Intelligence Community Spending: Trends and Issues

Total intelligence spending is usually understood as the combination of the National Intelligence Program (NIP), which supports strategic planning and policymaking, and the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), which supports military operational and tactical levels of planning and operations. There are 4 defense NIP programs, 8 nondefense NIP programs, and 10 MIP programs. Six U.S. intelligence community (IC) components have both MIP and NIP funding sources.

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)), respectively, manage the NIP and MIP separately under different authorities. A program is primarily NIP if it funds an activity that supports more than one department or agency, or provides a service of common concern for the IC. The NIP funds the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the strategic-level intelligence activities associated with the National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). It also funds Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) programs throughout the IC. A program is primarily MIP if it funds an activity that addresses tactical or operational-level requirements specific to the DOD. The DNI and USD(I) work together in a number of ways to facilitate the integration of NIP and MIP intelligence efforts. Programs that support both national and tactical or operational military requirements may receive both NIP and MIP resources.

Funding associated with the 17 components of the IC is significant. In FY2019 alone, the aggregate amount of appropriations requested for these two programs is $81.1 billion, including $59.9 billion for the NIP and $21.2 billion for the MIP. For FY2020 the aggregate amount requested for the NIP and MIP is $85.75 billion—$62.8 billion for the NIP and $22.95 billion for the MIP—an increase of $4.4 billion over what was requested the previous year.

In comparison with national defense spending, the proportion of intelligence-related spending has remained relatively constant over the past decade, representing slightly more than 11% of the total defense budget.

Intelligence Community Spending: Trends and Issues

Updated November 6, 2019 (R44381)
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Contents

Summary

Total intelligence spending is usually understood as the combination of the National Intelligence Program (NIP), which supports strategic planning and policymaking, and the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), which supports military operational and tactical levels of planning and operations. There are 4 defense NIP programs, 8 nondefense NIP programs, and 10 MIP programs. Six U.S. intelligence community (IC) components have both MIP and NIP funding sources.

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)), respectively, manage the NIP and MIP separately under different authorities. A program is primarily NIP if it funds an activity that supports more than one department or agency, or provides a service of common concern for the IC. The NIP funds the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the strategic-level intelligence activities associated with the National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). It also funds Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) programs throughout the IC. A program is primarily MIP if it funds an activity that addresses tactical or operational-level requirements specific to the DOD. The DNI and USD(I) work together in a number of ways to facilitate the integration of NIP and MIP intelligence efforts.1 Programs that support both national and tactical or operational military requirements may receive both NIP and MIP resources.

Funding associated with the 17 components of the IC is significant. In FY2019 alone, the aggregate amount of appropriations requested for these two programs is $81.1 billion, including $59.9 billion for the NIP and $21.2 billion for the MIP. For FY2020 the aggregate amount requested for the NIP and MIP is $85.75 billion—$62.8 billion for the NIP and $22.95 billion for the MIP—an increase of $4.4 billion over what was requested the previous year.

In comparison with national defense spending, the proportion of intelligence-related spending has remained relatively constant over the past decade, representing slightly more than 11% of the total defense budget.


Introduction

This report examines intelligence funding from fiscal years 1965 to 2020, with an emphasis on the period from 2007 to 2020, during which total national and military intelligence program spending dollars have been publicly disclosed on an annual basis. A table of topline budget figures (see Table 1) and accompanying graphs (see Figure 2 and Figure 3) illustrate that in comparison with national defense spending, intelligence-related spending also fluctuates though to a lesser degree. Intelligence spending generally has remained slightly more than 11% of annual national defense spending over the past decade.

Various tables and graphs included in this report illustrate trends in intelligence spending. Figure 1 illustrates highs and lows in NIP spending between 1965 and 1994. Table 1 compares NIP and MIP spending to national defense spending from FY2007 to FY2020, reporting values in both nominal and constant dollars. Figure 2 and Figure 3 use the data in Table 1 to provide an overview of intelligence spending compared to total national defense spending.

Additional tables in Appendix B and Appendix C provide an overview of the IC budget programs. Table B-1 identifies 4 defense NIP programs, 8 nondefense NIP programs, and 10 MIP programs. Table C-1 illustrates how those MIP and NIP intelligence programs are spread across different departments and agencies with an intelligence mission. Table C-1 lists the 17 components of the intelligence community (IC) as defined by statute.

The Intelligence Budget

Intelligence spending is usually understood as the sum of two separate budget programs: (1) the NIP, which covers the programs, projects, and activities of the intelligence community oriented toward the strategic needs of decisionmakers,2 and (2) the MIP, which funds defense intelligence activities intended to support operational and tactical level intelligence priorities supporting defense operations.3

The combined NIP and MIP budgets do not encompass the total of U.S. intelligence-related spending. Many departments have intelligence-gathering entities that support a department-specific mission, use department funds, and do not fall within either the NIP or the MIP. For example, the Homeland Security Intelligence Program (HSIP) is sometimes referenced in intelligence-related legislation.4 It is a small program that exists within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fund those intelligence activities of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis that serve predominantly departmental missions. With the exception of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Intelligence and the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the NIP does not fund intelligence activities of the Department of Homeland Security, nor does the NIP fund law enforcement intelligence activities of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. In addition, the MIP does not fund certain military platforms that can have an intelligence application but whose main purpose is not intelligence, such as the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) or the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) air-to-ground strike platform.5

The intelligence budget funds intelligence and intelligence-related activities—defined in this report to include the following:

