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Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Will Step Down

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
DIA Public Affairs
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

The Army general who heads the Defense Intelligence Agency is leaving a year early and retiring.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but sources say he's stepping down because he's fed up with bureaucratic fights in Washington.

Flynn is expected to announce his retirement within the next week.

The outspoken general has clashed with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the Pentagon's civilian intelligence chief Michael Vickers.

Sources say Vickers wanted to trim the size of the intelligence staffs that serve the military commands overseas and Flynn fought against him. Flynn's backers say it was one of those staffs that kept President Obama and others apprised of the Ukrainian crisis.

But Flynn's detractors say his management style was chaotic and he failed to follow through on his plans. One of his plans was to move DIA employees from Washington to the field to support military commanders.

Update at 5:58 p.m. ET. Deputy Is Stepping Down Too:

Flynn and his deputy David R. Shedd announced their plans to retire in a message to DIA employees today.

"As we look back on our nearly 70 combined years of service to DIA, our military, the Intelligence Community (IC), and to our nation, 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," the men said in their message. "It has been our distinct honor to serve with you and so many others in defense of our nation."

Their replacements have not been announced. Both men are expected to step down in fall of 2014.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tom Bowman is a NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon.