Category Archives: WAR

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Special Operations Command Unconventional Warfare Pocket Guide

Unconventional Warfare Pocket Guide

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Date: April 2016
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Originating Organization: U.S. Army Special Operations Command
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This guide is a quick reference of Unconventional Warfare (UW) theory, principles, and tactics, techniques and procedures. It is not a complete treatment of the subject. To guide further study, it includes (in annotated form) as many references as possible starting with established law, policy and doctrine, includes scientific studies, and finishes with recommended reading on the subject.

The term UW often elicits strong responses both negative and positive, though many have a fundamental misunderstanding of the term itself, and its application supporting U.S. policy. Simply, UW is the support to a resistance movement. Historically and most often, the U.S. supported a semi-organized militarized irregular force — known in doctrine as a Guerrilla Force, as part of an insurgency — such as the U.S. support to the Afghanistan Northern Alliance in 2001. This is most often due to a foreign policy decision on when to get involved.

However, the application of UW is much broader and adaptive. The methods and techniques used and the planning for the operations are dependent on the state of the resistance movement, environment, and the desired end state. Support to a resistance organization in its incipient state requires significantly different planning and support than one in the war of movement state (using Mao’s phases). The first will most likely be small, very sensitive, longer in duration, and often conducted under Title 50 authority, whereas the latter is large scale and open, as with the Northern Alliance in 2001.

Thus to prepare and train a force to conduct UW writ large, the theoretical construct must encompass all developmental states of the resistance; numerous environments, ideologies and circumstances; and account for all possible paths to a desired end state. The straw man and scenarios discussed in doctrine are not prescriptive but descriptive of a comprehensive campaign necessary to explore all possibilities, and their applicability.

UW has a wide range of applications in the contemporary environment, whether a textbook approached operation supporting the Syrian resistance, preparing a partner state ahead of potential occupation, or enabling a tribal group to resist Da’esh occupation in an Iraqi city. Special Operations Commanders must understand UW theories, principle, and tactics, and adapt them based on circumstance, the resistance, the opposition, and the desired end-state. This guide will help commanders and their staffs to find the relevant information necessary to understand and conduct UW.

Unconventional Warfare Overview

The focus in UW is on the indigenous resistance elements, not U.S. force structures and procedures. UW falls within the construct of Irregular Warfare (IW) and is one of U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) Core Activities. USSOCOM Directives 10-1cc (U) and 525-89 (S//NF) establishes USASOC as the Lead Component for UW. This directive also describes the SOF service component capabilities and tasks for UW.

Components of a Resistance

Indigenous populations engaged in resistance are composed of the following primary components: the underground, auxiliary, guerrilla forces, public components, shadow government, and a government-in-exile. The goals, objectives, and success of the resistance will determine the level of development and relationships among the components.

The underground and guerrillas are politico-military entities that may conduct both political and military acts, and which represent the ends of a spectrum between clandestine and overt resistance.

The auxiliary represents a clandestine support structure for both the underground and guerrillas.

The public component functions as an overt, political, and/or material support entity. The public components may negotiate with the nation-state government or occupying power on behalf of resistance movement objectives, and will typically make overt appeals for domestic and international support. Public components may represent resistance strategic leadership or merely an interest section.

The underground is a cellular organization within the resistance that has the ability to conduct operations in areas that are inaccessible to guerrillas, such as urban areas under the control of the local security forces. Examples of underground functions include: intelligence, counterintelligence (CI) networks, special material fabrication (example: false identification), munitions, subversive radio, media networks (newspaper or leaflet print shops), social media, webpages, logistic networks, sabotage, clandestine medical facilities, and generation of funding.

The auxiliary refers to that portion of the population that provides active clandestine support to the guerrilla force or the underground. Members of the auxiliary are part-time volunteers who have value because of their normal position in the community. Some functions include: logistics procurement and distribution, labor for special materials, early warning for underground facilities and guerrilla bases, intelligence collection recruitment, communications couriers or messengers, distribution media and safe house management.



The United States and the Two Koreas

During the North Korean nuclear crisis of the 1990s, the United States and South Korea shared blunt concerns about the possible outbreak of military hostilities with Pyongyang, according to newly published internal documentation from the National Security Archive. In April 1994, South Korean Defense Minister Rhee Byong Tae told U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, “If there is another war, the country will be totally wiped out,” and all the progress built since the 1950s would be “turned into ashes.” Perry saw no “imminent danger of war on the peninsula,” but admitted that if sanctions were imposed on Pyongyang its unpredictability required the U.S. and its allies to be prepared militarily.

As Perry would later tell North Korean officials, his greatest apprehension was that war would erupt because of miscalculation by one or both sides. Despite these vivid concerns harbored by the U.S. and its ally, the documents confirm that the Clinton administration worked to turn the crisis into an opportunity for broader engagement with Pyongyang. But a combination of deep mutual distrust and North Korean intransigence and deception eventually undermined any positive developments, leaving the crisis for future administrations to try to resolve.

These and many other revelations, insights and details about the U.S. relationship with North and South Korea are contained in a major new compilation of U.S. government records just published by the National Security Archive. Today’s posting highlights selections of these previously unavailable materials from The United States and the Two Koreas, Part II: 1969-2010, a part of the “Digital National Security Archive” distributed by the academic publisher ProQuest.

The new collection contains over 1,600 recently-released documents, shedding fresh light on the events of 1994 — culminating in the October Framework Agreement to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program — and the ensuing, albeit ultimately abortive, period of more positive engagement with the communist regime. That promising interlude began with the Framework Agreement and continued until the end of the Clinton years, only to fall back into a more familiar phase of tensions and conflict under George W. Bush that continues today. The publication, the second in a series on the Koreas, covers U.S. relations with the two adversaries from Richard Nixon through the early Barack Obama presidency.

