AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #42-09 dated 17 November 2009










Friday, 11 December 2009

Morning speaker: John Koehler, former CIA

Afternoon speaker: Speaker TBA

Crowne Plaza Hotel
Tysons Corner, VA

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Defense Department's Special Projects Program Features More Sophisticated Weapons. America's genius for innovation continues to be directed toward increasingly sophisticated weaponry.

Take Bluegrass and Stiletto, two projects from the Defense Department's Quick Reaction Special Projects Program, which next year will divide $108 million among three of its research and development offices "that provide rapid funding to expedite new development and transition of new technologies to the warfighter," according to Pentagon material.

The mission of one of those, the Rapid Reaction Technology Office, is "accelerating the development and fielding of affordable, sustainable transitional and nontraditional capabilities for the warfighter," according to a National Research Council study released this summer. It focuses "primarily on technologies that can be matured in six to 18 months for purposes of counterterrorism" by partnering with "other government agencies, industry and academia."

The experimental Bluegrass project is a good example of how the office works: It blends two surveillance systems to get a new product.

The project grew out of the development, beginning in 2004, of aerial surveillance systems used to fight roadside bombs. One was JSTARS - the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System - a modified Boeing 707 carrying a joint surveillance and target- acquisition radar that beamed to command posts on the ground videos of still and moving targets in narrow areas, often within Iraqi cities. The videos were stored and later used to look back at places where makeshift bombs exploded, to see who had been at the site and to identify the perpetrators.

Another military system being used against such bombs, Constant Hawk, consisted of a piloted plane carrying multiple electro-optical radars that provided wide-area surveillance.

There was no organized effort to develop a computerized means for merging the mainly urban-area product of the JSTARS and the wide-area product of Constant Hawk. So the Rapid Reaction Technology Office initiated Bluegrass, which it describes as assembling the data "that will allow the handover of vehicle tracking from one system to another; in that way, continuous tracking is provided" between urban and rural areas, according to the Research Council study.

With the approval of the CIA, the information was provided to government laboratories and industry to help develop the capability.

This year and into 2010, the office will work on a follow-up to Bluegrass called Thunderstorm. The project will involve testing an enduring multisensor surveillance and reconnaissance system and developing a capability for next-generation detection, monitoring and tracking of targets, along with their handoff to friendly forces. The tests will be carried out by the Southern Command's Joint Interagency Task Force-South in Florida. The area was chosen because the hunt for drug cartels there is similar to the search for insurgents and other enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stiletto is an experimental naval craft of carbon-fiber construction designed for 50-knots-an-hour performance in military operations. Jointly funded by the Rapid Reaction Technology Office and the Special Operations Command, its electronic keel allows rapid plug-in testing of various data-communication technologies. Its M-shape hull permits testing of stealth, speed, wake creation and the ability to operate in shallow waters. With a deck area that can launch and retrieve unmanned aerial systems, the Stiletto was originally seen as a prototype for the next-generation Special Forces boat.

A test version was turned over to the Southern Command in June 2008 to demonstrate its usefulness in counternarcotics operations, with Homeland Security and Colombian navy personnel aboard. In March, an 88-foot version headed out for its second operational deployment with a crew of Navy and Army personnel aboard.

The Rapid Reaction Technology Office has also sponsored the development of a facility at the Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, where prototypes for systems being developed for use in Iraq and Afghanistan are tested. Also, on a biweekly basis, the office leads secure videoconferences in which cleared government and private organizations share feedback and ideas for future experiments.

Approximately 50 percent of the projects that the office has pursued have resulted in fielded systems or changes in other systems, according to testimony in Congress last year by Benjamin Riley, the office director. "Approximately one-third of the projects initially experience resistance from combat command staff or subordinates, who often believe that an idea will not work and that it does not have an application," he told lawmakers.  [Pincus/WashingtonPost/10November2009] 

British Spies Help Prevent Al Qaeda-Inspired Attack on New York Subway.  British spies have foiled a terrorist plot by a suspected al Qaeda operative to blow up the New York subway. The plan, which reportedly would have been the biggest attack on America since 9/11, was uncovered after Scotland Yard intercepted an email.

The force alerted the FBI, who launched an operation which led to airport shuttle bus driver Najibullah Zazi, 24, being charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.

The Afghan is alleged to have been part of a group who used stolen credit cards to buy components for bombs including nail varnish remover.

The chemicals bought were similar to those used to make the 2005 London Tube and bus explosives which killed 52 people.

Zazi, from Denver, Colorado, is understood to have been given instructions by a senior member of al Qaeda in Pakistan over the internet.

US authorities allegedly found bomb-making instructions on his laptop and his fingerprints on batteries and measuring scales they seized.

A phone containing footage of New York's Grand Central Station, thought to have been made by him during a visit a week before his arrest, was also found along with explosive residue. Zazi was also said by informants to have attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

The alleged plot was unmasked after an email address that was being monitored as part of the abortive Operation Pathway was suddenly reactivated.

Operation Pathway was investigating an alleged UK terrorist cell but went awry after the then Met Police counter-terrorism head Bob Quick was pictured walking into Downing Street displaying top secret documents.

Eleven Pakistani suspects were arrested immediately after the gaffe but later released without charge.

However, security staff continued to monitor the email address which eventually yielded results.

The British discovery also came at just the right time - the US had threatened to sever intelligence links over the release of Lockerbie bomber Al Megrahi.

A British security source told The Sun: "This was excellent work and highlights the fact we produce good information.

"(The US authorities) were delighted with the intelligence we gave them and believe it helped prevent a catastrophic attack." [Telegraph/9November2009]

IRA Suspect Charged with '77 Murder of British Spy. An Irish Republican Army suspect was charged with murdering a British Army intelligence agent on the Northern Ireland border 32 years ago, a surprising turn in one of the conflict's most mysterious unsolved killings.

Northern Ireland state prosecutors levied the unexpected new charge at a regular bail hearing for Kevin Crilly. Last year the 58-year-old was arrested and charged with kidnapping and falsely imprisoning - but not killing - Capt. Robert Nairac.

In May 1977 an IRA gang abducted Nairac from a pub in the outlaws' border stronghold of South Armagh, a close-knit society dubbed "bandit country" that Nairac had sought to infiltrate by posing as a Belfast IRA man.

The Oxford University-educated Catholic had learned Gaelic IRA drinking songs and used them in his pub-crawling surveillance operations. But it didn't fool local IRA men. His body was never found, and rumors have persisted that it was butchered in a factory meat processor.

Prosecutors did not reveal why they had increased the charges against Crilly to murder. Crilly's lawyers complained bitterly they had been ambushed by the move as well as by a renewed attempt to withdraw Crilly's right to bail.

District Judge Austin Kennedy, at the hearing in the border town of Newry, ordered Crilly kept in police custody while prosecutors pursued an appeal against his bail at a higher court in Belfast.

Prosecutors said they feared Crilly would flee to the neighboring Republic of Ireland or further afield because of the murder charge. His defense attorneys said that was nonsense and cited his regular check-ins with police since winning bail following his May 2008 arrest.

Six IRA members have already served prison sentences for their part in overpowering Nairac, taking him across the border into a Republic of Ireland forest, interrogating him and shooting him in the head.

Belfast media investigations - including a 2007 BBC documentary that filmed Crilly using a concealed camera and microphone - have identified him as the IRA driver that night.

Crilly admitted in court last year that he drove one of the IRA men to the scene of Nairac's torture. Police have testified they found traces of Nairac's hair in Crilly's car.

Crilly fled to the United States following Nairac's killing but returned following Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord. That pact offered early paroles for IRA convicts and a de-facto amnesty for any IRA members subsequently convicted of pre-1998 crimes.

That peace offering means Crilly, if convicted, could expect parole within months.

Nairac posthumously won the George Cross, Britain's highest civilian award for bravery. His 1979 citation credited him with exceptional toughness and bravery for trying repeatedly to escape, and refusing to reveal anything to his executioners.

But several well-placed British intelligence agents and army commanders at the time have described Nairac as reckless and even out of control.

The IRA killed more than 700 British soldiers during its failed 1970-97 campaign to force Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom. Nairac was the only one who disappeared. [Pogatchanik/AP/11November2009]. 

Death Sentence for Accused Lebanese Spies. Four Lebanese citizens have been sentenced to death for spying for Israel.

A military court sentenced a sergeant in the country's Internal Security Forces, his wife, sister and brother-in-law to death after they were convicted of conspiring with Israel and spying for Israel in an effort to arrange an attack on Lebanon.

The sergeant's sister and brother-in-law were sentenced in absentia since they fled to Israel.

Lebanon has jailed at least 20 people accused of spying for Israel.

In October, several explosions in southern Lebanon were reported by the UNIFIL force to be the destruction of spy devices that had been planted by Israel during the 2006 war with Hezbollah. [JTA/11November2009] 

CIA Said to Have Won Turf Battle Against Intel Chief. The CIA has won a months-long bureaucratic dispute with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, assuring the primacy of CIA personnel over U.S. intelligence operations around the world.

