On Tuesday, the Defense Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released their intelligence budget figures for FY12. For the second straight year, the US intelligence budget has decreased even before adjusting for inflation. After posting $80.1 billion in funding for 2010, the 2011 intelligence budget dropped to $78.6 billion and the 2012 budget fell an additional $3.2 billion to $75.4 billion. US intelligence budget numbers are compiled by combining the funds of the Pentagon’s Military Intelligence Program (MIP) with the more strategic National Intelligence Program (NIP).
Intelligence costs are largely included in the 050 National Defense account. While the NIP budget seems to have stabilized since the 2010 intelligence budget peak, the MIP budget has declined over 20% during the same period. This is a much more significant percentage cut than the total defense budget (i.e., including wars), which has been reduced by 6% from its peak in FY10. Just as we observed last year, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.