Iraq Study Group Plan Is the Only Comprehensive Solution (Sen. Lamar Alexander)

The Salazar-Alexander amendment is the only piece of legislation on the floor that is a bipartisan and comprehensive solution to the Iraq War. It gives us a genuine opportunity to join with the president and send the most important thing to our troops that we can send them, other than funding, which is the message: "We're unified in support of their mission."

In December, we had ten distinguished Americans -- five Democrats and five Republicans -- unanimously agree on this recommendation. They included leaders from President Clinton's administration, President Reagan's, and the first President Bush's; if they can unanimously agree, I believe 60 percent of us ought to be able to agree.

The amendment would, number one, get us out of the combat business in Iraq and into the support, equipping, and training business over about a year, subject to developments on the ground. Number two, it would define a long-term, limited role for the United States in Iraq, and, number three, it would step up regional political and diplomatic efforts.

That's exactly what we need to do. I think there's a consensus in the Senate for that, so if Senator Reid will back off and the president will be more flexible and let that consensus emerge, I believe that's the path toward success.