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Title: The Iraq Study Group Report
Author: Iraq Study Group (U.S.)
Language: English
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The Iraq

Study Group


  James A. Baker, III, and
  Lee H. Hamilton, Co-Chairs

  Lawrence S. Eagleburger,
  Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Edwin Meese III,
  Sandra Day O'Connor, Leon E. Panetta,
  William J. Perry, Charles S. Robb,
  Alan K. Simpson


Letter from the Co-Chairs

Executive Summary

I. Assessment

A. Assessment of the Current Situation in Iraq

  1. Security
  2. Politics
  3. Economics
  4. International Support
  5. Conclusions

B. Consequences of Continued Decline in Iraq

C. Some Alternative Courses in Iraq

  1. Precipitate Withdrawal
  2. Staying the Course
  3. More Troops for Iraq
  4. Devolution to Three Regions

D. Achieving Our Goals

II. The Way Forward--A New Approach

A. The External Approach: Building an International Consensus

  1. The New Diplomatic Offensive
  2. The Iraq International Support Group
  3. Dealing with Iran and Syria
  4. The Wider Regional Context

B. The Internal Approach: Helping Iraqis Help Themselves

  1. Performance on Milestones
  2. National Reconciliation
  3. Security and Military Forces
  4. Police and Criminal Justice
  5. The Oil Sector
  6. U.S. Economic and Reconstruction Assistance
  7. Budget Preparation, Presentation, and Review
  8. U.S. Personnel
  9. Intelligence


Letter from the Sponsoring Organizations

Iraq Study Group Plenary Sessions

Iraq Study Group Consultations

Expert Working Groups and Military Senior Advisor Panel

The Iraq Study Group

Iraq Study Group Support

Letter from the Co-Chairs

There is no magic formula to solve the problems of Iraq. However,
there are actions that can be taken to improve the situation and
protect American interests.

Many Americans are dissatisfied, not just with the situation in Iraq
but with the state of our political debate regarding Iraq. Our
political leaders must build a bipartisan approach to bring a
responsible conclusion to what is now a lengthy and costly war. Our
country deserves a debate that prizes substance over rhetoric, and a
policy that is adequately funded and sustainable. The President and
Congress must work together. Our leaders must be candid and forthright
with the American people in order to win their support.

No one can guarantee that any course of action in Iraq at this point
will stop sectarian warfare, growing violence, or a slide toward
chaos. If current trends continue, the potential consequences are
severe. Because of the role and responsibility of the United States in
Iraq, and the commitments our government has made, the United States
has special obligations. Our country must address as best it can
Iraq's many problems. The United States has long-term relationships
and interests at stake in the Middle East, and needs to stay engaged.

In this consensus report, the ten members of the Iraq Study Group
present a new approach because we believe there is a better way
forward. All options have not been exhausted. We believe it is still
possible to pursue different policies that can give Iraq an
opportunity for a better future, combat terrorism, stabilize a
critical region of the world, and protect America's credibility,
interests, and values. Our report makes it clear that the Iraqi
government and the Iraqi people also must act to achieve a stable and
hopeful future.

What we recommend in this report demands a tremendous amount of
political will and cooperation by the executive and legislative
branches of the U.S. government. It demands skillful implementation.
It demands unity of effort by government agencies. And its success
depends on the unity of the American people in a time of political
polarization. Americans can and must enjoy the right of robust debate
within a democracy. Yet U.S. foreign policy is doomed to failure--as
is any course of action in Iraq--if it is not supported by a broad,
sustained consensus. The aim of our report is to move our country
toward such a consensus.

We want to thank all those we have interviewed and those who have
contributed information and assisted the Study Group, both inside and
outside the U.S. government, in Iraq, and around the world. We thank
the members of the expert working groups, and staff from the
sponsoring organizations. We especially thank our colleagues on the
Study Group, who have worked with us on these difficult issues in a
spirit of generosity and bipartisanship.

In presenting our report to the President, Congress, and the American
people, we dedicate it to the men and women--military and civilian--who
have served and are serving in Iraq, and to their families back
home. They have demonstrated extraordinary courage and made difficult
sacrifices. Every American is indebted to them.

We also honor the many Iraqis who have sacrificed on behalf of their
country, and the members of the Coalition Forces who have stood with
us and with the people of Iraq.

James A. Baker, III      Lee H. Hamilton

Executive Summary

The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path
that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved.

In this report, we make a number of recommendations for actions to be
taken in Iraq, the United States, and the region. Our most important
recommendations call for new and enhanced diplomatic and political
efforts in Iraq and the region, and a change in the primary mission of
U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to
move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly. We believe that these
two recommendations are equally important and reinforce one another.
If they are effectively implemented, and if the Iraqi government moves
forward with national reconciliation, Iraqis will have an opportunity
for a better future, terrorism will be dealt a blow, stability will be
enhanced in an important part of the world, and America's credibility,
interests, and values will be protected.

The challenges in Iraq are complex. Violence is increasing in scope
and lethality. It is fed by a Sunni Arab insurgency, Shiite militias
and death squads, al Qaeda, and widespread criminality. Sectarian
conflict is the principal challenge to stability. The Iraqi people
have a democratically elected government, yet it is not adequately
advancing national reconciliation, providing basic security, or
delivering essential services. Pessimism is pervasive.

If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be
severe. A slide toward chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq's
government and a humanitarian catastrophe. Neighboring countries could
intervene. Sunni-Shia clashes could spread. Al Qaeda could win a
propaganda victory and expand its base of operations. The global
standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could
become more polarized.

During the past nine months we have considered a full range of
approaches for moving forward. All have flaws. Our recommended course
has shortcomings, but we firmly believe that it includes the best
strategies and tactics to positively influence the outcome in Iraq and
the region.

External Approach

The policies and actions of Iraq's neighbors greatly affect its
stability and prosperity. No country in the region will benefit in the
long term from a chaotic Iraq. Yet Iraq's neighbors are not doing
enough to help Iraq achieve stability. Some are undercutting

The United States should immediately launch a new diplomatic offensive
to build an international consensus for stability in Iraq and the
region. This diplomatic effort should include every country that has
an interest in avoiding a chaotic Iraq, including all of Iraq's
neighbors. Iraq's neighbors and key states in and outside the region
should form a support group to reinforce security and national
reconciliation within Iraq, neither of which Iraq can achieve on its

Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq
and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should
try to engage them constructively. In seeking to influence the
behavior of both countries, the United States has disincentives and
incentives available. Iran should stem the flow of arms and training
to Iraq, respect Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and use
its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national
reconciliation. The issue of Iran's nuclear programs should continue
to be dealt with by the five permanent members of the United Nations
Security Council plus Germany. Syria should control its border with
Iraq to stem the flow of funding, insurgents, and terrorists in and
out of Iraq.

The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless
it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional
instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the
United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts:
Lebanon, Syria, and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state
solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include
direct talks with, by, and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians
(those who accept Israel's right to exist), and Syria.

As the United States develops its approach toward Iraq and the Middle
East, the United States should provide additional political, economic,
and military support for Afghanistan, including resources that might
become available as combat forces are moved out of Iraq.

Internal Approach

The most important questions about Iraq's future are now the
responsibility of Iraqis. The United States must adjust its role in
Iraq to encourage the Iraqi people to take control of their own

The Iraqi government should accelerate assuming responsibility for
Iraqi security by increasing the number and quality of Iraqi Army
brigades. While this process is under way, and to facilitate it, the
United States should significantly increase the number of U.S.
military personnel, including combat troops, imbedded in and
supporting Iraqi Army units. As these actions proceed, U.S. combat
forces could begin to move out of Iraq.

The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of
supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary
responsibility for combat operations. By the first quarter of 2008,
subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the
ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could
be out of Iraq. At that time, U.S. combat forces in Iraq could be
deployed only in units embedded with Iraqi forces, in rapid-reaction
and special operations teams, and in training, equipping, advising,
force protection, and search and rescue. Intelligence and support
efforts would continue. A vital mission of those rapid reaction and
special operations forces would be to undertake strikes against al
Qaeda in Iraq.

It is clear that the Iraqi government will need assistance from the
United States for some time to come, especially in carrying out
security responsibilities. Yet the United States must make it clear to
the Iraqi government that the United States could carry out its plans,
including planned redeployments, even if the Iraqi government did not
implement their planned changes. The United States must not make an
open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops
deployed in Iraq.

As redeployment proceeds, military leaders should emphasize training
and education of forces that have returned to the United States in
order to restore the force to full combat capability. As equipment
returns to the United States, Congress should appropriate sufficient
funds to restore the equipment over the next five years.

The United States should work closely with Iraq's leaders to support
the achievement of specific objectives--or milestones--on national
reconciliation, security, and governance. Miracles cannot be expected,
but the people of Iraq have the right to expect action and progress.
The Iraqi government needs to show its own citizens--and the citizens
of the United States and other countries--that it deserves continued

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in consultation with the United
States, has put forward a set of milestones critical for Iraq. His
list is a good start, but it must be expanded to include milestones
that can strengthen the government and benefit the Iraqi people.
President Bush and his national security team should remain in close
and frequent contact with the Iraqi leadership to convey a clear
message: there must be prompt action by the Iraqi government to make
substantial progress toward the achievement of these milestones.

If the Iraqi government demonstrates political will and makes
substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national
reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should
make clear its willingness to continue training, assistance, and
support for Iraq's security forces and to continue political,
military, and economic support. If the Iraqi government does not make
substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national
reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should
reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi

Our report makes recommendations in several other areas. They include
improvements to the Iraqi criminal justice system, the Iraqi oil
sector, the U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq, the U.S. budget
process, the training of U.S. government personnel, and U.S.
intelligence capabilities.


It is the unanimous view of the Iraq Study Group that these
recommendations offer a new way forward for the United States in Iraq
and the region. They are comprehensive and need to be implemented in a
coordinated fashion. They should not be separated or carried out in
isolation. The dynamics of the region are as important to Iraq as
events within Iraq.

The challenges are daunting. There will be difficult days ahead. But
by pursuing this new way forward, Iraq, the region, and the United
States of America can emerge stronger.



There is no guarantee for success in Iraq. The situation in Baghdad
and several provinces is dire. Saddam Hussein has been removed from
power and the Iraqi people have a democratically elected government
that is broadly representative of Iraq's population, yet the
government is not adequately advancing national reconciliation,
providing basic security, or delivering essential services. The level
of violence is high and growing. There is great suffering, and the
daily lives of many Iraqis show little or no improvement. Pessimism is

U.S. military and civilian personnel, and our coalition partners, are
making exceptional and dedicated efforts--and sacrifices--to help
Iraq. Many Iraqis have also made extraordinary efforts and sacrifices
for a better future. However, the ability of the United States to
influence events within Iraq is diminishing. Many Iraqis are embracing
sectarian identities. The lack of security impedes economic
development. Most countries in the region are not playing a
constructive role in support of Iraq, and some are undercutting

Iraq is vital to regional and even global stability, and is critical
to U.S. interests. It runs along the sectarian fault lines of Shia and
Sunni Islam, and of Kurdish and Arab populations. It has the world's
second-largest known oil reserves. It is now a base of operations for
international terrorism, including al Qaeda.

Iraq is a centerpiece of American foreign policy, influencing how the
United States is viewed in the region and around the world. Because of
the gravity of Iraq's condition and the country's vital importance,
the United States is facing one of its most difficult and significant
international challenges in decades. Because events in Iraq have been
set in motion by American decisions and actions, the United States has
both a national and a moral interest in doing what it can to give
Iraqis an opportunity to avert anarchy.

An assessment of the security, political, economic, and regional
situation follows (all figures current as of publication), along with
an assessment of the consequences if Iraq continues to deteriorate,
and an analysis of some possible courses of action.

A. Assessment of the Current Situation in Iraq

1. Security

Attacks against U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi security forces are
persistent and growing. October 2006 was the deadliest month for U.S.
forces since January 2005, with 102 Americans killed. Total attacks in
October 2006 averaged 180 per day, up from 70 per day in January 2006.
Daily attacks against Iraqi security forces in October were more than
double the level in January. Attacks against civilians in October were
four times higher than in January. Some 3,000 Iraqi civilians are
killed every month.

Sources of Violence

Violence is increasing in scope, complexity, and lethality. There are
multiple sources of violence in Iraq: the Sunni Arab insurgency, al
Qaeda and affiliated jihadist groups, Shiite militias and death
squads, and organized criminality. Sectarian violence--particularly in
and around Baghdad--has become the principal challenge to stability.

Most attacks on Americans still come from the Sunni Arab insurgency.
The insurgency comprises former elements of the Saddam Hussein regime,
disaffected Sunni Arab Iraqis, and common criminals. It has
significant support within the Sunni Arab community. The insurgency
has no single leadership but is a network of networks. It benefits
from participants' detailed knowledge of Iraq's infrastructure, and
arms and financing are supplied primarily from within Iraq. The
insurgents have different goals, although nearly all oppose the
presence of U.S. forces in Iraq. Most wish to restore Sunni Arab rule
in the country. Some aim at winning local power and control.

Al Qaeda is responsible for a small portion of the violence in Iraq,
but that includes some of the more spectacular acts: suicide attacks,
large truck bombs, and attacks on significant religious or political
targets. Al Qaeda in Iraq is now largely Iraqi-run and composed of
Sunni Arabs. Foreign fighters--numbering an estimated 1,300--play a
supporting role or carry out suicide operations. Al Qaeda's goals
include instigating a wider sectarian war between Iraq's Sunni and
Shia, and driving the United States out of Iraq.

Sectarian violence causes the largest number of Iraqi civilian
casualties. Iraq is in the grip of a deadly cycle: Sunni insurgent
attacks spark large-scale Shia reprisals, and vice versa. Groups of
Iraqis are often found bound and executed, their bodies dumped in
rivers or fields. The perception of unchecked violence emboldens
militias, shakes confidence in the government, and leads Iraqis to
flee to places where their sect is the majority and where they feel
they are in less danger. In some parts of Iraq--notably in
Baghdad--sectarian cleansing is taking place. The United Nations
estimates that 1.6 million are displaced within Iraq, and up to 1.8
million Iraqis have fled the country.

Shiite militias engaging in sectarian violence pose a substantial
threat to immediate and long-term stability. These militias are
diverse. Some are affiliated with the government, some are highly
localized, and some are wholly outside the law. They are fragmenting,
with an increasing breakdown in command structure. The militias target
Sunni Arab civilians, and some struggle for power in clashes with one
another. Some even target government ministries. They undermine the
authority of the Iraqi government and security forces, as well as the
ability of Sunnis to join a peaceful political process. The prevalence
of militias sends a powerful message: political leaders can preserve
and expand their power only if backed by armed force.

The Mahdi Army, led by Moqtada al-Sadr, may number as many as 60,000
fighters. It has directly challenged U.S. and Iraqi government forces,
and it is widely believed to engage in regular violence against Sunni
Arab civilians. Mahdi fighters patrol certain Shia enclaves, notably
northeast Baghdad's teeming neighborhood of 2.5 million known as "Sadr
City." As the Mahdi Army has grown in size and influence, some
elements have moved beyond Sadr's control.

The Badr Brigade is affiliated with the Supreme Council for the
Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which is led by Abdul Aziz
al-Hakim. The Badr Brigade has long-standing ties with the Iranian
Revolutionary Guard Corps. Many Badr members have become integrated
into the Iraqi police, and others play policing roles in southern
Iraqi cities. While wearing the uniform of the security services, Badr
fighters have targeted Sunni Arab civilians. Badr fighters have also
clashed with the Mahdi Army, particularly in southern Iraq.

Criminality also makes daily life unbearable for many Iraqis.
Robberies, kidnappings, and murder are commonplace in much of the
country. Organized criminal rackets thrive, particularly in unstable
areas like Anbar province. Some criminal gangs cooperate with,
finance, or purport to be part of the Sunni insurgency or a Shiite
militia in order to gain legitimacy. As one knowledgeable American
official put it, "If there were foreign forces in New Jersey, Tony
Soprano would be an insurgent leader."

Four of Iraq's eighteen provinces are highly insecure--Baghdad, Anbar,
Diyala, and Salah ad Din. These provinces account for about 40 percent
of Iraq's population of 26 million. In Baghdad, the violence is
largely between Sunni and Shia. In Anbar, the violence is attributable
to the Sunni insurgency and to al Qaeda, and the situation is

In Kirkuk, the struggle is between Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen. In Basra
and the south, the violence is largely an intra-Shia power struggle.
The most stable parts of the country are the three provinces of the
Kurdish north and parts of the Shia south. However, most of Iraq's
cities have a sectarian mix and are plagued by persistent violence.

U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi Forces

Confronting this violence are the Multi-National Forces-Iraq under
U.S. command, working in concert with Iraq's security forces. The
Multi-National Forces-Iraq were authorized by UN Security Council
Resolution 1546 in 2004, and the mandate was extended in November 2006
for another year.

Approximately 141,000 U.S. military personnel are serving in Iraq,
together with approximately 16,500 military personnel from twenty-seven
coalition partners, the largest contingent being 7,200 from the
United Kingdom. The U.S. Army has principal responsibility for Baghdad
and the north. The U.S. Marine Corps takes the lead in Anbar province.
The United Kingdom has responsibility in the southeast, chiefly in

Along with this military presence, the United States is building its
largest embassy in Baghdad. The current U.S. embassy in Baghdad totals
about 1,000 U.S. government employees. There are roughly 5,000
civilian contractors in the country.

Currently, the U.S. military rarely engages in large-scale combat
operations. Instead, counterinsurgency efforts focus on a strategy of
"clear, hold, and build"--"clearing" areas of insurgents and death
squads, "holding" those areas with Iraqi security forces, and
"building" areas with quick-impact reconstruction projects.

Nearly every U.S. Army and Marine combat unit, and several National
Guard and Reserve units, have been to Iraq at least once. Many are on
their second or even third rotations; rotations are typically one year
for Army units, seven months for Marine units. Regular rotations, in
and out of Iraq or within the country, complicate brigade and
battalion efforts to get to know the local scene, earn the trust of
the population, and build a sense of cooperation.

Many military units are under significant strain. Because the harsh
conditions in Iraq are wearing out equipment more quickly than
anticipated, many units do not have fully functional equipment for
training when they redeploy to the United States. An extraordinary
amount of sacrifice has been asked of our men and women in uniform,
and of their families. The American military has little reserve force
to call on if it needs ground forces to respond to other crises around
the world.

A primary mission of U.S. military strategy in Iraq is the training of
competent Iraqi security forces. By the end of 2006, the Multi-National
Security Transition Command-Iraq under American leadership is
expected to have trained and equipped a target number of approximately
326,000 Iraqi security services. That figure includes 138,000 members
of the Iraqi Army and 188,000 Iraqi police. Iraqis have operational
control over roughly one-third of Iraqi security forces; the U.S. has
operational control over most of the rest. No U.S. forces are under
Iraqi command.

The Iraqi Army

The Iraqi Army is making fitful progress toward becoming a reliable
and disciplined fighting force loyal to the national government. By
the end of 2006, the Iraqi Army is expected to comprise 118 battalions
formed into 36 brigades under the command of 10 divisions. Although
the Army is one of the more professional Iraqi institutions, its
performance has been uneven. The training numbers are impressive, but
they represent only part of the story.

Significant questions remain about the ethnic composition and
loyalties of some Iraqi units--specifically, whether they will carry
out missions on behalf of national goals instead of a sectarian
agenda. Of Iraq's 10 planned divisions, those that are even-numbered
are made up of Iraqis who signed up to serve in a specific area, and
they have been reluctant to redeploy to other areas of the country. As
a result, elements of the Army have refused to carry out missions.

The Iraqi Army is also confronted by several other significant

--Units lack leadership. They lack the ability to work together and
perform at higher levels of organization--the brigade and division
level. Leadership training and the experience of leadership are the
essential elements to improve performance.

--Units lack equipment. They cannot carry out their missions without
adequate equipment. Congress has been generous in funding requests for
U.S. troops, but it has resisted fully funding Iraqi forces. The
entire appropriation for Iraqi defense forces for FY 2006 ($3 billion)
is less than the United States currently spends in Iraq every two

--Units lack personnel. Soldiers are on leave one week a month so that
they can visit their families and take them their pay. Soldiers are
paid in cash because there is no banking system. Soldiers are given
leave liberally and face no penalties for absence without leave. Unit
readiness rates are low, often at 50 percent or less.

