Mental Floss

The 16 Members of the U.S. Intelligence Community

Scott Allen
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With 16 agencies and organizations working both independently and together to collect, analyze, and disseminate information in the interest of protecting U.S. national security, it's difficult to keep track of who exactly does what among the 16 members of the Intelligence Community. Just ask President Barack Obama. During his recent trip to the burger joint Five Guys, C-SPAN cameras caught Obama asking a man who works at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to explain what the NGA does. Here's the answer to that question and a rundown of the 15 other members' main responsibilities.

1. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Formerly known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is one of the four major intelligence agencies that is part of the Department of Defense. (The other three are the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.) The NGA's stated mission is to "provide timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security objectives." In short, the NGA's employees collect and disseminate maps and charts that support the national security efforts of the Intelligence Community. While much of its work is defense-related, the NGA also fulfills a humanitarian role by producing maps that help to track floods and other natural disasters.

2. National Security Agency

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3. National Reconnaissance Office

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4. Defense Intelligence Agency

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5. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency

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6. Army Intelligence

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7. Marine Corps Intelligence

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8. Office of Naval Intelligence

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9. Central Intelligence Agency

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10. Department of Energy

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11. Department of Homeland Security

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12. Coast Guard Intelligence

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13. Department of State

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14. Department of the Treasury

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15. Drug Enforcement Administration

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16. Federal Bureau of Investigation

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