US Defense Secretary Hagel resigns
Citing unnamed officials, the report linked Hagel's resignation to the U.S.-led fight against ISIL. (AFP/File)
Amid mounting criticism, increasing international volatility and a lame-duck Democratic majority in the Senate, the White House is set to announce the resignation of U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, The New York Times reported Monday.
Hagel, the only Republican member of the administration's national security team, will surrender his post to allow President Barack Obama to install a more agressive secretary in the face of the Islamic State's ongoing surge in Iraq and Syria.
"The next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus," an unnamed administration official told the Times.
A conservative who has always openly opposed the war in Iraq, Hagel was tapped to oversee the stabilization of and withdrawal from Afghanistan, and administer the Pentagon's smallest budget in history.
According the Times, the administration's list of potential replacements is led by Michèle Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense; Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a former officer with the Army's 82nd Airborne; and Ashton B. Carter, a former deputy secretary of defense.
Hagel's resignation will be the latest in a string of high-profile personnel changes in the White House in recent months. In May, then-Press Secretary Jay Carney stepped down while national attention was focused on the forced resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Attorney General Eric Holder has alsoannounced his intentions to resign, but not until Congress appoints a replacement.
Obama is scheduled to address the media at 11:10 a.m. to announce a "personnel change" from the State Dining Room.
- Hagel to finalize multi-billion dollar arms deal on first Mideast visit as defense secretary
- Next defense secretary admits: US not winning in Iraq
- US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in Rabat
- US Deputy Secretary of Defense Eases Down Rhetoric on Iraq
- US Defense Secretary Hagel visits Pakistan