The U.S. Intelligence Community
1 9 4 7 - 1 9 8 9
Capable of flying three times faster than the speed of sound, the exact speed limit and operational ceiling of
Lockheed's recently retired SR-71 "spy plane" remain classified (Wide World Photos).
Spies in trench coats. Lightning-fast reconnaissance planes. Super-secret photo satellites. International eavesdropping.
All make up an enormous multi-billion dollar bureaucracy that collects intelligence and carries out covert operations for the United States. The U.S. Intelligence Community reveals the bureaucratic reality often missing in the dramatic fables of best-selling
spy novels. Here, previously inaccessible organizations and function manuals, unit histories, and internal directives provide researchers with the most comprehensive structural portrait of the U.S. espionage establishment ever published.
The U.S. Intelligence Community collection contains over 15,000 pages of documents--many only recently declassified--from key
intelligence organizations. The majority of these documents are heretofore unpublished materials acquired through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The Archive painstakingly cataloged, indexed and arranged these documents by organization and intelligence activity.
It details the evolution of the U.S. intelligence community and the structure, activities and distribution of tasks among
the twenty-five intelligence organizations that comprise the community. It looks at the bureaucratic reality underlying the most secret operations of the U.S. government, and highlights the complexity of the intelligence apparatus in the U.S. and the involvement
of a diverse number of agencies in intelligence programs. It offers a greater understanding of the regulations, directives and manuals that have guided the organization and functions of the U.S. intelligence community, as well as the directives and
committees employed to coordinate this complicated system. Of additional interest is the inclusion of the assessment of the intelligence community's performance by various outside commissions.
Organizational manuals present detailed information regarding the structure of the agencies, their divisions and subdivisions.
Specific agency regulations give a clear picture of the role each agency plays in intelligence gathering and the activities assigned to each. Histories contain background information concerning an agency's origins, structure and operations and provide a
direction for further research. Directives divide responsibilities among different agencies and create mechanisms for coordinating intelligence activities.
Researchers can use manuals and histories provided in this collection to discover information not available elsewhere. For
example, the Central Intelligence Agency considers classified the titles of National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) and information on the subcommittees of the National Foreign Intelligence Board. However, researchers will find these titles and information
in U.S. military intelligence histories and regulations that have been declassified and released by intelligence elements within the Department of Defense.
The materials in the collection shed light upon issues important to U.S. foreign and defense policy. Evidence of U.S.
espionage and counterintelligence activities abroad, international intelligence agreements and discussions of China's initiative to
"the bomb" are found among these documents.
Through these documents researchers will become aware of the surprising number of agencies involved in
intelligence work. Intelligence on Latin America has been collected and analyzed by the Central Intelligence
Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the
Army Intelligence and Threat Analysis Center, and the Southern Command (J-2) (Intelligence Directorate).
Foreign space programs have been studied and documented by the Central Intelligence Agency, the
Defense Intelligence Agency, the Air Force Foreign Technology Division, the Army Missile and Space
Intelligence Center, and the Naval Technical Intelligence Center. Scholars will need these primary materials for
background and direction in seeking out appropriate agencies to further their own FOIA requests.
The Archive prepares extensive, printed finding aids for the collection. The Guide contains an events chronology, glossaries of key
individuals, acronyms and technical terms, a bibliography of relevant secondary sources and a document catalog. Organized by intelligence agency and intelligence activity, the catalog facilitates browsing through the document collection and allows researchers to preview key details within documents before perusing the microfiche. The Index contains a rich contextual
cross-reference to subjects and names. The detail provided in each allows researchers to
pinpoint relevant documents in their particular area of study.
Documents in the Collection Include:
Key Intelligence Organizations Include:
The U.S. Intelligence Community: Organization, Operations and Management, 1947-1989
Reproduces on microfiche over 15,000 pages of documents from key intelligence organizations.
- Arrangement and Access:
Documents pertaining to agency structure, organization and responsibility are grouped by agency. Documents pertaining to inter-agency
intelligence activities are grouped by activity. The unique identification numbers assigned to documents are printed in eye-legible type at the top right hand corner of the microfiche strip.
Documents are reproduced on silver halide positive-reading microfiche at a nominal reduction of 24x in
envelopes. They are archivally permanent and conform to NMA and BSI standards. Any microfiche found to be physically
substandard will be replaced free of charge.
A printed guide and index accompanies the microfiche collection. Volume I contains an events chronology, glossaries of key individuals, acronyms and technical terms, a bibliography of secondary sources and a
document catalog. Volume II is an index providing in-depth, document-level access to names, subjects
- Date of Publication:
- Orders and Inquiries
National Security Archive Project Staff
- Jeffrey T. Richelson, Ph.D., Political Science Project Consultant
- Dr. Richelson is a Senior Fellow at the National Security Archive and served as a special consultant in the
production of this document set. He is noted for his scholarship in the field of U.S. and foreign intelligence
and has authored numerous books, articles and reviews that have illuminated the organization, structure and activities of the intelligence community. He has written about the U.S. intelligence community (The U.S.
Intelligence Community, 1985), the Soviet intelligence apparatus (Sword and Shield, 1986), a variety of foreign intelligence organizations (Foreign Intelligence Organizations, 1988), the U.S. intelligence operation
directed at the Soviet Union (American Espionage and the Soviet Target, 1987), and the history of U.S. spy
satellites (America's Secret Eyes in Space, 1990).
- Jonathan Stier, Catalog Editor
Ricardo Aguilera, Cataloger
Glenn Baker, Project Analyst
Wendy Simmons, Senior Indexer
Joyce Battle, Indexer
Lisa Thompson, Indexer
Jeanne Valentine, Research Assistant
Joseph Pittera, Research Assistant
"The National Security Archive represents an idea that is
so obvious--once you think of it--that it instantly makes
the transition from novelty to necessity. The desirability
of collecting in one location all the declassified and
unclassified documentation on U.S. foreign policy is so
compelling that we are certain to ask ourselves very soon
how we managed to get along without it. . .All of us who
have a professional interest in contemporary security and
foreign policy issues can only rejoice at the appearance
of this new institutional resource."
Adjunct Professor of Middle East Politics
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