U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is reportedly stepping down from his position.
According to the New York Times, President Barack Obama will announce Hagel’s resignation during a Rose Garden appearance on Monday.
Hagel’s stint as the U.S. Defense Secretary has been mired by controversy ever since President Obama first nominated him for the post. The 68-year-old veteran was always deemed not Republican enough for the right, and not liberal enough for the left.
The officials who spoke to the New York Times said that President Obama’s decision to force Hagel out was a ‘recognition’ of the threat that ISIS posed. Beyond that, it appears as though he never quite meshed with the Obama Administration.
"Mr. Hagel struggled to fit in with Mr. Obama’s close circle and was viewed as never gaining traction in the administration after a bruising confirmation fight among his old Senate colleagues, during which he was criticized for seeming tentative in his responses to sharp questions," the New York Times article pointed out.
Hagel became renknowned for his anti-war stance as it pertained to Iraq and Afghanistan, and he came in under the presumption that he would oversee America’s withdrawal from both countries.
As noted by the New York Times, these are the top names being considered to replace Hagel:
At the top of the list are Michèle Flournoy, the former under secretary of defense; Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and a former officer with the Army’s 82nd Airborne; and Ashton B. Carter, a former deputy secretary of defense.
Source: New York Times / Photo Credit Associated Press