The Rise of the U.S. Intelligence System, 1917–1977

Michael Warner

in The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195375886
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Rise of the U.S. Intelligence System, 1917–1977

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Between 1917 and 1977, the United States created a massive and sophisticated intelligence establishment to inform the decisions of its leaders and facilitate the success of their policies. At the beginning, the nation's armed forces held crude notions of military intelligence. By 1977, the United States had the most sophisticated and expensive intelligence system. This rise of intelligence was the United States's response to three challenges: the growing willingness of states to hold non-combatants at risk for political ends; the startling increases in the ability of the states to wreak havoc; and the spiraling expenses in deterring enemies who possessed new powerful weapons. This article discusses the early development of the U.S. Intelligence in 1917 and its expansion to an “Intelligence Community” from 1977 onwards. It also discusses the influences on the development of American intelligence system and the political strains that come along with the development of the intelligence system.

Keywords: 1917; 1977; intelligence; intelligence system; development; Intelligence Community; U.S. Intelligence; American intelligence system

Article.  6725 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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