Most in the world know very little about the size and sophistication of the United States Intelligence apparatus. If the United States Intelligence Community (IC) were a country it would the the third largest military expenditures in the world. The USA spends more on Intelligence than Russia, Saudi Arabia and Germany spend on their total defense budget.
It is difficult to grasp the sophistication of the US Intelligence Community (IC) and the power it wields globally. Fortunately, for Americans, most of the agencies are prohibited by law to collect intelligence in the USA. Only 11-17 below are allowed to collect information within the US borders.
It is no accident that there have been few significant terrorist attacks within the United States since 9/11. The IC stands ready 24/7 looking for any threats to the United States. I know that many have a James Bond and a Jason Bourne kind of understanding of what the IC does and it simply is not accurate. Having worked in that field for years, I can assure you that it is primarily occupied by men and women who love their country and are ready to provide as accurate analysis as they can about the possible threats to this nation.
Just how big is the United States Intelligence Community?
Few Americans are aware that there are 17 intelligence Agencies in the United States. The U.S. Intelligence Community is composed of the following 17 organizations:
Two independent agencies—
- The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA);
Eight Department of Defense elements—
3. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA),
4. The National Security Agency (NSA),
5. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA),
6. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO),
7. and intelligence elements of the four DoD services; The Army,
8. The Navy,
9. The Marine Corps,
10. and The Air Force.
Seven elements of other departments and agencies—
11. The Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence;
12. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis
13. The U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence;
14. The Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation
15. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s Office of National Security Intelligence;
16. The Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research;
17. and The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
The United States spends almost $82 billion on Intelligence each year.
Their level of sophistication is beyond comparison. The US intelligence capability gives the United States its edge in global power more than any of its other powerful weapons systems. By comparison, Russia, the third-largest defense spender spends $69 billion on its total defense expense.
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