Gates unlikely to rein in Pentagon on intelligence

Gates unlikely to rein in Pentagon on intelligencefrom reuters: Robert Gates is unlikely to rein in the Pentagon’s controversial post-September 11 expansion into intelligence, despite concerns the U.S. military is ill-suited for espionage outside the battlefield, experts say.

But Gates, the former CIA director who will be sworn in as defense secretary on Monday, could help heal a rift between the Pentagon and civilian intelligence agencies caused by the confrontational tactics of his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld.

“You’re going to have a real change in tone at the top, and the watchword will be ‘practicality,”‘ said Robert Grenier, former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center.

Well-known for his zeal for cooperation, Gates will make good on a public pledge to support U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte, whose 20-month-old office oversees 16 agencies, including several that are operated by the Defense Department.

“I anticipate generally smooth relations between military and civilian intelligence with Gates as secretary of defense,” said former CIA acting Director John McLaughlin

“Since the Reagan administration, we’ve been at war a lot,” said Richard Kerr, a deputy director of central intelligence under Gates. “The nature of the requirements for defense has changed quite a bit. Quite realistically, they want to satisfy their own requirements.”