  • The collection, analysis, production, dissemination, or use of information that relates to a foreign country, or a government, political group, party, military force, movement, or other association in a foreign country, and that relates to the defense, foreign policy, national security, or related policies of the United States, and other activity in support of the collection, analysis, production, dissemination, or use of such information;
  • Activities taken to counter similar activities directed against the United States;
  • Covert and clandestine activities affecting the relations of the United States with a foreign government, political group, party, military force, movement, or other association;
  • Collection, analysis, production, dissemination, or use of information about activities of persons within the United States, its territories and possessions, or nationals of the United States abroad whose political and related activities pose, or may be considered by a department, agency, bureau, office, division, instrumentality, or employee of the United States to pose, a threat to the internal security of the United States; and
  • Covert or clandestine activities directed against persons within the United States, its territories and possessions, or nationals of the United States abroad whose political and related activities pose, or may be considered by a department, agency, bureau, office, division, instrumentality, or employee of the United States to pose, a threat to the internal security of the United States.6

Origin of the Intelligence Budget

The intelligence budget, separate and distinct from the defense budget, dates to reforms initiated in the 1970s to improve oversight and accountability of the IC.7 Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan gradually centralized management and oversight over what was then known as the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP), which consolidated the CIA budget with portions of the defense budget associated with national intelligence activities such as cryptologic and reconnaissance programs.8 Originally the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) managed the NFIP, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council (NSC) provided oversight.9

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004 (see §1074 of P.L. 108-458) renamed and modified the NFIP as the NIP. The IRTPA also created the position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The DNI was given greater budgetary authority over the NIP than the DCI had with the NFIP. Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 104 provides overall policy to include a description of the DNI's roles and responsibilities as program executive of the NIP.10

Military-specific tactical or operational intelligence activities were not included in the NFIP. They were referred to as Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities (TIARA) and were managed separately by the Secretary of Defense. TIARA referred to the intelligence activities "of a single service" that were considered organic (meaning "to belong to") military units. In 1994, a new category was created called the Joint Military Intelligence Program (or JMIP) for defense-wide intelligence programs.11 A DOD memorandum signed by the Secretary of Defense in 2005 merged TIARA and JMIP to create the MIP.12 DOD Directive 5205.12, signed in November 2008, established policies and assigned responsibilities, to include the role of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) as MIP program executive and "principal proponent for MIP policies and resources," acting on behalf of the Secretary of Defense.13

Thus, the DNI and USD(I), respectively, manage the NIP and MIP separately under different authorities.14 A program is primarily NIP if it funds an activity that supports more than one department or agency, or provides a service of common concern for the IC.15 The NIP funds the CIA and the strategic-level intelligence activities associated with the NSA, DIA, and NGA. It also funds Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) programs throughout the IC. A program is primarily MIP if it funds an activity that addresses tactical or operational-level requirements specific to the DOD. The DNI and USD(I) work together in a number of ways to facilitate the integration of NIP and MIP intelligence efforts.16 Programs that support both national and tactical or operational military requirements may receive both NIP and MIP resources.

The NIP may be perceived as more complicated than the MIP because it is an aggregation of programs that span the entire IC. In general, NIP programs are based on capabilities such as cryptology, reconnaissance, and signals collection that span several IC components. Each program within the NIP is headed by a program manager. Program managers exercise daily direct control over their NIP resources.17 The DNI acts as an intermediary in the budget process, between these managers, the President, and Congress.18 The DNI determines and controls defense and nondefense NIP funds from budget development through execution.

In contrast, the MIP encompasses only those defense dollars associated with the operational and tactical-level intelligence activities of the military services.19 According to the MIP charter directive:

The MIP consists of programs, projects, or activities that support the Secretary of Defense's intelligence, counterintelligence, and related intelligence responsibilities. This includes those intelligence and counterintelligence programs, projects, or activities that provide capabilities to meet warfighters' operational and tactical requirements more effectively. The term excludes capabilities associated with a weapons system whose primary mission is not intelligence.20

MIP dollars are managed within the budgets of DOD organizations by component managers. Examples include the senior intelligence officer (SIO) for the intelligence element of the U.S. Air Force (USAF A2/A6) who manages Air Force MIP dollars, and the senior leader for the intelligence element of the U.S. Navy (OPNAV N2/N6) who manages MIP dollars for the Navy; both manage funds in accordance with USD(I) guidance and policy.21 MIP components include the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the intelligence elements of the military departments; the intelligence element of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM/J2); and military intelligence activities associated with DIA, NGA, NRO, and NSA.22 Some DOD intelligence components make use of both NIP and MIP funds. The directors of DIA, NGA, NRO, and NSA serve simultaneously as program managers for their NIP funds and component managers for their MIP funds.

Secrecy vs. Transparency

Most intelligence dollars are embedded in the defense budget. Historically this was for security purposes. All but the topline NIP and MIP budget numbers are classified. Disclosure of details associated with the intelligence budget has been debated for many years, with proponents arguing for more accountability23 and IC leadership arguing that disclosure of such figures poses risks of damaging national security.24 In 1999, then-DCI George Tenet articulated the potential risk of disclosure as follows:

Disclosure of the budget request reasonably could be expected to provide foreign governments with the United States' own assessment of its intelligence capabilities and weaknesses … [T]he difference between Congressional appropriations from one year to the next provides a measure of Congress's assessment of the nation's intelligence efforts and their satisfaction of stated policy objectives. Not only does an increased, decreased, or unchanged appropriation reflect a congressional determination that existing intelligence programs are less than adequate, more than adequate, or just adequate, respectively, to meet the national security needs of the United States, but an actual figure also indicates the degree of change. This knowledge could assist foreign governments or other organizations in redirecting their own resources to frustrate U.S. intelligence collection efforts, with resulting damage to our national security.25

The 9/11 Commission agreed with critics who argued for more transparency but also found that disclosure of numbers below the topline could cause damage to national security. It recommended that the amount of money spent on national intelligence be released to the public:

[T]he top-line figure by itself provides little insight into U.S. intelligence sources and methods. The U.S. government readily provides copious information about spending on its military forces, including military intelligence. The intelligence community should not be subject to that much disclosure. But when even aggregate categorical numbers remain hidden, it is hard to judge priorities and foster accountability.26

In response to the 9/11 Commission recommendations, Section 601(a) of P.L. 110-53 (codified at 50 U.S.C. Section 3306(b)) directs the DNI to disclose the NIP topline number:

Not later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2007, the Director of National Intelligence shall disclose to the public the aggregate amount of funds appropriated by Congress for the National Intelligence Program for such fiscal year.

