Hagel: US on stronger course toward security

2014-11-24 22:09
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

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Washington - Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Obama administration has put the Defence Department and the United States on a stronger course toward stability and security.

Hagel was speaking at the White House after submitting a resignation letter on Monday. He says he's "immensely proud" of what was accomplished during his tenure.

Hagel says the US has prepared itself, its allies and Afghanistan's military for a successful transition. He says the US has strengthened alliances and partnerships overseas while responding successfully to global crisis. And he says the Pentagon has launched important reforms that will prepare the military for future challenges.

Hagel is stepping down from President Barack Obama's Cabinet under pressure following a rocky tenure. He's committing to stay on the job until the Senate confirms his successor.

President Barack Obama says Hagel has concluded it's an "appropriate time" for him to complete his service.

Obama says Hagel will stay in place at the Pentagon until a successor is confirmed.

Hagel has had a rocky tenure of nearly two years in which he's struggled to break through the White House's insular foreign policy team. He stepped down under pressure amid multiple foreign policy crises, including the rise of the Islamic State group.

But in remarks at the White House Monday, Obama called Hagel "an exemplary defence secretary" and steady hand for strategy and budget. Obama said he'll always be grateful that Hagel has always "given it to me straight."

Read more on:    chuck hagel  |  barack obama  |  us

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