No major twentieth-century power has so short a history of national intelligence agencies or activities as does the United States, and few have been as public or as tumultuous. Even as this book was being completed early in 1992, a major debate opened over the future structure, size, and role of U.S. intelligence in the aftermath of the cold war.
This book is divided into two parts, which can be read separately or together. Part I is a history of the U.S. intelligence community, beginning with its limited twentieth- century antecedents and emphasizing its growth and development after 1947. Part II describes the organization and function of the major components of the community as they existed at the beginning of 1992.
The history of the intelligence community can be divided into three distinct periods. From its creation in 1947 until the revelations and investigations of 1974-1975, the modern intelligence community operated under fairly broad grants of authority based on trust. The active prosecution of the cold war shaped much of what the agencies did, either in terms of analysis or operations (covert actions as distinct from clandestine intelligence collection), these operations burgeoning far beyond most expectations. Although each administration probably felt let down at some point by