White House Official: Hagel ‘Not Up to the Job’

Now that the news has broken, more details are beginning to leak out of the White House concerning Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s departure, first reported by the New York Times.

According to NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszweski the White House forced Hagel to resign, having lost confidence in his ability to manage the Pentagon in the face of chronic foreign policy challenges.

“He wasn’t up to the job,” said one administration official, speaking, natch, on the condition of anonymity.

Hagel, Obama’s sole Republican cabinet member, became Defense Secretary in February 2013 after a bitter confirmation process. His term has seen the rise of ISIS, Russia’s antagonism in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the ebola threat, and other crises.

Per the Times’ report, Hagel was selected to lead the Afghanistan drawdown and oversee budget constrictions; with a long fight against ISIS looming, Obama wanted someone with a “different kind of focus.”

[h/t NBC News]

[Image via White House Flickr Feed]

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