The Iraq Study Group presented its report to President Bush this morning. According to the NYTs, here are the major advisements.
According to members of the panel, the group concluded that American forces in Iraq should make a major shift in priorities over the next year, largely withdrawing from combat in favor of beefing up the training of Iraq forces. It also called for stepped-up diplomatic efforts — including talks with Iran and Syria — not only to stabilize Iraq but to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, news services reported.The issue now will be whether President Bush will take these recommendations seriously or will he merely skim the report and toss it by the wayside, endangering Iraqi stability and American credibility further than he already has.
According to The Associated Press, the report describes the current situation in Iraq as “grave and deteriorating” and warns of the risk of a “slide toward catastrophe” both within Iraq and throughout the region.
The Washington Post reported today that the group recommends that Mr. Bush threaten to withhold economic and military support unless the Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki meets specific milestones for progress on security and political reconciliation.