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    Middle East
     Dec 8, 2006
The ISG report's recommendations

The Iraq Study Group presented its report to President George W Bush and the US Congress on Wednesday. The report was made public at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The 10-member commission was led by Republican James Baker, who is a former secretary of state, and Democrat Lee Hamilton, a former congressman who once chaired the House International Relations Committee. The following extracts highlight the 79 recommendations made by the group.

RECOMMENDATION 1: The United States, working with the Iraqi



government, should launch a 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 neighbors.
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.
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 Baghdad.
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 Kirkuk.
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 militias.

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. This new diplomatic offensive cannot be successful unless it includes the active participation of those countries that have a critical 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.

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.

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 US effort. That effort should be both bilateral and multilateral, as circumstances require.

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 above.

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 United States should consider incentives, as well as disincentives, in seeking constructive results.

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 (ie, the United States, the 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 Shi'ite groups in Iraq, to encourage national reconciliation.
  • Iran can also, in the right circumstances, help in the economic reconstruction of Iraq.

    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.

    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 meetings, under the auspices of the United States or the Quartet (ie, 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 soldiers.
  • A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the democratically elected government of Lebanon.
  • A verifiable cessation of arms shipments from or transiting through Syria for Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups.
  • 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 US security guarantee for Israel that could include an international force on the border, including US 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 ceasefire reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis in November 2006.
  • Support for a Palestinian national unity government.
  • 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.

    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.

    RECOMMENDATION 19: The president and the leadership of his national security team should remain in close and frequent 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 US 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 US 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.

    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.

    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-Ba'athification. Political reconciliation requires the reintegration of Ba'athists 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 Shi'ite, nationalist or ex-Ba'athist, 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 government.
    RECOMMENDATION 30: Kirkuk. Given the very dangerous situation in Kirkuk, international arbitration is necessary to avert communal violence. Kirkuk's mix of Kurdish, Arab, 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.

    RECOMMENDATION 34: The question of the future US 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 success. 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 Ali al-Sistani and must consider appointing a high-level American Shi'ite Muslim to serve as an emissary to him. The United States must also try to talk directly to Muqtada 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, Muqtada al-Sadr, and militia and insurgent leaders. The very focus on sectarian identity that endangers Iraq also presents opportunities to seek broader support for a national 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 difficult 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 US 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.

    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.

    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 operations.

    RECOMMENDATION 44: The most highly qualified US officers 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 US 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 move out of Iraq, by leaving behind some American equipment for Iraqi forces.

    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 US 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 US government agencies involved in the stability and reconstruction effort.

    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. 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 security. 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 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 officers 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 above).

    RECOMMENDATION 54: The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior should proceed with current efforts to identify, register, and control the Facilities Protection Service.

    RECOMMENDATION 55: The US 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 US Department of Justice should direct the training mission of the police forces remaining under the Ministry of the Interior.

    RECOMMENDATION 57: Just as US military training teams are imbedded within Iraqi Army units, the current practice of imbedding US 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 teams. 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. 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 US Department of Justice should lead the work of organizational transformation in the Ministry of the Interior. This approach must involve Iraqi officials, 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 partnership.

    RECOMMENDATION 61: Programs led by the US 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.

    RECOMMENDATION 62:
  • As soon as possible, the US 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 investment.
  • The US 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 US 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 amounts).
  • Metering should be implemented at both ends of the supply line. This step would immediately improve accountability in the oil sector.
  • In conjunction with the International Monetary Fund, the US 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.

    RECOMMENDATION 63:
  • 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 US 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 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.

    RECOMMENDATION 64: US 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 US 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.

    RECOMMENDATION 66: The United States should take the lead in funding assistance requests from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and other humanitarian agencies.

    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.

    RECOMMENDATION 69: The authority of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction should be renewed for the duration of assistance programs in Iraq. US 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 US 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 US funds with those from international donors and Iraqi participants on behalf of assistance projects should be provided.

    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 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.

    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 US officers and personnel about to be assigned to Iraq.

    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 US military personnel serving in Iraq.

    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 US 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.

    RECOMMENDATION 77: The director of National Intelligence and the secretary of defense should devote significantly 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.

    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 efforts.

  • Bush given stark choices on Iraq (Dec 8, '06)

     
     



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