WASHINGTON Oct 30 The U.S. 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 Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
The Office of Director of National Intelligence, the top
U.S. 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 Sept. 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 Fiscal 2012 totaled $21.5 billion. According to the
Federation of American Scientists, that compares with $24
billion appropriated for military intelligence in Fiscal 2011.
The total appropriations in Fiscal 2012 for both the
national and military intelligence programs was $75.4 billion.
This compares to the Fiscal 2011 total of $78.6 billion.
Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert with the scientists'
federation, said that the figure for the National Intelligence
Program "represents the first drop" in that program "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."
Some fall-off in intelligence spending had been expected. In
a speech a year ago, the current national intelligence director,
James Clapper, indicated that 2013 would likely signal the
beginning of a decline in spy spending.
"We've experienced 10 years of growth - actually a fairly
easy proposition, when you think about it, for the intelligence
community, because every year all they had to do was hand out
more money and more people," Clapper said in that speech.
The Intelligence Director's office said Tuesday it would not
disclose further details of National Intelligence Program
spending, citing potential harm to U.S. national security.
According to declassified documents posted on the website of
the Federation of American Scientists, appropriations requests
for two of the biggest technical spy agencies, the National
Reconnaissance Office, which builds and operates spy satellites,
and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which analyzes
intelligence imagery, are considered as part of the National