US intel agencies tightening belts in 2011

Friday - 10/28/2011, 3:26pm EDT

AP Intelligence Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Promised budget cuts have started to hit one part of the nation's intelligence budget.

Spending on defense intelligence dropped by $3 billion, even though this year's budget for all intelligence agencies including the CIA rose by over $1 billion.

The Director of National Intelligence says the total budget for 2011 is $54.6 billion, up from $53.1 billion last year. But military intelligence spending, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is $24 billion, down from $27 billion last year.

The shift reflects the drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the shift from conventional war fighting to the CIA drone and special operations targeting of al-Qaida.

Secrecy watchdog Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists says this is a sharp reversal after years of steady growth.

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