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The Iraq Study Group Report

T h e I r a q 
Study Group 
James A. Baker, III, and 
Lee H. Hamilton, Co-Chairs 
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 
vintage books 
A Division of Random House, Inc. 
New York

All rights reserved. 
The Authorized Edition of The Iraq Study Group Report is published in the 
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First Edition

Letter from the Co-Chairs ix 
Executive Summary xiii 
I. Assessment 
A. Assessment of the Current Situation in Iraq 3 
1. Security 3 
2. Politics 12 
3. Economics 22 
4. International Support 27 
5. Conclusions 32 
B. Consequences of Continued Decline in Iraq 33 
C. Some Alternative Courses in Iraq 37 
1. Precipitate Withdrawal 37 
2. Staying the Course 38 

3. More Troops for Iraq 38 
4. Devolution to Three Regions 39 
D. Achieving Our Goals 40 
II. The Way Forward—A New Approach 
A. The External Approach: Building an 
International Consensus 43 
1. The New Diplomatic Offensive 44 
2. The Iraq International Support Group 46 
3. Dealing with Iran and Syria 50 
4. The Wider Regional Context 54 
B. The Internal Approach: Helping Iraqis Help 
Themselves 59 
1. Performance on Milestones 59 
2. National Reconciliation 64 
3. Security and Military Forces 70 
4. Police and Criminal Justice 78 
5. The Oil Sector 83 
6. U.S. Economic and Reconstruction 
Assistance 86 
7. Budget Preparation, Presentation, 
and Review 90 
8. U.S. Personnel 92 
9. Intelligence 93 

Overview Map of the Region 99 
Overview Map of Iraq 100 
Administrative Divisions 101 
Distribution of Religious Groups 102 
Letter from the Sponsoring Organizations 103 
Iraq Study Group Plenary Sessions 106 
Iraq Study Group Consultations 107 
Expert Working Groups and Military 
Senior Advisor Panel 117 
The Iraq Study Group 124 
Iraq Study Group Support 142 

Letter from the Co-Chairs 
There is no magic formula to solve the problems of Iraq. However, 
there are actions that can be taken to improve the situation 
and protect American interests. 
Many Americans are dissatisfied, not just with the situation 
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 sustainable. 
The President and Congress must work together. Our 
leaders must be candid and forthright with the American people 
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 responsibility 
of the United States in Iraq, and the commitments our government 
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 terrorism, 
stabilize a critical region of the world, and protect America’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 tremendous 
amount of political will and cooperation by the executive 
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. Americans 
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 especially 
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 extraordinary 
courage and made difficult sacrifices. Every American 
is indebted to them. 
We also honor the many Iraqis who have sacrificed on behalf 
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 improved. 
In this report, we make a number of recommendations 
for actions to be taken in Iraq, the United States, and the region. 
Our most important recommendations call for new and 
enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region, 
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 recommendations 
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, Shiite 
militias and death squads, al Qaeda, and widespread criminality. 
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 pervasive. 
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. Neighboring 
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 influence 
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 undercutting 
The United States should immediately launch a new 
diplomatic offensive to build an international consensus for stability 
in Iraq and the region. This diplomatic effort should include 
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, neither 
of which Iraq can achieve on its own. 
Executive Summary

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 sovereignty 
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 additional 
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 
Executive Summary

in Iraq to encourage the Iraqi people to take control of their 
own destiny. 
The Iraqi government should accelerate assuming responsibility 
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 increase 
the number of U.S. military personnel, including combat 
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 primary 
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 continue. 
A vital mission of those rapid reaction and special operations 
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 redeployments, 
even if the Iraqi government did not implement their 
planned changes. The United States must not make an openended 
commitment to keep large numbers of American troops 
deployed in Iraq. 
Executive Summary

As redeployment proceeds, military leaders should emphasize 
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, Congress 
should appropriate sufficient funds to restore the equipment 
over the next five years. 
The United States should work closely with Iraq’s leaders 
to support the achievement of specific objectives—or milestones—
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 action 
by the Iraqi government to make substantial progress toward 
the achievement of these milestones. 
If the Iraqi government demonstrates political will and 
makes substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones 
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. 
Executive Summary

Our report makes recommendations in several other areas. 
They include improvements to the Iraqi criminal justice system, 
the Iraqi oil sector, the U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq, 
the U.S. budget process, the training of U.S. government personnel, 
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. 
Executive Summary

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 democratically 
elected government that is broadly representative of 
Iraq’s population, yet the government is not adequately advancing 
national reconciliation, providing basic security, or delivering 
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 extraordinary 
efforts and sacrifices for a better future. However, the 
ability of the United States to influence events within Iraq is diminishing. 
Many Iraqis are embracing sectarian identities. The 
lack of security impedes economic development. Most countries 
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, influencing 
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 regional 
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 aq study group report

A. Assessment of the Current 
Situation in Iraq 
1. Security 
Attacks against U.S., Coalition, and Iraqi security forces are persistent 
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 January. 
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 insurgency, 
al Qaeda and affiliated jihadist groups, Shiite militias 
and death squads, and organized criminality. Sectarian violence—
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 leadership 
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 insurgents 
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 insurgent 
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 unchecked 
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 substantial 
threat to immediate and long-term stability. These mili- 
t h e i r aq study group report

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 target 
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 preserve 
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 teeming 
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 members 
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, particularly 
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 insurgent 
Four of Iraq’s eighteen provinces are highly insecure— 
Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, and Salah ad Din. These provinces account 
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 Forces–Iraq 
under U.S. command, working in concert with Iraq’s security 
forces. The Multi-National Forces–Iraq were authorized by 
UN Security Council Resolution 1546 in 2004, and the mandate 
was extended in November 2006 for another year. 
Approximately 141,000 U.S. military personnel are serving 
in Iraq, together with approximately 16,500 military personnel 
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 aq study group report

building its largest embassy in Baghdad. The current U.S. embassy 
in Baghdad totals about 1,000 U.S. government employees. 
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 reconstruction 
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 functional 
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 Command–Iraq under 
American leadership is expected to have trained and equipped 
a target number of approximately 326,000 Iraqi security services. 
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 operational 
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 reliable 
and disciplined fighting force loyal to the national government. 
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 represent 
only part of the story. 
Significant questions remain about the ethnic composition 
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 redeploy 
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 leadership 
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 aq study group report

in funding requests for U.S. troops, but it has resisted fully 
funding Iraqi forces. The entire appropriation for Iraqi defense 
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 banking 
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 sustain 
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 medical 
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 counterinsurgency 
operations, not police work. The Border Enforcement 
Department numbers roughly 28,000. 
Iraqi police cannot control crime, and they routinely engage 
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 police 
are organized under the Ministry of the Interior, which is 
confronted by corruption and militia infiltration and lacks control 
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 precision 
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 training 
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 Moqtada 
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 aq study group report

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 exceed 
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. military 
forces joined with Iraqi forces to establish security in 
Baghdad with an operation called “Operation Together 
Forward II,” which began in August 2006. Under Operation 
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 neighborhood. 
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 levels—
jumped more than 43 percent between the summer 
and October 2006. U.S. forces continue to suffer high casualties. 
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 determine 
if the constitution needs amendment. 
The composition of the Iraqi government is basically sectarian, 
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 aq study group report 
police have been unable or unwilling to stop such infiltration 
and continuing violence. The Iraqi Army has provided 
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” neighborhoods 
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 conditions 
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 capacity 
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 future 
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 regions, 
ministries, and Iraq as a whole. The difficulties in holding 
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 Sunnis 
or to disarm Shiite militias. 
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has demonstrated an understanding 
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. 
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Sistani, Sadr, Hakim 
The U.S. deals primarily with the Iraqi government, but 
the most powerful Shia figures in Iraq do not hold national 
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 leading 
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 influence 
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 political 
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 traditional 
position of power in Iraq. They are torn, unsure whether 
to seek their aims through political participation or through violent 
insurgency. They remain angry about U.S. decisions to 
dissolve Iraqi security forces and to pursue the “de-Baathification” 
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 government 
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 independent 
Kurdistan would be surrounded by hostile neighbors. However, 
a majority of Kurds favor independence. The Kurds have 
their own security forces—the peshmerga—which number 
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tariq al-hashimi: Hashimi is one of two vice presidents 
of Iraq and the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the 
largest Sunni Muslim bloc in parliament. Hashimi opposes 
the formation of autonomous regions and has advocated 
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 insurgency 
and to Sunnis within the Iraqi government. A warrant 
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 figures 
who have long-standing ties in movements for Kurdish 
independence and self-government. 
massoud barzani: Barzani is the leader of the Kurdistan 
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 themselves 
to either a unified or a fractured Iraq.

de-Baathification, which prevents many Sunni Arabs from participating 
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 nationalists, 
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 reserves, 
while allowing revenues from reserves discovered in the 
future to go to the regions. 
The Sunnis did not actively participate in the constitution-
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 region 
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 numbers 
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 Kurdish 
administered region, an outcome that Arabs and Turkmen 
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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 prominent 
Shia leader told us pointedly that the current government 
has the support of 80 percent of the population, notably excluding 
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 commented 
that the Iraqis “still do not know what kind of country 
they want to have.” Yet many of Iraq’s most powerful and wellpositioned 
leaders are not working toward a united Iraq. 
security. The security situation cannot improve unless leaders 
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 political 
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 political 
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 neighborhoods, 
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 abandon 
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 intimidation 
against Sunni leaders—assassinating the family members 
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 disarm 
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 providing 
its people with basic services: electricity, drinking water, 
sewage, health care, and education. In many sectors, production 
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 electricity 
each day and trash piles are waist-high. One American 
official told us that Baghdad is run like a “Shia dictatorship” because 
Sunnis boycotted provincial elections in 2005, and therefore 
are not represented in local government. 
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Second, security is lacking. Insurgents target key infrastructure. 
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 estimated 
that official corruption costs Iraq $5–7 billion per year. 
Notable steps have been taken: Iraq has a functioning audit 
board and inspectors general in the ministries, and senior leaders 
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-Baathification. 
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 10–15 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 corruption, 
and a Ministry of Finance reluctant to disburse funds. 
Fifth, the judiciary is weak. Much has been done to establish 
an Iraqi judiciary, including a supreme court, and Iraq has 
some dedicated judges. But criminal investigations are conducted 
by magistrates, and they are too few and inadequately 
trained to perform this function. Intimidation of the Iraqi judiciary 
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, dilapidated 
infrastructure, and uncertainty. As one U.S. official observed 
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 longterm 
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 computers, 
cell phones, and other appliances have increased dramatically. 
New businesses are opening, and construction is 
moving forward in secure areas. Because of Iraq’s ample oil reserves, 
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- 
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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 direct 
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 production 
levels and the Iraqi government’s target of 2.5 million barrels 
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 security, 
lack of investment, and lack of technical capacity. Insurgents 
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 intimidation 
and an extended migration of experts to other countries 
have eroded technical capacity. Foreign companies have 
been reluctant to invest, and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has been unable 
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 consumers 
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 country’s 
already fragile efforts to create a unified central government. 
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” resource, 
a question that has profound ramifications for the ultimate 
control of future oil revenue. 
Senior members of Iraq’s oil industry argue that a national 
oil company could reduce political tensions by centralizing revenues 
and reducing regional or local claims to a percentage of 
the revenue derived from production. However, regional leaders 
are suspicious and resist this proposal, affirming the rights of 
local communities to have direct access to the inflow of oil revenue. 
Kurdish leaders have been particularly aggressive in asserting 
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 negotiating 
oil investment contracts with foreign companies. 
There are proposals to redistribute a portion of oil revenues 
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 aq study group report

