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Excerpts From The Iraq Study Group’s Report

From a joyous MSNBC:

Excerpts: Iraq Study executive summary

Suggests U.S. efforts evolve to support Iraqis; Syria and Iran be involved

By Andrea Mitchell

The Iraq Study Group has presented its report to President Bush, the U.S. Congress and will hold a news conference Wednesday morning to present it’s report to the American people. Below are excerpts of the group’s executive summary.

On redeployment and withdrawal

The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary responsibility for combat operations. By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments on the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq. At that time, U.S. combat forces in Iraq could be deployed only in units embedded with Iraqi forces, in rapid reaction and special operations teams and in training, equipping, advising, force protection and search and rescue. Intelligence and support efforts would continue. A vital mission of those rapid reaction and special operations forces would be to undertake strikes against al Qaeda in Iraq."

On Iran and Syria

Report says: "Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively. In seeking to influence the behavior of both countries, the United States has disincentives and incentives available. Iran should stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and use its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national reconciliation. The issue of Iran’s nuclear programs should continue to be dealt with by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus German. Syria should control its border with Iraq to stem the flow of funding, insurgents and terrorists in and out of Iraq.

The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria and President Bush’s June 2002 commitment to a two state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept Israelis right to exist) and Syria. As the United States develops its approach toward Iraq and the Middle East, the United States should provide additional political, economic and military support for Afghanistan including resources that might become available as combat forces are moved out of Iraq.

More from the report

"The Iraqi government should accelerate assuming responsibility for Iraqi security by increasing the number and quality of Iraqi army brigades. While this process is under way and to facilitate it, the United States should significantly increase the number of U.S. military personnel, including combat troops, embedded in and supporting Iraqi army units. As these actions proceed, U.S. combat forces could begin to move out of Iraq.” …

"It is clear that the Iraqi government will need assistance from the U.S. for some time to come especially in carrying out security responsibilities. Yet the U.S. must make it clear to the Iraqi government that the U.S. could carry out its plans, including planned redeployments, even if the Iraqi government did not implement their planned changes. The United States must not make an open ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq.” …

"The U.S. should work closely with Iraq’s leaders to support the achievement of specific objectives – or milestones – on national reconciliation, security and governance. Miracles cannot be expected, but the people of Iraq have the right to expect action and progress. The Iraq government needs to show its own citizens and the citizens of the United States and other countries – that it deserves continued support."

Here is a link to the pdf file of the report, if you have run short of sleeping pills.

And some of its brilliant recommendations:

RECOMMENDATION 22: The President should state that the United States does not seek permanent military bases in Iraq. If the Iraqi government were to request a temporary base or bases, then the U.S. government could consider that request as it would in the case of any other government.

RECOMMENDATION 35: The United States must make active efforts to engage all parties in Iraq, with the exception of al Qaeda. The United States must find a way to talk to Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Moqtada al-Sadr, and militia and insur-
gent leaders
.

RECOMMENDATION 40: The United States should not make an open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 41: The United States must make it clear to the Iraqi government that the United States could carry out its plans, including planned redeployments, even if Iraq does not implement its planned changes. America’s other security needs and the future of our military cannot be made hostage to the actions or inactions of the Iraqi government.

RECOMMENDATION 64: U.S. economic assistance should be increased to a level of $5 billion per year rather than being permitted to decline. The President needs to ask for the necessary resources and must work hard to win the support of Congress. Capacity building and job creation, including reliance on the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, should be U.S. priorities. Economic assistance should be provided on a nonsectarian basis.

RECOMMENDATION 72: Costs for the war in Iraq should be included in the President’s annual budget request, starting in FY 2008: the war is in its fourth year, and the normal budget process should not be circumvented. Funding requests for the war in Iraq should be presented clearly to Congress and the American people. Congress must carry out its constitutional responsibility to review budget requests for the war in Iraq carefully and to conduct oversight.

The report doesn’t seem to offer any helpful suggestions. Just cut and run at the earliest convenience. And further kowtowing to the Democrats now in power in Congress.

But what can you expect from these geo-political Solons, like Sandra Day O’Connor and the other old women involved?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, December 6th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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