General Michael V. Hayden
Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

Air Warfare Symposium
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
February 3, 2006

General Hayden: Good morning everyone. Thanks for the opportunity to be out of Washington. [Laughter]

I'm kind of here unarmed. You know, as a military officer of three-plus decades—I no longer give the exact timing, just three-plus…—I'm here in front of an interested group and I don't have any slides. [Applause] Thank you.

This is going to be in the form of a conversation. It's not going to be disorganized, I promise. There's going to be some hard points made here throughout, but it's going to be anecdotal because I'm trying to communicate to you something that may be more intuitive than cerebral. I'm going to try to communicate to you how I'm—and this is an unfortunate reality—looking back into Air Force intelligence. I've grown up in it and I consider myself an Airman first, even in these most recent jobs inside the intel community. But because of my recent experience I do have that vantage point of kind of looking back inside of how the Air Force views, deals with, and builds forward in terms of how it handles intelligence activities and intelligence people. So with that as preface, let me go ahead and start.

I saw this when I worked for Don Rice—and those of you who have been involved in this knew it well before I did—but I'd come back from a stint overseas in Bulgaria and a little work in XO and then a short tour on the National Security Council (NSC) staff and was working for Secretary Rice. This was in 1990, '91, '92. I had a young lieutenant colonel working for me at that time, now a senior officer, Dave Deptula. And Dave was a real airpower thinker, and still is. Dave was never bashful about sharing his views about airpower with me.

He had this wondrous slide that I have shamelessly copied and used in hundreds of briefings since, but it was the number of B-17 sorties required to have a 90 percent probability of kill (PK) against a room somewhat the size of the one we're in.

Dave starts with this slide and he's got little bombs and little B-17s, and he's talking about the mission in 1943 and 1944. I've forgotten the precise numbers, but to have a 90 percent PK on this room required something like 800 B-17 sorties because the Circular Error Probable (CEP) was well over a mile.

By the way, as an intel guy, I can still give the intel briefing today. If you're talking accuracies and the ranges of hundreds of sorties and thousands of bombs to have a 90 percent PK on this room, the intel brief's pretty simple. It's, “Mannheim, I think it's on the Nekar River. Okay. Any questions?” [Laughter] There isn't a voracious appetite for detailed information because your weapons can't use it.

Now you move up here to Vietnam, and Dave says 75 F-4s, or some number like that, gets you your 90 percent PK. Then he moves up to the first Gulf War and says one-half of one F-117 sortie gets you your 90 percent PK.

We recognize that as a fighting force because we have essentially given up mass. Now I need to be careful. We have not given up the effects of mass, but we are creating the effects of mass with something other than raw numbers. We are creating the effects of mass with precision.

That's kind of one plot line. There's another move afoot, one more modern. It happened in the last several years. Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin works for Dr. Steve Cambone, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Jerry has another way of saying it. I've heard this repeated by General John Abizaid as well as recently as last month. That find/fix/finish piece. Programmatically, that DoD budget is weighted way over here on finish. Right now, with the enemies we're dealing with, unlike the ones we grew up with, unlike the ones we developed our habits for—Group Soviet Forces Germany. Remember those? I miss those days. Those enemies were easy to find, hard to finish.

Now, look at the targets of today, whether it’s some idiot in a cave in Waziristan or rather small WMD production facilities… They're easy to finish. They're just damn hard to find.

Look, ever since the Civil War when General Ulysses Grant took control of the Army of the Potomac and did the head count and said, “hey, I've got more than he does,” American military thought has been a product of the American industrial age. Now we've made this psychic shift, finishing is easy, finding is hard, we'll do precision instead of mass. Now information becomes absolutely critical to our success as a service, and I'm really talking here about us, about we Airmen. We get it. And that's a hell of a burden on intel guys.

I was in Belgrade the day [fighter pilot] Scott O'Grady ejected out of his F-16. Do you recall that? At the precise time of shootdown, and I don't usually say this in large audiences, I was having lunch at the Yugoslavian Army Club with the J2 on the Yugoslavian Army General Staff. A fellow named Bronko Kyrga. Bronko was, I thought, a good intel officer, although I think he was an artilleryman by background. I think he later became Chief of the General Staff of the VJ. Bronko had done his homework at my first meeting with him, when I was a brigadier general at EUCOM. We just wanted to have some feel for what the Yugoslavian Army was thinking. So, as a baby brigadier at EUCOM, I could fly in almost literally under the political radar, go into Belgrade, have a meeting, and no one's thinking we're sending signals or anything. So that's what my duty was.