CIA Director Leon Panetta and National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair squared off in May over Blair's effort to choose his own representative at U.S. embassies to be his personal eyes and ears abroad, instead of relying on CIA station chiefs. Blair issued a directive in May declaring his intention to select his own representatives overseas. Panetta followed up shortly thereafter with a note telling agency employees that station chiefs were still in charge.

The dispute made it all the way to national security adviser Gen. James L. Jones.

An official in Blair's organization said the White House decided the matter this week in the CIA's favor. U.S. intelligence officials described the dispute on the condition of anonymity, noting the political sensitivities involved. For the DNI's office, it was a high-profile loss to a subordinate agency that raised fresh questions about the strength of the 5-year old parent office.

Blair's May directive was described by some government officials as an attempt to shore up both the office's authority and its ability to oversee foreign operations, which has so far been stronger on paper than in practice.

Blair's office was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to better coordinate intelligence gathering and make sure critical information is not overlooked. But former and current CIA officials warned that the plan could do just the opposite - setting up competing chains of command inside U.S. embassies and potentially fouling up intelligence operations. They also warned that it could complicate the delicate relationships between U.S. and foreign intelligence services, and leave ambassadors confused about where to turn for intelligence advice.

Blair is not the first to seek some latitude in selecting his personal representative overseas. The CIA last year successfully derailed a similar effort by the national intelligence director's office, then headed by former Adm. Mike McConnell. CIA station chiefs posted in American embassies have handled the national intelligence role abroad for the last four years.

From the DNI's perspective, the proposal would have allowed Blair to tap the most relevant intelligence officer in an embassy or foreign country to serve as his eyes and ears.

In most cases that would be the CIA station chief. The station chief system has existed for 50 years, allowing the CIA to call the shots on pursuing and managing relationships with foreign intelligence and security services, and coordinating - and sometimes constraining - the work of other U.S. intelligence agencies and military forces abroad.

The CIA warned that Blair's plan could lead to a dichotomized intelligence structure in the field that would end up with CIA station chiefs carrying out day-to-day spy operations while intelligence director representatives oversaw and reported back to Blair on the same operations. CIA veterans warned that it could complicate and slow missions that require rapid decisions. [FoxNews/12November2009]

Judges' Torture Ruling Harmed UK Security, Says Foreign Office. A top Foreign Office official has accused high court judges of damaging Britain's national security by insisting that CIA evidence of British involvement in torture must be revealed.

The extraordinary intervention in a fierce dispute between David Miliband, the foreign secretary, and the high court has come from Simon Manley, the FCO's director of defense and strategic threats.

In an unprecedented assault on the judiciary, he claims that demands by two judges that the CIA material should be disclosed have already harmed Britain's intelligence and diplomatic relations with the US. In a statement, Manley says the judges have "served to undermine confidence within the US in the UK's ability to protect the confidentiality of diplomatic exchanges and will inevitably have a negative impact on the candor of their exchanges with UK officials".

The impact of the judges' rulings "also undermines our relationships with other foreign services... and co-operation on operational matters in the field is also at stake", he adds. "What we are facing is an erosion of trust."

The statement is a response to the fifth judgment by Lord Justice Thomas and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones in the long-running case of Binyam Mohamed, the British resident incarcerated by the CIA in secret prisons before being rendered to Guant�namo Bay.

Media groups have joined the action, arguing that what the CIA told MI5 and MI6 about Mohamed's ill-treatment, and the British government's response, should be revealed.

What made the FCO ratchet up the dispute is the judges' devastating ruling last month, when they accused Miliband of acting in a way that was harmful to the rule of law by suppressing evidence about what the government knew of the illegal treatment of Mohamed.

The judges rejected the foreign secretary's claims that disclosing evidence of unlawful treatment would harm national security and threaten the UK's vital intelligence-sharing arrangements with the US. "The suppression of reports of wrongdoing by officials in circumstances which cannot in any way affect national security is inimical to the rule of law," they ruled. "In our view, as a court in the United Kingdom, a vital public interest requires... that a summary of the most important evidence relating to the involvement of the British security services in wrongdoing be placed in the public domain... Championing the rule of law, not subordinating it, is the cornerstone of democracy."

Ethiopian-born Mohamed, now living in the UK, says he was tortured with the knowledge of British security and intelligence agencies. The CIA information includes an account given to British intelligence "whilst [Mohamed] was held in Pakistan... prior to his interview by an officer of the Security Service", the judges revealed. The officer, known only as Witness B, is being investigated for possible criminal wrongdoing.

The judges made it clear they were exasperated by the attitude of the foreign secretary and British officials. There was no "rational basis" for claims made by Miliband and Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, that disclosure of the CIA material would put British lives at risk.

At the heart of the dispute is a seven-paragraph CIA document that the British government insists must remain secret. The judges, who have seen the CIA document, have repeatedly said it does not contain any sensitive intelligence material. "There is nothing in the redacted paragraphs that are in any way secret and the foreign secretary will have to justify [his claims]," Thomas said after handing down last month's judgment.

The issue will go to appeal. However, the court is also embroiled in four other currently redacted passages in the fifth judgment. One passage Miliband wants to keep secret comes immediately after the judges' reference to memos released by the Obama administration, setting out "details of the treatment inflicted on detainees by the CIA". Another passage refers to what the judges call the need to "stand back and ask the question whether President Obama would curtail the supply of information to the United States' oldest ally when what was put into the public domain was not intelligence".

They continue: "It is difficult... to see any grounds for rejecting the submission of [Mohamed], the UK media and the international media, that there is any evidence of any real risk of serious harm to the national security of the UK." [Guardian/12November2009]

Litvinenko Killing Charge Dropped. German prosecutors have dropped the case against a suspect in the murder of the Russian dissident, Alexander Litvinenko, in London.

Former KGB agent Mr. Litvinenko died in 2006 after he was poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium-210.

Hamburg prosecutors say there is not enough evidence to continue investigating Russian Dmitri Kovtun. German investigators had suspected him of leaving a trace of polonium in a Hamburg apartment.

Mr. Litvinenko, 43, fell ill shortly after taking tea in London with Mr. Kovtun and the prime suspect in the case, another Russian, Andrei Lugovoi. German investigators said Mr. Kovtun had travelled to London via Hamburg, where he stayed for one night with his former wife.

They were investigating him on a charge of preparing to commit an offence involving radioactivity.

Explaining the decision to drop the case, the Hamburg prosecutor's office said that, while traces of polonium-210 had been found in the apartment, there was no evidence Mr. Kovtun had taken it there.

Both Mr. Lugovoi and Mr. Kovtun have said they had nothing to do with the death of Mr. Litvinenko.

The British government continues to seek the extradition from Russia of Mr. Lugovoi, who has since become a member of the Russian parliament. Russia refuses, saying the constitution does not allow it, and the issue has strained relations between London and Moscow. Russia has asserted that Mr. Lugovoi was framed by the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6. Senior British officials have said they believe the murder was carried out with the backing of the Russian state.

Mr. Kovtun welcomed the German authorities' decision to drop the case, calling it "a triumph of justice".

For his part, Mr. Lugovoi told the RIA Novosti news agency: "The new circumstances of the case undermine the whole British investigation.

"Now we demand that the UK objectively investigate the Litvinenko case. Clearly, the act of provocation has failed and it is time that London move from politics to constructive actions." [BBC/12November2009] 

Spy Headquarters in Pakistan Destroyed by Suicide Car Bomb. A powerful suicide car bomb ripped through the Peshawar headquarters of Pakistan's top spy agency killing ten people on 13 November. The building now in ruins has been heavily involved in Pakistan's anti-terror fight.

Just before sunrise, a bomber driving a mini-truck loaded with explosives was racing down the road toward the ISI building. While soldiers opened fire after seeing the truck, the suicide bomber ploughed into a steel barrier detonating explosives.

Attacks in the Peshawar region are being executed almost every day by the Taliban ever since Pakistan has sent the troops into battle in a U.S. mission to wipe out strongholds in the tribal district of South Wazirstan. Because Peshawar is on the edge of Pakistan's tribal belt that is infested with Al-Qaeda and Taliban, it has increasingly become the target for attacks since the army launched its mission in October.  [Kelly/Examiner/13November2009] 

Peru and Chile in 'Spy' Scandal. A new diplomatic row has erupted between Peru and Chile after a Peruvian court ordered the arrest of two Chilean military officers over alleged spying. The court accused the officers of paying a Peruvian air force officer to reveal national secrets.

Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez has denied his government has been involved in espionage.

But Peru's President Alan Garcia said he was leaving the Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore a day early over the row.

He also said he had cancelled planned talks with his Chilean counterpart, Michelle Bachelet, at the Apec summit.

Reports in the Peruvian media said Lima had recalled its ambassador to Chile for talks.

Speaking in Singapore, Chile's foreign minister said: "Chile does not engage in espionage. We dismiss any charges [that] the Chilean government is involved in anything illegal in regards to relations between the two countries," Mr. Fernandez added.

The Peruvian air force officer, Victor Ariza Mendoza, has been arrested and charged with spying. Lima-based El Comercio reported that Mr. Ariza had worked at the Peruvian embassy in Santiago in 2003.

Tensions are already strained between the two countries following a military exercise staged by Chile last month near its disputed border with Peru.

