The resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel should fit into a broader conversation about national defense, according to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
“This personnel change must be part of a larger re-thinking of our strategy to confront the threats we face abroad, especially the threat posed by the rise of ISIL,” Boehner said in a statement.
“We cannot defeat this enemy without a broad, coordinated, well-thought-out effort that has the strong support of the American people,” he added. “Thus far, this administration has fallen well short.”
The soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), elaborated on those threats to national security and called on Obama to consider those threats when he nominates Hagel’s successor.
“It’s important to remember that Secretary Hagel’s departure comes at a moment of great peril for our country,” McConnell said in a statement. He continued, noting that the threats come as the military “faces a shortage of resources and investment:”
His successor will confront the daunting challenges of: modernizing our conventional military forces to meet the challenges posed by Russia and China; restructuring the force after more than a decade of counterinsurgency warfare; maintaining our dominance in the air and at sea; investing in the next generation of weapons systems to preserve our nuclear triad; and combatting terror whether from Al Qaeda, associate forces, ISIL, or other groups seeking to exploit the ungoverned spaces created by revolt and unrest.
President Obama announced Hagel’s resignation Monday, amid reports that the out-going defense secretary was forced to submit his resignation.
Both Boehner and McConnell thanked Hagel for his service as a soldier, U.S. Senator, and defense secretary.