1970 Intelligence Budget Figure Not a Secret

12.27.06 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The State Department said today that it will modify the latest Nixon-era volume of the official Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series to include the amount of the 1970 U.S. intelligence budget after Secrecy News pointed out that this number had previously been disclosed in an earlier volume of FRUS.

According to an editorial note in the latest FRUS volume published last week, “The President [Nixon] stated that the United States is spending a total of about [dollar amount not declassified] per year on intelligence and it deserves to receive a lot more for its money than it has been getting.” (Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume II, document 210).

But in another FRUS volume published last April, that ancient secret was already revealed:

“The President stated that the US is spending $6 billion per year on intelligence and deserves to receive a lot more for its money than it has been getting. (Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume VI, document 344).

“Thank you for pointing out the inconsistency between the editorial note in FRUS volume II and the document in volume VI,” wrote Edward C. Keefer, General Editor of the Foreign Relations of the United States series in an email message to Secrecy News today.

“We have brought it to the attention of the declassifying agency [i.e., CIA] and they have agreed to release the actual figure in the editorial note of volume II, making it consistent with the document in volume VI. We will make the change on the internet version of volume II and we should be able to make the change in printed volume II as well.”

“We are pleased that we have people like you who read our volumes with such care and help us make the series the best documentary record of U.S. foreign policy,” Dr. Keefer wrote.

CIA classification policy generally lacks rhyme or reason, so although the 1970 intelligence budget total has been declassified, the 1969 and the 1971 budget figures, for example, remain classified.

See all publications
Nuclear Weapons
New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship: Creative Perspectives on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence 

To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.

11.28.23 | 3 min read
read more
Science Policy
Expected Utility Forecasting for Science Funding

Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.

11.20.23 | 11 min read
read more
Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Notebook: Nuclear Weapons Sharing, 2023

The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]

11.17.23 | 1 min read
read more
Social Innovation
Community School Approach Reaches High of 60%, Reports Latest Pulse Panel

According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.

11.17.23 | 4 min read
read more