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Military Officer Likely to Get CIA Nod

Hayden's potential impact at the CIA is difficult for many to predict because the agency's mission in Iran, Iraq and elsewhere is hardly transparent. John Pike, director of the think tank, said U.S. foreign policy has become a military policy _ a trend that began a decade ago.

With a general at the CIA's helm, "it would represent the culmination of the militarization of the agency that has been under way for some time," Pike said Saturday. "We are at war."

Among other pressure points, the incoming director will have to help sort out how the National Clandestine Service fits in with the CIA and other intelligence agencies. This organization, created in the intelligence overhaul, is made up largely of the CIA's spookiest operatives.

Goss' successor also will have to decide where the CIA's analysts will serve best: at the agency or new specialty centers, such as the National Counterterrorism Center.

The CIA wants to retain its most experienced staff and its pre-eminence, having once sat atop the spy pyramid because its director coordinated all U.S. intelligence. When the national intelligence director's office was opened last year, the CIA was relegated to a lesser position.

Hayden would have to adapt to the CIA's culture, which is considered more rambunctious than the military's hierarchy. That could mean that as changes are made, CIA staff may not be as quick to salute as would those at the NSA, which is part of the Pentagon.

Many military officials who join the CIA find they adapt to it.

For instance, the CIA's deputy director, Navy Vice Adm. Albert Calland, traded in his uniform for a suit and is known to most at the CIA simply as "Bert."

Retired Navy Adm. William O. Studeman _ who has served as CIA deputy director, CIA acting director and NSA director _ said the transition from the military to the CIA is not difficult for an intelligence professional.

"On the other hand, it takes some getting used to the CIA culture and mission," he said. And "some of the missions have changed under intelligence reform."

Hayden, whose career has centered on electronic spying, would have to convince the CIA's officers that he understands traditional spycraft. "Porter Goss knew the arcana of that business because he lived it," as a former CIA officer in the 1960s, said Tom Newcomb, a Tiffin University professor and aide to Goss on the House Intelligence Committee.

The CIA was created after World War II to provide a civilian intelligence organization, in part after the military failed to predict the attack on Pearl Harbor. The issue of civilian control continues to come up in debates.

Out of concern about military control of the CIA, Congress wrote into law that the CIA director and his deputy cannot both be military officers. If Hayden were to land the job, he would have to retire from active duty or Calland would have to look for a new position.

Some intelligence officials say civilians are essential to a healthy spy apparatus because they are not wedded to organizational charts and processes.

That is most important with good old-fashioned spying. For years, that was the CIA's bread-and-butter and the type of intelligence that the U.S. most needs in the fight against terrorism. The agency tries to attract independent thinkers who can analyze information and make decisions in far-flung locations, with less reporting back to Washington than is found in the military.

Hayden has been painted as someone willing to break the mold. Many insiders say he is not particularly close to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his top aides, whose power in the administration is routinely perceived as a threat to the CIA.

Rumsfeld has a potent card: The Pentagon controls more than 80 percent of the intelligence budget.

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© 2006 The Associated Press