Definitions of CIA

Definitions of CIA

CIA [si ː a ɪ e ɪ ] the, -, an abbreviation for Central Intelligence Agency [ sentrəl ɪ n tel ɪ d ʒ əns e ɪ d ʒ əns ɪ ] as listed on,which was founded in 1947 as the successor to the “Office of Strategic Services” (OSS, 1942) at the same time as the National Security Council and is subordinate to it. The headquarters of the secret service was in Langley (Virginia), a suburb of Washington (D. C.). In addition to its strictly limited mandate (procurement, coordination and evaluation of security-relevant information abroad), the CIA soon devoted itself to the East-West conflict (especially the Cold War) and in the worldwide engagement of the USA also in the planning and execution of secret actions for the realization of American intentions, often with illegal methods. In addition to successful, politically controversial actions, such as the CIA-supported coups in Guatemala (1954) and Chile (1973) or the intervention in Grenada (1983), z. B. the shooting down of a U2 spy plane near Sverdlovsk (1960), the attack by Cuban forces in exile on the Bay of Pigs in Cuba (1961), the loss of the spy ship »Pueblo« off North Korea (1967) and the unsuccessful liberation of the American hostages in Iran (April 25, 1980) increasing criticism. This was also fueled by the unsatisfactory communications technology activity of the CIA in the Vietnam War,

Investigations by a commission under Vice-President N. Rockefeller (1975/76) led to the CIA being restricted in 1978; however, the administration under R. Reagan gave her greater leeway again since 1981 (e.g. in supporting the anti-Scandinavian forces in Nicaragua; inter alia, involvement in the Iran-Contra affair in 1986). In relation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, problems arose again and again due to a lack of information exchange, rivalries over jurisdiction and mutual overstepping of competencies. One of the most serious espionage cases within the CIA ended in 1994 with the arrest of double agent Aldrich Ames, a CIA agent working in the counter-espionage department, who was a paid informant for the KGB for nine years and who betrayed several agents working for the USA. This scandal sparked renewed criticism of the CIA and revealed significant structural weaknesses. 1995-97, the previous Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch (* 1938) was CIA director and announced a (but not implemented) profound reform of the secret service, for which he v. a. The following tasks were outlined: fighting international terrorism, monitoring regional conflicts and developments in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, monitoring the activities of hostile states, preventing nuclear proliferation and dealing with drug cartels. 1997 took over George Tenet (* 1953) the leadership of the CIA, who among others. acted as a mediator in the Middle East conflict (»Tenet Plan« 2001) and, despite repeated CIA mishaps (including responsibility for the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo conflict in 1999), remained in office as the first secret service chief for decades when the administration changed (Resignation in June 2004).

The fact that Islamist terrorists, with their devastating attacks on New York and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, were able to launch an attack on economic and administrative centers in the USA for the first time resulted in renewed questioning of the efficiency and competence of the CIA; Criticism was also directed against intelligence weaknesses in the logistical support of the American military actions in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003).

The establishment of a Department of Homeland Security in 2002, an authority to reorganize the fight against terrorism and (previously inadequate) coordination of the activities of the security services, with the CIA remaining independent, affected just as much as the increasing importance of other secret services as a source of information for the government (especially the Defense Intelligence Agency of the Ministry of Defense) the role of the CIA.

The passing of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act in December 2004 put an end to the decades-long dominance of the CIA among the American secret services. This was taken into account by the newly created office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who is supposed to coordinate all secret services and is directly responsible to the President. This office was taken over by Dan Coats (* 1943) in March 2017. Gina Haspel (* 1956) has been the director of the CIA since May 17, 2018 .


CIA [si ː a ɪ s ɪ ] the or the, Abbreviation for C entral I ntelligence A gency, the Central Office Established in 1947, the Secret Service of the United States.

Definitions of CIA