Peru and Chile have been embroiled in a bitter border dispute since the late 19th century, when Chile defeated Peru in the War of the Pacific.

The countries also disagree on their maritime border, and last year Peru took Chile to the international court in The Hague to seek a resolution. [BBC/14November2009] 

Nato Taskforce to Form 'Afghan FBI' and Root Out High Level Corruption. Western soldiers are to begin investigating high-profile Afghans suspected of involvement in what one American official describes as a "criminal mafia state" in a sign of the growing international exasperation with Hamid Karzai's failure to crack down on corruption.

A taskforce being established by Nato in Kabul will consist of a small team of anti-corruption officers, as well as a criminal investigator and prosecutor who hope senior generals will be able to stop cases being derailed by opposition from the Afghan government.

Details of the body emerged as the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said Washington had called on Karzai to create a "major crimes tribunal" and an anti-corruption commission.

Her comments reflect growing impatience among Karzai's western backers at his apparent unwillingness to tackle corruption. Earlier this month, Gordon Brown warned the Afghan president that he would lose international support if he failed to improve its performance.

Law enforcement officials in Kabul hope the anti-corruption body will replicate the structure of the British-backed counter-narcotics taskforce, which was set up to investigate, hold and convict high-value drug traffickers in a secure facility where judges can be kept safe from retributions.

An official involved in the scheme said there will also be a separate body responsible for drawing up a "target list for judicial action and a watch list of people we're suspicious of".

Information gathered by Nato will then be handed over to the major crimes taskforce, a wing of Afghanistan's intelligence service but trained by the FBI and Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

The need for such a body, dubbed the "Afghan FBI", has been highlighted by the breakthrough arrest in October of a top police officer in the southern province of Kandahar after an investigation into thousands of "ghost salaries" of non-existent policemen under his command.

The arrest of the officer, who cannot be named until the conclusion of his trial, was greeted with alarm by the interior minister, Hanif Atmar, who has so far refused to claim credit for the unprecedented arrest of such a senior official.

"It was a fascinating example where the interests of a criminal syndicate clearly weighed more important in the minister's mind than the demands of the international community to clean up corruption," said a US official involved in the anti-corruption push.

The US ambassador in Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, is so skeptical about Karzai's commitment to tackling corruption and crime and reforming his government that he has advised Barack Obama not to send any additional troops.

One US official said Karzai's government is "structured like a criminal syndicate", extracting money from the people in the form of bribes, stolen customs revenues and imprisoning people for ransom.

Last week Karzai horrified observers when he attempted to justify his decision in July to pardon convicted drug dealers, one of whom was related to a member of his re-election campaign team. In an interview on US television, Karzai argued that he had to release the man as he was under pressure from western governments to release Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, a journalism student accused in 2007 of insulting Islam.

But whereas the drug traffickers were convicted with the help of western law enforcement agencies and judges mentored by British lawyers, the Kambaksh case was criticized from the start for flouting legal procedures. Even a close colleague of Karzai said the president was "struggling to justify the unjustifiable".

Previous attempts by Afghan authorities to deal with corruption have been disappointing, including the high office of oversight, an entity set up largely for the purpose of demonstrating to international donors that something was being done about corruption. Western legal officials criticize it for being toothless and not independent of the president, who appointed its senior staff.

Ershad Ahmadi, the deputy head of the organization and one of the president's close advisers, says a good relationship with the presidential palace is vital to ensure "people take us seriously".

But Ahmadi said that despite constant reminders, no one in the presidential palace, except for Karzai himself, have yet completed the asset registration forms which are constitutionally mandated for all senior ministers and officials.

He argued that the system of government needs to be reformed to make it less open to abuse. He also said 100 top government officials should be removed from their posts, to "short-cut the process of building confidence in the government".

The international community has also been putting resources into an anti-corruption unit, within the attorney general's office, an effort western officials say is paying dividends and should lead to high-profile arrests in the coming weeks, although some cases are currently blocked by a legal provision preventing the arrest of serving provincial governors.

But Gerard Russell, a former senior diplomat at the both the British and UN missions in Kabul, believes only foreign prosecutors immune from intimidation by Afghan criminals need to be drafted in to help to clean up the government.

"Getting Al Capone took a federal grand jury - if you can have outsiders doing the work of denouncing corrupt officials, they can do it more safely and fearlessly," he said.  [Guardian/15November2009] 

India, US to Share Intelligence Inputs to Thwart Terror Strikes. In a sign of growing ties between Indian and American security agencies, CIA chief Leon E Panetta is paying a three-day visit to India from November 20, with anti-terror cooperation high on the agenda.

During his visit, the US Central Intelligence Agency head is likely to discuss issues ranging from cooperation on counter-terrorism and sharing of intelligence among others with top security experts of the country.

The top American intelligence officer will also discuss the probe carried out by the US and Indian investigators on David Coleman Headley and his Canadian associate Tahawwur Hussain Rana, arrested by FBI for suspected links with LeT and plotting terror attacks in India.

Home Ministry officials said following the last year's terror attacks in Mumbai, US authorities are extremely cooperative with Indian security agencies and parting with key information. [DnaIndia/15November2009]

Yemen, US Sign Military Deal to Fight Rebels. Yemen has signed an agreement with the United States for cooperation on military intelligence and training.

The two countries signed the agreement in Sanaa on November 10 after two days of talks, the second round of such negotiations. The deal aims to strengthen cooperation in the "extermination of terrorism, smuggling and piracy."

Fighting between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels, who say they suffer political, religious and economic marginalisation, intensified last August when Sanaa launched a military offensive against them. Last week, neighbouring Saudi Arabia launched its own offensive against the rebels after they staged a cross-border raid and seized some territory, accusing Riyadh of collusion with Sanaa's war against them. The United States and Saudi Arabia fear the fighting in Yemen's north and separatist unrest in the south could allow Al Qaeda to expand its presence in Yemen into a new base for operations in the region. [DailyTimes/12November2009] 

National Intelligence Director to Evaluate CIA Missions. Sensitive CIA operations overseas will face new scrutiny from the nation's intelligence director under a plan approved by the White House and outlined in a memo to the espionage workforce last week.

The move marks an attempt by Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair to assert greater authority over clandestine operations at a time of mounting bureaucratic frictions between the CIA and Blair's office.

Among the activities that could be evaluated are the CIA's campaign of Predator missile strikes against militant targets in Pakistan, as well as secret paramilitary and spying operations in other countries.

In a memo to subordinates Friday, Blair cited new guidance from the White House that his responsibilities "include assessment and evaluation of the effectiveness of sensitive operations." The majority of those, he said, "are conducted by the CIA."

But in a sign of ongoing skirmishing in the intelligence community, other officials dismissed Blair's memo and said the CIA's covert-action authorities remain intact.

"Covert action is ordered by the president and carried out by the CIA," said a U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "That relationship, which involves a single, direct line of command and communication between the White House and the agency, isn't changing."

Indeed, officials said Blair had sought to change the chain of command, putting his office more directly in charge of clandestine operations, but the White House rejected the proposal. As a fallback, officials said, Blair was asserting the right to review CIA missions.

Blair's memo appeared to be in response to news last week that he had lost a long-running bureaucratic battle with CIA Director Leon E. Panetta over who has the authority to pick the top U.S. spy representative in other countries.

After months of wrangling, and the intervention of Vice President Joe Biden, the White House opted to preserve an arrangement in which those overseas positions are all held by CIA officers.

In his memo, Blair contended that media reports about the decision were "incomplete and in places incorrect," even while acknowledging that the White House had ruled in the CIA's favor.

The CIA has come under severe criticism, including by President Obama, for operations in recent years including its network of secret prisons and the use of waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects.

Oversight by the director of national intelligence could help ensure that CIA activities are effective and serving U.S. interests, said Mark Lowenthal, a former senior CIA official. "The potential problem is if it's done heavy-handed, and [Blair] starts using this as a way to run operations," he said. "Then you're going to just have another food fight, and the DNI is probably going to lose."

Others were more critical of Blair's plan. A congressional official briefed on the matter said it risks "getting into the weeds when the DNI should be looking at over-arching management issues."

The DNI was created five years ago as part of an intelligence reform effort to do away with an arrangement in which the CIA director was responsible for coordinating all of the nation's spy services while managing the agency's own operations.

"It seems like the DNI is getting involved in the same things that led the [CIA director] to lose focus," said the congressional official, who was not authorized to speak officially on the matter. "He wants to be the intelligence briefer, wants to go to all the meetings, wants to run chiefs of station and wants to manage covert action."  [Miller/LATimes/17November2009]


Israel's Military Intelligence Finally Figures Out What Went Wrong in '54 Lavon Affair; Everything. Fifty-five years after the notorious failure of an Israeli sabotage operation in Egypt, Military Intelligence has finally gotten around to figuring out what went wrong. The answer? Pretty much everything.

An educational presentation about the 1954 Lavon affair prepared by the MI history and heritage division found that MI had not sufficiently trained the members of the sabotage unit, who were mostly amateurs and included several Egyptian Jews, and had failed to give them cover stories, plan escape routes or otherwise plan for the possibility that they would be caught.

