“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 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.

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