Among the new documents that open a window on the events of two decades ago are:

  • An account of Secretary of Defense Perry’s first meeting with Korean Defense Minister Rhee, in April 1994, to discuss the mounting crisis with North Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons program. As Perry summed up the issue, “(1) We will not initiate war’ (2) We will not provoke a war; but (3) We should not invite a war by being weak.” Rhee, while agreeing with Perry, made it clear that, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations with North Korea, war was unthinkable for South Korea. [Document 1]
  • Selections from the set’s over 200 Morning Intelligence Summaries prepared by the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research providing assessments of current developments on the peninsula. Among the range of topics covered are renewed efforts to improve relations between the two Koreas, as well as Seoul’s fears that the U.S. efforts to engage with North Korea might harm South Korean interests. [Documents 2, 4 and 5]
  • A report providing a near-verbatim account of the meeting between U.S. and North Korean military officers in Panmunjon at which the U.S. sought the remains of one pilot and the release of another, imprisoned by North Korea after their helicopter strayed across the DMZ into North Korean airspace in December 1994. This document illustrates vividly the frustrations that often surround efforts to negotiate with North Korea, and the deep suspicion that seems to color all North Korean approaches to talks with the U.S. [Document 9]
  • Two examples of nearly 180 reports from the U.S. spent fuel team sent to Nyongbyon in September 1995 to work with North Korean technicians on storing and removing the spent nuclear fuel canisters from the Nyongbyon nuclear facility, as part of the Agreed Framework. These reports provide a fascinating “boots on the ground” perspective on the challenges faced by the Americans in working with the North Koreans, as well as uniquely detailed accounts of the two sides’ interactions. [Documents 10 and 12]
  • A detailed “Guide to Working and Living at Nyongbyon, DPRK” prepared by the U.S. spent fuel team that provides an intimate look at the wide range of practical challenges associated with travel, living and working in North Korea. [Document 13]
  • A State Department Memorandum from early 1996 that outlines the wide range of issues on which the U.S. was engaged with North Korea just a year after the Framework Agreement was reached. These included food aid, sanctions removal, a stable system for supplying Heavy Fuel Oil, the North Korean missile program, the return of POW-MIA remains, the opening of Liaison Offices, and the promotion of North-South dialogue. Set against these goals was the challenge of engaging with a North Korea that “internally is in parlous condition, beset by an economy that continues to nose down, by the spectre of increasing mal-nutrition, and by the uncertainties of an incomplete leadership transition.” [Document 11]
  • Documents dealing with the Clinton administration’s efforts in the Four Party Talks and bilateral discussions with North Korea to defuse the delicate security situation on the peninsula through steps such as agreed tension-reducing and confidence building measures. To encourage Pyongyang to move forward in these discussions, the U.S. laid out a road-map for easing sanctions against North Korea as the Framework Agreement is being implemented and other steps taken to reduce tensions. [Documents 15 and 16]
  • A 1997 cable reporting on IAEA concerns that North Korea is not fully abiding by its agreement to allow IAEA inspection of its nuclear facilities under the Framework Agreement, in hindsight a possible omen of later revelations during George W. Bush’s first term. [Document 14]
  • A 1998 cable reporting on discussions among senior State Department and South Korean officials about the prospects for change in North Korea. One interesting point of consensus is that the late Kim Il Sung had wanted to initiate reforms to save his country, but after his death there was no one with the authority to push for change, so the “system went on now, locked to the compass course set” previously. [Document 17]
  • A part of former Secretary of Defense Perry’s “Script of Talking Points” for briefing North Korean leaders on his recommendations to President Clinton for a fundamental “reset” of U.S. policy towards North Korea. As Perry told the North Koreans, the Framework Agreement had opened a door into “an era of decisively improved relations between the US and the DPRK,” but both sides had not managed to go through this door. Entering this new era required changes to a status quo that was unstable, including removing the “clear and present danger” presented by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. [Document 18]

The Clinton administration’s ambitious agenda would not survive his presidency, and relations with Pyongyang spiraled back to renewed tensions and acrimonious rhetoric under George W. Bush. The new president’s inclusion of North Korea within an “Axis of Evil” in his 2002 State of the Union address was followed that October by the revelation that Pyongyang had been secretly violating its Framework Agreement commitment to cease work on nuclear weapons. While a large part of the historical record remains classified (and the subject of National Security Archive FOIA requests), the new publication sheds considerable light on these developments, as well as on continuing efforts to re-engage North Korea in productive nuclear negotiations under Bush II and Obama.

The collection also provides extensive new documentation on U.S. relations with the two Koreas and efforts to manage the political and security challenges on the peninsula under Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and George H. W. Bush, building on the documents obtained for the Archive’s first Korea set. Taken together, the two collections provide an indispensible resource for scholars and journalists interested in understanding the often tortuous history of U.S. efforts to resolve the security dilemmas that are the legacy of an uneasy ceasefire on the Korean peninsula that has lasted over six decades.


The Documents

Document 1: Cable, Seoul 0331 to Secretary of State, Subject: SECDEF Meeting with ROK Minister of Defense Rhee, April 21, 1994 (Secret)

This cable reports on the first personal meeting between U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry and his South Korean counterpart, Defense Minister Rhee Byong Tae. Despite a developing crisis in Bosnia, Perry felt compelled to come to Seoul to establish a personal relationship with Rhee so that they could work together with confidence on the mounting North Korean nuclear crisis. Despite extensive redactions, this document is important for Perry’s clear statements of the U.S. position, the risks involved, and the need for close U.S.-ROK agreement on the threat and the steps to be taken. Perry is at pains to stress that while the U.S. does not believe there was “any imminent danger of war on the peninsula,” Washington and Seoul still need to maintain the military deterrent to North Korea as the necessary backstop to negotiations, and then impose sanctions if need be. As Perry summed up the issue, “(1) We will not initiate war’ (2) We will not provide a war; but (3) We should not invite a war by being weak.” To this end, according to Perry, the U.S. and South Korea must strengthen the deterrent against North Korea, regardless of assertions by Pyongyang that these steps would be provocative. Rhee, while agreeing with Perry, also stresses that war is unthinkable for South Korea, stating bluntly that “If there is another war, the country will be totally wiped out. … during the Korean War, there were two million casualties, with ten million family separations. A war now would be 100 times worse, and South Korean nation-building would be turned into ashes.”


