“Fiscal challenges” force DOD intelligence spending cut

The Pentagon spent $21 billion on intelligence operations last year, $3 billion less than the previous year, reflecting a spending decline across the national security spectrum that officials pinned to fiscal restraint. The Defense Department’s topline intelligence spending figure, the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), is required to be made public and reported to Congress along ...

NGA Photo
NGA Photo
NGA Photo

The Pentagon spent $21 billion on intelligence operations last year, $3 billion less than the previous year, reflecting a spending decline across the national security spectrum that officials pinned to fiscal restraint.

The Defense Department’s topline intelligence spending figure, the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), is required to be made public and reported to Congress along with total U.S. intelligence spending, which at $75 billion in fiscal 2012 also represented a decline.

The spending cut, DOD spokesman Lt. Col. James Gregory said on Wednesday, “reflects the secretary's priorities in light of the fiscal challenges before us.”

The Pentagon spent $21 billion on intelligence operations last year, $3 billion less than the previous year, reflecting a spending decline across the national security spectrum that officials pinned to fiscal restraint.

The Defense Department’s topline intelligence spending figure, the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), is required to be made public and reported to Congress along with total U.S. intelligence spending, which at $75 billion in fiscal 2012 also represented a decline.

The spending cut, DOD spokesman Lt. Col. James Gregory said on Wednesday, “reflects the secretary’s priorities in light of the fiscal challenges before us.”

According to the Pentagon, the spending total made public includes “base” and war spending out of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account.

“No other MIP budget figures or program details will be released, as they remain classified for national security reasons,” read a statement released Tuesday.

The military spent $24 billion on its intelligence activities in 2011 and $27 billion in 2010, according to the previous two public announcements.

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

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