Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group

Iraq Study Group
Executive Summary
The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no
path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be im-
proved.
In this report, we make a number of recommendations
for actions to be taken in Iraq, the United States, and the re-
gion. Our most important recommendations call for new and
enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the re-
gion, and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq
that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat
forces out of Iraq responsibly. We believe that these two rec-
ommendations are equally important and reinforce one another.
If they are effectively implemented, and if the Iraqi government
moves forward with national reconciliation, Iraqis will have an
opportunity for a better future, terrorism will be dealt a blow,
stability will be enhanced in an important part of the world, and
America’s credibility, interests, and values will be protected.
The challenges in Iraq are complex. Violence is increasing
in scope and lethality. It is fed by a Sunni Arab insurgency, Shi-
ite militias and death squads, al Qaeda, and widespread crimi-
nality. Sectarian conflict is the principal challenge to stability.
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There is much of interest in the report of the Iraq Study Group. First, it is an attempt by established political powers to stay in charge.
I find very interesting the comments by Lee Hamilton and Leon Pannetta , that "this nation is deeply divided." and that,
"You can not conduct a war with the nation this divided. "

Their goal is to get everyone to agree to their consensus. Of course, they mean all the political leaders which matter. Jim Baker of the Carlyle Group is confident that we can talk with Syria. He should know.
Duane Campbell
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