Rumsfeld Cites Intelligence Challenges in Light of Hayden Nomination
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 11, 2006 The intelligence community has a far more complicated job now, during the global war on terror, than ever before, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday on the "Brian and the Judge Show" on Fox News Radio.
Rumsfeld told interviewers Brian Kilmeade and Andrew Napolitano that threats faced in the 21st century pose tremendous challenges for intelligence professionals. Gone are the days when the United States faced a superpower enemy and tracked big armies, navies and air forces around the world.
"We're worried about non-state actors getting their hands on & increasingly lethal weapons (and) taking sanctuary in countries that we're not at war with," the secretary said. "And it is a vastly more complex and more difficult task that the men and women in the intelligence community have facing them.
"So it's a tough job they have, but it's a different job than (during) the earlier period," he said.
The secretary noted that even before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he had concerns about intelligence. He recalled that during his January 2001 confirmation hearing, he was asked what one thing will keep him up at night. "The quality of intelligence" was his response.
"If you asked me the question today, I would answer the question the same way," he said.
Rumsfeld called Air Force Gen. Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden "an excellent choice" as CIA director and dismissed talk about the appropriateness of a military man heading the organization.
"I just don't understand the argument on military versus civilian," the secretary said. "It seems to me the central issue that people ought to be debating and discussing is, 'How does our country get the best possible intelligence to protect the American people?'"
Rumsfeld said concerns raised by some that Hayden, if confirmed by the Senate to the CIA post, will cow-tow to the defense secretary are "utter nonsense."
He praised Hayden's long list of professional credentials that he will bring to the job. "He is a person who has knowledge, background and position," the secretary said. "And he will use it, and he will use it effectively."