ISIS Task Force director resigns from Pentagon post in continued post-election purge

The Defeat-ISIS Task Force director resigned from his position at the Pentagon on Monday amid the continued post-election purge at the Department of Defense.

Director Christopher Maier’s resignation was accepted by acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, the Department of Defense said in a statement obtained by The Hill. 

Maier is the most recent defense official to be fired or resign in the days after the election after the White House has cleared the Pentagon of several leaders including former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. 

Maier had led the task force focused on examining policy and strategy creation for combating ISIS since it was formed in March 2017. 

The department’s statement also said the responsibilities of Maier’s position “will be absorbed” by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict and staff from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

“These changes recognize the success of the military fight to destroy the so-called physical caliphate of ISIS and reflect DoD’s commitment to institutionalize efforts to counter ISIS and integrate efforts with allies and partners within our counterterrorism and regional policy offices,” the department said in the statement.

Maier’s responsibilities are being moved to offices led by Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Anthony Tata, who are considered Trump allies who were recently promoted, according to CNN.

Cohen-Watnick became the Pentagon’s top intelligence official while continuing as the acting assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict. Tata, who did not get Senate confirmation for a department policy position, was moved to become the top policy official. 

Trump fired Esper about a week after Election Day and replaced him with Miller. 

Esper’s departure from the Pentagon was followed by top policy official James Anderson, top intelligence official Joseph Kernan, chief of staff Jen Stewart and deputy chief of staff Alexis Ross earlier this month.

Tags Department of Defense ezra cohen-watnick ISIS Mark Esper Pentagon task force Terrorism
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