The CIA and FBI are often seen as secretive government agencies without boundaries, rules, or limits. The CIA and FBI are sometimes used interchangeably, and sometimes citizens don’t understand the difference between the two agencies. At the most basic level, the CIA, or the Central Intelligence Agency deals with international issues, and the FBI, or Federal Investigation Bureau deals with domestic issues.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is basically the leading police officers in the United States. They protect and defend against a variety of crimes, from terrorist threats to murders, kidnapping, and tax evasion. Originally, the FBI was created from a force of special agents in 1908. Their primary purpose was to handle interstate law enforcement. The role of FBI is largely reactive in nature, meaning they handle problems after they occur. On the other hand, the CIA works to prevent national security crimes from actually happening. The FBI is part of the Justice Department and is organized into five areas: National security; criminal, cyber, response, and services; human resources; science technology; and information technology
The FBI requires all employees to have a four-year college degree and pass a variety of background, physical, and polygraph tests. Training for the FBI is a 21-week course at the FBI academy.
The CIA gathers information internationally that is relevant to U.S national security. The CIA has one central office location in Virginia, and operates it’s missions and research through various CIA agents across the world. CIA agents may also cooperate with intelligence agencies of other countries. The CIA was originally established in 1942 during World War II but was abolished after the war and re-established five years later in 1947.
The CIA does not make policy, but it gathers foreign intelligence information for those who do. The CIA has an executive office and four major directors: Research and analysis; covert action; administration functions; and creation and application of technology in support of the CIA collection missions.
The number of employees is classified, but is estimated to be about 20,000. To join the CIA you must be a US citizen above 18 years of age and a high school graduate. A college degree is required for being an overseas officer or intelligence analyst. Many times CIA agents are required or asked to learn a second language.
The CIA and FBI are often required to work together to ensure national security. For example, if the CIA wants any information related to any person within America, the FBI gets it for them. Because the CIA does not have any jurisdiction over activities that happen within the United States, the FBI must get them the information they need. The FBI has a wider range of responsibilities, but often the CIA’s responsibilities are more wide-spread and threatening.