I walked into that first meeting with Bronko Kyrga and he gets up from behind his desk, does the normal Slav thing—salt and bread, kiss both cheeks—and says, “Michael, I feel a great kinship with you. We were both born in the same year.” Okay, that's a throw-away. My grandfather worked at the Jones and Laughlin Mill on the south side of Pittsburgh. Now [we] had everything except the terrible towel. He established deep personal contact.

Anyway, I'm having lunch with Bronko when the plane gets shot down. I fly out the next day. I'm trying to scramble through the embassy, what's going on and so on. I'm changing planes in Geneva, and I finally get in touch with Jim Clapper. Jim at the time was the head of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He told me what he could tell me on the cell phone from the Geneva airport.

Then Jim issued something quite stunning, quite incisive. I obviously remember it to this day because I'm going to tell you what he said. He said, “they're already beating the drums as to why this happened.” And he said, “Mike, I think we have now finally demarcated all US military operations. On the one side we have operational successes; and on the other side we have intelligence failures.”

When you rely on information so much, when information has become so critical to how we operate, that's frankly just the world that people in my profession are going to have to live in. That's just the name of the game.

Now with the Air Force coming to this realization in the late '80s, early '90s, and it really gained steam through the '90s, there are a couple of other things playing out there that make this hard.

Number one, there isn't enough money. There is not enough money to go around. And look, I'm going to say some modestly outlandish things here, so just give me a little running room here to paint with a wide brush and bright colors, okay? I know there's more nuance than what I'm going to say, but in general what I'm going to tell you is true.

The Air Force, the Army, the Navy. You've got the budget crunch of the '90s. You've got things getting real tight. You've got each of us, and I'll just talk about the Air Force, kind of falling back on core, C-O-R-E, and for us it's B-2s and 117s and F-22s and things of that nature. And we're king of throwing away things that are not right there near the central nervous system; culturally.

Intellectually we're beginning to think about, “whoa, we need a lot more information.” Culturally, habitually, the way we build programs, we're still reinforcing things that we're comfortable with, things that we're used to.

My community—in this case now I'm talking about the massive intel community thing—is aiding and abetting, because they're defending their budget, too. Look, this is a real cartoon. But by and large you've got the Air Force programmer saying, “I could buy signals intelligence (SIGINT), I could buy imagery, I could buy mass. Isn't there somebody else who does that?” They kind of look over that fence and say, “my God, there are tens of billions of dollars over there in that other budget. They do SIGINT and they do imagery and they do Measurement and Signatures Intelligence (MASINT). Hey, we'll just get it from them.”

Now I'm over here. I'm trying to justify those tens of billions of dollars. I've got people in the Army, Navy, and Air Force saying we've got to rely on those national programs. I'm going to, you bet, because that now provides more underpinning for my national intelligence program budget.

What does that mean? And by the way, this happened less in the Air Force than in other services, but it still happened in the Air Force. We began to bleed off organic intelligence resources. There was one point when America's Air Force's ability to take tactical photo reconnaissance was confined to four pods sitting somewhere around the Richmond International Airport with the Virginia National Guard. That's what I'm talking about. I'm talking about those days.

There was another thing, too, that made this info really important. We better get on with it, and it’s hard to do. In addition to these kinds of habits of how we spent money, we had some cultural issues. I saw [Former Air Force Chief of Staff] General John P. Jumper out there just about an hour or so ago. He spent a lot of time telling us about tribes and tribal hieroglyphics and how we had to get through that. There's some truth to that. I don't think it's quite as bad maybe as the Chief pointed out from time to time, but we were culturally different.

So now you're saying, “hey, these intel guys, they've got to be A Team. They've got to be right there.” And yet there are other forces—the way we programmed our money, the way we kind of culturally organized, our habits of thought, that made it harder for us to bring the intel guys on.

In 1996 we took what had been the ACSI, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, and we made him the XOI, remember that? Which is the structure I think we're still under until the Chief makes some changes. I've got to tell you, that is one of those primordial moments for the intelligence community. Here you had, in a very narrow sense, a guaranteed two-star position on the Air Staff, taking care of your cultural group, taking care of your ethnicity. All of a sudden we said, “no, we're not going to do that any more. We're going to drop him over here and we're going to put him under the XO because intel really is ops. That's a really good idea.” And Major General John Casciano was the ACSI and I was the Air Intelligence Agency (AIA) Commander at the time, and John and I agreed that this was the right thing to do. Now we didn't say it was an easy thing to do. We didn't say we couldn't mess it up in doing it. We could. But it was the right thing to do because the Air Force in its heart took that philosophical leap into the abyss and said intel is not a support function. Intel is a war winner. Intel is on the ops team. We created XOI. That's a good thing.

The other thing we did was to take our wholesale intelligence producer, the Air Intelligence Agency, and we tucked it up under 8th Air Force and Air Combat Command (ACC). It's kind of a convoluted chart and I'm not going to try to describe it. But in essence what we were trying to do was to operationalize Air Force intelligence. We used different words. We used phrases like “presentation of forces” and so on, but in essence, philosophically, at the higher order of thinking, at the level of metaphysics, we were making a fundamental shift in how we treated this specialty inside America's Air Force. Intelligence is not a support function. Intelligence is operations. So far, in my narrow point of view, we were absolutely on a roll. This was intellectually correct, this was courageously done, this was not letting past bureaucratic things get in the way of how you move forward. This was good stuff.

But I think we ended up maybe a half a brick shy of a load, despite the best efforts of folks—myself being one of them—involved in all this. As we culturally made the shift that intel was operations, we got it. None of us, and by the way at this point I've been around long enough that I was still the senior ranking guy in an Air Force uniform wearing this badge, so for a lot of this I take personal responsibility... We didn't quite recognize that as strongly as intelligence was operational, it had its own unique characteristics. I think we over-achieved a bit in trying to treat intel the way we treated other operational forces.

These are trivial examples, they really are, and we have already worked our way through them, but just to give you some examples. And folks in the front row in this room fixed these within 72 or 96 hours.

By the way, AIA is something called the Service Cryptologic Element. AIA is the air component of the National Security Agency (NSA). Does that make sense? By US law, the Director of NSA has OpCon over anybody who's doing SIGINT, including people doing SIGINT in the air component of the National Security Agency.

We weren't two steps out of the starting blocks in our new organization chart when I got everybody in my air component at Fort Meade getting orders for Air and Space Expeditionary Forces (AEFs). Do you understand why? We had a wing, a group and six squadrons up there. The system brought them under ACC. The system brought them under 8th Air Force. You know how stressed the force is. The personnel wheels just started cranking. We didn't appreciate—I didn't appreciate—how much adjustment we had to make for the Air Force to understand that some things we did for an F-16 squadron flying the trailing syllabus at Hill Air Force Base might not apply to a squadron sitting at Fort Meade at NSA under the OpCon of the Director of the National Security Agency. Because whereas the F-16 units were at Hill and flying at Hill, the squadron at Fort Meade only slept at Fort Meade. They went to work in Kosovo or Bosnia or Afghanistan or Iraq. Through the wonders of modern technology, these kids were already deployed. So when you tapped them for AEFs, you were pulling them out of the fight. They were already in the fight.

A couple of other things, and again, these are administrative, but they reveal that fundamental. We got it right, it's ops, but we need to better understand the true nature of the operation.

I mentioned that the Air Force footprint at Fort Meade is a wing, a group and six squadrons. By definition, that wing commander, that group commander and those six squadron commanders are the most talented officers the Air Force has put in eastern Maryland. They've gone through the board structure and the nomination and the selection for command. A wing commander, a group commander and six squadron commanders…

Let me tell you something else they have in common, in addition to being the best Air Force officers at Fort Meade. None of them come to work for the National Security Agency. They are given their positions because our Air Force system—and this is beyond the intel thing here. The Air Force system demands that squadron commander, group commander, for someone to advance.

Just think, you're in a promotion board, you're down at Randolph Air Force Base, and you're going through folders. You've got one in front of you, I've got a group commander or I've got the Deputy Chief of the Middle East North Africa Division and S3 Collection Division of NSA. This person's handing out towels in the Eagle Fitness Center and taking care of Article 15s. This person's running the war. This person's going to get promoted. The board's not going to understand the senior military officer of Middle East North Africa Division, S3 Collection Division of NSA. Do you see the conflict?

I take responsibility for that. I mean, I was the Director. I needed to have done a better job at pushing this forward.

So I guess a couple of big points I'd make is, number one, we got it, it's ops. Two, we're still making some of the adjustments of how we actually incorporate this new operational force and treat it inside a structure that's optimized for one kind of operations and less optimized for another.

We started a bit late and I don't want to keep you long. Let me just make a couple of other points and then I'll open it up to questions.

