By Pam Benson
Spending by the intelligence community dropped for the second year in a row following the dramatic increases in the years after the 2001 terrorist attacks and it's a trend that will continue.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a statement on Tuesday revealing the budget for national intelligence programs in fiscal year 2012 was $53.9 billion, a 1 percent decrease from the previous year.
And according to the Defense Department, the amount spent for military intelligence dropped by 10 percent to $21.5 billion.
The overall spending of $75.4 billion in 2012 represents a 4% cut in intelligence spending.
The fiscal year ended on September 30.
Overall intelligence spending peaked in fiscal year 2010 when the United States spent a total of $80.1 billion.
Clapper had originally requested a slight increase for intelligence programs in 2012, but was forced to pare it back when the Office of Management and Budget ordered all government departments and agencies to make further cuts in light of the budget deficit.
The money supported the operations of the 16 agencies and departments that make up the intelligence community and did not include military intelligence which is funded separately.
Earlier this year, the Director of National Intelligence announced the budget for fiscal year 2013 would drop further to $52.6 billion, an additional 2.4% decline.
Clapper warned Congress in January that the cuts would be tough.
"Never before has the intelligence community been called upon to master such complexity on so many issues in such a resource-constrained environment," he said. "But candidly, maintaining the world's premier intelligence enterprise in the face of shrinking budgets will be difficult. We'll be accepting and managing risk more so than we've had to do in the last decade."
Last year, Clapper said significant savings could be found by integrating the intelligence community's information technology infrastructure. But he also warned that mandatory cutting that would ensue if a deficit deal is not reached by Congress would be "disastrous."