The U.S. should pull nearly all combat troops out of Iraq by 2008 and push for a broad diplomatic and political solution—or face a “slide toward chaos,” according to the long-awaited Iraq Study Group’s report.
A line from the report: “U.S. forces seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end.”
Another interesting—albeit obvious—point: The report recommends that America undertake an effort to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in tandem with U.S. efforts in Iraq.
Conditions in Iraq are “grave and deteriorating,” with the prospect that a “slide toward chaos” could topple the U.S.-backed government and trigger a regional war unless the United States changes course and seeks a broader diplomatic and political solution involving all of Iraq’s neighbors, according to a bipartisan panel that gave its recommendations to President Bush and Congress [Wednesday].
In what amounts to the most extensive independent assessment of the nearly four-year-old conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 2,800 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis, the Iraq Study Group paints a bleak picture of a nation that Bush has repeatedly vowed to transform into a beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.
Despite a list of 79 recommendations meant to encourage regional diplomacy and lead to a reduction of U.S. forces over the next year, the panel acknowledges that stability in Iraq may be impossible to achieve any time soon.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6—Saying that “the situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating,” a bipartisan commission today urged stepped-up diplomatic and political efforts to stabilize that country, coupled with a shift in the mission of U.S. forces to allow the United States to “begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly.”
This could allow all U.S. combat brigades “not necessary for force protection” to be out of Iraq by the first quarter of 2008, the Iraq Study Group’s report said.
The panel studying the war in Iraq presented its findings this morning to President Bush, who said he would take their ideas “very seriously” and act on them “in a timely fashion,” and then to Congressional leaders.