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McMaster to Brief Senate Committee on Plan to Defeat ISIS

President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left / AP
• May 9, 2017 2:57 pm

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President Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, will brief the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the administration's plan to to defeat the Islamic State in an off-the-record meeting Wednesday.

The committee's chairman, Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), told reporters about the meeting and said he is pushing to see an "overall" strategy for countering ISIS that goes beyond just Iraq and Syria," Defense News reported.

"I'd just like to see it. I know there was a 30-day review, but we haven't seen any evidence of any documents that were produced," Corker said of the administration's ISIS strategy. "We know they've been focused on Iraq and Syria, and we have really good sense of where that's going. What we haven't seen is the overall ISIS strategy, and it's time that we see that."

Trump ordered a review of the U.S. plan to defeat ISIS in late January, days after his inauguration. He gave Secretary of Defense James Mattis 30 days to create a "preliminary draft" of a comprehensive strategy, and on Feb. 27, Mattis presented his plan to the White House.

The Pentagon chief presented a comprehensive approach to address the threat posed by ISIS, according to the Department of Defense.

"This is not just a military plan," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said at the time. "It draws upon all elements of national power–diplomatic, financial, cyber, intelligence, [and] public diplomacy, and it's been drafted in close coordination with our interagency partners."

While Corker said he and other lawmakers have not seen the plan yet, he confirmed McMaster will brief them on its contents in the closed-door meeting.

"McMaster is coming into our committee tomorrow to have an off-the-record discussion, and that's one of the things we'll be talking to him about," the Tennessee Republican said.

Corker said he had traveled to Iraq and been briefed on the situation there, giving him a strong understanding of the situation on the ground.

McMaster's briefing comes as the administration considers further military action against ISIS in Syria, as well as a possible troop surge into Afghanistan, intended in part to stop the terrorist group from spreading further in the country and to roll back Taliban gains.