The U.S. Intelligence Community is much bigger than people think- here’s a quick overview
Some say there are 17 agencies comprising the Intelligence Community (IC), but that’s if you include the ODNI, The Office of the Director of National Intelligence. So, that leaves 16 intelligence agencies in the U.S. government. Here they are, with a brief explanation of the different types of intelligence each agency provides:
- National Security Agency (NSA) NSA is primarily responsible for signals intelligence (SIGINT) and cryptology. It was created in 1952 via National Security Council Directive Number 9.
- Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) collects foreign military intelligence. It operates under the Secretary of Defense.
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) manages geospatial intelligence for defense purposes.
- Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) conducts investigations for intelligence purposes.
- Air Force Intelligence is the intelligence branch of the Air Force.
- Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) gathers intelligence about foreign naval technology and developments. It collects strategic maritime intelligence.
7. Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA) supports intelligence gathering in the Marine Corps.
8. Coast Guard Intelligence and Criminal Investigations Enterprise gathers intelligence to safeguard port facilities and conduct maritime law enforcement.
9. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducts clandestine operations and gathers intelligence in foreign countries.
10. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) gathers intelligence goes after drug dealers/smugglers all over the world and enforces controlled drug laws and regulations.
11. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducts investigations and gathers intelligence related to domestic security, counterterrorism, and criminal organizations.
12. The Bureau of Intelligence Research (INR) is a State Department agency that analyzes foreign events, public opinion, and media to inform foreign policy.
13. Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA) is housed in the U.S. Treasury Department and provides intelligence and analysis related to financial transactions.
14. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) runs an Office of Intelligence and Analysis that shares intelligence with state and local law enforcement.
15. Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence is part of the Department of Energy and focuses on nuclear terrorism threats and nuclear nonproliferation.
16. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) runs our spy satellites and obtains and analyzes signals intelligence and imagery from our spy satellites.
Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community, and relishes traveling to the Florida Keys and Key West, the Bahamas and Caribbean. He combines both passions in his Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster series. Check out his latest spy thriller: MISSION OF VENGEANCE.