/in tel"i jeuhns/, n.
1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
2. manifestation of a high mental capacity: He writes with intelligence and wit.
3. the faculty of understanding.
4. knowledge of an event, circumstance, etc., received or imparted; news; information.
5. the gathering or distribution of information, esp. secret information.
6. Govt.
a. information about an enemy or a potential enemy.
b. the evaluated conclusions drawn from such information.
c. an organization or agency engaged in gathering such information: military intelligence; naval intelligence.
7. interchange of information: They have been maintaining intelligence with foreign agents for years.
8. Christian Science. a fundamental attribute of God, or infinite Mind.
9. (often cap.) an intelligent being or spirit, esp. an incorporeal one, as an angel.
[1350-1400; ME < L intelligentia. See INTELLIGENT, -ENCE]
Syn. 1. See mind. 2. discernment, reason, acumen, aptitude, penetration.
Ant. 2. stupidity.

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In education, the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or challenging situations.

In psychology, the term may more specifically denote the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as the IQ test). Intelligence is usually thought of as deriving from a combination of inherited characteristics and environmental (developmental and social) factors. The subject remains hotly debated, and many have tried to show that either biology (especially genes) or environment (especially conditions reflecting socioeconomic class) are more or less exclusively responsible for producing differences in intelligence. Particularly contested have been studies purporting to show links between ethnic heritage and intelligence, most of which have not been accepted in the scientific community. General intelligence is often said to comprise various specific abilities (verbal ability, ability to apply logic in solving problems, etc.), but critics contend that such compartments fail to reflect the nature of cognition and that other models, perhaps based on information processing, are needed. High intelligence (as measured by tests) is sometimes shown to correlate with social achievement, but most experts believe other factors are important and that intelligence is no guarantor of success (and its lack is no guarantor of failure). See also artificial intelligence; creativity.
In government and military operations, evaluated information concerning the strength, activities, and probable courses of action of international actors that are usually, though not always, enemies or opponents.

The term also refers to the collection, analysis, and distribution of such information and to the secret intervention in the political or economic affairs of other countries, an activity commonly known as "covert action." Intelligence is an important component of national power and a fundamental element in decision making regarding national security, defense, and foreign policies. It is conducted on three levels: strategic, tactical, and counterintelligence. Despite the public image of intelligence operatives as cloak-and-dagger secret agents, much intelligence work involves an undramatic search of "open" sources, such as radio broadcasts and various publications. Among covert sources of intelligence are imagery intelligence, which includes aerial and space reconnaissance, signals intelligence, which includes electronic eavesdropping and code breaking, and human intelligence, which involves the secret agent working at the classic spy trade. Leading national intelligence organizations are the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the U.S.; the Federal Security Service in Russia; MI5 and MI6 in Britain; and the Mossad in Israel.
(as used in expressions)
Military Intelligence Unit 5
search for extraterrestrial intelligence

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      in government and military operations, evaluated information concerning the strength, activities, and probable courses of action of foreign countries or nonstate actors that are usually, though not always, enemies or opponents. The term also is used to refer to the collection, analysis, and distribution of such information and to secret intervention in the political or economic affairs of other countries, an activity commonly known as “covert action.” Intelligence is an important component of national power and a fundamental element in decision making regarding national security, defense, and foreign policies.

Nature of intelligence

Levels of intelligence
      Intelligence is conducted on three levels: strategic (sometimes called national), tactical, and counterintelligence. The broadest of these levels is strategic intelligence, which includes information about the capabilities and intentions of foreign countries. Tactical intelligence, sometimes called operational or combat intelligence, is information required by military field commanders. Because of the enormous destructive power of modern weaponry, the decision making of political leaders often must take into account information derived from tactical as well as strategic intelligence; major field commanders may often also need multiple levels of intelligence. Thus, the distinction between these two levels of intelligence may be vanishing.

      Counterintelligence is aimed at protecting and maintaining the secrecy of a country's intelligence operations. Its purpose is to prevent spies or other agents of a foreign power from penetrating the country's government, armed services, or intelligence agencies. Counterintelligence also is concerned with protecting advanced technology, deterring terrorism, and combating international narcotics trafficking. Counterintelligence operations sometimes produce positive intelligence, including information about the intelligence-gathering tools and techniques of other countries and about the kinds of intelligence other countries may be seeking. Counterintelligence operations sometimes involve the manipulation of an adversary's intelligence services through the placement of “moles,” or double agents, in sensitive areas. In authoritarian and totalitarian states, counterintelligence also encompasses the surveillance of key elites and the repression of dissent.

      Governments often direct their intelligence services to perform covert actions to support diplomatic initiatives or to achieve goals that are unattainable by diplomatic means alone. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), for example, organized the overthrow of the government of Guatemala by military coup in 1954 and helped to undermine the government of President Salvador Allende (Allende, Salvador) (1908–73) of Chile prior to the military coup there in 1973. More recently, U.S. covert actions have included providing military and financial support to the mujahideen (from Arabic mujāhidūn, “those who engage in jihad”), who fought Soviet troops in Afghanistan during the 1980s, and aiding U.S. and British military forces in their campaign against Afghanistan's Taliban government in 2001. Earlier in the 20th century, the intelligence services of the Soviet Union assassinated exiled political figures such as Leon Trotsky (Trotsky, Leon) (1879–1940) and supported Marxist-Leninist organizations throughout the world.

Types of intelligence
      The types of intelligence a country may require are extremely varied. The country's armed services need military intelligence, its space and Earth-satellite programs need scientific intelligence, its foreign offices need political and biographical intelligence, and its premier or president needs a combination of these types and many others. Consequently, intelligence has become a vast industry. At the beginning of the 21st century it was estimated that the U.S. government spent some $30 billion annually on intelligence-related activities, employing perhaps 200,000 people in the United States and many thousands more U.S. citizens overseas in both clandestine and overt capacities. The intelligence operations of the Soviet Union were likely of even greater dimensions prior to the dissolution of the country in 1991. All other major countries maintain large intelligence bureaucracies.

      Political intelligence is at once the most sought-after and the least reliable of the various types of intelligence. Because no one can predict with absolute certainty the effects of the political forces in a foreign country, analysts are reduced to making forecasts of alternatives based on what is known about political trends and patterns. Concrete data that are helpful in this regard include voting trends, details of party organization and leadership, and information derived from analyses of political documents. A chief source of political intelligence has long been the reports of diplomats (diplomacy), who normally gather data from “open,” or legally accessible, sources in the country where they are stationed (see diplomacy). Their work is supplemented by that of the professional intelligence apparatus.

      Much military intelligence is gathered by military attachés, who have formal diplomatic status but are known to be mainly concerned with intelligence. Space satellites (Earth satellite) produce reliable information about the composition of military units and weapons and can track their movements; satellites are especially important for monitoring a country's production of strategic ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction (i.e., biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons). The most valuable kinds of military intelligence concern military organization and equipment, procedures and formations, and the number of units and total personnel.

      The state of a country's economy is crucial to its military strength, its political development, and the conduct of its foreign policy. Consequently, intelligence organizations attach great importance to the collection of economic information, including data on trade, finance, natural resources, industrial capacity, and gross national product.

      Because of continuous advances in technology, there has been a constant race between new methods of collecting intelligence and new techniques of protecting secret information. In order to guard against scientific or technological breakthroughs that may give other countries a decisive advantage, intelligence organizations keep abreast of foreign advances in nuclear technology, in the electronic, chemical, and computer sciences, and in many other scientific fields.

      In order to make accurate predictions of a foreign country's future behaviour, intelligence systems obviously require detailed information about the personal characteristics of the country's leaders. The need for biographical information has expanded with the proliferation of international organizations, whose officers must be briefed about their foreign counterparts. Intelligence agencies also compile data on foreign populations, topographies, climates, and a wide range of ecological factors.

Sources of intelligence
      Despite the public image of intelligence operatives as cloak-and-dagger secret agents, the largest amount of intelligence work is an undramatic search of open sources, such as radio broadcasts and publications of all kinds. Much of this work, which also includes sifting reports from diplomats, businessmen, accredited military attachés, and other observers, is performed by university-trained research analysts in quiet offices.

      Covert sources of intelligence fall into three major categories: imagery intelligence, which includes aerial and space reconnaissance; signals intelligence, which includes electronic eavesdropping and code breaking; and human intelligence, which involves the secret agent working at the classic spy trade. Broadly speaking, the relative value of these sources is reflected in the order in which they are listed above. A photograph, for example, constitutes hard (i.e., reliable) intelligence, whereas the report of a secret agent may be speculative and difficult to prove.

Methods of intelligence gathering
      Good intelligence management begins with the proper determination of what needs to be known. Unless precise requirements are set, data will be collected unsystematically and the decision maker ultimately left without pertinent information on which to act. Collected data must be evaluated and transformed into a usable form (and sometimes stored for future use). Evaluation is essential, because many of the wide variety of sources are of doubtful reliability. A standardized system is used to rate the reliability of sources and the likely accuracy of the information they provide (e.g., information may be classified as confirmed, probably true, possibly true, or unlikely to be true).

      Information obtained from open sources probably constitutes more than four-fifths of the input to most intelligence systems, though this proportion varies with the number of state secrets a country may have. Clandestine collection methods from covert sources provide the basis for much of the drama and romance attributed to intelligence work in fiction. Although the classic espionage agent will never be completely obsolete, some observers have suggested that the role largely has been taken over by machines, including orbiting reconnaissance satellites, long-range cameras, and a variety of sensing, detecting, and acoustical instruments. With this kind of technology, it is now possible to see in darkness, to hear from great distances, and to take detailed photographs from altitudes of hundreds of miles. Nevertheless, only spies can produce information about the attitudes and intentions of foreign leaders or international terrorists and other criminals. Indeed, a lack of adequate human intelligence was cited by some critics as a factor in the failure of U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to prevent the devastating terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001 (see September 11 attacks).

      Techniques of aerial reconnaissance have advanced dramatically since the 1940s, when the United States drifted balloons carrying special cameras across Soviet territory to photograph military and industrial installations. Today aerial reconnaissance is conducted by satellites, aircraft, and unmanned drones, which can orbit a battlefield for 24 hours. The U.S. U-2 aircraft and its higher-flying successors are capable of taking photographs that experts can read with great accuracy. Imaging satellites (satellite communication), which can produce accurate information about the number and location of a country's nuclear missiles and other weapons, made possible the arms control treaties between the United States and the Soviet Union. High-altitude photographs are also used to diagnose environmental catastrophes, to locate terrorist training camps, and even to detect human rights abuses.

      Intelligence organizations often employ electronic scavengers (from ships, planes, listening posts in embassies and military installations, and orbiting satellites) to collect information about a country's radio communications and its naval equipment and operations. An individual submarine, for example, can be identified by the telltale and unique noises it makes (its “signature”). During the Cold War the United States collected sensitive signals intelligence by tapping communications lines in Soviet territorial waters. It also used satellites and special planes for conducting missions close to the borders of potential adversaries. Similarly, the Soviet Union (and later Russia) collected signals intelligence from listening stations in diplomatic and consular missions and from large “fishing trawlers” that shadowed the U.S. fleet.

      The use of computers (computer) to analyze data (database) on complex phenomena such as industrial production, missile launches, and rates of economic growth has created vast amounts of information that threaten intelligence systems with inundation, making the filtering of useless information a key task. Since World War II great efforts have been made to develop efficient means of cataloging, storing, and retrieving the gigantic volume of data being amassed. Although some observers believe that data collection, especially in the Internet age, has been overemphasized at the expense of analysis, computer technology and the application of artificial intelligence, which allow computer programs to organize mammoth amounts of raw material for analysts, promise to make the tidal wave of information manageable. For example, such techniques can be used at border crossings to quickly compare the image of a suspected terrorist with thousands of pictures of known criminals.

History of intelligence activities

Premodern intelligence
      The ancient soothsayers (divination), who claimed to be able to communicate with the gods and were often said to have the power of predicting the future, were perhaps the earliest counterparts of the modern intelligence agency. As in modern times, their reports were often ambiguous and frequently ignored by decision makers.

      The Bible says that God advised Moses (Numbers 13) to send agents to “spy out the land of Canaan.” After 40 days, 12 agents returned to report that the people in the land flowing with milk and honey were more powerful than the Israelites—and on the basis of this intelligence the Israelites rebelled and were punished by God.

      The ancient Chinese author Sun Tzu (Sunzi) (fl. 4th century BC), whose Ping-fa (The Art of War) is said to be widely read by contemporary Chinese strategists, identified five kinds of secret agent; their modern counterparts are the agent in place (who has access to enemy secrets), the double agent (who is recruited from an enemy's intelligence and security service), the deception agent (who provides disinformation to confuse the enemy), the expendable agent (whose loss can enable other more important agents to operate), and the penetration agent (who has access to an enemy's senior leadership). Sun Tzu stressed the importance of good intelligence organization, and he also wrote of counterintelligence and psychological warfare.

      In Europe during the Middle Ages, intelligence was systematically used but crudely organized. Although it was usually impossible to conceal the massing of troops or ships, communication was slow, making the achievement of strategic surprise a difficult matter of balancing the time required to assemble large forces against the time needed by enemy agents to discover and report them.

      In the 15th century the Italian city-states began to establish permanent embassies in foreign capitals. The Venetians (Venice) used such outposts as intelligence sources and even developed codes and ciphers by which information could be secretly communicated. By the 16th century other European governments had followed suit.

Intelligence and the rise of nationalism
      The rise of nationalism was accompanied by the growth of standing armies and professional diplomats as well as by the establishment of organizations and procedures for procuring foreign intelligence. Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558–1603) of England maintained a notable intelligence organization. Her principal state secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham (Walsingham, Sir Francis) (c. 1532–90), developed a network of intelligence agents in foreign countries. He recruited graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, developed the craft of espionage, including tools and techniques for making and breaking codes, and engaged in much foreign political intrigue. Later, Armand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal et duc de Richelieu (Richelieu, Armand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal et duc de) (1585–1642), and Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658) (Cromwell, Oliver)—whose intelligence chief, John Thurloe (Thurloe, John) (1616–68), is often cited as an early master spy—developed notable intelligence systems. The intelligence operations of the Great Powers also included secret channels of communication, the penetration of émigré circles, and the assassination of enemies of the state.

      Not until the late 18th century, however, did there arise sharp divisions between organizations devoted to internal security (a counterintelligence function) and those concerned with external foreign intelligence. As populations began to give their allegiance to the state rather than to dynasties or religious leaders, national leaders paid increasing attention to the opinions of foreign publics, resulting in both a new diplomacy and new intelligence needs. Major innovations in organization and doctrine have been credited to the Prussian (Prussia) king Frederick the Great (Frederick II) (reigned 1740–86). Frederick, and later Wilhelm Stieber, an aide to the Prussian prime minister and later German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (Bismarck, Otto von) (1815–98), organized the intelligence-gathering functions of the general staff. Under Stieber, a single military intelligence agency—the world's first large-scale espionage organization—was established to serve as the country's eyes on the outside world.

Intelligence in the modern era
      At the turn of the 20th century European governments required increasing amounts of strategic intelligence to compete in power politics, to support their foreign empires, and to keep up with advances in military and communications technology. Accordingly, intelligence bureaus spread throughout the European continent, resulting in a corresponding growth in counterintelligence. Nevertheless, when World War I broke out in 1914 the intelligence services of most European countries were inadequate. The war, which none of the combatants intended, is often cited in hindsight as a tragic failure of intelligence. The French (France) intelligence service, which already had been weakened by the Dreyfus affair (see Alfred Dreyfus (Dreyfus, Alfred)), was torn by internal intrigue, and other services had been shaken by scandals. One spectacular failure of French intelligence was its gross miscalculation of German (Germany) military strength in 1914, when it underrated German technical and tactical capabilities. German intelligence also had deteriorated, and by 1914 the German general staff evidently placed little faith in the information its intelligence officers supplied. Nevertheless, the Germans carried out successful intelligence activities in Persia and scored limited successes in the United States. The Russian intelligence service initially enjoyed great success against the Austrians because of the treason of an Austrian general staff officer, but it subsequently performed no better than the services of other countries involved in the war. The British (United Kingdom) succeeded in breaking German naval codes, and they were able to use the information they obtained to hasten U.S. entry into the war by exposing German efforts to involve Mexico in a war with the United States. However, tactical intelligence provided to British commanders on the Western Front was fraught with optimistic and misleading assessments of Germany's military capabilities.

      Unlike the European countries, the United States had no central intelligence organization. Indeed, at the beginning of the war, army intelligence was only a small section of the general staff, comprising two officers and two clerks. By the end of the war this service had grown to 1,200 officers and civilians. Overall, the American intelligence community at this time was staffed by amateurs and was quite deficient.

      The intelligence lessons of World War I, along with advances in technology—especially electronics and aircraft technology—resulted in a proliferation of new intelligence agencies in the 1920s and '30s, particularly in totalitarian states (Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union) but also in some democratic European countries. The expansionist policies of the Soviet Union, Italy, Germany, and Japan in the 1930s, and especially the outbreak of World War II in 1939, precipitated the creation and expansion of intelligence services throughout the world. In 1942 the United States, which had virtually no peacetime intelligence services, created its first full-fledged organization for intelligence and secret operations, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The war imposed intelligence requirements never before faced by the major warring powers, primarily as a result of rapidly advancing military technology. Air warfare in particular required vast new offensive and defensive intelligence operations. Air force commanders needed information on possible bombing targets, as well as on enemy fighters and antiaircraft artillery. In the first days of World War II, the United States relied on the insurance records of German industries and on aerial reconnaissance to identify bombing targets. The growth of radio broadcasting enabled the development of the new art of psychological warfare, whose effects demanded study by intelligence services.

      Yet despite its rapid development, intelligence forecasting remained a precarious trade. Many key events in the war—including the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Pearl Harbor attack against the United States by Japan in December 1941, the Battle of the Bulge (Bulge, Battle of the) in December 1944–January 1945, and the Allied bombing campaigns against Germany (1942–45), in which the Germans showed unexpected resilience—were marked by the failure of decision makers to profit from their elaborate intelligence networks.

      However, there was one area of enormous success. Perhaps the most significant intelligence achievement of the war was the Ultra project, in which the British, using a German Enigma encoding machine obtained from the Poles and relying on earlier decryption efforts by the Poles and the French, intercepted and deciphered top-secret German military communications throughout much of the war. In essence, the Ultra project enabled the Allies to read the mind of the German high command. As the war progressed, Hitler (Hitler, Adolf)'s increasingly centralized control of operations on all fronts made German military operations especially vulnerable. Ultra was particularly important in the defeat of the German U-boat fleet and the German surface navy. When the Allies were caught by surprise, such as in the American defeat at Kasserine Pass, the Allied defeat at Arnhem, and the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans had used land lines for communication or Ultra intercepts had been misused.

      During the Cold War intelligence became one of the world's largest industries, employing hundreds of thousands of professionals. Every major country created enormous new intelligence bureaucracies, usually consisting of interlocking and often competitive secret agencies that vied for new assignments and sometimes withheld information from each other. The United States established the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1947. Among other well-known intelligence organizations created during this period were the United Kingdom's MI5 and MI6, the Soviet Union's KGB (Committee for State Security), France's SDECE (External Documentation and Counterespionage Service), China's MSS (Ministry of State Security), and Israel's Mossad. By the 1970s every regional power and many relatively small states had developed intelligence services. At the same time, the exploits of spies and counterspies became a staple of the entertainment and publishing industries. In books, movies, and television, intelligence agents were portrayed in roles that were sometimes comic but often deadly serious. All these accounts tended to glamorize an occupation that was often painfully tedious and sometimes (in the opinion of some) distasteful and immoral.

      In the last two decades of the Cold War the United States relied heavily on imagery and signals intelligence, including satellite photography, to collect information on Soviet weapons of mass destruction. Its emphasis on these sources of intelligence, however, may actually have weakened its ability to combat terrorist organizations, which by their nature are not easily penetrated through technical means.

      Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, nonstate actors (e.g., terrorist (terrorism) organizations, militias, and drug cartels) have developed sophisticated intelligence and counterintelligence capabilities that rival those of some states. The Islamic terrorist organization al-Qaeda (Qaeda, al-), which organized the September 11 attacks against the United States, had an intelligence infrastructure that maintained safe houses in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Evidence uncovered after the U.S. and British military campaign in Afghanistan indicated that al-Qaeda had purchased sophisticated computer hardware that enabled it to send enciphered communications to terrorist cells and to track U.S. photographic reconnaissance satellites. Today, terrorists and drug traffickers from the jungles of Colombia to the streets of western Europe employ advisers drawn from the intelligence services of the former Soviet Union, East Germany, and Yugoslavia and use criminals of various kinds to bribe or terrorize their opponents and protect their organizations. Accordingly, since the end of the Cold War the targets of intelligence activity have been just as likely nonstate actors as states. Operations against such organizations require smaller and more-flexible intelligence services capable of combining technical intelligence (i.e., imagery and signals intelligence) and human intelligence; operations officers and analysts; and various military, intelligence, and security organizations.

National intelligence systems
      It is likely that during the Cold War some national intelligence systems, especially those in the major countries, grew beyond their optimal size. Some countries also have experienced problems controlling their intelligence systems. In both democracies and authoritarian societies, these organizations are in a position to demand that their operations and the information they collect be kept secret, not only from the public but also from most government officials. The need for secrecy obviously makes adequate oversight difficult to achieve. Moreover, secret services historically have been used as vehicles of political conspiracy and intrigue. In part because of rapidly advancing technology, intelligence systems are likely to grow in power and autonomy in the 21st century. In order to avoid becoming their virtual prisoners, legislative and executive bodies must be cognizant of the need for effective policy controls.

      The intelligence systems of three countries—the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom—have been used as general models for the organization of most other intelligence services. The American system was adopted by many of the countries that came under U.S. influence after World War II; that of the Soviet Union was instituted in most communist countries; and that of the United Kingdom was used by most countries with parliamentary governments.

      The decision to establish the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) reflected the United States's experience during World War II with the OSS and a postwar desire to create a central organization for defense. This organization was to include a partially unified Department of Defense and a National Security Council (NSC), chaired by the president. The CIA is under the jurisdiction of the NSC.

      At the close of the war there was intense debate about how much centralization was needed. Some wanted a single overarching intelligence system that would eliminate the separate units operated by the army, navy, and the State Department. Others wanted to turn over to the State Department all but technical military intelligence functions. The outcome was a compromise that created the CIA but allowed other departments and agencies to retain their own intelligence sections. Since then the idea of a single intelligence system has given way to the concept of an “intelligence community” comprising the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), separate army, navy, and air force intelligence staffs, State Department intelligence, the National Security Agency (NSA), a Department of Energy nuclear intelligence unit, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The National Security Act (1947), which has remained the basic charter for the organization of American intelligence, assigned the CIA five specific functions: (1) advising the NSC on intelligence matters related to national security, (2) recommending to the NSC measures for the efficient coordination of the intelligence activities of departments and agencies of government, (3) collecting and evaluating foreign intelligence and making certain that it is properly communicated within the government, (4) carrying out additional services for other intelligence agencies that the NSC determines can best be performed centrally, and (5) carrying out other functions and duties related to national security intelligence as the NSC may direct. The CIA also conducts secret political and economic intervention, psychological warfare, and paramilitary operations in other countries, functions that were treated as a Cold War necessity on the basis of a somewhat loose interpretation of the original charter. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the passage of the Homeland Security Act in the following year, CIA analysts were integrated into the intelligence sections of the new Department of Homeland Security. CIA officers also were assigned to work in FBI units, and FBI agents began to work at CIA headquarters. The post of director of national intelligence subsequently was established to coordinate the activities of the various intelligence agencies. The director also served as the president's chief adviser on intelligence.

      At the beginning of the 21st century the CIA was thought to employ 15,000 to 20,000 people full-time in the United States, mainly in Washington, D.C., and several thousand more overseas. Policy and operational guidelines for the CIA are contained in periodically revised presidential executive orders and numerous secret National Security Council Intelligence Directives, which define the CIA's functions and establish jurisdictions in areas in which other intelligence agencies might have a claim.

      The CIA comprises four major directorates responsible for intelligence, operations, administration, and science and technology. It is managed by a director and a deputy director, both appointed by the president and subject to Senate confirmation. The director of central intelligence (DCI) plays two distinct roles as both head of the CIA and a leading adviser to the president on intelligence matters relating to national security. The powers vested in the office of the DCI have increased over the years.

      The CIA produces independent intelligence information, including bulletins and daily briefings for the president. Since the end of the Cold War it has become increasingly concerned with the activities of nonstate actors as well as with economic intelligence and industrial espionage. It also has provided greater direct support to U.S. military operations. Following the Persian Gulf War (1990–91), the CIA was asked to rapidly enhance its ability to provide direct tactical support to military commanders on the battlefield, and in the following decade it did so in both the Balkans and Afghanistan.

      The principal role of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is domestic counterintelligence. The FBI director serves under the attorney general in the Department of Justice. An assistant director of the FBI heads the National Security Division, whose budget, personnel, and organization are secret. The FBI and CIA cooperate in counterintelligence and counterterrorism and in efforts to combat international crime. The DIA and agencies of the armed services also perform counterintelligence functions within their limited jurisdictions.

      The NSA (National Security Agency) is the largest, most expensive, and perhaps least known of all U.S. intelligence organizations. Its basic function is signals intelligence—the making and breaking of codes and ciphers. Created by presidential directive in 1952, the NSA has remained, despite its enormous size and worldwide activities, the most secret of the acknowledged U.S. intelligence units; even the directive creating the agency remains secret. Headed by a high-ranking military officer, the NSA is under the jurisdiction of the secretary of defense but maintains a modest degree of autonomy. From its headquarters near Washington, D.C., the NSA conducts an immense variety of electronic espionage activities, many of which make use of sophisticated listening devices placed on planes and ships and in ground installations overseas. The NSA's “Echelon” computer program, which is maintained with the assistance of the intelligence agencies of Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, is built on a global network of computers and automatically searches through intercepted e-mail, fax, and telephone messages for preselected keywords. The system automatically searches each word of all messages in the frequencies, channels, or addresses selected. The program was designed to produce counterterrorism and counterintelligence information and to allow the countries running it to address the problems of global crime more effectively. It has, however, raised significant concerns about civil liberties, since it allows intelligence agencies to open any personal message or business communication. It is estimated that the NSA employs 20,000 people, but its activities also involve thousands of additional personnel from the armed services.

