Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Baker Report: Three Main Recommendations

Lee Hamilton and James Baker on CNN state the group has three primary recommendations. (Note:These are not exact quotes but as close as I could transcribe)

1. Change in primary mission of US forces that will enable the US to move forces out of Iraq responsibly..should evolve to support of Iraqi army which would take over combat operations. U.S. combat forces could then begin to move out. All combat brigades out by first quarter 2008.

2. Prompt action by Iraqi govt to achieve milestones partifuclarly on national reconciliation..if the Iraqi government fails to make progress towards milestones, the U.S. should begin removing political, economic and military support.

3. New, enhanced diplomatic efforts in Iraq and the region..the US should work with the government of Iraq to create an international support group which should include Iran, Syria, the Gulf States, Egypt and the U.N. perm five Security Council members.

There's little here that has not already been leaked but I am struck by the reach of the recommendations and the strength of the language. Both Baker and Hamilton give the impression they are throwing a lifeline to a drowning man. The question is will Bush grab the rope?

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