Iraq Study Group


I haven’t started reading the ISG Report yet. Maybe I’ll have some time this weekend to get to it, but I doubt it. Probably, it will be the middle part of next week before I’ve even made a dent in it.

But, sometimes I just think, “why bother?” Given all the opinion pieces, reports, and criticisms that have been written in the past 24 hours, I guess it’s a good thing that so much of the report was leaked. Or, was it really leaked? I don’t know. I haven’t had time to read the report, much less compare it to all of the pre-release news reports that originated from “sources close to the ISG” over the past couple of weeks. Plus, I imagine that most of the writers who have already weighed in on the report have not had the time to read the report either. But in this day and age, much of what passes for informed reporting is just warmed over talking points, and agenda-driven drivel. The stories might even have been written before the release of the report — just needed a little tweaking.

One report that I generally give credibility to is from Wretchard of Belmont Club. And even his report only talks about 3 or 4 of the dozens of recommendations in the report.

the principal utility of this report is its succinct description of the internal and external players in Iraq and an outline of their respective goals, many of which are malevolent. As a guide to the game the ISG Report is first rate.

Unless you’ve been reading a lot from the mil-bloggers over the past couple of years, you likely haven’t a clue as to who is doing what to whom in Iraq. And, if your information has come largely from the media, what you know is limited to what reporters can glean from within the Bagdhad green zone, from stringers, and from sources which may or may not be reliable. So, having a “succint description” of those involved is a great start.

Given the complexity of the problems, the large number of recommendations, and the lack of concensus on even basic points of our involvement in the Middle East, is it any wonder that the President has not fully embraced the recommendations in the report? It is surprising to me that he would come under criticism for not doing so, when the ink is barely dry on the report, and so many of his would-be critics haven’t even read it.

NYPostNYTimesISG Report (complete)

Iraqi Ambassador Rises to Challenge

The Iraqi Response

9 Responses

  1. Rush was going over some of the, seventy nine is it(?), recommendations today, and it was just absurd. It seems the Iraq Surrender Study Group report is climbing on the bestseller’s list, which is also funny, as it can be downloaded free online…it’s a 196 page pdf.
    Nuke, I wouldn’t be too concerned with analyzing it, I would be more concerned with making certain you pack your thermals for the weekend.

  2. Gotta dig’em out of the attic.

  3. Hey, get to digging!
    I will make a short post before the evening is over, to make sure I can still figure this thing out, and reassure you I won’t break anything.
    In the meanwhile, if you really must have access to a copy of the ISG, the link follows, from ThreatsWatch, with a brief caveat.

    Note: ThreatsWatch has provided an online copy of the Iraq Study Group Report. Further ThreatsWatch analysis will be published soon. But in the interim, the report’s Assessment section appears for the most part reasonably accurate with some detail-oriented discrepancies. The wheels fly off the wagon, however, when the recommendations begin. …Not the least of which is the rather arrogant determination for the state of Israel that it will hand over the Golan Heights to Syria.

    ISG.

  4. If you are fond of being knocked over by a feather, then proceed to ‘1. Performance On Milestones,’ recommendations 19 and 20.
    I assure you, that bluejay feather will put you down hard.

  5. Deep, deep, deep inside the Iraq Survey Group

    We can’t disclose sources and methods, so don’t bother asking how we did it. This transcript, recorded just hours before the release of the report, captures all the wisdom of these veteran ISG rainmakers…

  6. I’d be interested in your analysis – Baker has never been a favorite of mine. He is no friend of Israel and has made suggestions that make the Israeli situation worse. Appeasement policies led to 9/11. I suspect this report wouldn’t make good toilet paper as it is already soaked with excrement.

  7. I will also be interested in what you think, Nuke. I have not commented on the report either, for similar reasons. But I do think that one of the chief virtues of some bloggers is that they can afford to sacrifice the immediate, say-something-now-even-if-it’s-wrong ethic that seems to drive most MSM. We can afford to wait, digest, analyze and criticize. I make it a rule not to read too much analysis in the first few days after a report like this is released. I believe the ISG is a serious endeavor conducted by reasonable people with good intentions, even if Bush chooses not to listen to them.

  8. Well, I for one, am of the belief that this isn’t a serious report, performed by a group of people, impressed by their own sense of self importance. In fact, I don’t think it was necessary, and it’s results irrelevant, other than to provide political cover for those opposed to the war with Saddam, the war for peace, and those seeking an advantage for political opportunism.
    The fact that so many that were invited as experts were fiercely opposed to President Bush, and the war, is troubling. The fact that so many serious people that were invited as experts and resigned because they became aware early on, that the report had a conclusion before the work began, is also troubling…specifically Michael Rubin, and Rudy Guilliani. The fact that no military officers, graduates of War Colleges or the war in Iraq itself, were invited as experts, and that only one member of the group even ventured out beyond the Green Zone, troubles me.
    Personally, I rank this report right up there with Mohammed’s pathetic tome, as quality toilet tissue.
    Here’s an excellent piece from the Opinion Journal by ELIOT A. COHEN.

    The creation of the Iraq Study Group reflects the vain hope that well-meaning, senior, former public officials can find ideas that have not already occurred to people inside government; that those new ideas can redeem incompetent execution and insufficient resources; that salvation can come from a Washington establishment whose wisdom was exaggerated in its heyday, and which has in any event succumbed to a kind of political-intellectual entropy since the 1960s; that a public commission can do the work of oversight that Congress has shirked for five years in the misguided belief that it would thus support an administration struggling to do its best in a difficult situation. This is no way to run a war, and most definitely, no way to win it.

  9. What, you don’t think that the prez needs input from the Jihadi Lobbists about how to conduct a war on jihadis?

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