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CONFIDENTIAL 48 /GS /MG Morocco March 1973 NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SURVEY CONFIDENTIAL APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SURVEY PUBLICATIONS The basic unit of the NIS is the General Survey, v;hi:-h is now published in a bound -by- chapter format so that topics of greater per- ishability can be updated on an individual basis. These chapters� Country Profile, The Society, Government and Politics, The Economy, Military Geog- raphy, Transportation and Telecommunications, Armed Forces, Science, and Intelligence and Security, provide the primary NIS coverage. Some chapters, particularly Science and Intelligence and Security, that are not pertinent to all countries, are produced selectively. For small countries requiring only minimal NIS treatment, the General Survey coverage may be bound into one volume. Supplementing the General Survey is the NIS Basic Intelligence Fact book, a ready reference publication that semiannually updates key sta- tistical data found in the Survey. An unclassified edition of the factbook omits some details on the economy, the defense forces, and the intelligence and security organizations. Although detailed sections on many topics were part of the NIS Program, production of these sections has been phased out. Those pre- viously produced will continue to be available as long as the major portion of the study is considered valid, A quarterly listing of all active NIS units is published in the Inventory of Available NIS Publications, which is also bound into the concurrent classified Factbook. The Inventory lists all NIS units by area name and number and includes classification and date of issue; it thus facilitates the ordering of NIS units as well as their filing, cataloging, and utilization. Initial dissemination, additional copies of NIS units, or separate chapters of the General Surveys can be obtained directly or through liaison channels from the Central Intelligence Agency. The General Survey is prepared for the NIS by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency under the general direction of the NIS Committee. It is coordinated, edited, published, and dissemi- nated by the Ce',ltral Intelligence Agency. WARNING This document contains informa�lon affecting the national defense of the Uniled States, within the meaning of title 18, sections 793 and 794 of the US code, as amended. Its transmission or revelation of its contents to or receipt by an unauthorized person is prohibited by law. CLASSIFIED BY 019641. EXEMPT FROM GENERAL DECLASSIFI- CATION SCHEDULE OF E. O. 11632 EXEMPTION CATEGORIES SB (1), (2), (3). DECLASSIFIED ONLY ON APPROVAL OF THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE. APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 WARNING The NIS is National Intelligence and may not be re- leased or shswn to representatives of any foreign govern- ment or international body except by specific authorization of the Director of Central Intelligence in accordance with the provisions of National Security Council Intelligence Di- rective No.. 1. For NIS containing unclassified material, however, the portions so marked may be made available for official pur- poses to foreign nationals and nongovernment personnel provided no attribution is made to National Intelligence or the National Intelligence Survey. Subsections and graphics are individually classified according to content. Classification /control designa- tions are: (U /OU) Unclassified/ For Official Use Only (C) Confidential (S) Secret APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 This Chapter was prepared for the NIS by the Defense Intelligence Agenc!s. Research was substantially completed by Novr1 1972. APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 orocco CONTENTS This General Survey supersedes the one dated Jan- uary 1969, copies of which should be destroyed. Page A. Location and description 1. Topography 1 Overview of landscape, vegetation, draniage network, -.nd settlement and transportation patterns. 2. Climate 3 Summary of climatic elements seasonal var- iations, precipitation, cloudiness, relative hu- midity, temperature, frontal systems, thunder- storms, and visibility. B. Military geographic regions 6 Effect of terrain on operations by conventional ground forces, airmobile and airborne forces, am- phibious forces, and irregular forces for each of the following regions: 1. Atlas Highlands 6 2. Coastal Plain 7 3. Sahara Desert 8 CONFLDENT APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 Page C. Strategic areas 9 Analysis of the site, population, primary activitier, key transportation elements, nationally significant industries, and petroleum storage fir each of the following areas: 1. Casablanca -Rabat 9 2. Strait of Gibraltar 10 D. Internal routes 11 Description of terrain, road and railroad charac- teristics, and offroad dispersal and cross country movement potentials along land routes to and between strategic areas. Page E. Approaches 11 Data on lengths, legal status, and terrain of land and water boundaries. 