Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to step down


Washington (CNN) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will step down from his position at the request of President Barack Obama, who is seeking to reassure critics of his foreign policy with the move, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN Monday.

The New York Times reported Monday that Obama is expected to appear in the Rose Garden on Monday to announce Hagel’s resignation, having asked him to step down last Friday.

The move, White House officials told the Times, was meant to acknowledge that the new national security threats facing the nation — most notably the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — call for different capabilities than those possessed by Hagel.

“The next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” an administration official told the paper.

A critic of the Iraq war, Hagel was brought on to oversee withdrawal from Afghanistan and a smaller Pentagon budget than ever before.


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises.

The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said.

The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.

But now “the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave.


He made the unforgivable sin of telling the truth.

I’m not hopeful the replacement for him will be anything but a “yes man”.


Since foreign policy is Kerry’s bailiwick, why is it being blamed on Hagel?
The cabinet must be really screwed up.


The devil at work, attempting to divide the Church by causing people to turn religion into politics, and politics into religion…Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.


Neofight, I see this over and over again.

…thinking this is more than coincidence to be happening at the same time Iran nuclear agreements fail and the deadline is extended.

Is this now w(Stuff)htf?


This actually really increases my respect for Chuck Hagel.


“Already White House people are leaking, ‘Well, he wasn’t up to the job,’" McCain said. "Well, believe me, he was up to the job. It was the job he was given, where he really was never really brought into that real tight circle inside the White House that makes all the decisions which has put us into the incredible debacle that we’re in today throughout the world.”

McCain noted that Hagel characterized the Islamic State as the greatest threat in the Middle East, while Obama was calling them the jayvee (junior varsity) team less than a year ago. He also criticized Obama for failing in areas like the Middle East, Ukraine, and responding to a newly aggressive China.

“We’ve had our disagreements but Chuck Hagel is an honorable man,” McCain added.

Apparently Chuck wasn’t enthusiastic enough about the non existing Syria plan as noted in his leaked conversation with Rice. I love the Obama admin. spin though. :slight_smile:


He looked sad and stunned today. I understand he was the only republican?
I wish him the best.


Just minutes after The New York Times broke the surprising news on Monday that U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel would resign, supporters of the Islamic State began celebrating on Twitter with a triumphant hashtag. The tweets described the defense secretary’s resignation as a massive victory for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and were accompanied by a hashtag that loosely translates to “The Islamic State Topples The American Defense Minister.”


Apparently from the on-set he was content with the Obama administration, since Oct the situation completely deteriorated with the leaked letter to Rice. Which would seem intentional. Reminds me of the same situation with the US Generals moved around when they became vocal and appeared at odds.

The Obama administration is tight nit and exclusive, Hagel really wasn’t on the inside either with them. This will be Obamas 4th Defense Secretary.

Hagel resigned in protest over policies he disagrees with or was fired from the Cabinet because the president or his dominating White House staff — which has alienated a string of previous internationally respected Cabinet members — could not accept Hagel’s advice or tolerate his dissent. What is profoundly important is that Obama has a Cabinet problem, a policy problem and a White House staff problem.

It is extraordinary and unprecedented in my memory that two previous secretaries of Defense, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, have written critical books while the president they served remains in office, that a third secretary of Defense is now leaving over significant policy differences and that the president’s former secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gave a critical interview in The Atlantic expressing concern regarding the same issues that troubled secretaries Gates, Panetta and Hagel.
It is equally significant that a long list of highest level national security members of the president’s Cabinet have believed and made it publicly known — correctly, in my opinion — that certain members of the White House staff have repeatedly and aggressively intervened in the conduct of security policy in ways that are detrimental to our security interests.

It is also profoundly important and extraordinarily rare in military policy to have Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, repeatedly suggest that he may someday recommend additional ground forces as necessary to defeat and destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), while the president repeatedly suggests, even before this advice is offered, that he will reject it.

It is profoundly unwise for any president to reject so much wise advice from so many distinguished advisers with such vast experience. It is profoundly unhelpful when any president presides over a government in a state of perpetual civil war between his staff and his Cabinet.

Meanwhile the Obama administration will continue to blame republicans, Congress and anyone else, and to anyone who will listen. But the problem is him and his unprecedented party and still he has, well, no plan.



Having read Robert Gates book ‘Duty’ I do agree this ousting follows a pattern of this president. Unfortunately this is one of the weakest command-in-chiefs in US history. Hopefully the next president has a firmer grasp on the delegation of authority and listening to advice of those more learned than he/she.


Who will replace him?


I want to see ISIS scared and running for their lives before being wiped off the face of the earth! I don’t want to see them celebrating!

Hagel told the truth that Obama didn’t want to hear. Let’s see who the replacement is.


It is of interest who requested to be taken out of consideration; Michèle Flournoy and Jack Reed (NYT).

Two names being talked about (that makes sense taking into consideration this administrations direction) Ashton Carter and Deborah Lee James (Air Force Secretary).


Amen, and when it wasn’t the popular thing to do. Public controversy is what this administration used and has before. I have to wonder who leaked the Rice letter.


Looks like it will be Ashton Carter.

Lawmakers Warn Ash Carter’s Easy Confirmation Will Be Tough on Obama


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