--Units lack logistics and support. They lack the ability to sustain
their operations, the capability to transport supplies and troops, and
the capacity to provide their own indirect fire support, close-air
support, technical intelligence, and medical evacuation. They will
depend on the United States for logistics and support through at least

The Iraqi Police

The state of the Iraqi police is substantially worse than that of the
Iraqi Army. The Iraqi Police Service currently numbers roughly 135,000
and is responsible for local policing. It has neither the training nor
legal authority to conduct criminal investigations, nor the firepower
to take on organized crime, insurgents, or militias. The Iraqi
National Police numbers roughly 25,000 and its officers have been
trained in counterinsurgency operations, not police work. The Border
Enforcement Department numbers roughly 28,000.

Iraqi police cannot control crime, and they routinely engage in
sectarian violence, including the unnecessary detention, torture, and
targeted execution of Sunni Arab civilians. The police are organized
under the Ministry of the Interior, which is confronted by corruption
and militia infiltration and lacks control over police in the

The United States and the Iraqi government recognize the importance of
reform. The current Minister of the Interior has called for purging
militia members and criminals from the police. But he has little
police experience or base of support. There is no clear Iraqi or U.S.
agreement on the character and mission of the police. U.S. authorities
do not know with precision the composition and membership of the
various police forces, nor the disposition of their funds and
equipment. There are ample reports of Iraqi police officers
participating in training in order to obtain a weapon, uniform, and
ammunition for use in sectarian violence. Some are on the payroll but
don't show up for work. In the words of a senior American general,
"2006 was supposed to be 'the year of the police' but it hasn't
materialized that way."

Facilities Protection Services

The Facilities Protection Service poses additional problems. Each
Iraqi ministry has an armed unit, ostensibly to guard the ministry's
infrastructure. All together, these units total roughly 145,000
uniformed Iraqis under arms. However, these units have questionable
loyalties and capabilities. In the ministries of Health, Agriculture,
and Transportation--controlled by Moqtada al-Sadr--the Facilities
Protection Service is a source of funding and jobs for the Mahdi Army.
One senior U.S. official described the Facilities Protection Service
as "incompetent, dysfunctional, or subversive." Several Iraqis simply
referred to them as militias.

The Iraqi government has begun to bring the Facilities Protection
Service under the control of the Interior Ministry. The intention is
to identify and register Facilities Protection personnel, standardize
their treatment, and provide some training. Though the approach is
reasonable, this effort may exceed the current capability of the
Interior Ministry.

Operation Together Forward II

In a major effort to quell the violence in Iraq, U.S. military forces
joined with Iraqi forces to establish security in Baghdad with an
operation called "Operation Together Forward II," which began in
August 2006. Under Operation Together Forward II, U.S. forces are
working with members of the Iraqi Army and police to "clear, hold, and
build" in Baghdad, moving neighborhood by neighborhood. There are
roughly 15,000 U.S. troops in Baghdad.

This operation--and the security of Baghdad--is crucial to security in
Iraq more generally. A capital city of more than 6 million, Baghdad
contains some 25 percent of the country's population. It is the
largest Sunni and Shia city in Iraq. It has high concentrations of
both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias. Both Iraqi and American
leaders told us that as Baghdad goes, so goes Iraq.

The results of Operation Together Forward II are disheartening.
Violence in Baghdad--already at high levels--jumped more than 43
percent between the summer and October 2006. U.S. forces continue to
suffer high casualties. Perpetrators of violence leave neighborhoods
in advance of security sweeps, only to filter back later. Iraqi police
have been unable or unwilling to stop such infiltration and continuing
violence. The Iraqi Army has provided only two out of the six
battalions that it promised in August would join American forces in
Baghdad. The Iraqi government has rejected sustained security
operations in Sadr City.

Security efforts will fail unless the Iraqis have both the capability
to hold areas that have been cleared and the will to clear
neighborhoods that are home to Shiite militias. U.S. forces can
"clear" any neighborhood, but there are neither enough U.S. troops
present nor enough support from Iraqi security forces to "hold"
neighborhoods so cleared. The same holds true for the rest of Iraq.
Because none of the operations conducted by U.S. and Iraqi military
forces are fundamentally changing the conditions encouraging the
sectarian violence, U.S. forces seem to be caught in a mission that
has no foreseeable end.

2. Politics

Iraq is a sovereign state with a democratically elected Council of
Representatives. A government of national unity was formed in May 2006
that is broadly representative of the Iraqi people. Iraq has ratified
a constitution, and--per agreement with Sunni Arab leaders--has
initiated a process of review to determine if the constitution needs

The composition of the Iraqi government is basically sectarian, and
key players within the government too often act in their sectarian
interest. Iraq's Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish leaders frequently fail to
demonstrate the political will to act in Iraq's national interest, and
too many Iraqi ministries lack the capacity to govern effectively. The
result is an even weaker central government than the constitution

There is widespread Iraqi, American, and international agreement on
the key issues confronting the Iraqi government: national
reconciliation, including the negotiation of a "political deal" among
Iraq's sectarian groups on Constitution review, de-Baathification, oil
revenue sharing, provincial elections, the future of Kirkuk, and
amnesty; security, particularly curbing militias and reducing the
violence in Baghdad; and governance, including the provision of basic
services and the rollback of pervasive corruption. Because Iraqi
leaders view issues through a sectarian prism, we will summarize the
differing perspectives of Iraq's main sectarian groups.

Sectarian Viewpoints

The Shia, the majority of Iraq's population, have gained power for the
first time in more than 1,300 years. Above all, many Shia are
interested in preserving that power. However, fissures have emerged
within the broad Shia coalition, known as the United Iraqi Alliance.
Shia factions are struggling for power--over regions, ministries, and
Iraq as a whole. The difficulties in holding together a broad and
fractious coalition have led several observers in Baghdad to comment
that Shia leaders are held "hostage to extremes." Within the coalition
as a whole, there is a reluctance to reach a political accommodation
with the Sunnis or to disarm Shiite militias.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has demonstrated an understanding of
the key issues facing Iraq, notably the need for national
reconciliation and security in Baghdad. Yet strains have emerged
between Maliki's government and the United States. Maliki has publicly
rejected a U.S. timetable to achieve certain benchmarks, ordered the
removal of blockades around Sadr City, sought more control over Iraqi
security forces, and resisted U.S. requests to move forward on
reconciliation or on disbanding Shiite militias.

Sistani, Sadr, Hakim

The U.S. deals primarily with the Iraqi government, but the most
powerful Shia figures in Iraq do not hold national office. Of the
following three vital power brokers in the Shia community, the United
States is unable to talk directly with one (Grand Ayatollah Ali
al-Sistani) and does not talk to another (Moqtada al-Sadr).

GRAND AYATOLLAH ALI AL-SISTANI: Sistani is the leading Shiite cleric
in Iraq. Despite staying out of day-to-day politics, he has been the
most influential leader in the country: all major Shia leaders have
sought his approval or guidance. Sistani has encouraged a unified Shia
bloc with moderated aims within a unified Iraq. Sistani's influence
may be waning, as his words have not succeeded in preventing
intra-Shia violence or retaliation against Sunnis.

ABDUL AZIZ AL-HAKIM: Hakim is a cleric and the leader of the Supreme
Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the largest and
most organized Shia political party. It seeks the creation of an
autonomous Shia region comprising nine provinces in the south. Hakim
has consistently protected and advanced his party's position. SCIRI
has close ties with Iran.

MOQTADA AL-SADR: Sadr has a large following among impoverished Shia,
particularly in Baghdad. He has joined Maliki's governing coalition,
but his Mahdi Army has clashed with the Badr Brigades, as well as with
Iraqi, U.S., and U.K. forces. Sadr claims to be an Iraqi nationalist.
Several observers remarked to us that Sadr was following the model of
Hezbollah in Lebanon: building a political party that controls basic
services within the government and an armed militia outside of the

Sunni Arabs feel displaced because of the loss of their traditional
position of power in Iraq. They are torn, unsure whether to seek their
aims through political participation or through violent insurgency.
They remain angry about U.S. decisions to dissolve Iraqi security
forces and to pursue the "de-Baathification" of Iraq's government and
society. Sunnis are confronted by paradoxes: they have opposed the
presence of U.S. forces in Iraq but need those forces to protect them
against Shia militias; they chafe at being governed by a majority Shia
administration but reject a federal, decentralized Iraq and do not see
a Sunni autonomous region as feasible for themselves.

Hashimi and Dhari

The influence of Sunni Arab politicians in the government is
questionable. The leadership of the Sunni Arab insurgency is murky,
but the following two key Sunni Arab figures have broad support.

tariq al-hashimi: Hashimi is one of two vice presidents of Iraq and
the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the largest Sunni Muslim bloc in
parliament. Hashimi opposes the formation of autonomous regions and
has advocated the distribution of oil revenues based on population, a
reversal of de-Baathification, and the removal of Shiite militia
fighters from the Iraqi security forces. Shiite death squads have
recently killed three of his siblings.

sheik harith al-dhari: Dhari is the head of the Muslim Scholars
Association, the most influential Sunni organization in Iraq. Dhari
has condemned the American occupation and spoken out against the Iraqi
government. His organization has ties both to the Sunni Arab
insurgency and to Sunnis within the Iraqi government. A warrant was
recently issued for his arrest for inciting violence and terrorism, an
act that sparked bitter Sunni protests across Iraq.

Iraqi Kurds have succeeded in presenting a united front of two main
political blocs--the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The Kurds have secured a largely
autonomous Kurdish region in the north, and have achieved a prominent
role for Kurds within the national government. Barzani leads the
Kurdish regional government, and Talabani is president of Iraq.

Leading Kurdish politicians told us they preferred to be within a
democratic, federal Iraqi state because an independent Kurdistan would
be surrounded by hostile neighbors. However, a majority of Kurds favor
independence. The Kurds have their own security forces--the
peshmerga--which number roughly 100,000. They believe they could
accommodate themselves to either a unified or a fractured Iraq.

Barzani and Talabani

Kurdish politics has been dominated for years by two figures who have
long-standing ties in movements for Kurdish independence and

MASSOUD BARZANI: Barzani is the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic
Party and the President of the Kurdish regional government. Barzani
has cooperated with his longtime rival, Jalal Talabani, in securing an
empowered, autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Barzani has
ordered the lowering of Iraqi flags and raising of Kurdish flags in
Kurdish-controlled areas.

JALAL TALABANI: Talabani is the leader of the Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan and the President of Iraq. Whereas Barzani has focused his
efforts in Kurdistan, Talabani has secured power in Baghdad, and
several important PUK government ministers are loyal to him. Talabani
strongly supports autonomy for Kurdistan. He has also sought to bring
real power to the office of the presidency.

Key Issues

NATIONAL RECONCILIATION. Prime Minister Maliki outlined a commendable
program of national reconciliation soon after he entered office.
However, the Iraqi government has not taken action on the key elements
of national reconciliation: revising de-Baathification, which prevents
many Sunni Arabs from participating in governance and society;
providing amnesty for those who have fought against the government;
sharing the country's oil revenues; demobilizing militias; amending
the constitution; and settling the future of Kirkuk.

One core issue is federalism. The Iraqi Constitution, which created a
largely autonomous Kurdistan region, allows other such regions to be
established later, perhaps including a "Shi'astan" comprising nine
southern provinces. This highly decentralized structure is favored by
the Kurds and many Shia (particularly supporters of Abdul Aziz
al-Hakim), but it is anathema to Sunnis. First, Sunni Arabs are generally
Iraqi nationalists, albeit within the context of an Iraq they believe
they should govern. Second, because Iraq's energy resources are in the
Kurdish and Shia regions, there is no economically feasible "Sunni
region." Particularly contentious is a provision in the constitution
that shares revenues nationally from current oil reserves, while
allowing revenues from reserves discovered in the future to go to the

The Sunnis did not actively participate in the constitution-drafting
process, and acceded to entering the government only on the condition
that the constitution be amended. In September, the parliament agreed
to initiate a constitutional review commission slated to complete its
work within one year; it delayed considering the question of forming a
federalized region in southern Iraq for eighteen months.

Another key unresolved issue is the future of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city
in northern Iraq that is home to substantial numbers of Kurds, Arabs,
and Turkmen. The Kurds insisted that the constitution require a
popular referendum by December 2007 to determine whether Kirkuk can
formally join the Kurdish administered region, an outcome that Arabs
and Turkmen in Kirkuk staunchly oppose. The risks of further violence
sparked by a Kirkuk referendum are great.

Iraq's leaders often claim that they do not want a division of the
country, but we found that key Shia and Kurdish leaders have little
commitment to national reconciliation. One prominent Shia leader told
us pointedly that the current government has the support of 80 percent
of the population, notably excluding Sunni Arabs. Kurds have fought
for independence for decades, and when our Study Group visited Iraq,
the leader of the Kurdish region ordered the lowering of Iraqi flags
and the raising of Kurdish flags. One senior American general
commented that the Iraqis "still do not know what kind of country they
want to have." Yet many of Iraq's most powerful and well-positioned
leaders are not working toward a united Iraq.

SECURITY. The security situation cannot improve unless leaders act in
support of national reconciliation. Shiite leaders must make the
decision to demobilize militias. Sunni Arabs must make the decision to
seek their aims through a peaceful political process, not through
violent revolt. The Iraqi government and Sunni Arab tribes must
aggressively pursue al Qaeda.

Militias are currently seen as legitimate vehicles of political
action. Shia political leaders make distinctions between the Sunni
insurgency (which seeks to overthrow the government) and Shia militias
(which are used to fight Sunnis, secure neighborhoods, and maximize
power within the government). Though Prime Minister Maliki has said he
will address the problem of militias, he has taken little meaningful
action to curb their influence. He owes his office in large part to
Sadr and has shown little willingness to take on him or his Mahdi

Sunni Arabs have not made the strategic decision to abandon violent
insurgency in favor of the political process. Sunni politicians within
the government have a limited level of support and influence among
their own population, and questionable influence over the insurgency.
Insurgents wage a campaign of intimidation against Sunni
leaders--assassinating the family members of those who do participate in
the government. Too often, insurgents tolerate and cooperate with al
Qaeda, as they share a mutual interest in attacking U.S. and Shia
forces. However, Sunni Arab tribal leaders in Anbar province recently
took the positive step of agreeing to pursue al Qaeda and foreign
fighters in their midst, and have started to take action on those

Sunni politicians told us that the U.S. military has to take on the
militias; Shia politicians told us that the U.S. military has to help
them take out the Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda. Each side watches the
other. Sunni insurgents will not lay down arms unless the Shia
militias are disarmed. Shia militias will not disarm until the Sunni
insurgency is destroyed. To put it simply: there are many armed groups
within Iraq, and very little will to lay down arms.

GOVERNANCE. The Iraqi government is not effectively providing its
people with basic services: electricity, drinking water, sewage,
health care, and education. In many sectors, production is below or
hovers around prewar levels. In Baghdad and other unstable areas, the
situation is much worse. There are five major reasons for this

First, the government sometimes provides services on a sectarian
basis. For example, in one Sunni neighborhood of Shia-governed
Baghdad, there is less than two hours of electricity each day and
trash piles are waist-high. One American official told us that Baghdad
is run like a "Shia dictatorship" because Sunnis boycotted provincial
elections in 2005, and therefore are not represented in local

Second, security is lacking. Insurgents target key infrastructure. For
instance, electricity transmission towers are downed by explosives,
and then sniper attacks prevent repairs from being made.

Third, corruption is rampant. One senior Iraqi official estimated that
official corruption costs Iraq $5-7 billion per year. Notable steps
have been taken: Iraq has a functioning audit board and inspectors
general in the ministries, and senior leaders including the Prime
Minister have identified rooting out corruption as a national
priority. But too many political leaders still pursue their personal,
sectarian, or party interests. There are still no examples of senior
officials who have been brought before a court of law and convicted on
corruption charges.

Fourth, capacity is inadequate. Most of Iraq's technocratic class was
pushed out of the government as part of de-Baathification. Other
skilled Iraqis have fled the country as violence has risen. Too often,
Iraq's elected representatives treat the ministries as political
spoils. Many ministries can do little more than pay salaries, spending
as little as 10-15 percent of their capital budget. They lack
technical expertise and suffer from corruption, inefficiency, a
banking system that does not permit the transfer of moneys, extensive
red tape put in place in part to deter corruption, and a Ministry of
Finance reluctant to disburse funds.

Fifth, the judiciary is weak. Much has been done to establish an Iraqi
judiciary, including a supreme court, and Iraq has some dedicated
judges. But criminal investigations are conducted by magistrates, and
they are too few and inadequately trained to perform this function.
Intimidation of the Iraqi judiciary has been ruthless. As one senior
U.S. official said to us, "We can protect judges, but not their
families, their extended families, their friends." Many Iraqis feel
that crime not only is unpunished, it is rewarded.

3. Economics

There has been some economic progress in Iraq, and Iraq has tremendous
potential for growth. But economic development is hobbled by
insecurity, corruption, lack of investment, dilapidated
infrastructure, and uncertainty. As one U.S. official observed to us,
Iraq's economy has been badly shocked and is dysfunctional after
suffering decades of problems: Iraq had a police state economy in the
1970s, a war economy in the 1980s, and a sanctions economy in the
1990s. Immediate and long-term growth depends predominantly on the oil

Economic Performance

There are some encouraging signs. Currency reserves are stable and
growing at $12 billion. Consumer imports of computers, cell phones,
and other appliances have increased dramatically. New businesses are
opening, and construction is moving forward in secure areas. Because
of Iraq's ample oil reserves, water resources, and fertile lands,
significant growth is possible if violence is reduced and the capacity
of government improves. For example, wheat yields increased more than
40 percent in Kurdistan during this past year.

The Iraqi government has also made progress in meeting benchmarks set
by the International Monetary Fund. Most prominently, subsidies have
been reduced--for instance, the price per liter of gas has increased
from roughly 1.7 cents to 23 cents (a figure far closer to regional
prices). However, energy and food subsidies generally remain a burden,
costing Iraq $11 billion per year.

Despite the positive signs, many leading economic indicators are
negative. Instead of meeting a target of 10 percent, growth in Iraq is
at roughly 4 percent this year. Inflation is above 50 percent.
Unemployment estimates range widely from 20 to 60 percent. The
investment climate is bleak, with foreign direct investment under 1
percent of GDP. Too many Iraqis do not see tangible improvements in
their daily economic situation.

Oil Sector

Oil production and sales account for nearly 70 percent of Iraq's GDP,
and more than 95 percent of government revenues. Iraq produces around
2.2 million barrels per day, and exports about 1.5 million barrels per
day. This is below both prewar production levels and the Iraqi
government's target of 2.5 million barrels per day, and far short of
the vast potential of the Iraqi oil sector. Fortunately for the
government, global energy prices have been higher than projected,
making it possible for Iraq to meet its budget revenue targets.

Problems with oil production are caused by lack of security, lack of
investment, and lack of technical capacity. Insurgents with a detailed
knowledge of Iraq's infrastructure target pipelines and oil
facilities. There is no metering system for the oil. There is poor
maintenance at pumping stations, pipelines, and port facilities, as
well as inadequate investment in modern technology. Iraq had a cadre
of experts in the oil sector, but intimidation and an extended
migration of experts to other countries have eroded technical
capacity. Foreign companies have been reluctant to invest, and Iraq's
Ministry of Oil has been unable to spend more than 15 percent of its
capital budget.

Corruption is also debilitating. Experts estimate that 150,000 to
200,000--and perhaps as many as 500,000--barrels of oil per day are
being stolen. Controlled prices for refined products result in
shortages within Iraq, which drive consumers to the thriving black
market. One senior U.S. official told us that corruption is more
responsible than insurgents for breakdowns in the oil sector.

The Politics of Oil

The politics of oil has the potential to further damage the country's
already fragile efforts to create a unified central government. The
Iraqi Constitution leaves the door open for regions to take the lead
in developing new oil resources. Article 108 states that "oil and gas
are the ownership of all the peoples of Iraq in all the regions and
governorates," while Article 109 tasks the federal government with
"the management of oil and gas extracted from current fields." This
language has led to contention over what constitutes a "new" or an
"existing" resource, a question that has profound ramifications for
the ultimate control of future oil revenue.

Senior members of Iraq's oil industry argue that a national oil
company could reduce political tensions by centralizing revenues and
reducing regional or local claims to a percentage of the revenue
derived from production. However, regional leaders are suspicious and
resist this proposal, affirming the rights of local communities to
have direct access to the inflow of oil revenue. Kurdish leaders have
been particularly aggressive in asserting independent control of their
oil assets, signing and implementing investment deals with foreign oil
companies in northern Iraq. Shia politicians are also reported to be
negotiating oil investment contracts with foreign companies.

There are proposals to redistribute a portion of oil revenues directly
to the population on a per capita basis. These proposals have the
potential to give all Iraqi citizens a stake in the nation's chief
natural resource, but it would take time to develop a fair
distribution system. Oil revenues have been incorporated into state
budget projections for the next several years. There is no institution
in Iraq at present that could properly implement such a distribution
system. It would take substantial time to establish, and would have to
be based on a well-developed state census and income tax system, which
Iraq currently lacks.

U.S.-Led Reconstruction Efforts

The United States has appropriated a total of about $34 billion to
support the reconstruction of Iraq, of which about $21 billion has
been appropriated for the "Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund."
Nearly $16 billion has been spent, and almost all the funds have been
committed. The administration requested $1.6 billion for
reconstruction in FY 2006, and received $1.485 billion. The
administration requested $750 million for FY 2007. The trend line for
economic assistance in FY 2008 also appears downward.

Congress has little appetite for appropriating more funds for
reconstruction. There is a substantial need for continued
reconstruction in Iraq, but serious questions remain about the
capacity of the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

The coordination of assistance programs by the Defense Department,
State Department, United States Agency for International Development,
and other agencies has been ineffective. There are no clear lines
establishing who is in charge of reconstruction.

As resources decline, the U.S. reconstruction effort is changing its
focus, shifting from infrastructure, education, and health to
smaller-scale ventures that are chosen and to some degree managed by
local communities. A major attempt is also being made to improve the
capacity of government bureaucracies at the national, regional, and
provincial levels to provide services to the population as well as to
select and manage infrastructure projects.

The United States has people embedded in several Iraqi ministries, but
it confronts problems with access and sustainability. Moqtada al-Sadr
objects to the U.S. presence in Iraq, and therefore the ministries he
controls--Health, Agriculture, and Transportation--will not work with
Americans. It is not clear that Iraqis can or will maintain and
operate reconstruction projects launched by the United States.

Several senior military officers commented to us that the Commander's
Emergency Response Program, which funds quick-impact projects such as
the clearing of sewage and the restoration of basic services, is
vital. The U.S. Agency for International Development, in contrast, is
focused on long-term economic development and capacity building, but
funds have not been committed to support these efforts into the
future. The State Department leads seven Provincial Reconstruction
Teams operating around the country. These teams can have a positive
effect in secure areas, but not in areas where their work is hampered
by significant security constraints.

Substantial reconstruction funds have also been provided to
contractors, and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction
has documented numerous instances of waste and abuse. They have not
all been put right. Contracting has gradually improved, as more
oversight has been exercised and fewer cost-plus contracts have been
granted; in addition, the use of Iraqi contractors has enabled the
employment of more Iraqis in reconstruction projects.

4. International Support

International support for Iraqi reconstruction has been tepid.
International donors pledged $13.5 billion to support reconstruction,
but less than $4 billion has been delivered.

An important agreement with the Paris Club relieved a significant
amount of Iraq's government debt and put the country on firmer
financial footing. But the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait, hold large amounts of Iraqi debt that they have not forgiven.

The United States is currently working with the United Nations and
other partners to fashion the "International Compact" on Iraq. The
goal is to provide Iraqis with greater debt relief and credits from
the Gulf States, as well as to deliver on pledged aid from
international donors. In return, the Iraqi government will agree to
achieve certain economic reform milestones, such as building
anticorruption measures into Iraqi institutions, adopting a fair legal
framework for foreign investors, and reaching economic
self-sufficiency by 2012. Several U.S. and international officials told
us that the compact could be an opportunity to seek greater international
engagement in the country.

The Region

The policies and actions of Iraq's neighbors greatly influence its
stability and prosperity. No country in the region wants a chaotic
Iraq. Yet Iraq's neighbors are doing little to help it, and some are
undercutting its stability. Iraqis complain that neighbors are
meddling in their affairs. When asked which of Iraq's neighbors are
intervening in Iraq, one senior Iraqi official replied, "All of them."

The situation in Iraq is linked with events in the region. U.S.
efforts in Afghanistan have been complicated by the overriding focus
of U.S. attention and resources on Iraq. Several Iraqi, U.S., and
international officials commented to us that Iraqi opposition to the
United States--and support for Sadr--spiked in the aftermath of
Israel's bombing campaign in Lebanon. The actions of Syria and Iran in
Iraq are often tied to their broader concerns with the United States.
Many Sunni Arab states are concerned about rising Iranian influence in
Iraq and the region. Most of the region's countries are wary of U.S.
efforts to promote democracy in Iraq and the Middle East.

Neighboring States

IRAN. Of all the neighbors, Iran has the most leverage in Iraq. Iran
has long-standing ties to many Iraqi Shia politicians, many of whom
were exiled to Iran during the Saddam Hussein regime. Iran has
provided arms, financial support, and training for Shiite militias
within Iraq, as well as political support for Shia parties. There are
also reports that Iran has supplied improvised explosive devices to
groups--including Sunni Arab insurgents--that attack U.S. forces. The
Iranian border with Iraq is porous, and millions of Iranians travel to
Iraq each year to visit Shia holy sites. Many Iraqis spoke of Iranian
meddling, and Sunnis took a particularly alarmist view. One leading
Sunni politician told us, "If you turn over any stone in Iraq today,
you will find Iran underneath."

U.S., Iraqi, and international officials also commented on the range
of tensions between the United States and Iran, including Iran's
nuclear program, Iran's support for terrorism, Iran's influence in
Lebanon and the region, and Iran's influence in Iraq. Iran appears
content for the U.S. military to be tied down in Iraq, a position that
limits U.S. options in addressing Iran's nuclear program and allows
Iran leverage over stability in Iraq. Proposed talks between Iran and
the United States about the situation in Iraq have not taken place.
One Iraqi official told us: "Iran is negotiating with the United
States in the streets of Baghdad."

SYRIA. Syria is also playing a counterproductive role. Iraqis are
upset about what they perceive as Syrian support for efforts to
undermine the Iraqi government. The Syrian role is not so much to take
active measures as to countenance malign neglect: the Syrians look the
other way as arms and foreign fighters flow across their border into
Iraq, and former Baathist leaders find a safe haven within Syria. Like
Iran, Syria is content to see the United States tied down in Iraq.
That said, the Syrians have indicated that they want a dialogue with
the United States, and in November 2006 agreed to restore diplomatic
relations with Iraq after a 24-year break.

SAUDI ARABIA AND THE GULF STATES. These countries for the most part
have been passive and disengaged. They have declined to provide debt
relief or substantial economic assistance to the Iraqi government.
Several Iraqi Sunni Arab politicians complained that Saudi Arabia has
not provided political support for their fellow Sunnis within Iraq.
One observed that Saudi Arabia did not even send a letter when the
Iraqi government was formed, whereas Iran has an ambassador in Iraq.
Funding for the Sunni insurgency comes from private individuals within
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, even as those governments help
facilitate U.S. military operations in Iraq by providing basing and
overflight rights and by cooperating on intelligence issues.

As worries about Iraq increase, the Gulf States are becoming more
active. The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have hosted meetings in
support of the International Compact. Saudi Arabia recently took the
positive step of hosting a conference of Iraqi religious leaders in
Mecca. Several Gulf States have helped foster dialogue with Iraq's
Sunni Arab population. While the Gulf States are not proponents of
democracy in Iraq, they worry about the direction of events:
battle-hardened insurgents from Iraq could pose a threat to their own
internal stability, and the growth of Iranian influence in the region
is deeply troubling to them.

TURKEY. Turkish policy toward Iraq is focused on discouraging Kurdish
nationalism, which is seen as an existential threat to Turkey's own
internal stability. The Turks have supported the Turkmen minority
within Iraq and have used their influence to try to block the
incorporation of Kirkuk into Iraqi Kurdistan. At the same time,
Turkish companies have invested in Kurdish areas in northern Iraq, and
Turkish and Kurdish leaders have sought constructive engagement on
political, security, and economic issues.

The Turks are deeply concerned about the operations of the Kurdish
Workers Party (PKK)--a terrorist group based in northern Iraq that has
killed thousands of Turks. They are upset that the United States and
Iraq have not targeted the PKK more aggressively. The Turks have
threatened to go after the PKK themselves, and have made several
forays across the border into Iraq.

JORDAN AND EGYPT. Both Jordan and Egypt have provided some assistance
for the Iraqi government. Jordan has trained thousands of Iraqi
police, has an ambassador in Baghdad, and King Abdullah recently
hosted a meeting in Amman between President Bush and Prime Minister
Maliki. Egypt has provided some limited Iraqi army training. Both
Jordan and Egypt have facilitated U.S. military operations--Jordan by
allowing overflight and search-and-rescue operations, Egypt by
allowing overflight and Suez Canal transits; both provide important
cooperation on intelligence. Jordan is currently home to 700,000 Iraqi
refugees (equal to 10 percent of its population) and fears a flood of
many more. Both Jordan and Egypt are concerned about the position of
Iraq's Sunni Arabs and want constitutional reforms in Iraq to bolster
the Sunni community. They also fear the return of insurgents to their

The International Community

The international community beyond the United Kingdom and our other
coalition partners has played a limited role in Iraq. The United
Nations--acting under Security Council Resolution 1546--has a small
presence in Iraq; it has assisted in holding elections, drafting the
constitution, organizing the government, and building institutions.
The World Bank, which has committed a limited number of resources, has
one and sometimes two staff in Iraq. The European Union has a
representative there.

Several U.S.-based and international nongovernmental organizations
have done excellent work within Iraq, operating under great hardship.
Both Iraqi and international nongovernmental organizations play an
important role in reaching across sectarian lines to enhance dialogue
and understanding, and several U.S.-based organizations have employed
substantial resources to help Iraqis develop their democracy. However,
the participation of international nongovernmental organizations is
constrained by the lack of security, and their Iraqi counterparts face
a cumbersome and often politicized process of registration with the

The United Kingdom has dedicated an extraordinary amount of resources
to Iraq and has made great sacrifices. In addition to 7,200 troops,
the United Kingdom has a substantial diplomatic presence, particularly
in Basra and the Iraqi southeast. The United Kingdom has been an
active and key player at every stage of Iraq's political development.
U.K. officials told us that they remain committed to working for
stability in Iraq, and will reduce their commitment of troops and
resources in response to the situation on the ground.

5. Conclusions

The United States has made a massive commitment to the future of Iraq
in both blood and treasure. As of December 2006, nearly 2,900
Americans have lost their lives serving in Iraq. Another 21,000
Americans have been wounded, many severely.

To date, the United States has spent roughly $400 billion on the Iraq
War, and costs are running about $8 billion per month. In addition,
the United States must expect significant "tail costs" to come. Caring
for veterans and replacing lost equipment will run into the hundreds
of billions of dollars. Estimates run as high as $2 trillion for the
final cost of the U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Despite a massive effort, stability in Iraq remains elusive and the
situation is deteriorating. The Iraqi government cannot now govern,
sustain, and defend itself without the support of the United States.
Iraqis have not been convinced that they must take responsibility for
their own future. Iraq's neighbors and much of the international
community have not been persuaded to play an active and constructive
role in supporting Iraq. The ability of the United States to shape
outcomes is diminishing. Time is running out.

B. Consequences of Continued Decline in Iraq

If the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, the consequences
could be severe for Iraq, the United States, the region, and the

Continuing violence could lead toward greater chaos, and inflict
greater suffering upon the Iraqi people. A collapse of Iraq's
government and economy would further cripple a country already unable
to meet its people's needs. Iraq's security forces could split along
sectarian lines. A humanitarian catastrophe could follow as more
refugees are forced to relocate across the country and the region.
Ethnic cleansing could escalate. The Iraqi people could be subjected
to another strongman who flexes the political and military muscle
required to impose order amid anarchy. Freedoms could be lost.

Other countries in the region fear significant violence crossing their
borders. Chaos in Iraq could lead those countries to intervene to
protect their own interests, thereby perhaps sparking a broader
regional war. Turkey could send troops into northern Iraq to prevent
Kurdistan from declaring independence. Iran could send in troops to
restore stability in southern Iraq and perhaps gain control of oil
fields. The regional influence of Iran could rise at a time when that
country is on a path to producing nuclear weapons.

Ambassadors from neighboring countries told us that they fear the
distinct possibility of Sunni-Shia clashes across the Islamic world.
Many expressed a fear of Shia insurrections--perhaps fomented by
Iran--in Sunni-ruled states. Such a broader sectarian conflict could
open a Pandora's box of problems--including the radicalization of
populations, mass movements of populations, and regime changes--that
might take decades to play out. If the instability in Iraq spreads to
the other Gulf States, a drop in oil production and exports could lead
to a sharp increase in the price of oil and thus could harm the global

Terrorism could grow. As one Iraqi official told us, "Al Qaeda is now
a franchise in Iraq, like McDonald's." Left unchecked, al Qaeda in
Iraq could continue to incite violence between Sunnis and Shia. A
chaotic Iraq could provide a still stronger base of operations for
terrorists who seek to act regionally or even globally. Al Qaeda will
portray any failure by the United States in Iraq as a significant
victory that will be featured prominently as they recruit for their
cause in the region and around the world. Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy to
Osama bin Laden, has declared Iraq a focus for al Qaeda: they will
seek to expel the Americans and then spread "the jihad wave to the
secular countries neighboring Iraq." A senior European official told
us that failure in Iraq could incite terrorist attacks within his

The global standing of the United States could suffer if Iraq descends
further into chaos. Iraq is a major test of, and strain on, U.S.
military, diplomatic, and financial capacities. Perceived failure
there could diminish America's credibility and influence in a region
that is the center of the Islamic world and vital to the world's
energy supply. This loss would reduce America's global influence at a
time when pressing issues in North Korea, Iran, and elsewhere demand
our full attention and strong U.S. leadership of international
alliances. And the longer that U.S. political and military resources
are tied down in Iraq, the more the chances for American failure in
Afghanistan increase.

Continued problems in Iraq could lead to greater polarization within
the United States. Sixty-six percent of Americans disapprove of the
government's handling of the war, and more than 60 percent feel that
there is no clear plan for moving forward. The November elections were
largely viewed as a referendum on the progress in Iraq. Arguments
about continuing to provide security and assistance to Iraq will fall
on deaf ears if Americans become disillusioned with the government
that the United States invested so much to create. U.S. foreign policy
cannot be successfully sustained without the broad support of the
American people.

Continued problems in Iraq could also lead to greater Iraqi opposition
to the United States. Recent polling indicates that only 36 percent of
Iraqis feel their country is heading in the right direction, and 79
percent of Iraqis have a "mostly negative" view of the influence that
the United States has in their country. Sixty-one percent of Iraqis
approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces. If Iraqis continue to perceive
Americans as representing an occupying force, the United States could
become its own worst enemy in a land it liberated from tyranny.

These and other predictions of dire consequences in Iraq and the
region are by no means a certainty. Iraq has taken several positive
steps since Saddam Hussein was overthrown: Iraqis restored full
sovereignty, conducted open national elections, drafted a permanent
constitution, ratified that constitution, and elected a new government
pursuant to that constitution. Iraqis may become so sobered by the
prospect of an unfolding civil war and intervention by their regional
neighbors that they take the steps necessary to avert catastrophe. But
at the moment, such a scenario seems implausible because the Iraqi
people and their leaders have been slow to demonstrate the capacity or
will to act.

C. Some Alternative Courses in Iraq

Because of the gravity of the situation in Iraq and of its
consequences for Iraq, the United States, the region, and the world,
the Iraq Study Group has carefully considered the full range of
alternative approaches for moving forward. We recognize that there is
no perfect solution and that all that have been suggested have flaws.
The following are some of the more notable possibilities that we have

1. Precipitate Withdrawal

Because of the importance of Iraq, the potential for catastrophe, and
the role and commitments of the United States in initiating events
that have led to the current situation, we believe it would be wrong
for the United States to abandon the country through a precipitate
withdrawal of troops and support. A premature American departure from
Iraq would almost certainly produce greater sectarian violence and
further deterioration of conditions, leading to a number of the
adverse consequences outlined above. The near-term results would be a
significant power vacuum, greater human suffering, regional
destabilization, and a threat to the global economy. Al Qaeda would
depict our withdrawal as a historic victory. If we leave and Iraq
descends into chaos, the long-range consequences could eventually
require the United States to return.

2. Staying the Course

Current U.S. policy is not working, as the level of violence in Iraq
is rising and the government is not advancing national reconciliation.
Making no changes in policy would simply delay the day of reckoning at
a high cost. Nearly 100 Americans are dying every month. The United
States is spending $2 billion a week. Our ability to respond to other
international crises is constrained. A majority of the American people
are soured on the war. This level of expense is not sustainable over
an extended period, especially when progress is not being made. The
longer the United States remains in Iraq without progress, the more
resentment will grow among Iraqis who believe they are subjects of a
repressive American occupation. As one U.S. official said to us, "Our
leaving would make it worse. . . . The current approach without
modification will not make it better."

3. More Troops for Iraq

Sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the
fundamental cause of violence in Iraq, which is the absence of
national reconciliation. A senior American general told us that adding
U.S. troops might temporarily help limit violence in a highly
localized area. However, past experience indicates that the violence
would simply rekindle as soon as U.S. forces are moved to another
area. As another American general told us, if the Iraqi government
does not make political progress, "all the troops in the world will
not provide security." Meanwhile, America's military capacity is
stretched thin: we do not have the troops or equipment to make a
substantial, sustained increase in our troop presence. Increased
deployments to Iraq would also necessarily hamper our ability to
provide adequate resources for our efforts in Afghanistan or respond
to crises around the world.

4. Devolution to Three Regions

The costs associated with devolving Iraq into three semiautonomous
regions with loose central control would be too high. Because Iraq's
population is not neatly separated, regional boundaries cannot be easily
drawn. All eighteen Iraqi provinces have mixed populations, as do
Baghdad and most other major cities in Iraq. A rapid devolution could
result in mass population movements, collapse of the Iraqi security
forces, strengthening of militias, ethnic cleansing, destabilization
of neighboring states, or attempts by neighboring states to dominate
Iraqi regions. Iraqis, particularly Sunni Arabs, told us that such a
division would confirm wider fears across the Arab world that the
United States invaded Iraq to weaken a strong Arab state.

While such devolution is a possible consequence of continued
instability in Iraq, we do not believe the United States should
support this course as a policy goal or impose this outcome on the
Iraqi state. If events were to move irreversibly in this direction,
the United States should manage the situation to ameliorate
humanitarian consequences, contain the spread of violence, and
minimize regional instability. The United States should support as
much as possible central control by governmental authorities in
Baghdad, particularly on the question of oil revenues.

D. Achieving Our Goals

We agree with the goal of U.S. policy in Iraq, as stated by the
President: an Iraq that can "govern itself, sustain itself, and defend
itself." In our view, this definition entails an Iraq with a broadly
representative government that maintains its territorial integrity, is
at peace with its neighbors, denies terrorism a sanctuary, and doesn't
brutalize its own people. Given the current situation in Iraq,
achieving this goal will require much time and will depend primarily
on the actions of the Iraqi people.

In our judgment, there is a new way forward for the United States to
support this objective, and it will offer people of Iraq a reasonable
opportunity to lead a better life than they did under Saddam Hussein.
Our recommended course has shortcomings, as does each of the policy
alternatives we have reviewed. We firmly believe, however, that it
includes the best strategies and tactics available to us to positively
influence the outcome in Iraq and the region. We believe that it could
enable a responsible transition that will give the Iraqi people a
chance to pursue a better future, as well as serving America's
interests and values in the years ahead.


The Way Forward--A New Approach

Progress in Iraq is still possible if new approaches are taken
promptly by Iraq, the United States, and other countries that have a
stake in the Middle East.

To attain the goals we have outlined, changes in course must be made
both outside and inside Iraq. Our report offers a comprehensive
strategy to build regional and international support for stability in
Iraq, as it encourages the Iraqi people to assume control of their own
destiny. It offers a responsible transition.