Document 2: “DPRK/ROK: Shall We Dance?” in The Secretary’s Morning Intelligence Summary, June 27, 1994 (Top Secret-Codeword)

In this, one of the numerous Korea-related entries from the Secretary of State’s Morning Intelligence Summaries in the DNSA set, State’s INR reports on progress towards a summit meeting between South and North Korea. Among the evidence suggesting reasons for optimism is the fact that the leaders of each country’s delegation to talks to arrange a summit, both of whom hold portfolios overseeing relations between the two nations, are viewed as flexible and pragmatic


Document 3: Cable State 183691 forwarding Seoul 05848, Subject: TFKN01: Death of Kim Il Sung Absorbs Both Koreas, July 11, 1994 (Secret)

This document, taken from the Wikileaks database, reports on how North and South Korea are responding to the death of Kim Il Sung. Overall, officials in South Korea expect basic policy continuity under Kim’s son, Kim Jong Il, including ongoing plans for a North-South summit, once the succession process plays out in Pyongyang. The cable also points out signs of differences of opinion within South Korea on handling the new North Korean leadership. Some “authoritative” voices had expressed concern that by extending condolences to North Korea, the U.S. may have diminished Pyongyang’s respect for Washington in future talks, while others, such as opposition leader Kim Dae Jung, fear the Seoul government may seize the opportunity to test the DPRK in the summit preparations. Public opinion in South Korea also poses a problem: “South Koreans do not hold a soft spot for the younger Kim [Jong Il], and a trip by Kim Young Sam to Pyongyang to meet with someone his junior in both age and leadership tenure would Invite widespread public criticism.” In a final bit of gallows humor, the cable reports that “former President Jimmy Carter is now referred to in ROKG circles as ‘the angel of death’.”


Document 4: “DPRK: Not Much Movement,” in The Secretary’s Morning Intelligence Summary, July 23, 1994 (Top Secret Codeword)

In this Morning Summary, INR assesses the interplay of the succession process in North Korea with the parallel tracks of talks with Pyongyang – one relating to the planned North-South summit, the other to the bilateral talks with the U.S. in Geneva on the nuclear issue. While North Korea has criticized Seoul for its treatment of Kim Il Sung’s death, the INR analysts say that Pyongyang realizes that any deterioration in North-South relations could hamper the talks in Geneva, which places a brake on the North’s reactions.


Document 5: “ROK: Anxiety Attack”, in The Secretary’s Morning Intelligence Summary, August 18, 1994 (Top Secret Codeword)

This INR assessment focuses on the delicate balancing act Washington faced in trying to push forward with the talks in Geneva on North Korea’s nuclear program and avoiding alarming South Korea that the U.S. is moving too quickly in these talks. South Korean leader Kim Young Sam’s concern that there be “no daylight between Washington and Seoul” on North Korea is viewed in the context of press criticism of the U.S. for giving away too much in the Geneva talks and failing to take ROK interests into account, and of Kim for promising to pay for light-water reactors to Pyongyang without gaining firm concessions from the North. Kim’s response to these criticisms is to try to increase his influence over the U.S.-DPRK talks, seeking to slow down moves towards normalization of U.S.-North Korean relations and linking the LWR issue to resumption of North-South talks, both steps that could hinder the bilateral U.S.-North Korean talks.


Document 6: Cable US Mission Geneva 008198 to Secretary of State, Subject: Amb. Gallucci’s opening statement at September 23 U.S.-DPRK Talks, September 24, 1994 (Secret)

This cable provides Ambassador Robert L. Gallucci’s opening statement at session two of the third round of U.S.-DPRK talks in Geneva. While this round would eventually result in the Agreed Framework signed on October 21, Gallucci’s statement indicates that as the talks opened significant issues continued to divide the two sides. A number of these issues, some new, some the U.S. believed resolved, had been raised by the North Koreans during the technical talks in Berlin held in the interim. The points included financing and roles regarding the Light Water Reactors, and the timing of the proposed construction freeze on North Korea’s nuclear facilities. Ambassador Gallucci proceeded to lay out the U.S. position on the necessary steps to be taken regarding the construction freeze, LWR financing, and North Korea’s return to the IAEA with safeguards obligations and commitments to permit inspections of North Korean facilities prior to the provision of the LWR technology. Gallucci also stressed U.S. opposition to any steps that would reopen the possibility of North Korea producing plutonium, the need to remove any spent nuclear fuel from the DPRK as soon as possible, and the need for any bilateral improved ROK.-DPRK agreement to accompany progress on the U.S.-DPRK agreement.[1]


Document 7: State Department Memorandum, Winston Lord to Secretary of State, Subject: Your Visit to Seoul, November 8-10, 1994: Scope Paper (Secret)

In this memorandum, Winston Lord lays out for Secretary of State Warren Christopher the goals of his upcoming trip to South Korea, where the key items on the agenda will center on reassuring Seoul. Lord describes a “demanding and exhausting collaboration with the ROK” to reach agreement with North Korea on the Agreed Framework to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and provide LWRs to North Korea. Lord advises that a “no-illusions” message assuring South Korea that Washington is working on the challenges that lie ahead should bolster Seoul’s confidence and help counter political and public ambivalence about the agreement, which will require funding on the order of $3 billion from South Korea to implement. To this end, Christopher should underscore how successful collaboration between the two countries has strengthened the bilateral alliance, and reassure Seoul that the U.S. commitment to its security remains firm. These reassurances are designed to counter South Korean fears that the U.S. “will now be friendly with the North to the South’s detriment, and that we will relax our guard against the North Korean military threat.” Lord also cautions Christopher to avoid saying anything that might play well in Washington but could lead Seoul to “fall into a zero-sum view” of the relationship. As an example, Lord suggests emphasizing Seoul’s leadership role, rather than praising it for agreeing to provide the “lion’s share” of the LWR funding.


Document 8: Cable, State 305317 to Amembassy Seoul, etc., Subject: Status Report: Korea, November 10, 1994 (Secret)

This cable demonstrates the sense of optimism and new engagement with North Korea that has surfaced in the wake of the Framework Agreement reached the previous month. As the embassy reports, Secretary of State Christopher’s recent visit to Seoul was seen as an “unqualified success,” with the secretary hitting all the points laid out for him by Winston Lord in the memorandum above. Adding to the sense of positive movement, the day before Christopher arrived in Seoul, ROK President Kim Young Sam had announced a new initiative aimed to facilitate opportunities pursued by South Korean businessmen in North Korea. While North Korea’s reaction was negative, as expected, overall the rhetoric out of Pyongyang had moderated somewhat in the wake of the Framework Agreement. This led some in the embassy, “applying the high art of nuance analysis,” to “believe the DPRK may be trying to set the scene for dialogue with the South by shifting away from insisting on Kim’s overthrow to merely insisting that he apologize for his transgressions.” Meanwhile, U.S. experts were heading to North Korea for talks on the storage of North Korea’s spent nuclear fuel canisters, while plans were being made for trilateral consultations with Seoul and Tokyo on establishing the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). Finally, a North Korean delegation would be visiting Washington in December for discussions preliminary to establishing liaison offices.