the nation’s chief natural resource, but it would take time to develop 
a fair distribution system. Oil revenues have been incorporated 
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 billion 
has been appropriated for the “Iraq Relief and Reconstruction 
Fund.” Nearly $16 billion has been spent, and almost 
all the funds have been committed. The administration requested 
$1.6 billion for reconstruction in FY 2006, and received 
$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 International 
Development, and other agencies has been ineffective. 
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 bureaucracies 
at the national, regional, and provincial levels to provide 
services to the population as well as to select and manage infrastructure 
The United States has people embedded in several Iraqi 
ministries, but it confronts problems with access and sustainability. 
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 reconstruction 
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 International 
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 Reconstruction 
has documented numerous instances of waste and 
abuse. They have not all been put right. Contracting has gradually 
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 aq study group report

4. International Support 
International support for Iraqi reconstruction has been tepid. 
International donors pledged $13.5 billion to support reconstruction, 
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 country 
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 Nations 
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 economic 
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 neighbors 
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 overriding 
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 improvised 
explosive devices to groups—including Sunni Arab insurgents—
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, including 
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 aq study group report

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 neglect: 
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 declined 
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 support 
for their fellow Sunnis within Iraq. One observed that 
Saudi Arabia did not even send a letter when the Iraqi government 
was formed, whereas Iran has an ambassador in Iraq. 
Funding for the Sunni insurgency comes from private individuals 
within Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, even as those governments 
help facilitate U.S. military operations in Iraq by 
providing basing and overflight rights and by cooperating on intelligence 
A s s e s s m e n t

As worries about Iraq increase, the Gulf States are becoming 
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 discouraging 
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 economic 
The Turks are deeply concerned about the operations of the 
Kurdish Workers Party (PKK)—a terrorist group based in northern 
Iraq that has killed thousands of Turks. They are upset that 
the United States and Iraq have not targeted the PKK more aggressively. 
The Turks have threatened to go after the PKK themselves, 
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 
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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 cooperation 
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 committed 
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 nongovernmental 
organizations play an important role in reaching across 
sectarian lines to enhance dialogue and understanding, and 
several U.S.-based organizations have employed substantial resources 
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 southeast. 
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 future 
of Iraq in both blood and treasure. As of December 2006, 
nearly 2,900 Americans have lost their lives serving in Iraq. Another 
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. Estimates 
run as high as $2 trillion for the final cost of the U.S. involvement 
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 persuaded 
to play an active and constructive role in supporting 
Iraq. The ability of the United States to shape outcomes is diminishing. 
Time is running out. 
t h e i r aq study group report

B. Consequences of Continued 
Decline in Iraq 
If the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, the consequences 
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 country 
already unable to meet its people’s needs. Iraq’s security 
forces could split along sectarian lines. A humanitarian catastrophe 
could follow as more refugees are forced to relocate 
across the country and the region. Ethnic cleansing could escalate. 
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 independence. 
Iran could send in troops to restore stability in southern 
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 insurrections—
perhaps fomented by Iran—in Sunni-ruled states. Such 
a broader sectarian conflict could open a Pandora’s box of problems—
including the radicalization of populations, mass movements 
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 regionally 
or even globally. Al Qaeda will portray any failure by 
the United States in Iraq as a significant victory that will be featured 
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 aq study group report

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 polarization 
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 forward. 
The November elections were largely viewed as a referendum 
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 negative” 
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 representing 
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 several 
positive steps since Saddam Hussein was overthrown: 
Iraqis restored full sovereignty, conducted open national elections, 
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 constitution. 
Iraqis may become so sobered by the prospect of an unfolding 
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 aq study group report

C. Some Alternative Courses in Iraq 
Because of the gravity of the situation in Iraq and of its consequences 
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 suggested 
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 catastrophe, 
and the role and commitments of the United States in initiating 
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 premature 
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 require 
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 reconciliation. 
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 extended 
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 
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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 semiautonomous 
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 regions. 
Iraqis, particularly Sunni Arabs, told us that such a division 
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 continued 
instability in Iraq, we do not believe the United States 
should support this course as a policy goal or impose this outcome 
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 governmental 
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 defend 
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 sanctuary, 
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. 