"First and foremost, this is the story of the failure of Military Intelligence, starting with the choice of targets for the network's sabotage operations, the operational planning and the superficial and sloppy training, and ending with the method of execution, which totally failed to carry out the pointless mission, which had no chance of reaching the strategic goal its operators had set: the cancellation of the planned British evacuation of the Suez Canal," stated the MI analysis.

The Lavon affair - also known locally as esek habish, "the rotten business" - was a plan to discredit Egypt's government, then headed by Gamal Abdel Nasser, by bombing theaters, post offices and U.S. and British institutions, and making it seem as though Egypt was behind the bombings. The thinking in Israel at the time was that if the British were to give up control of the Suez Canal, it would be left in Egypt's hands, putting Cairo in a better position to exert pressure on Israel.

The agents were told "to undermine the West's trust in the [Egyptian] government by causing public insecurity" while concealing Israel's role in the sabotage.

However, the agents were caught. One committed suicide in prison, two were hanged and four got long prison terms. Only in 1968 were the prisoners exchanged for Egyptian POWs - a time lag the MI analysis attributes to internal bickering and a preoccupation with assigning blame.

"The intelligence community heads' evasion of responsibility for the operation, like the internal preoccupation with the question of who among the leaders of the political establishment gave the order, led to the fact that over many years, no effort was made to get the 'rotten affair' prisoners released," the analysis found.

Code-named Operation Susannah, the incident led to the dismissal of Binyamin Gibli, the MI chief at the time, and the resignations of then-defense minister Pinhas Lavon and ultimately, the prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. In the years after the incident came to light, public debate centered around the question of who gave the order for the operation to go forward.

The educational presentation, which met with harsh criticism when it was distributed to the MI units in September, states that although at least six external committees investigated the incident, the mistakes had never before been investigated and analyzed within MI, the institution responsible for the operation. [Harel/Haaretz/10November2009] 

Portrait of 9/11 'Jackal' Emerges as He Awaits Trial. Not long after he was rousted from bed and seized in a predawn raid in Pakistan in March 2003, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed gave his captors two demands: He wanted a lawyer, and he wanted to be taken to New York.

After a nearly seven-year odyssey that took him to secret Central Intelligence Agency jails in Europe and an American military prison in Cuba, Mr. Mohammed is finally likely to get his wish.

He will be the most senior leader of Al Qaeda to date held to account for the mass murder of nearly 3,000 Americans, facing trial in Manhattan while his boss, Osama bin Laden, continues to elude a worldwide dragnet.

Yet the boastful, calculating and fiercely independent Mr. Mohammed has never neatly fit the mold of Qaeda chieftain. He has little use for the high-minded moralizing of some of his associates, and for years before the Sept. 11 attacks, he refused to swear an oath of loyalty to Mr. bin Laden - figuring that if the Qaeda leader canceled the Sept. 11 plot, he would not have to obey the order.

A detailed portrait of the life and worldview of Mr. Mohammed, 44, has emerged in the years since his capture, filled in by declassified C.I.A. documents, interrogation transcripts, the report of the Sept. 11 commission and his own testimony at a military tribunal. And the most significant terrorism trial in American history will be a grand stage for a man who describes himself as a "jackal," consumed with a zeal for perpetual battle against the United States.

"The trial will be more than just a soapbox for him," said Jarret Brachman, author of "Global Jihadism" and a terrorism consultant to several government agencies. "It will be a chance for him to indict the entire system. I'm sure he's been waiting for this for a very long time," Mr. Brachman added.

The last time Mr. Mohammed had such a platform was at a military hearing at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, where he delivered a rambling exposition on a number of topics, including American history, citing Manifest Destiny and the Revolutionary War.

"Because war, for sure, there will be victims," he said through a translator, explaining that he had some remorse for the children killed on Sept. 11, 2001. "I said I'm not happy that 3,000 people been killed in America. I feel sorry even. I don't like to kill children and the kids."

But he added: "This is why the language of any war in the world is killing. I mean the language of the war is victims."

A Pakistani raised in Kuwait, Mr. Mohammed became important to Al Qaeda's mission in large part because of his background: he had an engineering degree from an American university, spoke passable English and had a deeper understanding of the West than any of Mr. bin Laden's other lieutenants.

As Pakistanis in Kuwait, his relatives would have been considered second-class citizens, but they had the means to send him to the United States for his education. After attending secondary school in Kuwait, Mr. Mohammed was accepted at Chowan College, a Baptist college in rural North Carolina where many foreign students came to improve their English. He later transferred to North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree in 1986.

Not long after graduation, he traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to join the mujahedeen fighters, who at the time were the beneficiaries of millions of dollars from the C.I.A. in the fight against Soviet troops.

His experience in Afghanistan gave him a first taste of the battle against the West that would come to consume his life.

Over the next decade, he plotted dozens of attacks against Western targets. At his military tribunal in 2007, Mr. Mohammed recited a litany of conspiracies he said he had had a hand in, including assassination plots against President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

But demonstrating his tendency toward grandiosity, he overstated his role in many of the attacks, most terrorism experts believe, although they do not dispute his central role in planning the Sept. 11 attacks.

It was not until the mid-1990s that American counterterrorism experts began to understand Mr. Mohammed's significance to the cause of global jihad, after a thwarted plot to blow up 12 American commercial aircraft in midair. The so-called Bojinka plot, hatched in a Manila apartment with his nephew, the World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, was Mr. Mohammed's first inspiration for using airliners as ballistic missiles against civilian targets, according to the 9/11 commission report and recently declassified C.I.A. documents.

In 1996, Mr. Mohammed traveled to Afghanistan to sell Mr. bin Laden on an idea: simultaneously hijacking 10 aircraft and flying them into different prominent civilian targets in the United States. He would be on the one plane not to crash, and after the plane landed would emerge and deliver a speech condemning American policy on Israel. Mr. bin Laden dismissed the idea as impractical, but three years later he changed his mind and summoned Mr. Mohammed to Kandahar to begin planning a scaled-down version of the plot, which would eventually become the Sept. 11 attacks.

Some terrorism experts said Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Mohammed had as much a rivalry as a partnership. For instance, Mr. Mohammed dismissed the training Mr. bin Laden oversaw at Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, believing that climbing on jungle gyms and taking target practice with AK-47s was impractical. And like a rebellious employee, Mr. Mohammed bristled at being micromanaged by the Qaeda leader.

Yet the two men's personalities complemented each other.

"You need the charismatic dreamers like bin Laden to make a movement successful," said Daniel Byman, a former intelligence analyst now at Georgetown University. "But you also need operators like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed who can actually get the job done."

The purpose of the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Mohammed told his captors years later, was to "wake the American people up." By hitting civilian targets, he said, he would shock Americans into recognizing the impact of their government's actions abroad, including supporting Israel in its fight against Palestinian militants.

Mr. Mohammed jealously guarded the details of the plot, telling only Mr. bin Laden, one of his advisers and a few of the senior hijackers.

Even as he planned the attacks, he never committed himself to Al Qaeda by pledging an oath, called "bayat," to Mr. bin Laden. He was determined to keep his independence from the Qaeda leader, and he later bragged to his C.I.A. captors that he had disobeyed Mr. bin Laden on several occasions.

He resisted constant pressure from Mr. bin Laden to launch the attacks early, and twice in 2001 told him the hijacking teams were not ready when Mr. bin Laden ordered that the attacks begin.

Yet for all his professed wisdom about the United States, Mr. Mohammed later admitted that he had completely misjudged what the American response to the Sept. 11 attacks would be. He did not expect the American military campaign in Afghanistan, and he did not anticipate the relentless hunt for Al Qaeda leaders throughout South Asia and the Middle East.

He even misjudged his own fate. When he was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, he thought he would soon be traveling to New York, where he would stand trial under his indictment for the Bojinka plot.

Instead, he was hooded and spirited out of Pakistan by C.I.A. operatives, who took him first to Afghanistan and eventually to a former Soviet military base in northern Poland.

Mr. Mohammed's initial defiance toward his captors set off an interrogation plan that would turn him into the central figure in the roiling debate over the C.I.A's interrogation methods. He was subjected 183 times to the near-drowning technique called waterboarding, treatment that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has called torture. But advocates of the C.I.A's methods, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, have said that the interrogation methods produced a trove of information that helped dismantle Al Qaeda and disrupt potential terrorism attacks.

Until the attorney general announced on Friday that Mr. Mohammed would be tried alongside four accused Sept. 11 co-conspirators in a Manhattan federal court "just blocks away" from ground zero, his fate was far from certain. Indeed, the defense might yet seek a change of the trial site.

In September 2006, along with other C.I.A. prisoners in secret overseas jails, Mr. Mohammed was moved to the military prison at Guant�namo Bay. By then, he had grown a long beard and had begun dressing in traditional Arabic clothing, cultivating a pious image far different than his disheveled, befuddled appearance after his capture in March 2003.

But even as the United States prepares to put him on trial for carrying out Al Qaeda's most successful operation, Mr. Mohammed is still considered somewhat of an outcast inside the terrorist network, rarely if ever mentioned in public pronouncements by Mr. bin Laden or his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

Some terrorism experts believe that Mr. Mohammed will always be considered too secular - and too practical - to be completely accepted by the terrorist network's senior leaders.

