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1973-10-13A-CIA President Nixon and the Role of Intelligence in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War

1973-10-13A-CIA President Nixon and the Role of Intelligence in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War

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PPROVEDFORRELEASE
-
CIAINFODATE:
15-Oct-2012
13
October
1973
Arab-Israeli
Hostilities:..
Two
Scenarios
The
Arab-Israeliwar
is
approaching
a
decisiveturningpoint.Because
of
the
lack
of
detailedinformationconcern-
ing
severalcriticalvariables,
it
is
impossible
to
predictwithgreatconfidence
how
events
onthe
battlefieldwilldevelop.
We
have,
however,
in
this
paperconstructedwhat
seem
to
be
the
most
likelyalternative
scenarios
and
their
implications.
Scenario.
I:
IsraeliRetribution
Introduction
When
the
fightingbegan
on
Saturday,
the
Israelireserveswerenotmobilized.
Only
blocking
forces
weredeployed
in
the
areas
where
the
Syrians
and
the
Egyptiansattacked.
Israel's
strategy
was
to
hold
on
untiltheirmobilizedstrength
could
be
pressedagainst
the
Arabs..
This
strategyappears
to
be
working.
The
small
numberofIsraeli.
troops
initiallydeployed
onthe
GolanHeights
heldlong
enough
forthe
mobilized
force
to
getinto
position
andthe
tide
of
battle
has
turned
in
Israel's
favor.
Along
the
Suez
Canal,
theBar
Lev
defense
line
has
done
thejobof
tripping
the
Egyptianoffensive.
The
attackingEgyptian
forceshavenot
drivendeep
into
the
Sinai.TheIsraeli
strategy
at
this
pointappears
to
beto
des-troy
the
Syrianmilitary
forces
whilesimplycontaining
the
large
Egyptian
force
that
has
crossed
over
to
the
east
bank
of
theSuez
Canal.Once
thejobonthe
Syrianfront
is
com-
pleted--probably
within
a
few
days--theIsraeliswillmost
likelyattempt
to
launch
a
majoroffensiveagainst
the
Egyptians.
Assessment
at
Mid-Week
On
the
GolanHeights,
the
Syrianshavefoughtbetter
than
anticipated.
To
stop
the
drive,
the
Israelisreliedprimarily
on
theirairpower,but
this
has
proved
tobe
costly
in
air-
craft
losses.
Time
was
bought,however,
and
sufficient
armor
I"
.9.yt..r3'
",;y.
,".-b.r.
t~.4
L5'Y+
Gr
.,+c..i"
Lt.
 
PPROVEDFOR RELEASE
-
CIA
INFO
DATE:
15-Oc
-
012
strength
is
now
in
the
area
forthe
Israelis
to
press
the
counterattackacross
the1967
cease-fire
line
and
on
to
Damascus.
The
highestIsraeli
priority
will
be
the
destruc-
tion
of
the
Syrianforcesrather.hanadditionalterritorial
gains.
In
the
Sinai,
the
overall
levelof
action
has
been
less
intense.
The
Egyptiansmoved
quickly
and.
easily. across
the
Canal
andwereable
to
rapidlyestablishseveralbridgeheads.
The
Israeliforces
along
the
Canal itself
at
the
time
numberedonly
a
few
thousandmen, equipped
with
.about
two
.hundred
tanks.
-
-These
outnumberedunits
fought
a
delayingactionbefore being
forced
to
abandon
virtually
alltheBar
Lev
Line.
outposts
on
the
east
bank
ofthe
canal.
Israel'smain force
in
Sinai
has
not
yet been
committed,
however.
It
nowappears
that..the
Israelis
are
holdingbackuntil
the
reserves
from
Israel
can link up.
When
all
is
in
place,
the
Israelis
will
strike
back
with
a
counterattackintended
to
destroy
the
Egyptians
forces
now
in
Sinai.
-
Israel'sCapability
toDo
It
The
majordeterminingfactor
in
the
overallstrategy
is
whether
Israel
still
has
the
strength
to
launchmajor counter-attacks. Because
the
Arabs
have fought
well,
Israel's
.losses
have
been higher
than
anticipated.
Measured
against
the
.size
ofthe
total .force,
however,
it
still
appears
that
the
Israelishave
sufficient numbers
of
aircraft,
tanks,
and
men
to
achieve
their
objective--to
roll
back
the
attackers
tothe
1967
line
anddestroy
the
attacking
Syrian and
Egyptian
forces.
A
Jordanian
entry
into
the
warwould draw
off
Israel's
strength
from
the
Syrianfront.
The
Israeliscan
probablyhandle
the
Jordanian
forces
withoutheavy
losses, but
they
would
be
forced
to
alter
the
timetableof.their
plans
on
the
other more important
fronts.
Israel's
aircraft
losses
are
probably
the
most
serious
element
in
the
equation.About
100
planes
havebeen
lost
out
of
Israel's total.
inventory
of
some
350
combataircraft.
The
Israelis
reportedly
havenow
cleared
most
of
the
SAM
defenses
from
the
Golan
Heights;unless
the
Syrians
receivemajorre-supply
of
SAM's
Israeli
aircraftlossesprobably
will
be
low
on
the
Syrian
front.
'
2
 
PPROVEDFORRELEASE
-
CIAINFO
DATE:
15-Oct-
012
On
the
Egyptian
front,
the
Israeliscan
expect
to
lose
more
planes.
Egypt's
SAM
defenses
are
still
largely
in
place
and
only
a
small
part
of
its
air
force hasbeen
committed.
Once
the
Israelisbegin
counterattacking
in
force,
however,
the
totgl
strength
of
the
Egyptian
air forceshould
enter
the
battle.
To
conserve
their
aircraft,
the
Israelis
mayrely
on
their
armor
to
destroy
the
Egyptianforces
in
Sinai.
In
terms
of
tanks,
the
Israelis
have
lost
some
600
tanks.
Although
their
loss
is
about
30
percent
ofthe
totaltank
inventory,
the
Israelis
have
more
tanks
now than
they
did
when.
he1967
warbroke
out.
In
the
absence
of
a
new
threat
on the
EasternFront,
the
Israelis
have
sufficientground
and
aircombatstrength
to
destroy
the
Egyptian
forces
in
the
Sinai.
The
Israelisalso
maydecide
to
cross
the
Canal
to
destroy
the
remainingelements
of
the
EgyptianArmy,
even
at
the
expense
of
heavycasualties.
And finally manpower.
TheIsraelis
may.
have
suffered
losses
of
more
than
1,000
men--already
several
hundredmore
than
were
lost
in
the
Six
DayWar. This
is
still a .small
percentage
of
Israel's
entiremobilized
force of
some
300,000
men,
however. Manpower
losses
are
not.
likely
to be
a
deter-
miningfactor
in
Israeli
strategy
atthisstage
of
the
war.
The
losses
will
only
fill
the
Israeliswithgreater resolve
to
strike
back hard.
Conclusion
In
the
Israeli
mind,
this
war
is
the
"Day
of
Judgment
War".
It
has
become
a
no-holds-barred
affair.,
and
the
Israelisare
determined
to
punish
the
Arabs.Chief
of
Staff
David
Elezar
has
saidthat
the
objectivenow
is
to
"break
their
bones."
Given
this
mental
state,
the
Israelis
probably
are
willing
to
pay
the
high cost
in
menand equipmentnecessary
to
demonstrate
the
consequences
of
attacking
Israel.This
war
is
becoming.increasinglybloody,
andfromIsrael'spoint
of
view, cannotcontinueover
a
long
period
of
time.
3

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