The Way Forward— 
A New Approach 
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 required 
to achieve national reconciliation, reduce violence, and 
improve the daily lives of Iraqis. Efforts to implement these external 
and internal strategies must begin now and must be undertaken 
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 include 
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 succeed 
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 solution 
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 milestones. 
Achieving these milestones will require at least the acquiescence 
of Iraq’s neighbors, and their active and timely 
cooperation would be highly desirable. 
The diplomatic offensive would extend beyond the primarily 
economic “Compact for Iraq” by also emphasizing political, 
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 farreaching 
than the “Gulf Plus Two” efforts currently being conducted, 
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 aq study group report

tween Iraqi Sunnis and Shia. Such reinforcement would contribute 
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 offensive 
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 beyond 
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. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

vi. Energize countries to support national political reconciliation 
in Iraq. 
vii. Validate Iraq’s legitimacy by resuming diplomatic relations, 
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, equitable 
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 national 
reconciliation in Iraq and to reestablish their diplomatic 
presence in Iraq. 
2. The Iraq International Support Group 
This new diplomatic offensive cannot be successful unless it includes 
the active participation of those countries that have a crit- 
t h e i r aq study group report

ical stake in preventing Iraq from falling into chaos. To encourage 
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 Support 
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 integrity, 
but not so powerful as to threaten its neighbors. None 
favors the breakup of the Iraqi state. Each country in the region 
views the situation in Iraq through the filter of its particular 
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 victim 
of Iraqi irredentism and aggression. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

• Saudi Arabia and Jordan share Sunni concerns over Shia ascendancy 
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 exacerbate 
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 agreement, 
as their recent hosting of a meeting of Islamic religious 
leaders in Mecca suggests. If the government in Baghdad pursues 
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 aq study group report

turkey. As a major Sunni Muslim country on Iraq’s borders, 
Turkey can be a partner in supporting the national reconciliation 
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 reconciliation 
process in Iraq with a focus on getting the Sunnis to participate. 
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 reconciliation 
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 Security 
Council; the European Union; and, of course, Iraq itself. 
Other countries—for instance, Germany, Japan and 
South Korea—that might be willing to contribute to resolving 
political, diplomatic, and security problems affecting 
Iraq could also become members. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 approaches 
to neighboring countries that take into account the 
interests, perspectives, and potential contributions as suggested 
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 differences 
consistent with its own interests. Accordingly, the Support 
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 aq study group report

approaches to both Iran and Syria. However, the United States 
should also consider incentives to try to engage them constructively, 
much as it did successfully with Libya. 
Some of the possible incentives to Iran, Syria, or both include: 
i. An Iraq that does not disintegrate and destabilize its neighbors 
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 
v. The prospect of a U.S. policy that emphasizes political and 
economic reforms instead of (as Iran now perceives it) advocating 
regime change. 
vi. Prospects for a real, complete, and secure peace to be negotiated 
between Israel and Syria, with U.S. involvement 
as part of a broader initiative on Arab-Israeli peace as outlined 
RECOMMENDATION 9: Under the aegis of the New Diplomatic 
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 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

United States should consider incentives, as well as disincentives, 
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 approach, 
which could lead to its isolation. Further, Iran’s refusal 
to cooperate on this matter would diminish its prospects of engaging 
with the United States in the broader dialogue it seeks. 
RECOMMENDATION 10: The issue of Iran’s nuclear programs 
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 aq study group report

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 sovereignty 
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 economic 
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 effectively 
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 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

RECOMMENDATION 12: The United States and the Support 
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 extent 
possible and work together with Iraqis on joint patrols 
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 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 particularly Syria—which is the principal transit 
point for shipments of weapons to Hezbollah, and which supports 
radical Palestinian groups. 
The United States does its ally Israel no favors in avoiding 
direct involvement to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. For several 
reasons, we should act boldly: 
t h e i r aq study group report

• 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 governments 
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 comprehensive 
Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon and Syria, and 
President Bush’s June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution 
for Israel and Palestine. 
RECOMMENDATION 14: This effort should include—as 
soon as possible—the unconditional calling and holding of 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 acknowledge 
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 political 
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 Israel’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 aq study group report

• 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 acknowledgment 
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 guarantee 
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 consolidating 
the cease-fire reached between the Palestinians 
and the Israelis in November 2006. 
• Support for a Palestinian national unity government. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

