Aerial reconnaissance photograph of Severodvinsk Shipyard, the largest construction facility in the Soviet Union, taken by a KH4-B spy satellite on February 10, 1969.
Organization, Operations, and Management, 1947-1996

Aldrich Ames is arrested by the FBI as he leaves his house on February 21, 1994. In the aftermath of World War II, with the Cold War looming on the horizon, the United States began the process of developing an elaborate peacetime intelligence structure that would extend across a number of government departments. The operations of the U.S. intelligence community during the Cold War would range from running single agents, to marshaling the talents of thousands to build and deploy elaborate spy satellites.

The end of the Cold War brought major changes, but not the end of the U.S. government's requirement for an elaborate intelligence structure. A number of intelligence organizations have been consolidated or altogether eliminated. New organizations have been established to provide more coherent management of activities ranging from military espionage, to imagery collection, to the procurement of airborne intelligence systems. The end of the Cold War has brought about the declassification of much information about intelligence organization and espionage activities that took place prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

About the Collection

Sample Document 1: Key guidance to Defense Department and military services on the consolidation and restructuring of defense intelligence for the post-Cold War era, March 15, 1991.

Sample Document 2: Charter of the National Reconnaissance Office, March 27, 1964.

Sample Document 3: History of Navy HUMINT: Annual History for Task Force 157, a classified U.S. Navy intelligence unit, 1974.

Focus of the Collection

CIA Headquarters, Langley, VirginiaU.S. Espionage and Intelligence: Organization, Operations, and Management, 1947-1996 publishes together for the first time recent unclassified and newly declassified documents pertaining to the organizational structure, operations, and management of the U.S. intelligence community over the last fifty years, cross-indexed for maximum accessibility. This set reproduces on microfiche 1,174 organizational histories, memoranda, manuals, regulations, directives, reports, and studies, representing over 36,102 pages of documents from the Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, military service intelligence organizations, National Security Council and other organizations.

U.S. Espionage and Intelligence presents a unique look into the internal workings of America's intelligence community. The documents gathered here shed further light on U.S. intelligence organization and activities during the Cold War, and describe the consolidation and reevaluation of the intelligence community in the post-Cold War era. They are drawn from diverse sources, including the National Archives, manuscript collections in the Library of Congress, court files of major espionage prosecutions, presidential libraries, and most importantly, Freedom of Information Act requests. The result of this effort is an authoritative documents publication which, together with the National Security Archive's previous collection on the structure and operations of the U.S. intelligence community, The U.S. Intelligence Community: 1947-1989, published in early 1990, provides a comprehensive record of U.S. espionage and intelligence activities since World War II.

U.S. Espionage and Intelligence provides a wealth of information and documentation on key aspects of intelligence organization and operations during and after the Cold War, including such extraordinary topics as:

Significance of the Collection

The U.S. intelligence community has played a key role in advising presidents from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton on the intentions and activities of the Soviet Union, as well as of other nations. It also came to absorb a significant portion of the federal budget, reaching an approximate high of $30 billion in the late 1980s.

U.S. Espionage and Intelligence allows scholars direct access to the newly declassified, detailed primary documents that contain the history of the military, diplomatic, and intelligence components of the Cold War, and which go far beyond what is available in secondary sources. This new information is essential for reaching an accurate understanding of what was happening behind the scenes and how it related to the more public aspects of Cold War policy and operations.

The material contained in this set concerning the post-Cold War era is crucial in assessing the intelligence community's performance in critical areas such as the Persian Gulf War and the Aldrich Ames case. The material is also vital in understanding the evolution of the intelligence community since the end of the Cold War and its possible future--for that evolution may significantly influence the ability of the intelligence community to deal with critical threats such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.

One-Stop Access to Critical Documents

It would take a monumental effort, as well as many thousands of dollars, to duplicate the information contained in this collection. U.S. Espionage and Intelligence allows a researcher-- whether interested in the CIA, military intelligence, intelligence performance in the Persian Gulf War, or post-Cold War intelligence reform--to use one source at one location to access the thousands of pages of declassified material on the U.S. intelligence community available in this set.

Through U.S. Espionage and Intelligence the researcher gains access to a wide variety of documents: internal histories of the CIA and a variety of military intelligence organizations; program histories of the SR-71 and CORONA; director of central intelligence and Department of Defense directives establishing organizations such as the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency; plans for the consolidation and reform of Defense intelligence organizations after the Cold War and memoranda implementing the reforms; and assessments of intelligence community performance in a number of areas.

In-depth Indexing Makes Every Document Accessible

The National Security Archive prepares extensive printed finding aids for its collections. In- depth indexing offers users remarkable ease and precision of access to every document in the set. The printed Index provides document-level access to subjects, individuals, and organizations, and represents a major research contribution in itself. Important transactions within each document are indexed individually using a controlled subjects vocabulary.

