The Iraq Study Group, convened at the urging of Congress with White House agreement, made a forward-looking, independent assessment of the current and prospective situation on the ground in Iraq and how it affects the surrounding region as well as U.S. interests. The study group examined four broad topics:
- the strategic environment in and around Iraq;
- the security of Iraq and key challenges to enhancing security within the country;
- political developments within Iraq following the elections and formation of the new government;
- and the economy and reconstruction.
The group issued this final report to Congress, the White House, and the public on December 6, 2006. James A. Baker III, former secretary of state and honorary chairman of the Baker Institute, and Lee H. Hamilton, former congressman and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, co-chaired the bipartisan group. The balance of the group was comprised of Americans who have distinguished themselves in service to their nation: Robert M. Gates, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Edwin Meese III, Sandra Day O'Connor, Leon E. Panetta, William J. Perry, Charles S. Robb, and Alan K. Simpson. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) facilitated the study, with support from three other organizations: the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Center for the Study of the Presidency (CSP), and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.