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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid