Central Intelligence Agency - organization - Dagger and Cloak

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Central Intelligence Agency - organization

Agency seal

The heraldic symbol of the CIA consists of 3 representative parts: the left-facing bald eagle head atop, the compass star (or compass rose), and the shield. The eagle is the national bird, standing for strength and alertness. The 16-point compass star represents the CIA's world-wide search for intelligence outside the United States, which is then reported to the headquarters for analysis, reporting, and re-distribution to policymakers. The compass rests upon a shield, symbolic of defense and intelligence.


  • Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA) – The head of the CIA is given the title of the DCIA. The act that created the CIA in 1947 also created a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) to serve as head of the United States intelligence community, act as the principal adviser to the President for intelligence matters related to the national security, and serve as head of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 amended the National Security Act to provide for a Director of National Intelligence who would assume some of the roles formerly fulfilled by the DCI, with a separate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

  • Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DDCIA) – Assists the Director in his duties as head of the CIA and exercises the powers of the Director when the Director’s position is vacant or in the Director’s absence or disability.

  • Associate Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (ADD) – Created July 5, 2006, the ADD was delegated all authorities and responsibilities vested previously in the post of Executive Director. The post of Executive Director, which was responsible for managing the CIA on a day-to-day basis, was simultaneously abolished.

  • Associate Director for Military Support (AD/MS) – The DCIA's principal advisor and representative on military issues. The AD/MS coordinates Intelligence Community efforts to provide Joint Force commanders with timely, accurate intelligence. The AD/MS also supports Department of Defense officials who oversee military intelligence training and the acquisition of intelligence systems and technology. A senior general officer, the AD/MS ensures coordination of Intelligence Community policies, plans and requirements relating to support to military forces in the intelligence budget.

Directorates and other offices

  • The Directorate of Intelligence, the analytical branch of the CIA, is responsible for the production and dissemination of all-source intelligence analysis on key foreign issues.

  • The National Clandestine Service, a semi-independent service which was formerly the Directorate of Operations, is responsible for the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence and covert action.

  • The Directorate of Science & Technology creates and applies innovative technology in support of the intelligence collection mission.

  • The Directorate of Support provides the mission critical elements of the Agency's support foundation: people, security, information, property, and financial operations. Most of this Directorate is sub-structured into smaller offices based on role and purpose, such as the CIA Office of Security.

  • The Center for the Study of Intelligence maintains the Agency's historical materials and promotes the study of intelligence as a legitimate and serious discipline.

  • The Office of the General Counsel advises the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on all legal matters relating to his role as CIA director and is the principal source of legal counsel for the CIA.

  • The Office of Inspector General promotes efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability in the administration of Agency activities. OIG also seeks to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. The Inspector General is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Inspector General, whose activities are independent of those of any other component in the Agency, reports directly to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. OIG conducts inspections, investigations, and audits at Headquarters and in the field, and oversees the Agency-wide grievance-handling system. The OIG provides a semiannual report to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency which the Director is required by law to submit to the Intelligence Committees of Congress within 30 days.

  • The Office of Public Affairs advises the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on all media, public policy, and employee communications issues relating to his role as CIA director and is the CIA’s principal communications focal point for the media, the general public and Agency employees.

  • The Office of Military Affairs provides intelligence and operational support to the US armed forces.

Relationship with other agencies

The CIA acts as the primary American provider of central intelligence estimates. It is believed to make use of the product derived from: surveillance satellites of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the signal interception capabilities of the National Security Agency (NSA), including the ECHELON system, the surveillance aircraft of the various branches of the U.S. armed forces and the analysts of the State Department and Department of Energy. At one point, the CIA even operated its own fleet of U-2 and A-12 OXCART surveillance aircraft. The agency has also operated alongside regular military forces, and also employs a group of clandestine officers with paramilitary skills in its Special Activities Division. Johnny Michael "Mike" Spann, a CIA officer killed in November 2001 during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, was one such individual.

The CIA also has strong links with other foreign intelligence agencies such as the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Israel's Mossad, and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. Further, it is currently believed to be financing several Counterterrorist Intelligence Centers. One of these, known under the codename of Alliance Base, was allegedly set up in Paris and jointly run in cooperation with France's DGSE. Although classified, the CIA may also be actively cooperating with India's Research and Analysis Wing and possibly Russia's SVR. The CIA worked extensively with Pakistan's ISI throughout the Afghan-Soviet War, and works with this agency closely for the War on Terror.

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