In the midst of an agency-wide crisis resulting from disclosures about the National Security Agency’s aggressive and widespread surveillance operations, NSA chief General Keith Alexander is planning to step down within months, ending his eight-year tenure.
Also departing the NSA by the end of the year will be Deputy Director John “Chris” Inglis, the most senior civilian leader at the at the intelligence agency, leaving President Obama with the task of not only filling the top spots at the NSA, but also at U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), which Alexander also heads up.
Officials contend that Alexander and Inglis’s departures are in no way connected to the controversies that have plagued the NSA since revelations by former contractor Edware Snowden rocked the agency with the disclosure of classified documents detailing extensive telephone, email and social-media data collection operations that included surveillance of U.S citizens.
“This has nothing to do with media leaks, the decision for his retirement was made prior; an agreement was made with the (Secretary of Defense) and the Chairman for one more year – to March 2014,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said.
Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, currently commander of the U.S. Navy’s 10th Fleet and U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, is the leading candidate to replace Alexander, according to officials.
“During my time as CNO (chief of naval operations), I spent a great deal of time and attention on cyber, or as we characterized it, information dominance. Mike Rogers was the best in the business and a widely recognized leader in shaping the future in that important domain. He would be an extraordinary successor to Keith Alexander,” said Gary Roughead, who retired in 2011 as the Navy’s top officer.
Read More Here…