Federal budget 2013: Intelligence agencies would get 4.4 percent less

President Obama’s proposed fiscal 2013 budget contains $52.6 billion to fund the National Intelligence Program run under Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper. This is less than the $55 billion sought last year but closer to the amount approved for fiscal 2012 by Congress.

This money pays for activities of the CIA and 15 other intelligence agencies within the Defense, State, Homeland Security and Justice departments and well as Clapper's organization. The vast majority goes to Pentagon agencies such as the National Security Agency, which does electronic interception, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency which does satellite imagery and the National Reconnaissance Office which builds and manages intelligence satellites. The Military Intelligence Program budget for fiscal 2013 is not published nor are the details of the National Intelligence Program spending.

The proposed budget freezes the number of employees within the intelligence community and reduces the number of contractors.

The 4.4 percent reduction in the request for spy agencies is roughly half the cut being imposed on the Pentagon. U.S. officials said the disparity reflects a desire to protect the nation’s ability to spot emerging threats as its military presence around the world recedes.

“When you’re reducing the size of your security spending, you want to preserve intelligence to anticipate new threats,” said a congressional aide involved in budget deliberations.


Walter Pincus reports on intelligence, defense and foreign policy for The Washingon Post. He first came to the paper in 1966 and has covered numerous subjects, including nuclear weapons and arms control, politics and congressional investigations. He was among Post reporters awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
Greg Miller covers the intelligence beat for The Washington Post.

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