Authentic Agencies Part 1

Written by Merle Rasmussen

The TOP SECRET game world is very much like our own, with a few subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences. Most of the same nations exist on the map, and most of the same espionage organizations operate across the globe. In DRAGON issue 93, some of the spy organizations unique to the TOP SECRET world were described for use in campaign games. But what of the real agencies, such as the CIA, the KGB, and the British Secret Service?

This article is the first in a short series that presents the rest of the world’s “Top Secret” community, and it will cover the various American intelligence-gathering agencies. It must be noted that though these agencies exist in the real world, they are given here only as constructs for the TOP SECRET game world. Most of the statistics given below for these agencies are reasonably accurate and are taken from publicly available information, but some of the statistics were invented for the sake of completeness, and some may have been altered to conform to the specific background and nature of the TOP SECRET game world.

Information about these agencies, as with the previous article in issue 93, is presented in several categories (defined below).

It is assumed that this information is commonly available to player character agents and to the general public, though the agents might be given additional information that is not public knowledge during the course of a game campaign.

Nature of agency: The basic nature of the organization.
Governing body: The governing body of most intelligence organizations are national governments. The control for government agencies is the government official to whom the chief of the agency reports. Non-government organizations may have a short description of their group listed here.
Personnel: The estimated size of agency staffs based on public sources. Comparisons show the relative size and activity of various agencies.
Annual budget: The US dollar figures shown are estimates based on public sources. Comparisons show the relative size and activity of various agencies.
HQ: The main headquarters for agency operations.
Established: The date the agency was founded.
Activities: Domestic counterintelligence means that the agency is responsible for counterespionage inside the borders of its own country. Foreign counterintelligence means that the agency has responsible for counterespionage outside the borders of its own country.
Policies: Several of the major laws and philosophies of the organization.
Objectives: The major goals of the organization.
Areas of involvement: The places in which the agency is known to operate or exercise jurisdiction.
Allies: Agencies often share intelligence data formally and informally with one another, when it suits them to do so. Associated agencies do not necessarily share intelligence because of publicly recognized treaties.
Additional data: More information on agency structure, operations, covers, and past history is given here.
Bureaus: If the word “All” is present in this category, the following TOP SECRET bureaus may be active within a particular agency: Administration, Investigation, Confiscation, Technical, Operations, and Assassination (see DRAGON issue 82, “New avenues for agents” for an explanation of the newest bureaus). The DIA serves as the Administration Bureau for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Intelligence. The KGB is the Administration Bureau for the intelligence agencies of the Warsaw Pact nations.
Alignment profile: An agent trained by a particular intelligence agency will very often develop political opinions that are shared by a majority of fellow agents in the organization. The range of personal opinions an agent has relating to political systems, political change, and economic systems are called his alignment profile. The TOP SECRET alignment system was detailed in DRAGON issue 93, in “Agencies and Alignments”.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Nature of agency: US government executive agency
Governing body: President, USA
Personnel: 15,000-16,500, including 7,500 operatives
Annual budget: $1.5 billion
HQ: Langley, Virginia, USA
Established: 1947
Activities: The CIA coordinates, correlates, evaluates, and disseminates the results of the following types of intelligence: military, strategic, political, economic, biographical, geographical, sociological, scientific, and technical. The CIA is also involved with both domestic and foreign counterintelligence. It also performs certain services for other intelligence agencies.
Policies: To exploit new technology for the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence, for the conduct of foreign counterintelligence, and for researching and developing technical collection systems
Objectives: The first priority of the CIA is understanding Soviet military strength. Other areas of concern are problems of terrorism, drug trafficking, world energy, and world grain production.
Areas of involvement: Worldwide
Allies: DIA, NSA, Army Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence, Marine Corp Intelligence, State Department, Energy Department, Treasury Department, FBI, MI6 (British Secret Service) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters, United Kingdom)
Additional data: US Special Forces (“Green Berets”) are sometimes used to execute CIA plans. The CIA’s notorious reputation in the world includes the use of assassination-planning squads known as “Health Alteration Committees”.
Bureaus: All
Alignment profile: 01-19/07-94/07-81

National Security Agency (NSA)

Nature of agency: Secret US federal agency
Governing body: Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense, USA
Personnel: 95,000 worldwide, including 52,500 at Fort Meade
Annual budget: Over $2 billion
HQ: Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, USA
Established: 1952
Activities: Electronic intercept
Policies: All material is excluded from the Freedom of Information Act. The NSA can intercept all foreign and domestic communication if the domestic is proven to be connected to or associated with a foreign government.
Objectives: To intercept signal intelligence (SIGINT), to perform code breaking, and to create US codes
Areas of involvement: All levels of Soviet cipher systems; Korean, Chinese, and other Communist Asian cipher systems; Latin America and all other cipher systems of the world
Allies: CIA, GCHQ
Additional data: The NSA’s computers cover 10 subterranean acres. Its post office handles 18,000 pieces of mail per day, and its telephone exchange connects 30,000 calls a month. Forty tons of classified material are shredded per day. The computers at NSA are tied to the computers at GCHQ by a secret cable system. The NSA’s nickname is “No Such Agency”.
Bureaus: Administration, Technical, Operations
Alignment profile: 01-19/07-94/07-81

Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

Nature of agency: US federal agency
Governing body: Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense, USA
Personnel: 7,000
Annual budget: $9 billion including the NSA
HQ: The Pentagon, Washington, DC, USA
Established: 1961
Activities: Military and strategic intelligence. The DIA coordinates the intelligence Activities of the military services and manages the Defense Attaché System, which assigns military attaches to US embassies around the world.
Policies: To collect and produce intelligence for the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Objectives: To defend the US against all enemies, and to ensure the security of the US and all areas vital to its interests
Areas of involvement: Worldwide
Allies: CIA
Additional data: During wartime, photographs are sent back to the US for processing by the DIA, which makes a more concentrated analysis of the information given in the pictures. The DIA and CIA have an interdepartmental rivalry. As noted above, the DIA serves as the Administration Bureau for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Intelligence.
Bureaus: All
Alignment profile: 01-19/07-94/07-81

United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM)

Nature of agency: Field command
Governing body: Department of Defense, USA
Personnel: 35,000
Annual budget: $700 million
HQ: The Pentagon, Washington, DC, USA
Established: 1775
Activities: Military and military-related foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, tactical intelligence
Policies: Command Group INSCOM (CGINSCOM) is responsible for fulfilling national-level intelligence, security, electronic warfare, and related functions within the command’s operational responsibility.
Objectives: To interact with other Army Field Commands on matters related to intelligence and security training, doctrine, research and development, and logistics
Areas of involvement: Worldwide
Allies: DIA
Additional data: The CGINSCOM commands Army Intelligence and security units above corps level in the US and overseas. INSCOM performs intelligence and security functions in support of the Department of the Army and other major Army commands, and it can support commanders in the field.
Bureaus: Investigation, Confiscation, Technical, Operations, and Assassination
Alignment profile: 01-19/20-94/07-81

Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)

Nature of agency: Office of the Department of the Navy
Governing body: Department of Defense, USA
Personnel: 20,000
Annual budget: $600 million
HQ: The Pentagon, Washington, DC, USA
Established: 1882
Activities: Military (especially naval) intelligence
Policies: To support naval operations through three supporting commands: Naval Intelligence Command (NAVINTCOM), Naval Security Group (NSG), and Naval Investigative Service (NIS).
Objectives: To provide intelligence via NAVINTCOM and cryptology (less signal security) via NSG. Information security, counterintelligence and counter terrorism, law enforcement, and investigative matters are provided by NIS.
Areas of involvement: Worldwide
Allies: DIA
Additional data: It is reported that the Navy has a worldwide maritime spy effort composed of business fronts and recruited nationals as agents in more than 140 locations. It replaces Task Force 157 and is called Task Force 168. The NIS is primarily a civilian-staffed law enforcement organization responsible for providing investigative support in matters involving serious crimes committed by or against Naval personnel; its investigations into fraud and other criminal Activities have saved the Navy millions of dollars in equipment loss or damage. In 1983, the NIS employed 1350 outside personnel, of which 770 were agents. The Navy also has a fully integrated reserve intelligence force of well-trained civilian specialists.
Bureaus: Investigation, Confiscation, Technical, Operations, and Assassination
Alignment profile: 01-19/20-94/07-81

Air Force Intelligence Service (AFIS)

Nature of agency: Special operating agency under HQ USAF
Governing body: Department of Defense, USA
Personnel: 56,000
Annual budget: $2.7 billion
HQ: Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA
Established: 1947
Activities: To perform military intelligence by conducting in-depth all-source research, directing collection Activities, processing and disseminating intelligence information, and exercising management and control of all intelligence systems and special security systems.
Policies: To contribute to the deterrence of potential actions by foreign parties that would conflict with US and allied interests; to increase the probability of success for aerospace power to conclude hostilities on terms favorable to US and allied interests; to improve the effective conduct of other military operations
Objectives: To provide decision-makers with information on current and estimated foreign military Activities, strategy, tactics, capabilities, and intentions; to reduce decision-making risks associated with national security policy and the structuring, posturing, and employment of US military forces
Areas of involvement: Worldwide
Allies: DIA
Additional data: Among the US military services, the Air Force has the largest intelligence program. Its Foreign Technology Division is a leading national source of analysis of foreign aircraft and missiles.
Bureaus: Investigation, Confiscation, Technical, Operations, and Assassination
Alignment profile: 01-19/20-94/07-81

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)

