T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p R e p o r t
T h e I r a q
S t u d y G r o u p
R e p o r t
J a m e s A . B a k e r, I I I , a n d
L e e H . H a m i l t o n , C o - C h a i r s
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
v i n ta g e b o o k s
A Division of Random House, Inc.
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ISBN: 0-307-38656-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-307-38656-4
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First Edition
Letter from the Co-Chairs
Executive Summary
I . A s s e s s m e n t
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
I I . T h e Wa y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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
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
7. Budget Preparation, Presentation,
and Review
8. U.S. Personnel
9. Intelligence
C o n t e n t s
A p p e n d i c e s
Overview Map of the Region
Overview Map of Iraq
Administrative Divisions
Distribution of Religious Groups
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
C o n t e n t s
Letter from the Co-Chairs
There is no magic formula to solve the problems of Iraq. How-
ever, there are actions that can be taken to improve the situa-
tion and protect American interests.
Many Americans are dissatisfied, not just with the situa-
tion 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 sus-
tainable. The President and Congress must work together. Our
leaders must be candid and forthright with the American peo-
ple 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 responsibil-
ity of the United States in Iraq, and the commitments our gov-
ernment 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 terror-
ism, stabilize a critical region of the world, and protect Amer-
ica'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 tre-
mendous amount of political will and cooperation by the execu-
tive 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. Ameri-
cans 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 espe-
cially thank our colleagues on the Study Group, who have
worked with us on these difficult issues in a spirit of generosity
and bipartisanship.
L e t t e r f r o m t h e C o - C h a i r s
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 ex-
traordinary courage and made difficult sacrifices. Every Ameri-
can is indebted to them.
We also honor the many Iraqis who have sacrificed on be-
half 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
L e t t e r f r o m t h e C o - C h a i r s
Executive Summary
The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no
path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be im-
In this report, we make a number of recommendations
for actions to be taken in Iraq, the United States, and the re-
gion. Our most important recommendations call for new and
enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the re-
gion, 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 rec-
ommendations 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, Shi-
ite militias and death squads, al Qaeda, and widespread crimi-
nality. 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 per-
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. Neigh-
boring 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 influ-
ence 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 under-
cutting stability.
The United States should immediately launch a new
diplomatic offensive to build an international consensus for sta-
bility in Iraq and the region. This diplomatic effort should in-
clude 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, nei-
ther of which Iraq can achieve on its own.
E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y
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 sover-
eignty 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 addi-
tional 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
E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y
in Iraq to encourage the Iraqi people to take control of their
own destiny.
The Iraqi government should accelerate assuming re-
sponsibility 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 in-
crease the number of U.S. military personnel, including com-
bat 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 pri-
mary 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 con-
tinue. A vital mission of those rapid reaction and special opera-
tions forces would be to undertake strikes against al Qaeda in
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 redeploy-
ments, 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.
E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y
As redeployment proceeds, military leaders should em-
phasize 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, Con-
gress should appropriate sufficient funds to restore the equip-
ment over the next five years.
The United States should work closely with Iraq's leaders
to support the achievement of specific objectives--or mile-
stones--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 support.
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 ac-
tion by the Iraqi government to make substantial progress to-
ward the achievement of these milestones.
If the Iraqi government demonstrates political will and
makes substantial progress toward the achievement of mile-
stones 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 government.
E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y
Our report makes recommendations in several other areas.
They include improvements to the Iraqi criminal justice sys-
tem, the Iraqi oil sector, the U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq,
the U.S. budget process, the training of U.S. government per-
sonnel, 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.
E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y
A s s e s s m e n t
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 demo-
cratically elected government that is broadly representative of
Iraq's population, yet the government is not adequately ad-
vancing national reconciliation, providing basic security, or de-
livering 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 pervasive.
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 extraordi-
nary efforts and sacrifices for a better future. However, the
ability of the United States to influence events within Iraq is di-
minishing. Many Iraqis are embracing sectarian identities. The
lack of security impedes economic development. Most coun-
tries in the region are not playing a constructive role in support
of Iraq, and some are undercutting stability.
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
Iraq is a centerpiece of American foreign policy, influenc-
ing 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 re-
gional 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
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
A. Assessment of the Current
Situation in Iraq
1. Security
Attacks against U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi security forces are per-
sistent 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 Janu-
ary. 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 insur-
gency, al Qaeda and affiliated jihadist groups, Shiite militias
and death squads, and organized criminality. Sectarian vio-
lence--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 leader-
ship but is a network of networks. It benefits from participants'
detailed knowledge of Iraq's infrastructure, and arms and fi-
nancing are supplied primarily from within Iraq. The insur-
gents 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
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 in-
surgent 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 un-
checked 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 sub-
stantial threat to immediate and long-term stability. These mili-
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
tias 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 tar-
get 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 pre-
serve 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 teem-
ing 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 mem-
bers 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, par-
ticularly in unstable areas like Anbar province. Some criminal
gangs cooperate with, finance, or purport to be part of the
A s s e s s m e n t
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 insur-
gent leader."
Four of Iraq's eighteen provinces are highly insecure--
Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, and Salah ad Din. These provinces ac-
count 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 deteriorating.
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 Forces­Iraq
under U.S. command, working in concert with Iraq's security
forces. The Multi-National Forces­Iraq were authorized by
UN Security Council Resolution 1546 in 2004, and the man-
date was extended in November 2006 for another year.
Approximately 141,000 U.S. military personnel are serv-
ing in Iraq, together with approximately 16,500 military person-
nel 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 Basra.
Along with this military presence, the United States is
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
building its largest embassy in Baghdad. The current U.S. em-
bassy in Baghdad totals about 1,000 U.S. government employ-
ees. 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 recon-
struction 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 func-
tional 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 Command­Iraq under
American leadership is expected to have trained and equipped
a target number of approximately 326,000 Iraqi security ser-
vices. That figure includes 138,000 members of the Iraqi Army
and 188,000 Iraqi police. Iraqis have operational control over
A s s e s s m e n t
roughly one-third of Iraqi security forces; the U.S. has opera-
tional 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 re-
liable and disciplined fighting force loyal to the national gov-
ernment. 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 repre-
sent only part of the story.
Significant questions remain about the ethnic composi-
tion 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 rede-
ploy 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 signifi-
cant challenges:
· 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 lead-
ership are the essential elements to improve performance.
· Units lack equipment. They cannot carry out their missions
without adequate equipment. Congress has been generous
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
in funding requests for U.S. troops, but it has resisted fully
funding Iraqi forces. The entire appropriation for Iraqi de-
fense forces for FY 2006 ($3 billion) is less than the United
States currently spends in Iraq every two weeks.