      The DIA, established in 1961, is the major producer and manager of intelligence for the Department of Defense and is the principal adviser on military intelligence matters for the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It supplies military intelligence for national reports and estimates, coordinates Department of Defense collection requirements (classified information requested by military commanders for planning and operational purposes), and manages the military attaché system. Although the agency is staffed by personnel from each of the armed services, more than half of all DIA employees are civilians.

      Through its Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Department of State collects, analyzes, and disseminates large quantities of political, economic, and cultural information about countries in which the United States has accredited representation. The bureau, known in the intelligence community by the acronym INR, has the dual function of meeting the requirements of the intelligence community as set by the NSC and the State Department's own intelligence needs. Area specialists constitute the bulk of the INR's comparatively small staff.

      The Department of Energy is represented within the intelligence community by an assistant secretary for defense programs, whose responsibilities include nuclear intelligence. The department's Office of Intelligence is responsible for providing intelligence support to policy makers, collecting and evaluating intelligence on nuclear nonproliferation, and producing and disseminating energy assessments; such reports include information on a country's nuclear arsenals and its potential for producing nuclear weapons.

      Although the creation of the DIA sharply reduced the role of the separate armed forces intelligence services, each of them continues to perform significant tactical and technical intelligence and counterintelligence activities. Army (United States Army, The) intelligence is headed by the deputy chief of staff for intelligence. The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), headed by the director of naval (United States Navy, The) intelligence, is responsible for foreign intelligence and cryptology. Air Force (United States Air Force, The) intelligence is headed by the director of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, who manages both technical and human intelligence programs. The National Air Intelligence Center produces tactical intelligence for targeting and mission planning.

      The Department of Defense also controls the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), one of several highly secret units that design, build, and operate satellites. Although it was created in the early 1960s, the NRO's existence was declassified only in 1992. Its size and importance have grown with advances in surveillance technology. Its programs are perhaps the most expensive—and useful—sources of intelligence available to the U.S. government. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) was created in 1996 under the aegis of the Department of Defense to produce imagery intelligence for the U.S. military and other government agencies.

Russia and the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
      Until the Soviet Union's dissolution in the early 1990s, the KGB resembled a combination of the American CIA, FBI, and Secret Service (the agency charged with protecting the president and vice president and their families). This integration of foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and internal security roles in a single agency was unusual, though the old Soviet system set the pattern for intelligence services in other communist countries.

      The lineage of the KGB begins with the Cheka, the secret police established by the Bolsheviks in 1917. In 1922 the Cheka was reorganized as the GPU (State Political Administration), and in 1934 it was renamed the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). During World War II several further reorganizations occurred, out of which grew the MGB (Ministry of State Security).

      The final reorganization of Soviet intelligence occurred when the KGB was created in 1954. The KGB was commonly believed to have dominated the entire Soviet intelligence system, and some Western analysts viewed its director as an individual of immense political power. One of the KGB's last directors, Yury Andropov (Andropov, Yury Vladimirovich), headed the agency for 15 years and became leader of the Soviet Communist Party in 1982, serving until his death in 1984. Other intelligence agencies existed in the Soviet Union, the most important of which was the GRU (Chief Intelligence Office), the chief intelligence directorate of the army general staff, which dealt principally with military intelligence. Despite occasional indications of competition and conflict between the GRU and the KGB, the latter dominated.

      The KGB carried out foreign intelligence and counterintelligence and domestic counterintelligence and security, maintained security in the armed forces, and watched for potential traitors in the military and intelligence services. Some directorates in the organization had specialized intelligence functions or particular geographic jurisdictions. Many Soviet officials who served abroad had some direct connection with the KGB or the GRU: Soviet diplomats assigned to the United Nations, for example, occasionally were discovered to be intelligence agents. The practice of placing spies in diplomatic positions has been followed by most major countries.

      There is no wholly reliable source of information regarding the size and annual expenditures of the former Soviet Union's intelligence network. Nevertheless, it is estimated that at the end of the Cold War the KGB had a staff of nearly 500,000 (excluding informers). About 20,000 KGB staff officers were employed in foreign intelligence, with the majority engaged in counterintelligence, surveillance of the public, technical intelligence, and border control. The KGB also controlled a large stable of informers, estimated by some to number 5 to 10 percent of the country's population.

      Despite the dissolution of the KGB in the early 1990s, Russia's intelligence and counterintelligence services remain formidable, particularly the Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for internal security and counterintelligence. Since the end of the Cold War these services have continued to recruit and place spies in the CIA and the FBI. Nevertheless, Russian intelligence in general suffers from various structural problems, including the problem that the information it produces is not always properly analyzed or acted upon.

      British intelligence was organized along modern lines as early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and the long British experience has influenced the structure of most other systems. Unlike the intelligence agencies of the United States and the former Soviet Union, those of the United Kingdom historically have preserved a high degree of secrecy concerning their organization and operations. Even so, British intelligence has suffered from an unusually large number of native-born double agents.

      The two principal British intelligence agencies are the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS; commonly known by its wartime designation, MI6) and the British Security Service (BSS; commonly called MI5). The labels derive from the fact that the Secret Intelligence Service was once “section six” of military intelligence and the Security Service “section five.”

      The British intelligence community is even more of a confederation of separate agencies than the U.S. intelligence community. Today, MI6 is a civilian organization largely resembling the U.S. CIA. It is charged with gathering information overseas and with other strategic services ranging from foreign espionage to covert political intervention. Its director, who is commonly referred to as “C,” remains an almost anonymous figure. A high wall of secrecy likewise surrounds the rest of the organization; indeed, the British government barely acknowledges its existence, though an annual lump-sum appropriation request must be presented publicly to Parliament. The British services are much smaller than those of either the United States or Russia.

      The expenditures of MI5 also are included in the annual budget submitted to Parliament. MI5 is roughly the British equivalent of the U.S. FBI or the internal security (counterintelligence) section of the former Soviet KGB. However, it differs from the FBI in that it performs certain counterintelligence functions overseas. MI5's primary responsibility is to protect British secrets at home from foreign spies and to prevent domestic sabotage, subversion, and the theft of state secrets. The service is headed by a director general, who reports to the prime minister through the home secretary. The director general's traditional code name is “K”—a designation derived from the name of Sir Vernon Kell, its chief from 1909 to 1940. MI5 makes no direct arrests but instead works secretly with the more publicized “Special Branch” of Scotland Yard.

      Another principal member of the British intelligence community is the Defence Intelligence Service, which resembles the American Defense Intelligence Agency. The service integrates into the Ministry of Defence intelligence specialists from the Royal Army, Navy, and Air Force. Another service is Communications Intelligence, which specializes in electronic surveillance and cryptology. Its operations are conducted from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham.

      MI6 is supervised by the Joint Intelligence Committee, a cabinet subcommittee under the permanent undersecretary of the foreign office. The Joint Intelligence Committee, which oversees all British intelligence agencies, controls intelligence policy and approves “national estimates” similar to those carried out by the U.S. National Intelligence Council. The British cabinet and parliamentary government affords a system of accountability lacking in the United States.

      The contemporary French intelligence and counterintelligence system consists of an amalgam of units dating from the time of Napoleon I and an organization developed by General Charles de Gaulle (Gaulle, Charles de) as leader of the Free French in World War II. From 1946 until 1981 the major French intelligence service was the SDECE. In 1981 the SDECE was reorganized as the DGSE (General Directorate of External Security). Although the agency changed its structure, it retained its traditional functions: foreign intelligence, counterespionage outside France, and overseas covert political intervention.

      Another major French intelligence agency is the Second Directorate of the National Defense Staff, which combines, to some degree, formerly separate army, navy, and air force agencies. Charged with gathering foreign military intelligence for the French general staff, it is no doubt influenced by the traditions and doctrines of the French army's old Deuxième Bureau. The DST (Directorate of Territorial Security), a third important member of the French intelligence system, is responsible for internal security, playing a role similar to that of the American FBI. It is controlled by the Ministry of the Interior.

      The SDECE and DGSE have been shaken by numerous scandals. In 1968, for example, Philippe Thyraud de Vosjoli, who had been an important officer in the French intelligence system for 20 years, asserted in published memoirs that the SDECE had been deeply penetrated by the Soviet KGB in the 1950s. He also indicated that there had been periods of intense rivalry between the French and American intelligence systems. In the early 1990s a senior French intelligence officer created another major scandal by revealing that the DGSE had conducted economic intelligence operations against American businessmen in France, and in 2002 it was charged that the DGSE had uncovered compromising information on French President Jacques Chirac (Chirac, Jacques) on behalf of his opponents.

