MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the principal US foreign intelligence and counterintelligence organization, marks its anniversary on September 18.
The CIA is an independent agency responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to top US policymakers. It was established by the National Security Act (NSA) of 1947, which was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947, and came into force on September 18, 1947.
The United States has engaged in intelligence gathering since the end of the 18th century, when its first president, George Washington, was in office, but it was only during the World War II era that the overall intelligence effort came to be coordinated at government level. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed New York lawyer and World War I hero William J. Donovan as Coordinator of Information, promoting him to head the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), after the United States entered World War II in 1942.
The OSS was the predecessor of the CIA, with a function to collect and analyze strategic intelligence. Like many other military agencies, the OSS was disbanded after the war, its functions transferred to the State and War departments.
However, it was not long before President Truman recognized the need for the creation of a centralized intelligence service which was to be adapted to postwar realities. On July 26, 1947, he signed into law the National Security Act that established the CIA as a full-function intelligence directorate.
The National Security Agency (NSA) authorized the CIA to coordinate the national intelligence effort as well as to compare, assess and provide policymakers with national security-related intelligence.
The Central Intelligence Act of 1949 covers the CIA's official operations, finances, information security, direct naturalization procedures for valuable CIA agents, and more.
The NSA was amended under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which resulted in the establishment of two official capacities - a Director of National Intelligence, who took over some of the functions of the Director of Central Intelligence, and a CIA Director.
The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America was approved in October 2005, which gave the CIA some additional functions, including support for democratic change in other countries.
Simultaneously, the CIA Directorate of Operations responsible for clandestine human-sourced intelligence was reformed, resulting in the establishment of the National Clandestine Service.
Currently the CIA has four main divisions: the National Clandestine Service, the Directorate of Intelligence, the Directorate of Science and Technology, and the Directorate of Support. These handle the "intelligence cycle" consisting of intelligence gathering, analysis and assessment. The results are reported to senior US policymakers.
John O. Brennan has been the CIA Director since March 8, 2013.
The CIA has two training facilities: Camp Peary, Virginia, or The Farm, whose existence was officially recognized only in the 1980s; and The Point, Harvey Point, North Carolina.
Information on the number of CIA employees and its budget is classified. The United States first published an intelligence budget figure in 1997, which amounted to $26.6 billion in the 1997 fiscal year. The next year it was $26.7 billion. Budget information every other year is classified.
CIA activities are supervised by Congress and some executive agencies. The CIA headquarters is in Langley, Virginia, not far from Washington, DC.