· 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 bank-
ing 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 sus-
tain 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 med-
ical evacuation. They will depend on the United States for
logistics and support through at least 2007.
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 counterin-
surgency operations, not police work. The Border Enforce-
ment Department numbers roughly 28,000.
Iraqi police cannot control crime, and they routinely en-
gage in sectarian violence, including the unnecessary detention,
A s s e s s m e n t
torture, and targeted execution of Sunni Arab civilians. The po-
lice are organized under the Ministry of the Interior, which is
confronted by corruption and militia infiltration and lacks con-
trol over police in the provinces.
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 preci-
sion 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 train-
ing 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 Moq-
tada 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.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 ex-
ceed the current capability of the Interior Ministry.
A s s e s s m e n t
Operation Together Forward II
In a major effort to quell the violence in Iraq, U.S. mili-
tary forces joined with Iraqi forces to establish security in
Baghdad with an operation called "Operation Together
Forward II," which began in August 2006. Under Opera-
tion 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 neighbor-
hood. 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 lev-
els--jumped more than 43 percent between the summer
and October 2006. U.S. forces continue to suffer high ca-
sualties. Perpetrators of violence leave neighborhoods in
advance of security sweeps, only to filter back later. Iraqi
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 deter-
mine if the constitution needs amendment.
The composition of the Iraqi government is basically sec-
tarian, 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
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
police have been unable or unwilling to stop such infiltra-
tion and continuing violence. The Iraqi Army has pro-
vided 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" neighbor-
hoods 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 con-
ditions encouraging the sectarian violence, U.S. forces
seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end.
national interest, and too many Iraqi ministries lack the capac-
ity to govern effectively. The result is an even weaker central
government than the constitution provides.
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 fu-
ture 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 re-
gions, ministries, and Iraq as a whole. The difficulties in hold-
ing 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 Sun-
nis or to disarm Shiite militias.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has demonstrated an un-
derstanding 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
A s s e s s m e n t
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.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
Sistani, Sadr, Hakim
The U.S. deals primarily with the Iraqi government, but
the most powerful Shia figures in Iraq do not hold na-
tional 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 lead-
ing 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 influ-
ence 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 politi-
cal 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.
Sunni Arabs feel displaced because of the loss of their tradi-
tional position of power in Iraq. They are torn, unsure whether
to seek their aims through political participation or through vi-
olent insurgency. They remain angry about U.S. decisions to
dissolve Iraqi security forces and to pursue the "de-Baathifica-
tion" 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.
A s s e s s m e n t
Hashimi and Dhari
The influence of Sunni Arab politicians in the govern-
ment is questionable. The leadership of the Sunni Arab
insurgency is murky, but the following two key Sunni
Arab figures have broad support.
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 government.
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 independ-
ent Kurdistan would be surrounded by hostile neighbors. How-
ever, a majority of Kurds favor independence. The Kurds have
their own security forces--the peshmerga--which number
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
tariq al-hashimi: Hashimi is one of two vice presi-
dents of Iraq and the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the
largest Sunni Muslim bloc in parliament. Hashimi op-
poses the formation of autonomous regions and has advo-
cated 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 insur-
gency and to Sunnis within the Iraqi government. A war-
rant was recently issued for his arrest for inciting violence
and terrorism, an act that sparked bitter Sunni protests
across Iraq.
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
A s s e s s m e n t
Barzani and Talabani
Kurdish politics has been dominated for years by two fig-
ures who have long-standing ties in movements for Kur-
dish independence and self-government.
massoud barzani: Barzani is the leader of the Kurdis-
tan 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.
roughly 100,000. They believe they could accommodate them-
selves to either a unified or a fractured Iraq.
de-Baathification, which prevents many Sunni Arabs from par-
ticipating 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 na-
tionalists, 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 re-
serves, while allowing revenues from reserves discovered in the
future to go to the regions.
The Sunnis did not actively participate in the constitu-
tion-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 re-
gion 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 num-
bers 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 Kur-
dish administered region, an outcome that Arabs and Turkmen
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 promi-
nent Shia leader told us pointedly that the current government
has the support of 80 percent of the population, notably ex-
cluding 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 com-
mented 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 lead-
ers 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 politi-
cal 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 politi-
cal 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 neigh-
borhoods, 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 in-
fluence. He owes his office in large part to Sadr and has shown
little willingness to take on him or his Mahdi Army.
Sunni Arabs have not made the strategic decision to aban-
don violent insurgency in favor of the political process. Sunni
A s s e s s m e n t
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 in-
timidation against Sunni leaders--assassinating the family mem-
bers 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 commitments.
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 dis-
arm 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 pro-
viding its people with basic services: electricity, drinking water,
sewage, health care, and education. In many sectors, produc-
tion 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 problem.
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 elec-
tricity each day and trash piles are waist-high. One American
official told us that Baghdad is run like a "Shia dictatorship" be-
cause Sunnis boycotted provincial elections in 2005, and there-
fore are not represented in local government.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
Second, security is lacking. Insurgents target key infra-
structure. 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 es-
timated that official corruption costs Iraq $5­7 billion per year.
Notable steps have been taken: Iraq has a functioning audit
board and inspectors general in the ministries, and senior lead-
ers 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-Baathifica-
tion. 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 10­15 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 corrup-
tion, and a Ministry of Finance reluctant to disburse funds.
Fifth, the judiciary is weak. Much has been done to estab-
lish an Iraqi judiciary, including a supreme court, and Iraq has
some dedicated judges. But criminal investigations are con-
ducted by magistrates, and they are too few and inadequately
trained to perform this function. Intimidation of the Iraqi judi-
ciary 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.
A s s e s s m e n t
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, dilapi-
dated infrastructure, and uncertainty. As one U.S. official ob-
served 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 sector.
Economic Performance
There are some encouraging signs. Currency reserves are
stable and growing at $12 billion. Consumer imports of com-
puters, cell phones, and other appliances have increased dra-
matically. New businesses are opening, and construction is
moving forward in secure areas. Because of Iraq's ample oil re-
serves, 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 in-
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
dicators 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 di-
rect 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 produc-
tion levels and the Iraqi government's target of 2.5 million bar-
rels 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 secu-
rity, lack of investment, and lack of technical capacity. Insur-
gents 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 in-
timidation and an extended migration of experts to other coun-
tries have eroded technical capacity. Foreign companies have
been reluctant to invest, and Iraq's Ministry of Oil has been un-
able 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
A s s e s s m e n t
products result in shortages within Iraq, which drive con-
sumers 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 coun-
try's already fragile efforts to create a unified central govern-
ment. 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" re-
source, a question that has profound ramifications for the ulti-
mate control of future oil revenue.