The Guide includes an essay, events chronology, glossaries of key individuals, organizations, and terms, document catalog, and a bibliography of secondary sources.

Research Vistas

With its depth of documentary detail, the collection enables researchers to explore

The Collection is a Necessity For:

Sample Document Titles

01/15/62 Legal Basis for Cold-War Activities, Lawrence Houston, [Classification Excised] Memorandum

03/27/64 Directive 5105.23, National Reconnaissance Office, Department of Defense, Top Secret Directive 05/23/67 Report on Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro, Central Intelligence Agency, Secret Memorandum

07/00/73 Allen Welsh Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence, 26 February 1953-29 November 1961, Central Intelligence Agency, Top Secret Biographic Sketch

00/00/82 History of the Navy HUMINT Program, United States Navy, Top Secret History

03/15/91 Plan for Restructuring Defense Intelligence, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, and Communication Intelligence, Secret Report

01/06/92 Task Force Report on Greater CIA Openness, Director of Central Intelligence, [Classification Excised] Memorandum

06/01/92 DCID 2/9, Management of National Imagery Intelligence, Director of Central Intelligence, Secret Intelligence Directive

09/00/92 Appendixes A, B, and C to the Final Report: National Reconnaissance Program Task Force for the Director of Central Intelligence, National Reconnaissance Program Task Force, Secret Report

12/18/92 Directive 5200.37, Centralized Management of Department of Defense Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Operations, Department of Defense, [Classification Unknown] Directive

08/00/93 Intelligence Successes and Failures in Operations Desert Shield/Storm, House Committee on Armed Services, [Classification Unknown] Report

01/21/94 A Description of Procedures and Findings Related to the Report of the U.S. Environmental Task Force, King Publishing, Paper

12/07/95 Statement of the Director of Central Intelligence on the Clandestine Services and the Damage Caused by Aldrich Ames, Director of Central Intelligence, Statement

03/01/96 Preparing for the 21st Century: An Appraisal of U.S. Intelligence, Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community, Report

12/19/96 United States of America v. Harold J. Nicholson, Superseding Indictment, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Indictment


U.S. Espionage and Intelligence: Organization, Operations, and Management, 1947-1996

Reproduces on microfiche 1,174 U.S. government records totaling 36,102 pages of documentation concerning the organizational structure, operations, and management of the intelligence community from World War II to the present.
Materials were identified, obtained, assembled, and indexed by the National Security Archive.

The Special Collections

Microfiche are arranged chronologically. For ease of use, each document bears a unique accession number to which all indexing is keyed.

The documents are reproduced on 35mm silver halide archivally permanent positive microfiche conforming to NMA and BSI standards. Any microfiche found to be physically substandard in any way will be replaced free of charge.

A printed Guide and Index accompanies the microfiche collection. The Guide contains an events chronology, glossaries, chronological document catalog and a bibliography of secondary sources. The Index provides in-depth, document level access to subjects and individuals.

Date of Publication
April 1997

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U.S. Espionage and Intelligence Project Staff

Project Director

Dr. Jeffrey T. Richelson, project director, is a senior fellow at the National Security Archive and coordinates the Archive's projects on U.S. policy toward China and ongoing documentation on U.S. intelligence issues. He previously edited the Archive's collections on presidential national security documents, the history of the U.S. intelligence community, and the military uses of space. A former associate professor at American University, he received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Rochester. Among his many books are Sword and Shield: Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus (1986), American Espionage and the Soviet Target (1988), America's Secret Eyes in Space (1990), and A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century (1995). His articles have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals and in publications ranging from Scientific American to the Washington Post. He is a regular commentator on intelligence and military issues for national television and radio.

Project Staff

Michael Evans, Research Assistant
Jane Gefter, Research Assistant
Michael Watters, Research Assistant

U.S. Espionage and Intelligence Advisory Board

Christopher Andrew, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge author, For the President's Eyes Only

Loch Johnson, Department of Political Science, University of Georgia author, Secret Agencies: U.S. Intelligence in a Hostile World

David Wise, author, Nightmover: How Aldrich Ames Sold the CIA to the KGB for $4.6 Million

Praise for U.S. Espionage and Intelligence, 1947-1996

"Serious students of the structure and operations of American intelligence rely on the work of the National Security Archive. The new collection of intelligence documents, compiled for the Archive by Jeffrey T. Richelson, helps to pierce the labyrinth."

David Wise
Author of Nightmover: How Aldrich Ames Sold the CIA to the KGB for $4.6 Million

"An invaluable supplement to the National Security Archive's previous collection, The U.S. Intelligence Community 1947-1989, this brings the most recently declassified documents to the reader. Jeffrey Richelson's useful introduction also serves to detail changes that have occurred in the structure of the U.S. espionage establishment."

John Prados
Author of Presidents' Secret Wars

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