      Foreign intelligence and counterintelligence in China is the province of the MSS. The organization of the MSS is similar to that of the former KGB, with bureaus responsible for foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and the collection of scientific and technical intelligence. Chinese intelligence operations are conducted by officers under diplomatic cover as well as under nonofficial cover as businessmen and scholars. Its operations have been fairly successful, especially in the United States. In 2000, for example, a U.S. congressional committee concluded that Chinese intelligence “stole classified information on every currently deployed U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).”

      The Military Intelligence Department of the General Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is China's second largest intelligence organization. It collects information through military attachés and intelligence officers under academic and business cover. The PLA, the navy, and the air force also collect human intelligence and signals intelligence. Although little is known about Chinese signals intelligence, it is believed to be controlled by the Sixth Bureau of the air force staff.

      The Chinese communist leadership always has been concerned with dissent, whether political, social, or religious. Both the People's Armed Police and the MSS closely watch suspected dissidents. During the 1990s and into the 21st century, members of the Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong frequently were harassed and arrested by the authorities.

      The Chinese Communist Party collects foreign intelligence independently of the MSS and the armed forces. The International Liaison Department of the General Political Department of the Communist Party Central Committee carries out operations in the United States and Taiwan.

      Since its creation in 1948, the State of Israel has met its obvious need for intelligence and counterintelligence with services that have gained a first-class reputation. One mark of their professionalism is that less is known about them than about other systems.

      The Israeli intelligence establishment comprises several autonomous organizations. The Central Institute for Intelligence and Security, popularly known as Mossad, carries out foreign espionage and covert political and paramilitary operations, including the assassination of Palestinian terrorists and other figures. Its head reports directly to the prime minister.

      Shin Bet, which takes its name from the Hebrew initials for General Security Services, conducts internal counterintelligence focused on potential sabotage, terrorist activities, and security matters of a strongly political nature. Shin Bet is divided into three wings responsible for Arab affairs, non-Arab affairs, and protective security—i.e., the protection of Israel's embassies, its defense infrastructure, and El Al, the national airline. During the 1980s Shin Bet's reputation was tarnished when it was revealed that its agents had beaten to death two Palestinians held in connection with the hijacking of a bus. In the 1990s Shin Bet came under international scrutiny for its use of torture against some Palestinian detainees and for its role in the assassinations of alleged Palestinian militants. It also was criticized for its failure to prevent the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (Rabin, Yitzhak) in November 1995. In the aftermath of the ensuing scandal, the head of Shin Bet was forced to resign.

      The Intelligence Corps of the Defense Forces, commonly referred to as Military Intelligence (or Aman), constitutes a third major Israeli intelligence organization. Some observers view it as a rival to Mossad, and conflicts between the two agencies have been reported. Its chief is the military intelligence adviser to the minister of defense.

      The Lekem Bureau of Scientific Relations was a small, clandestine intelligence organization that recruited spies in Western countries until it was disbanded in 1986 following the arrest of Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. naval intelligence analyst who sold highly classified U.S. intelligence documents to Israel. (Immediately after Pollard's arrest, Israel apologized to the U.S. government and claimed that contacts with Pollard were not authorized by senior intelligence officials.) According to some sources, the duties of the bureau have been assumed by an office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

      Following the division of Germany after World War II, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) sought to create an intelligence community far different from the one that had existed under the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. Germany's intelligence network, which is overseen by a parliamentary committee, is loosely organized. The BND (Federal Intelligence Service), which is responsible primarily for foreign intelligence, is part of the chancellor's office and reports to an intelligence coordinator. The BND's staff, which peaked at more than 7,500 people during the Cold War, was cut significantly after reunification. The BfV (Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution), which is part of the Ministry of the Interior, is charged with protecting the country from antidemocratic forces, particularly neo-Nazism. The agency employs some 2,500 people at its headquarters in Cologne. In addition, each German state performs similar counterintelligence functions through a separate LfV (State Office for the Protection of the Constitution) or its own interior ministry. During the Cold War both the BND and the BfV were bedeviled with scandals, often involving the defection of senior officers to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Soviet Union. During the 1990s the German intelligence services were widely criticized for their failure to penetrate militant Islamic groups.

      During Germany's partition East Germany (German Democratic Republic)'s Ministry of State Security (MfS) was one of the largest intelligence and security services in the world. Known as the Stasi by East Germans, it used some 90,000 regular employees—and nearly double that number of informers—to surveil the country's 17 million people. The Stasi archive, which survived the collapse of the state, contains more than 102 linear miles (164 km) of files on four million East German citizens. Stasi foreign intelligence was managed for more than three decades by Markus Wolf, a legendary spymaster whose organization penetrated the West German armed forces, intelligence services, and political parties. All observers agree that the East Germans won the intelligence Cold War in Germany.

      Since the reunification of Germany in 1990, the German intelligence and security services have embraced the principles of democratic West Germany and have been reduced in size. The East German MfS has been disbanded, and a few of its leaders have been tried in public and sentenced to brief terms in prison. A few low-level East German military intelligence services have been integrated into the German services.

Intelligence systems in other countries
      The Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT), which was modeled on the Soviet KGB, rivaled the East German Stasi for effectiveness and ruthlessness. Its most important division is the DGI (General Directorate of Intelligence), which is responsible for foreign intelligence collection and covert action. The DGI, which has supported liberation movements throughout Latin America and Africa, maintains an intelligence network within Cuban communities in the United States. The Military Counterintelligence Department, under the supervision of the Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces, collects information primarily about the U.S. military. Internal security and domestic counterintelligence operations are conducted by the Department of State Security (DSE), an arm of MININT, which has wide authority to monitor local elites and the general public.

      The counterintelligence and security services of the Colombian interior and defense ministries have played a prominent role in that country's long-standing war against various Marxist guerrilla groups and in its efforts to combat drug traffickers (drug abuse), who often work in concert with the guerrillas and are well-armed and well-financed. Aided by the United States and the European Union, Colombia's security services collect signals intelligence to locate rebel safe houses and narcotics warehouses. Since the 1970s hundreds of police officers and scores of judges have been killed. Colombian paramilitary organizations, which at times have been supported indirectly by the country's military and intelligence services, have murdered the relatives and associates of known and suspected traffickers, as well as guerrillas and those suspected of supporting them.

      Before being ousted by a U.S.-led military campaign in 2003, Iraqi leader Ṣaddām Ḥussein maintained a vast network of intelligence and security agencies to protect his regime from internal and foreign enemies. According to one estimate, approximately 70,000 troops were assigned to protect the political leadership, and 30,000 personnel in 10 military and civilian agencies were responsible for other intelligence and security functions. The Special Security Service, the Iraqi Intelligence Service, and Military Intelligence collected human and signals intelligence and performed internal security functions. From the 1980s these organizations also attempted to collect information on the construction and use of weapons of mass destruction. Ṣaddām structured the intelligence and security community from several competing intelligence services drawn from the Baʿth Party as well as the military and security establishments. The most sensitive security units were controlled by members of his Tikrītī clan and immediate family. These groups were responsible for the arrest, torture, and murder of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens.

      Prior to the Islamic revolution of 1978–79 in Iran, SAVAK (Organization of National Security and Information), the Iranian secret police and intelligence service, protected the regime of the shah by arresting, torturing, and executing many dissidents. After the shah's government fell, SAVAK and other intelligence services were eliminated and new services were created, though many low- and mid-level intelligence personnel were retained or rehired by the new services. The most important of the postrevolutionary intelligence services is the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), which is responsible for both intelligence and counterintelligence. It also has conducted covert actions outside Iran in support of Islamic regimes elsewhere; for example, it was said to have provided military support to Muslim fighters in Kosovo and in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s.

      Shortly after the Islamic revolution, the new regime formed an impromptu militia known as the Revolutionary Guards (Persian: Pāsdārān-e Enqelāb), or simply as the Pāsdārān, to forestall any foreign-backed coup—such as the one the CIA had undertaken to topple the nationalist prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq (Mosaddeq, Mohammad) in 1953—and to act as a foil to the powerful Iranian military. The Pāsdārān also aided the country's new rulers in running the country and enforcing the government's Islamic code of morality. Only after Iraq invaded Iran in 1980 was the organization pressed into a broader role as a conventional military force; at the same time, the Pāsdārān—which answered to its own independent ministry—sought to broaden its scope by developing departments for intelligence gathering (both at home and abroad) and clandestine activities. The names and functions of these departments are not well-known. One such group, however, is known as the Qods (Jerusalem) Force. Like the MOIS, it is responsible for conducting clandestine operations and for training and organizing foreign paramilitary groups in other parts of the Islamic world, including, purportedly, the Lebanese Shīʿite group Hezbollah. In the late 1990s agents of an organization associated with the Pāsdārān were arrested and convicted of the murder of Iranian dissidents in western Europe.