Senior members of Iraq's oil industry argue that a national
oil company could reduce political tensions by centralizing rev-
enues and reducing regional or local claims to a percentage of
the revenue derived from production. However, regional lead-
ers are suspicious and resist this proposal, affirming the rights of
local communities to have direct access to the inflow of oil rev-
enue. Kurdish leaders have been particularly aggressive in as-
serting 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 negotiat-
ing oil investment contracts with foreign companies.
There are proposals to redistribute a portion of oil rev-
enues directly to the population on a per capita basis. These
proposals have the potential to give all Iraqi citizens a stake in
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
the nation's chief natural resource, but it would take time to de-
velop a fair distribution system. Oil revenues have been incor-
porated 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 bil-
lion has been appropriated for the "Iraq Relief and Recon-
struction Fund." Nearly $16 billion has been spent, and almost
all the funds have been committed. The administration re-
quested $1.6 billion for reconstruction in FY 2006, and re-
ceived $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 In-
ternational Development, and other agencies has been ineffec-
tive. There are no clear lines establishing who is in charge of
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
A s s e s s m e n t
being made to improve the capacity of government bureaucra-
cies at the national, regional, and provincial levels to provide
services to the population as well as to select and manage infra-
structure projects.
The United States has people embedded in several Iraqi
ministries, but it confronts problems with access and sustain-
ability. 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 reconstruc-
tion 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 Inter-
national 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 Re-
construction has documented numerous instances of waste and
abuse. They have not all been put right. Contracting has gradu-
ally 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.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
4. International Support
International support for Iraqi reconstruction has been tepid.
International donors pledged $13.5 billion to support recon-
struction, 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 coun-
try 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 Na-
tions 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 eco-
nomic self-sufficiency by 2012. Several U.S. and international of-
ficials 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 neigh-
bors are meddling in their affairs. When asked which of Iraq's
neighbors are intervening in Iraq, one senior Iraqi official
replied, "All of them."
A s s e s s m e n t
The situation in Iraq is linked with events in the region.
U.S. efforts in Afghanistan have been complicated by the over-
riding 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 im-
provised explosive devices to groups--including Sunni Arab in-
surgents--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, in-
cluding 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
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 neg-
lect: 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 de-
clined 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 sup-
port for their fellow Sunnis within Iraq. One observed that
Saudi Arabia did not even send a letter when the Iraqi govern-
ment was formed, whereas Iran has an ambassador in Iraq.
Funding for the Sunni insurgency comes from private individ-
uals within Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, even as those gov-
ernments help facilitate U.S. military operations in Iraq by
providing basing and overflight rights and by cooperating on in-
telligence issues.
A s s e s s m e n t
As worries about Iraq increase, the Gulf States are becom-
ing 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 discourag-
ing 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 eco-
nomic issues.
The Turks are deeply concerned about the operations of the
Kurdish Workers Party (PKK)--a terrorist group based in north-
ern Iraq that has killed thousands of Turks. They are upset that
the United States and Iraq have not targeted the PKK more ag-
gressively. The Turks have threatened to go after the PKK them-
selves, 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
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
some limited Iraqi army training. Both Jordan and Egypt have
facilitated U.S. military operations--Jordan by allowing over-
flight and search-and-rescue operations, Egypt by allowing
overflight and Suez Canal transits; both provide important co-
operation 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 countries.
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 commit-
ted 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 nongovern-
mental organizations play an important role in reaching across
sectarian lines to enhance dialogue and understanding, and
several U.S.-based organizations have employed substantial re-
sources 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 government.
A s s e s s m e n t
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 south-
east. 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 fu-
ture of Iraq in both blood and treasure. As of December 2006,
nearly 2,900 Americans have lost their lives serving in Iraq. An-
other 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. Es-
timates run as high as $2 trillion for the final cost of the U.S. in-
volvement 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 per-
suaded to play an active and constructive role in supporting
Iraq. The ability of the United States to shape outcomes is di-
minishing. Time is running out.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
B. Consequences of Continued
Decline in Iraq
If the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, the conse-
quences could be severe for Iraq, the United States, the region,
and the world.
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 coun-
try already unable to meet its people's needs. Iraq's security
forces could split along sectarian lines. A humanitarian catas-
trophe could follow as more refugees are forced to relocate
across the country and the region. Ethnic cleansing could esca-
late. 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 independ-
ence. Iran could send in troops to restore stability in south-
ern 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 insurrec-
tions--perhaps fomented by Iran--in Sunni-ruled states. Such
a broader sectarian conflict could open a Pandora's box of prob-
lems--including the radicalization of populations, mass move-
ments 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 economy.
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 re-
gionally or even globally. Al Qaeda will portray any failure by
the United States in Iraq as a significant victory that will be fea-
tured 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 of-
ficial told us that failure in Iraq could incite terrorist attacks
within his country.
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
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 polar-
ization 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 for-
ward. The November elections were largely viewed as a refer-
endum 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 neg-
ative" 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 repre-
senting 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 sev-
eral positive steps since Saddam Hussein was overthrown:
Iraqis restored full sovereignty, conducted open national elec-
tions, drafted a permanent constitution, ratified that constitu-
A s s e s s m e n t
tion, and elected a new government pursuant to that constitu-
tion. Iraqis may become so sobered by the prospect of an un-
folding 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.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
C. Some Alternative Courses in Iraq
Because of the gravity of the situation in Iraq and of its conse-
quences 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 sug-
gested have flaws. The following are some of the more notable
possibilities that we have considered.
1. Precipitate Withdrawal
Because of the importance of Iraq, the potential for catastro-
phe, and the role and commitments of the United States in ini-
tiating 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 pre-
mature 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 re-
quire 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 rec-
onciliation. 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 ex-
tended 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
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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
4. Devolution to Three Regions
The costs associated with devolving Iraq into three semiau-
tonomous 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 re-
gions. Iraqis, particularly Sunni Arabs, told us that such a divi-
sion 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 con-
tinued instability in Iraq, we do not believe the United States
should support this course as a policy goal or impose this out-
come 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 govern-
mental authorities in Baghdad, particularly on the question of
oil revenues.
A s s e s s m e n t
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 de-
fend 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 sanc-
tuary, 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.
T h e Wa y F o r w a r d --
A N e w A p p r o a c h
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
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 re-
quired to achieve national reconciliation, reduce violence, and
improve the daily lives of Iraqis. Efforts to implement these ex-
ternal and internal strategies must begin now and must be un-
dertaken 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 in-
clude 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 destabilization.
