The fiscal 2013 sequester cost the intelligence community more than $4 billion as it chopped overall spending from $71.9 billion to $67.6 billion, according to newly disclosed figures.
The across-the-board reductions, required by the 2011 Budget Control Act, took effect at the beginning of March. As a result, the National Intelligence Program’s budget was cut from $52.7 billion to $49 billion, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said in a news release last week. For the Military Intelligence Program, the sequester reduced funding from $19.2 billion to $18.6 billion, according to the Defense Department.
Neither agency would disclose how the cuts were handled on the grounds that more detail could hurt national security. From a 2010 peak of $80.1 billion, intelligence spending had fallen almost 16 percent by last year, according to data posted online by Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.
Under the Budget Control Act, sequesters are set to occur every year through 2021 unless Congress chooses a different route. Neither ODNI nor the Pentagon immediately provided projections Monday on the possible impact of an fiscal 2014 sequester on their intelligence budgets.