Section 601(b) (codified at 50 U.S.C. Section 3306(c)(1)(A)) allows the President to "waive or postpone the disclosure" if the disclosure "would damage national security."27 The first such disclosure was made on October 30, 2007.28 The Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) of 2010 (P.L. 111-259) further amended Section 601 to require the President to publicly disclose the amount requested for the NIP for the next fiscal year "at the time the President submits to Congress the budget."29

At the present time only the NIP topline figure must be disclosed based on a directive in statute. The DNI is not required to disclose any other information concerning the NIP budget, including whether the information concerns particular intelligence agencies or particular intelligence programs. In 2010, the Secretary of Defense began disclosing MIP appropriations figures on an annual basis and in 2011 disclosed those figures back to 2007.30 These actions have provided public access to previously classified budget numbers for national and military intelligence activities with the assumption that doing so no longer presented a risk to U.S. national security.

Trends in Intelligence Spending

Historical Trends

Figure 1. Intelligence Spending 1965-1994

1994 constant dollars

Source: H.Rept. 103-254, Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, 1994, to accompany H.R. 3116, p. 14.

Figure 1 illustrates highs and lows in NIP spending between 1965 and 1994. Due to the classified nature of the intelligence budget at that time, the graphic does not include dollar figures.31 Figure 1 suggests that NIP spending declined steadily from about 1971 to 1980, climbed back to 1968 levels by about 1983, and steadied to fairly constant levels between 1985 and 1994. The pattern of spending in Figure 1 generally follows the pattern of world events and associated defense spending. Analyses of defense spending over the past several decades usually attribute higher levels of defense spending in the 1960s to the Vietnam War; lower levels of defense spending in the 1970s to the period of détente between the United States and the Soviet Union and to the worldwide economic recession; and higher levels of defense spending in the 1980s to the Reagan defense build-up.32 A graph depicting defense spending between 1950 and 2017 is provided in Figure A-1.

Recent Trends

Table 1 compares NIP and MIP spending to national defense spending from FY2007 to FY2020, reporting values in both nominal and constant dollars. Budget top lines appropriated for FY2013 show adjustments made in accordance with automatic spending cuts required under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25).33 Topline numbers associated with national defense spending are reported in Table 1 and illustrated graphically in Figures 1 and 2.34

Table 1. Intelligence Spending, FY2007-FY2020

Dollars in billions, rounded

 

 

FY07

FY08

FY09

FY10

FY11

FY12

FY13a

FY14

FY15

FY16

FY17

FY18

FY19

FY20

NIPb

Nominal

43.5

47.5

49.8

53.1

54.6

53.9

49.0 (52.7)

50.5

50.3

53.0

54.6

59.4

60.2

62.8

 

Constantc

55.0

58.4

60.4

61.9

63.5

61.6

55.1 (59.3)

56.1

55.3

57.6

58.2

61.9

61.0

62.8

MIPd

Nominal

20.0

22.9

26.4

27.0

24.0

21.5

18.6 (19.2)

17.4

16.5

17.7

18.4

22.1

21.2

22.95

 

Constant

25.3

28.2

32.0

32.0

27.9

24.6

20.9 (22)

19.3

18.1

19.3

19.6

23.0

21.6

22.95

NIP MIP Total

Nominal

63.5

70.4

76.2

80.1

78.6

75.4

67.6 (71.9)

67.9

66.8

70.7

73.0

81.5

81.1

85.8

 

Constant

80.4

86.6

92.4

94.9

91.4

86.2

76.0 (80.9)

75.5

73.4

76.8

77.8

84.9

82.7

85.8

National Defensee

Nominal

626

696

698

721

717

681

610

622

598

624

656

727

726

762

 

Constant

793

856

846

854

833

779

686

691

657

679

699

758

740

762

Source: CRS, using numbers available at http://www.dni.gov, at https://www.dni.gov/index.php/what-we-do/ic-budget; OMB Historical Table 5.1, at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/historical-tables/. For the MIP topline budget figure for FY2020, see U.S. Department of Defense Press Release, "FY 20 Military Intelligence Top-Line Budget," March 18, 2019, at https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/1787859/fy-20-military-intelligence-top-line-budget/. Deflators, using FY2020 as the base year, can be found in Table 5.7, "Department of Defense Deflators – Budget Authority by Category (FY 1970 to FY 2024)," National Defense Budget Estimate for FY 2020, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), May 2019, at https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2020/FY20_Green_Book.pdf.

