Lipinski Sees Hope for Change in Failed Iraq Policy

Lipinski Sees Hope for Change in Failed Iraq Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Iraq Study Group released its recommendations for a new course of action in Iraq and the Middle East.  The long awaited report, put together by top, former public officials, provides constructive policy suggestions that, according to the group, give the United States the greatest chance of success. 

Among other things, the Iraq Study Group recommends that the U.S. military's primary responsibility in Iraq should be supporting and training the Iraqi army.  The report also demands progress from Iraq's government, requiring them to shoulder more of the load in solving the political, religious and ethnic conflicts that plague their country.  And barring any major, unforeseen developments, the Iraq Study Group predicts that the number of U.S. forces in Iraq can be greatly reduced by 2008.       

"I welcome the suggestions put forward by the Iraq Study Group," said Lipinski.  "A new direction has long been needed in Iraq, and I'm glad to see that the ideas put forth by the Group rise above the politics that have thus far dominated the debate on Iraq.  Hopefully, our country can now come to a consensus on a course of action in Iraq that brings our troops home soon while giving our nation and the Iraqi people greater security."

The release of the Study Group's report comes just a day after Robert Gates, President Bush's nomination to fill Donald Rumsfeld's post as Secretary of Defense, conceded that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq.  On Tuesday, Gates received unanimous approval to be appointed Secretary of Defense from the Senate Armed Services Committee, clearing the way for a confirmation vote by the full Senate. 

"It is refreshing to hear Robert Gates admit that we are not winning the war in Iraq," said Lipinski.  "It is absolutely essential that the Administration recognize how dire the situation in Iraq has become if our country is to formulate a successful plan for securing Iraq and redeploying our troops.  I believe that the confirmation of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, coupled with a fresh debate of ideas sparked by the release of the study group's report, will move the President to a new policy for Iraq."

(December 6, 2006)


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