Intelligence Spending and Appropriations: Issues for Congress [September 18, 2013] [open pdf - 410KB]
"Appropriations for intelligence activities represent a significant part of both the federal and defense budget at a time of growing fiscal austerity. In the past, spending levels for intelligence activities were shrouded in secrecy. Today, overall totals of intelligence spending are made public, but the process for appropriating funds for intelligence activities remains complicated and not well understood. Steady, yearly increases in intelligence funding in the past decade helped create an intelligence apparatus that, many experts agree, has been effective at accomplishing its ultimate goal of preventing another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11. But in the new era of fiscal limits, intelligence officials and Members of Congress are addressing ways to reduce intelligence spending while ensuring continued effectiveness against al-Qaeda and while adapting to new priorities other than counterterrorism. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James R. Clapper Jr. recently stated that sequestration would require a 7% cut, or roughly $4 billion, to the National Intelligence Program (NIP) budget and warned of reduced global coverage and decreased human and technical intelligence collection. Mr. Clapper also warned of repercussions similar to those that occurred in the 1990s when, in concert with a one-third decrease in active duty military personnel, the intelligence community saw a 23% cut in its budget, resulting in what he characterized as a 'damaging downward spiral.' […] This report discusses the historic trend in intelligence spending, as well as broader issues concerning the intelligence budgeting process, and may help Members of Congress contextualize information concerning the FY2013 budget."
CRS Report for Congress, R42061
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/