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
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
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 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.
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.
Directorate is the best known because it
conducts covert action and
counterintelligence around the world.
Science and Technology Directorate
interprets data gathered from
code-breaking activities; from telephone,
radio, and other electronic transmissions;
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
DID YOU KNOW?
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
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.
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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Designed by Alec Andronikov and Baron Geluz