Senior defence officials called for NSA director's removal

Senior US defence and intelligence officials have called for the removal of the National Security Agency's (NSA) director, Michael Rogers.

The Washington Post reported on 19 November that Defence Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper Jr made the recommendations to President Obama, now serving out the final days of his term.

Clapper and Carter, Rogers' two bosses, reportedly have problems with Rogers' performance in the role. There have have apparently been “persistent complaints from NSA personnel that Rogers is aloof, frequently absent and does not listen to staff input”. His tenure as NSA director has been marked by several significant security breaches. The most recent example was the arrest of NSA contractor Harold T. Martin III, whose garage was found filled with terabytes of classified data on removable storage devices.  

According to WaPo sources, in contention is not just Rogers' performance in the role but the belief that the director of the NSA should be headed by a civilian. Rogers is not only director of the NSA but a serving US Navy admiral and Commander of US Cyber Command.

The suggestions come attached to another; that separate chains of command be created for the NSA and the Cyber Command.

Rogers became NSA director in 2014, succeeding General Keith Alexander. Rogers has been touted for DNI by incoming president-elect Donald Trump.

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