Years before the United States had entered World War II development with Europe and the Pacific began to dramatically get intense.
The need for gathering and analyzing formal and informal information became a huge effort from both sides. President Franklin Roosevelt relied heavily on American and British friends traveling abroad to provide him with intelligence on the intentions of one another (The Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community – An Historical Overview). Roosevelt sent a good friend and WWI veteran, William J. Donovan, to Europe in 1940 to gather information on the environment in Britain. When Donovan returned he lobbied hard for a centralized civilian intelligence system to complement the military.
America’s entrance into World War II created an immediate need for a central intelligence to support the warfighters. While the army and the navy maintained their own intelligence capabilities, nothing was prepared nor established to support the people back in the states. Office of Strategic Services were created in June of 1942 in effort for gathering information on the enemies.
William Donovan was in charge of the reorganized unit. The OSS was established to perform operations against axis powers worldwide (The Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community-An Historical Overview). It was not accepted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) he remained skeptical of OSS and their operations. The new unit faced strong competition from the FBI and the Army’s intelligence organization.During World War II deciphering codes contributed to the Allied victory in the battle of Midway, North Atlantic, the destruction of the Japanese fleet, and to a variety of battles in Europe in 1944 and 1945.
Joint intelligence organizations were initiated during the war. Those efforts increased collection and enhanced production for critical intelligence to commanders. Joint intelligence efforts helped the Allied operations in every way possible. Joint intelligence bloomed during 1943 and 1944. The OSS established the tradition of putting analysts and operatives in the same organization. It faced difficulties in establishing itself within the JCS operations (United States History).Toward the end of the war it was left to the Administration on what to do with these intelligence capabilities. In September 1945 the debate still continued on with what to do with the intelligence operations.
They came to the decision to abolish the OSS and divide it into separate divisions. States gained the research and analysis functions and they combined it with already existing operations within states that formed the Interim Research and Intelligence Service (IRIS).The Strategic Services Unit was formed from the OSS.
President Truman had unrealized hopes that the State Department would take over the coordination of intelligence for the Government (The Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community-An Historical Overview).The intelligence operations after World War II was slowly disappearing. With budget cuts and a large number of United States military men and women wanting to return to civilian life. Congress decided to reduce the U.S.
armed forces over the years. The army dropped from over 12 million men and women in August 1945 to one million by July 1947. These changes called for a new coordination of the intelligence operations was to be established into something different. the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established September 18, 1947 and the National Security Council was established November 4, 1952.
The NSC would coordinate the civilian and military security for the President. The CIA would serve to coordinate national security intelligence such as gathering and analyzing confidential information (United States History).