Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee on alternative perspectives on the president's strategy for Iraq. The full committee heard from the following witnesses: William J. Perry, CISAC; Lawrence J. Korb, Center for American Progress; and Frederick W. Kagan, American Enterprise Institute.
The Iraq Study Group (ISG) proposal recognized that the key actions needed in Iraq must be taken by the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army, and provided the incentives for those actions. The ISG proposal also recognized that the U.S. needed to begin the redeployment of overstretched ground forces in order to meet security responsibilities outside of Iraq. Perhaps most importantly, the recommendations of the bipartisan ISG provided an opportunity for the nation to come together on Iraq. Last week, President Bush announced a new way forward in Iraq that does not follow the ISG recommendations. He has chosen a course of action unlikely to succeed because it is tactical not strategic; because it does not entail real conditionality for the Iraqi government, which will only deepen the divide in the country.