      The intelligence community of Pakistan is one of the most sophisticated in the world. The ISI (Inter-Service Intelligence), which is responsible to the General Staff of the Ministry of Defense, has undertaken major foreign intelligence and covert operations, such as the funding and training of Afghan partisans during their guerrilla war against the Soviet Union in the 1980s, the arming and training of the Taliban movement before the terrorist bombings against the United States in September 2001, and allegedly providing close support to separatists in the disputed territory of Kashmir. In addition to the ISI, separate tactical intelligence services are maintained by the three branches of the Pakistani military. The Intelligence Bureau carries out domestic surveillance against the general population.

      India, which has fought several wars with Pakistan since the 1940s, also has a sophisticated intelligence community; unlike that of Pakistan, it is accountable to the civilian government. The Joint Intelligence Committee, which is supervised by the Cabinet Secretariat, analyzes information collected by civilian and military agencies. Military intelligence is the province of the Directorates of Military Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, and Air Intelligence, and the Joint Cipher Bureau provides interservice cryptology and signals intelligence. India's most important intelligence agency is a civilian service, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). The RAW's operations are for the most part confined to the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. The RAW also has directed efforts in the United States aimed at influencing that government's foreign policy.

      Domestic security and counterintelligence are the responsibility of agencies controlled by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which has overall control of the country's police and domestic counterintelligence. A number of paramilitary internal security organizations have been created for operations in Kashmir, the Indian-Tibetan border, and other regions where there has been unrest and insurgency. The record of these organizations is mixed; though they have strong professional leadership, they have been blamed for atrocities against civilians and suspected guerrillas. Internal security is the responsibility of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which performs a role similar to that of the American FBI.

      As part of its democratization process at the end of the 20th century, the government of Taiwan took major steps to reform its intelligence services. The once-covert National Security Bureau, developed in China in 1955, had a long history of clandestine arrests and executions. In 1994 it became a formal legal institution, and the names of its senior officials appeared in the press for the first time. The agency, which is under the jurisdiction of the National Security Council, is responsible for all aspects of the country's intelligence, including foreign and counterintelligence and intelligence related to mainland China.

      As in Taiwan, South Korea's intelligence community, originally established in the 1960s with U.S. guidance, underwent major changes beginning in the 1990s. The Korean Central Intelligence Agency and its successor, the Agency for National Security Planning, were deeply involved in domestic politics and human rights abuses, especially during the period of martial law in the 1980s. In 1994 legislative oversight of the agency was strengthened, and in the following year it moved to a new headquarters complex under new leadership. The agency, renamed the National Intelligence Service in 1999, collects and coordinates national security intelligence. The Defense Security Command of the Ministry of National Defense and the National Intelligence Service are responsible for the collection of national security intelligence, particularly with regard to the threat from North Korea. The Defense Security Command also handles counterintelligence within the military.

      Far less is known about the intelligence community in North Korea, where intelligence and counterintelligence operations are apparently controlled by the Cabinet General Intelligence Bureau, a component of the Central Committee of the ruling Korean Workers' (Communist) Party. The party also controls a semisecret organization, the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chosen Soren), that collects information and money from expatriate citizens. The Chosen Soren, whose name derives from the formal name of Korea when it was controlled by Japan, has been pivotal in helping North Korea to acquire advanced technology. Because Japan does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with North Korea, the Chosen Soren serves as North Korea's de facto embassy and intelligence service in Japan. Much of the country's counterintelligence is the responsibility of the State Safety and Security Agency, which functions as a secret police force and administers camps for political prisoners. The Social Safety Ministry, the country's police force, is among North Korea's most powerful agencies, maintaining prisons, conducting investigations of potential opponents of the regime, and protecting leading officials.

      North Korea has a large military intelligence system. The Reconnaissance Bureau of the General Staff Department of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces, which is believed to control between 60,000 and 100,000 troops, undertook violent covert action during the Cold War, including the assassination of senior South Korean officials and the sabotage of a South Korean airliner. Beginning in the early 1990s, North Korea made several efforts to land agents in South Korea from fishing trawlers and miniature submarines. It also bored tunnels under the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to infiltrate agents into the South.

      During the apartheid era, South Africa maintained an extensive and effective intelligence community. The National Intelligence Service and the Department of Military Intelligence were responsible for foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and covert action. South Africa's military intelligence supported and trained guerrilla movements in Angola, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. One particularly notorious branch of South Africa's apartheid-era intelligence network was the Directorate of Covert Collection (reformed following the dismantling of the country's apartheid system in 1994), a secretive organization that fomented pro-government violence. The Bureau of State Security—often referred to as BOSS—was an aggressive security service that placed agents in black communities, arrested dissidents, and assassinated real and suspected enemies of the regime. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established after the peaceful transition to democratic rule in the 1990s and led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Tutu, Desmond), brought many of BOSS's crimes to light. Despite major reforms and changes, the South African intelligence system is still considered the best in Africa and is still the only service in Africa capable of conducting operations outside the region, including in Europe, the Middle East, and North America.

Harry Howe Ransom Robert W. Pringle

Additional Reading

General works
General works on intelligence include Mark M. Lowenthal, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (2000); Walter Laqueur, A World of Secrets: The Uses and Limits of Intelligence (1985, reissued 1993); Alfred C. Maurer, Marion D. Tunstall, and James M. Keagle (eds.), Intelligence—Policy and Process (1985); Wesley K. Wark (ed.), Espionage: Past, Present, Future? (1994); Christopher Andrew and David Dilks (eds.), The Missing Dimension: Governments and Intelligence Communities in the Twentieth Century (1984); Roy Godson (ed.), Intelligence Requirements for the 1990s: Collection, Analysis, Counterintelligence, and Covert Action (1989); Angelo Codevilla, Informing Statecraft: Intelligence for a New Century (1992); and Abram N. Shulsky and Gary J. Schmitt, Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence, 3rd ed., rev. (2002). A helpful analysis of intelligence in the post-Cold War world is Robert M. Clark, Intelligence Analysis: A Target Centric Approach (2003).

History and comparative analyses
Works on signals intelligence are David Kahn, The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing, rev. ed. (1996); Stephen Budiansky, Battle of Wits (2002), a graceful history of the role of signals intelligence in the Allied victory in World War II; and Ronald Lewin, The American Magic: Codes, Ciphers, and the Defeat of Japan (also published as The Other Ultra, 1982), and Ultra Goes to War: The First Account of World War II's Greatest Secret Based on Official Documents (1978, reissued 2001). General discussions of the World War II era include William Casey, The Secret War Against Hitler (1988); and David Kahn, Hitler's Spies: German Military Intelligence in World War II (2000). Intelligence surveillance from space during the Cold War years is discussed in William E. Burrows, Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security (1986).Two comparative analyses are Roy Godson (ed.), Comparing Foreign Intelligence: The U.S., the USSR, the U.K. & the Third World (1988); and Nigel West, Games of Intelligence: The Classified Conflict of International Espionage (1989), addressing intelligence operations in the United States, France, the former Soviet Union, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

National intelligence systems
General works focusing on U.S. intelligence include Harry Howe Ransom, The Intelligence Establishment, rev. and enlarged ed. (1970); Mark M. Lowenthal, U.S. Intelligence: Evolution and Anatomy, 2nd ed. (1992); Jeffrey T. Richelson, The U.S. Intelligence Community, 4th ed. (1999); Bruce D. Berkowitz and Allan E. Goodman, Strategic Intelligence for American National Security (1989, with later reprints); Harold P. Ford, Estimative Intelligence: The Purposes and Problems of National Intelligence Estimating, rev. ed. (1993); Christopher Andrew, For the President's Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush (1995); David C. Martin, Wilderness of Mirrors (1980); and John A. Gentry, Lost Promise: How CIA Analysis Misserves the Nation: An Intelligence Assessment (1993).Details of American satellite intelligence can be found in Jeffrey Richelson, America's Secret Eyes in Space: The U.S. Keyhole Spy Satellite Program (1990). Jeffrey T. Richelson, The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology (2001), discusses the CIA's role in the covert collection of scientific intelligence. James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency (1982), and Body of Secrets (2001), are a resourceful journalist's detailed descriptions of the U.S. National Security Agency. Sherry Sontag, Blind Man's Bluff (2000), details U.S. efforts to collect signals intelligence by submarines operating in Soviet territorial waters.A background text covering the years prior to the formation of the CIA is Bradley F. Smith, The Shadow Warriors (1983). An excellent account of the Office of Strategic Services in World War II is Joseph E. Persico, Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage (2001). The history of the CIA is discussed in Thomas F. Troy, Donovan and the CIA: A History of the Establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency (1975, with later reprints); William M. Leary (ed.), The Central Intelligence Agency: History and Documents (1984); and John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (1986), a valuable source.Discussion of the CIA's covert activities can be found in Gregory F. Treverton, Covert Action: The Limits of Intervention in the Postwar World (1987); and John Prados, Presidents' Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations Since World War II Through Iranscam, rev. and expanded ed. (1996). William Colby and Peter Forbath, Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA (1978), is a candid and sometimes critical account by a former director of the CIA. Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (1974, reissued 1989), expresses the disillusionment of two former intelligence officers with the American intelligence system. Efforts to understand the role of clandestine intelligence in an open society are Rhodi Jeffreys-Jones, The CIA and American Democracy, 2nd ed. (1998); and Loch K. Johnson, America's Secret Power: The CIA in Democratic Society (1989).

The history of British intelligence is detailed in Christopher Andrew, Secret Service: The Making of the British Intelligence Community (1986); and F.H. Hinsley et al., British Intelligence in the Second World War, 5 vol. (1979–90), an official account, based on the authors' access to secret archives, available also in a 1-vol. abridged version with the same title (1993). British covert operations against U.S. citizens—particularly against American isolationists—are recounted in Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939–1944 (1998); and in Nicholas John Cull, Selling War: The British Propaganda Campaign Against American “Neutrality” in World War II (1995). A recent history of the early Cold War years is Stephen Dorril, MI-6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service (2000). Other works include William Stevenson, A Man Called Intrepid (1976, reissued 2000), a description of the activities of Sir William Stephenson, the Canadian coordinator of British and American spy operations in New York City during World War II; R.V. Jones, The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence, 1939–1945 (1978), an account of the role and significance of technical intelligence in World War II; and Nigel West, The Friends: Britain's Post-War Secret Intelligence Operations (1988), and Molehunt: The Full Story of the Soviet Spy in MI5 (1987). An account of British intelligence in Ireland is Tony Geraghty, The Irish War: The Hidden Conflict Between the IRA and British Intelligence (2000).

Soviet Union and Russia
Descriptions and histories of the KGB include Yevgeniya Albats, The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia—Past, Present and Future (1994); Oleg Kalugin, The First Directorate (1994), the personal account of a Soviet intelligence officer; Jeffrey Richelson, Sword and Shield: The Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus (1986); John Barron, KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents (1974), a standard history; and Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev (1990). An excellent account of Soviet intelligence in the 1930s is Gary Kern, A Death in Washington: Walter G. Krivitsky and the Stalin Terror (2003). An account of the Soviet effort to steal American nuclear secrets is Alexander Feklisov, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (2001). An excellent history of KGB operations in the United States is Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vasiliev, The Haunted Wood (2000). The struggle between the KGB and the CIA in the last decades of the 20th century is the subject of Milt Bearden and James Risen, The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB (2003). An insider's view by a former Soviet intelligence professional is Viktor Suvorov (pseud.), Inside Soviet Military Intelligence (also published as Soviet Military Intelligence, 1984).

Other countries
Accounts of Israeli intelligence include Gordon Thomas, Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad (1999); Samuel Katz, Soldier Spies (1994); and Ian Black, Israel's Secret Wars (1991).Good accounts of the East German service are John O. Koehler, STASI: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police (1999); and Markus Wolf, Man Without a Face (1997).Chinese intelligence is explored in Nicholas Eftimiades, Chinese Intelligence Operations (1994).Colombian and U.S. intelligence operations against drug cartels are discussed in Mark Bowden, Killing Pablo (2001).Richard Butler, The Greatest Threat (2001), discusses limitations on the ability of the United States and the United Nations to collect intelligence for use in preventing Iraq from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

Bibliographic sources
Bibliographies include Myron J. Smith, Jr., The Secret Wars, 3 vol. (1980–81), a comprehensive bibliography of works on secret operations, loosely defined, covering the period 1939–80; George C. Constantinides, Intelligence and Espionage (1983), an authoritative work with substantial annotations, discussing works published to 1981; and Neal H. Petersen, American Intelligence, 1775–1990 (1992), covering topics such as espionage, cryptology, and counterintelligence.Harry Howe Ransom Robert W. Pringle


      in military science, information concerning an enemy or an area. The term is also used for an agency that gathers such information.

      Military intelligence is as old as warfare itself. Even in biblical times, Moses sent spies to live with the Canaanites in order to learn about their ways and about their strengths and weaknesses. In the American Revolution George Washington (Washington, George) relied heavily on information that was provided by an intelligence net based in New York City, and in World War II the results of a lack of good intelligence were realized in the destruction of the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.

      Today, nations have at their disposal information collection and processing systems that permit gathering and producing intelligence more rapidly and more accurately than ever before. Satellites, ultramodern aircraft, electronic systems, human sources, cameras, imaging and electronic devices, and a host of other systems permit the amassing of information on a scale that was unheard of in the past.

Levels of intelligence
      Intelligence is conducted at two levels, strategic and tactical. Strategic intelligence is information that is needed to formulate policy and military plans at the international and national policy levels. Tactical intelligence is intended primarily to respond to the needs of military field commanders so they can plan for and, if necessary, conduct combat operations. Essentially, tactical intelligence and strategic intelligence differ only in scope, point of view, and level of employment.

      Whether tactical or strategic, military intelligence attempts to respond to or satisfy the needs of the operational leader, the person who has to act or react to a given set of circumstances. The process begins when the commander determines what information is needed to act responsibly. Several terms are used when discussing these requirements. On the national level they are usually called the essential elements of information and are defined as those items of intelligence information about a foreign power, armed force, target, or physical environment that are absolutely vital for timely and accurate decision making. On the tactical level intelligence needs are defined in a similar manner; often called information requirements, they are those items of information concerning the enemy and his environment that must be collected and processed in order to meet the intelligence needs of the military commander.

Sources of intelligence
      It is critical for the intelligence analyst to know the source of information. Depending on the nature of a problem, certain sources are of great value and are therefore considered of high quality, while other sources, although contributing to the production of intelligence, are supportive rather than critical in nature.

      Following are the major sources of intelligence.

      This is information derived from analyzing acoustic waves that are radiated either intentionally or unintentionally. In naval (naval warfare) intelligence, underwater acoustic waves from surface ships and submarines are detected by sonar arrays. These sensors are extremely accurate and are a major source of information on submarines in the world's oceans.

      This is information gleaned from analyzing all types of imagery, including photography as well as infrared and ultraviolet imagery. The examination of imagery, called imagery interpretation, is the process of locating, recognizing, identifying, and describing objects, activities, and terrain that appear on imagery.

      Imagery collected by satellites (satellite communication) and high-altitude aircraft is one of the most important sources of intelligence. It not only provides information for a huge number of intelligence categories (such as order of battle, military operations, scientific and technical developments, and economics), but it is indispensable for successfully monitoring compliance with arms-limitation treaties. The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) of 1987 allowed the United States to periodically request that the Soviet Union open certain intercontinental ballistic missile sites so that U.S. satellites (referred to as “national technical means”) could verify that the sites did not house intermediate-range missiles banned by the treaty.

      Tactical infrared imaging devices can often identify camouflaged tanks and armour because the materials used to cover them—trees, branches, and leaves—often register different infrared signatures than does the surrounding foliage. Infrared satellites can register heat through clouds, producing imagery on enemy forces, equipment, and movements.

      Gained from intercepting, processing, and analyzing foreign electrical communications and other signals, signals intelligence (often called SIGINT) comprises three elements: communications, electronics, and telemetry.

      Communications intelligence is gleaned from foreign communications that are intercepted by other than the intended recipients. Such intelligence can be of the greatest value to a nation's fighting forces because it allows them to be privy to the strategies, weaknesses, and attitudes of the enemy. For example, before and during World War II, the U.S. Navy's breaking of the Japanese PURPLE code allowed the United States to know of Japanese moves in advance. It even provided warning of the attack on Pearl Harbor, although this intelligence was not sent to Hawaii quickly enough to prevent the debacle.

      Electronics intelligence (also called ELINT) is technical and intelligence information obtained from foreign electromagnetic emissions that are not radiated by communications equipment or by nuclear detonations and radioactive sources. By analyzing the electronic emissions from a given weapon or electronic system, an intelligence analyst can very often determine the purpose of the device.

      Telemetry intelligence is technical information that is derived from intercepting, processing, and analyzing foreign telemetry data. For example, by intercepting the telemetry signals emitted during foreign ballistic missile tests, an intelligence agency can calculate the range, accuracy, and number of warheads of the weapon.

      This source of intelligence does not include energy emanating from nuclear detonations or radioactive sources. Rather, it concerns unintentional emissions of energy from electronic systems (while ELINT is based on intentional radiations from the same systems). Inadequate shielding of electronic systems, or the following of incorrect procedures, may result in inadvertent energy emissions, which, when analyzed, may reveal a great deal about a system's purpose or capabilities.

Foreign matériel
      In 1976 a Soviet air force lieutenant, wishing to defect to the West, flew a MiG-25 Foxbat to Japan, where Japanese and U.S. technicians pored over every detail of the supersonic fighter before reassembling it and handing it back to its owners. Such analysis of a foreign weapon system can prove invaluable in producing systems to defeat it, and intelligence derived from any foreign matériel is of great value in assessing enemy capabilities.

