- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Pentagon’s top official for the Defeat-ISIS Task Force submitted his resignation Monday, effectively disbanding the three-year-old commission designated to strategy and planning in the multinational fight against the Islamic State.

Christopher Maier’s resignation follows a recent purge within the Pentagon in President Trump’s last few months in office that included the resignations of former Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper; James Anderson, the acting undersecretary of defense for policy; Joseph Kernan, the undersecretary overseeing intelligence and security; and Jen Stewart, Mr. Esper’s chief of staff.

“Today, Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller accepted the resignation of Christopher Maier, the Director of the DoD Defeat-ISIS Task Force,” Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Monday.

“The duties & responsibilities of the Task Force Director will be absorbed by the counterterrorism staff of the OASD [Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense] for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict and the regionally aligned staff of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy,” he continued.

The two offices are currently run by Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Anthony Tata, who was named to the Defense Department’s top policy spot last month despite not receiving enough support from the Senate to permanently hold the position when originally nominated earlier this year.

The Pentagon said the 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.”

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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