Externally, the United States should immediately begin to employ all
elements of American power to construct a regional mechanism that can
support, rather than retard, progress in Iraq. Internally, the Iraqi
government must take the steps required to achieve national
reconciliation, reduce violence, and improve the daily lives of
Iraqis. Efforts to implement these external and internal strategies
must begin now and must be undertaken in concert with one another.

This responsible transition can allow for a reduction in the U.S.
presence in Iraq over time.

A. The External Approach: Building an International Consensus

The United States must build a new international consensus for
stability in Iraq and the region.

In order to foster such consensus, the United States should embark on
a robust diplomatic effort to establish an international support
structure intended to stabilize Iraq and ease tensions in other
countries in the region. This support structure should include every
country that has an interest in averting a chaotic Iraq, including all
of Iraq's neighbors--Iran and Syria among them. Despite the well-known
differences between many of these countries, they all share an
interest in avoiding the horrific consequences that would flow from a
chaotic Iraq, particularly a humanitarian catastrophe and regional

A reinvigorated diplomatic effort is required because it is clear that
the Iraqi government cannot succeed in governing, defending, and
sustaining itself by relying on U.S. military and economic support
alone. Nor can the Iraqi government succeed by relying only on U.S.
military support in conjunction with Iraqi military and police
capabilities. Some states have been withholding commitments they could
make to support Iraq's stabilization and reconstruction. Some states
have been actively undermining stability in Iraq. To achieve a
political solution within Iraq, a broader international support
structure is needed.

1. The New Diplomatic Offensive

Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other major
regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts. To put it
simply, all key issues in the Middle East--the Arab-Israeli conflict,
Iraq, Iran, the need for political and economic reforms, and extremism
and terrorism--are inextricably linked. In addition to supporting
stability in Iraq, a comprehensive diplomatic offensive--the New
Diplomatic Offensive--should address these key regional issues. By
doing so, it would help marginalize extremists and terrorists, promote
U.S. values and interests, and improve America's global image.

Under the diplomatic offensive, we propose regional and international
initiatives and steps to assist the Iraqi government in achieving
certain security, political, and economic milestones. Achieving these
milestones will require at least the acquiescence of Iraq's neighbors,
and their active and timely cooperation would be highly desirable.

The diplomatic offensive would extend beyond the primarily economic
"Compact for Iraq" by also emphasizing political, diplomatic, and
security issues. At the same time, it would be coordinated with the
goals of the Compact for Iraq. The diplomatic offensive would also be
broader and more far-reaching than the "Gulf Plus Two" efforts
currently being conducted, and those efforts should be folded into and
become part of the diplomatic offensive.

States included within the diplomatic offensive can play a major role
in reinforcing national reconciliation efforts between Iraqi Sunnis
and Shia. Such reinforcement would contribute substantially to
legitimizing of the political process in Iraq. Iraq's leaders may not
be able to come together unless they receive the necessary signals and
support from abroad. This backing will not materialize of its own
accord, and must be encouraged urgently by the United States.

In order to advance a comprehensive diplomatic solution, the Study
Group recommends as follows:

RECOMMENDATION 1: The United States, working with the Iraqi
government, should launch the comprehensive New Diplomatic Offensive
to deal with the problems of Iraq and of the region. This new
diplomatic offensive should be launched before December 31, 2006.

RECOMMENDATION 2: The goals of the diplomatic offensive as it relates
to regional players should be to:

i. Support the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.

ii. Stop destabilizing interventions and actions by Iraq's neighbors.

iii. Secure Iraq's borders, including the use of joint patrols with
neighboring countries.

iv. Prevent the expansion of the instability and conflict beyond
Iraq's borders.

v. Promote economic assistance, commerce, trade, political support,
and, if possible, military assistance for the Iraqi government from
non-neighboring Muslim nations.

vi. Energize countries to support national political reconciliation in

vii. Validate Iraq's legitimacy by resuming diplomatic relations,
where appropriate, and reestablishing embassies in Baghdad.

viii. Assist Iraq in establishing active working embassies in key
capitals in the region (for example, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).

ix. Help Iraq reach a mutually acceptable agreement on Kirkuk.

x. Assist the Iraqi government in achieving certain security,
political, and economic milestones, including better performance on
issues such as national reconciliation, equitable distribution of oil
revenues, and the dismantling of militias.

RECOMMENDATION 3: As a complement to the diplomatic offensive, and in
addition to the Support Group discussed below, the United States and
the Iraqi government should support the holding of a conference or
meeting in Baghdad of the Organization of the Islamic Conference or
the Arab League both to assist the Iraqi government in promoting
national reconciliation in Iraq and to reestablish their diplomatic
presence in Iraq.

2. The Iraq International Support Group

This new diplomatic offensive cannot be successful unless it includes
the active participation of those countries that have a critical stake
in preventing Iraq from falling into chaos. To encourage their
participation, the United States should immediately seek the creation
of the Iraq International Support Group. The Support Group should also
include all countries that border Iraq as well as other key countries
in the region and the world.

The Support Group would not seek to impose obligations or undertakings
on the government of Iraq. Instead, the Support Group would assist
Iraq in ways the government of Iraq would desire, attempting to
strengthen Iraq's sovereignty--not diminish it.

It is clear to Iraq Study Group members that all of Iraq's neighbors
are anxious about the situation in Iraq. They favor a unified Iraq
that is strong enough to maintain its territorial integrity, but not
so powerful as to threaten its neighbors. None favors the breakup of
the Iraqi state. Each country in the region views the situation in
Iraq through the filter of its particular set of interests. For

--Turkey opposes an independent or even highly autonomous Kurdistan
because of its own national security considerations.

--Iran backs Shia claims and supports various Shia militias in Iraq,
but it also supports other groups in order to enhance its influence
and hedge its bets on possible outcomes.

--Syria, despite facilitating support for Iraqi insurgent groups,
would be threatened by the impact that the breakup of Iraq would have
on its own multiethnic and multiconfessional society.

--Kuwait wants to ensure that it will not once again be the victim of
Iraqi irredentism and aggression.

--Saudi Arabia and Jordan share Sunni concerns over Shia ascendancy in
Iraq and the region as a whole.

--The other Arab Gulf states also recognize the benefits of an outcome
in Iraq that does not destabilize the region and exacerbate Shia-Sunni

--None of Iraq's neighbors--especially major countries such as Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, and Israel--see it in their interest for the situation
in Iraq to lead to aggrandized regional influence by Iran. Indeed,
they may take active steps to limit Iran's influence, steps that could
lead to an intraregional conflict.

Left to their own devices, these governments will tend to reinforce
ethnic, sectarian, and political divisions within Iraqi society. But
if the Support Group takes a systematic and active approach toward
considering the concerns of each country, we believe that each can be
encouraged to play a positive role in Iraq and the region.

SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia's agreement not to intervene with
assistance to Sunni Arab Iraqis could be an essential quid pro quo for
similar forbearance on the part of other neighbors, especially Iran.
The Saudis could use their Islamic credentials to help reconcile
differences between Iraqi factions and build broader support in the
Islamic world for a stabilization agreement, as their recent hosting
of a meeting of Islamic religious leaders in Mecca suggests. If the
government in Baghdad pursues a path of national reconciliation with
the Sunnis, the Saudis could help Iraq confront and eliminate al Qaeda
in Iraq. They could also cancel the Iraqi debt owed them. In addition,
the Saudis might be helpful in persuading the Syrians to cooperate.

TURKEY. As a major Sunni Muslim country on Iraq's borders, Turkey can
be a partner in supporting the national reconciliation process in
Iraq. Such efforts can be particularly helpful given Turkey's interest
in Kurdistan remaining an integral part of a unified Iraq and its
interest in preventing a safe haven for Kurdish terrorists (the PKK).

EGYPT. Because of its important role in the Arab world, Egypt should
be encouraged to foster the national reconciliation process in Iraq
with a focus on getting the Sunnis to participate. At the same time,
Egypt has the means, and indeed has offered, to train groups of Iraqi
military and security forces in Egypt on a rotational basis.

JORDAN. Jordan, like Egypt, can help in the national reconciliation
process in Iraq with the Sunnis. It too has the professional
capability to train and equip Iraqi military and security forces.

RECOMMENDATION 4: As an instrument of the New Diplomatic Offensive, an
Iraq International Support Group should be organized immediately
following the launch of the New Diplomatic Offensive.

RECOMMENDATION 5: The Support Group should consist of Iraq and all the
states bordering Iraq, including Iran and Syria; the key regional
states, including Egypt and the Gulf States; the five permanent
members of the United Nations Security Council; the European Union;
and, of course, Iraq itself. Other countries--for instance, Germany,
Japan and South Korea--that might be willing to contribute to
resolving political, diplomatic, and security problems affecting Iraq
could also become members.

RECOMMENDATION 6: The New Diplomatic Offensive and the work of the
Support Group should be carried out with urgency, and should be
conducted by and organized at the level of foreign minister or above.
The Secretary of State, if not the President, should lead the U.S.
effort. That effort should be both bilateral and multilateral, as
circumstances require.

RECOMMENDATION 7: The Support Group should call on the participation
of the office of the United Nations Secretary-General in its work. The
United Nations Secretary-General should designate a Special Envoy as
his representative.

RECOMMENDATION 8: The Support Group, as part of the New Diplomatic
Offensive, should develop specific approaches to neighboring countries
that take into account the interests, perspectives, and potential
contributions as suggested above.

3. Dealing with Iran and Syria

Dealing with Iran and Syria is controversial. Nevertheless, it is our
view that in diplomacy, a nation can and should engage its adversaries
and enemies to try to resolve conflicts and differences consistent
with its own interests. Accordingly, the Support Group should actively
engage Iran and Syria in its diplomatic dialogue, without

The Study Group recognizes that U.S. relationships with Iran and Syria
involve difficult issues that must be resolved. Diplomatic talks
should be extensive and substantive, and they will require a balancing
of interests. The United States has diplomatic, economic, and military
disincentives available in approaches to both Iran and Syria. However,
the United States should also consider incentives to try to engage
them constructively, much as it did successfully with Libya.

Some of the possible incentives to Iran, Syria, or both include:

i. An Iraq that does not disintegrate and destabilize its neighbors
and the region.

ii. The continuing role of the United States in preventing the Taliban
from destabilizing Afghanistan.

iii. Accession to international organizations, including the World
Trade Organization.

iv. Prospects for enhanced diplomatic relations with the United

v. The prospect of a U.S. policy that emphasizes political and
economic reforms instead of (as Iran now perceives it) advocating
regime change.

vi. Prospects for a real, complete, and secure peace to be negotiated
between Israel and Syria, with U.S. involvement as part of a broader
initiative on Arab-Israeli peace as outlined below.

RECOMMENDATION 9: Under the aegis of the New Diplomatic Offensive and
the Support Group, the United States should engage directly with Iran
and Syria in order to try to obtain their commitment to constructive
policies toward Iraq and other regional issues. In engaging Syria and
Iran, the United States should consider incentives, as well as
disincentives, in seeking constructive results.

IRAN. Engaging Iran is problematic, especially given the state of the
U.S.-Iranian relationship. Yet the United States and Iran cooperated
in Afghanistan, and both sides should explore whether this model can
be replicated in the case of Iraq.

Although Iran sees it in its interest to have the United States bogged
down in Iraq, Iran's interests would not be served by a failure of
U.S. policy in Iraq that led to chaos and the territorial
disintegration of the Iraqi state. Iran's population is slightly more
than 50 percent Persian, but it has a large Azeri minority (24 percent
of the population) as well as Kurdish and Arab minorities. Worst-case
scenarios in Iraq could inflame sectarian tensions within Iran, with
serious consequences for Iranian national security interests.

Our limited contacts with Iran's government lead us to believe that
its leaders are likely to say they will not participate in diplomatic
efforts to support stability in Iraq. They attribute this reluctance
to their belief that the United States seeks regime change in Iran.

Nevertheless, as one of Iraq's neighbors Iran should be asked to
assume its responsibility to participate in the Support Group. An
Iranian refusal to do so would demonstrate to Iraq and the rest of the
world Iran's rejectionist attitude and approach, which could lead to
its isolation. Further, Iran's refusal to cooperate on this matter
would diminish its prospects of engaging with the United States in the
broader dialogue it seeks.

RECOMMENDATION 10: The issue of Iran's nuclear programs should
continue to be dealt with by the United Nations Security Council and
its five permanent members (i.e., the United States, United Kingdom,
France, Russia, and China) plus Germany.

RECOMMENDATION 11: Diplomatic efforts within the Support Group should
seek to persuade Iran that it should take specific steps to improve
the situation in Iraq.

Among steps Iran could usefully take are the following:

--Iran should stem the flow of equipment, technology, and training to
any group resorting to violence in Iraq.

--Iran should make clear its support for the territorial integrity of
Iraq as a unified state, as well as its respect for the sovereignty of
Iraq and its government.

--Iran can use its influence, especially over Shia groups in Iraq, to
encourage national reconciliation.

--Iran can also, in the right circumstances, help in the economic
reconstruction of Iraq.

SYRIA. Although the U.S.-Syrian relationship is at a low point, both
countries have important interests in the region that could be
enhanced if they were able to establish some common ground on how to
move forward. This approach worked effectively in the early 1990s. In
this context, Syria's national interests in the Arab-Israeli dispute
are important and can be brought into play.

Syria can make a major contribution to Iraq's stability in several
ways. Accordingly, the Study Group recommends the following:

RECOMMENDATION 12: The United States and the Support Group should
encourage and persuade Syria of the merit of such contributions as the

--Syria can control its border with Iraq to the maximum extent
possible and work together with Iraqis on joint patrols on the border.
Doing so will help stem the flow of funding, insurgents, and
terrorists in and out of Iraq.

--Syria can establish hotlines to exchange information with the

--Syria can increase its political and economic cooperation with Iraq.

4. The Wider Regional Context

The United States will not be able to achieve its goals in the Middle
East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli

There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States
to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria,
and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for
Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with,
by, and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept
Israel's right to exist), and particularly Syria--which is the
principal transit point for shipments of weapons to Hezbollah, and
which supports radical Palestinian groups.

The United States does its ally Israel no favors in avoiding direct
involvement to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. For several reasons,
we should act boldly:

--There is no military solution to this conflict.

--The vast majority of the Israeli body politic is tired of being a
nation perpetually at war.

--No American administration--Democratic or Republican--will ever
abandon Israel.

--Political engagement and dialogue are essential in the Arab-Israeli
dispute because it is an axiom that when the political process breaks
down there will be violence on the ground.

--The only basis on which peace can be achieved is that set forth in
UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and in the principle of
"land for peace."

--The only lasting and secure peace will be a negotiated peace such as
Israel has achieved with Egypt and Jordan.

This effort would strongly support moderate Arab governments in the
region, especially the democratically elected government of Lebanon,
and the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas.

RECOMMENDATION 13: There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by
the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts:
Lebanon and Syria, and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a
two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

RECOMMENDATION 14: This effort should include--as soon as possible--the
unconditional calling and holding of meetings, under the auspices
of the United States or the Quartet (i.e., the United States, Russia,
European Union, and the United Nations), between Israel and Lebanon
and Syria on the one hand, and Israel and Palestinians (who
acknowledge Israel's right to exist) on the other. The purpose of
these meetings would be to negotiate peace as was done at the Madrid
Conference in 1991, and on two separate tracks--one Syrian/Lebanese,
and the other Palestinian.

RECOMMENDATION 15: Concerning Syria, some elements of that negotiated
peace should be: be:

--Syria's full adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of
August 2006, which provides the framework for Lebanon to regain
sovereign control over its territory.

--Syria's full cooperation with all investigations into political
assassinations in Lebanon, especially those of Rafik Hariri and Pierre

--A verifiable cessation of Syrian aid to Hezbollah and the use of
Syrian territory for transshipment of Iranian weapons and aid to
Hezbollah. (This step would do much to solve Israel's problem with

--Syria's use of its influence with Hamas and Hezbollah for the
release of the captured Israeli Defense Force soldiers.

--A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the
democratically elected government of Lebanon.

--A verifiable cessation of arms shipments from or transiting through
Syria for Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups.

--A Syrian commitment to help obtain from Hamas an acknowledgment of
Israel's right to exist.

--Greater Syrian efforts to seal its border with Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 16: In exchange for these actions and in the context of
a full and secure peace agreement, the Israelis should return the
Golan Heights, with a U.S. security guarantee for Israel that could
include an international force on the border, including U.S. troops if
requested by both parties.

RECOMMENDATION 17: Concerning the Palestinian issue, elements of that
negotiated peace should include:

--Adherence to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and to the
principle of land for peace, which are the only bases for achieving

--Strong support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the
Palestinian Authority to take the lead in preparing the way for
negotiations with Israel.

--A major effort to move from the current hostilities by consolidating
the cease-fire reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis in
November 2006.

--Support for a Palestinian national unity government.

--Sustainable negotiations leading to a final peace settlement along
the lines of President Bush's two-state solution, which would address
the key final status issues of borders, settlements, Jerusalem, the
right of return, and the end of conflict.


At the same time, we must not lose sight of the importance of the
situation inside Afghanistan and the renewed threat posed by the
Taliban. Afghanistan's borders are porous. If the Taliban were to
control more of Afghanistan, it could provide al Qaeda the political
space to conduct terrorist operations. This development would
destabilize the region and have national security implications for the
United States and other countries around the world. Also, the
significant increase in poppy production in Afghanistan fuels the
illegal drug trade and narco-terrorism.

The huge focus of U.S. political, military, and economic support on
Iraq has necessarily diverted attention from Afghanistan. As the
United States develops its approach toward Iraq and the Middle East,
it must also give priority to the situation in Afghanistan. Doing so
may require increased political, security, and military measures.

RECOMMENDATION 18: It is critical for the United States to provide
additional political, economic, and military support for Afghanistan,
including resources that might become available as combat forces are
moved from Iraq.

B. The Internal Approach: Helping Iraqis Help Themselves

The New Diplomatic Offensive will provide the proper external
environment and support for the difficult internal steps that the
Iraqi government must take to promote national reconciliation,
establish security, and make progress on governance.

The most important issues facing Iraq's future are now the
responsibility of Iraq's elected leaders. Because of the security and
assistance it provides, the United States has a significant role to
play. Yet only the government and people of Iraq can make and sustain
certain decisions critical to Iraq's future.

1. Performance on Milestones

The United States should work closely with Iraq's leaders to support
the achievement of specific objectives--or milestones--on national
reconciliation, security, and governance. Miracles cannot be expected,
but the people of Iraq have the right to expect action and progress.
The Iraqi government needs to show its own citizens--and the citizens
of the United States and other countries--that it deserves continued

The U.S. government must make clear that it expects action by the
Iraqi government to make substantial progress toward these milestones.
Such a message can be sent only at the level of our national leaders,
and only in person, during direct consultation.

As President Bush's meeting with Prime Minister Maliki in Amman,
Jordan demonstrates, it is important for the President to remain in
close and frequent contact with the Iraqi leadership. There is no
substitute for sustained dialogue at the highest levels of government.

During these high-level exchanges, the United States should lay out an
agenda for continued support to help Iraq achieve milestones, as well
as underscoring the consequences if Iraq does not act. It should be
unambiguous that continued U.S. political, military, and economic
support for Iraq depends on the Iraqi government's demonstrating
political will and making substantial progress toward the achievement
of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance.
The transfer of command and control over Iraqi security forces units
from the United States to Iraq should be influenced by Iraq's
performance on milestones.

The United States should also signal that it is seeking broad
international support for Iraq on behalf of achieving these
milestones. The United States can begin to shape a positive climate
for its diplomatic efforts, internationally and within Iraq, through
public statements by President Bush that reject the notion that the
United States seeks to control Iraq's oil, or seeks permanent military
bases within Iraq. However, the United States could consider a request
from Iraq for temporary bases.

RECOMMENDATION 19: The President and the leadership of his national
security team should remain in close and frequent contact with the
Iraqi leadership. These contacts must convey a clear message: there
must be action by the Iraqi government to make substantial progress
toward the achievement of milestones. In public diplomacy, the
President should convey as much detail as possible about the substance
of these exchanges in order to keep the American people, the Iraqi
people, and the countries in the region well informed.

RECOMMENDATION 20: If the Iraqi government demonstrates political will
and makes substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on
national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States
should make clear its willingness to continue training, assistance,
and support for Iraq's security forces, and to continue political,
military, and economic support for the Iraqi government. As Iraq
becomes more capable of governing, defending, and sustaining itself,
the U.S. military and civilian presence in Iraq can be reduced.