Document 9: Cable, Secretary of State for Operations Center, Subject: unc-kpa general officer-level meeting, 21 dec 94 – follow-up, ca. December 21, 1994 (Confidential)

A military incident threatened to upset the progress made in U.S.-DPRK relations when a U.S. helicopter flying near the DMZ crossed into DPRK territory on December 17 and was shot down, resulting in the death of one of the pilots and imprisonment of the other. The remains of the dead pilot were released on December 21, but it required protracted negotiations, involving Representative Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), before the other pilot was returned on December 30. This cable, while redacted, provides a fascinating look at the military talks on December 21 in Panmunjom, especially the manner in which the DPRK military representatives presented their position. At one point they asserted that U.S. military authorities were trying to undermine the progress made as a result of the Framework Agreement. The document also clearly shows the frustrations this engendered in the American officers.


Document 10: Facsimile Message, U.S Spent Fuel Team to Cherie Fitzgerald, Department of Energy re arrival of U.S. Spent Fuel team at Nyongbyon nuclear site, September 5, 1995 (Unclassified)

This message, reporting on the arrival of the U.S. expert team sent to North Korea to oversee the storage and removal of spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear facility in Nyongbon, is one of many in the DNSA set that provide a “boots on the ground” perspective on the challenges facing the U.S. team. While diplomats continued to work on matters of high policy, the U.S. delegates faced more mundane obstacles that included nature, in the form of bad weather, North Korean holidays, and dealing with Chinese visa fees.


Document 11: State Department Memorandum, “U.S. Policy Toward North Korea: Next Steps,” ca. January 1996 (Secret)

Though severely redacted, this memorandum illustrates the wide range of issues on which the U.S. was engaged with North Korea one year after reaching the Framework Agreement. As the opening sums up the situation, implementation of the Agreed Framework was well under way with marked momentum, despite some serious remaining issues such as financing the provision of Heavy Fuel Oil to the DPRK. As the U.S. continued to focus on implementing the Agreed Framework, the larger goal was to build on this foundation to “address a wider range of issues with North Korea, including food aid, sanctions removal, a stable system for supplying Heavy Fuel Oil, missile talks, return of POW-MIA remains, opening of Liaison Offices, and creation of North-South dialogue.” In pursuing this array of goals, the U.S. faced the challenge of engaging with a North Korea that “internally is in parlous condition, beset by an economy that continues to nose down, by the spectre of increasing mal-nutrition, and by the uncertainties of an incomplete leadership transition.” Still, all in all, this document outlines an ambitious agenda, when compared to the state of affairs when the Clinton administration took office in 1993.


Document 12: Memorandum, Thomas Grim to Cherie Fitzgerald (DOE), Subject: DPRK Rack Modification Request (with attached transcript of conversation), February 8, 1996 (Unclassified)

This document provides another detailed account of the obstacles posed by talks with North Korea, in this case regarding changes a North Korean engineer working with the U.S. spent fuel team wants to make in the spent fuel canister and rack system designed by the American contractor NAC International. The cover memorandum cautions that the discussion “was not as confrontational as it may seem,” given that the two individuals involved had discussed many difficult subjects before this one. Still, the U.S. feels that the changes requested could undermine safeguards, require major work and restarting the design and review stage of the project already completed. The exchange ends with the U.S. team member admonishing the North Koreans they are trying to change agreements their own superiors have agreed to, which leads the North Koreans to call for an end to the discussion.


Document 13: “An Informal Guide to Working and Living at Nyongbyon, DPRK,” originally compiled by C. Kenneth Quinnones, U.S.Spent Fuel Team, September 1996 edition (Unclassified)

This guide, prepared by C. Kenneth Quinones, one of the original leaders of the U.S. spent fuel team in North Korea, provides another good picture of the practical hurdles facing the U.S. team in carrying out their mission. The basic goal of the guide was to “minimize potential misunderstandings between members of the Korean staff at the Nyongbyon nuclear facility and members of the U.S. Spent Fuel Team,” in large part by pulling together numerous informal agreements between the two sides that arose out of the work. Covering practically every aspect of traveling, living and working in North Korea (at one point the guide says, in a bit of understatement, that “One does not simply drop into the DPRK”), the guide includes numerous tips on inter-personal relations and how to approach negotiations and meetings with North Koreans. While not a policy document, the authors see a clear policy relevance: “It is important to keep in mind that our continued professionalism in adapting to the varied living and working conditions in the DPRK will have a positive effect on the successful implementation of the other components of the overall DPRK-U.S. agreement. In a land where one’s ‘sincerity’ and ‘attitude’ often count for more than western-style logic, we in Nyongbyon are all, in a very real sense, active ‘ambassadors’ for the U.S.”


Document 14: Cable U.S. Mission Vienna to Secretary of State, Subject: GAO Teleconference with IAEA on DPRK Issues, April 16, 1997 (Confidential)

This document provides further details on concerns that North Korea was not fully abiding by its agreement to allow IAEA inspection of their nuclear facilities under the Framework Agreement. The cable consists of questions posed by the General Accounting Office with IAEA officials (the identity of whom has been deleted) on inspection activities under the agreement in the DPRK. It is clear from the responses made by the IAEA official that “The DPRK has not fully accepted IAEA safeguards.” Further problems included North Korea’s failure to fully comply with its safeguard agreement with the IAEA and the lack of progress in preserving essential information required to enable the IAEA to verify the validity of North Korea’s initial declaration under the safeguards agreement.


