The development of the U-2 in 1954 signaled the Central Intelligence Agency’s entry into the world of overhead reconnaissance. President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized construction of a new aircraft designed specifically to fly over the Soviet Union and collect strategic intelligence. Peacetime reconnaissance flights over the territory of a potential enemy power thus became national policy. To reduce the danger of conflict, the President entrusted this mission not to the armed forces but to a civilian agency – the CIA. Since that time, overhead reconnaissance has been one of CIA’s most important missions.
32 cm x 51 cm x 9 cm
(L x W x H))