Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned after serving as the Pentagon chief since early 2013 when he succeeded Leon Panetta. Hagel is a former Republican U.S. Senator from Nebraska. Iowa Republican Congressman, Steve King, says Hagel and the president appear to have been at odds over handling military policy in the middle east.
“Chuck Hagel might have spoken out a little too boldly about what we needed to do beef up our forces against ISIS. And it doesn’t fit very well with the president’s no boots on the ground promise,”King says. “And it doesn’t fit so well with the deconstruction of the U.S. military, the weakening of the military that the president has pushed so hard for.”
King says it looks like there is a significant disagreement at the root of Hagel’s resignation. Hagel was the third person to serve as President Obama’s defense secretary following Robert Gates and Panetta. King says there has been a pattern of politics in defense briefings since President Obama took office, going back to some staffers who were holdovers from the Bush administration.
“They would be sitting there briefing us and it changed dramatically one president to the next. Same faces of the briefers, it became political responses instead of tactical and factual classified briefing. And that is very troubling if you are going to push your military into a political operation,” according to King. Hagel has agreed to remain in office until his successor is confirmed by the Senate. King made his comments during an appearance on KSCJ radio in Sioux City.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)