Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, head of the Central Intelligence Agency since May 2006, has decided to retire from the Air Force but wants to remain as head of CIA. When Hayden, a long-time intelligence official, received the nomination to lead CIA, some were concerned about placing an active military officer at the helm. The Senate had no such reservations, however. In an April 23 statement, Hayden writes, “My personal decision to conclude an immensely rewarding Air Force career is a product of practical considerations related to military retirement.” He has served in the Air Force for nearly 39 years.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.