"As opposed to the rest of these guys who sit around and talk, K.S.M. actually got the job done," said Mr. Brachman, the terrorism consultant. "That's what set him apart, and that's what made him so scary." [NYTimes/15November1009] 

CIA Says It Gets Its Money's Worth From Pakistani Spy Agency. The CIA has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan's intelligence service since the Sept. 11 attacks, accounting for as much as one-third of the foreign spy agency's annual budget, current and former U.S. officials say.

The Inter-Services Intelligence agency also has collected tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA program that pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants, a clandestine counterpart to the rewards publicly offered by the State Department, officials said.

The payments have triggered intense debate within the U.S. government, officials said, because of long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help Taliban extremists who undermine U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to Al Qaeda members in Pakistan.

But U.S. officials have continued the funding because the ISI's assistance is considered crucial: Almost every major terrorist plot this decade has originated in Pakistan's tribal belt, where ISI informant networks are a primary source of intelligence.

The White House National Security Council has "this debate every year," said a former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official involved in the discussions. Like others, the official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. Despite deep misgivings about the ISI, the official said, "there was no other game in town."

The payments to Pakistan are authorized under a covert program initially approved by then-President Bush and continued under President Obama. The CIA declined to comment on the agency's financial ties to the ISI.

U.S. officials often tout U.S.-Pakistani intelligence cooperation. But the extent of the financial underpinnings of that relationship have never been publicly disclosed. The CIA payments are a hidden stream in a much broader financial flow; the U.S. has given Pakistan more than $15 billion over the last eight years in military and civilian aid.

Congress recently approved an extra $1 billion a year to help Pakistan stabilize its tribal belt at a time when Obama is considering whether to send tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan.

The ISI has used the covert CIA money for a variety of purposes, including the construction of a new headquarters in Islamabad, the capital. That project pleased CIA officials because it replaced a structure considered vulnerable to attack; it also eased fears that the U.S. money would end up in the private bank accounts of ISI officials.

In fact, CIA officials were so worried that the money would be wasted that the agency's station chief at the time, Robert Grenier, went to the head of the ISI to extract a promise that it would be put to good use.

"What we didn't want to happen was for this group of generals in power at the time to just start putting it in their pockets or building mansions in Dubai," said a former CIA operative who served in Islamabad.

The scale of the payments shows the extent to which money has fueled an espionage alliance that has been credited with damaging Al Qaeda but also plagued by distrust.

The complexity of the relationship is reflected in other ways. Officials said the CIA has routinely brought ISI operatives to a secret training facility in North Carolina, even as U.S. intelligence analysts try to assess whether segments of the ISI have worked against U.S. interests.

A report distributed in late 2007 by the National Intelligence Council was characteristically conflicted on the question of the ISI's ties to the Afghan Taliban, a relationship that traces back to Pakistan's support for Islamic militants fighting to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan.

"Ultimately, the report said what all the other reports said - that it was inconclusive," said a former senior U.S. national security official. "You definitely can find ISI officers doing things we don't like, but on the other hand you've got no smoking gun from command and control that links them to the activities of the insurgents."

Given the size of overt military and civilian aid to Pakistan, CIA officials argue that their own disbursements - particularly the bounties for suspected terrorists - should be considered a bargain.

A U.S. intelligence official said Pakistan had made "decisive contributions to counter-terrorism."

"They have people dying almost every day," the official said. "Sure, their interests don't always match up with ours. But things would be one hell of a lot worse if the government there was hostile to us."

The CIA also directs millions of dollars to other foreign spy services. But the magnitude of the payments to the ISI reflect Pakistan's central role. The CIA depends on Pakistan's cooperation to carry out missile strikes by Predator drones that have killed dozens of suspected extremists in Pakistani border areas.

The ISI is a highly compartmentalized intelligence service, with divisions that sometimes seem at odds with one another. Units that work closely with the CIA are walled off from a highly secretive branch that has directed insurgencies in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

"There really are two ISIs," the former CIA operative said. "On the counter-terrorism side, those guys were in lock-step with us," the former operative said. "And then there was the 'long-beard' side. Those are the ones who created the Taliban and are supporting groups like Haqqani."

The network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani has been accused of carrying out a series of suicide attacks in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

Pakistani leaders, offended by questions about their commitment, point to their capture of high-value targets, including accused Sept. 11 organizer Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. They also underscore the price their spy service has paid.

A onetime aide to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described a pointed exchange in which Kayani said his spies were no safer than CIA agents when trying to infiltrate notoriously hostile Pashtun tribes.

"Madame Secretary, they call us all white men," Kayani said, according to the former aide.

CIA payments to the ISI can be traced to the 1980s, when the Pakistani agency managed the flow of money and weapons to the Afghan mujahedin. That support slowed during the 1990s, after the Soviets were expelled from Afghanistan, but increased after the Sept. 11 attacks.

In addition to bankrolling the ISI's budget, the CIA created a clandestine reward program that paid bounties for suspected terrorists. The first check, for $10 million, was for the capture of Abu Zubaydah, a top Al Qaeda figure, the former official said. The ISI got $25 million more for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's capture.

But the CIA's most-wanted list went beyond those widely known names.

"There were a lot of people I had never heard of, and they were good for $1 million or more," said a former CIA official who served in Islamabad.

Former CIA Director George J. Tenet acknowledged the bounties in a little-noticed section in his 2007 memoir. Sometimes, payments were made with a dramatic flair.

"We would show up in someone's office, offer our thanks, and we would leave behind a briefcase full of $100 bills, sometimes totaling more than a million in a single transaction," Tenet wrote.

The CIA's bounty program was conceived as a counterpart to the Rewards for Justice program administered by the State Department. The rules of that program render officials of foreign governments ineligible, making it meaningless to intelligence services such as the ISI.

The reward payments have slowed as the number of suspected Al Qaeda operatives captured or killed by the ISI has declined. Many militants fled from major cities where the ISI has a large presence to tribal regions patrolled by Predator drones.

The CIA has set limits on how the money and rewards are used. In particular, officials said, the agency has refused to pay rewards to the ISI for information used in Predator strikes.

U.S. officials were reluctant to give the ISI a financial incentive to nominate targets, and feared doing so would lead the Pakistanis to refrain from sharing other kinds of intelligence.

"It's a fine line," said a former senior U.S. counter-terrorism official involved in policy decisions on Pakistan. "You don't want to create perverse incentives that corrode the relationship." [Miller/LATimes/15November2009] 

Revolutionary Guard Tightens Security Grip. Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard has sidelined the country's intelligence ministry, forming a new organization that reports directly to the Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Interviews with Iranian analysts and opposition figures, along with recent government announcements, depict a shift under way since Iran's clerical regime was shaken by the massive street protests that followed disputed presidential elections in June.

The loyalty of the intelligence and security services became a major concern for hard-liners running the regime, analysts say. The changes could have the effect of formalizing the tough and sometimes brutal approach taken with dissidents and protesters in the months since the election.

Some of the intelligence takeover has been publicized. Ayatollah Khamenei announced recently that the Revolutionary Guard's small existing intelligence unit would be elevated to become a much larger official organization. State media named Hassan Taeb, previously commander of the Basij volunteer paramilitary organization, as the head of the new intelligence operation.

On Wednesday, the Iranian opposition group responsible for exposing much of Iran's controversial nuclear-fuel program claimed in an interview that seven different agencies have now been subordinated to Mr. Taeb's group, the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, gutting the intelligence ministry of power.

Maryam Rajavi, leader of the National Council for Resistance in Iran, said in an interview at the European Parliament in Brussels that the seven agencies include the old intelligence directorate of the Revolutionary Guard, as well as its cyberdefense unit; the intelligence directorate of the Basij; parts of the now-gutted intelligence ministry; Mr. Khamenei's own intelligence unit, known as Office 101; and the plainclothes units and Tehran Revolutionary Guard headquarters tasked with controlling street protests in the capital.

"Khamenei wants to have absolute control," said Ms. Rajavi, saying that the NCRI's network of supporters in Iran has established that Mr. Taeb reports directly to Mr. Khamenei's chief of staff, Ali Asghar Hejazi. That would consolidate power in the hands of Mr. Khamenei and his loyalists at a time when deep fissures have emerged within the regime over his handling of the elections.

Officials of the new intelligence agency couldn't be reached for comment.

It isn't possible to verify Ms. Rajavi's specific claims. The NCRI is listed in the U.S. as a terrorist organization, though not in Europe. While Iran experts dismiss the group's claim that it has widespread support inside Iran, the NCRI was the first to expose Iran's covert nuclear-fuel program in 2002. The NCRI also warned of a second nuclear-fuel facility at Qom in 2005, a claim confirmed recently by the U.S. and Tehran.

The Revolutionary Guard is already a military, economic and political powerhouse in Iran. It controls the country's long-range missile program, as well as multiple business enterprises, including lucrative oil and gas projects. On Wednesday, the Guard's engineering unit won the tender for a $2.5 billion rail link to the south-eastern port of Chabahar, Reuters reported. Numerous former Guard officers are in top political posts, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In an October speech, Revolutionary Guard commander Maj. Gen. Mohamad Ali Jafari said the Guard was changing to meet the demands of the times. "Our enemy has changed face. We face the threat of a soft overthrow instead of military invasion, so the Guard must also transform accordingly."

