Iraq Report: Too Little Too Late

The release of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) report containing its recommendations on how the U.S. Government should proceed in Iraq was eagerly anticipated by all, except, perhaps, by President Bush. The report clearly showed that the current policies in Iraq, implemented by President Bush, outgoing Secretary Rumsfeld and the rest of the President's war cabinet, have failed and that a new course of action is desperately needed - something that I and the "Out of Iraq" Congressional Caucus have been saying for months.

Unfortunately, the President's mismanagement of the war posed to the ISG the incredibly daunting and difficult task of recommending a course of action that will provide stability in Iraq and the Middle East, restoring the credibility of the United States and rebuilding our military that has for some time been strained from multiple deployments. I agree with some of the ISG's recommendations. For example, I agree that diplomacy with Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria, is vital to bringing stability to Iraq. I also believe that the United States should resume the Israel/Palestine peace discussions, which have been dormant for far too long under this administration. Further, I also believe that shortly after the fall of the Hussein government, the administration should have outlined milestones to show the progress (or lack thereof) being made in Iraq.

Unfortunately, in sum, this report is too little too late. The ISG had a golden opportunity to provide the President with a way out of Iraq. Instead it offered a blend of "stay the course" and "change the course," which will only result in the further strain of our military, the continued deterioration of our reputation throughout the world and, worst of all, thousands of individuals - including US servicemembers - losing their lives.

Our troops are serving in Iraq - and around the world - with great courage and distinction. However, it is time to bring those serving in Iraq home. The ISG called for increased bipartisan cooperation in developing a plan that would end US involvement in Iraq. I hope the President heeds this call; otherwise my fellow Democratic colleagues and I are prepared to do all within our authority to heed Americans' calls to bring our troops home.