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American Intelligence - CIA (and others)

When people think of the intelligence in the United States, they think of people lurking around in trenchcoats, sending messages in code, and using cool tools to do their job. It is true, to some extent, but it's not the whole story. The intelligence agencies in the United States carry out US national security policy.

We will start with the description of the CIA - Central Intelligence Agency - and then mention the FBI - the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In our opinion, however, CIA deserves the most attention since they it is most closely connected to the spying and intelligence services than any other agency.

CIA - The History

General William Donovan, an advisor to F.D. Roosevelt, helped establish and lead the Office of Strategic Services, and the CIA The Central Intelligence Agency is the United States government agency created in 1947 to gather information and conduct secret operations to protect the country's national security. In addition, the CIA takes overall responsibility for gathering information from other U.S. intelligence agencies, analyzing the separate pieces of information from each source, and providing a recommendation to the President of the United States and the president's advisers.


CIA Headquarters established in 1947 and located in Virginia The foremost of the CIA's jobs is assessing the long-term potential threat to the United States by other countries. The CIA must ask basic questions, such as "What is Russia's military strength, and how do the Russians intend to use it?" The CIA also has to predict short-term military threats, so it operates a warning system to protect the United States and its allies from surprise attack. In addition, the CIA works in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct counterespionage-the process of preventing spies from finding out U.S. national security secrets. Several presidents have also ordered the CIA to conduct covert operations-the use of secret means to achieve foreign policy objectives. Covert operations might include providing weapons to a rebel army, kidnapping an individual leader who is seen as hostile to U.S. interests, or even organizing the removal of a government through a coup d'état, the seizure of an existing government by a small group.

NSA - National Security Agency

The National Security Agency was formed in 1952 and is located in Maryland.  Often known as the codemakers and codebreakers of the government.

The CIA also has the responsibility of gathering information from other U.S. intelligence agencies and producing joint reports known as estimates. The NSA, for example, often breaks secret codes used by other countries and then intercepts the countries' secret communications. The NSA passes the important messages to the CIA, which then integrates this information with the intelligence provided by other U.S. government intelligence agencies and with intelligence from the CIA's own sources.

Structural Organization

The CIA is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, which means that the President has direct control of the agency.

Within the CIA, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and the deputy director of central intelligence supervise four additional deputy directors. Each of these four deputy directors leads a directorate (branch) of the agency.

The Operations Directorate is the best known because it conducts covert action and counterintelligence around the world.

The Science and Technology Directorate interprets data gathered from code-breaking activities; from telephone, radio, and other electronic transmissions;

Known for its distinctive five-sided shape, the Pentagon is located in Virginia and houses all the branches of the armed forces as well as some intelligence sub-agencies. The Intelligence Directorate takes the information provided by other parts of the CIA, other agencies in the intelligence community, and from publicly available sources, and produces analyses and estimates for policy makers.

The Administration Directorate assumes the critical task of internal security-including detecting spies and potential spies within the agency.

The CIA deploys hundreds of field officers all over the world to gather intelligence for the United States. The field officers report to CIA headquarters through the station chief in the country where they are placed. Each station chief supervises several field officers, assessing the information they have gathered and sending it to CIA headquarters.


From 1953 until his execution by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1959, Pyotr Semyonovich Popov, a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet army, supplied the CIA with important information about USSR missile systems. Popov's information helped the CIA understand the Soviet military threat before the advent of satellites made it possible to spy on the USSR from space.


The CIA receives and analyzes information from several other elements of the U.S. intelligence community. These elements include the DIA, NSA, the intelligence branches of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Treasury Department and its Secret Service, and the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, Washington DC FBI. The FBI provides the rest of the Intelligence Community with intelligence and foreign counterintelligence information from their investigations. Counterintelligence is where the FBI tries to catch spies from other countries who want to steal our country's secrets.

The CIA also manages some joint programs with other parts of the intelligence community. The CIA and the NSA, for example, work together to provide eavesdropping equipment to the CIA's stations around the world.

MI6 is the British Intelligence Agency. This is MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross CIA also co-operates with the intelligence agencies abroad. Britain's MI6 and Israel's Mossad are the most notable examples. Although the CIA sometimes has disputes with MI6 and Mossad over when and how to share intelligence, the generally close cooperation between these agencies reflects the strong ties that link the United States with Britain and Israel.

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