Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence and performing covert actions. As a principal member of the United States Intelligence Community, the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States.
President Harry S. Truman had created the Central Intelligence Group under the direction of a Director of Central Intelligence by presidential directive on January 22, 1946, and this group was transformed into the Central Intelligence Agency by implementation of the National Security Act of 1947.
Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is a domestic security service, the CIA has no law enforcement function and is officially mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic intelligence collection. The CIA serves as the national manager for the coordination of HUMINT activities across the U.S. intelligence community. It is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert action at the behest of the President. It exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Center. The CIA was also instrumental in establishing intelligence services in several U.S. allied countries, such as Germany's BND. It has also provided support to many foreign political groups and governments, including planning, coordinating, training in torture, and technical support. It was involved in carrying out several regime changes, terrorist attacks, and planned assassinations of foreign leaders.
The CIA has an executive office and five major directorates:
The Directorate of Analysis
The Directorate of Operations
The Directorate of Support
The Directorate of Science and Technology
The Directorate of Digital Innovation
The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI); in practice, the CIA director interfaces with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Congress, and the White House, while the Deputy Director (DD/CIA) is the internal executive of the CIA and the Chief Operating Officer (COO/CIA), known as Executive Director until 2017, leads the day-to-day work as the third highest post of the CIA. The Deputy Director is formally appointed by the Director without Senate confirmation, but as the President's opinion plays a great role in the decision, the Deputy Director is generally considered a political position, making the Chief Operating Officer the most senior non-political position for CIA career officers.
The Executive Office also supports the U.S. military by providing it with information it gathers, receiving information from military intelligence organizations, and cooperates with field activities. The Executive Director is in charge of the day-to-day operation of the CIA. Each branch of the military service has its own Director. The Associate Director of military affairs, a senior military officer, manages the relationship between the CIA and the Unified Combatant Commands, who produce and deliver to the CIA regional/operational intelligence and consume national intelligence produced by the CIA.
Directorate of Analysis
The Directorate of Analysis, through much of its history known as the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), is tasked with helping "the President and other policymakers make informed decisions about our country's national security" by looking "at all the available information on an issue and organiz[ing] it for policymakers". The Directorate has four regional analytic groups, six groups for transnational issues, and three that focus on policy, collection, and staff support. There is an office dedicated to Iraq; regional analytical offices covering the Near East and South Asia, Russia and Europe; and the Asian Pacific, Latin American, and African offices.
Directorate of Operations
The Directorate of Operations is responsible for collecting foreign intelligence (mainly from clandestine HUMINT sources), and for covert action. The name reflects its role as the coordinator of human intelligence activities between other elements of the wider U.S. intelligence community with their HUMINT operations. This Directorate was created in an attempt to end years of rivalry over influence, philosophy, and budget between the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and the CIA. In spite of this, the Department of Defense recently organized its own global clandestine intelligence service, the Defense Clandestine Service (DCS), under the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
This Directorate is known to be organized by geographic regions and issues, but its precise organization is classified.
Directorate of Support
The Directorate of Support has organizational and administrative functions to significant units including:
The Office of Security
The Office of Communications
The Office of Information Technology
Directorate of Science and Technology
The Directorate of Science and Technology was established to research, create, and manage technical collection disciplines and equipment. Many of its innovations were transferred to other intelligence organizations, or, as they became more overt, to the military services.
For example, the development of the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft was done in cooperation with the United States Air Force. The U-2's original mission was clandestine imagery intelligence over denied areas such as the Soviet Union. It was subsequently provided with signals intelligence and measurement and signature intelligence capabilities, and is now operated by the Air Force.
A DS&T organization analyzed imagery intelligence collected by the U-2 and reconnaissance satellites called the National Photointerpretation Center (NPIC), which had analysts from both the CIA and the military services. Subsequently, NPIC was transferred to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
Directorate of Digital Innovation
The Directorate of Digital Innovation (DDI) focuses on accelerating innovation across the Agency's mission activities. It is the Agency's newest directorate. The Langley, Virginia-based office's mission is to streamline and integrate digital and cybersecurity capabilities into the CIA's espionage, counterintelligence, all-source analysis, open-source intelligence collection, and covert action operations. It provides operations personnel with tools and techniques to use in cyber operations. It works with information technology infrastructure and practices cyber tradecraft. This means retrofitting the CIA for cyberwarfare. DDI officers help accelerate the integration of innovative methods and tools to enhance the CIA's cyber and digital capabilities on a global scale and ultimately help safeguard the United States. They also apply technical expertise to exploit clandestine and publicly available information (also known as open source data) using specialized methodologies and digital tools to plan, initiate and support the technical and human-based operations of the CIA. Before the establishment of the new digital directorate, offensive cyber operations were undertaken by the CIA's Information Operations Center. Little is known about how the office specifically functions or if it deploys offensive cyber capabilities.
The directorate had been covertly operating since approximately March 2015 but formally began operations on October 1, 2015. According to classified budget documents, the CIA's computer network operations budget for fiscal year 2013 was $685.4 million. The NSA's budget was roughly $1 billion at the time.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who serves as the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, endorsed the reorganization. "The director has challenged his workforce, the rest of the intelligence community, and the nation to consider how we conduct the business of intelligence in a world that is profoundly different from 1947 when the CIA was founded," Schiff said.
When the CIA was created, its purpose was to create a clearinghouse for foreign policy intelligence and analysis. Today, its primary purpose is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence, and to carry out covert operations.
According to its fiscal 2013 budget, the CIA has five priorities:
Counterterrorism, the top priority
Nonproliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction
Warning/informing American leaders of important overseas events
The CIA established its first training facility, the Office of Training and Education, in 1950. Following the end of the Cold War, the CIA's training budget was slashed, which had a negative effect on employee retention. In response, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet established CIA University in 2002. CIA University holds between 200 and 300 courses each year, training both new hires and experienced intelligence officers, as well as CIA support staff. The facility works in partnership with the National Intelligence University, and includes the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis, the Directorate of Analysis' component of the university.
For later stage training of student operations officers, there is at least one classified training area at Camp Peary, near Williamsburg, Virginia. Students are selected, and their progress evaluated, in ways derived from the OSS, published as the book Assessment of Men, Selection of Personnel for the Office of Strategic Services. Additional mission training is conducted at Harvey Point, North Carolina.
The primary training facility for the Office of Communications is Warrenton Training Center, located near Warrenton, Virginia. The facility was established in 1951 and has been used by the CIA since at least 1955.