McConnell ISG Report Reaction

For the past several months a study group has been looking into the situation in Iraq. This morning the group released its findings.

The report bluntly warned, “There is not a path that can guarantee success ... But the prospects can be improved.”

Some of the recommendations include enhanced diplomacy to stabilize the country and the withdrawal of most combat troops by early 2008.

U.S. Senate Majority Whip, Mitch McConnell released the following statement regarding the ISG Report:

“I think we all know there is no quick or easy way to complete the important mission in Iraq. And though we won’t reach agreement overnight, this is an opportunity for us to work in a bipartisan way."

After delivering its long-awaited report to the nation, the Iraq Study Group admitted there’s no magic formula to solve the problems in Iraq.

“The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating ... The current approach is not working and the ability of the United States to influence events is diminishing,” said Lee Hamilton, Iraq Study Group co-chair.

However, members of the Bipartisan Panel said there are still options and personally gave their 79 recommendations to President Bush.

“We probably won’t agree with every proposal, it nevertheless is an opportunity to come together and to work together,” Bush said.

The White House said there are still a number of other ongoing studies to consider. The president has dismissed ideas in the past that have now become the basis for the Iraq Study Group’s key recommendations: withdrawing US troops not specifically dedicated to the training and support mission in Iraq by the first quarter of 2008; engage in U.S. talks with Iran and Syria; and deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability.

“United States policy must be focused more broadly than on military strategy alone or on Iraq alone. It must seek the active and constructive engagement of all governments that have a stake in stopping the chaos in Iraq,” said James Baker, Iraq Study Group Co-Chair.

The Commission is also suggesting Bush give the Iraqi government a strong message that U.S. military support will not go on indefinitely. Leading Democrats urged the president to follow the ISG recommendations.

“Hopefully, this will be the end of that stay-the-course policy,” Sen. Carl Levin said.

President Bush will meet Dec. 7, 2006, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to discuss Iraq and ISG members will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee.