CIA transnational health and economic activities

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency deals with activities related to human survival issues, emphasizing disease and basic needs such as water and agriculture as a part of its function across the world.

Assessments and reports

CIA activities in this area include the preparation of assessments and reports. These papers examine the most lethal diseases globally and by region; develops alternative scenarios about their future course; examines national and international capacities to deal with them; and assesses their national and global social, economic, political, and security impact. Some papers also assess the infectious disease threat from international sources to the United States; to U.S. military personnel overseas; and to regions in which the United States has or may develop significant equities.

The CIA also participates in the production of intelligence community assessments and reports. The National Intelligence Estimate on the Global Infectious Disease Threat,[1] the assessment on The Next Wave of HIV/AIDS,[2] and the assessment on SARS [3] are all joint intelligence-community products and are not products based solely on the work of CIA analysts. These assessments are summarized on the National Intelligence Assessments on Infectious Diseases page.

Using public aid for information

Some of the humanitarian efforts by the CIA have been accused of being false, or merely as a means to get information using the aid workers. A CIA polio vaccination program in Abbottabad, Pakistan came under fire in 2011 after it was revealed the CIA used the program to get information about Osama bin Laden.[4]

Shakil Afridi, the man who helped the CIA orchestrate the campaign, was sentenced to jail by Pakistani officials. A number of relief workers were also killed while trying to hand out polio vaccines after mistrust about the workers being CIA spies grew.

This caused a weakening in U.S/Pakistan relations and set the campaign to eradicate polio back since the vaccinations were never completed. Congress also cut aid to Pakistan 58 percent in the following year.[5]

Using intelligence for humanitarian aid

The CIA has used the intelligence it has gathered to help countries with natural disasters. On their website, the CIA writes: "To support global and humanitarian issues, INR worked with the rest of the IC on imagery support in response to natural disasters, such as forest fires in Southeast Asia, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Declassified U-2 imagery helped regional planners in Latin America during the clean-up from Hurricane Mitch."[6]

They are also credited with helping earthquake relief efforts. The CIA display on their website that: "CIA supported USAID’s humanitarian relief efforts following the earthquakes in Turkey and Taiwan by quickly assembling map packages of the affected regions and, in each case, delivering the packages to a representative of USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster literally on their way to the airport for an outbound flight.[6]


  1. ^ National Intelligence Estimate 99-17D: The Global Infectious Disease Threat and Its Implications for the United States (PDF), January 2000
  2. ^ Intelligence Community Assessment 2002-04D: The Next Wave of HIV AIDS (PDF), July 2002
  3. ^ Intelligence Community Assessment 2003-09 SARS Down but Still a Threat (PDF), August 2003
  4. ^ Chelsea Conaboy (February 28, 2013). "Boston physician: CIA's vaccination scheme in Pakistan undermined global public health efforts".
  5. ^ Maryn McKenna (23 May 2012). "Update: Pakistan, Polio, Fake Vaccines And The CIA". WIRED.
  6. ^ a b "Regional Highlights". May 2, 2007.
CIA transnational activities in counterproliferation

This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, specifically dealing with arms control, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and weapons proliferation. It attempts to look at the process of tasking and analyzing, rather than the problem itself, other than whether the CIA's efforts match its legal mandate or assists in treaty compliance. In some cases, the details of a country's programs are introduced because they present a problem in analysis. For example, if Country X's policymakers truly believe in certain history that may not actually be factual, an analyst trying to understand Country X's policymakers needs to be able to understand their approach to an issue.

CIA organizations have had involvement in strategic weapons intelligence since the U-2 program in the late 1950s, and that the relationships and names of organizations frequently change. Some of the assignments and reports have been, or may still be, classified. Note, for example, that the full Rumsfeld Committee or Iraq Intelligence Commission reports are available only in executive summaries or in heavily redacted documents.

Counterproliferation covers a variety of disciplines, some in the current CIA, some previously in the CIA and now in the DNI, and others in other Federal organizations with mission statements or enabling legislation that give them responsibilities. In US military doctrine, counterproliferation is defined as "Those actions (e.g., detect and monitor, prepare to conduct counterproliferation operations, offensive operations, weapons of mass destruction, active defense, and passive defense) taken to defeat the threat and/or use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, our military forces, friends, and allies."The National Counterproliferation Center, now in the DNI but formerly a part of CIA, and having CIA personnel detailed to it, "will coordinate strategic planning within the Intelligence Community (IC) to enhance intelligence support to United States efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related delivery systems. It will work with the IC to identify critical intelligence gaps or shortfalls in collection, exploitation, or analysis, and develop solutions to ameliorate or close these gaps. It will also work with the IC to identify long-term proliferation threats and requirements and develop strategies to ensure the IC is positioned to address these threats and issues. NCPC will reach out to elements both inside the Intelligence Community and outside the IC and the U.S. Government to identify new methods or technologies that can enhance the capabilities of the IC to detect and defeat future proliferation threats.". Its authorization comes from several sources:

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) of 2004 provided for the establishment of the NCPC to enhance coordination, planning and information sharing amongst the IC on proliferation issues.

The Iraq Intelligence Commission, also known as the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction's Report of March 31, 2005 also recommended the establishment of an NCPC. The President accepted the Commission's recommendation on June 30, 2005.Particularly for nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, there is a category of national means of technical verification that uses technical sensors that are operated by organizations other than the CIA. Satellites launched and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office and whose output is evaluated by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which absorbed the former CIA Office of Imagery Analysis and the joint CIA-military National Photointerpretation Center. The CIA, however, has a significant role in HUMINT collection and in analytic disciplines that help recognize the early parts of a weapons development program.

Foreign internal defense

Foreign internal defense (FID) is a term by the militaries of some countries, including the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, to describe an integrated and synchronized, multi-disciplinary (and often joint, interagency, and international as well) approach to combating actual or threatened insurgency in a foreign state. This foreign state is known as the Host Nation (HN) under US (and generally accepted NATO) doctrine. The term counter-insurgency is more commonly used worldwide than FID. FID involves military deployment of counter-insurgency specialists. According to the US doctrinal manual, Joint Publication 3-22: Foreign Internal Defense (FID), those specialists preferably do not themselves fight the insurgents. Doctrine calls for a close working relationship between the HN government and security forces with outside diplomatic, information, intelligence, military, economic, and other specialists. The most successful FID actions suppress actual violence; when combat operations are needed, HN security forces take the lead, with appropriate external support, the external support preferably being in a noncombat support and training role only.

Geographic activities
Transnational activities

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