The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established on July 26 when President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act 1947 which changed the way America organised their military and intelligence agencies after WWII. The CIA was to be the USA’s first intelligence agency that would operate outside of war, instead trying to prevent conflict during peacetime in a covert/secretive manner.
After its creation, the CIA proved to be a great source of America’s military information during the events of the Cold War, often revealing Soviet Union strategies. This was possible due to Truman’s heavy belief that such an organisation was needed, going so far as to fund the agency 46 million dollars in 1955 to finally build the CIA headquarters in Langley. The Headquarters was divided into two sections: office of Special Operations which concentrated on gaining intelligence whilst the office of policy coordination acted upon this information.
During the early days of the Cold War, the CIA did not have a great deal of success. Russia was continuing to spread its sphere of influence across Eastern Europe and the agency suffered from numerous deliberate compromises from countries that saw America as an enemy.
One of the CIA’s greatest accomplishments came in 1961 following the Bay of Pigs event, when Russian missiles pointing at the USA were discovered in Cuba, revealed by a U-2 reconnaissance plane. What followed was the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis.
The CIA always remained as secretive as possible since its establishment, keeping itself hidden for over 25 years before any hard evidence of its existence began to surface. This was partially due to the intelligence identities protection act 1982, which penalised anyone who mentioned the names of covert operatives. The Central Intelligence Agency was key in shaping the way America was shaped and viewed internationally throughout the entire duration of the Cold War, always keeping itself active during future major world affairs.