Document 15: State Department Memorandum, “Four Party Talks,” ca. January 16, 1998 (Secret)

As this document shows, despite the concerns over North Korea’s failure to fully comply with its commitments under the Framework Agreement regarding inspection of its nuclear facilities, the Clinton administration continued to pursue talks with Pyongyang on defusing the delicate security situation on the peninsula. This briefing memorandum, apparently prepared for talks with South Korea prior to upcoming Four Party meetings in Beijing and Geneva, discusses U.S. goals for agreeing upon and implementing mutual tension-reducing measures (TRMs) and confidence-building measures (CBMs). Progress on these steps would be paired with a gradual reduction in U.S. sanctions against North Korea.


Document 16: State Department Briefing Paper – “Road Map/Sanctions,” ca. March 10, 1998 (Secret)

This briefing paper, likely prepared for either bilateral US-NK talks in Berlin on March 13 and/or Four-Power talks in Berlin on March 16-20, further elaborates the U.S. position on easing sanctions against North Korea in response to continued progress in implementing the Framework Agreement and addressing other security issues. In outlining the steps the U.S is prepared to take, the unstated subtext of the U.S. strategy is that the U.S. clearly views the carrot of reduced sanctions and the positive impact this could have on the North Korean economy, as a key means to securing greater cooperation from Pyongyang.


Document 17: Cable, Seoul 002710 to Secretary of State, Subject: Prospects for Change in North Korea and in Its External Relations: USG/ROKG Officials’ Thoughts, May 12, 1998 (Confidential)

This cable reports on a dinner discussion, hosted by the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, between senior State Department and South Korean officials on the possible future political development of North Korea and how this could affect its relations with the outside world. Among the interesting points made was agreement that the late Kim Il Sung had wanted to institute reforms to “save his country,” but following his death there was no one in a position to push for the necessary changes, so the “system went on now, locked to the compass course set” while he lived. In general, there was little optimism about significant change in North Korea, especially given the wide range of unknowns regarding the inner political and military dynamics of the secretive regime.


Document 18: “Script of Talking Points for William J. Perry,” May 21, 1999 (Secret)

As concerns, including ongoing problems with North Korea’s adherence to the Agreed Framework, continued to mount, in October 1998 President Clinton asked former Secretary of Defense William Perry to carry out a fundamental review of U.S. policy toward North Korea. This document provides the detailed talking points for Perry’s remarks to North Korean officials, with revisions possibly in his own hand, on May 26 during his visit to the country to exchange views about his policy recommendations. Though the last half of his remarks have been redacted, the document still provides a good summary of U.S. concerns and goals regarding North Korea as it sought to reset relations with the country. As Perry presented the U.S. view, the Framework Agreement helped to avert a crisis and also opened a door into “an era of decisively improved relations between the US and the DPRK,” though the two sides had not yet managed to pass through this door. To this end, Perry was recommending a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward North Korea, rooted in U.S. security interests and goals in Asia that had developed since World War II. This policy would seek to engage with North Korea on the basis of reciprocal respect for each nation’s security interests, with the goal of reducing threats that might endanger peace and stability on the peninsula and in Asia. This would require agreed changes to a status quo that is unstable, including removing the “clear and present danger” presented by North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.


Document 19: State Department Briefing Paper – “Checklist of Key Issues – Your Meeting with North Korean Special Envoy Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok,” ca. October 5, 2000 (Secret)

This document is part of the briefing materials prepared for Secretary of State Albright in connection with the visit of North Korean Special Envoy Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok to Washington. This meeting was an important step in improving relations between the U.S. and North Korea that sought to build on the historical summit meeting between South Korean President Kim Dae Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in June 2000. An equally historic step would occur soon after, when Secretary Albright visited Pyongyang for talks with Kim Jong Il and other North Korean leaders.[2] As the memorandum stresses, the U.S. was seeking to end a half-century of hostility. While President Clinton was personally committed to this goal, the U.S. was also prepared to highlight the fact that continued lack of progress on key issues, specifically North Korea’s missile program, would remain an obstacle to normalization of relations between the two countries.



[1] For Ambassador Gallucci’s perspective on this meeting, see his account of the North Korean nuclear crisis, co-authored with Joel S.Wit and Daniel B. Poneman, Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis (Brookings Institution Press, 2004), pp. 298-299.

[2] For additional documentations on Secretary Albright’s visit to Pyongyang, see the Archives online briefing book North Korea and the United States: Declassified Documents from the Bush I and Clinton Administrations, available at


Revealed – Military Threats to Israel: Middle East Military Balance

Country Infantry Armor Air Force Navy
Active Reserves Tanks APCs Planes Helicopters Warships Submarines


Commentary – Iran will use the bomb

Return of the Twelfth Imam

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes the most important task of the Iranian Revolution was to prepare the way for the return of the Twelfth Imam, who disappeared in 874, bringing an end to Muhammad’s lineage. This imam, the Mahdi or “divinely guided one,” Shiites believe, will return in an apocalyptic battle in which the forces of righteousness will defeat the forces of evil and bring about a new era in which Islam ultimately becomes the dominant religion throughout the world. The Shiites have been waiting patiently for the Twelfth Imam for more than a thousand years, but Ahmadinejad believes he can now hasten the return through a nuclear war. Ayatollah Hussein Nuri Hamdani explicitly said in 2005 that “the Jews should be fought against and forced to surrender to prepare the way for the coming of the Hidden Imam.” It is this apocalyptic world view, Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis notes, that distinguishes Iran from other governments with nuclear weapons.

Lewis quotes a passage from Ayatollah Khomeini cited in an 11th grade Iranian schoolbook, “I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against the whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all of them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom, which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another’s hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours.”

Killing Innocent Muslims

There are those who think that Muslims would never use such weapons against Israel because innocent Muslims would be killed as well, but Saddam Hussein did not hesitate to use poison gas on his own people. During the war in Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah did not worry that rocketing cities with large Arab populations such as Haifa and Nazareth would kill non-Jews (and 24 of the 52 Israeli casualties were non-Jews). Muslims murder each other every day in Iraq. And Iran fought a ten-year war with Iraq in which as many as one million Muslims were killed.

Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani explicitly said he wasn’t concerned about fallout from an attack on Israel. “If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession,” he said “the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.” As even one Iranian commentator noted, Rafsanjani apparently wasn’t concerned that “the destruction of the Jewish State would also means the mass killing of the Palestinian population as well.”

