Louisville, KY – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement today regarding the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel:
"Secretary Chuck Hagel honorably served the United States as a combat soldier, a U.S. Senator, and as Secretary of Defense. We appreciate his service to the nation.
"It’s important to remember that Secretary Hagel’s departure comes at a moment of great peril for our country. 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.
All of these challenges come at a time when the all-volunteer force faces a shortage of resources and investment. It is imperative that the next Secretary of Defense possess a sharp grasp of strategy, a demonstrated ability to think creatively, and the willingness and ability to work with Congress. And it is critical that the President consider these qualifications and challenges as he considers such an important nomination."