The decision, accepted by Barack Obama, was announced by the president himself on Monday, November 24, from Rose Garden. New York Times, citing an official of the Obama administration, said the resignation of Secretary is due to differences over the strategy against jihadi group of the Islamic States (EI), which is currently progressing in Iraq and Syria.
Chuck Hagel and Barack Obama held for two weeks of meetings to discuss their differences in terms of military strategy, and concluded on Friday it was “time to go” for the secretary 68 years old, the single Republican member of the administration Obama. “The next few years, it will be essential to adopt a different position” to the EI, justified a US official on condition of anonymity.
According to the New York Times, a successor will be appointed soon, and Chuck Hagel should remain in place until his replacement.
Persistent rumors in press
In early November, the US daily already disclosed in a note to Susan Rice, the national security adviser of Obama, that Chuck Hagel warned that the US strategy in Syria “might wither away” because of the confusion around the US position vis-à-vis the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The cancellation on November 4 of a displacement Chuck Hagel long planned in Burma, had fueled many rumors about a possible resignation of the Secretary of Defense and other senior military officials after the mid-term elections.
The United States launched air raids on the EI jihadists in Syria last August. On this ground, Washington is also in opposition to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.