1 Land Approach conditions by road and railroad and the effect of terrain on offroad dispersal and cross- country movement. 2 Sea Conditions for amphibious approach to the roast, and pertinent data for those amphibious landing areas that provide the best a,;ceni io the strategic areas. 3 Air Air approach routes to Morocco and likely weather conditions en route. FIGURES 11 12 13 ii APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 Page Page Fig. 1 Military geographic regions and ter- Fig. 10 Casablanca -Rabat strategic area (map) 11 rain (map) 2 Fig. 11 Casablanca commercial section Fig. 2 Western Atlas Mountains photo) 3 photo) 11 Fig. 3 Southeastern Atlas Mountains photo) 3 Fig. 12 Rabat photo) 12 Fig. 4 Intermontane plain near Agadir Fig. 13 Strait of Gibraltar strategic area (map) 12 photo) 4 Fig. 14 Tangier photo) 13 Fig. 5 Village scene photo) 4 Fig. 15 Internal routes tat; ie) 14 Fig. 6 Coastal plains near Casablanca (photo) 5 Fig. 16 Boundaries table) 15 Fig. 7 Dissected desert in southwest photo) 5 Fig. 17 Amphibious landing areas table) 16 Fig. 8 Monthly climatic data chart) 6 Fig. 18 Factors in air approaches table) 18 Fig. 9 Strategic areas, internal routes, and Fig. 19 Terrain and Transportation approaches map) 10 map) follows 18 ii APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 Military Geography A. Location and description (U /OU) Morocco, located in the extreme northwestern part of Africa, occupies the important southern flank of the Strait of Gibraltar (Figure 19). The country has an area of approximately 18,100 square miles, slightly over one -half the size of the state of Texas. It has a maximum northeast southwest length of about 850 miles.' The population of the country, estimated in mid -1972 at 15.8 million, is now about 16 million. Two Spanish enclaves are also mentioned in this discussion: the cities of Ceuta, population 88,000, and Melilla, population 77,000. 1. Topography Morocco consists of the rugged hills and mountains of the Atlas Mountains, which occupy most of the country, and two narrow plains. one along the Atlantic coast and the other along the southern and southeastern border of the country Figure t The hills and mountains (Figures 2 and 3) extend in generally parallel ridges along almost the entire northeast southwest axis of the country The hills north and west of the mountains are deeply dissected and have elevations generally ranging between 1,000 and 4,000 feet; those east and south of the mountains are equally rugged but have elevations primarily ranging be,weell 2,000 and 5,000 feet. The mountains range from 5,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level, although some high ridges reach over 10,000 feet and isolated crests reach maximum elevations of over 13,000 feet; the highest elevation is 13,665 feet, south of Marrakech. Most valley floors are from 3,000 to 5,000 feet below adjacent mountain crests. Lower slopes range from 10% to 30% and upper slopes from 50% to more than 100 There are a few, scattered, broad intermontane basins (Figure 4), and large flat to rolling plains are in the high elevations in the northeast and along the southwestern Atlantic coast, south of Agadir. Vegetation consists primarily of brush and grasses on the slopes of the mountains and, to a lesser extent, in 'Distances are in statute miles unless nautical miles are specifically indicated. the intcnnontane valleys. Bunch grass covers most hills and the asternmost mountains. Moderately dense needle -leaf evergreen forests are scattered throughout the hills and mountains but are most prevalent north of the major crestline. Slopes adjacent to the Sahara desert are barren. The density of vegetation tends to decrease from northwest to southeast. Numerous narrow and deep perennial streams flow toward the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea through steep sided valleys in the hills and mountains and through wide, shallow streambeds in the coastal plain. Intermittent streams are characteristic of the southern and eastern parts of the hills and mountains. During mid November through March, the wet s( -ason, the ground is frequently wet in large areas and is snow covered and frozen at elevations exceeding 7,000 feet on the northern mountain flanks and above 10,000 feet on the southern mountain flanks. Washouts and landslides occur in many places during the wet season. Flooding is most common in March and April, \yhen snowmelt coincides with the relatively heavy spring rains. The few large urban centers in the highlands, Fes, Meknes, and Marrakech, contain buildings of mud brick, stone, brick, and concrete and are connected by roads in generally poor to fair condition. Numerous towns and villages with buildings generally of mud -brick or stone (Figure 5) are connected by tracks and roads in generally poor condition. The narrow coastal plain extends along the Atlantic Ocean from near Essaouira to Tangier. The surface is flat to rolling (Figure. 