Notes:

a. $52.7 billion was reduced via sequestration to $49.0 billion, DNI press release, October 30, 2013; $19.2 billion was reduced via sequestration to $18.6 billion, DOD press release, October 31, 2013. Automatic spending cuts were required under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25).

b. NIP numbers include base budget and supplemental spending dollars known as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) dollars.

c. Constant figures are deflated using the Total Department of Defense index. Table 5-1, "Department of Defense and Selected Economy-Wide Indices," National Defense Budget Estimates for FY2020 (Green Book), at https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2020/FY20_Green_Book.pdf provides a Total Department of Defense price index with 2020 as the base year.

d. MIP numbers include base budget and OCO dollars.

e. National defense spending (using topline numbers associated with Function 050 National Defense) is included for comparative purposes. See Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 5.1, Budget Authority by Function and Sub function: 1976-2020. See CRS In Focus IF10618, Defense Primer: The National Defense Budget Function (050), by Christopher T. Mann for more information on national defense spending under Function 050.

f.

g. Figure 2 uses the data in Table 1 to provide an overview of total intelligence spending as a percentage of overall national defense spending. The almost flat percentage line suggests that annual intelligence spending has remained relatively constant over the past decade, consistently representing slightly more than 11% of annual national defense spending. In addition, Figure 2 shows how the trends in intelligence spending approximately parallel those of defense spending. Defense spending, which had been increasing each year following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, like intelligence spending, began a steady decline in FY2011, reflecting the drawdown of U.S. forces in the Middle East. To an extent, therefore, the trends in intelligence spending are roughly indicative of the extent to which intelligence programs support the Armed Forces.

Figure 2. Intelligence Spending as a Percentage of the National Defense Budget: FY2007-FY2018

Source: CRS, using numbers available at http://www.dni.gov, at https://www.dni.gov/index.php/what-we-do/ic-budget; OMB Historical Table 5.1, at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/historical-tables/.

Note: See Table 1 for the topline numbers used to produce this graph.

Figure 3 adds four additional NIP topline values—numbers available for FYs 1997, 1998, 2005, and 2006. The topline number for the NIP was classified until 2007, with two exceptions. In October 1997, then-DCI George Tenet announced that the intelligence budget for FY1997 was $26.6 billion,35 and in March 1998, DCI Tenet announced that the budget for FY1998 was $26.7 billion.36 In addition, IC officials retroactively declassified NIP topline numbers for FY2005 ($39.8 billion)37 and FY2006 ($40.9 billion).38 Nevertheless, corresponding MIP topline dollars for 1997, 1998, 2005, and 2006 are not publicly available. Figure 3 provides a snapshot of NIP spending over the past two decades, and despite the lack of data between 1999 and 2004, the values that are present suggest relative constancy in NIP topline dollar appropriations.

Figure 3. Intelligence Spending Based on Publicly Available Numbers: FY1997-FY2018

Source: CRS, using numbers available at http://www.dni.gov, at https://www.dni.gov/index.php/what-we-do/ic-budget; OMB Historical Table 5.1, at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/historical-tables/. FY1997: CIA, "DCI Statement on FY97 Intelligence Budget," press release, Oct 15, 1997. FY1998: CIA, "Disclosure of the Aggregate Intelligence Budget for FY98," press release Mar 20, 1998. FY2005: DNI, Memorandum for the Record, March 2015, FOIA response, May 20, 2015. FY2006: ODNI, Letter to Steven Aftergood, FOIA response, Oct 28, 2010, Mar 24, 2009.

Note: Table 1 provides the other topline numbers used to produce this graph.

Transparency

Congress's and the American public's ability to oversee intelligence dollars and understand how they are spent is limited by the secrecy that surrounds the intelligence budget process. Former DNI Daniel Coats stated his commitment to transparency "as a foundational element of securing public trust in our endeavors."39 There are widely different views, however, on what transparency should entail. Many believe that IC disclosure of intelligence-related spending beyond just the topline NIP and MIP figures would not pose risks to national security.

On May 14, 2019, Representative Welch introduced H.R. 2735 (116th Congress, 1st Session). This legislation would amend Section 1105 of Title 31, U.S. Code by requiring the President to disclose in his annual budget request to Congress,

[T]he total dollar amount proposed in the budget for intelligence or intelligence related activities of each element of the Government engaged in such activities in the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted and the estimated appropriation required for each of the ensuing four fiscal years.40

H.R. 2735 represents the latest legislative effort to address the issue of intelligence budget transparency. Identical bills were introduced in 2014 (H.R. 3855), 2015 (H.R. 2272 and S. 1307), and 2018 (H.R. 5406 and S. 2631).

Questions for Congress

Some have asserted that America's intelligence agencies may spend more money on gathering and disseminating intelligence than the rest of the world's intelligence services put together.41 Is it enough? And, to what extent is the IC providing value for its expenditures? As Congress considers authorizations and appropriations for the NIP and MIP budgets, and balances the need to protect national security, individual liberties, and taxpayer dollars, Congress may wish to apply the questions below as a framework for its oversight and legislative activities:

  • Does the IC have the funding to further develop and maintain collection capacity necessary to support national security policy?
  • Does the IC have the resources and capacity to produce the timely processing and analysis of data and information?
  • Is the IC organized or sufficiently integrated to realize efficiencies in the collection, processing, analysis and sharing of intelligence across its 17 components?
  • Where can the IC accept risk relative to budget limitations?
  • Is the IC postured to leverage international partners for coverage of emerging issues or areas where the IC has limited investment?
  • Does the National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF) process provide a useful means for prioritizing and allocating resources?42
  • Does the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) have the authority, funding, and organization to assess the effectiveness of IC components intelligence programs?

Appendix A. Defense Spending: FY1950-2018

Appendix B. Intelligence Programs (NIP and MIP)

Table B-1. National and Military Intelligence Programs (NIP and MIP)

National Intelligence Program

Defense NIP

Consolidated Cryptologic Program (CCP)

The NSA Director manages the CCP.

Funds NSA and intelligence activities related to national-level SIGINT and information assurance (IA) across the IC. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard has a SIGINT collection entity as does each of the military services. SIGINT collection operations target electromagnetic communication systems such as radios and cellular phones, radar, and signals emanating from foreign missile tests. Information assurance activities are designed to keep defense communications systems secure.

