The topline budget request for intelligence operations across all military services and Defense Department agencies in Fiscal 2016 i s $17.9 billion, announced the Pentagon on Monday. That includes funds sought in the Defense Department’s base budget and overseas contingency operations accounts. Officials declined to provide any additional details, but noted that the release of the gross number wouldn’t compromise any specific classified activities. This number is a big jump from the amount enacted in the Fiscal 2015 budget: $13.3 billion. The intel request encompasses all forms of intelligence-gathering, including classified programs. The Pentagon began reporting the comprehensive military intelligence budget in 2013. In a press conference on Monday discussing the Pentagon’s Fiscal 2016 budget request, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said the demand is “way up” for all intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities that DOD provides. Last year, the enacted budget for non-military ISR activities of the US government was about $50 billion.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.