This is the week the Obama Administration releases its fiscal 2013 budget request. It’s real big. In fact, it took the defense department 140 pages just to summarize its portion of the request — which it is happy to do, since Pentagon policymakers have been highlighting the shift to new spending priorities since early January. However, a sizable chunk of the military request isn’t going to be discussed at all — at least, not in public — because it consists of intelligence programs hidden in the budget. The federal government plans to spend about $80 billion on intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination in fiscal 2013, and around 85 percent of that money is concealed somewhere in Pentagon accounts. There are literally hundreds of programs, from eavesdropping satellites that are the biggest ever built to a new photo-reconnaissance constellation that can achieve ten-centimeter resolution (maybe better) of surface objects from over a hundred miles away. I have written a commentary for Forbes on the intelligence budget, especially the part concealed in the Pentagon’s request, that you can read here.
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