Funding for the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies will see a $4.4 billion decrease under President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget request, even as those agencies deal with the across-the-board spending cuts imposed last month.
Obama is seeking $48.2 billion for U.S. spy agencies, an 8 percent drop from the president’s $52.6 billion request for fiscal 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported. In 2012, funding was even higher, with the agencies receiving $53.9 billion.
James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, said during an interview last week with reporters that the cuts to federal intelligence programs could put the nation at risk.
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“We’re cutting real capability and accepting greater risk,” Clapper said, according to the Washington Post. “For intelligence, this is not quite like shorter hours for public parks or longer lines at the airports. For intelligence, it’s insidious.
“The capability we cut out today, you won’t know about that, you won’t notice it,” he said. “The public won’t notice it. You’ll notice it only when we have a failure.”
Clapper, who oversees 16 different federal intelligence agencies, noted that intelligence spending cuts during the 1990s left the nation unprepared for September 11.
“I’ve seen this movie before. We closed CIA stations overseas. We cut human intelligence, we let our overhead reconnaissance architecture atrophy,” during the 1990s, said Clapper, according to the Post.
Clapper worried that spending cuts would also harm recruitment and have a negative impact on morale among agency workers.
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