General Defense Intelligence Program (GDIP)

The DIA Director manages the GDIP.

Funds DIA and a wide range of national-level defense intelligence activities to include (1) the intelligence centers that support the services and unified combatant commands (e.g., the Defense Joint Intelligence Operations Center); (2) defense HUMINT; (3) biometric and identity intelligence; and (4) medical intelligence. Other examples of GDIP-funded activities include IC infrastructure; national-level activities related to CI; and the collection, processing, and dissemination of MASINT.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Program (NGP)

The NGA Director manages the NGP.

Funds NGA and national-level GEOINT-related activities throughout the IC. NGA predominately relies on overhead reconnaissance platforms to provide the raw imagery it needs to produce finished intelligence products. Examples of GEOINT products range from three-dimensional maps and charts to computerized databases. For example, "the Globe" is an NGP investment that consolidates its legacy search tools into a single enterprise search system.

National Reconnaissance Program (NRP)

The NRO Director manages the NRP.

Funds NRO and NRO efforts to develop, build, launch, and operate satellites associated with "multi-INT" collection—meaning that they collect a variety of signals from FISINT, COMINT, ELINT, to various forms of MASINT. The NRP provides the IC with capability to provide intelligence on topics like imminent military aggression, early warning of foreign missile launches, battle damage assessments, tracking high-value individuals, and monitoring treaty agreements and peacekeeping operations.

Special Reconnaissance Program (SRP)

Information concerning SRP management is not available at this time.

Funds procurement of special intelligence-gathering devices (to include research and development), and specialized reconnaissance collection activities, in response to tasking procedures established by the DNI.

Nondefense NIP

Central Intelligence Agency Program (CIAP)

The Deputy Director CIA manages the CIAP.

Funds CIA activities to include HUMINT and OSINT. The CIAP funds everything related to the CIA. It includes funding for activities such as covert and clandestine operations, research and development of technical collection systems related to all-source analysis, operating the IC's open source center, training for analysts and agents, and operating the entire CIA infrastructure. The CIAP funded development of the U-2 spy plane, for example.

CIA Retirement and Disability System (CIARDS)

The Deputy Director CIA manages CIARDS.

Funds pension benefits to a selected group of the CIA's workforce who were first hired before 1984 and were not enrolled in the Civil Service Retirement System. CIARDS is a CIA-only program, and is not part of the CIAP. It is unique because its costs are driven by the number of recipients eligible as opposed to mission requirements.

National Intelligence Program

Intelligence Community Management Account (ICMA)

The DNI manages ICMA.

Funds expenditures associated with personnel and day-to-day activities of the organizational elements that make up the ODNI. It funds the staffs of the DNI, the Principal Deputy DNI, Deputy and Associate DNIs, and all activities associated with the ODNI's mission and support activities.

Department of Energy NIP

DOE's Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (DOE/IN) Director manages DOE NIP.

Funds analysts who provide expertise in nuclear, energy, science and technology, and cyber intelligence. DOE NIP provides technically based intelligence analyses of foreign nuclear-related terrorist activities. Its counter-intelligence effort is focused on protecting its personnel, technologies, facilities, and intellectual property from foreign collection efforts (particularly cyber threats).

Department of Homeland Security NIP

The Under Secretary of DHS for Intelligence and Analysis (DHS/I&A) manages DHS Office of Intelligence Analysis (OIA) NIP.

Funds analysts who provide expertise on homeland security-related topics such as U.S. critical infrastructure. OIA combines information collected by DHS components as part of their operational activities (e.g., at airports, seaports, and borders) with foreign intelligence from the IC; law enforcement sources; private sector; and open sources.

 

The Assistant Commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations (CG-2) manages USCG NIP.

Funds analysts and collection activities in order to provide expertise in all things related to illegal smuggling of weapons, drugs, and migrants.

Department of Justice NIP

The National Security Branch Director manages Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) NIP.

Funds counterterrorism analysts and interagency efforts such as Joint Terrorism Task Forces. FBI NIP-related activities include producing analysis designed to prevent theft of sensitive information and advanced technologies, and use of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

 

The Director, Office of National Security Intelligence (ONSI) manages Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) NIP.

Funds analysts who provide expertise on drug trafficking, and drug-related criminal activities.

Department of State NIP

The Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (AS/INR) manages State NIP.

Funds analysts who provide expertise on issues as diverse as economic security, terrorist group financing, strategic arms control, political-military issues, and cyber for the Secretary of State and other key policymakers. An example of State NIP-related spending is INR Watch—a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week center for monitoring, evaluating, alerting, and reporting time-sensitive intelligence to department and INR principals, which serves as liaison to other IC operations centers.

Department of Treasury NIP

The Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (AS/OIA) manages Treasury NIP.

Funds analysts who provide financial and economic expertise. Financial intelligence analysts focus on terrorist financing, counterfeiting, money laundering, funds transfers, weapons sales, and other national security-related financial transactions. Economic intelligence analysts focus on the strengths and vulnerabilities of national economies. OIA established joint intelligence, military, and law enforcement cells in Iraq and Afghanistan to help identify and interdict funding streams to terrorist and insurgent networks.

Military Intelligence Program

DIA, NGA, NRO, and NSA MIP

The DIA, NGA, NRO, and NSA Directors manage separate MIP funds.

Fund those agency activities that support tactical-level operations not funded by the GDIP, NGP, NRP, or CCP, respectively. For example, the NRO uses some of its MIP funds to counter improvised explosive devices; identify and track high-value targets; and improve battlespace awareness.

OSD MIP

The USD(I) manages OSD MIP.

Funds those OSD-managed special technologies programs with DOD-wide application, not funded otherwise. For example, it funds the Advanced Sensors Application Program; Foreign Materiel Acquisition and Exploitation Program, and the Horizontal Fusion Program.