Mutually Assured Destruction

Iran would never launch a nuclear attack against Israel, some argue because, as the old Sting song used to say about the Russians, the Iranians “love their children too.” In the days of the Cold War, this idea was known as MAD or Mutually Assured Destruction. In the Iranian case, no Muslim leader would risk an Israeli counterstrike that might destroy them. MAD doesn’t work, however, if the Iranians believe there will be destruction anyway at the end of time. What matters, Bernard Lewis observed, is if the infidels go to hell and believers go to heaven. And if you believe that killing the nonbelievers will earn you a place in Paradise with 72 virgins, what difference does it make if you go out in a blaze of glory as a suicide bomber or in the shadow of a mushroom cloud?

Rationality vs. Theology

Optimists also suggest the Iranians are driven more by rationality than theology and would not risk using nuclear weapons. Others believe they are irrational and therefore cannot be trusted to hold their fire. One does not have to believe the Iranians are irrational, however, to foresee the possibility of an attack on Israel with nuclear weapons. Rafsanjani, the President of Iran before Ahmadinejad, was just as adamant about destroying Israel as his successor. Contrary to the old aphorism that you can’t win a nuclear war, he argued that Iran could achieve victory. He said that “Israel is much smaller than Iran in land mass, and therefore far more vulnerable to nuclear attack.” Since Iran has 70 million people and Israel only has seven million, Rafsanjani believed Iran could survive an exchange of nuclear bombs while Israel would be annihilated. The rhetoric was bombastic, but he and other Iranian leaders might first consider the possibility that Israel could conceivably launch far more missiles and the outcome might be very different than he imagined.

Rafsanjani is correct about Israel’s vulnerability. Besides the population difference, the disparity in size of the countries is such that it does not take a whole arsenal of ICBMS like the old Soviet Union had to destroy Israel; Iran need only have three crude bombs to attack Israel’s three major population centers – Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem – and it’s goodbye Israel.

The Power to Influence

Iran will not have to use nuclear weapons to influence events in the region. Maj. Gen. Vladimir Dvorkin, head of the Moscow-based Center for Strategic Nuclear Forces, said the potential danger of an Iranian bomb is not the possibility of a nuclear strike against some countries, but the ability to assume a more bold approach in dealing with the international community after becoming a nuclear power. “The real threat is that Iran, which is already ignoring all resolutions and sanctions issued by the UN Security Council, will be practically ‘untouchable’ after acquiring nuclear-power status, and will be able to expand its support of terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah” said Dvorkin (RIA Novosti, March 12, 2009).

Furthermore, by possessing a nuclear capability, the Iranians can deter Israel or any other nation from attacking Iran or its allies. When Hezbollah attacked Israel in 2006, for example, a nuclear Iran could have threatened retaliation against Tel Aviv if Israeli forces bombed Beirut. The mere threat of using nuclear weapons would be sufficient to drive Israelis into shelters and could cripple the economy. What foreign investors will want to risk their money going up in the smoke of a mushroom cloud? Will immigrants want to come to a country that lives in the shadow of annihilation? Will Israelis accept the risk? Israeli leaders will have to decide if they can risk calling the Iranians’ bluff.

Exosed – Ali Al Salem Kuwait Drone Base

Two sites of drone hangars erected along side bombed concrete hangars (shown since 2004)

16 April 2016 Site 129°21’03.69″ N 47°30’19.51″ E


20 January 2015. Site 1



19 April 2016. Site 2.29°20’11.74″ N 47°31’55.60″ E


14 September 2015. Site 2.


20 January 2015. Site 2.[Image]


14 September 2015. Site 2.[Image]
22 November 2014. Site 2.[Image]
22 November 2014. Site 1.[Image]
20 December 2013. Site 1.[Image]
30 April 2004. Site 1.[Image]

17 Miraculous Israeli Military Victories

The Battle of Mishmar HaEmek

On April 4th 1948, the odds were not in Israel’s favor. Outnumbered ten to three and with artillery shells raining down on them, a few hundred Jewish residents and soldiers managed to hold off about one thousand troops of the Arab Liberation Army. The Arabs had attacked the kibbutz, Mishmar Haemek, with the intent of taking it for the strategic location in between Jenin and Haifa. All hope seemed lost, yet surrender was not acceptable. Miraculously, the highly outnumbered Jewish forces managed to go on the offensive, successfully taking over the Arab villages surrounding the kibbutz. This attack led to the Arab Liberation Army’s retreat and was the last significant stand of the Arab Liberation Front in the Israeli War of Independence.

The Battle for Katamon

During the Independence War, Israeli forces reentered Katamon which was a key strategic position inJerusalem that Israel had failed to retake from the  Arab forces controlling it, just two days earlier. This time, the Israeli troops quickly captured the monastery that was being used as the Arab forces’ base of operations and that was the end of the fighting, or so they thought… After a few quiet hours, a fierce counter-attack began. Although they managed to hold off the Arabs, the Palmach began to run low on supplies. Additionally, they suffered countless injuries including Platoon Commander Raful Eitan who was shot in the head. They needed to retreat, but no soldier could be left behind for torture and mutilation. It was decided that those wounded who could not make it out would be put in a room rigged with explosives. Two soldiers would stay behind and detonate the explosives when the Iraqi forces reached the monastery. In the meantime, the enemy forces had also suffered many casualties and were out of Ammo. Their surrender was near, but the Israeli Forces in the monastery had no way of knowing this. The Israeli soldiers were on their way out the door, when suddenly the words “don’t retreat” echoed from a radio that was thought to be broken. The Arabs retreated. The Israelis stayed and reinforcements arrived to treat the wounded. Raful, the platoon commander, survived what should have been a fatal bullet wound to the head and was back in action, half an hour later! This, along with the battle being won, was nothing short of miraculous.

The Battle of Safed

In 1948, as their sovereignty over Palestine was coming to an end, the British were handing over the strategic high points of the city to the heavily armed Arab troops. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Israeli forces struggled battling over Safed for months. In late April, an artillery piece nicknamed “The Davidka” was delivered to the Jews. Surprisingly ineffective, the most notable feature of the Davidka was the tremendous noise it produced. A rumor quickly spread through the Arab ranks that the Jews had acquired an atom bomb, and the entire Arab community left that night. With their exit, morale deteriorated among the Arab troops, and the Haganah was able to secure the city.

