How the money is divided among the 16 intelligence agencies and exactly what it is spent on is classified. It includes salaries for about 100,000 people, multibillion dollar secret satellite programs, aircraft, weapons, electronic sensors, intelligence analysts, spies, computers and software.
For comparison, last year's intelligence spending was about half the $91 billion President Bush is proposing to spend over the coming year on the Agriculture Department, and somewhat more than the $35 billion budget of the Homeland Security Department.
National security analysts outside the government usually estimate the annual budget at about 10 percent of the total U.S. defense budget, which in 2007 was about $430 billion plus nearly $200 billion in war spending. These analysts believe around 80 percent of the intelligence budget is consumed by the NRO, NSA, DIA and NGA, the national military intelligence agencies.