• 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, settlements, 
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 development 
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 Afghanistan. 
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, security, 
and military measures. 
RECOMMENDATION 18: It is critical for the United States 
to provide additional political, economic, and military support 
for Afghanistan, including resources that might become 
available as combat forces are moved from Iraq. 
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B.The Internal Approach: 
Helping Iraqis Help Themselves 
The New Diplomatic Offensive will provide the proper external 
environment and support for the difficult internal steps that 
the Iraqi government must take to promote national reconciliation, 
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 security 
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 milestones—
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 toward 
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 President 
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 milestones 
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 milestones. 
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 notion 
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- 
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quent contact with the Iraqi leadership. These contacts must 
convey a clear message: there must be action by the Iraqi government 
to make substantial progress toward the achievement 
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 demonstrates 
political will and makes substantial progress toward 
the achievement of milestones 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 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 milestones 
on national reconciliation, security, and governance, 
the United States should reduce its political, military, or economic 
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. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 2006–early 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 necessary) 
By May 2007: 
.Completion of Militia Law implementation 
.Approval of amnesty agreement 
.Completion of reconciliation efforts 
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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 petroleum 
products and sell imported fuel at market prices. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 government 
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 address 
several issues that are critical to the success of national 
reconciliation and thus to the future of Iraq. 
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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 reconciliation 
requires the reintegration of Baathists and Arab 
nationalists into national life, with the leading figures of Saddam 
Hussein’s regime excluded. The United States should encourage 
the return of qualified Iraqi professionals—Sunni or 
Shia, nationalist or ex-Baathist, Kurd or Turkmen or Christian 
or Arab—into the government. 
RECOMMENDATION 28: Oil revenue sharing. Oil revenues 
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 reconciliation. 
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 dangerous 
situation in Kirkuk, international arbitration is necessary 
to avert communal violence. Kirkuk’s mix of Kurdish, Arab, 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

and Turkmen populations could make it a powder keg. A referendum 
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 reconciliation 
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 Armenians, 
must be protected. 
RECOMMENDATION 33: Civil society. The Iraqi government 
should stop using the process of registering nongovernmental 
organizations as a tool for politicizing or stopping 
their activities. Registration should be solely an administrative 
act, not an occasion for government censorship and interference. 
Steps for the United States to Take on Behalf of 
National Reconciliation 
The United States can take several steps to assist in Iraq’s reconciliation 
The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is a key topic of interest 
in a national reconciliation dialogue. The point is not for the 
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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 departure 
of U.S. forces as Iraqi forces take on the security mission. 
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 highlevel 
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 active 
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 insurgent 
The very focus on sectarian identity that endangers Iraq also 
presents opportunities to seek broader support for a national 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

reconciliation dialogue. Working with Iraqi leaders, the international 
community and religious leaders can play an important 
role in fostering dialogue and reconciliation across the sectarian 
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 encourage 
dialogue between sectarian communities, as outlined in 
the New Diplomatic Offensive above. It should press religious 
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 grappled 
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 aq study group report

lence against institutions of the state. However, solving the 
problem of militias requires national reconciliation. 
Dealing with Iraq’s militias will require long-term attention, 
and substantial funding will be needed to disarm, demobilize, 
and reintegrate militia members into civilian society. 
Around the world, this process of transitioning members of irregular 
military forces from civil conflict to new lives once a 
peace settlement takes hold is familiar. The disarmament, demobilization, 
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 appropriate 
personnel months before any program to disarm, demobilize, 
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 support 
the presence of neutral international experts as advisors 
to the Iraqi government on the processes of disarmament, demobilization, 
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. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 capability, 
the Iraqi government should be able to take real responsibility 
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 ultimately 
a matter for the Iraqi government to determine, we 
should be firm on the urgent near-term need for significant additional 
trained Army brigades, since this is the key to Iraqis 
taking over full responsibility for their own security, which they 
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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 security 
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 involve 
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 decrease 
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. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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, working 
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. 
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• 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 intended 
to be a long-term “occupation.” We could, however, 
support a short-term redeployment or surge of American combat 
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 deterioration 
in the security situation, it is urgent to move as quickly 
as possible to have that security role taken over by Iraqi security 
The United States should not make an open-ended commitment 
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 commitment 
of American ground forces at present levels will leave no 
reserve available to meet other contingencies. On September 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 incentive, 
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 longterm 
deployment of U.S. troops by itself has led or will lead to 
fundamental improvements in the security situation. It is important 
to recognize that there are no risk-free alternatives 
available to the United States at this time. Reducing our combat 
troop commitments in Iraq, whenever that occurs, undeniably 
creates risks, but leaving those forces tied down in Iraq 
indefinitely creates its own set of security risks. 
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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 government. 
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, equipping, 
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 support 
more and better equipment for the Iraqi Army by encouraging 
the Iraqi government to accelerate its Foreign 
Military Sales requests and, as American combat brigades 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

move out of Iraq, by leaving behind some American equipment 
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 deployments 
in Iraq, with attendant casualties (almost 3,000 dead 
and more than 21,000 wounded), greater difficulty in recruiting, 
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 requirements 
for other current and future security threats that 
need to be accommodated together with spending for operations 
and maintenance, reset, personnel, and benefits for active 
duty and retired personnel. Restoring the capability of our military 
forces should be a high priority for the United States at 
this time. 
The U.S. military has a long tradition of strong partnership 
between the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense 
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, 
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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 relations, 
by creating an environment in which the senior military 
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 Goldwater-
Nichols legislation. 
RECOMMENDATION 47: As redeployment proceeds, the 
Pentagon leadership should emphasize training and education 
programs for the forces that have returned to the continental 
United States in order to “reset” the force and restore 
the U.S. military to a high level of readiness for global contingencies. 
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 consultation 
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 development, 
and the budgets of other U.S. government agencies involved 
in the stability and reconstruction effort. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 prevent 
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 counterinsurgency 
operations and heavily armed forces. Though depriving 
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 police 
commando units will become part of the new Iraqi Army. 
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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 external 
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 investigations 
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 Service, 
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 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 Division) 
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 Protection 
Service under the control of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. 
Simply disbanding these units is not an option, as the 
members will take their weapons and become full-time militiamen 
or insurgents. All should be brought under the authority 
of a reformed Ministry of the Interior. They will need to be vetted, 
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 (outlined 
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 aq study group report

