News / USA

US CIA Role Escalates Since 2001 Terrorist Attacks

FILE - Lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, in 2008.
FILE - Lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, in 2008.
VOA News
A newly leaked document from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden shows the increasing role that the country's Central Intelligence Agency plays in American spy operations.
 
The document disclosed Thursday by The Washington Post reveals that the government has a $52.6 billion "black budget" for spying, covert military actions and intelligence gathering for the year ending in September. More than a quarter of that goes to the CIA, surpassing spending for any of the other 15 U.S. spy agencies, including the National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office.
 
A national security expert at the Federation of American Scientists, Steven Aftergood, said the role of the CIA has expanded in the 12 years since al-Qaida's September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the U.S. from intelligence gathering to clandestine battlefield attacks. As a result, he said, the CIA is claiming a bigger share of the U.S. intelligence budget, up perhaps from about 10 percent in the 1990s.
 
"The CIA has taken on an extensive paramilitary and operational role post-9/11 that it did not have in the 1990s," he said. "It is providing direct support to military operations and carrying out operations of its own, including drone strikes and others that help to explain the surge in funding that it has received post-9/11."
 
Aftergood says U.S. spending on intelligence operations far exceeds that of other individual countries — perhaps by 10 times the amount. He said that is partly because of American security commitments to other nations and the U.S. role as the world's biggest military superpower.
 
"No other country really comes close," he said. "Part of the explanation for that, I suppose, is no other country has global committments of the same sort that the United States has or military engagements in so many different parts of the world. So, you know, the U.S. intelligence operation, activity, bureaucracy, whatever you want to call it, is far larger than any of our our allies or adversaries."
 
Although the U.S. government annually reveals overall intelligence spending, the 178-page document Snowden leaked breaks down how much money goes to which agency and, to a certain extent, what those agencies do with the funds.
 
Although the newspaper published graphs and charts tracking the spending of each of the intelligence community's 16 agencies, it said it withheld "some information after consultation with U.S. officials who expressed concerns about the risk to intelligence sources and methods."
 
The funding pays for an array of spy satellites, high-tech equipment and employees, including analysts, linguistic experts, cryptologists and an increasing number of cyber specialists.
 
The 30-year-old Snowden, the source behind one of the most significant intelligence leaks in U.S. history, fled Hawaii three months ago with a trove of secrets. He is now living in temporary asylum in Russia, leaving U.S. authorities unsuccessful in their efforts to have him expelled to face espionage charges.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs