Outline of what America's National Security Agency (NSA) does, how large it is, its annual budget, as well as a complete history.

Essay by rexoomHigh School, 12th grade February 2003

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The National Security Agency

Although code making and breaking are ancient practices, modern cryptologic communications intelligence activities in the United States date from the World War I period and radio communications technology. The National Security Agency, or NSA, was designed for just such a purpose. Since its formal creation in 1952, it has evolved into one of the largest security agencies with an annual budget of 7.2 billion dollars. The NSA, while not a military organization, is one of the several integral elements of the intelligence community administered by the Department of Defense. The NSA has played a major part in history. They're contributions include, but are far from limited to, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Battle of Midway, and especially World War II. Had it not been for the NSA, and the art of cryptology, Social Studies books would be written far differently.

The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was one of the turning points of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

At that time the two superpowers came close to war, possibly with nuclear weapons. Afterwards, both countries began to seek ways to adjust to each other, in particular, to prevent the use of nuclear weapons. The events of the Cuban Missile Crisis demonstrated the capabilities of the NSA, especially in its ability to collect and analyze information. The crucial roles of human intelligence and photographic intelligence in the Cuban Missile Crisis had been known from the beginning. Documents declassified and released in 1998 now reveal that signals intelligence also played an exceedingly important part in managing the crisis. More than two years before that fact was known, Signal intelligence analysts thoroughly studied the Cuban military buildup. Once the offensive missiles were discovered, Signal intelligence provided direct support for day-to-day management...