Iraq Report Is Out and Bush Must Listen

The Iraq Study Group’s report supports many things I have said previously: that "stay the course" is not an option, that the Iraqis must take responsibility for their country, and that regional diplomacy and a political solution are our only real options in Iraq. I hope the President will listen to the bipartisan, highly qualified members of the Iraq Study Group and move past his refusal to listen to informed, credible voices in Congress.

When asked yesterday if we were winning in Iraq, Robert Gates, the President's Secretary of Defense nominee, told the Senate Armed Services Committee simply “no.
The President’s reaction in the coming days will tell whether he has learned the lessons of November 2006. The American people spoke clearly that they have had enough of government by slogan. They used their vote to demand, among other things, a real plan for success in Iraq.

A key part of that plan, which I have advocated for months and that the ISG’s report confirms, is that our troops should be redeployed over a fairly rapid period of time and shift from combat duty to training and support for the Iraqi military.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I look forward to working with Representative Skelton and others on the committee to closely examine the ISG’s recommendations in the 110th Congress.

President Bush has a key opportunity here. Let’s hope he seizes it.

I encourage everyone to take a look at the report and learn more about the bipartisan Iraq Study Group’s recommendations.

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