Reports out of Washington, in particular the Washington Post and the New York Times, say that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has submitted his resignation under pressure.
Hagel, a former Republican United States Senator from Nebraska, has been Secretary of Defense for less than two years. According to the newspaper reports, Hagel resigned after holding a series of discussions with President Barack Obama and other White House officials in recent weeks.
A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post Obama and Hagel “both determined that it was time for new leadership at the Pentagon.”
The New York Times reports Hagel’s stepping is the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and the struggles of his national security team to respond to an onslaught of global crises.
The Times reports Obama is expected to announce Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance today.
The Times also reports Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, who is 68, is a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Hagel was brought on to employ.