The Air Force organizationally divides its intel officers into two buckets. They call it intel ops and intel applications. The intel applications guys are the guys you're all very familiar with. Those are the guys in the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC). Those are the guys in the wing. Those are the guys shoving the information to you. The intel ops guys are the ones kind of I'm familiar with. They're the ones I'm seeing out at NSA or out at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). They're the ones creating the knowledge and the intel applications guys are the guys/women, applying the knowledge.

Culturally, we have always shifted in the direction of intel applications. Your very best people are out there in the CAOC. They really are. And I will offer the view that the Air Force is head and shoulders above any other service in the application of intelligence.

What we have done with CAOC and CAOCX and the 8th Air Force integration—again, all the good news about treating it as ops and putting us in a numbered Air Force and all that...that integration has performed miracles. We are less good, however, over here in kind of like the engine room of intel, producing it in terms of intel ops. We just have our weight over here. This is not vice or virtue. We just have our weight over here in applications. We have our weight over here less in terms of the creation of the information.

What's that led to? Three things. If you read the article maybe three months ago now in the trade press about frustrated intel officers...they talked about the glass ceiling and nobody can get beyond 06. It's led to that. Intel guys in the audience forgive me, a little bit of whining there, but there's some truth in there, too. There's some truth.

What else has it led to? It's led to the fact that there isn't a J2 in the United States armed forces on planet earth who dresses like we do in the morning. All the J2s at the commands, the last time I checked, belong to some other service. There are reasons for that. The things we have done over here, good things, successful things, things that have made us more powerful as a service, have had unintended consequences. We don't have a single J2 out there.

Think about that for a minute. That tends to have an influence on how America fights wars. You don't have an Airman out there as a 2 anywhere. It's got to affect the thinking of the staff and the decisions of the commanders. So this is a little bit more than, “I'm sorry, we didn't get enough kids promoted.” This now has an affect on how America fights.

Then, finally, I'd offer you the view, and this is kind of edgy, so don't hold me to it—I may get more enlightened as the days go forward. But we as a service are looking at macro changes—the French word for that is QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review) [Laughter]—in how America organizes to fight. And it's been hard for the Air Force. And we haven't won all our arguments. I'm probably not telling you any secrets or anything; maybe the Chief didn't tell you yesterday or the Secretary. As near as I can tell, one of the steep slopes we have to climb is that the world view of those people who seem to be making the final decisions, those world views don't quite comport with our world views, how we as Airmen view the world.

Why is that? Who made that happen? Well, is it the lack of Airmen inside this broad national function called intelligence, or the lack of Airmen in influential positions? And hey, I'm out of the game, all right? I'm Principal Deputy Director for National Intelligence (PDDNI) and doing other things. We don't have a body of people who are Airmen intelligence officers in and around here, so all that fine work we've done has had an unintended consequence.

Let me offer you one more thought about Air Force intel, and this is worth as much as you've paid for all the other remarks, too. I've talked to the Chief. He was the Vice Chief of Staff when I moved into Bolling Air Force Base. I was in the house next to him at 62 Westover, and we've had these conversations as I was trying to borrow his leaf blower and other things. As we move to kind of adjust to our successes concerning how operational we've made intelligence, we've got to tend to some other things. I'm going to offer you this one, and it's not the same bloodline of what I've told you before about how we presented forces and operationalized and organized. It has more to do with the outside world.

We need, I think, as a service to be a little careful. It's been my observation for 37 years that Air Force intelligence, even at the very top of its game, tends to be a bit mathematical rather than liberal artsy. If you draw the history line, if you think about real intel, you draw it all the way back to AWPD1, remember that? The air plan that defeated Hitler... It was pure science, pure math. What does a modern economy look like? What are the key nodes in a modern economy? Do those key nodes, if destroyed, bring that modern economy to its knees? How many of those key nodes exist in this country? How many bombs would be required to destroy those key nodes? What is the circular probability of those bombs? What is the survival rate of aircraft getting in to drop those bombs on those key nodes? Now all of a sudden I'm out here with the production rate of B-17s and B-24s.

We have a tendency to kind of think that way. Even when we mean it as a metaphor we talk about the end product of intelligence being cursor on target. Again, even when we mean it as a metaphor, our language is in this cursor on target sort of approach.

I can remember when I was a Command J2, Air Force, EUCOM. Something would blow up in Bosnia and the phone would ring, invariably at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The J3 would come running in. “I just got a call from the Joint Staff, the Serbs are overrunning Bihac.” And the next sentence out of the J3, actually a Navy Airman, was not “what's going on?” not “what can we do to help?” The next sentence out of the J3 was, “give me a target list.” Again, back to this kind of mathematical approach.

We just need to guard against that because I think the success of Air Force intelligence, the success of DoD intelligence, the success of American intelligence, is going to have a higher cultural context to it in the future. And we're going to have to train kids who can go up to the commander and say, “a JDAM dropping in Waziristan will have these physical and non-physical effects as a opposed to a JDAM landing across the border in Paktika Province in Afghanistan.” You see the point I'm trying to draw? It's not just blasting fragmentation any more. And we're getting there because we, above all services, have been leading the pack in what we call effects-based targeting. We just have to understand that one of the effects is who you make mad at you. One of the effects is what's the secondary and tertiary outcomes, even when you put it just where you wanted to put it?

I guess I'd summarize by saying it's a time of great success for Air Force intel, despite the article a few months ago. It has been matured by folks who don't wear this badge, folks like [Air Force Materiel Command Commander] General Bruce Carlson here and others who have touched and nurtured and pushed Air Force intelligence forward. But we're now on the threshold of doing something really big. Not only recognizing it as an operational art, but recognizing its unique aspects as an operational art, and organizing to exploit those unique aspects rather than making it fit a structure maybe better optimized for something else. Then, finally, widening the aperture a bit as to what kind of wisdom you need from your 2. Widening your expectations as to what it is you need to know before you can define success.

With that I'll stop and be happy to take any questions.

Q: You talked a little bit about our intelligence leadership and where we needed to go. How can the Air Force improve its ability to cultivate and retain intelligence leadership? And how can the service put more weight on human intel rather than electronic intel?

General Hayden: That's good, and I think some of the things I said earlier would be very welcome.

It's hard. I loved being an intel officer. I really did. Shoot, this started in 1969 when I came out of Duchesne, and there was a war going on then, too. I never felt distant from the conflict. I felt like I was a player from the beginning. I just think we need to communicate that message to the young folks to make them real players. We need to make demands on them, though. There is a real habit out there to report, let me be real clear. You can get by most days being descriptive as a 2 rather then prescriptive. You can get by as a 2 telling a hell of a narrative about things that have happened and people kind of like that and it's cool and it's a nice break in a staff meeting and all the other slides are about aircraft that aren't ready to fly. [Laughter]

But push them to be more. The Chief had the phrase, “predictive intelligence.” Push them in that direction. They'll respond.

I'd kick the podium, too, that it's about more than just the math, the right weapon at the right Designated Mean Point of Impact (DMPI). That cultural thing is going to be a big deal. So they'll push them out there to gain a second language, push them out there for different kinds of cultural experiences. And I understand your guy you pushed out to learn Arabic and had a tour in Saudi Arabia, well now you're fighting in Bosnia and, “oh, man!” That's okay. Just build a stable of folks. I speak Bulgarian, and it's a gift. [Laughter] And I've not really used it much since I left Sofia. I did some backpacking there in 2001. It was useful, on vacation. But professionally it's probably not worth the $100 a month you're still paying me to keep proficiency. [Laughter] But it has affected the way I think. It has affected how the synapses connect. Even when I'm not talking about or to Bulgarians it just broadens the aperture of cultural understanding. I think that's a big deal we should expect of the young folks.

Q: What’s the Air Intelligence Agency (AIA) doing to compensate for Air and Space Expeditionary Force (AEF) taskings concerning force-shaping issues on intel assets?

General Hayden: Thanks for bringing that up.

By the way, the answer to that AEF complaint I referred to as the Director of the National Security Agency, when all my guys got these letters... It was not to fence them all and say, “absolutely not, they can't go.” It was to sit down with the Air Combat Command Staff and say, “okay, now you understand what they're doing. We understand your needs. We'll work it out.” That's essentially what's happening.

I need to give credit where credit is due. I said I should have mentioned this in my talk, but you bring up AIA, so it reminds me…

I talked about not truly appreciating that intelligence as an operation has many aspects. The Air Force has gotten really good marks, however, in taking guys with this badge and extending the envelope. You've got Craig Koziol, the current commander of AIA, who just came from being wing commander at the 55th at Offutt Air Force Base. That's a big deal. That's what I was trying to stress earlier, it's about reinforcing success. This is like building on some things no one else has ever done.

