Throughout the summer, a series of leaked National Security Agency reports has given the world a glimpse at the often controversial surveillance activities of the U.S. government. The latest leak, published by the Washington Post, reveals how America’s 16 intelligence agencies divided up their $52.6 billion budget in 2013, shedding light on the shifting priorities of the intelligence community since September 11, 2001.
The report, known as the “black budget” (in reference to its secrecy) breaks down U.S. intelligence spending in terms of agencies—which together employ 107,035 people-—and mission objectives.
The top five agencies in terms of funding are: The Central Intelligence Agency (27.9 percent): The National Security Agency (20.5 percent); The National Reconnaissance Office (19.6 percent); The National Geospatial-Intelligence Program (9.3 percent); and the General Defense Intelligence Program (8.4 percent).
Across those five agencies, as well as 11 others, funding is broken up along the following "mission objectives": Enhanced Cyber Security (8%); Integrate Counterintelligence (7 percent); Combat Violent Extremism (33 percent); Counter Weapons Proliferation (13 percent); Provide Strategic Intelligence and Warning (39 percent).
Notably, "Strategic Intelligence"--the category under which much of the NSA's controversial surveillance undoubtedly falls--received the most funding of any objective.
“The United States has made a considerable investment in the Intelligence Community since the terror attacks of 9/11,” said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to the Post, citing “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.”
Clapper warned the Post that the publication of the report could give foreign intelligence agencies insight into the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. operations.
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