Nature of agency: Office under the Department of the Air Force
Governing body: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, USA
Personnel: 4,000 included in AFIS
Annual budget: Over $2 billion included in Air Force operations
HQ: Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA
Established: 1961
Activities: Military intelligence
Policies: To oversee the development and operation of spy satellites and the operation of secret Space Shuttle missions.
Objectives: To photograph foreign territory, and to monitor international communications
Areas of involvement: Worldwide
Allies: CIA, DIA, NSA, and Air Force Intelligence
Additional data: The NRO handles the routine operation of spy satellites. It is believed that during the late 1960s and early 1970s, US surveillance satellites were turned on American antiwar demonstrations and urban riots in an effort to determine crowd size and Activities involved. Military Space Shuttle launches from Vandenberg AFB, California, USA, are also managed by the NRO.
Bureaus: Technical and Operations
Alignment profile: 01-19/07-94/07-81

United States Marine Corps Intelligence

Nature of agency: Office of the USMC
Governing body: Department of Defense, USA
Personnel: 5550
Annual budget: $140 million
HQ: The Pentagon, Washington, DC
Established: 1775
Activities: Primarily amphibious tactical warfare intelligence
Policies: To support commanders at all echelons in the conduct of operations
Objectives: To provide intelligence for the Fleet Marine Forces and their task-oriented Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) through a triad of organizations: Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), Marine Corps Development and Education Command (MCDEC), and the Fleet Marine Forces
Areas of involvement: Worldwide coastal areas
Allies: DIA, Naval Intelligence
Additional data: HQMC is responsible for counterintelligence, plans and estimates, signals intelligence, electronic warfare, intelligence management (personnel, training, and research and development), and national intelligence Activities. MCDEC provides support in the areas of research, development, education, and training. The Fleet Marine Forces contain the operational intelligence capability that supports MAGTFs.
Bureaus: Investigation, Confiscation, Technical, Operations, and Assassination
Alignment profile: 01-19/20-94/07-81

Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State (SBI)

Nature of agency: US government
Governing body: Secretary of State, USA
Personnel: 350
Annual budget: $12.5 million
HQ: 15th St. & Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC, USA
Established: 1789
Activities: Strategic, political, and some economic intelligence
Policies: To advise the President in formulating and executing foreign policy
Objectives: To promote US interests in international relations
Areas of involvement: US diplomatic and consular posts abroad
Allies: CIA
Additional data: The SBI coordinates the Department of State’s relations with foreign intelligence operations.
Bureaus: Administration, Investigation, Confiscation, Technical, and Operations
Alignment profile: 01-19/07-94/07-81

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Nature of agency: US federal bureau
Governing body: Attorney General, USA
Personnel: 19,000 employees; 7,800 are Special Agents
Annual budget: $555 million
HQ: J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, Washington, DC, USA
Established: 1908
Activities: Foreign counterintelligence
Policies: To perform duties other than the agency’s objectives specifically imposed by law or Presidential directive, and to conduct service Activities for other law enforcement agencies
Objectives: To investigate violations of certain federal statutes, and to collect evidence in cases in which the US is or may be an interested party
Areas of involvement: Within the USA
Allies: CIA and MI5
Additional data: The FBI has 59 field offices located in major cities throughout the USA and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The FBI had fingerprint files on 64,680,080 persons as of February 1, 1979. The FBI has an Academy at Quantico, Virginia. The National Institute of Justice, with an annual budget of $1.5 million a year for crime analysis, provides state and local law enforcement agencies with FBI facilities.
Bureaus: All
Alignment profile: 01-19/20-81/07-81

Department of the Treasury

Nature of agency: US government executive department
Governing body: USA
Personnel: 300
Annual budget: $10 million
HQ: 15th & Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC, USA
Established: 1789
Activities: Collects foreign financial and monetary intelligence, and assists the Department of State in collecting economic intelligence
Policies: To manage national finances, to provide currency, to maintain US credit, to represent the US in international banking and monetary organizations, to collect taxes, and to supervise the Secret Service
Objectives: (In addition to the above) To protect the President, the Vice-President, the President-Elect, all major Presidential candidates, and the families of all of the above
Allies: CIA, Department of State
Additional data: The Department of the Treasury controls a worldwide narcotics investigation bureau. It also administers the Customs Service; the Internal Revenue Service; the Bureau of Engraving and Printing; the Bureau of the Mint; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; and the Bureau of the Public Debt.
Bureaus: Administration, Investigation, Technical, and Operations
Alignment profile: 01-19/07-94/07-81

Department of Energy (DOE)

Nature of agency: US government executive department
Governing body: United States of America
Personnel: 300
Annual budget: $20 million
HQ: 1000 Independence Ave, Washington, DC, USA
Established: August 1977
Activities: Political, economic, and technical intelligence concerning foreign energy matters
Policies: To promote conservation, resource development and production, research, data management, and environmental protection and regulation related to energy
Objectives: To carry out the national energy policy
Allies: CIA
Additional data: The DOE is primarily a consumer of intelligence but does provide technical and analytical research capabilities to other intelligence operations.
Bureaus: Administration, Investigation, Technical, and Operations
Alignment profile: 01-19/07-81/07-81

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