There have been a lot of loud voices decrying the ISG report while concurrently elevating Don Rumsfield to sainthood.
So happens that both Rummy and the ISG report endorse similar potential courses of action.
Gee!! I wonder why I haven't heard that?
A funny thing happened on the way to last week’s release-date for the report of the Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker and former House Foreign Affairs Chairman Lee Hamilton. Out-going Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wrote a memo to President Bush—which was leaked to the New York Times—recommending “a major adjustment” in the administration’s war policy.
...Rumsfeld included: retaining special operations forces in Iraq to target al Qaeda “while drawing down all other Coalition forces,” “withdrawing U.S. forces from vulnerable positions—cities, patrolling, etc.” and moving them elsewhere in Iraq or Kuwait as a quick reaction force “to be available when Iraqi security forces need assistance,” and deploying U.S. forces along Iraq’s Syrian and Iranian borders to prevent infiltration and limit Iranian influence in the country.
...The actual changes Rumsfeld and the ISG have suggested are not aimed at providing political cover for cutting and running from Iraq (an act whose dire consequences the ISG spells out in vivid terms). They are aimed at achieving what President Bush has stated as our goal in Iraq: a country that can “govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself.”
We cheer the ISG’s fact-laden, easily read exposition of the situation in Iraq. This exposition makes plain that the principal conflict there is a power struggle between indigenous Shiites and Sunnis.
Clearly, the ISG's thought patterns reflect not only Rumsfield's ideas, but common sense. The interests of the US lie in destroying AlQuaeda, not policing politics inside Iraq. We're interested in protecting the US, not providing a "Super-Cop-Shop" for the Middle East.
Let's hope that Our President gets the message.
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