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The U.S. Intelligence Services

If the United Kingdom used to have more than 20 secret services during the time of the World War II and they have shrunk up to 2 major agencies, modern U.S. government feels the need for as much as 17 organizations up to the present time.

All the departments cooperate both with Congress and the Department of Defense; their activity is never made public and there is pretty little information about the operations that they carry out or their activities in general.

Surely, most people won’t be particularly happy learning how expensive the maintenance of these services and their operations is. In accordance with some estimation the cost is as much as $75 billion.

All in all there are about 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies that are involved in the U.S. intelligence. Here is the list of major U.S. intelligence departmetns with their specializations:

  • The Central Intelligence Agency specializes in spying on foreign governments.
  • The National Security Agency is the second major service and indeed a very secret one.
  • The Defense Intelligence Agency's task is to predict the actions of foreign militaries; and prevent these actions.
  • The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research develops t tools and strategies for the beneficial foreign cooperation.
  • Air Force Intelligence provides intelligence activity for the sake of ground military departments.
  • The FBI's National Security Branch deals with terrorism issues as well as gathers intelligence.
  • Army Intelligence and Security Command does their best in case something is needed in a battlefield.
  • The Department of Energy, Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence keeps an eye on nuclear weapons everywhere abroad.
  • Coast Guard Intelligence defends the country along seacoast.
  • The Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis deals with terrorism and financial intelligence data.
  • The Drug Enforcement Administration makes sure no illegal drugs find way into the state.
  • The Marine Corps Intelligence Activity is in charge of the Corp's battlefields.
  • The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency deals with military mapping.
  • The National Reconnaissance Office is all about satellites.
  • The Office of Naval Intelligence is generous sharing important ocean information.
  • The Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defies any likely threats.
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence gets all the reports from aforementioned offices and notifies the president.

The major two that are largely known among this list are the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency (or Central Security Service).

CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)

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The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the most filmed and described in various science fiction books organization (next to FBI, of course). In reality, this is an organization with the task of providing intelligence information to the policy-making and decision-taking representatives of the government. It has got 4 departments:

  • the National Clandestine Service,
  • the Directorate of Intelligence,
  • the Directorate of Science&Technology,
  • the Directorate of Support.

Their major task, very unromantic, is in collecting various data from abroad, its analysis as well as decision-taking on the account of the available information.

NSA (National Security Agency/Central Security Service)

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The National Security Agency represents a prominent organization that actually keeps the state safe an sound. It is a cryptologic unit and it deals with a broad range of intelligence activities both home and abroad. It had got all the state-of-art technologies and all the most skilled and intelligent workers in their stuff. There are several directions that the work in the NSA comprises of. They deal with:

  • information technology and communication,
  • language analysis,
  • mathematical studies,
  • and what not.

Thus, you are likely to find specialists in a large variety of professions in the agency; in fact, it is hard to find such variety anywhere else: with all the analysts and engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists, researchers and linguists, data flow experts, various managers, administrative officers and junior stuff there is no surprise they have got such a power in their hands.

The organization dates back to 1952 and at the present moment is cooperates both with the government and the military, and they are deeply involved in all the counterterrorist issues as well as all intelligence once (home and abroad).

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