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Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Cias Role Then And Now - 1133 words
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After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) was created by President Truman as an insurance policy against that kind of surprise, which caught America off guard in World War II. According to the National Security Act of 1947 the CIA's principal function was to be the correlation and evaluation of intelligence collected by other departments. In other words, the CIA is an All-Source Fusion Agency. The difference involving the direction of the CIA during the cold war and the function that the CIA plays now have changed somewhat, but these roles basically remain the same.During the cold war, global security rested on the shoulders of the two greatest nations: The United States and the Soviet Union. Other nations had capabilities to harm other smaller nations, but none had the world power control of the two greatest nations. The CIA's mission in the spring of 1948 was "to collect secret intelligence on the Soviet Union itself, its military intentions, atomic weapons and advanced missiles; on Soviet actions in Eastern Europe, North Korea and North Vietnam." (Richelson, 217).
The mission set forth the guidelines for the CIA to protect the United States from the Soviet's missiles. Now that the United States is dealing with nations of the former Soviet Union there is still a need to watch those Soviet missiles. The difference is now the CIA must track where the missiles and miscellaneous small arms are being distributed or sold. The mission of watching the missiles remains, but the role the CIA plays has slightly changed.The need for the CIA in today's global society has increased to a higher level than that of the cold war. Today there is a threat from every corner of the world, instead of only between the major world powers
With the United States being the only world power and the Soviet Union collapsed, weapons of mass destruction have hit the open market. This new over-the-counter missile sale has multiplied America's potential foes (Bissell, 205). Bin Laden has demonstrated that no activity oversees will be safe. With the horrific act of the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, the Middle East has shown but one example of how the CIA's roles of responsibility must change to watch smaller groups or organizations. The evil mix of fanaticism and flexibility that is the mark of today's terrorist makes the next strike not a question of if, but of when and where.
In Iraq Saddam Hussein has grown more confident in his ability to hold on to his power while maintaining a tight handle on internal unrest, despite the erosion of Iraq's overall military capabilities. Although during the Gulf War Hussein's power was nearly wiped out, the most serious concern is the likelihood that he will seek a renewed weapon of mass destruction capability both for credibility and because every other strong regime in the region either has it or is pursuing it (AFP Report). For example, the Iraqis have rebuilt key portions of chemical production infrastructure for industrial and commercial use. The plants that are being rebuilt were used to make chemical weapons before the Gulf War and the capacity exceeds Iraq's needs to satisfy its civilian requirements. The CIA has a responsibility to gather information from the various intelligence disciplines to define whether or not these factories are being used for weaponry.Among the problems in the Middle East are a Lebanese Shiite Muslim group called Hizballah, or party of god. This group has the funding of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is capable of unleashing suicidal and terrorist acts against the world. The Hizballah have vowed to resist the evil Western influences that are plaguing the Holy Land, including Israel (Zisser, 8).
The CIA must keep an always-watchful eye on the Iranian connection with the Lebanese Hizballah. The problem with watching the Hizballah is that the CIA must follow the actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well, because the nation is funding Hizaballah, which have been known to possess weapons from the former Soviet Union.Just recently North Korea has tried to rebuild ties with South Korea and the rest of the world. With Kim Chong-il's nation no longer receiving aid from Russia, there may be a change on the horizon. Although Kim Chong-il is not making drastic economical changes, there has been a great amount of interest showed by the leader of the communist country to find better ways to feed his nation. This could either be a tense situation for the CIA or a surprising outcome, just as the fall of the Soviet Union was.
The role of the CIA is to gather information as to whether the political leader will change the nation's position or if the nation will force a change at the political leader's position.China's quest to be recognized as a world power may be one of the CIA's toughest challenges. Chinese leaders view solid relations with the United States as vital to achieving their ambitions, which brings about a conflict for the nation. China's development remains heavily reliant on access to Western markets and technology, but the Chinese also view Washington as their primary obstacle because they perceive the United States as bent on keeping China from becoming a great power. The long thin line between China and the United States could fall on Taiwan. One of the reasons for China's military modernization buildup is to deter the United States from interfering with Taiwan. Russian arms are a key component of this buildup, and thus the CIA is still tracking the Soviet Union's missiles.
When President Truman established the CIA with the National Security Act of 1947, there was no way that the unforeseen problems of today's sole world power could have been anticipated. According to the Act of 1947 the CIA's principal function was to be the correlation and evaluation of intelligence collected by other departments. But this is not the only mission of the CIA, it has also been blessed with the never-ending job of protecting American citizens, no matter where they may be located around the globe, through the timely dissemination of intelligence information. Although the CIA now has the problem of watching several nations rather than one great world power, the basic mission remains the same. The difference involving the direction of the CIA during the cold war and the function that the CIA plays now have changed somewhat, but these roles basically remain the same.WORKS CITEDAll-Source Fusion Platoon, 3d Intel Bn, III MEF.
CO'sReport. MARFORPAC: 9 Aug 2001.Bissell, Richard. Reflections of a Cold Warrior. New Haven:Yale University Press, 1996.Richelson, Jeffrey. A Century of Spies.
New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 1995.Zisser, Eyal. Middle East Review of International Affairs.Volume 1, No. 3: Sept, 1997. http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/meria/journal/1997/i ssue3/jv1n3a1.html.
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