Iraq Study Released

By: Lisa Ferrari Email
By: Lisa Ferrari Email

The Iraq study group released its long awaited findings Wednesday.
The bottom line: they say there's no easy solution, but something must be done.

The opening line of the 142 page study sums it up. It says "The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating."

“The current approach is not working. No course of action in Iraq is guaranteed to stop a slide toward chaos,” said Study Group Chair Lee Hamilton.

After nine months of interviews and missions to Iraq, the bipartisan panel made 79 recommendations to President Bush Wednesday morning.

The major suggestions: move U.S. troops from a combat role to a support role by early 2008 and begin intense talks with Iran and Syria.

Study group member, former secretary of state, and Albemarle County resident Lawrence Eagleburger also says there should be no U.S. based effort to remove Iraq's current prime minister from power.

“We keep saying that Iraq is a sovereign government now. It has a sovereign state. They have to govern their own affairs. But at the same time, if we tell them now, you're going to have to get some different prime minister because we don't like this one, you're kind of making it a little difficult to demonstrate that they are in fact independent,” said Eagleburger.

In the past, President Bush has rejected many of these suggestions but on Wednesday, he said he would take the recommendations seriously.

"This reports gives a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq,” said Bush.

And, Virginia Senator John Warner Wednesday supporting the president said, “I feel confident that the president and his team will take into consideration that report.”

The report also accuses the Defense Department of underreporting the real level of violence in Iraq.

On the day the report was released 10 more Americans were killed in Iraq.

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