Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Kari Bingen's resignation from a top Pentagon intelligence position, announced on Wednesday, is the fourth key Defense Department departure this week.
Bingen, the principal undersecretary of defense for intelligence, will leave in January. While a reason for her exit has not been given, poor morale at the State Department and other agencies has been reported. Budget cuts and perceived apathy by the White House are given as causes.
"It's more obvious at the State Department, the criticism that career officials have been taking for doing their jobs, firing of ambassadors," Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. and the Senate Armed Service Committee's ranking member said on Wednesday "In Defense, there's a carryover, the notion of not only not being appreciated, but ignored [by the White House]. You have a national security apparatus at the White House that is dysfunctional. The president doesn't seem to be interested in facts and analysis, and I think [that] permeates down to the [Defense] Department."
Preceding Bingen's departure, it was announced Dec. 12 that Randall Schriver, the Pentagon's top Asia policy official, would be leaving shortly. On Dec. 13, Jimmy Stewart, the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, announced his retirement from federal service. The following day it was announced that Steven Walker, chief of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will leave his position.
Bingen has served since 2017 as the second-highest-ranking intelligence official in the Defense Department. She previously had several congressional staff positions, including policy director for the House Armed Services Committee.