This content is not available in your region

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel resigns

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel resigns

<p>US defence secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned after just two years in the Pentagon’s top job.</p> <p>Hagel had questioned Obama’s strategy towards Syria in a leaked internal policy memo, saying the president had failed to clarify his position over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.</p> <p>But a senior defence official told Reuters: “What I can tell you is there are no policy differences in the background of this decision. The secretary is not resigning in protest and he’s not being ‘fired’.”</p> <p>Hagel’s departure, which was submitted by letter after long discussions with Obama, is the first major cabinet change since Democrats suffered heavy losses in mid-term elections three weeks ago.</p> <p>Hagel will stay in post until a successor is found, a senior Obama official said.</p> <p>Candidates to replace him include Michele Flournoy and Ashton Carter, who were rumoured to be contenders for Hagel’s job before he was appointed.</p> <p>Congressional sources said that was almost certainly not going to happen until after January, when Republicans take over in the Senate.</p> <p>House speaker John Boehner said in a statement: “This personnel change must be part of a larger re-thinking of our strategy to confront the threats we face abroad, especially the threat posed by the rise of <span class="caps">ISIL</span>. </p> <p>“We cannot defeat this enemy without a broad, coordinated, well thought-out effort that has the strong support of the American people. Thus far, this administration has fallen well short.”</p>