Director of National Intelligence James Clapper gave the following statement to The Washington Post in response to questions for The Post’s story on the U.S. intelligence community’s budget:
The United States has made a considerable investment in the Intelligence Community since the terror attacks of 9/11, a time which includes wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction technology, and asymmetric threats in such areas as cyber-warfare. Today’s world is as fluid and unstable as it has been in the past half century. Even with stepped up spending on the IC over the past decade, the United States currently spends less than one percent of GDP on the Intelligence Community.
Similar to the rest of government, the IC prioritizes budgets and tracks its performance against a range of goals. We are focused on obtaining information to close knowledge gaps and we work tirelessly to keep the Congress informed of persistent and emerging “gaps.” A large part of my job is to make sure that all of the IC’s elements are integrating and coordinating to identify these gaps and working as hard as we can to fill them. This drives our resource decisions
The targets we collect against aren’t static. We continually require new information to inform policy maker decisions on unforeseen developments.
Our budgets are classified as they could provide insight for foreign intelligence services to discern our top national priorities, capabilities and sources and methods that allow us to obtain information to counter threats. Every year the IC releases the top line amount for the budget in an effort to help the American people understand the scale of the investment made in intelligence.