Iraq Study Group's Report Completely Insufficient

I was pleased that the Iraq Study Group (ISG) provided an honest assessment of how much the situation in Iraq has deteriorated and asked the right questions as to how to solve the crisis. Unfortunately, the ISG's recommendations for next steps were completely insufficient. Their suggestion that U.S. troops merely be redeployed inside Iraq was woefully insufficient.

I believe there is a better way to end the civil war and reach a negotiated solution. Rather than keeping the American troop presence in Iraq at current levels, we should remove 75,000 U.S. troops from the country as soon as can be practicably done and turn responsibility for security of a region in Iraq over to Iraqi Security forces. As long as United States troops are the primary security force in Iraq, the various parties in Iraq and across the region will not have any incentive to come to the table and negotiate a diplomatic solution. Turning over security to Iraqi forces is also the only way we will ever be able to determine whether Sunni soldiers in the Iraqi military will follow orders from Shiite generals to fight against Sunni insurgents. We will not know whether the Iraqi government can succeed until this occurs.

It is now up to the President to change American policy by implementing, at the very least, the recommendations of the ISG.  Congress stands ready to work with him in a bipartisan manner to make these changes.  It is critical for the security of our nation and the world that we take any steps we can to stabilize Iraq and ensure that it does not become a failed state and haven for terrorists.

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