News Release

Hagel’s “Forced Resignation”

HAGEL-web-master675The New York Times reports: “Hagel Submits Resignation as Defense Chief Under Pressure.” The following analysts from the Center for International Policy are available for interviews:

MELVIN GOODMAN, goody789 at
Goodman said today: “White House forced the resignation. Obama people dissatisfied with Hagel’s inability to act as spokesman for the Pentagon — and Hagel’s inability to control the public remarks of senior flag officers, particularly chairman of the joint chiefs Martin Dempsey.” Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. His 42-year government career includes tours with the U.S. Army, the CIA, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. His most recent books are The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism.

MATTHEW HOH, mphoh1 at
Hoh, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, previously directed the Afghanistan Study Group, a collection of foreign and public policy experts and professionals advocating for a change in U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Prior to that, Hoh served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and on U.S. Embassy teams in both Afghanistan and Iraq. During his service in Afghanistan, five months into his year-long contract in 2009, he resigned and became the highest-ranking U.S. official to publicly renounce U.S. policy in Afghanistan. He said today: “I expect Chuck Hagel’s resignation had much less to do with the as-to-be-expected political ad hominem attacks against Hagel, as it does with Hagel not wanting to go along with the re-escalation of the war in Afghanistan, the most unpopular war in American history, as well as his disagreement with the involvement of American forces in the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars that will prove counter-productive and morally and politically disastrous. I expect, in time, that Hagel’s resignation will be seen as an act of personal integrity and disagreement with perpetual war.”

WILLIAM HARTUNG, hartung at, @WilliamHartung
Hartung is director of the Arms and Security Project, also at the Center for International Policy, and author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex. He said today: “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s resignation underscores the missed opportunities that marked his tenure as Secretary of Defense. Hagel came into the job as a pragmatic moderate who was skeptical of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq and convinced of the need to sharply reduce U.S. nuclear forces. These were the right priorities, but it is not clear whether Hagel fought for them as Secretary of Defense. Since his appointment, the Obama administration has been moving in the wrong direction, from its renewed war in Iraq to its recent decision to pour billions of additional dollars into an obsolete and unnecessary nuclear arsenal.” Hartung’s recent articles include “The $5 Billion the Pentagon Doesn’t Need” and “Don’t Throw Billions at An Obsolete Nuclear Arsenal.”

Note: Hagel (and Secretary John Kerry) are sometimes called “critics” of the Iraq war, but they both backed the Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, as did virtually Obama’s entire foreign policy team. See IPA news releases: “Kerry Covers up Iraq War Falsifications,” “* Brennan Claimed no Civilian Drone Killings * Hagel, Smeared; Voted for Iraq War” and “Anti-War Candidate, Pro-War Cabinet?