Brett McGurk served as Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the U.S. Department of State, where he helped build and then lead the coalition of 75 countries and four international organizations in the global campaign against ISIS. He served in senior positions in the Bush and Obama administrations and has led some of the most sensitive diplomatic missions in the Middle East over the last decade. McGurk is currently the Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne distinguished lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute and Center for Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.
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"McGurk was particularly concerned about how the withdrawal would leave US allies in the region, specifically the Kurds, abandoned in the fight against ISIS, a source told CNN. US coalition partners were also worried about the sudden shift in policy. For example, terrorist attacks earlier this year in Paris were hatched from the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria."
"Trump could not be more different. He rarely consults. Never ponders. Barely resolves. Does little wisely. His is a foreign policy of chaos, not the prudence and restraint envisioned by Pompeo and demanded by a significant majority of the American people. The opportunity for those now seeking the presidency, or who are prepared to contest Trump on the merits of his foreign policy, is to capture this emerging consensus and articulate a smarter role for America abroad grounded in the true meaning of Pompeo’s triptych: “realism, restraint, and respect.”Republicans and Democrats might even come to agree on such a formula. The United States will be far stronger if they do."
"'The US is prepared to remain in Syria until we are certain that ISIS (Daesh) is defeated, stabilization efforts can be sustained, and there is meaningful progress in the Geneva-based political process,' said McGurk."
"Former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk joins MTP Daily to discuss the Trump Administration possibly preparing military plans against Iran."
"China is making a risky bet in the Middle East. By focusing on economic development and adhering to the principle of noninterference in internal affairs, Beijing believes it can deepen relations with countries that are otherwise nearly at war with one another—all the while avoiding any significant role in the political affairs of the region. This is likely to prove naive, particularly if U.S. allies begin to stand up for their interests."
"McGurk, who would become the presidential envoy for the fight against ISIS, told Obama it would take 100 days to create a new political situation in Iraq that could at least lay the groundwork for a serious anti-ISIS campaign. The first order of business: getting rid of Maliki and replacing him with someone both the Iraqis and the international community could rally behind. For help, McGurk turned to one of the U.S. politicians who knew him best. “Biden was quite involved [in Iraq] throughout this period. I probably spoke with him every few days, and he was calling Iraqi leaders constantly,” McGurk added."
"The president decided to withdraw U.S. forces without consulting allies or understanding the facts on the ground."