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 suc-
ceed 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 so-
lution within Iraq, a broader international support structure is
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 mile-
stones. Achieving these milestones will require at least the ac-
quiescence of Iraq's neighbors, and their active and timely
cooperation would be highly desirable.
The diplomatic offensive would extend beyond the pri-
marily economic "Compact for Iraq" by also emphasizing polit-
ical, 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 con-
ducted, 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 be-
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
tween Iraqi Sunnis and Shia. Such reinforcement would con-
tribute 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 offen-
sive 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
iii. Secure Iraq's borders, including the use of joint patrols
with neighboring countries.
iv. Prevent the expansion of the instability and conflict be-
yond 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.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
vi. Energize countries to support national political reconcili-
ation in Iraq.
vii. Validate Iraq's legitimacy by resuming diplomatic rela-
tions, where appropriate, and reestablishing embassies in
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
x. Assist the Iraqi government in achieving certain security,
political, and economic milestones, including better
performance on issues such as national reconciliation, eq-
uitable distribution of oil revenues, and the dismantling of
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 na-
tional reconciliation in Iraq and to reestablish their diplo-
matic presence in Iraq.
2. The Iraq International Support Group
This new diplomatic offensive cannot be successful unless it in-
cludes the active participation of those countries that have a crit-
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
ical stake in preventing Iraq from falling into chaos. To encour-
age 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 Sup-
port 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 in-
tegrity, but not so powerful as to threaten its neighbors. None
favors the breakup of the Iraqi state. Each country in the re-
gion views the situation in Iraq through the filter of its particu-
lar set of interests. For example:
· 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
· Kuwait wants to ensure that it will not once again be the vic-
tim of Iraqi irredentism and aggression.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
· Saudi Arabia and Jordan share Sunni concerns over Shia as-
cendancy 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 ex-
acerbate Shia-Sunni tensions.
· 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 in-
fluence, 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 agree-
ment, as their recent hosting of a meeting of Islamic religious
leaders in Mecca suggests. If the government in Baghdad pur-
sues 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.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
turkey. As a major Sunni Muslim country on Iraq's borders,
Turkey can be a partner in supporting the national reconcilia-
tion 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 reconcilia-
tion process in Iraq with a focus on getting the Sunnis to partic-
ipate. 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 reconcili-
ation 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 Se-
curity Council; the European Union; and, of course, Iraq it-
self. Other countries--for instance, Germany, Japan and
South Korea--that might be willing to contribute to resolv-
ing political, diplomatic, and security problems affecting
Iraq could also become members.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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
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 ap-
proaches to neighboring countries that take into account the
interests, perspectives, and potential contributions as sug-
gested 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 differ-
ences consistent with its own interests. Accordingly, the Sup-
port Group should actively engage Iran and Syria in its
diplomatic dialogue, without preconditions.
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
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
approaches to both Iran and Syria. However, the United States
should also consider incentives to try to engage them construc-
tively, much as it did successfully with Libya.
Some of the possible incentives to Iran, Syria, or both in-
An Iraq that does not disintegrate and destabilize its neigh-
bors 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
The prospect of a U.S. policy that emphasizes political and
economic reforms instead of (as Iran now perceives it) ad-
vocating regime change.
vi. Prospects for a real, complete, and secure peace to be ne-
gotiated between Israel and Syria, with U.S. involvement
as part of a broader initiative on Arab-Israeli peace as out-
lined below.
RECOMMENDATION 9: Under the aegis of the New Diplo-
matic 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
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
United States should consider incentives, as well as disincen-
tives, 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 ap-
proach, which could lead to its isolation. Further, Iran's refusal
to cooperate on this matter would diminish its prospects of en-
gaging with the United States in the broader dialogue it seeks.
RECOMMENDATION 10: The issue of Iran's nuclear pro-
grams should continue to be dealt with by the United Nations
Security Council and its five permanent members (i.e., the
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 sover-
eignty 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 eco-
nomic 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 effec-
tively 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
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
RECOMMENDATION 12: The United States and the Sup-
port Group should encourage and persuade Syria of the
merit of such contributions as the following:
· Syria can control its border with Iraq to the maximum ex-
tent possible and work together with Iraqis on joint pa-
trols 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 Iraqis.
· 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 conflict.
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 com-
mitment 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 sup-
ports radical Palestinian groups.
The United States does its ally Israel no favors in avoiding
direct involvement to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. For sev-
eral reasons, we should act boldly:
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
· 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 gov-
ernments 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 comprehen-
sive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon and Syria, and
President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solu-
tion for Israel and Palestine.
RECOMMENDATION 14: This effort should include--as
soon as possible--the unconditional calling and holding of
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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 acknowl-
edge 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:
· 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 politi-
cal assassinations in Lebanon, especially those of Rafik
Hariri and Pierre Gemayel.
· 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 Is-
rael's problem with Hezbollah.)
· Syria's use of its influence with Hamas and Hezbollah
for the release of the captured Israeli Defense Force
· A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the
democratically elected government of Lebanon.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
· A verifiable cessation of arms shipments from or transiting
through Syria for Hamas and other radical Palestinian
· A Syrian commitment to help obtain from Hamas an ac-
knowledgment 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 guaran-
tee 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 peace.
· 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 con-
solidating the cease-fire reached between the Palestinians
and the Israelis in November 2006.
· Support for a Palestinian national unity government.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
· 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, settle-
ments, 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 devel-
opment 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 Afghan-
istan. 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, secu-
rity, and military measures.
RECOMMENDATION 18: It is critical for the United States
to provide additional political, economic, and military sup-
port for Afghanistan, including resources that might become
available as combat forces are moved from Iraq.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
B.The Internal Approach:
Helping Iraqis Help Themselves
The New Diplomatic Offensive will provide the proper exter-
nal environment and support for the difficult internal steps that
the Iraqi government must take to promote national reconcilia-
tion, 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 secu-
rity and assistance it provides, the United States has a signifi-
cant 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 mile-
stones--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 support.
The U.S. government must make clear that it expects
action by the Iraqi government to make substantial progress to-
ward these milestones. Such a message can be sent only at the
level of our national leaders, and only in person, during direct
As President Bush's meeting with Prime Minister Maliki
in Amman, Jordan demonstrates, it is important for the Presi-
dent 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 mile-
stones 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 mile-
stones. 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 no-
tion 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 fre-
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
quent contact with the Iraqi leadership. These contacts must
convey a clear message: there must be action by the Iraqi gov-
ernment to make substantial progress toward the achieve-
ment 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 demon-
strates political will and makes substantial progress toward
the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, secu-
rity, 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 mile-
stones on national reconciliation, security, and governance,
the United States should reduce its political, military, or eco-
nomic support for the Iraqi government.
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.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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 2006­early 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 nec-
By May 2007:
Completion of Militia Law implementation
Approval of amnesty agreement
Completion of reconciliation efforts
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 inflation.
Iraq will continue increasing domestic prices for refined pe-
troleum products and sell imported fuel at market prices.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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 gov-
ernment 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
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 ad-
dress several issues that are critical to the success of national
reconciliation and thus to the future of Iraq.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 rec-
onciliation requires the reintegration of Baathists and Arab
nationalists into national life, with the leading figures of Sad-
dam Hussein's regime excluded. The United States should en-
courage the return of qualified Iraqi professionals--Sunni or
Shia, nationalist or ex-Baathist, Kurd or Turkmen or Christ-
ian or Arab--into the government.
RECOMMENDATION 28: Oil revenue sharing. Oil reve-
nues 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 recon-
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
RECOMMENDATION 30: Kirkuk. Given the very danger-
ous situation in Kirkuk, international arbitration is necessary
to avert communal violence. Kirkuk's mix of Kurdish, Arab,
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
and Turkmen populations could make it a powder keg. A ref-
erendum 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 recon-
ciliation must involve those in the government finding ways
and means to reconcile with former bitter enemies.
RECOMMENDATION 32: Minorities. The rights of women
and the rights of all minority communities in Iraq, including
Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Yazidis, Sabeans, and Ar-
menians, must be protected.
RECOMMENDATION 33: Civil society. The Iraqi govern-
ment should stop using the process of registering nongovern-
mental organizations as a tool for politicizing or stopping
their activities. Registration should be solely an administra-
tive act, not an occasion for government censorship and in-
Steps for the United States to Take on Behalf of
National Reconciliation
The United States can take several steps to assist in Iraq's rec-
onciliation process.
The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is a key topic of inter-
est in a national reconciliation dialogue. The point is not for the
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 de-
parture of U.S. forces as Iraqi forces take on the security mis-
sion. 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
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 ac-
tive 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 insur-
gent leaders.
The very focus on sectarian identity that endangers Iraq also
presents opportunities to seek broader support for a national
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
reconciliation dialogue. Working with Iraqi leaders, the inter-
national community and religious leaders can play an important
role in fostering dialogue and reconciliation across the sectar-
ian 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 encour-
age dialogue between sectarian communities, as outlined in
the New Diplomatic Offensive above. It should press reli-
gious 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 dif-
ficult for the Iraqis to make. Yet amnesty is an issue to be grap-
pled 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 reconciliation.
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 vio-
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
lence against institutions of the state. However, solving the
problem of militias requires national reconciliation.
Dealing with Iraq's militias will require long-term atten-
tion, and substantial funding will be needed to disarm, demobi-
lize, and reintegrate militia members into civilian society.
Around the world, this process of transitioning members of ir-
regular military forces from civil conflict to new lives once a
peace settlement takes hold is familiar. The disarmament, de-
mobilization, 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 appro-
priate personnel months before any program to disarm, demo-
bilize, 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. fi-
nancial and technical support is crucial.
RECOMMENDATION 38: The United States should sup-
port the presence of neutral international experts as advisors
to the Iraqi government on the processes of disarmament, de-
mobilization, 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.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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 success.
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 capabil-
ity, the Iraqi government should be able to take real responsi-
bility 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 ulti-
mately a matter for the Iraqi government to determine, we
should be firm on the urgent near-term need for significant ad-
ditional trained Army brigades, since this is the key to Iraqis
taking over full responsibility for their own security, which they
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 secu-
rity 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 in-
volve 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 de-
crease 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
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.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
The performance of the Iraqi Army could also be signifi-
cantly 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 use.
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, work-
ing 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.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
· 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 in-
tended to be a long-term "occupation." We could, however,
support a short-term redeployment or surge of American com-
bat 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 effective.
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 deteri-
oration in the security situation, it is urgent to move as quickly
as possible to have that security role taken over by Iraqi secu-
rity forces.
The United States should not make an open-ended com-
mitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed
in Iraq for three compelling reasons.
First, and most importantly, the United States faces other
security dangers in the world, and a continuing Iraqi commit-
ment of American ground forces at present levels will leave no
reserve available to meet other contingencies. On September
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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 incen-
tive, 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 im-
portant to recognize that there are no risk-free alternatives
available to the United States at this time. Reducing our com-
bat troop commitments in Iraq, whenever that occurs, undeni-
ably creates risks, but leaving those forces tied down in Iraq
indefinitely creates its own set of security risks.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 govern-
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, equip-
ping, advising, and support mission and to counterterrorism
RECOMMENDATION 44: The most highly qualified U.S. of-
ficers 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 sup-
port more and better equipment for the Iraqi Army by en-
couraging the Iraqi government to accelerate its Foreign
Military Sales requests and, as American combat brigades
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
move out of Iraq, by leaving behind some American equip-
ment 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 de-
ployments in Iraq, with attendant casualties (almost 3,000 dead
and more than 21,000 wounded), greater difficulty in recruit-
ing, 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 re-
quirements for other current and future security threats that
need to be accommodated together with spending for opera-
tions and maintenance, reset, personnel, and benefits for active
duty and retired personnel. Restoring the capability of our mil-
itary forces should be a high priority for the United States at
this time.
The U.S. military has a long tradition of strong partner-
ship between the civilian leadership of the Department of De-
fense 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,
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 repaired.
RECOMMENDATION 46: The new Secretary of Defense
should make every effort to build healthy civil-military rela-
tions, by creating an environment in which the senior mili-
tary 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 Gold-
water-Nichols legislation.
RECOMMENDATION 47: As redeployment proceeds, the
Pentagon leadership should emphasize training and educa-
tion programs for the forces that have returned to the conti-
nental United States in order to "reset" the force and restore
the U.S. military to a high level of readiness for global contin-
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 con-
sultation 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 develop-
ment, and the budgets of other U.S. government agencies in-
volved in the stability and reconstruction effort.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
4. Police and Criminal Justice
The problems in the Iraqi police and criminal justice system
are profound.
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 pre-
vent 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 coun-
terinsurgency operations and heavily armed forces. Though de-
priving 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 po-
lice commando units will become part of the new Iraqi Army.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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 exter-
nal 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 investiga-
tions 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 Ser-
vice, 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
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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 offi-
cers 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 Divi-
sion) 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 Protec-
tion Service under the control of the Iraqi Ministry of the Inte-
rior. Simply disbanding these units is not an option, as the
members will take their weapons and become full-time militia-
men or insurgents. All should be brought under the authority
of a reformed Ministry of the Interior. They will need to be vet-
ted, 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 (out-
lined above).