I'm down there at AIA as the commander, and I get a phone call from John Casciano who was the ACSI at the time. He said, “Mike we've just talked to the Chief, we're shipping you to Korea to be the Deputy Chief of Staff of US Forces.” I hung up the phone and called somebody in the Pentagon and said, “was I just fired? They're sending me to Korea.” [Laughter] It was [former Air Force Chief of Staff] General Ronald R. Fogleman. He wanted this cross-feed from intel guys into other things. I wasn't the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intel. I was the Deputy Chief of Staff for the command. And the story be told, [former U.S. Forces Korea Commander] General John Telelli called the Chief back and said, “I don't need another intel guy.” The Chief said, “I'm not sending you an intel guy.” So there is good credit there that the Air Force has allowed this kind of cross-flow between people in the past.

Q: How will the National Security Agency (NSA) and the new national intelligence structure handle the transformational premise of moving from the need to know to the need to share?

General Hayden: It's been good being with you today. [Laughter]

I gave a speech about a week or two ago at the National Press Club about obscure activity going on up north, and I was responding to some press articles that NSA had flooded the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with. That NSA had flooded the FBI with lead information. I wrote the speech and I should probably be able to remember the paragraph. I really do find it odd, after four years of getting beaten up by the WMD Commission, the 9/11 Commission, the Joint Inquiry Commission, about the failure to share intelligence, that I'm now up here thinking that I've got to explain why I push so much stuff to the FBI. [Laughter]

We've actually gotten a lot better at pushing stuff. We could go on and on about this. This is hard, though. The usual mantra is, “just give me the raw stuff, just give me the reporting.” And if anybody asks for that my usual answer is, “okay,” and I go up there and we turn the switches, and then I wait for the phone to ring. Stop, stop. We can't stand it.

There is an art form to listening to two individuals communicate, a communication for which you are not the intended recipient, to have those two individuals, each speaking a separate Arabic dialect, in a conversation laced with Koranic allegory, between two individuals whose ability to distinguish the world as it is from the world that they would love it to be, isn't quite as strong as yours. There is a real talent pulling intel out of that.

So when you get to sharing, the mantra we ended up with at NSA is push it out the door the first time it's useable by somebody else. That's a different mantra from saying we push it out the door when we're done. Push it out the door when someone else can add value. That's kind of how we're drawing the line. That takes a long time, you've got to do a lot of adjustments. But the overall goal is when someone else can add value, even though we think we can add value better, when someone else is competent to add value, give it to them in that form. That's what we're shooting for.

Q: Regarding intel operations, what's the impact on language deficiency and cultural sensitivity?

General Hayden: I can narrow it down to the National Security Agency and cryptolinguists and so on, but you know that. That's just an ongoing problem. You know you need people who speak languages if you're going to be intercepting communications.

I think [Air Force Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley] was talking about a broader issue yesterday. He was talking about the fact that we're going to have E4s and E5s making decisions with strategic impact. Just in terms of the kinds of wars that we're involved with. That’s one reality.

The second reality is we're going to be in coalition forever. And I've got to figure we pay a price. Not that we insist the language of command is English, because that actually has merit because of how common English is. But when we insist the language at the bar is English, I’ve got to figure that just sets us back. So our ability to be able to work with allies and afford them sufficient respect, in that we’ve bothered to learn something of their language, I think that would really change an unfortunate and probably unfair image of us globally.

Q: What is the singular challenge you and Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte face today? And thank you, by the way, for fighting this thankless battle.

General Hayden: Thanks. We're not doing badly. We're kind of advancing across a broad front. Lord knows we've been able to hire some really talented people. I mentioned the wing up at Fort Belvoir. Major Fred W. Gortler III is the commander there and, by the way, I paint this as a cartoon. Although Fred didn't technically work inside the building, he was always inside making things happen. But that was extra-organizational. Fred had to take the extra step to do that.

Anyway, Fred's on our staff. Fred's now in charge of national tactical integration, taking the lessons that he learned at Fort Meade. So we've got really good people across the board. This is a big community. We weren't nearly as bad as folks were let on to believe a year or two ago. We were actually pretty good. But now, how do I put it? In terms of the creation of information, no one beats the American intelligence community, and everyone admits that and says, “yeah, you guys are good at that.”

Then I say, in terms of the sharing of information, no one beats the American intelligence community. No fooling. We're better than anyone else in the world. And if the President and my dad in Pittsburgh were grading on the curve, we'd be honor roll. [Laughter] But we're not. We're grading on an absolute standard; nobody drives any big objects into big buildings. So this is to push it even further.