Hagel's push from the Pentagon was about more than just ISIS and White House politics.
The secretary of defense is resigning midstream. It was not expected, but perhaps it is not surprising. While the bulk of the press coverage of his departure focuses on disagreements between the White House and the Pentagon on foreign-policy issues, notably options for dealing with the Islamic State (IS), there may be much more to the story than that. The Pentagon is at a critical turning point with respect to its budget and its internal management. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had not succeeded in dealing with either challenge, which may have contributed to his premature departure.