RECOMMENDATION 21: If the Iraqi government does not make substantial
progress toward the achievement of milestones on national
reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should
reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi

RECOMMENDATION 22: The President should state that the United States
does not seek permanent military bases in Iraq. If the Iraqi
government were to request a temporary base or bases, then the U.S.
government could consider that request as it would in the case of any
other government.

RECOMMENDATION 23: The President should restate that the United States
does not seek to control Iraq's oil.

Milestones for Iraq

The government of Iraq understands that dramatic steps are necessary
to avert a downward spiral and make progress. Prime Minister Maliki
has worked closely in consultation with the United States and has put
forward the following milestones in the key areas of national
reconciliation, security and governance:


By the end of 2006-early 2007:

Approval of the Provincial Election Law and setting an election date

Approval of the Petroleum Law

Approval of the De-Baathification Law

Approval of the Militia Law

By March 2007:

A referendum on constitutional amendments (if it is necessary)

By May 2007:

Completion of Militia Law implementation

Approval of amnesty agreement

Completion of reconciliation efforts

By June 2007:

Provincial elections

SECURITY (pending joint U.S.-Iraqi review)

By the end of 2006:

Iraqi increase of 2007 security spending over 2006 levels

By April 2007:

Iraqi control of the Army

By September 2007:

Iraqi control of provinces

By December 2007:

Iraqi security self-reliance (with U.S. support)


By the end of 2006:

The Central Bank of Iraq will raise interest rates to 20 percent and
appreciate the Iraqi dinar by 10 percent to combat accelerating

Iraq will continue increasing domestic prices for refined petroleum
products and sell imported fuel at market prices.

RECOMMENDATION 24: The contemplated completion dates of the end of
2006 or early 2007 for some milestones may not be realistic. These
should be completed by the first quarter of 2007.

RECOMMENDATION 25: These milestones are a good start. The United
States should consult closely with the Iraqi government and develop
additional milestones in three areas: national reconciliation,
security, and improving government services affecting the daily lives
of Iraqis. As with the current milestones, these additional milestones
should be tied to calendar dates to the fullest extent possible.

2. National Reconciliation

National reconciliation is essential to reduce further violence and
maintain the unity of Iraq.

U.S. forces can help provide stability for a time to enable Iraqi
leaders to negotiate political solutions, but they cannot stop the
violence--or even contain it--if there is no underlying political
agreement among Iraqis about the future of their country.

The Iraqi government must send a clear signal to Sunnis that there is
a place for them in national life. The government needs to act now, to
give a signal of hope. Unless Sunnis believe they can get a fair deal
in Iraq through the political process, there is no prospect that the
insurgency will end. To strike this fair deal, the Iraqi government
and the Iraqi people must address several issues that are critical to
the success of national reconciliation and thus to the future of Iraq.

Steps for Iraq to Take on Behalf of National Reconciliation

RECOMMENDATION 26: Constitution review. Review of the constitution is
essential to national reconciliation and should be pursued on an
urgent basis. The United Nations has expertise in this field, and
should play a role in this process.

RECOMMENDATION 27: De-Baathification. Political reconciliation
requires the reintegration of Baathists and Arab nationalists into
national life, with the leading figures of Saddam Hussein's regime
excluded. The United States should encourage the return of qualified
Iraqi professionals--Sunni or Shia, nationalist or ex-Baathist, Kurd
or Turkmen or Christian or Arab--into the government.

RECOMMENDATION 28: Oil revenue sharing. Oil revenues should accrue to
the central government and be shared on the basis of population. No
formula that gives control over revenues from future fields to the
regions or gives control of oil fields to the regions is compatible
with national reconciliation.

RECOMMENDATION 29: Provincial elections. Provincial elections should
be held at the earliest possible date. Under the constitution, new
provincial elections should have been held already. They are necessary
to restore representative government.

RECOMMENDATION 30: Kirkuk. Given the very dangerous situation in
Kirkuk, international arbitration is necessary to avert communal
violence. Kirkuk's mix of Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen populations could
make it a powder keg. A referendum on the future of Kirkuk (as
required by the Iraqi Constitution before the end of 2007) would be
explosive and should be delayed. This issue should be placed on the
agenda of the International Iraq Support Group as part of the New
Diplomatic Offensive.

RECOMMENDATION 31: Amnesty. Amnesty proposals must be far-reaching.
Any successful effort at national reconciliation must involve those in
the government finding ways and means to reconcile with former bitter

RECOMMENDATION 32: Minorities. The rights of women and the rights of
all minority communities in Iraq, including Turkmen, Chaldeans,
Assyrians, Yazidis, Sabeans, and Armenians, must be protected.

RECOMMENDATION 33: Civil society. The Iraqi government should stop
using the process of registering nongovernmental organizations as a
tool for politicizing or stopping their activities. Registration
should be solely an administrative act, not an occasion for government
censorship and interference.

Steps for the United States to Take on Behalf of National

The United States can take several steps to assist in Iraq's
reconciliation process.

The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is a key topic of interest in a
national reconciliation dialogue. The point is not for the United
States to set timetables or deadlines for withdrawal, an approach that
we oppose. The point is for the United States and Iraq to make clear
their shared interest in the orderly departure of U.S. forces as Iraqi
forces take on the security mission. A successful national
reconciliation dialogue will advance that departure date.

RECOMMENDATION 34: The question of the future U.S. force presence must
be on the table for discussion as the national reconciliation dialogue
takes place. Its inclusion will increase the likelihood of
participation by insurgents and militia leaders, and thereby increase
the possibilities for success.

Violence cannot end unless dialogue begins, and the dialogue must
involve those who wield power, not simply those who hold political
office. The United States must try to talk directly to Grand Ayatollah
Sistani and must consider appointing a high-level American Shia Muslim
to serve as an emissary to him. The United States must also try to
talk directly to Moqtada al-Sadr, to militia leaders, and to insurgent
leaders. The United Nations can help facilitate contacts.

RECOMMENDATION 35: The United States must make active efforts to
engage all parties in Iraq, with the exception of al Qaeda. The United
States must find a way to talk to Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Moqtada
al-Sadr, and militia and insurgent leaders.

The very focus on sectarian identity that endangers Iraq also presents
opportunities to seek broader support for a national reconciliation
dialogue. Working with Iraqi leaders, the international community and
religious leaders can play an important role in fostering dialogue and
reconciliation across the sectarian divide. The United States should
actively encourage the constructive participation of all who can take
part in advancing national reconciliation within Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 36: The United States should encourage dialogue between
sectarian communities, as outlined in the New Diplomatic Offensive
above. It should press religious leaders inside and outside Iraq to
speak out on behalf of peace and reconciliation.

Finally, amnesty proposals from the Iraqi government are an important
incentive in reconciliation talks and they need to be generous.
Amnesty proposals to once-bitter enemies will be difficult for the
United States to accept, just as they will be difficult for the Iraqis
to make. Yet amnesty is an issue to be grappled with by the Iraqis,
not by Americans. Despite being politically unpopular--in the United
States as well as in Iraq--amnesty is essential if progress is to take
place. Iraqi leaders need to be certain that they have U.S. support as
they move forward with this critical element of national

RECOMMENDATION 37: Iraqi amnesty proposals must not be undercut in
Washington by either the executive or the legislative branch.

Militias and National Reconciliation

The use of force by the government of Iraq is appropriate and
necessary to stop militias that act as death squads or use violence
against institutions of the state. However, solving the problem of
militias requires national reconciliation.

Dealing with Iraq's militias will require long-term attention, and
substantial funding will be needed to disarm, demobilize, and
reintegrate militia members into civilian society. Around the world,
this process of transitioning members of irregular military forces
from civil conflict to new lives once a peace settlement takes hold is
familiar. The disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of
militias depends on national reconciliation and on confidence-building
measures among the parties to that reconciliation.

Both the United Nations and expert and experienced nongovernmental
organizations, especially the International Organization for
Migration, must be on the ground with appropriate personnel months
before any program to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate militia
members begins. Because the United States is a party to the conflict,
the U.S. military should not be involved in implementing such a
program. Yet U.S. financial and technical support is crucial.

RECOMMENDATION 38: The United States should support the presence of
neutral international experts as advisors to the Iraqi government on
the processes of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration.

RECOMMENDATION 39: The United States should provide financial and
technical support and establish a single office in Iraq to coordinate
assistance to the Iraqi government and its expert advisors to aid a
program to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate militia members.

3. Security and Military Forces

A Military Strategy for Iraq

There is no action the American military can take that, by itself, can
bring about success in Iraq. But there are actions that the U.S. and
Iraqi governments, working together, can and should take to increase
the probability of avoiding disaster there, and increase the chance of

The Iraqi government should accelerate the urgently needed national
reconciliation program to which it has already committed. And it
should accelerate assuming responsibility for Iraqi security by
increasing the number and quality of Iraqi Army brigades. As the Iraqi
Army increases in size and capability, the Iraqi government should be
able to take real responsibility for governance.

While this process is under way, and to facilitate it, the United
States should significantly increase the number of U.S. military
personnel, including combat troops, imbedded in and supporting Iraqi
Army units. As these actions proceed, we could begin to move combat
forces out of Iraq. The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should
evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over
primary responsibility for combat operations. We should continue to
maintain support forces, rapid-reaction forces, special operations
forces, intelligence units, search-and-rescue units, and force
protection units.

While the size and composition of the Iraqi Army is ultimately a
matter for the Iraqi government to determine, we should be firm on the
urgent near-term need for significant additional trained Army
brigades, since this is the key to Iraqis taking over full
responsibility for their own security, which they want to do and which
we need them to do. It is clear that they will still need security
assistance from the United States for some time to come as they work
to achieve political and security changes.

One of the most important elements of our support would be the
imbedding of substantially more U.S. military personnel in all Iraqi
Army battalions and brigades, as well as within Iraqi companies. U.S.
personnel would provide advice, combat assistance, and staff
assistance. The training of Iraqi units by the United States has
improved and should continue for the coming year. In addition to this
training, Iraqi combat units need supervised on-the-job training as
they move to field operations. This on-the-job training could be best
done by imbedding more U.S. military personnel in Iraqi deployed
units. The number of imbedded personnel would be based on the
recommendation of our military commanders in Iraq, but it should be
large enough to accelerate the development of a real combat capability
in Iraqi Army units. Such a mission could involve 10,000 to 20,000
American troops instead of the 3,000 to 4,000 now in this role. This
increase in imbedded troops could be carried out without an aggregate
increase over time in the total number of troops in Iraq by making a
corresponding decrease in troops assigned to U.S. combat brigades.

Another mission of the U.S. military would be to assist Iraqi deployed
brigades with intelligence, transportation, air support, and logistics
support, as well as providing some key equipment.

A vital mission of the U.S. military would be to maintain
rapid-reaction teams and special operations teams. These teams would be
available to undertake strike missions against al Qaeda in Iraq when
the opportunity arises, as well as for other missions considered vital
by the U.S. commander in Iraq.

The performance of the Iraqi Army could also be significantly improved
if it had improved equipment. One source could be equipment left
behind by departing U.S. units. The quickest and most effective way
for the Iraqi Army to get the bulk of their equipment would be through
our Foreign Military Sales program, which they have already begun to

While these efforts are building up, and as additional Iraqi brigades
are being deployed, U.S. combat brigades could begin to move out of
Iraq. By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments
in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not
necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq. At that time,
U.S. combat forces in Iraq could be deployed only in units embedded
with Iraqi forces, in rapid-reaction and special operations teams, and
in training, equipping, advising, force protection, and search and
rescue. Intelligence and support efforts would continue. Even after
the United States has moved all combat brigades out of Iraq, we would
maintain a considerable military presence in the region, with our
still significant force in Iraq and with our powerful air, ground, and
naval deployments in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar, as well as an
increased presence in Afghanistan. These forces would be sufficiently
robust to permit the United States, working with the Iraqi government,
to accomplish four missions:

--Provide political reassurance to the Iraqi government in order to
avoid its collapse and the disintegration of the country.

--Fight al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in Iraq using
special operations teams.

--Train, equip, and support the Iraqi security forces.

--Deter even more destructive interference in Iraq by Syria and Iran.

Because of the importance of Iraq to our regional security goals and
to our ongoing fight against al Qaeda, we considered proposals to make
a substantial increase (100,000 to 200,000) in the number of U.S.
troops in Iraq. We rejected this course because we do not believe that
the needed levels are available for a sustained deployment. Further,
adding more American troops could conceivably worsen those aspects of
the security problem that are fed by the view that the U.S. presence
is intended to be a long-term "occupation." We could, however, support
a short-term redeployment or surge of American combat forces to
stabilize Baghdad, or to speed up the training and equipping mission,
if the U.S. commander in Iraq determines that such steps would be

We also rejected the immediate withdrawal of our troops, because we
believe that so much is at stake.

We believe that our recommended actions will give the Iraqi Army the
support it needs to have a reasonable chance to take responsibility
for Iraq's security. Given the ongoing deterioration in the security
situation, it is urgent to move as quickly as possible to have that
security role taken over by Iraqi security forces.

The United States should not make an open-ended commitment to keep
large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq for three compelling

First, and most importantly, the United States faces other security
dangers in the world, and a continuing Iraqi commitment of American
ground forces at present levels will leave no reserve available to
meet other contingencies. On September 7, 2006, General James Jones,
our NATO commander, called for more troops in Afghanistan, where U.S.
and NATO forces are fighting a resurgence of al Qaeda and Taliban
forces. The United States should respond positively to that request,
and be prepared for other security contingencies, including those in
Iran and North Korea.

Second, the long-term commitment of American ground forces to Iraq at
current levels is adversely affecting Army readiness, with less than a
third of the Army units currently at high readiness levels. The Army
is unlikely to be able to meet the next rotation of troops in Iraq
without undesirable changes in its deployment practices. The Army is
now considering breaking its compact with the National Guard and
Reserves that limits the number of years that these citizen-soldiers
can be deployed. Behind this short-term strain is the longer-term risk
that the ground forces will be impaired in ways that will take years
to reverse.

And finally, an open-ended commitment of American forces would not
provide the Iraqi government the incentive it needs to take the
political actions that give Iraq the best chance of quelling sectarian
violence. In the absence of such an incentive, the Iraqi government
might continue to delay taking those difficult actions.

While it is clear that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is
moderating the violence, there is little evidence that the long-term
deployment of U.S. troops by itself has led or will lead to
fundamental improvements in the security situation. It is important to
recognize that there are no risk-free alternatives available to the
United States at this time. Reducing our combat troop commitments in
Iraq, whenever that occurs, undeniably creates risks, but leaving
those forces tied down in Iraq indefinitely creates its own set of
security risks.

RECOMMENDATION 40: The United States should not make an open-ended
commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 41: The United States must make it clear to the Iraqi
government that the United States could carry out its plans, including
planned redeployments, even if Iraq does not implement its planned
changes. America's other security needs and the future of our military
cannot be made hostage to the actions or inactions of the Iraqi

RECOMMENDATION 42: We should seek to complete the training and
equipping mission by the first quarter of 2008, as stated by General
George Casey on October 24, 2006.

RECOMMENDATION 43: Military priorities in Iraq must change, with the
highest priority given to the training, equipping, advising, and
support mission and to counterterrorism operations.

RECOMMENDATION 44: The most highly qualified U.S. officers and
military personnel should be assigned to the imbedded teams, and
American teams should be present with Iraqi units down to the company
level. The U.S. military should establish suitable career-enhancing
incentives for these officers and personnel.

RECOMMENDATION 45: The United States should support more and better
equipment for the Iraqi Army by encouraging the Iraqi government to
accelerate its Foreign Military Sales requests and, as American combat
brigades move out of Iraq, by leaving behind some American equipment
for Iraqi forces.

Restoring the U.S. Military

We recognize that there are other results of the war in Iraq that have
great consequence for our nation. One consequence has been the stress
and uncertainty imposed on our military--the most professional and
proficient military in history. The United States will need its
military to protect U.S. security regardless of what happens in Iraq.
We therefore considered how to limit the adverse consequences of the
strain imposed on our military by the Iraq war.

U.S. military forces, especially our ground forces, have been
stretched nearly to the breaking point by the repeated deployments in
Iraq, with attendant casualties (almost 3,000 dead and more than
21,000 wounded), greater difficulty in recruiting, and accelerated
wear on equipment.

Additionally, the defense budget as a whole is in danger of disarray,
as supplemental funding winds down and reset costs become clear. It
will be a major challenge to meet ongoing requirements for other
current and future security threats that need to be accommodated
together with spending for operations and maintenance, reset,
personnel, and benefits for active duty and retired personnel.
Restoring the capability of our military forces should be a high
priority for the United States at this time.

The U.S. military has a long tradition of strong partnership between
the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense and the uniformed
services. Both have long benefited from a relationship in which the
civilian leadership exercises control with the advantage of fully
candid professional advice, and the military serves loyally with the
understanding that its advice has been heard and valued. That
tradition has frayed, and civil-military relations need to be

RECOMMENDATION 46: The new Secretary of Defense should make every
effort to build healthy civil-military relations, by creating an
environment in which the senior military feel free to offer
independent advice not only to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon
but also to the President and the National Security Council, as
envisioned in the Goldwater-Nichols legislation.

RECOMMENDATION 47: As redeployment proceeds, the Pentagon leadership
should emphasize training and education programs for the forces that
have returned to the continental United States in order to "reset" the
force and restore the U.S. military to a high level of readiness for
global contingencies.

RECOMMENDATION 48: As equipment returns to the United States, Congress
should appropriate sufficient funds to restore the equipment to full
functionality over the next five years.

RECOMMENDATION 49: The administration, in full consultation with the
relevant committees of Congress, should assess the full future
budgetary impact of the war in Iraq and its potential impact on the
future readiness of the force, the ability to recruit and retain
high-quality personnel, needed investments in procurement and in research
and development, and the budgets of other U.S. government agencies
involved in the stability and reconstruction effort.

4. Police and Criminal Justice

The problems in the Iraqi police and criminal justice system are

The ethos and training of Iraqi police forces must support the mission
to "protect and serve" all Iraqis. Today, far too many Iraqi police do
not embrace that mission, in part because of problems in how reforms
were organized and implemented by the Iraqi and U.S. governments.

Recommended Iraqi Actions

Within Iraq, the failure of the police to restore order and prevent
militia infiltration is due, in part, to the poor organization of
Iraq's component police forces: the Iraqi National Police, the Iraqi
Border Police, and the Iraqi Police Service.

The Iraqi National Police pursue a mission that is more military than
domestic in nature--involving commando-style operations--and is thus
ill-suited to the Ministry of the Interior. The more natural home for
the National Police is within the Ministry of Defense, which should be
the authority for counterinsurgency operations and heavily armed
forces. Though depriving the Ministry of the Interior of operational
forces, this move will place the Iraqi National Police under better
and more rigorous Iraqi and U.S. supervision and will enable these
units to better perform their counterinsurgency mission.

RECOMMENDATION 50: The entire Iraqi National Police should be
transferred to the Ministry of Defense, where the police commando
units will become part of the new Iraqi Army.

Similarly, the Iraqi Border Police are charged with a role that bears
little resemblance to ordinary policing, especially in light of the
current flow of foreign fighters, insurgents, and weaponry across
Iraq's borders and the need for joint patrols of the border with
foreign militaries. Thus the natural home for the Border Police is
within the Ministry of Defense, which should be the authority for
controlling Iraq's borders.

RECOMMENDATION 51: The entire Iraqi Border Police should be
transferred to the Ministry of Defense, which would have total
responsibility for border control and external security.

The Iraqi Police Service, which operates in the provinces and provides
local policing, needs to become a true police force. It needs legal
authority, training, and equipment to control crime and protect Iraqi
citizens. Accomplishing those goals will not be easy, and the presence
of American advisors will be required to help the Iraqis determine a
new role for the police.

RECOMMENDATION 52: The Iraqi Police Service should be given greater
responsibility to conduct criminal investigations and should expand
its cooperation with other elements in the Iraqi judicial system in
order to better control crime and protect Iraqi civilians.

In order to more effectively administer the Iraqi Police Service, the
Ministry of the Interior needs to undertake substantial reforms to
purge bad elements and highlight best practices. Once the ministry
begins to function effectively, it can exert a positive influence over
the provinces and take back some of the authority that was lost to
local governments through decentralization. To reduce corruption and
militia infiltration, the Ministry of the Interior should take
authority from the local governments for the handling of policing
funds. Doing so will improve accountability and organizational
discipline, limit the authority of provincial police officials, and
identify police officers with the central government.

