The CIA has no law enforcement function and is mainly focused on overseas intelligence gathering, with only limited domestic intelligence collection. Though it is not the only U.S. government agency specializing in HUMINT, the CIA serves as the national manager for coordination of HUMINT activities across the US intelligence community. Moreover, the CIA is the only agency authorized by law to carry out and oversee covert action at the behest of the President, unless the President determines that another agency is better suited for carrying out such action. It exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division.
Before the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, the CIA Director concurrently served as the head of the Intelligence Community; today the CIA is organized under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Despite transferring some of its powers to the DNI, the CIA has grown in size as a result of the September 11 attacks. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that in fiscal year 2010, the CIA had the largest budget of all IC agencies, exceeding previous estimates.
The CIA has increasingly expanded its roles, including covert paramilitary operations. One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations While the CIA has had some recent accomplishments, such as locating Osama bin Laden and taking part in the successful Operation Neptune Spear, it has also been involved in controversial programs such as extraordinary rendition and torture.
The CIA has an executive office and five major directorates:
The Directorate of Digital Innovation
The Directorate of Analysis
The Directorate of Operations
The Directorate of Support
The Directorate of Science and Technology
The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency serves as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency and reports to the Director of National Intelligence. The CIA director’s responsibilities include:
1. Collecting intelligence through human sources and by other appropriate means, except that he shall have no police, subpoena, or law enforcement powers or internal security functions;
2. Correlating and evaluating intelligence related to the national security and providing appropriate dissemination of such intelligence;
3. Providing overall direction for and coordination of the collection of national intelligence outside the United States through human sources by elements of the Intelligence Community authorized to undertake such collection and, in coordination with other departments, agencies, or elements of the United States Government which are authorized to undertake such collection, ensuring that the most effective use is made of resources and that appropriate account is taken of the risks to the United States and those involved in such collection;
4. Performing such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the President or the Director of National Intelligence may direct.
CIA has met these challenges by:
1. Creating special, multidisciplinary centers to address such high-priority issues such as nonproliferation, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, international organized crime and narcotics trafficking, environment, and arms control intelligence.
Forging stronger partnerships between the several intelligence collection disciplines and all-source analysis.
2. Taking an active part in Intelligence Community analytical efforts and producing all-source analysis on the full range of topics that affect national security.
3. Contributing to the effectiveness of the overall Intelligence Community by managing services of common concern in imagery analysis and open-source collection and participating in partnerships with other intelligence agencies in the areas of research and development and technical collection.