Back in February, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn defined the purposes of his agency before a Senate hearing. The DIA’s mission is to “prevent strategic surprise, deliver a strategic advantage and to deploy globally” to allow the U.S. government to “understand the threats it faces, enable decisions and actions” and prepare to face future dangers, he said.
Now Flynn and his deputy, David Shedd, are on their way out, and there are some reports that they are being pushed out due to concerns about Flynn’s leadership style. The DIA released a statement saying that both Flynn and Shedd will retire by early fall.
The departure comes at a time of transition for the DIA and for U.S. military intelligence efforts more broadly. The DIA describes itself as “the principal source of foreign intelligence to combat-related missions,” in contrast to the Central Intelligence Agency, which “is focused on providing intelligence to the president and his Cabinet.” But as the U.S. military withdraws the bulk of its forces from Afghanistan by the end of this year, closing out more than a decade of major operations in that country as well as Iraq, the DIA’s role is set to change.