Human agents
 Often called HUMINT, human intelligence is provided by people rather than by technical means and is very often provided by spies (espionage) and covert agents. Spies are often a prime source of information about a nation's political leaders, strategies, and political decisions. The Soviet colonel Oleg Penkovsky (Penkovsky, Oleg Vladimirovich), for example, was a very important source for British and U.S. intelligence until he was arrested and executed in 1963. The political, scientific, and technical information he provided included data on the capabilities of Soviet intermediate-range missiles during the Cuban missile crisis. Likewise, the Philby– (Philby, Kim)Burgess– (Burgess, Guy)Maclean (Maclean, Donald) spy ring, which penetrated the highest circles of Britain's MI-6 intelligence agency, provided the Soviets with a tremendous amount of information on British and Allied military and counterintelligence operations during and after World War II. In the United States, the Walker family sold the Soviet Union classified reports on the tracking of Soviet submarines and surface ships. Operating from 1968 until it was broken up in 1985, this spy ring did irreparable damage to the submarine warfare capabilities of the U.S. Navy.

Types of intelligence
      In most situations, intelligence production involves the assessment of conflicting pieces of incomplete information, the attempt to determine the correct items, and then the processing and assembly of these accurate items into a complete, understandable document that responds to the needs of the operational leader. More often than not the resulting product, which is usually called an intelligence appraisal or intelligence assessment, contains some incorrect information.

      In order to structure this production, analysts divide intelligence into types. While all types of intelligence are valuable, in any given situation some may be of greater worth than others, may be more accurate, and may provide a more complete view of the situation. By dividing intelligence into types, analysts and commanders arrive at a better understanding of the value and accuracy of a given piece of information.

      Following are some important types of intelligence.

Armed forces
      Information on a potential enemy's armed forces—that is, personnel, training, equipment, bases, capabilities, manpower levels, disposition, readiness, and other factors pertaining to strength and effectiveness—is crucial for a nation that is about to enter combat. If the weaknesses can be exploited, then the conflict may be won more quickly and with fewer casualties. Toward the end of World War II, owing to incomplete intelligence it was predicted that Japan would fight resolutely against a U.S. invasion and that the United States might suffer up to one million casualties. This was a major factor in the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In reality, though, Japanese resolve was grossly overestimated, and Japan could probably have been conquered with far fewer Allied casualties.

 This is information collected on the views, traits, habits, skills, importance, relationships, health, and professional history of the leaders and important individuals of a nation. Biographical intelligence is important to those who must decide whether to support a foreign leader. For example, when Fidel Castro (Castro, Fidel) first came to power in Cuba in 1959, he claimed to be a nationalist and was even allowed to conduct a speaking tour in the United States. Subsequently, however, Castro revealed that he was a communist who intended to transform Cuba into a Soviet-style state. More accurate intelligence on Castro might have revealed his intentions more promptly, and U.S. foreign policy could have been revised accordingly.

      In clandestine operations, one of the most difficult problems is assessing the validity of an individual who volunteers his services to an intelligence organization. Very often, information on the family life, education, travels, and professional and political affiliations of such a person provides great insight into motivation and can help in verifying authenticity.

      Derived from maps and charts, cartographic intelligence is crucial for all military operations. During the Falkland Islands War, for example, British forces depended heavily on cartography. They also interviewed schoolteachers and scientists who had recently left the islands so that they had the most accurate information possible on road conditions, towns, and facilities. This prepared invading troops to meet the obstacles caused by rough terrain and poor roads, and as a result the invasion went remarkably well.

      This is information concerning the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, as well as labour, finance, taxation, and other aspects of a nation's economy or of the international economic system. Economic intelligence allows a nation to estimate the magnitude of possible military threats and is also valuable in estimating the intentions of a potential enemy. In wartime, economic intelligence is a prime indicator of an enemy's ability to sustain a war. This is particularly important when analyzing small nations, such as Israel, where a conflict requires total mobilization and cannot be sustained for long without creating severe economic problems.

      Energy intelligence specifically addresses the location and size of foreign energy resources; how these resources are used and allocated; foreign governments' energy policies, plans, and programs; new or improved foreign energy technologies; and the economic and security aspects of foreign energy supply, demand, production, distribution, and use.

      Energy requirements can be an important factor in military planning. For example, as German forces were advancing on Moscow during World War II, Hitler, on being informed that the German military was short of fuel, sent several of the advancing units southward to capture the oil complexes at Baku on the Caspian Sea. This move so depleted the forces advancing on Moscow that they failed to capture the city, dealing the German war effort a fatal setback. Later, on the Western Front, advancing Allied forces were so short of fuel that U.S. general George Patton's 3rd Army was forced to stop and await replenishment. This allowed the retreating Germans to dig in and prolong the war.

      Counterintelligence is intended to detect, counteract, and prevent espionage and other clandestine intelligence activities, sabotage, terrorist attacks, or assassinations conducted on behalf of foreign powers, organizations, or persons. It is especially vital that nations identify the capabilities and intentions of international terrorist (terrorism) organizations so that their operations can be thwarted; in the event that a terrorist attack is successful, identifying the culprit allows for reprisals, which are crucial to combating terrorism. In December 1988 an American commercial aircraft was destroyed over Scotland, and neither the United States nor Great Britain initially could identify the terrorist organization involved. As a result, the act was successful from the perspective of the terrorists, who had injured their enemy without suffering retaliation.

      Gained from studying natural characteristics including terrain, climate, natural resources, transportation, boundaries, and population distribution, military geographic intelligence involves evaluating all such factors that in any way influence military operations.

 Geographic intelligence was crucial to the success of Israel's rescue mission at the Entebbe (Entebbe raid) airport in Uganda in 1976. Because they had reliable information on the exact location of the buildings at the airport, of the roads leading to Entebbe, and of military bases in the region, Israeli soldiers were able to land in three transport planes, kill many of the terrorists holding Israeli hostages, and depart with most of the hostages before the Ugandan military could react. A significant factor in the disastrous U.S. attempt to rescue its hostages in Iran in 1980 was a failure to anticipate and prepare for seasonal sandstorms, which disabled several helicopters and forced the rescuers to abort their mission.

      This is intelligence gained from studying every aspect of foreign natural and man-made environments that could affect the health of military forces. This information can be used not only to predict the medical weaknesses of an enemy but also to provide one's own forces with adequate medical protection. For example, in the Spanish-American War the majority of U.S. casualties in the Caribbean resulted from disease rather than combat, because U.S. forces were not prepared to deal with the environment of that region.

      Information on a nation's social stratification, value systems, beliefs, and other social characteristics are of crucial value in assessing nations such as South Africa, the Soviet Union, or Israel, where national, racial, or social factions can have a great impact on a nation's military capability.

      A lack of good sociological intelligence was a major cause of U.S. blunders in dealing with revolutionary Iran. When Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was overthrown in 1979, the United States had only the most superficial understanding of Islām and Iranian society, and the situation improved only slightly in subsequent years. As a result, the United States often remained ignorant about Iranian officials, calling them “radical” or “moderate” even when such terms did more to cloud a situation than to make it clear.

transportation and telecommunication
      This type of intelligence can be crucial to correctly assessing a nation's ability to wage war, as it concerns a nation's highways, railroads, inland waterways, and civil airways as well as its telephone, telegraph, and civil broadcast capabilities. When China sent troops across the border into Vietnam in 1979, many observers assumed that China would win the conflict. This estimate was based on the huge size of the Chinese army and on its excellent performance against United Nations forces in the Korean War. After China failed to score a decisive victory, the same commentators examined China's transportation and telecommunication networks and found that, while they were very highly developed in the Northeast, they were quite primitive in the South. It was concluded that the advanced northeastern systems and the primitive southern systems were prime factors in China's success in Korea and in its lackluster performance in Vietnam.

Bruce W. Watson

Additional Reading
Richard Deacon, Spyclopedia: The Comprehensive Handbook of Espionage (1987), is an original reference work providing concise information on intelligence organizations of more than 30 countries within a chronology of 25 centuries of intelligence activity. John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA, rev. ed. (1987), offers a well-documented nonpartisan historical analysis of the organization and personalities; it can be complemented by John Patrick Quirk et al., The Central Intelligence Agency: A Photographic History (1986). James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency (1982), explores in a well-researched investigative framework the National Security Agency's operations, using unpublished archival and official information. A general survey is given in Mark M. Lowenthal, U.S. Intelligence: Evolution and Anatomy (1984). Gerald W. Hopple and Bruce W. Watson (eds.), The Military Intelligence Community (1986); and Scott D. Breckinridge, The CIA and the U.S. Intelligence System (1986), examine the organizations and operations of intelligence professionals and the relevant legal and ethical problems. Further discussion of the latter is available in Bruce W. Watson and Peter M. Dunn (eds.), Military Intelligence and the Universities: A Study of an Ambivalent Relationship (1984). Useful reference information is found in Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms (1988); and George C. Constantinides, Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography (1983), an annotated list of about 500 important nonfiction works on a group of related topics.Bruce W. Watson

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Universalium. 2010.

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