It seems that the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA is experiencing another crisis. The problem has become especially serious after the retirement of its director, Porter Goss. The question of the next CIA head has been solved: it will be Air Force General Michael Hayden. However, it does not mean that this experienced intelligence officer will manage to succeed in retrieving the erstwhile image and power of the agency.
The recent five years have brought only a series of failures to the CIA. The misfortunes started with 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA. Afterwards there was a scandal with the weapons of mass destruction which Saddam Hussein was supposedly hiding somewhere in Iraq. The image of the agency was declining further on as pieces of secret information were appearing in press and no success was achieved in the struggle with Al-Qaeda terrorist network. The US administration was obviously taking efforts to reform the intelligence agency, although the work has brought no positive results yet.
It is difficult to say why Porter Goss left the position of the CIA Director. It was probably because Mr. Goss failed to make the bureaucratic machine of the CIA work effectively, or simply did not know the rules of the game. Goss was not on friendly terms with John Negroponte, the key official to control the activities of US special services. Negroponte is also a very influential patrol on neoconservatives. However, Porter Goss could have had friction with someone else too. When Mr. Goss took the office of the CIA director in September of 2004, he regularly informed President Bush of the work conducted by the world’s most famous special service. However, the tradition did not last long. Someone from Bush’s team probably thought that the president did not have to have the sufficient knowledge about intelligence activities.
Porter Goss is a civil intelligence officer so to speak. A person in the office of the CIA director was supposed to have a military title before, although the rule changed later. Porter Goss was involved in secret operations during the 1960s. In 1988 he became a Rep. member of the US Congress.
General Hayden belongs to a different type of intelligence officers. His working experience is mostly about administration and military intelligence. Hayden is considered to be a man of Donald Rumsfeld’s team. Michael Hayden chaired the most secret special service of the USA before - the National Security Agency.
Porter Goss sent in his resignation himself, although there is every reason to believe that he was told to do so. Furthermore, it did not take the authorities long to find another person to replace Goss.
If Michael Hayden becomes the Director of the CIA, it will obviously give Donald Rumsfeld even more influence. However, Mr. Hayden is not likely to be able to reform the CIA. The new director will definitely have to spend some time to get acquainted with the state of affairs in the agency and change its staff. Hayden will bring his own people in, and Rumsfeld’s interference will entirely ruin the CIA system.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov