Brett McGurk served on the National Security Council under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. He was an early supporter of the surge in Iraq and also supported the surge in Afghanistan. In 2008, he negotiated the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq. McGurk pointed out that during Karzai’s visit to Washington this past week President Obama spoke about negotiating a similar agreement for Afghanistan. He sees this as proof that, although the withdrawal will be slow and the U.S. will continue to have a presence in Afghanistan beyond 2011, President Obama is intent on handing control of the country over to the Afghans.
McGurk is now a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is writing a book on his experiences in Iraq.