US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel directed on Thursday the Defense Department to implement the guidance President Barack Obama outlined in his national security speech delivered at the National Defense University today, including efforts to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In a statement issued immediately after the speech, Hagel said the president presented a comprehensive vision for continuing to protect the nation from terrorism, especially from al-Qaida and its affiliates, while remaining true to the nation’s values and laws.
“I have directed the Department of Defense to work closely with our interagency partners and allies to implement the president’s guidance, including the efforts to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,” Hagel said.
The secretary noted he has been closely involved in these issues as a U.S. senator, co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and now as defense secretary.
“I applaud President Obama’s strong leadership in defending the United States of America and advancing our interests around the world,” he added.