6) and has elevations ranging from sea level to 760 feet. Most slopes are gentle, behveen 2% and 10 The plain is it mosaic of small grainficlds, orchards, fallow fields, uncultivated areas partially covered by patches of grass and low brush, and very small park -like evergreen forests. Soils are composed of silty sand and are predominantly dry except in the north. Northeast of Kenitra, a large area is wet continuously from early November through May. Along major streams in the north there are several relatively large areas that are often wet or are 'For diacritics on place names, see the list of names on the apron of the Transportation Map, Figure 19, the map itself, and maps in the text. APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 1 32' 1 28' n oun! Z R C 801.1 026 I A A L G E It ISH SAH 1 1)� (1 2' COASTAL PLAIN Feet 12000- 9000 Casablanca I 6000- 3000- AO PROFILE ATLAS HIGHLANDS SAHARA DESERT f JESEL�RKEDIT 1 3,356 A lId Tagolini t (hh"/ 1911 I'l 1! i Meters 3660 2700 1800 900 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 290 B Statute miles Approximate Vertical Exaggeration 25:1 '2" I 8 1 FIGURE 1. Military geographic regions and terrain (C) 2 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA-RDP01-00707R000200080030-4 Local relief* 6- SPAIN J' 6 G1F3RALTAR (U. K.) .1 1 /1 if I Ale Ceuta Plaim, 0 to 500 feet (Spain) J" Tangier., I SEA f Hills 500 to 2,000 feet Mountains Over 2.000 feet Larache Forest 0 Swamp or marsh ny 5 ALGERIA Military Geographic Region boundary -7018 Spot height (in feet) Kenitra Differences in elevation between tops and RABAT 2 726 bottoms of adjacent topographic features Casablaiic; 0 M eknes 0 50 100 150 Statute miles El Ja A 1 0 50 100 150 Kilometers 02638 A ir a 10* 522 0 Khouri a 7491_ JJ A 7' L A N 7' C Safi 12 Essaoqir H C' Mar, 0 C E .4 X 4130 339 Agadir n oun! Z R C 801.1 026 I A A L G E It ISH SAH 1 1)� (1 2' COASTAL PLAIN Feet 12000- 9000 Casablanca I 6000- 3000- AO PROFILE ATLAS HIGHLANDS SAHARA DESERT f JESEL�RKEDIT 1 3,356 A lId Tagolini t (hh"/ 1911 I'l 1! i Meters 3660 2700 1800 900 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 290 B Statute miles Approximate Vertical Exaggeration 25:1 '2" I 8 1 FIGURE 1. Military geographic regions and terrain (C) 2 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA-RDP01-00707R000200080030-4 subject to flooding from early November to mid- April. Coastal dunes constrict some river mouths in the north, and these streams commonly flood during the .yet season. During April through October nearly all streams are dry or have only limited amounts Gf poor quality water. Many of the major urban centers of the country are located on the coastal plain and are connected by railroads and paved roads. Casablanca, Rabat, and 'Tangier, the principal cities, have large sections of modern one- to 10 -story buildings of concrete and steel, cut stone, and brick and wide, straight streets. Smaller citie and towns, as well as the older sections of the principal cities, are characterized by closely spaced one- to three store buildings commonly constructed of mud -brick or stone and narrow, winding streets. The narrow irregidar plain that flanks the Atlas Mountains in the south is a dry, sandy, and rocky section of the Sahara desert. Elevations range from sea level oil the Atlantic coast to 1,500 feet in the south central part and to over 3,000 feet in the northeast. 'I'll( surface is flat to rolling but is broken in pla-es b\ broad, deep, river valleys, escarpments, long, lo\y. sinuous ridges (Figiire 7 and a fe\y small, scattered area of dunes. Vegetation is sparse and consists nwstly of tufts of grass, lo\y shru`.)s, and, along the courses of the major streams, a few date -palm oases. The steep sided wadies contain water only for short periods during the winter rains. Oases and a fey fish processing plants along the coast arc the sites of the only permanent settlements in the desert plain and are connected by a sparse network of tracks, trails, and roads in generally poor condition. 