RECOMMENDATION 54: The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior
should proceed with current efforts to identify, register, and
control the Facilities Protection Service.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
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. De-
partment 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 underutilized.
The United States should adjust its training mission in
Iraq to match the recommended changes in the Iraqi govern-
ment--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 reor-
ganization, 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
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 remain-
ing under the Ministry of the Interior.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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, includ-
ing local police stations. These trainers should be obtained
from among experienced civilian police executives and super-
visors from around the world. These officers would replace
the military police personnel currently assigned to training
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 inves-
tigative and forensic training and facilities within Iraq, to in-
clude 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 transport.
RECOMMENDATION 59: The Iraqi government should
provide funds to expand and upgrade communications
equipment and motor vehicles for the Iraqi Police Service.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
The Department of Justice is also better suited than the De-
partment 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 of-
ficials, starting at senior levels and moving down, to create a
strategic plan and work out standard administrative proce-
dures, 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. Depart-
ment 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
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
day over a three- to five-year period, depending on evolving
conditions in key reservoirs. Even if Iraq were at peace tomor-
row, oil production would decline unless current problems in
the oil sector were addressed.
Short Term
· As soon as possible, the U.S. government should pro-
vide technical assistance to the Iraqi government to pre-
pare a draft oil law that defines the rights of regional and
local governments and creates a fiscal and legal frame-
work for investment. Legal clarity is essential to attract
· The U.S. government should encourage the Iraqi govern-
ment to accelerate contracting for the comprehensive well
work-overs in the southern fields needed to increase pro-
duction, 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 infrastruc-
ture 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
· Metering should be implemented at both ends of the sup-
ply line. This step would immediately improve accounta-
bility in the oil sector.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
· 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 re-
quire creating corporate structures, establishing management
systems, and installing competent managers to plan and over-
see 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 interna-
tional 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 revenues.
· The United States should support the World Bank's efforts
to ensure that best practices are used in contracting. This
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
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
Building the capacity of the Iraqi government should be at the
heart of U.S. reconstruction efforts, and capacity building de-
mands 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 techni-
cal assistance and advice to build the capacity of its institutions.
The Iraqi government needs help with all aspects of its opera-
tions, including improved procedures, greater delegation of au-
thority, and better internal controls. The strong emphasis on
building capable central ministries must be accompanied by ef-
forts 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 Emer-
gency Response Program is a necessary transitional mechanism
until security and the economic climate improve. It provides
immediate economic assistance for trash pickup, water, sewers,
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
and electricity in conjunction with clear, hold, and build opera-
tions, and it should be funded generously. A total of $753 mil-
lion 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 nec-
essary resources and must work hard to win the support of
Congress. Capacity building and job creation, including re-
liance on the Commander's Emergency Response Program,
should be U.S. priorities. Economic assistance should be pro-
vided on a nonsectarian basis.
The New Diplomatic Offensive can help draw in more interna-
tional partners to assist with the reconstruction mission. The
United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the Or-
ganization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and
some Arab League members need to become hands-on partici-
pants in Iraq's reconstruction.
RECOMMENDATION 65: An essential part of reconstruc-
tion 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 in-
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
RECOMMENDATION 66: The United States should take
the lead in funding assistance requests from the United Na-
tions High Commissioner for Refugees, and other humanitar-
ian 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. Representa-
tives 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.
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 intera-
gency group consisting of senior principals at the undersecre-
tary 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.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
He or she must have close and constant interaction with
senior U.S. officials and military commanders in Iraq, espe-
cially the Director of the Iraq Reconstruction and Manage-
ment 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.
Improving the Effectiveness of
Assistance Programs
Congress should work with the administration to improve its
ability to implement assistance programs in Iraq quickly, flexi-
bly, and effectively.
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 Emer-
gency Response Program, and should have the authority to re-
scind funding from programs and projects in which the
government of Iraq is not demonstrating effective partnership.
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
RECOMMENDATION 69: The authority of the Special In-
spector General for Iraq Reconstruction should be renewed
for the duration of assistance programs in Iraq.
U.S. security assistance programs in Iraq are slowed consider-
ably by the differing requirements of State and Defense De-
partment programs and of their respective congressional
oversight committees. Since Iraqi forces must be trained and
equipped, streamlining the provision of training and equip-
ment to Iraq is critical. Security assistance should be delivered
promptly, within weeks of a decision to provide it.
RECOMMENDATION 70: A more flexible security assistance
program for Iraq, breaking down the barriers to effective inter-
agency cooperation, should be authorized and implemented.
The United States also needs to break down barriers that dis-
courage 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 Iraq.
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 Iraq.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
First, most of the costs of the war show up not in the nor-
mal budget request but in requests for emergency supplemen-
tal appropriations. This means that funding requests are drawn
up outside the normal budget process, are not offset by budg-
etary 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 ques-
tion: "How much money is the President requesting for the war
in Iraq?"
Finally, circumvention of the budget process by the exec-
utive branch erodes oversight and review by Congress. The au-
thorizing 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 ap-
propriations 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 perfunc-
tory review. Even worse, the must-pass appropriations bill be-
comes 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
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
budget process should not be circumvented. Funding re-
quests 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 handi-
capped by Americans' lack of language and cultural under-
standing. 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 assign-
ments in Iraq with sufficient numbers of properly trained per-
sonnel at the appropriate rank.
RECOMMENDATION 73: The Secretary of State, the Secre-
tary 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 as-
signed to Iraq.
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
RECOMMENDATION 74: In the short term, if not enough
civilians volunteer to fill key positions in Iraq, civilian agen-
cies must fill those positions with directed assignments. Steps
should be taken to mitigate familial or financial hardships
posed by directed assignments, including tax exclusions simi-
lar to those authorized for U.S. military personnel serving in
RECOMMENDATION 75: For the longer term, the United
States government needs to improve how its constituent
agencies--Defense, State, Agency for International Develop-
ment, Treasury, Justice, the intelligence community, and oth-
ers--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 bound-
aries, 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 em-
bassy 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
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
government still does not understand very well either the in-
surgency 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 im-
proved 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 told."
The Defense Department and the intelligence commu-
nity have not invested sufficient people and resources to under-
stand 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 administra-
tion has not put forward a request to invest comparable re-
sources 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 an-
alytic 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 knowl-
edge 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 know.
In addition, there is significant underreporting of the vio-
lence in Iraq. The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
to keep events out of reports and databases. A murder of an
Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot deter-
mine the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not
make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mor-
tar attack that doesn't hurt U.S. personnel doesn't count. For
example, on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or sig-
nificant acts of violence reported. Yet a careful review of the re-
ports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence.
