Wednesday, November 15, 2006

President Orders Another Iraq Policy Review

President Bush may have determined from the substance of the questioning he received a few days ago from the Iraq Study Group (Baker-Hamilton Commission) that the commission may be reaching negative conclusions about the Iraq endeavor, and thus, a second opinion may be necessary.

President Bush formally launched a sweeping internal review of Iraq policy yesterday, pulling together studies underway by various government agencies, according to U.S. officials.

The initiative, begun after Bush met at the White House with his foreign policy team, parallels the effort by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to salvage U.S. policy in Iraq, develop an exit strategy and protect long-term U.S. interests in the region. The two reviews are not competitive, administration officials said, although the White House wants to complete the process before mid-December, about the time the Iraq Study Group's final report is expected.

The White House's decision changes the dynamics of what happens next to U.S. policy deliberations. The administration will have its own working document as well as recommendations from an independent bipartisan commission to consider as it struggles to prevent further deterioration in Iraq.

"The president has asked all his national security agencies to assess the situation in Iraq, review the options and recommend the best way forward. The ISG report will be duly considered, and we look forward to their recommendations, as the president has always said," a White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the new initiative has not been announced. ...

The White House review could give the administration alternatives so that it feels less pressure to fully implement the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group report, foreign policy experts said. ...

The administration said its review is not a response to the imminent report of the study group, which is led by James A. Baker III, who was secretary of state under George H.W. Bush, and Lee H. Hamilton, a Democrat and former chairman of what is now the House International Relations Committee. ...

The administration's new review "was not done in response to the ISG, but it came about as a result of everybody looking at facts on the ground," a State Department official said. But the administration is basically trying to do in one month what the ISG has done over eight months.

The review will knit together separate efforts that have been underway at the State Department and the Pentagon over the past six weeks, U.S. officials said. It will also include reports by the CIA and the National Security Council. National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley will oversee the expedited review and integrate the various papers, officials said. ...

One component of the larger effort is likely to be a military review initiated in mid-September by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. ...

But the military is keeping close control over its review, which "is completely separate from the Iraq Study Group and not connected with any political effort that might also be going on. This is the chairman's. . . . There is no intent for it to be folded in or incorporated in someone else's bigger product," the joint staff spokesperson said.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't they just tell him what he wants to hear? That would save some time and the endless massaging of data...and then they could go and play golf or whatever...


11/15/2006 2:36 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


Already the "respected" James Baker (Baker-Hamilton Commission) has told the press that there are limits to the advice that he can present to President Bush. Wow.

Baker has been the attorney for the Bush family, and still cannot bring himself to deliver the unvarnished truth to Junior.

Not that W would listen to anyone's opinion anyway.

The advisors would be better off going a playing golf. Different kind of frustrations to that game.

11/16/2006 9:21 AM  

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