Created in 1979 as an elite military force, the Revolutionary Guard was the chief intelligence apparatus for several years. But in 1984, under pressure from the parliament, Iran's leaders agreed to create a new ministry of information. "The two organizations have always had overlapping responsibility along with rivalry and an unhealthy competition," said Ali Alfoneh, an expert on the Guard and a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Almost immediately after the June 12 election unrest began, signs surfaced of the Guard taking control of security and intelligence. It unleashed the Basij into the streets to crack down on opposition supporters and took the lead in making arrests.

High-profile political detainees are held in a ward inside Tehran's Evin prison known as "2A" controlled and operated by the Guard. Lawyers have said the ward is off-limits to prison guards, the judiciary and even the intelligence ministry.

Journalists working in Iran during the election protests were warned by the information ministry that the Revolutionary Guard had taken over security. If arrested, reporters were told their contacts at the intelligence ministry wouldn't be able to locate them or help release them. "The Guards are in complete control of the country, they are running the show," said Iranian dissident journalist Roozbeh MirEbrahimi. [Champion/IranFocus/14November2009] 


Strategy Page: Afghanistan Is Different. The intelligence techniques that were so successful in Iraq are still being adapted to the different conditions in Afghanistan. The two big differences are the larger spaces you have to operate in with Afghanistan (where most of the combat is out in the country, not urban), and the hillier terrain (which makes it more difficult for UAVs and video cameras in general to spot people, who now have more hiding places.)

But some things have improved, like the technology that provides Internet like access to live video feeds from aircraft and UAVs. The U.S. Air Force and SOCOM (Special Operations Command) have been particularly keen on this, and has shared the technology with the other services, and friendly nations.

There has also been progress with the U.S. Army image analysis system. This is basically just another pattern analysis system. However, it's been a very successful system when it comes to finding newly planted IEDs, and enemy activity in general. As the techniques are adapted to Afghanistan conditions, the enemy will suffer higher casualties, and NATO forces less.

Pattern analysis is one of the fundamental tools Operations Research (OR) practitioners have been using since World War II (when the newly developed field of OR got its first big workout). Pattern analysis is widely used by the financial community, by engineers, law enforcement, marketing specialists, and now, the military. The basic application uses a special video camera system to observe a locality and find useful patterns of behavior. Some of the cameras are mounted on light (C-12s, mainly) aircraft, others are mounted on ground structures. Special software compares photos from different times. When changes are noted, they are checked more closely, which has resulted in the early detection of thousands of roadside bombs and terrorist ambushes. This has largely eliminated roadside bomb attacks on supply convoys, which travel the same routes all the time.

No matter what the enemy does in covered areas, the cameras will notice. In Iraq, this effort led to the death of over 3,000 terrorists caught in the act of setting up roadside bombs, or lying in wait to set them off and attack their victims with gunfire. Hundreds more terrorists were captured, and many thousands of roadside bombs were avoided or destroyed before they could go off.

All this geeekery works, and the troops like tools of this sort mainly because the systems retain photos of areas they have patrolled, and allows them to retrieve photos of a particular place on a particular day. Often, the troops returning from, or going out on a patrol, can use the pattern analysis skills we all have, to spot something suspicious, or potentially so.

A related math tool is predictive analysis. This was widely used in Iraq to determine who the bombers are, where they are, and where they are most likely to place their bombs next. This has enabled the geeks-with-guns (the Army OR specialists) to offer regular "weather reports" about expected IED activity. The troops took these reports very seriously, especially by those who run the hundreds of daily convoys that move people and supplies around Iraq. If your route is predicted to be "hot", you pay extra attention that day, and often spot IEDs that, as predicted, were there. Usually, the predictions are used to send the engineers and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams out to scout and clean the route. It's the feedback from these guys that has brought the geeks their reputation. If the geeks, and their tools (computers, aerial images, and math), say there is something bad out there, they are generally right. For the geeks, it's all pretty obvious. Given enough data, you can predict all sorts of things, or just about anything, really. But to many people, including most reporters, it's all still magic.

Afghanistan is different from Iraq, in terms of geography and the psychology of the enemy. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy proved very adaptive, and these tools often give you an early warning on new enemy techniques, and how they fit in with your current tactics. But new enemy tactics don't befuddle these tools, which analyze, determines patterns, and it tells you what the bad guys are up to and where they are.  [StrategyPage/13November2009] 

The Making of an American Terrorist, by Alex Alexiev. Much has been written already about what happened at Fort Hood last week. But to understand why it happened, it may be useful to start by reminding ourselves that the shooting was the first act of suicide terrorism on American soil by a homegrown Islamic extremist.

The question is how Hasan became a terrorist. It is a question of seminal relevance given the strong probability that homegrown terrorism might well be a greater threat to homeland security in the future than foreign jihadists will be. Only a week before the massacre at Fort Hood, the FBI killed one and arrested a dozen radicalized African-American converts in Detroit who believed in and trained for violent jihad against fellow citizens. Another half-dozen would-be American terrorists were neutralized by law enforcement recently; most had been radicalized in the U.S. long before they reached out to foreign jihadists for training and support.

To understand the nature of the problem, a quick look at the origins and evolution of Islamic extremism in America and its sponsors is essential. Radical Islam made its first appearance in America in 1963 at the University of Illinois with the founding of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) by group of Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimin) immigrant activists with money from the Saudi front organization Muslim World League (MWL).

In the decade following the founding of the MSA, many of today's self-proclaimed leading Islamic organizations were spun off from it and began acting independently - though neither the ideological nor the organizational ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and its Saudi paymasters were ever severed. These included the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and a number of smaller groups.

In the 1990s, this network was augmented with a number of other radical-Islamist organizations affiliated with the Brotherhood, such as the Muslim Political Affairs Council (MPAC) and the above-ground incarnation of the clandestine Brotherhood, registered in 1993 as the Muslim American Society (MAS).

What they all had in common was adherence to the hate-filled Wahhabi-Salafi Islamist ideology and a visceral dislike for America and the West, leading at least some of them to see their ultimate objective as "destroying Western civilization from within," as an internal Brotherhood document put it succinctly.

To understand the magnitude of the problem, it is worth recalling that as early as the period of 1980 to 1985, according to the Muslim World League Journal, some 60 American Islamic organizations were financed by Wahhabi interests. In 1991, the Brotherhood counted 29 American Islamic organizations among its allies; the MSA, which openly lionizes Osama bin Laden, now boasts over 1,000 college chapters in North America.

With the help of huge inflows of mostly Saudi money, these radical networks, which should more appropriately be seen as branches of the same organization run by a few dozen individuals through a system of interlocking directorships, have made radical Islam the dominant idiom of the American Muslim establishment, despite the fact that most American Muslims are well-integrated, economically prosperous, and not given to extremism.

Taken together, this network, which controls a majority of American mosques, Islamic cultural centers, charities, and schools, is nothing short of an Islamist fifth column radicalizing large numbers of American Muslims and increasingly capable of infiltrating our government and key institutions including the military.

Unfortunately, neither the U.S. government, nor the FBI, nor the military understands that what this fifth column is engaged in is not religion but political sedition and the subversion of our constitutional order under the guise of religion - both of which are prohibited under current U.S. law.

A gentleman by the name of Abdurahman Alamoudi provides a typical example of the Islamist modus operandi. In October 2004, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for terrorism-related activities, and he is currently serving his sentence in a federal penitentiary.

Prior to that, Alamoudi had been a kingpin of the Islamist network as a key official in a dozen top Islamist organizations and five charities suspected of funding terrorism. Despite that, Alamoudi evidently enjoyed unimpeded access to the White House under Presidents Clinton and Bush, and also served as a State Department "goodwill ambassador" in the Middle East and a U.S. Information Agency speaker abroad. Most important, as a founder of an organization called American Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council (AMAFVAC), this radical Islamist became the first exclusive endorsing agent for Muslim chaplains for all branches of the U.S. armed forces and was able to place Islamist extremists in the military virtually at will.

It is within this vast subversive enterprise that Major Hasan, like thousands of others, became radicalized and eventually a terrorist long before the war in Iraq came along to annoy him. It is not difficult to trace his transformation into a mass murderer by simply looking at the institutions in which he was indoctrinated.

First, at Dar al-Hijrah in Falls Church, Va., one of the largest and most radical mosques in the country, where his mentor was Imam Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American-born jihad and suicide-bombing advocate; and then at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md., under Imam Faizul Khan, yet another Muslim extremist, a key figure in the Washington, D.C., Islamist scene and an official at both ISNA (an unindicted co-conspirator at a terror-finance trial) and the Saudi front MWL.

All of the above information is easily accessible to anybody with an Internet connection. Yet, the U.S. government, our counterterrorism organs, and the military all refused to recognize or act upon it, and twelve young Americans have paid the ultimate price.

