(WASHINGTON) — Sen. John McCain could torpedo the Obama’s administration pick to replace outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey.
The Arizona Republican has expressed reservations with Jeffrey’s possible successor, Brett McGurk, because he failed to secure a small deployment of American forces in Iraq following the military withdrawal in late 2011.
McGurk will testify about his nomination before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday on which McCain is the GOP’s ranking member.
Other lawmakers, including McCain’s fellow Republicans, believe the career diplomat is qualified to serve as the country’s top envoy to Iraq, having worked in both the George W. Bush White House and the current administration.
However, McCain told reporters Tuesday that McGurk should have done more during the final negotiations of the Status of Forces Agreement to ensure some American soldiers were left behind.
Mostly, McCain puts the ultimate blame on President Obama for “the unraveling of Iraq that’s taking place.”
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Ivana Kottasova and Armelle De Oliveira, CNN
Sugam Pokharel and Tim Hume, CNN