U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) MIP

The SOCOM Director of Intelligence (SOCOM/J2) manages SOCOM MIP.

Funds analysts and activities directed toward building SOCOM's own organic capabilities and reimbursing support from military departments. SOCOM MIP is funding several current acquisition efforts focused on outfitting aircraft—both manned and unmanned, fixed and rotary wing—with advanced ISR and data storage capabilities that will work in multiple environments.

Air Force MIP

The Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) (AF/A2) manages Air Force MIP.

Funds tactical-level systems, people, and activities associated with air/space operations. Air Force ISR platforms most commonly used to collect intelligence are the RC-135, U-2, MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, and the RQ-4 Global Hawk.

Army MIP

The Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (DCS/G-2) manages Army MIP.

Funds tactical-level systems, people, and activities associated with intelligence support to ground operations. Army MIP-related activities include GEOINT, SIGINT, HUMINT, MASINT, and CI. Army MIP employs physicists, chemists, engineers, and other technical specialists to analyze foreign weapon systems in order to provide intelligence on current and future foreign military armament performance and capabilities.

Navy MIP

The Director of Naval Intelligence, who also serves as the deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (N-2/N-6), manages Navy MIP.

Funds tactical-level systems, people, and activities associated with maritime operations. Navy MIP funds activities related to understanding the capabilities of foreign naval forces; foreign technologies, sensors, weapons, platforms, combat systems, and cyber capabilities; special collection and analysis for irregular and expeditionary forces; and cyberspace and cryptologic operations.

Marine Corps MIP

The Director for Intelligence (DIRINT) manages Marine Corps MIP.

Funds tactical-level systems, people, and activities associated with littoral (the region along a shore) and ground operations. Marine Corps MIP funds intelligence-related activities such as intelligence preparation of the battlefield, and target analysis. It also funds activities associated with GEOINT, SIGINT, CI, and ISR.

Source: CRS review of agency websites; Joint Publication 2-0, "Joint Intelligence," October 22, 2013; Office of the Director of National Intelligence, "U.S. National Intelligence – An Overview," 2013; Jeffrey T. Richelson, The US intelligence Community, 7th ed. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2015); U.S. Coast Guard, Intelligence, May 2010, and Dan Elkins, Managing Intelligence Resources, 4th ed. (Dewey, AZ: DWE Press, 2014).

Notes:

The descriptions are not comprehensive; they are representative of the primary focus of each entity.

Acronyms: COMINT = Communications Intelligence; CI = Counterintelligence; ELINT = Electronic Intelligence; GEOINT = Geospatial Intelligence; HUMINT = Human Intelligence; IMINT = Imagery Intelligence; MASINT = Measurement and Signature Intelligence; OSINT = Open Source Intelligence; SIGINT = Signals Intelligence.

Appendix C. Intelligence Community Entities Receiving NIP and MIP Funding

Six U.S. intelligence entities—those organizations with an intelligence mission that include but are not limited to the IC components defined by statute—have both MIP and NIP funding sources. The directors of DIA, NGA, NRO, and NSA serve as both Program Managers for their NIP funds and Component Managers for their MIP funds.

Table C-1. Intelligence Community Entities Receiving NIP and MIP Funding

COMPONENT

MIP SOURCES

NIP SOURCES

CIA

 

CIAP

COCOMs (Except SOCOM)

DIA MIP

GDIP, NGP, CCP

DIA

DIA MIP

GDIP

DHS, DOE, DOJ, DOS, Treasury

 

Department Specific NIP

DOD (other than COCOMs)

Department- and Service-Specific MIP

OSD MIP

CCP, GDIP, NGP, NRP (associated with NSA, DIA, NGA and NRO)

NGA

NGA MIP

NGP

NRO

NRO MIP

NRP

NSA

NSA MIP

CCP

ODNI

 

CMA

USDI

OSD MIP

 

USSOCOM

USSOCOM MIP

GDIP, NGP, CCP

Source: Dan Elkins, Managing Intelligence Resources, 4th Edition, (Dewey, AZ: DWE Press, 2014): Chapter 4 pp. 1-16

Notes:

DHS also has an intelligence-related program called the Homeland Security Intelligence Program. The HSIP does not fall under the NIP or MIP.

Acronyms: CCP = Consolidated Cryptologic Program; CIAP = CIA Program; CMA = Community Management Account; COCOMs = Regional Combatant Commands; GDIP = General Defense Intelligence Program; OSD = Office of the Secretary of Defense; NGP = National Geospatial-Intelligence Program; NRP = National Reconnaissance Program.

See Figure 3.4 in Mark Lowenthal, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy, 6th ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage/CQ Press, 2015), p. 67, for a budgetary view of the IC.

Appendix D. Intelligence Community Components

In statute, the IC comprises 17 component organizations, spread across six separate departments of the federal government, and two independent agencies. NIP spending is spread across all 17, while MIP spending is confined to the DOD.43

Table D-1. Component Organizations of the U.S. Intelligence Community (2018)

 

8 Department of Defense (DOD) Components:

 

 

1. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

 

 

2. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

 

 

3. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)

 

 

4. National Security Agency (NSA)

 

 

Intelligence elements of the military services:

5. U.S. Air Force Intelligence (USAF A2/A6)

6. U.S. Army Intelligence (USA G2)

7. U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence (USMC/MCISR-E)

8. U.S. Navy Intelligence (OPNAV N2/N6)

 

 

9 Non-DOD Components:

 

 

1. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)

 

 

2. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

 

 

Department of Energy (DOE) intelligence element:

3. Office of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence (I&CI)

 

 

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence elements:

4. Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)

5. U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence (USCG/CG-2)

 

 

Department of Justice (DOJ) intelligence elements:

6. Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of National Security Intelligence (DEA/ONSI)

7. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Intelligence Branch (FBI/IB)

 

 

Department of State (DOS) intelligence element:

8. Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)

 

 

Department of Treasury (Treasury) intelligence element:

9. Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA)

 

Source: 50 U.S.C. §3003.

