Update: Well that was a quick downfall. Facing revelations that he was possibly exchanging information with reporter Gina Chon of The Wall Street Journal in exchange for sexual contact (or possibly just having an affair and dangling his position to impress that reporter) McGurk has withdrawn.
Brett H McGurk has been named the new ambassador to Iraq.
From the White House:
Brett H. McGurk is currently senior advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. Previously, he served as a senior advisor to Ambassadors Ryan Crocker and Christopher Hill in Baghdad. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. McGurk served on the National Security Council, initially as Director for Iraq and later as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to 2005, he was a legal advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. He also worked as an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. From 2001 to 2002, he served as a law clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States. Previously, Mr. McGurk was a law clerk for Judge Dennis Jacobs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Judge Gerard Lynch of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He received a B.A. from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from Columbia University.
Here is a speech he gave to the Senate Armed Services Committee on November 5th 2011. It contains his roadmap for Iraq. It essentially comes down to two things. Continuing to combat the influence of Iran through internal security and building up infrastructure and corporate relations to produce oil and “help” them figure out where to put their profits. Let’s hope it isn’t in giant global banks…
In the economic area, Iraq is rapidly becoming – in the words of the U.N. Development Program – “the world’s oil superpower with the ability to influence markets on a global scale.” Its oil output will surpass Iran’s in two years and double in five years. Iraqi officials are now focused on public services and how best to invest their country’s resources – a sea change from four years ago. We can help them.
The SFA (Strategic Framework Agreement) envisions permanent structures for linking Iraqi officials and business leaders with American companies and expertise. It further envisions bilateral cooperation to complete Iraq’s accession to the WTO and other international financial institutions. Iraq’s global integration is in our mutual interests and can be a mainstay of U.S. policy.
I think you can also take from this appointment that while the bulk of our troops will be out the United States won’t be leaving Iraq anytime soon.
Also see his piece Not an End But a Beginning in Iraq:
To be sure, Iran retains great influence in Baghdad. But so do we. Over the course of our talks this summer, the Iraqi government quietly dismantled Iranian-backed militia groups in Maysan province, on the Iranian border. It sent messages to Tehran that any attack on U.S. forces would be considered an attack on the Iraqi state. It completedthe purchase of 18 F-16s, becoming the world’s ninth-largest purchaser of U.S. military equipment — and the fourth-largest in the region behind Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. These are the building blocks of a real defense partnership, and they do not require the basing of U.S. troops.
In addition, and against the heavy lobbying of Tehran, Iraq invited international oil firms to help develop its infrastructure. The oil is now flowing. Daily production is about to top 3 million barrels for the first time in decades. Within two years, Iraq is projected to surpass Iran’s daily exports — and within five years to double its total production.
Also interesting from the Washington Post:
Sources say McGurk, more recently an international affairs fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), has a very good relationship with Prime Minister Nouri al- Malaki — something that is seen as increasingly important of late, given the substantially diminished U.S. influence in the country.