For the first time in more than a decade, the total U.S. intelligence budget declined in 2011, according to budget figures declassified and disclosed last week.
Although the National Intelligence Program (NIP) budget increased slightly from $53.1 in 2010 to $54.6 billion in 2011, the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) budget dropped from $27 billion to $24 billion. The sum of both categories of intelligence spending thus declined from $80.1 billion in 2010 to $78.6 billion in 2011, signaling a reversal of the steady intelligence budget increases of the past decade.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last month that he anticipated “double digit” cuts in the National Intelligence Program budget over the next ten years.
“It will be an actual cut in funds, not a cut to projected growth,” said a congressional staffer. “Put another way, budgets in the future years will be less than they are for FY12.”