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. Department 
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 government—
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 reorganization, 
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 remaining 
under the Ministry of the Interior. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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, including 
local police stations. These trainers should be obtained 
from among experienced civilian police executives and supervisors 
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 investigative 
and forensic training and facilities within Iraq, to include 
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 aq study group report

The Department of Justice is also better suited than the Department 
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 procedures, 
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. Department 
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 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

day over a three- to five-year period, depending on evolving 
conditions in key reservoirs. Even if Iraq were at peace tomorrow, 
oil production would decline unless current problems in 
the oil sector were addressed. 
Short Term 
• As soon as possible, the U.S. government should provide 
technical assistance to the Iraqi government to prepare 
a draft oil law that defines the rights of regional and 
local governments and creates a fiscal and legal framework 
for investment. Legal clarity is essential to attract 
• The U.S. government should encourage the Iraqi government 
to accelerate contracting for the comprehensive well 
work-overs in the southern fields needed to increase production, 
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 infrastructure 
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 supply 
line. This step would immediately improve accountability 
in the oil sector. 
t h e i r aq study group report

• 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 require 
creating corporate structures, establishing management 
systems, and installing competent managers to plan and oversee 
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 international 
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 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

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 demands 
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 technical 
assistance and advice to build the capacity of its institutions. 
The Iraqi government needs help with all aspects of its operations, 
including improved procedures, greater delegation of authority, 
and better internal controls. The strong emphasis on 
building capable central ministries must be accompanied by efforts 
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 Emergency 
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 aq study group report

and electricity in conjunction with clear, hold, and build operations, 
and it should be funded generously. A total of $753 million 
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 necessary 
resources and must work hard to win the support of 
Congress. Capacity building and job creation, including reliance 
on the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, 
should be U.S. priorities. Economic assistance should be provided 
on a nonsectarian basis. 
The New Diplomatic Offensive can help draw in more international 
partners to assist with the reconstruction mission. The 
United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the Organization 
for Economic Cooperation and Development, and 
some Arab League members need to become hands-on participants 
in Iraq’s reconstruction. 
RECOMMENDATION 65: An essential part of reconstruction 
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 increased. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

RECOMMENDATION 66: The United States should take 
the lead in funding assistance requests from the United Nations 
High Commissioner for Refugees, and other humanitarian 
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. Representatives 
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 interagency 
group consisting of senior principals at the undersecretary 
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 aq study group report

He or she must have close and constant interaction with 
senior U.S. officials and military commanders in Iraq, especially 
the Director of the Iraq Reconstruction and Management 
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, flexibly, 
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 Emergency 
Response Program, and should have the authority to rescind 
funding from programs and projects in which the 
government of Iraq is not demonstrating effective partnership. 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

RECOMMENDATION 69: The authority of the Special Inspector 
General for Iraq Reconstruction should be renewed 
for the duration of assistance programs in Iraq. 
U.S. security assistance programs in Iraq are slowed considerably 
by the differing requirements of State and Defense Department 
programs and of their respective congressional 
oversight committees. Since Iraqi forces must be trained and 
equipped, streamlining the provision of training and equipment 
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 interagency 
cooperation, should be authorized and implemented. 
The United States also needs to break down barriers that discourage 
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 aq study group report

First, most of the costs of the war show up not in the normal 
budget request but in requests for emergency supplemental 
appropriations. This means that funding requests are drawn 
up outside the normal budget process, are not offset by budgetary 
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 question: 
“How much money is the President requesting for the war 
in Iraq?” 
Finally, circumvention of the budget process by the executive 
branch erodes oversight and review by Congress. The authorizing 
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 appropriations 
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 perfunctory 
review. Even worse, the must-pass appropriations bill becomes 
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 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

budget process should not be circumvented. Funding requests 
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 handicapped 
by Americans’ lack of language and cultural understanding. 
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 assignments 
in Iraq with sufficient numbers of properly trained personnel 
at the appropriate rank. 
RECOMMENDATION 73: The Secretary of State, the Secretary 
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 assigned 
to Iraq. 
t h e i r aq study group report

RECOMMENDATION 74: In the short term, if not enough 
civilians volunteer to fill key positions in Iraq, civilian agencies 
must fill those positions with directed assignments. Steps 
should be taken to mitigate familial or financial hardships 
posed by directed assignments, including tax exclusions similar 
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 Development, 
Treasury, Justice, the intelligence community, and others—
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 boundaries, 
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 embassy 
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 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

government still does not understand very well either the insurgency 
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 improved 
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 community 
have not invested sufficient people and resources to understand 
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 administration 
has not put forward a request to invest comparable resources 
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 analytic 
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 knowledge 
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 violence 
in Iraq. The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter 
t h e i r aq study group report

to keep events out of reports and databases. A murder of an 
Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot determine 
the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not 
make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar 
attack that doesn’t hurt U.S. personnel doesn’t count. For 
example, on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or significant 
acts of violence reported. Yet a careful review of the reports 
for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence. 
Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically 
collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy 
RECOMMENDATION 77: The Director of National Intelligence 
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 Intelligence 
and the Secretary of Defense should also institute immediate 
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 intelligence 
personnel. The CIA should also develop, with Iraqi offi- 
cials, a counterterrorism intelligence center for the all-source 
The Way Forward—A New Approach

fusion of information on the various sources of terrorism within 
Iraq. This center would analyze data concerning the individuals, 
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 additional 
personnel in Iraq to develop and train an effective intelligence 
service and to build a counterterrorism intelligence 
center that will facilitate intelligence-led counterterrorism 
t h e i r aq study group report


