“A Good Formula”=USAF Minus NRO?

The split of the National Reconnaissance Office from the purview of the undersecretary of the Air Force—which became public in late July—still puzzles many defense watchers. Responding to a question Tuesday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters the split offered “a good formula.” (The new NRO director, Donald Kerr, is the first person to hold that position who is not also undersecretary of the Air Force.) Rumsfeld said he discussed the matter with the Air Force, the National Intelligence director, and Kerr. All agreed the move “made sense” because the NRO job was “a big enough task.” Rumsfeld added that the Pentagon now is trying to make certain USAF and NRO are “still very closely connected.” At least two lawmakers—Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.) and Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.)—questioned, in a July 27 letter to Rumsfeld, whether the move would result in a “lack of senior Air Force advocacy within and for the NRO.”