Author Contact Information

Michael E. DeVine, Analyst in Intelligence and National Security ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Acknowledgments

This report was originally written by former CRS Analyst in Intelligence and National Security Policy Anne Daugherty Miles.

Footnotes

1.

In May 2007, the Secretary of Defense and DNI formally agreed in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that the USD(I) position would be "dual-hatted"—the incumbent acting as both the USD(I) within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and Director of Defense Intelligence (DDI) within the ODNI in order to improve the integration of national and military intelligence. According to the MOA, when acting as DDI, the incumbent reports directly to the DNI and serves as his principal advisor regarding defense intelligence matters. See Michael McConnell, DNI and Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, "Memorandum of Agreement," May 2007, news release no. 637-07, May 24, 2007, "Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to be Dual-Hatted as Director of Defense Intelligence," at https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Press%20Releases/2007%20Press%20Releases/20070524_release.pdf.

2.

The topline number for the NIP was classified until 2007—with two exceptions (October 1997 and March 1998). The exceptions are discussed later in this report. Topline is a frequently used colloquial term referring to any aggregated budget total.

3.

Dan Elkins, Managing Intelligence Resources, 4th ed. (Dewey, AZ: DWE Press, 2014), p. 4-12. This report addresses intelligence spending within the NIP and MIP. Intelligence-related spending (such as the Homeland Security Intelligence Program) that does not fall within the NIP and MIP, supporting organizations outside of the statutory elements of the IC, is outside the scope of this report.

4.

Per 6 U.S.C. §125(a), the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have jurisdiction over the HSIP.

5.

See for example Robert Mirabello, "Budget and Resource Management," Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies, vol. 20, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2013), p. 68. Generally, the MIP excludes the inherent intelligence gathering capabilities of a weapons system whose primary mission is not intelligence. For more information, see Dan Elkins, Managing Intelligence Resources, 4th ed., (Dewey: DWE Press, 2014), p. 4-12.

6.

For the purposes of this report, CRS uses the definition of intelligence and intelligence-related activities established by the Rules of the House of Representatives for the operations of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (see Rule X, clause 11, (j)(1) of U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States, 116th Congress, 116th Cong., 1st sess., January 11, 2019, p. 16, at https://naturalresources.house.gov/imo/media/doc/116-House-Rules-Clerk.pdf). The definition was first adopted by the House through H.Res. 658 (95th Congress, July 14, 1977), which established the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and described the HPSCI as "oversee[ing] and [making] continuing studies of the intelligence and intelligence-related activities and programs of the United States Government." In contrast, S.Res. 400 (94th Congress, June 23, 1976), which established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), described the SSCI as "oversee[ing] and [making] continuing studies of the intelligence activities and programs of the United States government," and specified that any such intelligence activity "does not include tactical foreign military intelligence serving no national policymaking function." Unlike S.Res. 400, H.Res. 658 did not specifically exclude "tactical foreign military intelligence serving no national policymaking function" from its definition of intelligence and intelligence-related activities.

7.

Dan Elkins, Managing Intelligence Resources, 4th ed. (Dewey, AZ: DWE Press, 2014), p.4-3.

8.

See Executive Order (E.O.) 11905 (July 29, 1976), E.O. 12036 (January 24, 1978), E.O. 12333 (December 8, 1981).

9.

Dan Elkins, Managing Intelligence Resources, 4th ed. (Dewey, AZ: DWE Press, 2014), p. 4-3.

10.

ICD 104, "National Intelligence Program (NIP) Budget Formulation and Justification, Execution, and Performance Evaluation," April 30, 2013, at https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICD/ICD%20104.pdf.

11.

Dan Elkins, Managing Intelligence Resources, 4th ed. (Dewey, AZ: DWE Press, 2014), p. 4-13. See also DOD Directive 5205.9 "Joint Military Intelligence Program (JMIP)," April 7, 1995.

12.

Janet McDonnell, "The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence: The First 10 Years," Studies in Intelligence, vol. 58, no. 1 (Extracts, March 2014): 9-16, p. 13. McDonnell cites the memorandum creating the MIP as follows: Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, Memorandum to the Secretaries of Military Departments et al., Subj: Establishment of the Military Intelligence Program, September 1, 2005.

13.

DOD Directive 5205.12, "Military Intelligence Program," November 14, 2008; change 1, May 10, 2018 at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodd/520512p.pdf?ver=2018-05-10-083514-693.

14.

For more information on the position of USD(I), see CRS In Focus IF10523, Defense Primer: Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), by Michael E. DeVine.

15.

50 U.S.C. Section 3003(6) defines the term National Intelligence Program as "[A]ll programs, projects, and activities of the IC, as well as any other programs of the IC designated jointly by the Director of National Intelligence and the head of a United States department or agency or by the President. Such term does not include programs, projects, or activities of the military departments to acquire intelligence solely for the planning and conduct of tactical military operations by United States Armed Forces."

16.

In May 2007, the Secretary of Defense and DNI formally agreed in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that the USD(I) position would be "dual-hatted"—the incumbent acting as both the USD(I) within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and Director of Defense Intelligence (DDI) within the ODNI in order to improve the integration of national and military intelligence. According to the MOA, when acting as DDI, the incumbent reports directly to the DNI and serves as his principal advisor regarding defense intelligence matters. See Michael McConnell, DNI and Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, "Memorandum of Agreement," May 2007, news release no. 637-07, May 24, 2007, "Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to be Dual-Hatted as Director of Defense Intelligence," at https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Press%20Releases/2007%20Press%20Releases/20070524_release.pdf.