Good policy is difficult to make when information is systemati-
cally collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with pol-
icy goals.
RECOMMENDATION 77: The Director of National Intelli-
gence and the Secretary of Defense should devote signifi-
cantly greater analytic resources to the task of understanding
the threats and sources of violence in Iraq.
RECOMMENDATION 78: The Director of National Intelli-
gence and the Secretary of Defense should also institute im-
mediate 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 intelli-
gence personnel. The CIA should also develop, with Iraqi offi-
cials, a counterterrorism intelligence center for the all-source
T h e W a y F o r w a r d -- A N e w A p p r o a c h
fusion of information on the various sources of terrorism within
Iraq. This center would analyze data concerning the individu-
als, 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 addi-
tional personnel in Iraq to develop and train an effective in-
telligence service and to build a counterterrorism intelligence
center that will facilitate intelligence-led counterterrorism
t h e i r a q s t u d y g r o u p r e p o r t
Letter from the Sponsoring
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 In-
ternational 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. Demo-
crats 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. Su-
preme 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
To support the Study Group, the sponsoring organiza-
tions created four expert working groups consisting of 44 lead-
ing 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 Recon-
struction. Every effort was made to ensure the participation of
experts across a wide span of the political spectrum. Addition-
ally, 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. Hamilton.
Richard H. Solomon, President
United States Institute of Peace
Edward P. Djerejian, Founding Director
James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy,
Rice University
L e t t e r f r o m t h e S p o n s o r i n g O r g a n i z a t i o n s
David M. Abshire, President
Center for the Study of the Presidency
John J. Hamre, President
Center for Strategic and International Studies
L e t t e r f r o m t h e S p o n s o r i n g O r g a n i z a t i o n s
Iraq Study Group Plenary Sessions
March 15, 2006
April 11­12, 2006
May 18­19, 2005
June 13­14, 2006
August 2­3, 2006
August 30­September 4, 2006 (Trip to Baghdad)
September 18­19, 2006
November 13­14, 2006
November 27­29, 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--Minster 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
* Ayad Jamal al-Din--Member, High Commission on National
* Ali Khalifa al-Duleimi--Member, High Commission on
National Reconciliation
* Sami al-Ma'ajoon--Member, High Commission on National
* Muhammad Ahmed Mahmoud--Member, Commission on
National Reconciliation
* Wijdan Mikhael--Member, High Commission on National
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
* Hajim al-Hassani--Member of the Parliament on the Iraqiya
* 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
* 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
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
* Hamid Majid Musa--Secretary of the Iraqi Communist
* 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
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
* General George W. Casey, Jr.--Commanding General,
Multi-National Forces­Iraq
Lt. General James T. Conway--Director of Operations, J-3,
on the Joint Staff
* Lt. General Peter Chiarelli--Commander, Multi-National
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 Command­Iraq
* 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
Philip Zelikow--Counselor to the Department of State
C. David Welch--Assistant Secretary of State for Near
Eastern Affairs
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
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
* 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
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 Recon-
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
Members of Congress
United States Senate
Senator William Frist (R-TN)--Majority Leader
Senators 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
Senators John Warner (R-VA)--Chair, Armed Services
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
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)--Member, Armed Services
Senator John Kerry (D-MA)--Member, Foreign Relations
Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)--Member, Armed
Services Committee
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)--Member, Armed Services
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)--Member, Armed Services
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
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
Foreign Officials
Sheikh Salem al-Abdullah al-Sabah--Ambassador of Kuwait
to the United States
David Abramovich--Director General of the Israeli Ministry
of Foreign Affairs
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
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
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
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
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
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
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
Samuel R. Berger--former United States National Security
Zbigniew Brzezinski--former United States National Security
Anthony Lake--former United States National Security
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
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
Richard Hill--Director, Office of Strategic Initiatives and
Analysis, CHF International
Richard C. Holbrooke--former Ambassador of the United
States to the United Nations
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
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
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 Insti-
tute 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
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
I r a q S t u d y G r o u p C o n s u l t a t i o n s
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
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
E x p e r t W o r k i n g G r o u p s
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
E x p e r t W o r k i n g G r o u p s
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
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, Stanford 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
E x p e r t W o r k i n g G r o u p s
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
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
Strategic Environment
Paul Stares, USIP Secretariat
Vice President, Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention,
United States Institute of Peace
E x p e r t W o r k i n g G r o u p s
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
E x p e r t W o r k i n g G r o u p s
Shibley Telhami
Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development, Department
of Government & Politics, University of Maryland, and Non-
resident 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
E x p e r t W o r k i n g G r o u p s
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 post­Cold War era. Mr. Baker's reflec-
tions 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 Trea-
sury Secretary, he was also Chairman of the President's Eco-
nomic 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 Com-
merce to President Gerald Ford. It concluded with his service
as White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to Presi-
dent 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 Prince-
ton University in 1952. After two years of active duty as a lieu-
tenant 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. Ken-
nedy 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 Na-
tions Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seek a political solution
to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, Mr. Baker was ap-
pointed 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
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
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.
Lee H. Hamilton--Co-Chair
Lee H. Hamilton became Director of the Woodrow Wilson In-
ternational Center for Scholars in January 1999. Previously, Mr.
Hamilton served for thirty-four years as a United States Con-
gressman from Indiana. During his tenure, he served as Chair-
man 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 congres-
sional 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 Of-
ficial 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 secu-
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
rity. He served as a Commissioner on the United States Com-
mission 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 Presi-
dent'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 Indi-
ana 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
Lee and his wife, the former Nancy Ann Nelson, have
three children--Tracy Lynn Souza, Deborah Hamilton Kre-
mer, and Douglas Nelson Hamilton--and five grandchildren:
Christina, Maria, McLouis and Patricia Souza and Lina Ying
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
Lawrence S. Eagleburger--Member
Lawrence S. Eagleburger was sworn in as the 62nd U.S. Secre-
tary 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. Ea-
gleburger served in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Hon-
duras, in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and
Research, in the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and the U.S. Mis-
sion to NATO in Belgium. In 1963, after a severe earthquake in
Macedonia, he led the U.S. government effort to provide med-
ical and other assistance. He was then assigned to Washington,
D.C., where he served on the Secretariat staff and as special as-
sistant 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 Katzen-
bach. 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 polit-
ical 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 As-
sistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
The same year he returned to the White House as Deputy As-
sistant to the President for National Security Operations. He
subsequently followed Dr. Kissinger to the State Department,
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
becoming Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State. In
1975, he was made Deputy Under Secretary of State for Man-
In June 1977, Mr. Eagleburger was appointed Ambas-
sador 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 Presi-
dent'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. Eagle-
burger is married to the former Marlene Ann Heinemann. He
is the father of three sons, Lawrence Scott, Lawrence Andrew,
and Lawrence Jason.
