US defence secretary Chuck Hagel resigns

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel resigns

WASHINGTON: The US defence secretary Chuck Hagel has tendered his resignation which has also been accepted by the President Barack Obama, a US senior defence official said on Monday.

However, Hagel will remain in office until the US Senate confirms his successor, the official said.

The 68-year-old Hagel, who served as Republican senator from Nebraska for 12 years (1997–2009), spent only less than two years as the US defence secretary after he took over the top US military post in 2013.

The official told the Associated Press that Hagel and President Obama both “determined that it was time for new leadership in the Pentagon” and had been discussing the move for weeks.

Hagel reportedly resigned amid a shift in the US military strategy to fight Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria, according to The New York Times.

The newspaper said that President Obama had asked Hagel to step down after the defence secretary opened up discussions of his leaving.

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