Massive US Intel Cost Revealed: $80 Billion for 2010

US Offers First Full Disclosure of Spying Costs Ever

Following pledges from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper the US government has release its first ever figures detailing the entire cost of all American spying operations across its 17 civilian spy agencies and military intelligence organizations.

The result was largely in keeping with previous DNI Dennis Blair’s estimate in Congressional testimony that the total cost for 2009 was $75 billion. The official figures for the entire 2010 cost is $80 billion, with $27 billion in military budgets and $53 billion spread around the CIA and other groups.

This is presumably a record, though it is impossible to conclusively say as the US has never before released actual figures on its spending. The massive amount has sparked calls to reduce the overall spying budget, particularly given the budget crunch with record military spending.

But while most domestic outlets compared to cost and noted it was higher than what the US spends on other programs, perhaps even more interesting is that the US spends more just on spying than Russia spends on its entire military.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.