The following is a guest article written by the President Barack Obama.
My fellow Americans, thank you for sharing your time with me today.
It is with profound and sad joy that I am announcing the departure of the last dissenting voice from my cabinet, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Now, we all know Chuck. I brought him on back in 2012 to replace Leon Panetta, who kept recommending plausible strategies and effective budgets.
Now let me be clear: I respect disagreement, but I will not tolerate it in my cabinet. So, during our retreat with honor from Iraq and Afghanistan, former-Sen. Hagel stepped in to provide critical leadership.
We all knew Chuck was a Vietnam vet, and that kind of experience is just what we needed. Then, well, ISIL happened.
Now, let me be clear, ISIL — which I must point out does not represent Islam in any way, shape, or form — has arisen in the power vacuum that Chuck singlehandedly created under what some folks might call “my orders.”
Hagel suggested that we put boots on the ground to effectively fight them. I call that a failure to adapt.
This isn’t about ideology or partisanship. The threat from ISIL requires a different skill set than former-Secretary of Defense Hagel was brought on to employ. The kind of skills that only someone with no military experience whatsoever like myself can bring to the table.
It’s time for a new leader to put my vision of global peace into action. Now I must stress that Chuck has been a wonderful friend. He’s been a steward of defense, a solid leader, and a wonderful voice in vital national security discussions. Which is why he needs to be replaced.
Preferably with a woman of diverse ethnicity.
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