There Is Agreement on a Course Change in Iraq

The recommendations from the Iraq Study Group deserve the full attention of the Bush Administration and the United States Congress.  We can all agree that a change in course and policy is needed to improve the situation on the ground.  This constructive report will hopefully help us reach a new consensus on how to move forward in Iraq.  The ISG report offers a genuine assessment of the combat situation in Iraq.  It discusses the importance of moving out United States forces in a responsible way that will not destabilize the region or diminish our efforts to build a safe and secure Iraq.

The Baker-Hamilton report cautions against premature American departure from Iraq saying it 'would almost certainly produce greater sectarian violence and further deterioration of conditions.'  The Iraq government needs to take control of its own destiny but it is incumbent on the United States to assist in that transition and to provide the training, support and assistance needed for Iraqi troops to become a self-sufficient force.  Regional leaders should be a part of the diplomatic process.  No one benefits from an Iraqi government collapse, which is what will happen without the support of the entire region.  The United States should play a key role in this diplomatic effort and work to stem the tide of regional conflicts without diminishing our own diplomatic standards.