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Comments by

Wayne White

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General Comments on the ISG Report, entire page
January 1, 2007, 2:23 pm

Having been an advisor to the ISG, I would like to note that, to my knowledge, no specific recommendation in the final report was vetted with the panel’s advisors. Also, some of the issues relating to the recommendations were not discussed at any useful length in sessions the ISG principals had with the advisors. This despite the fact that the advisors had considerable experience relating to Iraq and the Middle East region writ large.

The “Assessment” section of the report is appropriately dismal in the picture it paints of the situation on the ground. However, the recommendations that follow are, at least implicitly, more hopeful. Yet, when Secretary Baker and Rep. Hamilton asked for a vote in their final meeting with their advisors by show of hands, on the part of the advisors, regarding, essentially, whether to stay in Iraq and attempt to stabilize the country as opposed to conducting a withdrawal and redeployment, just under half of the group’s advisors, including myself, voted for withdrawal.