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
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 Execu-
tive 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 interna-
tional law in Washington, D.C.
Before Akin Gump, Mr. Jordan held the following posi-
tions: 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. Of-
fice of Economic Opportunity; Assistant to the Executive Direc-
tor of the Southern Regional Council; Georgia Field Director of
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peo-
ple; and an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia.
Mr. Jordan's presidential appointments include the Presi-
dent'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 Pres-
idential Clemency Board, the American Revolution Bicenten-
nial Commission, the National Advisory Committee on
Selective Service, and the Council of the White House Confer-
ence "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.;
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
Lazard Ltd.; Xerox Corporation; and the International Advi-
sory 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 mem-
ber 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 Presi-
dent of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. Mr. Jordan is the
author of Vernon Can Read! A Memoir (Public Affairs, 2001).
Edwin Meese III--Member
Edwin Meese III holds the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Pol-
icy 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-ed-
itor of Making America Safer, published in 1997 by the Her-
itage Foundation; and coauthor of Leadership, Ethics and
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.
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
From January 1981 to February 1985, Meese held the po-
sition 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 Na-
tional Security Council. He served as Chairman of the Domes-
tic 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 cam-
paign, 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. Be-
fore 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 Crim-
inal 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 presi-
dent for administration of Rohr Industries, Inc., in Chula Vista,
California. He left Rohr to return to the practice of law, en-
gaging in corporate and general legal work in San Diego
Meese is a graduate of Yale University, Class of 1953, and
holds a law degree from the University of California at Berke-
ley. 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.
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
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 (1979­81)
and as judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court in
Phoenix, Arizona (1975­79). 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 gen-
eral in Arizona. She practiced law at a private firm in Maryvale,
Arizona, from 1958 to 1960 and prior to that was civilian attor-
ney for Quartermaster Market Center in Frankfurt, Germany
(1954­57), and deputy county attorney in San Mateo County,
California (1952­53)
She was previously Chairman of the Arizona Supreme
Court Committee to Reorganize Lower Courts (1974­75), Vice
Chairman of the Arizona Select Law Enforcement Review
Commission (1979­80), and, in Maricopa County, Chairman of
the Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (1960­62), the Ju-
venile Detention Home Visiting Board (1963­64), and the Su-
perior Court Judges' Training and Education Committee
(1977­79) and a member of the Board of Adjustments and Ap-
peals (1963­64).
O'Connor currently serves as Chancellor of the College
of William and Mary and on the Board of Trustees of the
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
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 Coun-
cil, an honorary chair of America's 400th Anniversary: James-
town 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 Stan-
ford Center on Ethics. She also serves on several bodies of the
American Bar Association, including the Museum of Law Ex-
ecutive 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 Commit-
tees on Legal Aid, Public Relations, Lower Court Reorganization,
and Continuing Legal Education; the National Defense Advi-
sory Committee on Women in the Services (1974­76); the Ari-
zona State Personnel Commission (1968­69); the Arizona
Criminal Code Commission (1974­76); and the Cathedral
Chapter of the Washington National Cathedral (1991­99).
O'Connor is a member of the American Bar Association,
the State Bar of Arizona, the State Bar of California, the Mari-
copa 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 edi-
tors of the Stanford Law Review.
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
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 Univer-
sity, 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 Secre-
tary of Health, Education and Welfare and then Director of the
U.S. Office for Civil Rights. His book Bring Us Together (pub-
lished 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 Cal-
ifornia, 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 Prac-
tices Resolution, legislation that established Medicare and
Medicaid reimbursement for hospice care for the terminally ill,
and other legislation on a variety of education, health, agricul-
ture, 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 Com-
mittee's Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
Relations and Nutrition; the House Administration Commit-
tee'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 Com-
mission 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 organiza-
tional boards, including as Chair of the Pew Oceans Commis-
sion 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 Presi-
dency, the John H. Chafee Coastal Stewardship Award, the
Julius A. Stratton Award for Coastal Leadership, and the Dis-
tinguished 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 Commenda-
tion Medal. Panetta is married to the former Sylvia Marie
Varni. They have three grown sons and five grandchildren.
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
William J. Perry--Member
William Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor
at Stanford University, with a joint appointment at the Free-
man Spogli Institute for International Studies and the School
of Engineering. He is a senior fellow at FSI and serves as co-di-
rector of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collabora-
tion of Stanford and Harvard universities.
Perry was the 19th Secretary of Defense of the United
States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previ-
ously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense (1993­94) and as
Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
(1977­81). He is on the board of directors of several emerging
high-tech companies and is Chairman of Global Technology
His previous business experience includes serving as a
laboratory director for General Telephone and Electronics
(1954­64) and as founder and president of ESL Inc. (1964­77),
executive vice president of Hambrecht & Quist Inc. (1981­85),
and founder and chairman of Technology Strategies & Alliances
(1985­93). He is a member of the National Academy of Engi-
neering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sci-
From 1946 to 1947, Perry was an enlisted man in the
Army Corps of Engineers, and served in the Army of Occupa-
tion 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
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
1997), the Air Force (1997), the Navy (1997), the Defense In-
telligence Agency (1977 and 1997), NASA (1981), and the
Coast Guard (1997). He received the American Electronic As-
sociation'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 per-
sonnel of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force.
He has received decorations from the governments of Al-
bania, Bahrain, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea,
Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. He re-
ceived 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 De-
mocratic Leadership Council, Jobs for America's Graduates,
the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors, and the Vir-
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
ginia 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 Offi-
cers 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 assign-
ments included duty as a Military Social Aide at the White House
and command of an infantry company in combat in Vietnam.
He received his law degree from the University of Vir-
ginia 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 Chair-
man of the Board of Visitors at the United States Naval Acad-
emy, 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 Mary.
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
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
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 Ma-
jority 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 Simp-
son, Kepler and Edwards, the Cody division of the Denver firm
of Burg Simpson Eldredge, Hersh and Jardine, and also a con-
sultant 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 Mor-
row 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
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
Political Science Department and he continues to team teach a
class part-time with his brother, Peter, titled "Wyoming's Politi-
cal 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 Representa-
tives, 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 Occu-
pation 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 re-
side in Cody, Wyoming.
T h e I r a q S t u d y G r o u p
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
Benjamin J. Rhodes
Special Assistant to the Study Group
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