Both the director and deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon announced on Wednesday that they are to leave their jobs by early fall. The move is thought be the result of mounting pressure by top Washington officials.
United States DIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn announced to Pentagon staff that he is walking away from that role a year earlier than anticipated.
The news came via a joint statement made by Flynn and the agency's deputy director, David Shedd, who will also be vacating his post.
"We are proud of the legacy of sustained superb performance of the thousands of men and women we have served alongside throughout these many years," they said.
According to Washington Post reporters Greg Miller and Adam Goldman the director’s unexpected announcement is the result of increased pressure coming from the likes of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others who reportedly did not agree with Flynn’s managerial style.
“His vision in DIA was seen as disruptive; he’s not a guy to take the agency forward in a coordinated and comprehensive manner,” one former Pentagon official told the Post of Flynn, a former colleague.
Flynn, the source said, wanted to push DIA analysts and operators “up and out of their cubicles into the field to support war fighters or high-intensity operations.”
Critics of Flynn, the journalists wrote, considered his management style to have “sowed chaos, setting aggressive plans for changes without adequate follow-through” within the agency.
“I’m not sure DIA sees itself as that,” their source said to the paper.
According to Miller and Goldman, the decision to take Flynn out of his DIA role comes in the midst of other major changes within both the US intelligence community and military, both of which have been shaken up in recent months after former government contractor Edward Snowden began releasing a trove of sensitive material to the media.
“I think if I'm concerned about anything, I'm concerned about defense capabilities that he may have stolen from where he worked, and does that knowledge then get into the hands of our adversaries,” Flynn said of Snowden during a NPR interview that aired last month.
Previously, Flynn served in the US Army and participated in tours that brought him to Grenada, Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq. US President Barack Obama picked Flynn to be DIA director two years ago this month, and he was expected to depart from that role in 2015.
The agency has yet to select who will succeed either Flynn or Shedd, reported the AP.