In an effort to bring to a close the inter-service bickering that marred U.S. intelligence during WWII, President Truman created the United States’ first independent agency capable both of intelligence analysis and covert operations. Its 40 year cat-and-mouse game with its Soviet counterpart, the KGB, would be the stuff of legend, and one of the hallmarks of the Cold War.
Time: Early War
Removed after event: Yes
As a DEFCON suicide card, this card is a problem. Because it allows the US to conduct Operations on your turn, if DEFCON is 2, then the US can coup a battleground (specifically, a Mid War region battleground due to DEFCON restrictions) to lower DEFCON to 1 and lose you the game.
The only easy way to get rid of this card is in the Early War, if you are fortunate enough to draw it before you have influence in a Mid War battleground. Then you can play it whenever you want (preferably as the last card in your hand, but if you delay too long the US may play Fidel!), and even at DEFCON 2 it won’t cost you the game.
If you draw it and you do have influence in a Mid War battleground, well, then you’ve not got a lot of good options. You can play it on AR1 if DEFCON is still 3, allowing the US the coup and revealing your whole hand. You can take advantage of Nuclear Subs to get out of it, since then the CIA Created coup won’t lose you the game. You can space it if you are under Brezhnev Doctrine. You can play it with UN Intervention, but then you can’t hold a card to next turn, and you might need to do that if you’re dealing with other bad US cards.
Unlike Lone Gunman, I do not usually hold this turn to turn, waiting for a better chance to discard it. I usually just play it on AR1, because there are too many things that can cause me to discard a card from my hand, which would lose me the game if I don’t have the China card.
Because of how bad it is for the Soviets to draw this, I always play this for Operations before the Turn 3 reshuffle.
In the Mid War, between Turns 3 and 6, there’s still a chance the USSR will draw it if I play CIA for Operations. So I’ll usually play it for Ops. But if I have literally no other headline choice, or if I desperately need to conduct some Ops / drop DEFCON in the headline, then CIA is a good choice for the headline.
If I draw it on Turn 7, though, then the USSR isn’t ever going to draw it, and playing it for the event is strictly superior to playing it for Ops. I will usually headline it (though there are tons of great US headlines at this point).
This card means that I’m willing to trigger Fidel on Turns 1 or 2 because it’ll make CIA unplayable if they draw it. On Turn 3 I’ll probably space it unless I know the USSR is still holding on to CIA and has no other influence in the Mid War regions.