2. Climate The climate of Morocco is essentially M( diter- ranean north of and well into the Atlas Mountains and mostly desert south of the mountains. The northern 3 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 Preavnnnuln mWP9P..._W K Mir .10414L region has mild, wet winters (December through February) and hot, dry summers (June through August). In the southern region, winters are similarly mild but summers are exceedingly hot; rainfall is meager all year in this region (Figure 8). Migratory lows and attendant fronts from the Atlantic are the primary cause of inclement weather. Nyhile incursions of the Azores high mainly bring fine, sunny weather. Weather conditions during winter are quite changeable. Periods of cool, cloudy, and showery weather alternate with periods of sunny, pleasant weather. Clo.idiness is variable, \yith monthly averages of 3551 to 55 cloud cover: cloud amounts C&_3 .t .N f FIGURE 5. Most villages are con- structed of closely spaced mud brick or stone buildings; roofs generally are flat (U /OU) are greatest in the northern sections and least south o f Hie Atlas range. Ctumulus is the most comn1or, Cloud type. Precipitation is mostly lo,al intermittent showers, heavy at times, and only occasionally Nyi(I espread and prolonged. 'I'h;rniderstorms are infrequent. 'Monthly precipitation amount, of to i inches in the northern sections and 1 to 3 inches in the south are usual. I leas :est falls occur on the northern slopes and on the high ground of the Atlas Mountains, where snow is common and i t snow coyer may persist throughout the winter. Afternoon temperatures are mild oo the coasts and at logy elevations in the interior, averaging in the upper 50's �F. and 60's, but are 10 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 FIGURE 4. The few intermontane plains scattered throughout the Atlas Mountains have nearly flat to gently rolling surfaces with low hills in places (C) FIGURE 6. The plains along the northern and central Atlantic coast have flat to gently rolling surfaces less than 1,000 feet above sea level. In this area near Casablanca, vege- tation is a mosaic of cultivated field crops, fallow fields, brush pastures, and small park -like evergreen forests. (C) to 20 degrees colder in the mountains. Nights are cool in all sections except in the mountains, where freezing temperatures and frosts are common. Relative humidity remains high throughout the day at most places except over the desert, where humidity is low in the afternoon. I'he prevailing good visibilities are briefly interrupted during occasional showers and morning fog. Surface winds are nostly light and variable. FIGURE 7. The desert plains southwest of the Atlas Mountains are deeply dissected; escarpments and low, sinuous ridges are common features. Vegetation is sparse. (U /OU) Conversely, weather conditions during summer are quite monotonous. Long periods of cloudless skies occur throughout the interior, where average cloud cover is only 20% to -Wit. On the coasts, average cloud cover is slightly greater mainly because of frequent low stratus overcasts at night and in early inorning. This condition is especially narked on the Atlantic coast south of 32 �N. Long periods of rainless days are common everywhere except on the northern slopes and high ground of the Atlas Mountains; here, thunderstorms occur on about 5 days monthly in May through September. 'I'hc most prominent summer feature is t}tc� intense heat. Daily temperatures are moderated by the sea along the immediate coast and, along with moderate humidity, produce a relatively comfortable condition. Afternoon temperatures average in the 70's �F. and low 80's, decreasing to the middle 60's by early morning. In the interior, however, temperatures rapidly rise to the upper 90's and 100's daily; some of the highest temperatures in the world, exceeding 120 0 1-' are recorded on the desert. 'I'hc extreme heat in conjunction with the very low afternoon htimidih is severely desiccating and causes exposed skin to crack. 'I'emperatures decrease rapidly at night to the upper 60's or low 70's, while relative humidities increase. Visibilitv continues good in most sections except where occasionally restricted by dust in the. interior and by morning fog along the coast. On the coast, land and sea breezes are well developed during this season. Elsewhere, surface winds continue light and variable, becoming locally strong only during severe thunderstorms. 5 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080030 -4 CASABLANCA Ft5 OUARZAZATE J(1 3D too too, --r-r too. I r- 1- r- r -i-T1 4 0 Fes; 15 80 80 06 0 80 Ifrane 1 j l 15 O 60 CD 60 1 1 I 60 I V sablanca Fi9uig 5 40 40 Y I 4D Q5 milCN I Ic ,III l l 20 20 I 20 Ouarzazate I 0 0 0 J FMAM)1A50NDJ 1FMAMJJASONDJ 1FMAMJ JASONDJ 5 MEAN RELATIVE HUMIDITY AT SPECIFIED HOURS (LST) CASABLANCA IMILCHIL FIGUIG 120 120 -7--- 120 MEAN ANNUAL PRECIPITATION (INCHES) j ]D0 IDO p 100 I 1 LI III I I 80 IFRANE FIGUIG 10 Iv- 60 60 I +I +I 60 4. ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM MEAN DAILY MAXIMUM AO 40 1 r 5 5 20 20 20 r I I r MEAN DAILY MINIMUM 0 I 1 Y 0 I D s ABSOLUTE MINIMUM I l 0 1FMAMJJASOND 0 1FMAMJJASOND 20 JFMAMJJASON 20 1FMAM1JASON 20 JIMA"I1 ASON ELEV. 164 FT. ELEV. 7218 FT. ELEV. 3723 FT.