17.

See ICD-104 for the roles and responsibilities of NIP Program Managers.

18.

Dan Elkins, Managing Intelligence Resources, 4th ed. (Dewey, AZ: DWE Press, 2014), p. 4-5.

19.

Ibid. pp. 4-11.

20.

DOD Directive 5205.12 (3) (a).

21.

DOD Directive 5205.12 (3) (c).

22.

DOD Directive 5205.12 (3) (b).

23.

See for example, Cynthia Lummis and Peter Welch, "Intelligence Budget Should Not Be Secret," CNN, April 21, 2014, at http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/21/opinion/lummis-welch-intelligence-budget/. For a history of the debate over intelligence budget transparency, see Anne Daugherty Miles, "Secrecy vs. Disclosure of the Intelligence Community Budget: An Enduring Debate," Secrecy and Society, vol. 2, no. 1 (2018) at https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/secrecyandsociety/vol2/iss1/4?utm_source=scholarworks.sjsu.edu%2Fsecrecyandsociety%2Fvol2%2Fiss1%2F4&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages.

24.

See U.S. Congress, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Whether Disclosure of Funds for the Intelligence Activities of the United States is in the Public Interest, 95th Cong., 1st sess., S.Rept. 95-274, June 16, 1977 (Washington DC: GPO, 1977), at http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/publications/95274.pdf.

25.

"Declaration of George J. Tenet," Aftergood v. Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Case No. 02-1146, March 19, 2003, at https://fas.org/sgp/foia/2002/tenet.html.

26.

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report (Washington DC: GPO, 2004), p. 416.

27.

P.L. 110-53, titled The Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 and was enacted August 3, 2007.

28.

ODNI, "DNI Releases Budget Figure for National Intelligence Program," press release, October 30, 2007, at http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Press%20Releases/2007%20Press%20Releases/20071030_release.pdf.

29.

P.L. 111-259 §364. See for example, ODNI Releases Requested Budget Figure for FY2016 Appropriations for the National Intelligence Program," ODNI News Release no. 24-15, February 2, 2015, at https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/press-releases-2015/item/1168-dni-releases-requested-budget-figure-for-fy-2016-appropriations.

30.

Department of Defense, "DOD Releases Military Intelligence Program Top Line Budget for Fiscal 2007, 2008, 2009," DOD news release no. 199-11, March 11, 2011, available at http://archive.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=14328. The release of the MIP topline was not directed by statute. According to this news release, it was a decision made by the Secretary of Defense.

31.

U.S. Congress, House Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee, Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, 1994, to accompany H.R. 3116, 103rd Cong., 1st sess., H. Rept. 103-254 (Washington, DC: GPO, September 22, 1993), p. 14.

32.

For a more comprehensive graph of defense spending over time, see for example, Thaleigha Rampersad, "The History of Defense Spending in One Chart," The Daily Signal, February 14, 2015, at http://dailysignal.com/2015/02/14/history-defense-spending-one-chart/.

33.

P.L. 112-25. For more on required spending cuts and the Budget Control Act, seeCRS Report R44039, The Defense Budget and the Budget Control Act: Frequently Asked Questions, by Brendan W. McGarry. See also CRS Report R42056, Ability to Repay, Risk-Retention Standards, and Mortgage Credit Access, by Darryl E. Getter; and CRS Report R42972, Sequestration as a Budget Enforcement Process: Frequently Asked Questions, by Megan S. Lynch.

34.

For Table 2, the values in columns for FY2019 and FY2020 are requested dollars.

35.

CIA, "DCI Statement on FY97 Intelligence Budget," press release, October 15, 1997, at https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/press-release-archive-1997-1/pr101597.html.

36.

CIA, "Disclosure of the Aggregate Intelligence Budget for FY98," press release March 20, 1998, at https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/press-release-archive-1998/ps032098.html.

37.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, Memorandum for the Record, March 2015, attached to a cover letter to Mr. Steven Aftergood, May 20, 2015: "The aggregate amount appropriated to the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP) for FY 2005 is $39.8 billion, which includes funding to support Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)," at http://fas.org/irp/budget/fy2005.pdf.

38.

John Hackett, Director, Information Management Office, Office of the DNI, Letter to Steven Aftergood, October 28, 2010, in response to FOIA request from Steven Aftergood, March 24, 2009: "The aggregate amount appropriated to the NIP for fiscal year 2006 was $40.9 billion," at http://fas.org/irp/news/2010/10/fy06-intelbud.pdf.

39.

Daniel R. Coats, "Issuance of Updated Intelligence Community Directive 107 on Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency," Memorandum for Distribution, March 22, 2018, at https://www.intelligence.gov/publics-daily-brief/public-s-daily-brief-articles/798-dni-affirms-commitment-to-transparency.

40.

§2(A) of H.R. 2735 (116th Cong., 1st Sess.).

41.

Bernd Debusmann, "US Intelligence Spending – Value for Money?" Reuters, July 16, 2010, at http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2010/07/16/us-intelligence-spending-value-for-money/.

42.

The National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF) "is the primary mechanism to establish, disestablish, manage, and communicate national intelligence priorities." See Intelligence Community Directive 204, National Intelligence Priorities Framework, January 2, 2015, at https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICD/ICD%20204%20National%20Intelligence%20Priorities%20Framework.pdf.

43.

See 50 U.S.C. §3003 for statutory definitions of the terms intelligence, foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, intelligence community, national intelligence, intelligence related to national security, and national intelligence program.