Red Sea 
Kuwait City 
A ra b i a n 
Tigris R. 
Overview Map 
of the Region 
1 0 0 
1 0 0 
2 0 0 
2 0 0 

Kirkuk Sulaymaniyah 
gris R. 
ris R 
Hwy. 27 
Hwy. 7 
Hwy. 1 
Hwy. 1 
Hwy. 6 
Hwy. 8 
Hwy. 17 
Euphrates R. 
Overview Map of Iraq 
1 0 0 
1 0 0 
2 0 0 
2 0 0 
Major oilfield Kurdish 
Major road Marsh

3 I R A Q 
S Y R I A 
S A U D I A R A B I A 
T U R K E Y 
I R A N 
Iraq has 18 provinces 
(muhafazat, singular muhafazah). 
1 0 0 
1 0 0 
2 0 0 
2 0 0 
Province capital 
1. As Sulaymaniyah 
2. Baghdad 
3. Karbala 
4. Al Qadisiyah

Al Kut 
ris R. 
I R A Q 
Rawanduz Tall Kayt 
Ar Rutbah 
Distribution of Religious and Ethnic Groups 
Majority Groups Minority Groups 
1 0 0 
1 0 0 
2 0 0 
2 0 0 
Sunni Arab 
Sunni Kurd 
Shia Arab 
Sunni Arab and 
Sunni Kurd 
Sunni Arab and 
Shia Arab 
Christians represent different sects and ethnic groups. 
Yezidis, Mandaeans, and Jews, although shown as religious 
groups, may also be considered as separate ethnic entities.

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 International 
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. Democrats 
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. Supreme 
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 organizations 
created four expert working groups consisting of 44 leading 
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 Reconstruction. 
Every effort was made to ensure the participation of 
experts across a wide span of the political spectrum. Additionally, 
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 11–12, 2006 
May 18–19, 2005 
June 13–14, 2006 
August 2–3, 2006 
August 30–September 4, 2006 (Trip to Baghdad) 
September 18–19, 2006 
November 13–14, 2006 
November 27–29, 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 Forces–Iraq 
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 Command–Iraq 
*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 Reconstruction 
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 Institute 
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 
Expert Working Groups

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 
Expert Working Groups

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 
Expert Working Groups

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 
Expert Working Groups

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 
Expert Working Groups

Shibley Telhami 
Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development, Department 
of Government & Politics, University of Maryland, and Nonresident 
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 
Expert Working Groups

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 post–Cold War era. Mr. Baker’s reflections 
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 Treasury 
Secretary, he was also Chairman of the President’s Economic 
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 Commerce 
to President Gerald Ford. It concluded with his service 
as White House Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to President 
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 Princeton 
University in 1952. After two years of active duty as a lieutenant 
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. Kennedy 
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 Nations 
Secretary-General Kofi Annan to seek a political solution 
to the conflict over Western Sahara. In 2003, Mr. Baker was appointed 
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 
The Iraq Study Group

U.S. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton have served as the cochairs 
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 International 
Center for Scholars in January 1999. Previously, Mr. 
Hamilton served for thirty-four years as a United States Congressman 
from Indiana. During his tenure, he served as Chairman 
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 congressional 
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- 
The Iraq Study Group

rity. He served as a Commissioner on the United States Commission 
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 President’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 Indiana 
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 (2006). 
Lee and his wife, the former Nancy Ann Nelson, have 
three children—Tracy Lynn Souza, Deborah Hamilton Kremer, 
and Douglas Nelson Hamilton—and five grandchildren: 
Christina, Maria, McLouis and Patricia Souza and Lina Ying 
The Iraq Study Group

Lawrence S. Eagleburger—Member 
Lawrence S. Eagleburger was sworn in as the 62nd U.S. Secretary 
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. Eagleburger 
served in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 
in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and 
Research, in the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and the U.S. Mission 
to NATO in Belgium. In 1963, after a severe earthquake in 
Macedonia, he led the U.S. government effort to provide medical 
and other assistance. He was then assigned to Washington, 
D.C., where he served on the Secretariat staff and as special assistant 
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 Katzenbach. 
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 political 
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 Assistant 
Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. 
The same year he returned to the White House as Deputy Assistant 
to the President for National Security Operations. He 
subsequently followed Dr. Kissinger to the State Department, 
The Iraq Study Group

becoming Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State. In 
1975, he was made Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management. 
In June 1977, Mr. Eagleburger was appointed Ambassador 
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 President’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. Eagleburger 
is married to the former Marlene Ann Heinemann. He 
is the father of three sons, Lawrence Scott, Lawrence Andrew, 
and Lawrence Jason. 
The Iraq Study Group

