The Lesser Known Intelligence Agencies
When discussing the United States Intelligence community, one most often thinks of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), or even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as having a major role in the collection and analysis of intelligence. There are, however, a number of smaller agencies that contribute – some a great deal – to the intelligence community. These agencies normally specialize in a specific type of intelligence or are just a smaller office from a government department; they include the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).
According to their website (n.d.), the mission of the NGA is “to provide timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security.” Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the NGA also has offices in St. Louis, Missouri and Washington, D.C. Additionally they provide support teams to deployed and/or remote duty stations worldwide. NGA is the primary source for geospatial information of all kinds including imagery and all types of geospatial information (mapping, charting, and geodesy). It is broken down into five directorates with one director appointed to be overall responsible for the organization. The NGA director also serves a secondary role as the functional manager for the National System for Geospatial Intelligence. In this role he is responsible for coordinating the integration of “technology, policies, capabilities and doctrine necessary to conduct geospatial intelligence in a multi-intelligence environment (NGA Fact Sheet, n.d.).”
The roots of geospatial intelligence date back to the 1803 expedition of Lewis and Clark. This is the first identified instance of the United States Army assisting in the westward expansion of the country through cartography.... [continues]
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