Taking Back Mount Zion

During the Independence War, Ira Rappaport’s Israeli platoon fought the Jordanian military for Mount Zionand found themselves surrounded by hundreds with only twenty five bullets left. With a sad end seemingly near, the men agreed to go out with a bang and readied themselves to make good use of every last bullet. Then, just when the small platoon were about to face the inevitable, something incredible happened. The Jordanian soldiers dropped their weapons and began suddenly running away, screaming “ABRAHAM!”. Several years later, Ira would come across a familiar face with an unlikely answer, as to what had actually occurred on that miraculous day. This was a former Jordanian soldier who had fought against Ira on Mount Zion. According to him, his army all witnessed a vision of Abraham defending the Jews in the sky above the Israeli platoon and had no choice, but to drop their weapons.

Saving the Kibbutz

During the War of Independence, twenty-four homemade Israeli armored trucks and cars took a wrong turn on the way to aid a besieged Kibbutz, and crossed and accidentally entered Lebanon. They realized their mistake, when they ran into twenty brand new Syrian armored cars traveling with dozens of Syrian supplies trucks carrying ammunition and artillery. The Israelis immediately fired at the first Syrian truck and amazingly hit a tank loaded with gasoline, causing an explosion, which set fire to the following truck full of hand grenades. One by one, each truck in the Syrian convoy exploded. The loud booms could be heard for miles and the scared surviving Syrians abandoned their cargo. The Israelis had just enough people to drive the captured armored vehicles and Syrian weapons back. By the time they finally reached the Kibbutz, the Arab besiegers had already left. Apparently, after they heard rumors that the Israeli forces invaded Lebanon, they fled back toSyria. And that’s how one wrong turn saved an entire kibbutz. The skeptical may write it off as accidental, but when it comes to Israel there are no accidents.

The Attack on Degania

Shortly after the Independence War, nearly all of the Syrian forces stationed at Tel al-Qasr used two hundred armored Syrian vehicles including forty-five tanks to attack Israel’s oldest kibbutzim; Degania Alef (“A”) and Degania Bet (“B”). With no artillery, about seventy Israelis (most of them were kibbutz members which means they were not regular fighters) had virtually no chance of blocking a Syrian advance, but they wouldn’t go down without a fight.  When the tanks approached Degania Aleph, the minimal Israeli forces began to throw molotov cocktails and behold, an Israeli soldier made a direct hit on the first approaching Syrian tank. Suddenly, the entire Syrian column was turning around and fleeing, possibly believing that Israel had a large multitude of anti-tank weapons. When the Syrians hit Degania Bet, the Israelis were incredibly low on weapons, but quickly assembled two ancient French cannons and used them well against the Syrians’ 75 mm cannons, and 60 and 81 mm mortars. The use of Israel’s little artillery must have really taken the Syrians by great surprise. Why else would they retreat when they had Israel outgunned and outnumbered? Sometimes, the best explanation is the simplest one. Miracles really do happen.

The Preemptive Strike

In 1967, Egypt began moving large forces and heavy artillery to the Sinai desert. Next, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships and anyone bringing any military equipment to Israel. This was an act of war. WhenEgypt, Syria and Jordan formed a pact and placed their militaries on high alert for war, it became clear that conflict was inevitable. Israel had horrible odds. However, the Rebbe confidently declared, “G-d is guarding them (the people of Israel)” and “The people of Israel will emerge from the current situation with remarkable success.” And sure enough their success was more than remarkable, it was miraculous. Two hundred Israeli Air Force planes were heading towards Egyptian air bases and should have been shot down. Though flying very low to avoid being detected by Arab radar sites, a Jordanian radar facility was able to detect the unusual amount of aircrafts approaching the sea. Jordan quickly sent out the message, “Inab” (a code for war) to Egypt. Miraculously, however, the Egyptian coding frequencies were changed the very day before and Jordan was not yet updated. Still, the miracle of surprise was not enough. Egypt’s anti-aircraft ammunition was sufficient enough to destroy all the Israeli planes attacking. Miraculously, the order was not given to launch any of those missiles on the Israeli crafts. Israel accomplished her mission and took down half the Egyptian air force: two hundred and four Egyptian planes, the majority of which were in the Sinai Desert readying to attack Israel. With this battle, the Six Day War began.

The Battle of Ammunition Hill

This battle for an extremely fortified Jordanian military post in East Jerusalem was arguably the most furious battle of the Six Day War ‘67. Instead of an air strike that would ensure an israeli victory, they opted for a ground attack, using paratroopers, to minimize the risk of civilian casualties. However, the Israeli forces had incorrect intelligence suggesting the hill was being defended by a single Jordanian platoon, not accounting for the numerous underground bunkers throughout Ammunition Hill that made this battle so incredibly difficult. They sent a third of the amount they should have. This is the kind of serious mistake that should cost the military a battle and possibly the war, but not Israel. Despite their misinformation, Israel miraculously won this battle in the incredible time of just four hours! Ammunition Hill is currently a national memorial site.


To win the Six Day War, Israel needed to retake the Egyptians’ heavily fortified Kusseima outpost. The Egyptians were in control of powerful forces capable of a great counterattack, while the Israelis were weary from a full day of battle. As the Israeli Defence Forces drew near, they heard massive explosions. When they arrived they saw that the Egyptians had destroyed their equipment and abandoned the base, for no apparent reason! As the day continued, it became clear that the Egyptians were hastily abandoning many of their outposts and their supplies along with them. One mysterious report of the battle was from Egyptian soldiers who, when approaching the Israeli border, saw a gigantic hand come out from the sky.  Immediately terrified, they turned around and ran the other way, unable to deny that they were witness to a supernatural event.

Taking Back Jerusalem

Starting June 5th, days of violent battling ensued throughout the old city of East Jerusalem. On June 7th, an eerie silence befell the city when Jordanian firing stopped.  It was too quiet and so Israeli troops were dispatched to check for a trap.  However, their report was of no trap, but of a miracle. The city was empty, save for all the equipment that the Jordanian army left behind.  The Israeli forces entered East Jerusalem, and took the Temple Mount, reaching the Western Wall without even firing a single shot. The people of Israel had returned to the land again and again, but they never retook all of Jerusalem… not until June 8th, 1967.  On this day, Israel not only had the land, but had her holiest city of Jerusalem, for the first time in almost 2000 years. “The Lord says: I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem,” -Zechariah 8:3

The Golan Heights Attack

At the end of the 6 Day War, to retake the Golan Heights, Israel had to win an uphill battle against a heavily entrenched and well fortified  Syrian army, consisting of seventy-five thousand troops. It was estimated that thirty thousand Israeli lives would be lost. Yet on June 9th, after just seven hours of heavy fighting, Israel had miraculously gained control of the main sectors. The next morning, the Israeli forces still expected another day of fierce fighting. The Syrians, however, had other plans. Before the Israelis even got to them, they pulled out of the Golan, fleeing frantically and leaving weapons behind. The mountains, which were once strategically used to murder Jews had fallen into the hands of the Jews. Having completed the final offensive, they signed a ceasefire.

Taking Tel Fakhr

Due to great casualties, an Israeli platoon was left with only twenty-five men. Nonetheless, what was left of the platoon continued to charge Tel Fakhr, in the Golan Heights. Little did they know, Tel Fakhr was maybe the most heavily fortified position Syria had. It had trenches, bunkers, and heavy wiring, machine guns, anti-tank guns, and mortars. Those Israeli soldiers did not stand a chance. That was until a miracle occurred. For no reason that makes any sense, a Syrian captain instructed his men not to fire on the Israelis until they reached the wiring. Before the Syrians knew it, they were too late. “The Jews are already inside, and we’ve taken heavy casualties,” they reported to their captain. Those who remained of the Israeli platoon were victorious, and continued up the Heights.

The result of the miracles of this war was the recapturing of the Western Wall and much of the land Israel has today; an Israeli victory in just six days.

Yom Kippur War

In 1973, while the entire country of Israel fasted for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), one hundred thousand Egyptians invaded Israel from the south and over 1,400 Syrian tanks invaded Israel from the north. Although one can say that every war is a miracle, Israel surviving, let alone winning this war, is arguably more miraculous than most of her other war victories. With a significant portion of the Israeli military either in their homes or synagogues, Israel was nearly defenseless. Not only was Israel caught completely off guard and outnumbered, now the vast majority of her soldiers were at their weakest. Initially Syria was gaining territory and logic dictates that Israel should have lost this war, but by the end of the the Yom Kippur War, Israelsomehow managed to come out on top and her weakened troops managed to reach 20 kilometers into Syria!

The Valley of Tears

During the Yom Kippur War, a small impossibly outnumbered Israeli force held back a large portion of the Syrian army, for four days in the Golan Heights. The Syrians were armed with hundreds of tanks, but gave the Israeli forces a false sense of security revealing only a few of their tanks in battle formation for months before the massive attack they had planned. If this attack was successful they could have taken Israel. They had three infantry divisions and over a thousand tanks. At one point, it was said to be just three Israeli tanks against one hundred and fifty Syrian tanks. A sergeant, out of shells wanted to leave his position, but was ordered to stay put. With no ammo, he was up against impossible odds. It would take a miracle to save him; to save Israel, and that’s just what happened.  The Syrians retreated, just when the Israeli force was on the verge of collapse! It has been theorized that the Syrians didn’t know the tanks were out of shells and seeing only a few tanks changing positions, they may have believed that Israel had more tanks than they actually did. However, a Syrian soldier swears an army of Angels surrounded those few tanks Israel had and considering the rate of miracles surrounding the small country of Israel, that could truly be what happened in what is now known as, the Valley of Tears.

The Gas Attack That Never Was

During the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq threatened to use chemical weapons on Israel, a country which was not actively participating in the conflict. As Iraq bombarded Israel with rockets, the country prepared for the likely possibility of a chemical attack. However, one never occurred. Why? Strangely enough, wind patterns changed from the normal directions to blow East from Israel going directly towards Iraq. The U.S. military theorized that the odd weather changes likely served as the major cause for Iraq’s decision not to employ chemical warfare, since the winds would have caused any gas attacks on Israel to harm Iraq as well.

Thirty-Nine Rockets

In 1991, without any Israeli instigation, Iraq tried to provoke Israel into retaliating by firing 39 missiles intoIsrael. Despite this, Israel did not retaliate and miraculously managed to stay out of the Gulf War, much due toU.S. encouragement. Many Iraqi scud missiles were intercepted by Patriot missiles from the U.S, but not all of them.  Still, throughout all of the numerous strikes on the West Bank, there was not a single death. Two missiles disappeared. To this day, nobody has taken credit for preventing their strikes and they have never been found. Another missile struck a garbage dump and for some reason did not explode.  One missile landed just several feet away from a gas station, which could have caused devastation, but incredibly it also did not explode.  Multiple missiles missed Iraq’s intended targets, instead landing in the Mediterranean Sea. One of which had gotten thrown off course by some inexplicable strong winds. There were other missiles that did hit and did actually explode. One of these exploded between two buildings and completely destroyed both of them, but somehow not a single soul was lost in this strike.

Not everyone realized the magnitude of this miracle until tragedy struck when over 40 were killed in a single missile strike on a U.S. marine bunker in Saudi Arabia. Even today, there are sadly parts of Israel that are being hit by terrorist rockets and while miracles do not occur for everyone, the rate of miracles for this country is undoubtedly exceptionally high.

Massacre Averted

During summer 2015, it was discovered that Hamas had been using supplies given by Israel for civil projects, to build tunnels that would enable them to transport weapons and invade Israel. In the weeks before July 17th,Hamas terrorists scouted out the area which one of their tunnels would potentially end, near the farming village of Sufa. It was perfect. At the time, this was a populated area of farmers concealed by tall wheat. Israelwouldn’t stand a chance.  However, the terrorists didn’t count on the apparent power of faith. According to Jewish customs, there is a biblical mandate that requires farmers to harvest before taking a sabbatical year, in which it is forbidden to harvest in Israel. On July 17th, terrorists exited their completed tunnel only to find an empty open land. This attempted attack happen to occur just after the sabbatical year had begun and so, the religious farmers were no longer harvesting. Without the tall wheat for cover, the terrorists were quickly spotted and intercepted by the Israeli Defense Forces. A potential massacre was avoided because of this miracle. And looking at the history of Israel, it seems there are always greater miracles to come.

Source: “Top 17 miraculous Israeli military victories,” Israel Video Network, (May 20, 2015)