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 Executive 
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 international 
law in Washington, D.C. 
Before Akin Gump, Mr. Jordan held the following positions: 
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 Director 
of the Southern Regional Council; Georgia Field Director of 
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; 
and an attorney in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia. 
Mr. Jordan’s presidential appointments include the President’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 Presidential 
Clemency Board, the American Revolution Bicentennial 
Commission, the National Advisory Committee on 
Selective Service, and the Council of the White House Conference 
“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.; 
The Iraq Study Group

Lazard Ltd.; Xerox Corporation; and the International Advisory 
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 member 
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 President 
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 Policy 
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-editor 
of Making America Safer, published in 1997 by the Heritage 
Foundation; and coauthor of Leadership, Ethics and 
Policing, 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. 
The Iraq Study Group

From January 1981 to February 1985, Meese held the position 
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 National 
Security Council. He served as Chairman of the Domestic 
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 campaign, 
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. Before 
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 Criminal 
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 president 
for administration of Rohr Industries, Inc., in Chula Vista, 
California. He left Rohr to return to the practice of law, engaging 
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 Berkeley. 
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. 
The Iraq Study Group

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 (1979–81) 
and as judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court in 
Phoenix, Arizona (1975–79). 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 general 
in Arizona. She practiced law at a private firm in Maryvale, 
Arizona, from 1958 to 1960 and prior to that was civilian attorney 
for Quartermaster Market Center in Frankfurt, Germany 
(1954–57), and deputy county attorney in San Mateo County, 
California (1952–53) 
She was previously Chairman of the Arizona Supreme 
Court Committee to Reorganize Lower Courts (1974–75), Vice 
Chairman of the Arizona Select Law Enforcement Review 
Commission (1979–80), and, in Maricopa County, Chairman of 
the Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (1960–62), the Juvenile 
Detention Home Visiting Board (1963–64), and the Superior 
Court Judges’ Training and Education Committee 
(1977–79) and a member of the Board of Adjustments and Appeals 
O’Connor currently serves as Chancellor of the College 
of William and Mary and on the Board of Trustees of the 
The Iraq Study Group

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 Council, 
an honorary chair of America’s 400th Anniversary: Jamestown 
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 Stanford 
Center on Ethics. She also serves on several bodies of the 
American Bar Association, including the Museum of Law Executive 
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 Committees 
on Legal Aid, Public Relations, Lower Court Reorganization, 
and Continuing Legal Education; the National Defense Advisory 
Committee on Women in the Services (1974–76); the Arizona 
State Personnel Commission (1968–69); the Arizona 
Criminal Code Commission (1974–76); and the Cathedral 
Chapter of the Washington National Cathedral (1991–99). 
O’Connor is a member of the American Bar Association, 
the State Bar of Arizona, the State Bar of California, the Maricopa 
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 editors 
of the Stanford Law Review. 
The Iraq Study Group

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 University, 
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 Secretary 
of Health, Education and Welfare and then Director of the 
U.S. Office for Civil Rights. His book Bring Us Together (published 
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 California, 
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 Practices 
Resolution, legislation that established Medicare and 
Medicaid reimbursement for hospice care for the terminally ill, 
and other legislation on a variety of education, health, agriculture, 
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 Committee’s 
Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer 
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Relations and Nutrition; the House Administration Committee’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 Commission 
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 organizational 
boards, including as Chair of the Pew Oceans Commission 
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 Presidency, 
the John H. Chafee Coastal Stewardship Award, the 
Julius A. Stratton Award for Coastal Leadership, and the Distinguished 
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 Commendation 
Medal. Panetta is married to the former Sylvia Marie 
Varni. They have three grown sons and five grandchildren. 
The Iraq Study Group

William J. Perry—Member 
William Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor 
at Stanford University, with a joint appointment at the Freeman 
Spogli Institute for International Studies and the School 
of Engineering. He is a senior fellow at FSI and serves as co-director 
of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration 
of Stanford and Harvard universities. 
Perry was the 19th Secretary of Defense of the United 
States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously 
served as Deputy Secretary of Defense (1993–94) and as 
Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering 
(1977–81). 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 
(1954–64) and as founder and president of ESL Inc. (1964–77), 
executive vice president of Hambrecht & Quist Inc. (1981–85), 
and founder and chairman of Technology Strategies & Alliances 
(1985–93). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering 
and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
From 1946 to 1947, Perry was an enlisted man in the 
Army Corps of Engineers, and served in the Army of Occupation 
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 
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1997), the Air Force (1997), the Navy (1997), the Defense Intelligence 
Agency (1977 and 1997), NASA (1981), and the 
Coast Guard (1997). He received the American Electronic Association’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 personnel 
of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. 
He has received decorations from the governments of Albania, 
Bahrain, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, 
Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. He received 
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 Democratic 
Leadership Council, Jobs for America’s Graduates, 
the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors, and the Vir- 
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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 assignments 
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 Virginia 
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 Chairman 
of the Board of Visitors at the United States Naval Academy, 
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 
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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 Majority 
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 Simpson, 
Kepler and Edwards, the Cody division of the Denver firm 
of Burg Simpson Eldredge, Hersh and Jardine, and also a consultant 
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 Morrow 
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 
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Political Science Department and he continues to team teach a 
class part-time with his brother, Peter, titled “Wyoming’s Political 
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 Representatives, 
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 Occupation 
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 reside 
in Cody, Wyoming. 
The Iraq Study Group

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