US intelligence spending fell again in 2012
31 October, 2012
WASHINGTON: The US government's total spending on intelligence activities fell in 2012, the second year in a row of declines after years of soaring security spending since the September 11 attacks in 2001.
The Office of Director of National Intelligence, the top US intelligence authority, announced on Tuesday that total funding appropriated for the National Intelligence Program, covering activities of the CIA and high-tech spy agencies such as the National Reconnaissance Office, was $53.9 billion in fiscal year 2012, which ended on September 30.
That was down from the $54.6 billion appropriated during fiscal year 2011, according to government officials and figures published by the private Federation of American Scientists.
Also on Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that funding appropriated for the separate Military Intelligence Program during 2012 totalled $21.5 billion. According to the Federation of American Scientists, that compares with $24 billion appropriated for military intelligence in 2011.
The total appropriations in 2012 for both the national and military intelligence programmes were $75.4 billion. This compares to the FY 2011 total of $78.6 billion. Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert with the scientists' federation, said that the figure for the National Intelligence Programme "represents the first drop" in that programme "in many years". But when that figure is combined with military intelligence spending, the overall total has declined for two years, he said. "Intelligence spending skyrocketed after 9/11, more than doubling," Aftergood said. "It looks like we are now seeing it level off, though it is still at historically high levels."