Whether this was the result of sheer incompetence or obsequious political correctness or both, the American people have the right and duty to ask their representatives to conduct a broad investigation of this catastrophic failure and take appropriate measures to make sure that it doesn't happen again. And do it soon. If not, the next suicide bombing in the homeland is not a matter of if, but when. [Alex Alexiev is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He spent 20 years as a senior analyst with the national security division of the Rand Corporation. His present research focuses on issues related to Islamic extremism and terrorism.] [Alexiev/NationalReview/16November2009] 



James Lilley - Ambassador to China During Tiananmen. James R. Lilley, 81, a longtime CIA operative in Asia who served as ambassador to China during the Tiananmen Square crackdown and was regarded as one of the most pragmatic voices on the modern Sino-American relationship, died Nov. 12 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He had complications related to prostate cancer.

Mr. Lilley, born in China, the son of an oilman and a schoolteacher, had a storied career as an intelligence officer in Asia. Gruff with a no-nonsense manner and a keen eye for detail that peppered his reports from the field, Mr. Lilley was singular in the fractious world of China-watching in that he was respected by both Communist China and Taiwan and across the political spectrum at home. Alone among U.S. officials, Mr. Lilley served as a U.S. ambassador to China and as the top American representative to Taiwan.

"Because he was raised in China, Jim Lilley had the ability to view China as an ordinary country with no romanticism about his views," said J. Stapleton Roy, who succeeded him as ambassador to China in 1991. "On the one hand, he could be very critical of China. On the other hand, he could weigh in when you weren't expecting it with a defense of our relationship with China."

The height of the public portion of Mr. Lilley's career came during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Because of a close relationship with then-President George H.W. Bush - Mr. Lilley had served as the CIA station chief in the U.S. mission in Beijing when Bush was chief of mission during the early 1970s - his graphic reports about the dramatic events unfolding in Beijing were often sent directly to the president.

Mr. Lilley was a harsh critic of the crackdown. He housed top Chinese dissident Fang Lizhi in the embassy for a year and a month before the Chinese allowed Fang to leave for the United States. But Mr. Lilley also played a critical role in arranging a secret trip by two senior U.S. officials to Beijing after the crackdown to assure China that the United States valued its relationship with Beijing.

James Roderick Lilley was born Jan. 15, 1928, in Qingdao, a resort in Shandong province famed for its German-run brewery and its white sand beaches. He had an idyllic childhood in an international community, with a Chinese nanny who attended to his every need. Mr. Lilley idolized his eldest brother, Frank, whom he would follow to Yale and also into the U.S. Army.

Mr. Lilley was an 18-year-old serving at Fort Dix, N.J., when he learned that Frank had committed suicide in 1946 at a U.S. military base outside Hiroshima, Japan. Mr. Lilley dedicated his 2004 memoir, "China Hands," to his brother who "died young and pure so that we could carry on."

Mr. Lilley joined the CIA in 1951. Three years later, he married Sally Booth. The District resident survives, along with the couple's children, Jeffrey Lilley of Silver Spring, Doug Lilley of the District and Michael Lilley of Rumson, N.J.; a sister; and six grandchildren.

Mr. Lilley started his career, he wrote, "as a foot soldier in America's covert efforts to keep Asia from being dominated by Communist China." He helped insert agents into China, gathered intelligence in Hong Kong and battled against the Communist takeover in Laos. He served as ambassador to South Korea, among other posts.

Mr. Lilley was involved in bureaucratic battles that resonate today. In the early 1980s as chief of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. Embassy there, Mr. Lilley clashed with State Department officials over arms sales to Taiwan. Senior State Department officials wanted to bend to Chinese pressure and agree to a cutoff date; Mr. Lilley thought this was unwise and represented an unnecessary present to Beijing.

In the end, the Reagan administration agreed in a letter to the Chinese government that "there would naturally be a decrease in the need for arms by Taiwan," a clause that has bedeviled U.S. relations with China each time Washington agrees to sell Taiwan another batch of weapons. [Pomfret/WashingtonPost/13November2009] 


George Stepahin. George Stepahin, 84, of Spotsylvania County died Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009, at Mary Washington Hospital.

Mr. Stepahin was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland. He worked for more than 33 years with the U.S. Government for the ACIC, Naval Intelligence and retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Mr. Stepahin was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church in Lyndora, Pa.

Survivors include his loving wife of 53 years, Esther Wolfe Stepahin; two sons, James M. Stepahin of Spotsylvania and Thomas D. Stepahin of Apex, N.C.; two daughters, Joanne M. Wescott of North Andover, Mass., and Lois A. George of Pittsfield, Mass.; his brother, Nicholas Stepahin of Cleveland, Ohio; and 12 grandchildren.

Inurnment will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, in Arlington National Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Mary Washington Hospice, 5012 Southpoint Parkway, Fredericksburg, Va. 22407, or to Zion United Methodist Church, 8700 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, Va. 22553.

Online guest book is available at covenantfuneral []


Capt. William B. Ecker - Navy Pilot Proved Soviets had Missiles in Cuba. Retired Navy Capt. William B. Ecker, 85, who led low-level sorties over Cuba in October 1962 and provided photographic evidence of Russian missile installations that almost led to a nuclear confrontation between the Soviets and the United States, died Nov. 5 at a hospital near his home in Punta Gorda, Fla. He had coronary artery disease.

By the time the fighter pilot commanded an aerial reconnaissance squadron over Cuba on Oct. 23, U-2 spy planes had started to document Soviet attempts to ship missile parts to the island nation. But the images were taken from too great an altitude to prove definitively the Soviets' intentions in the communist country.

Capt. Ecker's close-up pictures, taken over a site near the town of San Crist�bal in western Cuba, were credited with showing beyond a doubt the existence of the missiles. The black-and-white images captured missile equipment, fueling vehicles and other related materials.

The evidence, combined with a U.S. naval blockade of Cuba, worsened a nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union. On Oct. 25, Adlai Stevenson, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly displayed some of Capt. Ecker's aerial photographs at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council and demanded an answer from the Russian ambassador about placing missiles on Cuban soil.

When Soviet delegate Valerian Zorin demurred, saying he would respond "in due course," Stevenson replied in a rage, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over, if that's your decision."

The crisis deepened before a resolution days later, when the Soviet Union agreed to remove the missiles, and President John F. Kennedy said the United States would remove missiles from Turkey.

Capt. Ecker went on to direct Naval photography and reconnaissance in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He retired in 1974 after 32 years of service, which included combat missions in the Pacific during World War II. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1962 for his quick but risky flight over Cuba.

William Boyce Ecker was born in Omaha and received a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland in 1961. He received a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1967.

From 1988 to 1998, he was a docent at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's facility in Suitland for the preservation, restoration and storage of aircraft, spacecraft and other artifacts. Capt. Ecker was portrayed by actor Christopher Lawford in the 2000 Hollywood film "Thirteen Days," starring Kevin Costner as an aide to Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, H. Kathryn "Kit" Daley Ecker of Punta Gorda; and two sons, Richard Ecker and David Ecker, both of Fairfax County. A son, Michael Ecker, died in 1996.

In 2001, Capt. Ecker moved to Punta Gorda from the Alexandria part of Fairfax County. The next year, he traveled to Cuba as part of a U.S. delegation commemorating the missile crisis. He expressed little regard for Cuban leader Fidel Castro - "just kind of a four-flusher," he said - but admired the country's skill at making cigars. He accepted a souvenir box of Cohiba Coronas Especiales, despite the U.S. prohibition on goods from the communist nation.

"I went out on the porch with one the other day," he told the Tampa Tribune with a shrug. "It is a very good cigar."   [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/13November2009]


Covert Action in the Cold War: US Policy, Intelligence and CIA Operations, by James Callanan. Born out of the ashes of World War II, the covert action arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was created to counter the challenge posed by the Soviet Union and its allies and bolster American interests worldwide. It evolved rapidly into an eclectic, well-resourced organization whose activities provided a substitute for overt military action and afforded essential backup when the Cold War turned hot in Korea and Vietnam.

This comprehensive examination of a still controversial subject sheds valuable new light on the undercover operations mounted by the CIA during the Cold War. Using a wide range of unpublished government records and documents, James Callanan traces the growth of the agency chronologically as it forged a covert action mission that sought to advance US foreign and defence policy in all corners of the globe.

Offering a powerful perspective on a pivotal period in American history, Covert Action in the Cold War makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of global politics during the Cold War.  [IBTauris/December2009]

Papa Spy: Love, Faith and Betrayal in Wartime Spain, by Jimmy Burns. In the 1930s Tom Burns was a rising star of British publishing, whose friends and authors included G. K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, the artist Eric Gill and the poet David Jones. And among his glittering social circle he had set his heart on the beautiful Ann Bowes-Lyon, cousin of the Queen.

When war was declared in 1939, Burns joined the Ministry of Information, effectively the propaganda wing of the secret services. Sent to Madrid as press attach� at the British Embassy, where the Ambassador was the formidable and very Protestant Sir Samuel Hoare, Burns used his faith and his deep love of Spain in the propaganda war against the Nazis, who at the time had pretty much unrestricted access to the Spanish media. Burns' brief was to do all in his power to keep Franco neutral and so protect Gibraltar and access to the western Mediterranean.

