Intelligence agencies have been an integral part of United States government since its creation. With the development of the country intelligence organizations of United States also developed and acquired high level skill. …
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In the 20th century intelligence agencies of United States of America were named among the best in the business. The performance of United States secret agencies was commendable throughout the Cold War era. After the fall of Soviet Union the world became Uni-polar and there was no significant threat that the country faced, at least from another country. But this illusion of total control and dominance over the world was shattered with the attacks of 9/11. It was something no one in the world was expecting and it forced United States to rethink its overall intelligence capability. The 9/11 attacks were a blow to the confidence of United States and it led to major restructuring of intelligence agencies. After 9/11 United States decided to make a new intelligence institution called the Office of Director of National Intelligence. In this essay the details of this agency will be discussed alongside with the details of its creation. A general overview of the intelligence agencies of the country will also be given. The need for this separate institution will be discussed and future threats this office may be able to counter will be explained. History and General Overview of Intelligence Agencies of USA Intelligence agencies of United States of America have a long history. Since the creation of United States of America secretive agencies have a large role in the government operations. Founding fathers of America knew the importance of a secret agency that will protect the country from foreign and domestic threats. George Washington in his first Presidential State of the Union address requested Congress to establish a secret service fund for different secret activities (Central Intelligence Agency 2007). Since then secret agencies have conducted activities in foreign countries for the short and long term interest of United States. For a major part of 19th century Britain was a great danger for United States therefore most activities of secret agencies of United States were targeted against Britain. Agents were also sent in different colonial regions in order to extend the influence of United States and protect the interest of the country. In the early and middle of 19th century the aim of United States was to protect itself and gain power. The Civil War was the first big hurdle United States had to face after the war of 1812. The war endangered the sovereignty of the country. Secret spies also played a great role in the civil war on both sides (Central Intelligence Agency 2007). Propaganda schemes were followed by both the side and secret agents were used. After the Civil War United States of America realized that the country needed a formal intelligence organization that could protect the interest of the state domestically and internationally. Before this informal intelligence missions were carried out but as the country developed there was a need of a formal intelligence structure. In 1880s the first two formal intelligence agencies were made. The first was the Military Intelligence Division and the second was Office of Naval Intelligence (Central Intelligence Agency 2007). Over the period of time intelligence agencies became more organized and acquired superior skills. More divisions were made and covert operations continued in the first half of 20th century. In the First World War the efforts of US intelligence agencies were not very successful mainly due to the lack of funding. But before the Second World War, United States had developed a great system of intelligence gathering and many agencies were working in order to collect intelligence. The intelligence failure of Pearl Harbor was the greatest intelligence fail
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The sources include studies in intelligence, international journal of intelligence and counter intelligence, intelligence and national security, defense intelligence journal, military intelligence professional
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