RECOMMENDATION 53: The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior should undergo a
process of organizational transformation, including efforts to expand
the capability and reach of the current major crime unit (or Criminal
Investigation Division) and to exert more authority over local police
forces. The sole authority to pay police salaries and disburse
financial support to local police should be transferred to the
Ministry of the Interior.

Finally, there is no alternative to bringing the Facilities Protection
Service under the control of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior.
Simply disbanding these units is not an option, as the members will
take their weapons and become full-time militiamen or insurgents. All
should be brought under the authority of a reformed Ministry of the
Interior. They will need to be vetted, retrained, and closely
supervised. Those who are no longer part of the Facilities Protection
Service need to participate in a disarmament, demobilization, and
reintegration program (outlined above).

RECOMMENDATION 54: The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior should proceed
with current efforts to identify, register, and control the Facilities
Protection Service.

U.S. Actions

The Iraqi criminal justice system is weak, and the U.S. training
mission has been hindered by a lack of clarity and capacity. It has
not always been clear who is in charge of the police training mission,
and the U.S. military lacks expertise in certain areas pertaining to
police and the rule of law. The United States has been more successful
in training the Iraqi Army than it has the police. The U.S. Department
of Justice has the expertise and capacity to carry out the police
training mission. The U.S. Department of Defense is already bearing
too much of the burden in Iraq. Meanwhile, the pool of expertise in
the United States on policing and the rule of law has been

The United States should adjust its training mission in Iraq to match
the recommended changes in the Iraqi government--the movement of the
National and Border Police to the Ministry of Defense and the new
emphasis on the Iraqi Police Service within the Ministry of the
Interior. To reflect the reorganization, the Department of Defense
would continue to train the Iraqi National and Border Police, and the
Department of Justice would become responsible for training the Iraqi
Police Service.

RECOMMENDATION 55: The U.S. Department of Defense should continue its
mission to train the Iraqi National Police and the Iraqi Border
Police, which should be placed within the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.

RECOMMENDATION 56: The U.S. Department of Justice should direct the
training mission of the police forces remaining under the Ministry of
the Interior.

RECOMMENDATION 57: Just as U.S. military training teams are imbedded
within Iraqi Army units, the current practice of imbedding U.S. police
trainers should be expanded and the numbers of civilian training
officers increased so that teams can cover all levels of the Iraqi
Police Service, including local police stations. These trainers should
be obtained from among experienced civilian police executives and
supervisors from around the world. These officers would replace the
military police personnel currently assigned to training teams.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has provided personnel to train
the Criminal Investigation Division in the Ministry of the Interior,
which handles major crimes. The FBI has also fielded a large team
within Iraq for counterterrorism activities.

Building on this experience, the training programs should be expanded
and should include the development of forensic investigation training
and facilities that could apply scientific and technical investigative
methods to counterterrorism as well as to ordinary criminal activity.

RECOMMENDATION 58: The FBI should expand its investigative and
forensic training and facilities within Iraq, to include coverage of
terrorism as well as criminal activity.

One of the major deficiencies of the Iraqi Police Service is its lack
of equipment, particularly in the area of communications and motor

RECOMMENDATION 59: The Iraqi government should provide funds to expand
and upgrade communications equipment and motor vehicles for the Iraqi
Police Service.

The Department of Justice is also better suited than the Department of
Defense to carry out the mission of reforming Iraq's Ministry of the
Interior and Iraq's judicial system. Iraq needs more than training for
cops on the beat: it needs courts, trained prosecutors and
investigators, and the ability to protect Iraqi judicial officials.

RECOMMENDATION 60: The U.S. Department of Justice should lead the work
of organizational transformation in the Ministry of the Interior. This
approach must involve Iraqi officials, starting at senior levels and
moving down, to create a strategic plan and work out standard
administrative procedures, codes of conduct, and operational measures
that Iraqis will accept and use. These plans must be drawn up in

RECOMMENDATION 61: Programs led by the U.S. Department of Justice to
establish courts; to train judges, prosecutors, and investigators; and
to create institutions and practices to fight corruption must be
strongly supported and funded. New and refurbished courthouses with
improved physical security, secure housing for judges and judicial
staff, witness protection facilities, and a new Iraqi Marshals Service
are essential parts of a secure and functioning system of justice.

5. The Oil Sector

Since the success of the oil sector is critical to the success of the
Iraqi economy, the United States must do what it can to help Iraq
maximize its capability.

Iraq, a country with promising oil potential, could restore oil
production from existing fields to 3.0 to 3.5 million barrels a day
over a three-to five-year period, depending on evolving conditions in
key reservoirs. Even if Iraq were at peace tomorrow, oil production
would decline unless current problems in the oil sector were

Short Term


--As soon as possible, the U.S. government should provide technical
assistance to the Iraqi government to prepare a draft oil law that
defines the rights of regional and local governments and creates a
fiscal and legal framework for investment. Legal clarity is essential
to attract investment.

--The U.S. government should encourage the Iraqi government to
accelerate contracting for the comprehensive well work-overs in the
southern fields needed to increase production, but the United States
should no longer fund such infrastructure projects.

--The U.S. military should work with the Iraqi military and with
private security forces to protect oil infrastructure and contractors.
Protective measures could include a program to improve pipeline
security by paying local tribes solely on the basis of throughput
(rather than fixed amounts).

--Metering should be implemented at both ends of the supply line. This
step would immediately improve accountability in the oil sector.

--In conjunction with the International Monetary Fund, the U.S.
government should press Iraq to continue reducing subsidies in the
energy sector, instead of providing grant assistance. Until Iraqis pay
market prices for oil products, drastic fuel shortages will remain.

Long Term

Expanding oil production in Iraq over the long term will require
creating corporate structures, establishing management systems, and
installing competent managers to plan and oversee an ambitious list of
major oil-field investment projects.

To improve oil-sector performance, the Study Group puts forward the
following recommendations.


--The United States should encourage investment in Iraq's oil sector
by the international community and by international energy companies.

--The United States should assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the
national oil industry as a commercial enterprise, in order to enhance
efficiency, transparency, and accountability.

--To combat corruption, the U.S. government should urge the Iraqi
government to post all oil contracts, volumes, and prices on the Web
so that Iraqis and outside observers can track exports and export

--The United States should support the World Bank's efforts to ensure
that best practices are used in contracting. This support involves
providing Iraqi officials with contracting templates and training them
in contracting, auditing, and reviewing audits.

--The United States should provide technical assistance to the
Ministry of Oil for enhancing maintenance, improving the payments
process, managing cash flows, contracting and auditing, and updating
professional training programs for management and technical personnel.

6. U.S. Economic and Reconstruction Assistance

Building the capacity of the Iraqi government should be at the heart
of U.S. reconstruction efforts, and capacity building demands
additional U.S. resources.

Progress in providing essential government services is necessary to
sustain any progress on the political or security front. The period of
large U.S.-funded reconstruction projects is over, yet the Iraqi
government is still in great need of technical assistance and advice
to build the capacity of its institutions. The Iraqi government needs
help with all aspects of its operations, including improved
procedures, greater delegation of authority, and better internal
controls. The strong emphasis on building capable central ministries
must be accompanied by efforts to develop functioning, effective
provincial government institutions with local citizen participation.

Job creation is also essential. There is no substitute for private-sector
job generation, but the Commander's Emergency Response Program
is a necessary transitional mechanism until security and the economic
climate improve. It provides immediate economic assistance for trash
pickup, water, sewers, and electricity in conjunction with clear,
hold, and build operations, and it should be funded generously. A
total of $753 million was appropriated for this program in FY 2006.

RECOMMENDATION 64: U.S. economic assistance should be increased to a
level of $5 billion per year rather than being permitted to decline.
The President needs to ask for the necessary resources and must work
hard to win the support of Congress. Capacity building and job
creation, including reliance on the Commander's Emergency Response
Program, should be U.S. priorities. Economic assistance should be
provided on a nonsectarian basis.

The New Diplomatic Offensive can help draw in more international
partners to assist with the reconstruction mission. The United
Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, and some Arab League members
need to become hands-on participants in Iraq's reconstruction.

RECOMMENDATION 65: An essential part of reconstruction efforts in Iraq
should be greater involvement by and with international partners, who
should do more than just contribute money. They should also actively
participate in the design and construction of projects.

The number of refugees and internally displaced persons within Iraq is
increasing dramatically. If this situation is not addressed, Iraq and
the region could be further destabilized, and the humanitarian
suffering could be severe. Funding for international relief efforts is
insufficient, and should be increased.

RECOMMENDATION 66: The United States should take the lead in funding
assistance requests from the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, and other humanitarian agencies.

Coordination of Economic and Reconstruction Assistance

A lack of coordination by senior management in Washington still
hampers U.S. contributions to Iraq's reconstruction.

Focus, priority setting, and skillful implementation are in short
supply. No single official is assigned responsibility or held
accountable for the overall reconstruction effort. Representatives of
key foreign partners involved in reconstruction have also spoken to us
directly and specifically about the need for a point of contact that
can coordinate their efforts with the U.S. government.

A failure to improve coordination will result in agencies continuing
to follow conflicting strategies, wasting taxpayer dollars on
duplicative and uncoordinated efforts. This waste will further
undermine public confidence in U.S. policy in Iraq.

A Senior Advisor for Economic Reconstruction in Iraq is required. He
or she should report to the President, be given a staff and funding,
and chair a National Security Council interagency group consisting of
senior principals at the undersecretary level from all relevant U.S.
government departments and agencies. The Senior Advisor's
responsibility must be to bring unity of effort to the policy, budget,
and implementation of economic reconstruction programs in Iraq. The
Senior Advisor must act as the principal point of contact with U.S.
partners in the overall reconstruction effort.

He or she must have close and constant interaction with senior U.S.
officials and military commanders in Iraq, especially the Director of
the Iraq Reconstruction and Management Office, so that the realities
on the ground are brought directly and fully into the policy-making
process. In order to maximize the effectiveness of assistance, all
involved must be on the same page at all times.

RECOMMENDATION 67: The President should create a Senior Advisor for
Economic Reconstruction in Iraq. ATION 67: The President should create
a Senior Advisor for Economic Reconstruction in Iraq.

Improving the Effectiveness of Assistance Programs

Congress should work with the administration to improve its ability to
implement assistance programs in Iraq quickly, flexibly, and

As opportunities arise, the Chief of Mission in Iraq should have the
authority to fund quick-disbursing projects to promote national
reconciliation, as well as to rescind funding from programs and
projects in which the government of Iraq is not demonstrating
effective partnership. These are important tools to improve
performance and accountability--as is the work of the Special
Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

RECOMMENDATION 68: The Chief of Mission in Iraq should have the
authority to spend significant funds through a program structured
along the lines of the Commander's Emergency Response Program, and
should have the authority to rescind funding from programs and
projects in which the government of Iraq is not demonstrating
effective partnership.

RECOMMENDATION 69: The authority of the Special Inspector General for
Iraq Reconstruction should be renewed for the duration of assistance
programs in Iraq.

U.S. security assistance programs in Iraq are slowed considerably by
the differing requirements of State and Defense Department programs
and of their respective congressional oversight committees. Since
Iraqi forces must be trained and equipped, streamlining the provision
of training and equipment to Iraq is critical. Security assistance
should be delivered promptly, within weeks of a decision to provide

RECOMMENDATION 70: A more flexible security assistance program for
Iraq, breaking down the barriers to effective interagency cooperation,
should be authorized and implemented.

The United States also needs to break down barriers that discourage
U.S. partnerships with international donors and Iraqi participants to
promote reconstruction. The ability of the United States to form such
partnerships will encourage greater international participation in

RECOMMENDATION 71: Authority to merge U.S. funds with those from
international donors and Iraqi participants on behalf of assistance
projects should be provided.

7. Budget Preparation, Presentation, and Review

The public interest is not well served by the government's
preparation, presentation, and review of the budget for the war in

First, most of the costs of the war show up not in the normal budget
request but in requests for emergency supplemental appropriations.
This means that funding requests are drawn up outside the normal
budget process, are not offset by budgetary reductions elsewhere, and
move quickly to the White House with minimal scrutiny. Bypassing the
normal review erodes budget discipline and accountability.

Second, the executive branch presents budget requests in a confusing
manner, making it difficult for both the general public and members of
Congress to understand the request or to differentiate it from
counterterrorism operations around the world or operations in
Afghanistan. Detailed analyses by budget experts are needed to answer
what should be a simple question: "How much money is the President
requesting for the war in Iraq?"

Finally, circumvention of the budget process by the executive branch
erodes oversight and review by Congress. The authorizing committees
(including the House and Senate Armed Services committees) spend the
better part of a year reviewing the President's annual budget request.
When the President submits an emergency supplemental request, the
authorizing committees are bypassed. The request goes directly to the
appropriations committees, and they are pressured by the need to act
quickly so that troops in the field do not run out of funds. The
result is a spending bill that passes Congress with perfunctory
review. Even worse, the must-pass appropriations bill becomes loaded
with special spending projects that would not survive the normal
review process.

RECOMMENDATION 72: Costs for the war in Iraq should be included in the
President's annual budget request, starting in FY 2008: the war is in
its fourth year, and the normal budget process should not be
circumvented. Funding requests for the war in Iraq should be presented
clearly to Congress and the American people. Congress must carry out
its constitutional responsibility to review budget requests for the
war in Iraq carefully and to conduct oversight.

8. U.S. Personnel

The United States can take several steps to ensure that it has
personnel with the right skills serving in Iraq.

All of our efforts in Iraq, military and civilian, are handicapped by
Americans' lack of language and cultural understanding. Our embassy of
1,000 has 33 Arabic speakers, just six of whom are at the level of
fluency. In a conflict that demands effective and efficient
communication with Iraqis, we are often at a disadvantage. There are
still far too few Arab language--proficient military and civilian
officers in Iraq, to the detriment of the U.S. mission.

Civilian agencies also have little experience with complex overseas
interventions to restore and maintain order--stability
operations--outside of the normal embassy setting. The nature of the
mission in Iraq is unfamiliar and dangerous, and the United States has
had great difficulty filling civilian assignments in Iraq with sufficient
numbers of properly trained personnel at the appropriate rank.

RECOMMENDATION 73: The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense,
and the Director of National Intelligence should accord the highest
possible priority to professional language proficiency and cultural
training, in general and specifically for U.S. officers and personnel
about to be assigned to Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 74: In the short term, if not enough civilians
volunteer to fill key positions in Iraq, civilian agencies must fill
those positions with directed assignments. Steps should be taken to
mitigate familial or financial hardships posed by directed
assignments, including tax exclusions similar to those authorized for
U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 75: For the longer term, the United States government
needs to improve how its constituent agencies--Defense, State, Agency
for International Development, Treasury, Justice, the intelligence
community, and others--respond to a complex stability operation like
that represented by this decade's Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the
previous decade's operations in the Balkans. They need to train for,
and conduct, joint operations across agency boundaries, following the
Goldwater-Nichols model that has proved so successful in the U.S.
armed services.

RECOMMENDATION 76: The State Department should train personnel to
carry out civilian tasks associated with a complex stability operation
outside of the traditional embassy setting. It should establish a
Foreign Service Reserve Corps with personnel and expertise to provide
surge capacity for such an operation. Other key civilian agencies,
including Treasury, Justice, and Agriculture, need to create similar
technical assistance capabilities.

9. Intelligence

While the United States has been able to acquire good and sometimes
superb tactical intelligence on al Qaeda in Iraq, our government still
does not understand very well either the insurgency in Iraq or the
role of the militias.

A senior commander told us that human intelligence in Iraq has
improved from 10 percent to 30 percent. Clearly, U.S. intelligence
agencies can and must do better. As mentioned above, an essential part
of better intelligence must be improved language and cultural skills.
As an intelligence analyst told us, "We rely too much on others to
bring information to us, and too often don't understand what is
reported back because we do not understand the context of what we are

The Defense Department and the intelligence community have not
invested sufficient people and resources to understand the political
and military threat to American men and women in the armed forces.
Congress has appropriated almost $2 billion this year for
countermeasures to protect our troops in Iraq against improvised
explosive devices, but the administration has not put forward a
request to invest comparable resources in trying to understand the
people who fabricate, plant, and explode those devices.

We were told that there are fewer than 10 analysts on the job at the
Defense Intelligence Agency who have more than two years' experience
in analyzing the insurgency. Capable analysts are rotated to new
assignments, and on-the-job training begins anew. Agencies must have a
better personnel system to keep analytic expertise focused on the
insurgency. They are not doing enough to map the insurgency, dissect
it, and understand it on a national and provincial level. The analytic
community's knowledge of the organization, leadership, financing, and
operations of militias, as well as their relationship to government
security forces, also falls far short of what policy makers need to

In addition, there is significant underreporting of the violence in
Iraq. The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter to keep
events out of reports and databases. A murder of an Iraqi is not
necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot determine the source of
a sectarian attack, that assault does not make it into the database. A
roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn't hurt U.S.
personnel doesn't count. For example, on one day in July 2006 there
were 93 attacks or significant acts of violence reported. Yet a
careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light
1,100 acts of violence. Good policy is difficult to make when
information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its
discrepancy with policy goals.

RECOMMENDATION 77: The Director of National Intelligence and the
Secretary of Defense should devote significantly greater analytic
resources to the task of understanding the threats and sources of
violence in Iraq.

RECOMMENDATION 78: The Director of National Intelligence and the
Secretary of Defense should also institute immediate changes in the
collection of data about violence and the sources of violence in Iraq
to provide a more accurate picture of events on the ground.

Recommended Iraqi Actions

The Iraqi government must improve its intelligence capability,
initially to work with the United States, and ultimately to take full
responsibility for this intelligence function.

To facilitate enhanced Iraqi intelligence capabilities, the CIA should
increase its personnel in Iraq to train Iraqi intelligence personnel.
The CIA should also develop, with Iraqi officials, a counterterrorism
intelligence center for the all-source fusion of information on the
various sources of terrorism within Iraq. This center would analyze
data concerning the individuals, organizations, networks, and support
groups involved in terrorism within Iraq. It would also facilitate
intelligence-led police and military actions against them.

RECOMMENDATION 79: The CIA should provide additional personnel in Iraq
to develop and train an effective intelligence service and to build a
counterterrorism intelligence center that will facilitate
intelligence-led counterterrorism efforts.


Letter from the Sponsoring Organizations

The initiative for a bipartisan, independent, forward-looking
"fresh-eyes" assessment of Iraq emerged from conversations U.S. House
Appropriations Committee Member Frank Wolf had with us. In late 2005,
Congressman Wolf asked the United States Institute of Peace, a
bipartisan federal entity, to facilitate the assessment, in
collaboration with the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy
at Rice University, the Center for the Study of the Presidency, and
the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Interested members of Congress, in consultation with the sponsoring
organizations and the administration, agreed that former Republican
U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III and former Democratic
Congressman Lee H. Hamilton had the breadth of knowledge of foreign
affairs required to co-chair this bipartisan effort. The co-chairs
subsequently selected the other members of the bipartisan Iraq Study
Group, all senior individuals with distinguished records of public
service. Democrats included former Secretary of Defense William J.
Perry, former Governor and U.S. Senator Charles S. Robb, former
Congressman and White House chief of staff Leon E. Panetta, and Vernon
E. Jordan, Jr., advisor to President Bill Clinton. Republicans
included former Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day
O'Connor, former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson, former Attorney General
Edwin Meese III, and former Secretary of State Lawrence S.
Eagleburger. Former CIA Director Robert Gates was an active member for
a period of months until his nomination as Secretary of Defense.

The Iraq Study Group was launched on March 15, 2006, in a Capitol Hill
meeting hosted by U.S. Senator John Warner and attended by
congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle.

To support the Study Group, the sponsoring organizations created four
expert working groups consisting of 44 leading foreign policy analysts
and specialists on Iraq. The working groups, led by staff of the
United States Institute of Peace, focused on the Strategic
Environment, Military and Security Issues, Political Development, and
the Economy and Reconstruction. Every effort was made to ensure the
participation of experts across a wide span of the political spectrum.
Additionally, a panel of retired military officers was consulted.

We are grateful to all those who have assisted the Study Group,
especially the supporting experts and staff. Our thanks go to Daniel
P. Serwer of the Institute of Peace, who served as executive director;
Christopher Kojm, advisor to the Study Group; John Williams, Policy
Assistant to Mr. Baker; and Ben Rhodes, Special Assistant to Mr.

  Richard H. Solomon, President
  United States Institute of Peace

  Edward P. Djerejian, Founding Director
  James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy,
  Rice University

  David M. Abshire, President
  Center for the Study of the Presidency

  John J. Hamre, President
  Center for Strategic and International Studies

Iraq Study Group Plenary Sessions

  March 15, 2006
  April 11-12, 2006
  May 18-19, 2005
  June 13-14, 2006 August 2-3, 2006
  August 30-September 4, 2006 (Trip to Baghdad)
  September 18-19, 2006
  November 13-14, 2006
  November 27-29, 2006

Iraq Study Group Consultations

(* denotes a meeting that took place in Iraq)

Iraqi Officials and Representatives

  *Jalal Talabani--President
  *Tariq al-Hashimi--Vice President
  *Adil Abd al-Mahdi--Vice President
  *Nouri Kamal al-Maliki--Prime Minister
  *Salaam al-Zawbai--Deputy Prime Minister
  *Barham Salih--Deputy Prime Minister
  *Mahmoud al-Mashhadani--Speaker of the Parliament
  *Mowaffak al-Rubaie--National Security Advisor
  *Jawad Kadem al-Bolani--Minister of Interior
  *Abdul Qader Al-Obeidi--Minister of Defense
  *Hoshyar Zebari--Minister of Foreign Affairs
  *Bayan Jabr--Minister of Finance
  *Hussein al-Shahristani--Minister of Oil
  *Karim Waheed--Minister of Electricity
  *Akram al-Hakim--Minister of State for National
      Reconciliation  Affairs
  *Mithal al-Alusi--Member, High Commission on
      National Reconciliation
  *Ayad Jamal al-Din--Member, High Commission on
      National Reconciliation
  *Ali Khalifa al-Duleimi--Member, High Commission on
      National Reconciliation
  *Sami al-Ma'ajoon--Member, High Commission on
      National Reconciliation
  *Muhammad Ahmed Mahmoud--Member, Commission on
      National Reconciliation
  *Wijdan Mikhael--Member, High Commission on
      National Reconciliation
  Lt. General Nasir Abadi--Deputy Chief of Staff of the
      Iraqi Joint Forces
  *Adnan al-Dulaimi--Head of the Tawafuq list
  Ali Allawi--Former Minister of Finance
  *Sheik Najeh al-Fetlawi--representative of Moqtada al-Sadr
  *Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim--Shia Coalition Leader
  *Sheik Maher al-Hamraa--Ayat Allah Said Sussein Al Sadar
  *Hajim al-Hassani--Member of the Parliament on the Iraqiya list
  *Hunain Mahmood Ahmed Al-Kaddo--President of the
      Iraqi Minorities Council
  *Abid al-Gufhoor Abid al-Razaq al-Kaisi--Dean of the
      Islamic University of the Imam Al-Atham
  *Ali Neema Mohammed Aifan al-Mahawili--Rafiday Al-Iraq
      Al-Jaded Foundation
  *Saleh al-Mutlaq--Leader of the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue
  *Ayyad al-Sammara'l--Member of the Parliament
  *Yonadim Kenna--Member of the Parliament and Secretary General
      of Assyrian Movement
  *Shahla Wali Mohammed--Iraqi Counterpart International
  *Hamid Majid Musa--Secretary of the Iraqi Communist Party
  *Raid Khyutab Muhemeed--Humanitarian, Cultural,
      and Social Foundation
  Sinan Shabibi--Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq
  Samir Shakir M. Sumaidaie--Ambassador of Iraq to the United States

Current U.S. Administration Officials

Senior Administration Officials

  George W. Bush--President
  Richard B. Cheney--Vice President
  Condoleezza Rice--Secretary of State
  Donald H. Rumsfeld--Secretary of Defense
  Stephen J. Hadley--National Security Advisor
  Joshua B. Bolten--White House Chief of Staff

Department of Defense/Military

  Gordon England--Deputy Secretary of Defense
  Stephen Cambone--Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
  Eric Edelman--Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

  General Peter Pace--Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  Admiral Edmund Giambastiani--Vice-Chairman of the
      Joint Chiefs of Staff
  General John Abizaid--Commander, United States Central Command
  *General George W. Casey, Jr.--Commanding General,
      Multi-National Forces-Iraq
  Lt. General James T. Conway--Director of Operations, J-3,
      on the Joint Staff
  *Lt. General Peter Chiarelli--Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq
  Lt. General David H. Petraeus--Commanding General,
      U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth
  *Lt. General Martin Dempsey--Commander Multi-National Security
      Transition Command-Iraq
  *Maj. General Joseph Peterson--Coalition Police Assistance
      Training Team
  *Maj. General Richard Zilmer--Commander, 1st Marine
      Expeditionary Force
  Colonel Derek Harvey--Senior Intelligence Officer for Iraq,
      Defense Intelligence Agency
  Lt. Colonel Richard Bowyer--National War College
      (recently served in Iraq)
  Lt. Colonel Justin Gubler--National War College
      (recently served in Iraq)
  Lt. Colonel David Haight--National War College
      (recently served in Iraq)
  Lt. Colonel Russell Smith--National War College
      (recently served in Iraq)

Department of State/Civilian Embassy Personnel

  R. Nicholas Burns--Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
  Philip Zelikow--Counselor to the Department of State
  C. David Welch--Assistant Secretary of State for
      Near Eastern Affairs
  James Jeffrey--Senior Advisor to Secretary Rice and
      Coordinator for Iraq Policy
  David Satterfield--Senior Advisor to Secretary Rice and
      Coordinator for Iraq Policy
  Zalmay Khalilzad--U.S. Ambassador to Iraq
  *Dan Speckhard--Charge D'Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Iraq
  *Joseph Saloom--Director, Iraq Reconstruction and Management Office
  *Hilda Arellano--U.S. Agency for International Development
      Director in Iraq
  *Terrance Kelly--Director, Office of Strategic Plans and Assessments
  *Randall Bennett--Regional Security Officer of the U.S. Embassy,
      Baghdad, Iraq

Intelligence Community

  John D. Negroponte--Director of National Intelligence
  General Michael V. Hayden--Director, Central Intelligence Agency
  Thomas Fingar--Deputy Director of National Intelligence for
      Analysis and Chairman of the National Intelligence Council
  John Sherman--Deputy National Intelligence Officer for
      Military Issues
  Steve Ward--Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Middle East
  Jeff Wickham--Iraq Analyst, Central Intelligence Agency

Other Senior Officials

  David Walker--Comptroller General of the United States
  *Stuart Bowen--Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction

Members of Congress

United States Senate

  Senator William Frist (R-TN)--Majority Leader
  Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)--Minority Leader
  Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)--Majority Whip
  Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)--Minority Whip
  Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)--Chair, Foreign Relations Committee
  Senator John Warner (R-VA)--Chair, Armed Services Committee
  Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)--Ranking Member,
      Foreign Relations Committee
  Senator Carl Levin (D-MI)--Ranking Member, Armed Services Committee
  Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)--Ranking Member,
      Energy and Resources Committee
  Senator Kit Bond (R-MO)--Member, Intelligence Committee
  Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)--Member, Armed Services Committee
  Senator John Kerry (D-MA)--Member, Foreign Relations Committee
  Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)--Member, Armed Services Committee
  Senator John McCain (R-AZ)--Member, Armed Services Committee
  Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)--Member, Armed Services Committee

United States House of Representatives

  Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)--Minority Leader Representative
  Tom Davis (R-VA)--Chair, Government Reform Committee
  Representative Jane Harman (D-CA)--Ranking Member,
      Intelligence Committee
  Representative Ike Skelton (D-MO)--Ranking Member,
      Armed Services Committee
  Representative John Murtha (D-PA)--Ranking Member,
      Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense
  Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN)--Member, Armed Services Committee
  Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX)--Member,
      International Relations Committee
  Representative Alan Mollohan (D-WV)--Member,
      Appropriations Committee
  Representative Christopher Shays (R-CT)--Member,
      Government Reform Committee
  Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA)--Member, Appropriations Committee

Foreign Officials

  Sheikh Salem al-Abdullah al-Sabah--Ambassador of Kuwait
      to the United States
  Michael Ambuhl--Secretary of State of Switzerland
  Kofi Annan--Secretary-General of the United Nations
  *Dominic Asquith--British Ambassador to Iraq
  Tony Blair--Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  Prince Turki al-Faisal--Ambassador of Saudi Arabia
      to the United States
  Nabil Fahmy--Ambassador of Egypt to the United States
  Karim Kawar--Ambassador of Jordan to the United States
  Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa--Ambassador of Qatar
      to the United States
  *Mukhtar Lamani--Arab League envoy to Iraq
  Sir David Manning--British Ambassador to the United States
  Imad Moustapha--Ambassador of Syria to the United States
  Walid Muallem--Foreign Minister of Syria
  Romano Prodi--Prime Minister of Italy
  *Ashraf Qazi--Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General
      for Iraq
  Anders Fogh Rasmussen--Prime Minister of Denmark
  Nabi Sensoy--Ambassador of Turkey to the United States
  Ephraim Sneh--Deputy Minister of Defense of the State of Israel
  Javad Zarif--Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations
  Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayad--Minister of Foreign Affairs
      of the United Arab Emirates

Former Officials and Experts

  William J. Clinton--former President of the United States
  Walter Mondale--former Vice President of the United States
  Madeleine K. Albright--former United States Secretary of State
  Warren Christopher--former United States Secretary of State
  Henry Kissinger--former United States Secretary of State
  Colin Powell--former United States Secretary of State
  George P. Schultz--former United States Secretary of State
  Samuel R. Berger--former United States National Security Advisor
  Zbigniew Brzezinski--former United States National Security Advisor
  Anthony Lake--former United States National Security Advisor
  General Brent Scowcroft--former United States National
      Security Advisor
  General Eric Shinseki--former Chief of Staff of the
      United States Army
  General Anthony Zinni--former Commander,
      United States Central Command
  General John Keane--former Vice Chief of Staff of the
      United States Army
  Admiral Jim Ellis--former Commander of United States
      Strategic Command
  General Joe Ralston--former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO
  Lt. General Roger C. Schultz--former Director
      of the United States Army National Guard
  Douglas Feith--former United States Under Secretary of Defense
      for Policy
  Mark Danner--The New York Review of Books
  Larry Diamond--Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution,
      Stanford University
  Thomas Friedman--New York Times
  Leslie Gelb--President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
  Richard Hill--Director, Office of Strategic Initiatives
      and Analysis, CHF International
  Richard C. Holbrooke--former Ambassador of the United States
      to the United Nations
  Martin S. Indyk--Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy,
      The Brookings Institution
  Ronald Johnson--Executive Vice President for International
      Development, RTI International
  Frederick Kagan--The American Enterprise Institute
  Arthur Keys, Jr.--President and CEO, International Relief
      and Development
  William Kristol--The Weekly Standard
  *Guy Laboa--Kellogg, Brown & Root
  Nancy Lindborg--President, Mercy Corps
  Michael O'Hanlon--Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies,
      The Brookings Institution
  George Packer--The New Yorker
  Carlos Pascual--Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy Studies,
      The Brookings Institution
  Robert Perito--Senior Program Officer, United States
      Institute of Peace
  *Col. Jack Petri, USA (Ret.)--advisor to the Iraqi
      Ministry of Interior
  Kenneth Pollack--Director of Research, Saban Center for
      Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution
  Thomas Ricks--The Washington Post
  Zainab Salbi--Founder and CEO, Women for Women International
  Matt Sherman--former Deputy Senior Advisor and Director of Policy,
      Iraqi Ministry of Interior
  Strobe Talbott--President, The Brookings Institution
  Rabih Torbay--Vice President for International Operations,
      International Medical Corps
  George Will--The Washington Post

Expert Working Groups and Military Senior Advisor Panel

Economy and Reconstruction

  Gary Matthews, USIP Secretariat
  Director, Task Force on the United Nations and Special Projects,
  United States Institute of Peace

  Raad Alkadiri
  Director, Country Strategies Group, PFC Energy

  Frederick D. Barton
  Senior Adviser and Co-Director, International Security Program,
  Center for Strategic & International Studies

  Jay Collins
  Chief Executive Officer, Public Sector Group, Citigroup, Inc.

  Jock P. Covey
  Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Corporate Security
  and Sustainability Services, Bechtel Corporation

  Keith Crane
  Senior Economist, RAND Corporation

  Amy Myers Jaffe
  Associate Director for Energy Studies, James A. Baker III Institute
  for Public Policy, Rice University

  K. Riva Levinson
  Managing Director, BKSH & Associates

  David A. Lipton
  Managing Director and Head of Global Country Risk Management,
  Citigroup, Inc

  Michael E. O'Hanlon
  Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution

  James A. Placke
  Senior Associate, Cambridge Energy Research Associates

  James A. Schear
  Director of Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies,
  National Defense University

Military and Security

  Paul Hughes, USIP Secretariat
  Senior Program Officer, Center for Post-Conflict Peace and
  Stability Operations, United States Institute of Peace

  Hans A. Binnendijk
  Director & Theodore Roosevelt Chair, Center for Technology &
  National Security Policy, National Defense University

  James Carafano
  Senior Research Fellow, Defense and Homeland Security, Douglas
  and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies,
  The Heritage Foundation

  Michael Eisenstadt
  Director, Military & Security Program, The Washington Institute for
  Near East Policy

  Michèle A. Flournoy
  Senior Advisor, International Security Program, Center for
  Strategic & International Studies

  Bruce Hoffman
  Professor, Security Studies Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of
  Foreign Service, Georgetown University

  Clifford May
  President, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

  Robert M. Perito
  Senior Program Officer, Center for Post-Conflict Peace and
  Stability Operations, United States Institute of Peace

  Kalev I. Sepp
  Assistant Professor, Department of Defense Analysis, Center
  on Terrorism and Irregular Warfare, Naval Postgraduate School

  John F. Sigler
  Adjunct Distinguished Professor, Near East South Asia Center
  for Strategic Studies, National Defense University

  W. Andrew Terrill
  Research Professor, National Security Affairs, Strategic
  Studies Institute

  Jeffrey A. White
  Berrie Defense Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Political Development

  Daniel P. Serwer, USIP Secretariat
  Vice President, Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability
  Operations, United States Institute of Peace

  Raymond H. Close
  Freelance Analyst and Commentator on Middle East Politics

  Larry Diamond Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution,
  Sanford University, and Co-Editor, Journal of Democracy

  Andrew P. N. Erdmann
  Former Director for Iran, Iraq and Strategic Planning,
  National Security Council

  Reuel Marc Gerecht
  Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

  David L. Mack
  Vice President, The Middle East Institute

  Phebe A. Marr
  Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace

  Hassan Mneimneh
  Director, Documentation Program, The Iraq Memory Foundation

  Augustus Richard Norton
  Professor of International Relations and Anthropology,
  Department of International Relations, Boston University

  Marina S. Ottaway
  Senior Associate, Democracy and Rule of Law Project,
  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

  Judy Van Rest
  Executive Vice President, International Republican Institute

  Judith S. Yaphe
  Distinguished Research Fellow for the Middle East,
  Institute for National Strategic Studies,
  National Defense University

Strategic Environment

  Paul Stares, USIP Secretariat
  Vice President, Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention,
  United States Institute of Peace

  Jon B. Alterman
  Director, Middle East Program, Center for Strategic &
  International Studies

  Steven A. Cook
  Douglas Dillon Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

  James F. Dobbins
  Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center,
  RAND Corporation

  Hillel Fradkin
  Director, Center for Islam, Democracy and the
  Future of the Muslim World, Hudson Institute

  Chas W. Freeman
  Chairman, Projects International and President,
  Middle East Policy Council

  Geoffrey Kemp
  Director, Regional Strategic Programs, The Nixon Center

  Daniel C. Kurtzer
  S. Daniel Abraham Visiting Professor, Middle East Policy Studies,
  Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

  Ellen Laipson
  President and CEO, The Henry L. Stimson Center

  William B. Quandt
  Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. Professor of Government and
  Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, and Nonresident Senior
  Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy,
  The Brookings Institution

  Shibley Telhami
  Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development,
  Department of Government & Politics, University of Maryland,
  and Nonresident Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy,
  The Brookings Institution

  Wayne White
  Adjunct Scholar, Public Policy Center, Middle East Institute

Military Senior Advisor Panel

  Admiral James O. Ellis, Jr.
  United States Navy, Retired

  General John M. Keane
  United States Army, Retired

  General Edward C. Meyer
  United States Army, Retired

  General Joseph W. Ralston
  United States Air Force, Retired

  Lieutenant General Roger C. Schultz, Sr.
  United States Army, Retired

The Iraq Study Group

James A. Baker, III--Co-Chair

James A. Baker, III, has served in senior government positions under
three United States presidents. He served as the nation's 61st
Secretary of State from January 1989 through August 1992 under
President George H. W. Bush. During his tenure at the State
Department, Mr. Baker traveled to 90 foreign countries as the United
States confronted the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of
the post-Cold War era. Mr. Baker's reflections on those years of
revolution, war, and peace--The Politics of Diplomacy--was published
in 1995.

Mr. Baker served as the 67th Secretary of the Treasury from 1985 to
1988 under President Ronald Reagan. As Treasury Secretary, he was also
Chairman of the President's Economic Policy Council. From 1981 to
1985, he served as White House Chief of Staff to President Reagan. Mr.
Baker's record of public service began in 1975 as Under Secretary of
Commerce to President Gerald Ford. It concluded with his service as
White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to President Bush from
August 1992 to January 1993.

Long active in American presidential politics, Mr. Baker led
presidential campaigns for Presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush over the
course of five consecutive presidential elections from 1976 to 1992.

A native Houstonian, Mr. Baker graduated from Princeton University in
1952. After two years of active duty as a lieutenant in the United
States Marine Corps, he entered the University of Texas School of Law
at Austin. He received his J.D. with honors in 1957 and practiced law
with the Houston firm of Andrews and Kurth from 1957 to 1975.

Mr. Baker's memoir--Work Hard, Study . . . and Keep Out of Politics!
Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life--was published
in October 2006.

Mr. Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has
been the recipient of many other awards for distinguished public
service, including Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson Award, the
American Institute for Public Service's Jefferson Award, Harvard
University's John F. Kennedy School of Government Award, the Hans J.
Morgenthau Award, the George F. Kennan Award, the Department of the
Treasury's Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of State's
Distinguished Service Award, and numerous honorary academic degrees.

Mr. Baker is presently a senior partner in the law firm of Baker
Botts. He is Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for
Public Policy at Rice University and serves on the board of the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute. From 1997 to 2004, Mr. Baker served as the
Personal Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seek
a political solution to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, Mr.
Baker was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for President George W.
Bush on the issue of Iraqi debt. In 2005, he was co-chair, with former
President Jimmy Carter, of the Commission on Federal Election Reform.
Since March 2006, Mr. Baker and former U.S. Congressman Lee H.
Hamilton have served as the co-chairs of the Iraq Study Group, a
bipartisan blue-ribbon panel on Iraq.

Mr. Baker was born in Houston, Texas, in 1930. He and his wife, the
former Susan Garrett, currently reside in Houston, and have eight
children and seventeen grandchildren. Garrett, currently reside in
Houston, and have eight children and seventeen grandchildren.

Lee H. Hamilton--Co-Chair

Lee H. Hamilton became Director of the Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars in January 1999. Previously, Mr. Hamilton served
for thirty-four years as a United States Congressman from Indiana.
During his tenure, he served as Chairman and Ranking Member of the
House Committee on Foreign Affairs (now the Committee on International
Relations) and chaired the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East
from the early 1970s until 1993. He was Chairman of the Permanent
Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee to
Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran.

Also a leading figure on economic policy and congressional
organization, he served as Chair of the Joint Economic Committee as
well as the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, and was a
member of the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee. In his
home state of Indiana, Mr. Hamilton worked hard to improve education,
job training, and infrastructure. Currently, Mr. Hamilton serves as
Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, which seeks
to educate citizens on the importance of Congress and on how Congress
operates within our government.

Mr. Hamilton remains an important and active voice on matters of
international relations and American national security. He served as a
Commissioner on the United States Commission on National Security in
the 21st Century (better known as the Hart-Rudman Commission), was
Co-Chair with former Senator Howard Baker of the Baker-Hamilton
Commission to Investigate Certain Security Issues at Los Alamos, and
was Vice-Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon
the United States (the 9/11 Commission), which issued its report in
July 2004. He is currently a member of the President's Foreign
Intelligence Advisory Board and the President's Homeland Security
Advisory Council, as well as the Director of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation's Advisory Board.

Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, Mr. Hamilton relocated with his family
to Tennessee and then to Evansville, Indiana. Mr. Hamilton is a
graduate of DePauw University and the Indiana University School of
Law, and studied for a year at Goethe University in Germany. Before
his election to Congress, he practiced law in Chicago and in Columbus,
Indiana. A former high school and college basketball star, he has been
inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Mr. Hamilton's distinguished service in government has been honored
through numerous awards in public service and human rights as well as
honorary degrees. He is the author of A Creative Tension--The Foreign
Policy Roles of the President and Congress (2002) and How Congress
Works and Why You Should Care (2004), and the coauthor of Without
Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (2006).

Lee and his wife, the former Nancy Ann Nelson, have three children--
Tracy Lynn Souza, Deborah Hamilton Kremer, and Douglas Nelson
Hamilton--and five grandchildren: Christina, Maria, McLouis and
Patricia Souza and Lina Ying Kremer.

Lawrence S. Eagleburger--Member

Lawrence S. Eagleburger was sworn in as the 62nd U.S. Secretary of
State by President George H. W. Bush on December 8, 1992, and as
Deputy Secretary of State on March 20, 1989.

After his entry into the Foreign Service in 1957, Mr. Eagleburger
served in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the State
Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, in the U.S. Embassy in
Belgrade, and the U.S. Mission to NATO in Belgium. In 1963, after a
severe earthquake in Macedonia, he led the U.S. government effort to
provide medical and other assistance. He was then assigned to
Washington, D.C., where he served on the Secretariat staff and as
special assistant to Dean Acheson, advisor to the President on
Franco-NATO issues. In August 1966, he became acting director of the
Secretariat staff.

In October 1966, Mr. Eagleburger joined the National Security Council
staff. In October 1967, he was assigned as special assistant to Under
Secretary of State Nicholas Katzenbach. In November 1968, he was
appointed Dr. Henry Kissinger's assistant, and in January 1969, he
became executive assistant to Dr. Kissinger at the White House. In
September 1969, he was assigned as political advisor and chief of the
political section of the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels.

Mr. Eagleburger became Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in August
1971. Two years later, he became Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense
for International Security Affairs. The same year he returned to the
White House as Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security
Operations. He subsequently followed Dr. Kissinger to the State
Department, becoming Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State. In
1975, he was made Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management.

In June 1977, Mr. Eagleburger was appointed Ambassador to Yugoslavia,
and in 1981 he was nominated as Assistant Secretary of State for
European Affairs. In February 1982, he was appointed Under Secretary
of State for Political Affairs.

Mr. Eagleburger has received numerous awards, including an honorary
knighthood from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (1994); the
Distinguished Service Award (1992), the Wilbur J. Carr Award (1984),
and the Distinguished Honor Award (1984) from the Department of State;
the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal from the Department of
Defense (1978); and the President's Award for Distinguished Federal
Civilian Service (1976).

After retiring from the Department of State in May 1984, Mr.
Eagleburger was named president of Kissinger Associates, Inc.
Following his resignation as Secretary of State on January 19, 1993,
he joined the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman and Caldwell as
Senior Foreign Policy Advisor. He joined the boards of Halliburton
Company, Phillips Petroleum Company, and Universal Corporation. Mr.
Eagleburger currently serves as Chairman of the International
Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims.

He received his B.S. degree in 1952 and his M.S. degree in 1957, both
from the University of Wisconsin, and served as first lieutenant in
the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954. Mr. Eagleburger is married to the
former Marlene Ann Heinemann. He is the father of three sons, Lawrence
Scott, Lawrence Andrew, and Lawrence Jason.

Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.--Member

Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., is a Senior Managing Director of Lazard Frères
& Co, LLC in New York. He works with a diverse group of clients across
a broad range of industries.

Prior to joining Lazard, Mr. Jordan was a Senior Executive Partner
with the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, where he
remains Senior Counsel. While there Mr. Jordan practiced general,
corporate, legislative, and international law in Washington, D.C.

Before Akin Gump, Mr. Jordan held the following positions: President
and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League, Inc.;
Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc.; Director of
the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council;
Attorney-Consultant, U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; Assistant to
the Executive Director of the Southern Regional Council; Georgia Field
Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People; and an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia.

Mr. Jordan's presidential appointments include the President's
Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation, the
Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on South Africa, the Advisory
Council on Social Security, the Presidential Clemency Board, the
American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, the National Advisory
Committee on Selective Service, and the Council of the White House
Conference "To Fulfill These Rights." In 1992, Mr. Jordan served as
the Chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team.

Mr. Jordan's corporate and other directorships include American
Express Company; Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.; Howard University
(Trustee); J. C. Penney Company, Inc.; Lazard Ltd.; Xerox Corporation;
and the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold.

Mr. Jordan is a graduate of DePauw University and the Howard
University Law School. He holds honorary degrees from more than 60
colleges and universities in America. He is a member of the bars of
Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Georgia, and the U.S. Supreme
Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National
Bar Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Bilderberg
Meetings and he is President of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
Mr. Jordan is the author of Vernon Can Read! A Memoir (Public Affairs,

Edwin Meese III--Member

Edwin Meese III holds the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the
Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy research
and education institution. He is also the Chairman of Heritage's
Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and a distinguished visiting
fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In addition,
Meese lectures, writes, and consults throughout the United States on a
variety of subjects.

Meese is the author of With Reagan: The Inside Story, which was
published by Regnery Gateway in June 1992; co-editor of Making America
Safer, published in 1997 by the Heritage Foundation; and coauthor of
Leadership, Ethics and Policing, published by Prentice Hall in 2004.

Meese served as the 75th Attorney General of the United States from
February 1985 to August 1988. As the nation's chief law enforcement
officer, he directed the Department of Justice and led international
efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime. In
1985 he received Government Executive magazine's annual award for
excellence in management.

From January 1981 to February 1985, Meese held the position of
Counsellor to the President, the senior position on the White House
staff, where he functioned as the President's chief policy advisor. As
Attorney General and as Counsellor, Meese was a member of the
President's cabinet and the National Security Council. He served as
Chairman of the Domestic Policy Council and of the National Drug
Policy Board. Meese headed the President-elect's transition effort
following the November 1980 election. During the presidential
campaign, he served as chief of staff and senior issues advisor for
the Reagan-Bush Committee.

Formerly, Meese served as Governor Reagan's executive assistant and
chief of staff in California from 1969 through 1974 and as legal
affairs secretary from 1967 through 1968. Before joining Governor
Reagan's staff in 1967, Meese served as deputy district attorney in
Alameda County, California. From 1977 to 1981, Meese was a professor
of law at the University of San Diego, where he also was Director of
the Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Management.

In addition to his background as a lawyer, educator, and public
official, Meese has been a business executive in the aerospace and
transportation industry, serving as vice president for administration
of Rohr Industries, Inc., in Chula Vista, California. He left Rohr to
return to the practice of law, engaging in corporate and general legal
work in San Diego County.

Meese is a graduate of Yale University, Class of 1953, and holds a law
degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a retired
colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He is active in numerous
civic and educational organizations. Meese is married, has two grown
children, and resides in McLean, Virginia.

Sandra Day O'Connor--Member

Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated by President Reagan as Associate
Justice of the United States Supreme Court on July 7, 1981, and took
the oath of office on September 25. O'Connor previously served on the
Arizona Court of Appeals (1979-81) and as judge of the Maricopa County
Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona (1975-79). She was appointed as
Arizona state senator in 1969 and was subsequently elected to two
two-year terms from 1969 to 1975. During her tenure, she was Arizona
Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the State, County, and
Municipal Affairs Committee, and she served on the Legislative
Council, on the Probate Code Commission, and on the Arizona Advisory
Council on Intergovernmental Relations.

From 1965 to 1969, O'Connor was assistant attorney general in Arizona.
She practiced law at a private firm in Maryvale, Arizona, from 1958 to
1960 and prior to that was civilian attorney for Quartermaster Market
Center in Frankfurt, Germany (1954-57), and deputy county attorney in
San Mateo County, California (1952-53)

She was previously Chairman of the Arizona Supreme Court Committee to
Reorganize Lower Courts (1974-75), Vice Chairman of the Arizona Select
Law Enforcement Review Commission (1979-80), and, in Maricopa County,
Chairman of the Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (1960-62), the
Juvenile Detention Home Visiting Board (1963-64), and the Superior
Court Judges' Training and Education Committee (1977-79) and a member
of the Board of Adjustments and Appeals (1963-64).

O'Connor currently serves as Chancellor of the College of William and
Mary and on the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation, the
Executive Board of the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative,
the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural
History, and the Advisory Committee of the American Society of
International Law, Judicial. She is an honorary member of the Advisory
Committee for the Judiciary Leadership Development Council, an
honorary chair of America's 400th Anniversary: Jamestown 2007, a
co-chair of the National Advisory Council of the Campaign for the Civic
Mission of Schools, a member of the Selection Committee of the
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, and a member of the Advisory
Board of the Stanford Center on Ethics. She also serves on several
bodies of the American Bar Association, including the Museum of Law
Executive Committee, the Commission on Civic Education and Separation
of Powers, and the Advisory Commission of the Standing Committee on
the Law Library of Congress.

O'Connor previously served as a member of the Anglo-American Exchange
(1980); the State Bar of Arizona Committees on Legal Aid, Public
Relations, Lower Court Reorganization, and Continuing Legal Education;
the National Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services
(1974-76); the Arizona State Personnel Commission (1968-69); the
Arizona Criminal Code Commission (1974-76); and the Cathedral Chapter
of the Washington National Cathedral (1991-99).

O'Connor is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of
Arizona, the State Bar of California, the Maricopa County Bar
Association, the Arizona Judges' Association, the National Association
of Women Judges, and the Arizona Women Lawyers' Association. She holds
a B.A. (with Great Distinction) and an LL.B. (Order of the Coif) from
Stanford University, where she was also a member of the board of
editors of the Stanford Law Review.

Leon E. Panetta--Member

Leon E. Panetta currently co-directs the Leon & Sylvia Panetta
Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan study center for the
advancement of public policy based at California State University,
Monterey Bay. He serves as distinguished scholar to the chancellor of
the California State University system, teaches a Master's in Public
Policy course at the Panetta Institute, is a presidential professor at
Santa Clara University, and created the Leon Panetta Lecture Series.

Panetta first went to Washington in 1966, when he served as a
legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Thomas H. Kuchel of California.
In 1969, he became Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health,
Education and Welfare and then Director of the U.S. Office for Civil
Rights. His book Bring Us Together (published in 1971) is an account
of that experience. In 1970, he went to New York City, where he served
as Executive Assistant to Mayor John Lindsay. Then, in 1971, Panetta
returned to California, where he practiced law in the Monterey firm of
Panetta, Thompson & Panetta until he was elected to Congress in 1976.

Panetta was a U.S. Representative from California's 16th (now 17th)
district from 1977 to 1993. He authored the Hunger Prevention Act of
1988, the Fair Employment Practices Resolution, legislation that
established Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for hospice care for
the terminally ill, and other legislation on a variety of education,
health, agriculture, and defense issues.

From 1989 to 1993, Panetta was Chairman of the House Committee on the
Budget. He also served on that committee from 1979 to 1985. He chaired
the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing,
Consumer Relations and Nutrition; the House Administration Committee's
Subcommittee on Personnel and Police; and the Select Committee on
Hunger's Task Force on Domestic Hunger. He also served as Vice
Chairman of the Caucus of Vietnam Era Veterans in Congress and as a
member of the President's Commission on Foreign Language and
International Studies.

Panetta left Congress in 1993 to become Director of the Office of
Management and Budget for the incoming Clinton administration. Panetta
was appointed Chief of Staff to the President of the United States on
July 17, 1994, and served in that position until January 20, 1997.

In addition, Panetta served a six-year term on the Board of Directors
of the New York Stock Exchange beginning in 1997. He currently serves
on many public policy and organizational boards, including as Chair of
the Pew Oceans Commission and Co-Chair of the California Council on
Base Support and Retention.

Panetta has received many awards and honors, including the Smithsonian
Paul Peck Award for Service to the Presidency, the John H. Chafee
Coastal Stewardship Award, the Julius A. Stratton Award for Coastal
Leadership, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center
for the Study of the Presidency.

He earned a B.A. magna cum laude from Santa Clara University in 1960, and
in 1963 received his J.D. from Santa Clara University Law School,
where he was an editor of the Santa Clara Law Review. He served as a
first lieutenant in the Army from 1964 to 1966 and received the Army
Commendation Medal. Panetta is married to the former Sylvia Marie
Varni. They have three grown sons and five grandchildren.

William J. Perry--Member

William Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor at
Stanford University, with a joint appointment at the Freeman Spogli
Institute for International Studies and the School of Engineering. He
is a senior fellow at FSI and serves as co-director of the Preventive
Defense Project, a research collaboration of Stanford and Harvard

Perry was the 19th Secretary of Defense of the United States, serving
from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as Deputy
Secretary of Defense (1993-94) and as Under Secretary of Defense for
Research and Engineering (1977-81). He is on the board of directors of
several emerging high-tech companies and is Chairman of Global
Technology Partners.

His previous business experience includes serving as a laboratory
director for General Telephone and Electronics (1954-64) and as
founder and president of ESL Inc. (1964-77), executive vice president
of Hambrecht & Quist Inc. (1981-85), and founder and chairman of
Technology Strategies & Alliances (1985-93). He is a member of the
National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences.

From 1946 to 1947, Perry was an enlisted man in the Army Corps of
Engineers, and served in the Army of Occupation in Japan. He joined
the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1948 and was a second lieutenant
in the Army Reserves from 1950 to 1955. He has received a number of
awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1997), the
Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1980 and 1981), and
Outstanding Civilian Service Medals from the Army (1962 and 1997), the
Air Force (1997), the Navy (1997), the Defense Intelligence Agency
(1977 and 1997), NASA (1981), and the Coast Guard (1997). He received
the American Electronic Association's Medal of Achievement (1980), the
Eisenhower Award (1996), the Marshall Award (1997), the Forrestal
Medal (1994), and the Henry Stimson Medal (1994). The National Academy
of Engineering selected him for the Arthur Bueche Medal in 1996. He
has received awards from the enlisted personnel of the Army, Navy, and
the Air Force.

He has received decorations from the governments of Albania, Bahrain,
France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, and
the United Kingdom. He received a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford
University and a Ph.D. from Penn State, all in mathematics.

Charles S. Robb--Member

Charles S. Robb joined the faculty of George Mason University as a
Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy in 2001. Previously
he served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, from 1978 to 1982; as
Virginia's 64th Governor, from 1982 to 1986; and as a United States
Senator, from 1989 to 2001.

While in the Senate he became the only member ever to serve
simultaneously on all three national security committees
(Intelligence, Armed Services, and Foreign Relations). He also served
on the Finance, Commerce, and Budget committees.

Before becoming a member of Congress he chaired the Southern
Governors' Association, the Democratic Governors' Association, the
Education Commission of the States, the Democratic Leadership Council,
Jobs for America's Graduates, the National Conference of Lieutenant
Governors, and the Virginia Forum on Education, and was President of
the Council of State Governments.

During the 1960s he served on active duty with the United States
Marine Corps, retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1991. He began
as the Class Honor Graduate from Marine Officers Basic School in 1961
and ended up as head of the principal recruiting program for Marine
officers in 1970. In between, he served in both the 1st and 2nd Marine
Divisions and his assignments included duty as a Military Social Aide
at the White House and command of an infantry company in combat in

He received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1973,
clerked for Judge John D. Butzner, Jr., on the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit, and practiced law with Williams and Connolly
prior to his election to state office. Between his state and federal
service he was a partner at Hunton and Williams.

Since leaving the Senate in 2001 he has served as Chairman of the
Board of Visitors at the United States Naval Academy, Co-Chairman
(with Senior Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the D.C. Circuit) of the President's Commission on Intelligence
Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass
Destruction, and Co-Chairman (with former Governor Linwood Holton) of
a major landowner's alliance that created a special tax district to
finance the extension of Metrorail to Tyson's Corner, Reston, and
Dulles Airport. He has also been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics
at Harvard and at the Marshall Wythe School of Law at William and

He is currently on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory
Board, the Secretary of State's International Security Advisory Board
(Chairman of the WMD-Terrorism Task Force), the FBI Director's
Advisory Board, the National Intelligence Council's Strategic Analysis
Advisory Board, the Iraq Study Group, and the MITRE Corp. Board of
Trustees (Vice Chairman). He also serves on the boards of the Space
Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, the Concord
Coalition, the National Museum of Americans at War, Strategic
Partnerships LLC, and the Center for the Study of the Presidency--and
he works on occasional projects with the Center for Strategic and
International Studies. He is married to Lynda Johnson Robb and they
have three grown daughters and one granddaughter.

Alan K. Simpson--Member

Alan K. Simpson served from 1979 to 1997 as a United States Senator
from Wyoming. Following his first term in the Senate, Al was elected
by his peers to the position of the Assistant Majority Leader in
1984--and served in that capacity until 1994. He completed his final
term on January 3, 1997.

Simpson is currently a partner in the Cody firm of Simpson, Kepler and
Edwards, the Cody division of the Denver firm of Burg Simpson
Eldredge, Hersh and Jardine, and also a consultant in the Washington,
D.C., government relations firm The Tongour, Simpson, Holsclaw Group.
He continues to serve on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards and
travels the country giving speeches. His book published by William
Morrow Company, Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with
the Press (1997), chronicles his personal experiences and views of the
Fourth Estate.

From January of 1997 until June of 2000, Simpson was a Visiting
Lecturer and for two years the Director of the Institute of Politics
at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. During
the fall of 2000 he returned to his alma mater, the University of
Wyoming, as a Visiting Lecturer in the Political Science Department
and he continues to team teach a class part-time with his brother,
Peter, titled "Wyoming's Political Identity: Its History and Its
Politics," which is proving to be one of the most popular classes
offered at UW.

A member of a political family--his father served both as Governor of
Wyoming from 1954 to 1958 and as United States Senator from Wyoming
from 1962 to 1966--Al chose to follow in his father's footsteps and
began his own political career in 1964 when he was elected to the
Wyoming State Legislature as a state representative of his native Park
County. He served for the next thirteen years in the Wyoming House of
Representatives, holding the offices of Majority Whip, Majority Floor
Leader, and Speaker Pro-Tem. His only brother, Peter, also served as a
member of the Wyoming State Legislature.

Prior to entering politics, Simpson was admitted to the Wyoming bar
and the United States District Court in 1958 and served for a short
time as a Wyoming assistant attorney general. Simpson then joined his
father, Milward L. Simpson, and later Charles G. Kepler in the law
firm of Simpson, Kepler and Simpson in his hometown of Cody. He would
practice law there for the next eighteen years. During that time,
Simpson was very active in all civic, community, and state activities.
He also served ten years as City Attorney.

Simpson earned a B.S. in law from the University of Wyoming in 1954.
Upon graduation from college, he joined the Army, serving overseas in
the 5th Infantry Division and in the 2nd Armored Division in the final
months of the Army of Occupation in Germany. Following his honorable
discharge in 1956, Simpson returned to the University of Wyoming to
complete his study of law, earning his J.D. degree in 1958. He and his
wife Ann have three children and six grandchildren, who all reside in
Cody, Wyoming.

Iraq Study Group Support

  Edward P. Djerejian
  Senior Advisor to the Study Group

  Christopher A. Kojm
  Senior Advisor to the Study Group

  John B. Williams
  Special Assistant to the Study Group

  Benjamin J. Rhodes
  Special Assistant to the Study Group

  United States Institute of Peace Support

  Daniel P. Serwer
  ISG Executive Director and Political Development Secretariat

  Paul Hughes
  Military and Security Secretariat

  Gary Matthews
  Economy and Reconstruction Secretariat

  Paul Stares
  Strategic Environment Secretariat

  Courtney Rusin
  Assistant to the Study Group

  Anne Hingeley Congressional Relations

  Ian Larsen
  Outreach and Communications

  Center for the Study of the Presidency Support

  Jay M. Parker

  Ysbrant A. Marcelis

  Center for Strategic & International Studies Support

  Kay King

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Iraq Study Group Report" ***

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