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U.S. knew of Yom Kippur War’s possibility early on, uncovered memo shows

WASHINGTON (JTA)  — The U.S. government had information five months before the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur War that a conflict was imminent, a recently uncovered State Department memo shows.

An article published Tuesday on the National Security Archive Internet site cited a secret U.S. State Department document that the archive says was uncovered recently and declassified. The website is an independent, nongovernmental research institute and library at The George Washington University.

The document — a memo from the U.S. State Department‘s Bureau of Intelligence and Research — warned then-acting Secretary of State Kenneth Rush of the upcoming war and said there was a “better than even bet” that a war would take place “by autumn.”

According to the article, the bureau believed that the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat would begin a war to spur diplomatic intervention by major world powers and help his country regain the Sinai Peninsula, which it lost in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The author of the memo, a former desk officer for Egypt for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Roger Merrick, went on to suggest that if there was a war, Egypt might nationalize its petroleum facilities, which would hurt American interests.

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