Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is being canned or, as the New York Times puts it, “Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure”.
With Republicans in Congress showing they’re going to get serious about national security and our foreign policy, somebody had to go. As we fail to deal with ISIS and Iran plays us, someone has to take the fall. Note that Obama is ousting Hagel over the ISIS threat when the threat existed when Hagel was chosen.
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.
They can say this is not a firing, but then they say all sorts of things in this White House.
By the way, most conservatives were saying Hagel would be a disaster when he was nominated, but Obama wanted an anti-war Republican. Turns out, as predicted, anti-war Republicans are not good at fighting wars.