Pen­tagon takeover

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

De­fense con­ser­va­tives in and out of gov­ern­ment are lament­ing the ouster of De­fense Sec­re­tary Don­ald H. Rums­feld and the nom­i­na­tion of for­mer CIA Di­rec­tor Robert M. Gates as a takeover at­tempt by an­ticon­ser­va­tive Repub­li­cans.

Specif­i­cally, con­ser­va­tives say Mr. Gate­sisan­a­gentof­formerSec­re­tary ofS­tateJamesA.Bak­erIIIand­former Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Brent Scowcroft,whoare­fromthe“re­al­ist” school of na­tional se­cu­rity ad­vo­cates and who op­pose the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion’sag­gres­sive­waron­ter­ror­ism.

Mr.Bak­er­cur­rent­lylead­s­thes­pe­cial task force on Iraq, also be­ing headed by for­mer Rep. Lee H. Hamil­ton, that is ex­pected to rec­om­mend­chang­ingth­e­course­ofthe­war on ter­ror­ism.

“This is a vic­tory for de­featism,” said a for­mer high-rank­ing de­fense of­fi­cial, op­posed to the Baker-Scowcroft­team,ofMr.Gates’nom­i­na­tion.

The nom­i­na­tion of a ca­reer CIA of­fi­cer also is seen by de­fense con­ser­va­tives as mark­ing the be­gin­ning of a power grab of the De­fense De­part­ment by the CIA, which had been kept at bay by Mr. Rums­feld’s pol­icy of im­prov­ing the mil­i­tary’s own intelligence ca­pa­bil­i­ties, in­de­pen­dent of the CIA.

Mr. Gates is ex­pected to ap­point key aides who share his pro-CIA views, we are told.

Among the first of­fi­cials likely to be re­placed, of­fi­cials tell us, is Stephen Cam­bone, a close Rums­feld ad­viser and un­der­sec­re­tary of de­fense for intelligence.

Mr. Cam­bone is known to want to stay on in the plum post, but the bet­ting among of­fi­cials is that Mr. Gates willap­pointo­ne­ofhiskeyaidestothe in­tel­li­gence­un­der­sec­re­tary­po­si­tion and some­one likely to have a CIA, as op­posed to Pen­tagon, back­ground.

Peter W. Rod­man, as­sis­tant de­fense sec­re­tary for in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity af­fairs, part of the pol­icy shop, told­hisstaf­fonNov.9thathe­p­lansto step down.

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