Best Defense

$50 billion for intelligence

That’s what Dennis Blair says we are spending nowadays every year, and he should know. I am a bit surprised — I’d been told once that we were spending close to half that just on satellites and their supporting infrastructure every year. But maybe non-intel parts of the government pick up some of the tab ...

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That’s what Dennis Blair says we are spending nowadays every year, and he should know. I am a bit surprised — I’d been told once that we were spending close to half that just on satellites and their supporting infrastructure every year. But maybe non-intel parts of the government pick up some of the tab for that. 

UPDATE: Reader Jesse Klempner points out that that this number cited by Blair isn’t the whole shebang. “The release that you link to is for the NIP,” says Klempner, whom some of you Beltway types may remember from the days when Marty Meehan roamed the halls of Congress. “The entire IC spend was disclosed by Blair which is $75B.”

That $75 billion number sounds much closer to the mark.

Flickr user: aresauburn™

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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