The strategy was simple, but the tactics were more complicated, especially when Burns found he had begun to make enemies at home, not least among them Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt, head of the MI6's Iberian section. By 1941 he felt far from the real fighting, Ann had pledged herself to another man, and Burns was spending as much time protecting his back as fighting the Nazis. How he overcame these odds, was involved in the Man Who Never Was decoy plot, arranged Leslie Howard's fatal propaganda trip to Portugal and Spain, and finally found true love while loyally serving his country is the story told in this extraordinary book by his son.  [Bloomsbury/December2009]



Wednesday, 18 November 2009; OPTIONAL VIP Reception: 5:30 – 6:30 pm, Panel presentation: 6:30 pm - Washington, DC - Russia Rules: The Moscow Murders - at the Spy Museum. “KGB decides what interests KGB.”— Major Pribluda in Gorky Park
When Alexander Litvinenko died of polonium poisoning in London in November 2006, critics of Putin’s Russia saw the hidden hand of the KGB. Eight years earlier, the former KGB and Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer had accused his superiors of ordering him to assassinate Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky. Business as usual for the KGB and its successor organization? In a country whose historical government tradition is to eliminate spies and dissidents in exile, allegations of state-sponsored assassinations abound. Hear the insiders’ views on real and alleged Soviet/Russian assassinations in modern times from two former KGB officers who have first-hand experience in the system: Oleg Kalugin, a retired , major general of the KGB, onetime deputy resident and acting chief of the KGB Residency at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, and author of The First Directorate: My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage against the West; and Andrey Rostov, a former senior KGB intelligence officer in the U.S. and Latin America in the late 1980s/early 1990s. They will be joined by Olga Oliker, senior international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, who will illuminate the issue from her perspective as a specialist in security sector reform and Russian foreign policy.
Guests can choose to enhance this unforgettable evening with an exclusive opportunity to mingle with the speakers in a VIP reception that includes Russian hors d’oeuvres and Russian-influenced cocktails prior to the program.
Program plus VIP Reception Tickets: $100 per person (includes pre-program, exclusive reception with speakers)
Program Only Tickets: $20 per person Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station To register:

Thursday, 19 November 2009, 11:30 - Colorado Springs, CO - The Rocky Mountain Chapter of AFIO to hear expert on NORAD and NORTHCOM on "Unconventional Threats by Nation States."  CAPT Scott M. Stanley, USN, Deputy Director of Intelligence, NORAD / U.S. Northern Command, will be the speaker. He will address the dual-mission challenges of NORAD and NORTHCOM, specifically, the conventional threats posed by traditional nation-states, and those threats to the homeland as presented by non-state actors (i.e.,transnational terrorism).  He will also touch on the role played by our defense intelligence professionals in support of civil authorities.Event takes place at the Air Force Academy Falcon Club. Please RSVP to Tom Van Wormer at 719-481-8273 or

19 November 2009, 11:30 a.m. - Scottsdale, AZ - The AFIO Arizona Chapter hosts Dr. Jim Shamadan who will speak on "Resolution of the Starflash Explosives Factory Fiasco."

Dr. Jim Schamadan did his undergraduate work in chemical engineering and received his M.D., cum laude from Ohio State University. A military medical officer in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict, he served as a physician in Kuwait and Iraq during Desert Storm. From September 2001 until January 2003, Dr. Schamadan served as Special Assistant to the Governor of Arizona for Homeland Security. Dr. Shamadan’s talk will cover the events in September 1997, when over a decade ago Federal officers executed a search warrant and associated arrest documents for the owner of a munitions manufacturing facility known as Starflash Ranch in New River Arizona. In addition to the main ranch house, they discovered several booby-trapped underground bunkers, training videos, and a manufacturing facility called “The Shed." Federal authorities had planned to destroy the bunkers using novel technical means but citizens of New RIver opposed this action and the matter reverted to State authorities. The speaker will discuss how the episode ended using information about this incident that has not previously been released.
Event is being held at: McCormick Ranch Golf Club (7505 McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale AZ 85258 ~ Phone 480.948.0260) Our meeting fees will be as follows: • $20.00 for AFIO members• $22.00 for guests. For reservations or questions, please email Simone or or phone and leave a message on 602.570.6016. Art Kerns, President of the AZ Chapter,

Thursday, 19 November 2009; 12 noon – 1 pm - Washington, DC - Spies in the Vatican: The Soviet Union’s Cold War Against the Catholic Church at the Spy Museum. From the persecution of local priests to an assassination order against Pope John Paul II, Soviet intelligence zeroed in on the Catholic Church. Based on never-before-seen documents and transcripts, including the assassination order against the Pope signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and nine other Politburo members, lifetime journalist and advisor to President Ronald Reagan, John Koehler, has put together a startling history of Soviet espionage and violence. Spies in the Vatican shows how large a threat the Soviets perceived the Catholic Church to be to stability in Eastern Europe—a concern not entirely unfounded, since the Pope’s visit to heavily Catholic Poland in the 1980’s triggered the beginning of the Solidarity movement in that country, contributing to the fall of Communism.
Free! No registration required! Join the author for an informal chat. Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station

21 November 2009, Kennebunk, ME. PROTECTING AMERICA IN THE MISSILE AGEThe Maine Chapter of the Association of Intelligence Officers will present the American Heritage film "33 Minutes" at its November 21 meeting.  33 minutes is the time it would take for a ballistic missile from anywhere in the world to reach the United States and wipe out a city or even a state.  With stunning visuals and commentary by world experts  this documentary explores the history of missile defense, our current capabilities, and the growing threat to America.  The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main Street in Kennebunk.  For information call David Austin. 207-364-8964.

1 December 2009 - Arlington, VA - The Defense Intelligence Forum meets - Location of luncheon is the Alpine Restaurant, 4770 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207. This event will follow the Chatham House Rule. Dr. Max G. Manwaring will speak on the Mexican Drug Wars -- Guns, Gangs, and Ganja. Dr. Manwaring, a retired Army colonel, is Professor of Military Strategy in the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College. He is the author and coauthor of several publications dealing with Latin American security affairs, political-military affairs, insurgency, and counterinsurgency. Pay at the door with a check for $29 per person payable to DIAA, Inc. Social hour starts at 1130, lunch at 1200. Make reservations by 24 November by email to Give names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and choices of chicken, veal, or salmon. PAY WITH A CHECK. THE FORUM DOESN'T TAKE CASH!

Thursday, 3 December 2009, 12:30 pm - Los Angeles, CA - The Los Angeles area Chapter hosts FBI Special Agent David Gates on the FBI's role at international airports and the Bureau's counterterrorism efforts at LAX. Gates worked the Counter Terrorism Task Force at LAX. The meeting will take place on the campus of Loyola Marymount University. If you need directions send an email to Lunch will be provided for $15, payment accepted at the door. For attendance reservations please forward email confirmation by no later than 11/26/09:

7 December 2009, 1000-1230 - Annapolis Junction, MD - The National Cryptologic Museum Foundation's Annual Pearl Harbor Commemorative Lecture program features Edward S. Miller on the Attack on Pearl Harbor - author of Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor. Although most Americans are very familiar with the details of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and its impact on the nation, most people are unaware of the U.S. Economic campaign against Japan prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. We have been trying for several years to find speakers who present a view of the political/economic landscape as well as the reasoning behind Japan’s decision to begin a war it could not win. This year we are pleased to welcome Mr. Edward S. Miller who will give his perspective on the impact on Japan of the measures taken by the U.S. against Japan prior to World War II to cut off Japan’s access to U.S. oil and other goods.
Mr. Miller has had two successful careers, one in the corporate financial world and one as a historian and author. His first book, War Plan Orange, on evolving U.S. military planning to defeat Japan, which began after the Russo-Japanese War, won five Distinguished History prizes.
The year’s Annual Pearl Harbor Commemorative Lecture is based on Mr. Miller’s latest book: Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor published in 2007.
Please plan to attend on 7 December for what promises to be an informative presentation about this subject. The program will be held at the L3 Communications Maryland Conference Center in the National Business Park from 1000-1230. Directions to L3 L3 Conference Center located at 2720 Technology Dr, Annapolis Junction, MD 21076 in the Rt. 32 National Business Park. Please note that videotaping of this program is not permitted.
Send in $20.00 by 30 November or register by 30 November to and explain you are bringing your payment with you. Send $20 payment to NCMF PO Box 1682, Ft Meade, MD 20755. Hope to see you there!

8 December 2009 - Hampton Roads, VA - The December meeting of AFIO's Norman Forde Hampton Roads VA chapter will occur in the evening on this date. Further details will follow. Inquiries to Melissa Saunders, President, AFIO Norman Forde Hampton Roads Chapter, 757-897-6268

8 December 2009 - San Francisco, CA - The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Thomas C. Reed, former Secretary of the Air Force and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Policy. Reed will be discussing the political history of nuclear weapons: where they came from, the surprising ways in which the technology spread and the lessons learned from that proliferation. 
RSVP required. The meeting will be held at United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat and Wawona). 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish): and mail check made out to "AFIO" to the delightful: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011.

9 December 2009 - Albuquerque, NM - The December meeting will feature Jim Hoffsis' presentation on the UAVs featured during the AFIO National Symposium.

For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events


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