Pentagon to Obama: icanhasbilliondollars plz?

Capitol Hill may be awash in tough talk on cuts to domestic programs, but that’s not stopping the Pentagon from seeking an additional billion dollars in funding for cyber security, according to a report from Nextgov.com.

Capitol Hill may be awash in tough talk on cuts to domestic programs, but that’s not stopping the Pentagon from seeking an additional billion dollars in funding for cyber security, according to a report from Nextgov.com.

The Department of Defense is requesting $3.2 billion, almost $1 billion more than the $2.3 billion the Pentagon requested from the Obama administration’s 2012 budget for network security.  The increased funding request reflects a re-categorization of a number of existing programs that were found to be cyber-security related, the DoD said. 

According to the report, the money would pay for information assurance programs, such as critical public infrastructure, digital certificates, and other private sector projects that support the military. However, the $2.3 billion figure reflected only a partial picture of their information assurance budget. The DoD claims that the new $3.2 billion budget better accounts for programs and initiatives both related and unrelated to information assurance activities across various defense agencies and services, said DoD spokesperson, April Cunningham.

“The department recognizes that there are other activities not traditionally captured as part of its information assurance budget that are integral to its overall cyber security posture,” says Cunningham. “The department is in the process of assessing whether the information assurance justification book should be expanded to include these additional cyber security items in future submissions.”

Of the more $944 million increase, the DoD is requesting $500 million in funding spread across some 75 communications security activities at specific agencies and services. Funding related to information assurance for these programs is only a portion of the programs’ funding request, meaning that it is not readily identifiable in the DoD budget exhibits, Cunningham said. 

The remaining $444 million would be allocated to elements outside standard information assurance accounts such as cyber-operations, innovation, and forensics.

Cunningham says the specifics are provided to congress in detail in the Pentagon’s 2012 classified budget book.

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