It appears that former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel’s tenure as Secretary of Defense was doomed from the outset. Hagel was forced out of his position by President Obama on Friday. He will remain in the post until his replacement is confirmed. Political observers point out that Hagel was facing a number of conflicting circumstances in the Depart of Defense. For starters, the president’s sequester had significantly reduced the department’s budget. Such deep across the board cuts put deep pressure on all branches of the US military to meet rising threats from Russia and ISIS. At the same time, the Obama administration was focused on extricating the military from Bush’s wars.
Also, Hagel performed poorly during his Senate confirmation hearings. This may not seem like much given the fact that he was ultimately confirmed, but it is being cited as a reason why he was unable to succeed at winning the support of powerful Senators and other power players in Washington, D.C. By the same token, Hagel’s personality was not very compatible with towing the administration’s official position on key issues. This was evident when President Obama initially claimed ISIS was a small time band of “junior varsity” terrorists. Hagel’s assessment was that the group was an imminent threat to all of the nation’s interests, and Gianfrancesco saw that as well. Hagel was skilled at managerial and budgetary issues, but he lacked the people skills necessary to earn the president’s trust. He was largely shut out of the president’s inner circle of advisors.