Edward Snowden’s leaked documents about the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) reveals the budgets they requested and the actual funding they are about to receive. I only wish the budgets were greater, but cheer in the fact that the CIA received mucho funds for both defensive and offensive Cyber operations.
Apparently, the Washington Post got their hands on these top secret budget-funding plans from the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden…and published only parts of the 178-page document at the request of government officials because “sensitive details are so pervasive” in its description of spying programs.
The document shows that the agencies’ budget request for the year ending Sept. 30 was $52.6 billion, a small decrease since the 2011 peak of $54.6 billion after a decade of rapid spending growth. Of that, the biggest share was taken by the CIA., which carries out traditional human spying and intelligence analysis but also conducts drone strikes against terrorism suspects in Pakistan and Yemen. America has killed top al Qaeda leaders in Yemen.
The CIA. asked for $14.7 billion, more than the requests from the National Security Agency, which sought $10.8 billion, and the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates surveillance satellites, at $10.3 billion. The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) employs roughly 107,000 people, not including the tens of thousands of contractors who work in support of the intelligence agencies.
The documents that Snowden pilfered from his job site at the NSA were given to The Guardian, The Post and other publications. Not surprisingly, The Post published the new budget documents, which were apparently among Snowden’s stolen files.
Both Democrats and Republican support “Black Budget” funding for the IC, saying that it’s best to keep our enemies in the dark about how much we’re spending to eavesdrop on them. They say if our enemies learn how much we’re spending for the IC; it would make America less safe. I disagree. I say, let’s scare the hell out of them by broadcasting to the world the billions we’re spending to eavesdrop on them. Let them know that, in addition to the monies Americans are willing to spend on the national intelligence priorities budget, an additional $23 billion is spent each year in a separate military intelligence budget, to hunt them down and kill them. I want our enemies to know that the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) is bent on permeating their safe havens and unearthing vital information about them in every village and metropolis around the world. Our enemies must know that the CIA’s budget, pre-9/11, accounted for about 10 percent of intelligence spending but has advanced to nearly a third of the total.
Yes, Snowden’s embezzled documents reveal that the NSA spends about $2.5 billion on covert missions and secret overseas operations that include the drone program. Wonderful! I want our radicalized Muslim adversaries to beware of our never-ending thirst to settle a score. It’s not a newsflash to them that the CIA now runs major operations in places they never did before 9/11 and will definitely maintain a presence in Yemen for a long…long while. Our radical Muslim enemies don’t have to read Snowden’s revelations; they’re not obtuse in their thinking and are well aware that America’s battle against them has morphed into a new strategic blueprint. I call it “asymmetric warfare in reverse”. America, the “Great Satan”, now launches drones and triggers offensive weaponry in precise paramilitary missions against their hideaways in areas where we are not officially at war. No more financially pricey, drawn-out battles with massive numbers of troops; we now execute quick, lightening-strike attacks that kill them…then we vanish, gather covert intelligence, and strike again at a time and place of our choosing. It’s a continuous loop with plenty of feedback and discussion on how to execute the next strike better.
Terrorists beware! Thanks to the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), the heretofore lumbering superpower America (The "Great Satan" to you) is quickly learning how to operate as agile and undetectable as your small terrorist “sleeper” cells- that’s asymmetric warfare, in reverse.
Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form.