Printing Office (www.gpo.gov) or the National Technical Information Service (www.ntis.gov). Cynthia Grabo has a special place of honor in the intelligence annals, from WWII onward through the Cold War, as both an outstanding intelligence warning analyst and an eminent woman-pioneer in the field. After graduating from the University of Chicago with undergraduate and graduate degrees, she was recruited by Army Intelligence shortly after Pearl Harbor, and thereafter worked as an intelligence analyst for 38 years, from 1942 to 1980. From 1949 onward she specialized in strategic warning, serving as the senior researcher for the US Watch Committee for 25 years, and for its successor organization, the Strategic Warning Staff. In the early 1970's she published a classified three volume Handbook of Warning Intelligence, which has now been declassified and condensed into the present book.
Ms. Grabo strongly argues that the warning function cannot be treated as a mere by-product of intelligence production. To "work" a warning problem is to anticipate events in their fullest political, military, economic, diplomatic and cultural context. The Editor, Jan Goldman, notes that the historical experience of the US in interpreting indications of conflict, as they are reflected in this book, can also help to make us more aware of the messages we may be conveying to potential adversaries in the international environment.
Ms. Grabo, a former member of the AFIO Board of Directors, has distilled a lifetime of experience in the field, in which she lived and worked as a participant in senior Government instrumentalities, for the benefit of current and future analysts and those who wish to understand the intelligence warning analysis function. We have been frequently surprised by others. Perhaps this cannot be prevented, but, however the world has changed and will change, some of the principles of strategic warning conveyed by Ms. Grabo remain constant. This small book 165 page book is an intelligence classic. (Jonkers)
SECTION V - ANNOUNCEMENTS AND NOTES
FLORIDA'S SUNCOAST CHAPTER -- The chapter will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, April 8th, at the MacDill AFB Officers' Club, Tampa, Florida. The chapter is pleased to announce Mr. S. EUGENE POTEAT, CIA SIS/S&T (Ret) and President, AFIO, as the featured speaker. Mr. Poteat will discuss the changes in American intelligence and its role and capabilities in the War on Terrorism. The meeting social starts at 11:30 AM, lunch is scheduled for noon, to be followed by our speaker program. Please contact COL Nathaniel (Nat) Alderman, Jr., USA-Ret, for reservation details and procedures to gain access to MacDill AFB. Nat may be reached at Fax (727) 525-2245, or e-mail AldermanNJ@aol.com
CNBC COVERAGE -- AFIO member (and "hands-on" Mideast expert) Rick Francona will be a regular on CNBC Open Exchange (2:50 pm, ET 11:50 am PT) mailto:email@example.com. See the daily guest list at -http://moneycentral.msn.com/Content/CNBCTV/TV_Info/GuestList.asp
SECTION VI - LETTERS
MAJOR KEN ROSEWAL WRITES -- My US Army Reserve strategic MI unit (9 members) was mobilized last month at DIA. We are using some of our time to familiarize ourselves with the Intelligence Community. We have visited the NMJIC, NMCC, etc. I'd welcome communication with any of your members willing and able to "open the door" for us at other IC activities in the greater DC area. ((202) 231-4648, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (ED. Note: If these addresses do not work for you, send your email response to AFIO)
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