Last updated on: 4/23/2017 | Author:

Michael V. Hayden, MA Biography

Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Pro to the question "Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?"

“TARGETED killing using drones has become part of the American way of war…

The program is not perfect. No military program is. But here is the bottom line: It works. I think it fair to say that the targeted killing program has been the most precise and effective application of firepower in the history of armed conflict. It disrupted terrorist plots and reduced the original Qaeda organization along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to a shell of its former self…

For my part, the United States needs not only to maintain this capacity, but also to be willing to use it. Radical Islamism thrives in many corners of the world — Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Mali, the list goes on — where governments cannot or will not act. In some of these instances, the United States must.

And unmanned aerial vehicles carrying precision weapons and guided by powerful intelligence offer a proportional and discriminating response when response is necessary. Civilians have died, but in my firm opinion, the death toll from terrorist attacks would have been much higher if we had not taken action.”

“To Keep America Safe, Embrace Drone Warfare,”, Feb. 19, 2016

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Principal, The Chertoff Group
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government
  • Member, Board of Directors, Motorola Solutions
  • Director, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)/Chief, Central Security Service, May 2006-Feb. 2009
  • Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Apr. 2005-May 2006
  • Director of National Security Agency (NSA), 1999-Apr. 2005
  • Deputy Chief of State, United Nations Command and US Forces Korea, Yongsan Army Garrison, South Korea, Sep. 1997-Mar. 1999
  • Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency and Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, Kelly Air Force Base (AFB), Jan. 1996-Sep. 1997
  • Special Assistant to the Commander, Headquarters Air Intelligence Agency, Kelly AFB, Oct. 1995-Dec. 1995
  • Director, Intelligence Directorate, Headquarters US European Command, Stuttgart (Germany), May 1993-Oct. 1995
  • Chief, Secretary of the Air Force Staff Group, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, July 1991-May 1993
  • Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council, Sep. 1989-July 1991
  • Politico-military affairs officer, Strategy Division, Headquarters US Air Force, July 1986-Sep. 1989
  • Air Attaché, US Embassy, Sofia, People’s Republic of Bulgaria, July 1984-July 1986
  • Chief of Intelligence, 51st Tactical Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base (South Korea), June 1980-July 1982
  • Studied at Defense Intelligence School, Bolling Air Force Base, Aug. 1979-June 1980
  • Studied at Armed Forces Staff College (now Joint Forces Staff College), July 1982-Jan. 1983
  • MA, Modern American History, Duquesne University, 1969
  • BA, History, Duquesne University, 1967
  • Twitter handle: @GenMhayden
  • Received a Bronze Star Medal and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal
  • Retired from the United States Air Force as a Four-Star General in July 2008
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?