Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Kari Bingen became the fourth Pentagon official to announce her resignation in a week and will leave next month, The Hill reported Wednesday.
"The department's commitment to providing unmatched intelligence as we implement the National Defense Strategy remains unwavering," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Uriah Orland said in a statement. "We appreciate her service to the department and wish her continued success in the next chapter of her life."
Her resignation follows three other departures of key defense officials in the past seven days, only adding to a number of openings within the Defense Department, with six of the 21 deputy assistant secretary of Defense policy positions still empty.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said the departures are only "a normal rotation, folks have been at it hard for two years now, two-plus years. You have this happen even last year."
However, Senate Armed Services Committee's ranking member, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said the series of departures is a sign of a broader "dysfunction" and "hollowing out" of the national security mechanism by the Trump administration, according to DefenseNews.
"The president doesn't seem to be interested in facts and analysis, and I think [that] permeates down to the [Defense] Department," Reed added.
Reed stressed this has created a situation in which, with fewer career professionals to carry the load, "you're not anticipating problems, and you're not as well prepared to respond to problems."
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